Tom Brady Owns Big Ben and The Steelers

This week we have the highly anticipated match up between the New England Patriots and the Pittsburgh Steelers. This yearly game seems to always live up to the hype and consistently is one of the most highly watched games of the NFL Season. Last year was no exception with one of the wildest endings we’ve ever seen and the Patriots sneaking out of Heinz Field with a 27-24 victory. It didn’t come without some controversy, (did Jesse James catch the ball?) but regardless it solidified the fact that the Steelers seem to never be able to beat Tom Brady who is now 10-2 lifetime vs them.

For such a well discussed rivalry, it really hasn’t been much of a rivalry at all. Brady over his career has consistently shredded the zone defense the Steelers like to play and his stats against them are baffling. He has completed 70 percent of his passes  for over 3800 yards and 25 touchdowns to just 4 interceptions. Basically Brady has had MVP numbers against his so called rival during the course of his career along with never losing to them in the playoffs. He hasn’t even lost a game against them since 2011.

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While this game is typically the battle for the 1 seed in the AFC, this year is a little different. The Patriots come in 9-4 and still in play for at least the 2nd seed but need to win from here on out if they wish to  avoid playing Wildcard weekend once again this year. . The Steelers on the other hand are 7-5-1 and are coming off back to back losses. This is almost a must win for them and they are at real risk to not only lose their division but also miss the playoffs entirely.

Patriots fans must be drooling at the chance to put a dagger in the hearts of this Steelers fan by handing them a loss and it would be the perfect way to rebound after the devastating loss we watched the last week in what has become known as the Miracle in Miami.

Last week we saw Tom Brady play arguably his best game of the season, with his history of success against Pittsburgh, I would look for another huge game from the GOAT. If we know anything it’s that he loves to kick in the Steelers teeth whenever he plays them and has never been shy when it comes to letting Pittsburgh and their fans how much he enjoys beating them

 

Patriots Enable Their Fans to Keep Talking Shit For At Least 1 More Week

With a convincing 38-7 win over the 3-0 Miami Dolphins today in Foxborough the New England Patriots gave myself and many others a gleeful afternoon of football after a week of questions surrounding the team and whether this was the end of the dynasty. Obviously it is not the end, which is good news for me personally. As a Patriots fan I have been able to talk shit to pretty much every fan of any other team in the NFL for the past 18 years, (except for a couple, fuck you Giants and now Eagles fans) but this week I was having mini panic attacks thinking that this could be the time where the shit talking ends. People might start telling me my team sucks and before you know it I’ll have to agree with them because its true, sort of like being a Cleveland Browns or Jets fan.

You see I was 11 years old when the Patriots won their first Super Bowl in 2001, I’m old enough to remember they were not always good but not old enough that I can’t completely erase any memories of anything before Tom Brady. I mean the Patriots have been and elite franchise for 2/3 of my life. Them being good is really the only consistent thing I’ve had in my life. That’s why watching the Patriots demolish the fins in Foxborough today was so satisfying. It reminds me of my childhood, its like Grandma making you hot cocoa when you go to her house, just makes you feel better and that all is right in the world. It’s like knowing if your life falls apart you could always go home and Mommy would take you in and get you back on your feet. That’s what Brady and Gillette Stadium are to my Patriots fandom. They are my obnoxious NFL fan safe space. They got my back because they know I’m not ready to deal with 18 years worth of shit talking karma to blow up in my face.

I’m not dumb I know the Patriots will not be this great forever, just like Grandma won’t live forever either, (RIP Nana & Gma) but until that day Tom Brady and Bill Belichick will have my back and remind the league that don’t call this dynasty dead until they are 6 feet deep!

Full Recap to come LFG!

 

 

Photo Credit: The Boston Globe

Patriots vs Dolphins Preview: Is This the Changing of the Guard in the AFC East?

This week in Foxborough, MA we will see a highly anticipated early season match-up between the Miami Dolphins and the New England Patriots. Now historically, these games haven’t meant much. The Patriots typically dominate the AFC Least (as many like to call it), and have won their division 15 out of the past 17 years including an almost unprecedented 9 times in a row since 2009.  But who was the last team other than the Patriots to win this division you might ask? The 2008 Miami Dolphins, coached by Tony Sparano (RIP) and led by comeback player of the year, QB Chad Pennington. Those Miami Dolphins had the greatest single season turn around in NFL history, finishing 11-5 after a 2007 Season where they finished a pitiful 1-15.

