Thursday, May 21, 2015

A look at Jimmy Garoppolo

Sometimes when there's disaster there is opportunity and right now we're seeing this first hand. Tom Brady's status for the first four games are questionable at best and now with Roger Gooddell making sure he's going to play a huge role in the decision making process it becomes even more of a question mark. So lets take a break from all the deflate gate talk and take a look at Jimmy Garoppolo.

Pros: He's mobile in the pocket. Probably the first thing that jumped out to me was just how mobile he was. One could maybe say he moves around too much in the pocket. However with his mobility he could gives defenders fits (as we see in the game film) Accuracy doesn't seem to be a problem either. On a number of plays he was able to put the ball in tight spaces. He loves playing in the shot gun which is big for our offense. He has a quick release and excuse me for sounding ESPNish  but the dude can make some plays. He keeps the offense at a good pace.
Cons: He needs to be a little more patient in the pocket. His delivery needs work as well, you can see there's sometimes where balls are easily being batted down. This is something that can hopefully be fixed with the right coaching. You hear about QB's improving their throwing motion all the time. Honestly I didn't see a lot I didn't like (there's not much film but from whats out there he looks promising)

How was he in college? He kind of reminds me of a Joe Flacco. A solid player who played at a mediocre program. If Joe Flacco had played at UM instead of Delaware he probably would of received double the hype coming out of college. Jimmy Garopplo tore it up at Eastern Illinois but that's the thing. It's Eastern Illinois. So he's obviously going to have to prove he can step up to NFL level competition.

It will be an interesting first four games folks, stay tuned.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Deflate Gate Was a No Win Situation From Day One

I think I speak for all Patriot fans when I say I'm unhappy about this whole thing. Obviously it's no secret that the media and the league aren't exactly fans of the Patriots but this is something never seen before in this sports world. Not even the New York Yankees, Dallas Cowboys, Notre Dame Fighting Irish have ever endured such a backlash from the media. Lets point this out from the start: I'm not saying all the media outlets hate the Patriots. However the two biggest ones can't stand them and that's ESPN and the New York Media. They have had a field day with this whole thing from day one. Unfortunately it seems the Patriots will be punished without any concrete evidence.

 On the 228th page of the Wells report, this little nugget sums it up.
 "In sum, the data did not provide a basis for us to determine with absolute certainty whether there was or was not tampering as the analysis of such data ultimately is dependent upon assumptions and information that is not certain.”

No concrete evidence and yet this is enough to suspend Tom Brady? Seriously? This is Illogical. If you tried to convince a jury that someone was guilty with that exact argument you would lose the case 99.9% of the time. However this is enough to suspend one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. Because of unproven assumptions? This is nonsense and this has been from the start. But why?

Well that's where things get interesting. You see, as I said from the start this was blown up by epic proportions by two main media outlets: ESPN and the New York Sports Media. ESPN has never had a good relationship with the Patriots and New York has obvious reasons to trash anything related to the Pats. So why is this relevant? Because you see the NFL is a business. And a big part of your success in business is  public perception.

The NFL took a beating this last season due to the domestic dispute issues. The last thing they can afford is to have the public pissed off anymore. Why? Because once people start getting pissed, Sponsorships start getting lost. When sponsorships are lost, revenues take a hit. So what do you think the NFL is going to do? Stick their middle finger up to the media and the public and say it's no big deal? Of course not. They're going to give the people what they want. They're going to drop the hammer on the evil Patriots and Roger Gooddell will be the knight in shining armor for doing so.

Add to the fact the NFL demands parity to keep the fans happy and they'll do anything they can to cripple this team.

 It really is a shame that in the last years of a legendary career Tom Brady has to deal with this disrespectful  assault on his character. Here is a guy who has taken pay cut after pay cut, never gotten in trouble or even had a locker room issue. He wasn't drafted in the first round, and being a 6th round pick he had to fight for every inch to earn a spot on this roster. But yet the media wants to tear this guy down?
"To be succesful you need friends,
to be very succesful you need enemies"

Tonight reports have come out that they will indeed suspend Tom Brady for a certain period of time. It's infuriating that arguably the GOAT of all QBs will have a portion of one of his final seasons wasted because the public and certain powerful media outlets want to see it end. 

We'll have to see just how severe they try to come down on the team. I'll try to keep up to date on the blog from here on out. I've been busy this whole year getting situated with new jobs and all that fun stuff. I'll be back to update more and talk about this years draft selections.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Far From Finished

,Exactly as the title says, the 2015 New England Patriots are (hopefully) far from finished this off season.
There's still pieces left in free agency, and the NFL draft of course.
So lets take a look at the biggest moves made so far in Free Agency...

Revis, Browner, Wilfork, Vereen gone
Scott Chandler,Jabaal Sheard,Travaris Cadet added
 Gostkowski, McCourty re-signed/franchised

Obviously it's great to have McCourty back. I'm interested to see what Sheard will do in this defense however I am really concerned with the defensive line at the moment As of right now you have nothing but an often injured draft pick coming off injured reserve that we're depending on at DT. We have depth along the DL but little to no starters. This will hopefully be addressed. At corner you went from top 3 to huge question marks. Do we start Logan Ryan? If so who plays the opposite side? These are key factors in the 2015 campaign. It's a little scary for Pats fans to think about going from Revis and Browner to complete question marks but such is life in NFL Free Agency.

The Patriots recently hosted corner backs  Terence Newman, Tarell Brown, Bradley Fletcher and Robert McClain. Pretty interesting choices, none that particularly excite me but we'll see how it works out.

I'll be keeping you more up to date through out Free Agency

(By the way, it's good to be the champs)

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Patriots-Seahawks Keys To victory

It's here. Super Sunday. The Patriots have a short at their 4th Lombardi and they have one hell of an opponent in their way. So what can the Patriots do to attack the Seahawks? Here's what I think...

  • As valuable as offense is and yes we need them to do well tonight, defense is where the Patriots will win or lose this game. They must stop Marshawn Lynch tonight. If they can do this it will force Wilson to win the game which is exactly what the Patriots want to happen. If Lynch is running up and down the field it would take a miracle for the Patriots to win this game. It's not going to be easy but if anyone can make it happen it's Bill Belichick. Yes this team has struggled against the run. But when they couldn't stop Baltimore they found a way to shut their running game down in the second half which was a big key to victory in that game. 

  • Offensive Line. This is one of their toughest tests of the season. Probably the biggest difference in the Patriots super bowl wins and losses was the play of the offensive line. In 2003 the Patriots neutralized the Carolina Panthers front 7. They won that game. In 07-11 the Patriots were manhandled by the Giants defensive line. They lost those games. Anyone see a pattern here?

  •  Middle of the Field. Attacking the Seahawks down field is not smart nor does it play to the Patriots strength. The key is the middle of the field. If they can get Rob Gronkowski going along with Julien Edelman in the short passing game they will have success against Seattle. This will take away Seattle's corners and neutralize their pass rush.
That's about it in my opinion. The Seahawks are a good, but simple team. There's nothing complex going on in their offense. I know people love Russel Wilson and think he's the reason they came back against Green Bay, but people fail to realize Marshawn Lynch was the one who got the offense going against the Packers. If Russel Wilson does not have a running game he cannot do the things he does and that will give the Patriots full control of this game.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Patriots Return To The Scene Of The Crime

So at the time of me writing this it's 1:13 AM (a bit of a night owl, I know) and we're officially 5 days away now from the Superbowl. And I gotta tell ya, I can't ever remember a Superbowl that has the kind of coverage this one has.

If anyone can locate ANY footage of an analyst breaking this match up down for more then 1 hour please show me because I've yet to see it. It's like the talking heads discuss the match up for 10 minutes before getting into all the nonsense. Worse yet, whenever the Patriots are mentioned so is the whole deflation issue. Yet when the Seahawks are mentioned, the media has nothing but great things to say about this team. I've never seen a media such a fan of one team and so obviously venomous towards another. We get it, you hate Belichick because he doesn't give you the fun press conferences but at this point it's simply amazing how much disdain the media has for this organization. If the Patriots win the superbowl will they show the parade or will they go over ways the Patriots cheated?

 When you look at these two teams you see such differences personality wise. The Seahawks come off as loud mouth, arrogant young guns that need to be knocked back down a notch. The Patriots are actually less experienced then the Seahawks are with Superbowl experience on their roster yet the way some of the Seahawks players are acting you'd never know. Don't get me wrong, the Seahawks are a good team. But their downfall will be their arrogance, mark my words. It seems the only players that shut up and play are Russel Wilson and Marshawn Lynch.

Seeing the Patriots get off the plane today  you could not only see it but almost feel it. This team means business. They're pissed that they've been questioned and their here to answer the call. Call me superstitious but I love the fact this team is staying where the Giants stayed before defeating the Patriots in Arizona, and I love the fact they're returning to the scene of the crime.