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Now if we can return back from our little trip down memory lane, let’s discuss why this year’s game is a little different from any MIA vs. NE game that we can remember for the past decade. The Dolphins coming in at 3-0 have looked like a team poised and ready to finally return back to an AFC East title and possibly return them to contender status in the wide open AFC. The normally dominant Patriots on the other hand…ehh, they’re not looking great. After a 1-2 start and a dismal performance against the woeful Detroit Lions on Sunday night, a game where we saw them get dominated from start to finish, surely Tom Brady started to question whether he should have just retired so he’d have more time to make smoochies with his son and his smoking hot model wife. But in all seriousness, it has many a fan across the league asking the almost yearly question of, “Is this it? Is the dynasty over?” Given the Patriots’ performances the past two weeks, it certainly looks more possible than ever. For Miami fans, they would love nothing more. The Patriots have been that bully on the playground that makes you eat dirt and gives you a wedgie, and if you threaten to go to the teacher/league office to complain of their bullying/cheating, they will make sure to whoop that ass extra special next time around. Are the Dolphins the little kid ready to stand up to their AFC East bully? The Patriots have never seemed more vulnerable in the Brady and Belichick era. Let’s explore deeper how each team has looked so far this season, what they need to do to win, and predict who will come out victorious come Sunday.

 

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While the Miami Dolphins are coming in riding high at 3-0 so far this season, they will need to repeat some of those same performances that have gotten them that record in order to beat the Patriots in New England. For starters, their 7th year QB Ryan Tannehill needs to continue to play smart and limit his turnovers. There’s no greater recipe for an ass kicking in Foxborough than to turn the ball over early and let the crowd get into it. For years now there have been the questions about whether Tannehill is the right guy for this Dolphins team, and if he could truly compete against the other premier quarterbacks in the league. Every year now, we hear how this will be the year when he takes that “next step” into QB stardom. Many Dolphins fans will tell you it would have already happened if he hadn’t missed last season with a knee injury, and will also be quick to point out he has gone 10-1 in his past 11 starts dating back to 2016. So far this year, besides a few horrendous mistakes during a Week 2 win over the New York Jets, he has looked like that guy who has taken that ever so sought after “next step.” He is completing 73% of his passes, has thrown 7 TD to just 2 INT and boasts the 4th highest QB rating in the league at 121.8, just slightly behind a guy Fin’s fans might remember in Drew Brees. The guy that should have been a Dolphin and just broke the record for most completions in a career. Anyways, if the Fins are going to beat the Patriots in Foxborough for the first time in a decade then Tannehill is going to need to step up in a big way. His style fits what we have seen work so far this season against a New England defense that has more holes in it than those traumatic memories of Nana’s old night-gown. Simply put, he is primed to shred this Pats team apart this weekend, it’s just a matter of which Tannehill will show up to do the job.

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In terms of the play makers the Dolphins have the only word that comes to mind is speed, something they will need to use in abundance against a Patriots defense that has looked terribly slow thus far. With weapons like Kenny Stills, Jakeem Grant and Albert Wilson, they have the ability to blow the roof off the place at any moment and will undoubtedly try to do so this week. And while Miami’s running game hasn’t been spectacular to start the year, a Patriots defense that just afforded the Detroit Lions their first 100 yard rusher in 5 seasons might be just the cure.

On the defensive side of the ball nastiness is the word. A unit led by psychopathic LB Kiko Alonso will undoubtedly try to decapitate Tom Brady this weekend. Alonso has already recorded a combined 34 tackles this season and consistently plays with a chip-on-the shoulder-type nastiness that you wouldn’t expect from a guy that was born in a town where Boujee Brady himself now lives, Newton, MA (a town with one of the highest per capita incomes in the country). And while they will be unable to have a constantly fresh and changing D-line without defensive ends Andre Branch and William Hayes on Sunday, it will lead to more snaps for Cameron Wake and Robert Quinn. Wake, as you might remember, has voiced his displeasure of the league overly protecting Brady in the past. Just last year he tried this Karate Kid-style move in the middle of a Week 12 game in New England. While I don’t believe Wake to be a dirty player, I do believe he fucking hates Tom Brady. Him and his boys will be bringing the noise all day long and will need to do so in order to get Brady off his mark early.