Before that loss to the Giants the Patriots were on the brink of cementing their legacy. Here they are again, maybe not with an undefeated season to finish but a legacy to cement.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Full Steam Ahead

In an unusual move, Bill Belichick actually called the media in for a press conference today. His goal? To make his point clear, and allow his team to focus on the super bowl.

To sum it up: Belichick made it clear that he did not have any involvement with messing with the ball pressure, throughout the week BB and Patriots teammates have also defended Tom Brady despite media reports trying to paint the picture of Belichick throwing the blame on his quarterback.

I think it's a great move that Belichick broke his silence and went out of his way to declare no wrongdoing. The league and the media has and will continue to make a circus out of this. Grown men like Mark Brunnel(an ESPN analyst) will even try to cry to show you how much it bothers him that he thinks the Patriots cheat,
However, the media can no longer act as if the Patriots are sitting in the corner like a dog who got caught chewing the couch. They have went out of their way to deny these ridiculous, overblown allegations, at this point it's on the NFL and the NFL only to have the final say. 

From here on out, it's full steam ahead. Let the media harp on the nonsense. Let the Seahawks continue to talk trash. The Patriots need to focus, because they've been challenged.

The media has questioned this team's legacy. The Seahawks think they aren't that good. People think they can't win without cheating. 


Every time the world has questioned this team they don't just step up to the plate, they charge it like a bull. I expect nothing different next Sunday. Lets put this nonsense behind us and focus on the goal..Which is Lombardi #4.

As the title says...from here on out it's full steam ahead.

Friday, January 23, 2015

The Real Cheater

Lately, Richard Sherman has been running his mouth about Tom Brady. Calling him classless, a cheater, etc.

I find it ever so funny that a guy  who has been caught using PED says this.
Oh, you didn't know or you forgot right? Because the media loves Richard Sherman..And they wouldn't possibly call him out on his bullshit for long.

In fact, the very team that the Patriots face this weekend, the Seahawks, have had 7 players caught with PEDs. Yet all the media does it go after Patriots.

On the current Seahawks roster Sherman and Bruce Irvin are big contributors for the Seahawks, yet no one seemed to care that this team uses performance enhancing drugs. I wonder why this is? It's obvious to anyone who's paying attention.

So how about instead of throwing stones while living in glass houses we focus on the game?

Just a quick thought to start your morning......

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

It's Us Against The World

Patriot fans it's time we realize something

In case you haven't noticed whenever this team loses the media jumps all over them. Belihchick is done and Tom Brady needs to retire, the Patriots cheat, Belichick is the devil and Tom Brady kicks puppies (OK, I haven't heard the media go that far but you get the drift).
Yet while this team wins in dominating fashion and while Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are literally in the midst of a postseason run that could seal their place in history as the best the media avoids this and talks instead about them cheating. Oh you didn't remember that did you? Bill Belichick has become #1 on the all time playoff victory list. Tom Brady just surpassed Joe Montana for all time leader in postseason touchdown passes. But yet all ESPN and everyone else wants to talk about is the ball pressure being too low. It's one thing if it was an obvious factor. But we're talking about a team that hasn't challenged New England since Manning left. We're talking about a team that had 60 minutes to feel a game ball that if it was truly so flat that it effected their play said nothing. The Colts were so dominated by LaGarette Blount that he almost had the same dominating game he had a year ago.And yet people are really questioning if the Patriots cheated? 

Let me tell you folks something. You better believe if the Patriots lost Sunday we wouldn't hear a damn thing about the game balls. Instead we'd hear how average the Patriots are and how their time is over. I remember hearing more negativity after the Patriots lost in freaking October then I've heard positive things after them winning in January. Why is this? Because the media hates Bill Belichick. They're tired of him, and they want him gone. They will do everything they can to destroy him and little to praise him. If you don't realize this by now then I don't know what to tell you.

You know what's funny about this story? The same team complaining (the Colts) was accused by the Steelers back in 2005 of pumping fake crowd noise into their dome which gave them a nice home field advantage. Guess how much the media brought this up? They dropped it like a rock because they didn't want to bad mouth their buddy Tony Dungy and Peyton Manning.

Look, I love writing and my family has a history of working in the journalist field. But anyone who knows the media knows that they have agendas. If you want to let them convince you this team is less then great, if you let them  literally strip all the joy you have of this team going to the Superbowl then so be it that's on you. But I refuse to do it. I stand behind this team win or lose, and I stand behind this team even when the media wants to do everything they can to destroy them.