Even if you don’t believe the Dolphin’s hype quite yet, you cannot deny the fact that Head Coach Adam Gase has completely changed the culture of a franchise that has been yearning to produce a real contender for the past few decades. Has he made some questionable personnel changes that the fans might not agree with? Sure. But he certainly had a picture in mind of how he wanted this team to look moving forward when he signed on. He has kept and brought in the right veteran players, specifically ones that are able and willing to mentor some of the young and talented studs on this roster and keep them focused on the ultimate team goal. And (more importantly) he will help steer this locker room away from the days where it ran rampant with poor attitudes and dysfunction. With that culture looking to be in the past (bye Jarvis), it leaves Adam Gase to coach some goddamn football and that is exactly what he has done so far this season. This weekend he will face the greatest test of any team looking to emerge from the depths of the AFC East in Patriots coach Bill Belichick. But if Adam Gase has proven anything to us so far, it’s that he is up for the challenge

 

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What do the Patriots need to do better to win this weekend? Simply put, everything. To put it in perspective, if at any point over the past 18 years you told a Patriots fan that a 3-0 Miami Dolphins team was coming to town and they should be worried, you would have gotten laughed out of the room and gotten a typical Masshole response something along the likes of “get tha fahhhhk outttta here“. But this time around, while the response may be the same, even their most die-hard fans can’t deny there is the lingering thought of “oh shit, what if this is really it?” The good news for Patriots fans? This game is at home at Gillette Stadium, a place the Patriots have gone an incredible 129-24 over the course of Brady’s career.

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On offense the Patriots have to find someone who can get separation and make plays besides Gronk. While you can say Josh Gordon will be that fix, there is no telling at least at this point that he will actually touch the field. And if he does will he even become a factor on Sunday? I’ve said before that if Josh Gordon is your saving grace, than this team is truly more fucked than we thought (see the 2013-17 Cleveland Browns). Regardless, the Patriots must find ways to move the ball and score against a Dolphins defense that currently ranks 6th in points allowed so far this season. Having the GOAT QB doesn’t help very much if you don’t surround him with any talent. As we learned in the Super Bowl, he cannot throw and catch the ball.

Sony Michel has not been the weapon many thought he would be so far, they will need to show up this week and prove his worthiness of that 1st round pick the Patriots used on him. With Rex Burkhead being out, it would lead me to believe he could be due for an even bigger workload along with pass catching back James White. A thought that doesn’t put any ease to the minds of Patriots fans. So far Michel has looked like a poor man’s Dion Lewis, another guy GM Bill Belichick didn’t think was worth paying to keep around. With all this being said, if Sony can bring an extra spark of life to this Patriots team somehow, it would be a huge boost to an offense that has looked more like a PT Cruiser than the TB12 Edition Ashton Martin we are used to. I see them giving the ball to Michel early and often this Sunday, partly because they need him to get going, and partly because Bill wants to prove he doesn’t always miss on offensive talent in the draft.

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The Defensive side of the ball is a whole other story. They have looked horribly slow and seemed unable to tackle for the past two weeks. To top it all off, the Lions ran the ball down their throats all game long last weekend which is something we rarely see against a Patriots team. We’ve seen backs have other good games against the Patriots, but never the between the tackles, 5 yards at a time, good ol’ pounding the Lions gave them. Losing possibly their best defensive player so far in Ja’Whaun Bentley won’t help them and they will need Trey Flowers and Patrick Chung to come back strong, as they are expected to return to the field after missing last week. Bill Belichick will need to pull the rabbit out of the “hood” one more time if he looks to turn this defense around this week, a magic trick that may get exposed due to the lack of talent he has been able to gather on that side of the ball going on 4 years now.

Overall the Patriots should be thanking the scheduling gods that they are gifted this much-needed home game this week. I personally don’t think things would bode well for them if they have to play their 2nd game in 3 weeks in the Florida heat and in what would no doubtedly be a ruckus Hard Rock Stadium in Miami.

Prediction:

Pats are favored -7 at home, strictly because of their absurd home record over the years, a fact which Vegas knows will be tough for the Fins’ to overcome. I don’t think the Patriots cover but they do win in a tight game at home. You can’t say the King has been slayed until you actually do it. 