If you're a Patriots fan you better realize this. It's the Patriots against the world.
You can either accept this or you can go root for teams like the Seahawks, Colts, Broncos, etc. that the media loves and praises to death, I see local New England writers even joining in on the witch hunt, and they're only doing it because they desperately want your page views. Yet these same writers will criticize Bill Belichick for not opening up to them and giving them slick answers. 

Patriot fans, ignore the media and stop letting it influence you. Your Quarterback is an all time great and your coach is so damn good they accuse him of cheating. Enjoy these days because there's not one NFL fan that wouldn't trade places with us in a second. Call me arrogant all you want. But there's a reason the media spends all the time they do talking about the Patriots and not the Buffalo Bills. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

So We Meet Again

Going into this week, we have a red hot Indianapolis Colt team facing a New England Patriots squad that should be well awake from their bye week slumber after last week's epic game against Baltimore. I wanted to go over a few thoughts on the Patriots and go over specific match ups between the two teams this week...So lets begin.

The Pass Rush: I'm sure by now you've read about five articles describing the troubles of the pass rush lately. Lets be honest, Joe Flacco had enough time to paint a portrait before completing a pass on some plays. However I think some people aren't looking at things close enough.
First off, there's no defending the defense giving up two quick scores the way they did to Baltimore. That was their own fault and put them in a hole for most of the game. You see, when your down by 14 points and your offense is struggling in the playoffs you don't have the luxury of gambling the way you would in week 7. This then puts your defense in more of a read and react mode to play it safe rather then sending pass rushers and risk falling in a bigger hole. I'm not saying this is good defense, but this is where the offense is in control and its all the defense can do in that situation. Imagine if Jamie Collins was sent on a blitz that was picked up and his man becomes wide open for the touchdown? The Patriots wouldn't be playing this weekend.
 Conclusion? Don't let the opposing team get off the a quick start so that they can dictate the flow of the game. This is not only on the defense to do a better job but the offense as well. Speaking of offense..

The offense has to get off to a solid start to avoid putting not only the defense in a hole but themselves as well. When you fall behind the way the offense did the defense tees off on not only the QB but the running game as well. Lets give the Ravens credit, regardless of the score running on that front 7 is not easy. But putting them ahead allows the defense to be in full control. It's not hard to guess what the offense is going to do when they're down by 14 compared to when their tied or in the lead.

By now I realize the Patriots strength on offense is not in their talent but unpredictable nature and I'm talking about more then trick plays. For example, look how tight end Hoomanawanui was a problem for the Ravens on a few plays. Obviously, they were looking to defend Gronkowski which created an opportunity for our other tight end to make plays. When you're defending the Patriots in a pass situation, who do you defend? Cover Gronk all day Brady goes to Edelman. Lock down Edelman and then Brady turns to Brandon Lafell to make a play. I could go on all day folks. This may not seem sexy on paper and it damn sure wont make ESPN get excited. But the playoffs are all about match ups and the Patriots are unpredictable in those key situations.

 When it comes to the Colts, you have to respect the job they've down and thinking this is an easy win is a mistake. However it is undeniable to deny that it's is not a favorable match up for the Patriots. I don't think the Pats need to pull a rabbit out of their hat this week. I think if they  just line up and play a good 60 minutes they can handle this Colts team, much like they did earlier in the season.  Obviously the problem with the Colts is Andrew Luck. He's not only got an arsenal of weapons (Reggie Wayne, TY hilton, Coby Fleener, Dwayne Allen)  But he's mobile too. So if your sitting back in coverage and Luck has time he's running for the first down. The whole entire game plan this week will revolve around containing Andrew Luck. Obviously you factor in their running game as well but without Luck this offense will go nowhere. 

Last but not least the Colts defense. People seem to be a bit more optimistic then I am on the unit. Sure they played a great against  Cincy and they controlled the Broncos. But lets take a look at a few things...
The Bengals played without AJ Green and Dalton was down to only one of his tight ends. Add in the fact you have Dalton in a playoff game and this one is barely anything to write home to write home about.
But wait did you see them shut down Peyton Manning? I saw them shut down a Peyton Manning that wasn't the same.  I also noticed the Colts horrible run tackling which kept the Broncos in the game on a couple of big conversions. Run defense has been a weakness all year for the Colts and I expect the Patriots to expose it, similar to the way they did earlier in the season. It's no disrespect to the Colts who I think are capable of winning this week. I just think this match up plays in New England's favor.