Final Score: Patriots – 27 Dolphins – 23

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Photo Credit: SB Nation
Stadiums of Pro Football
New York Post
Boston Sports Extra
CBS Sports 
Nanigans
Rant Sports
Sports Illustrated 

NFL: Tackle or Two Hand Touch

Well if you pay any attention to football at all, you have noticed that college and NFL have adopted new rules in order to protect the players. Now listen I have seen the movie “Concussion” which is fantastic movie where Will Smith plays a doctor, Bennet Ifeakandu Omalu, who single handedly brought down the NFL with the reports about ex-Pittsburgh Steelers players and their deaths related to what we now call, CTE. This is based on true events, which means that shit really happened. You see to sum this up, when you get hit at any point your brain rocks back and forth, hitting your skull. That is completely unnatural. It results in memory loss, depression, confusion, and dementia. Those symptoms mixed with heavy testosterone and drugs make up a pretty dangerous cocktail of disaster. Everyone could say, “These players make millions, the risk comes with the money!” This could be true, but the fact of the matter is a lot of these players end up broke and have no health care set up for them or any benefit for making their respected companies/organizations millions. Hence why you see a boycott coming from the Hall of Famers themselves until these benefits are awarded to these players. Basically to summarize, the NFL has moved on from the badass days of glorifying hits in order to preserve the future of these athletes who in the grand scheme of things being their professional journey at a young age. Preserving the short term investment to succeed in the long run.

This new developed attitude towards protecting the players has created a shitstorm with fans and players across the league. Even with all the information at our disposal, people still question why? Here is your why NFL, you selected the highest marketed players to protect. Everyone and their mother knows that defense wins championships and touchdowns put fans in the seat. The “protection” of the players has been the “let’s protect the people who make us the most money”. What has happened as a result? Teams find it less important to pay defensive players who have busted their ass for them, defensive players are being penalized or in college kicked out of games, and most of all players who have tackled for 10, 15, and 20 years are being told to tackle in a different manner resulting in injuries. I am all about trying to help the athletes lessen their chances of CTE and any injuries that would harm them, BUT I use the world athlete, meaning all of them not one specific position or group. These rules need to change because you’re going to see more injuries to the defensive player, but hey what do I know.

The fans and the league have seen the downside that most college football teams have experienced since the targeting rule came into existence, except the NFL has seen it in a different fashion. For instance, three straight weeks Clay Matthews has been penalized for roughing the passer. I didn’t care enough to focus on the first one but the last two are complete bullshit! Instead of me ranting you be the judge.

Oh wait those are just penalties, lets see what happens when defensive players try and prevent their full body weight on the precious cargo called Quarterbacks.

The Clay Matthews hits both came at a crucial point in the game, resulting in automatic first downs. The other resulted in William Hayes, defensive end of the Dolphins, tearing his ACL and is now out for the season. SMH. What does the rest of the league think about this?

How do we as fans feel?

Yeah that caption and tweet says enough. Good day America, let’s hope our kids grow up to catch, pass, or run the ball because by their age defense won’t exist. I’ll leave you with this. Stop with the double standard bullshit!

Bills Break Vikings Over Table, And I Don’t Know Anything About the NFL Anymore.

The Buffalo Bills led by rookie QB Josh Allen came out and shocked the world today by beating the Vikings 27-6 in Minnesota at US Bank Stadium. A stadium that has already become a traditionally tough place to play since they opened it last season. The line on this game hovered around Vikings -16.5 to 17.5 all week and people across football were still taking the Vikings despite the fact you almost always take the dog with a line like that in the NFL. I mean the Bills have had an atrocious to start to this season with blowout losses to the Ravens and Chargers and looked poised to become the leagues new Cleveland Browns. So there was no way to think that today playing against a tough Minnesota team with a terrific defense at home would be the game for the these Bills to turn it around, but they certainly did.

I myself was one of those people to completely doubt the Bills as seen in this following clip that has not aged very well since 12 PM today.

Clearly that was a very cold take and I deserve to be shit on for it. I guess you can’t underestimate the pride of an NFL team that had one of their key players straight up quit on them at halftime last week in Vontae Davis. That really must have been a rallying point for a team that truly did seem destined to become the 3rd NFL team to go 0-16.

Now I don’t think the Bills will completely turned their season around and actually compete for a playoff spot. I think today was more a case of the Vikings just not showing up or just not being the team we thought they were. But this is the NFL with the best athletes in the world and the Bills showed us today that you cannot take any team lightly or act ever think you know the outcome.

Josh Allen played great and has maybe given those who think he will be the biggest bust out of this years QB Draft class reason to pause. He was 15-22, with 1 TD and one TD on the ground, along with a every so close to 69% completion percentage with 68.2%(Still Nice though). And most importantly he took care of the ball against a Vikings team known for getting takeaways.  The Team and Bills Mafia deserve this win and I hope they celebrate this win in the only fashion that we would expect out of them. By breaking burning tables and excessively chugging beers. Cue the tape!

 

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