We'll see how things play out but if the Patriots come out and play their game there's no reason they sholdn't be heading for Arizona

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Ravens A Tough Matchup

Lets be honest, confident or not in the Patriots this weekend you would be lying if you said the Baltimore Ravens weren't a difficult match up for the Patriots. I'm going to go over a few things inside the match up that I think will be key. But first, I just want to say something. One big reason the Ravens have been such a problem for the Patriots is because they've been strong in a lot of areas where the Patriots are weak. Even more so then any individual match up has been their style of play. They're good at running the ball, Flacoo will expose a bad secondary, and they're a very physical team.

If the Ravens win this game, their front 7 will have a big part in it. The Patriots offensive line has been a cardiac bunch this season. At times they show great potential, other times they look lost. This is why I'm nervous about this match up. Even though people are quick to point out Reed, Lewis and Rice are gone they forget to mention the players the Ravens still do have. Suggs, Ngata, Dumervil. These 3 players will cause a very long day if this offensive line does not show up. This is what it comes down to above all else. If Brady is standing upright all day, the Ravens are in big trouble. If not, the Patriots are in big trouble. The reason I point this out even though it sounds a bit obvious is because the analysts will talk about Revis, Smith, etc.
But lets be real here..The Patriots downfall has been their inability to protect Brady and get it done on defense in the post season. They have the secondary this year to get the job done. The offensive line is the unit with more questions

On defense the Patriots need to re-gain the pass rush they had earlier in the season. I'm not too worried about the DB-WR matchup. I think Revis and Browner will be OK if Flacco isn't sitting back all day. I will give the D the benefit of the doubt due to some injuries in December. Hopefully they're fully healthy and ready to go. While I am nervous about this match up, if the Patriots are fully healthy and show up as the team we saw all season, I think they can steam roll the Ravens. Where as I think the Ravens will need to play their best possible game while depending on a down day from the Patriots. Simply put, the Patriots are a better team on paper and they were a much better team through out this season. This means little once the whistle blows and the helmets are hitting come Saturday night, which brings me back to being nervous.

But make no mistake, this Patriots team is better on paper then anything the Ravens have faced since 2009. In those years the Ravens faced horrendous defenses, and luckily had Rob Gronkowski along with Akib Talib go out in the 2013 AFC championship game. IF the Patriots play their game, they should win.

Often in the NFL what should happens and what does happen are different things. However when good teams show up, they handle business. I expect the Patriots to be no different this weekend.

BETTING LINES THIS WEEKEND  Patriots -6.5(favorites) Ravens +6.5(dogs)

Over Under = 48

Saturday, January 3, 2015

The Good and The Bad As We Enter The Playoffs

 With the Patriots off this week, we have plenty of time to go over the team heading into their playoff game next weekend. We don't know who they'll be playing yet but that's fine. For now lets take a look at the state of the Patriots and see what's good and what's not so good.

Good: The passing game has really taken off as the season went on. Brandon LaFell may not be a superstar but he's a valuable receiver for this team. Unlike in year's past where Brady had fewer options this offense makes up what it lacks in talent for versatility. At any time Julien Edelman, Rob Gronkowski or Brandon LaFell could be the featured target. This gives the Patriots more of the versatility they had in their Superbowl years rather then their one sided attacks that haven't done so well in the playoffs. This is great and all but it depends big time on....

Bad: Unpredictable Oline. This unit improved through out the season, however to end the season they were less then impressive. This could be due to a line that simply needs a rest, going through a bump in the road so to be speak. Or this could be the undoing of this team. Yes, the defense of the past few years have not been impressive. But in every game they have lost one thing has been the same: Tom Brady getting pummeled. If this unit shows up and keeps Brady up right and the running game strong this team will not lose in the playoffs. If they don't, they will once again be manhandled physically as we've seen all too much the past few years. It's time the Patriots change this, and this team has the chance to do it.

Good: Stronger Defense. Its been awhile, but the Patriots finally have a defense they can turn to in tough situations. Brandon Browner and his flag happy self scares me as much as the next guy. But when this unit is on, it's on. It's great to see the draft picks from the past few years being some of the biggest drivers behind the unit's success. Having Chandler Jones back is huge because hopefully he can help pump up a pass rush that's been flat for the last month of the season. Speaking of...

Bad: Late season pass rush. Chandler Jones and High tower missing time did little to help this unit. Having them back should obviously be a boost. But if this unit remains flat..We're going to watch a result similar to Green Bay where the secondary didn't play bad but the pass rush was non existent. IF this unit along with the secondary is on however, this team could straight steam roll opponents.

Well folks, playoff time is finally here and I'm just as excited as the next guy. I've been horrible at updating my blog all season (I've have some other obligations this year unfortunately) however I will do my best to keep everyone posted through the playoffs.