Patriots Ripe for a Fall?

Perhaps…but we will get to that later.  The NFC Championship Game featuring Dall…er, I mean Green Bay at Atlanta is first up.  One thing is for sure on both games though:  I’m not certain we can expect any defense whatsoever later today.  Just a wild hunch.  That’s what they pay me for…oh, wait…

Green Bay at Atlanta (-5.5):

Every fiber of my being is telling me that Green Bay has absolutely no chance in this one.  Why?  The following:

*Wide receivers:  Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams & Geronimo Allison are all questionable.  Randall Cobb has been banged up all year and though he is back, is he really healthy?

*Running Game:  None to speak of.  Please, don’t give me Ty Montgomery.  Also no Aaron Ripkowski.  Seriously.

*Defense:  Not much to speak of here either.  Secondary is also battling injuries and is subpar in the first place.  Atlanta is stacked on offense, even with a slightly(?) hobbled Julio Jones.  They scored 71 more points than 2nd place New Orleans during the year.  And not only do they have one running back, they have two.

*Road game:  Kind of.  Atlanta was only 5-3 at home.  And maybe controlled conditions actually help Aaron Rodgers and the rest of the Packers.

*Illness:  Rodgers came out and said he was sick in the middle of the week.  He also said the flu or something was running through their locker room this week.

*Airplanes:  I just heard the Packers were delayed in getting into Atlanta due to fog at the Green Bay airport.  I guess by a couple of hours, but…a sign?

Is that enough?

Well, the good news for the Pack is that they are the ones that have Aaron Rodgers.  Atlanta hasn’t proven anything in the playoffs.  The Falcons defense may stink more than the Packers.  And the Packers have Aaron Rodgers.

I’ve personally been trying to bury Green Bay since they got into the playoffs.  If the New York Giants actually took advantage early in their Wild Card game, maybe that score is different.  If the Dallas Cowboys actually had a good coach, maybe that score is different.

But they weren’t.  The Pack is still here.  And one more thing:  Do you think the NFL wants Atlanta or Green Bay in the Super Bowl?  Just sayin’

(Gritting teeth), Green Bay, 38-34

Pittsburgh at New England (-6):

First off, enough of the whole Antonio Brown and Facebook Live stuff from after the game last weekend.  Irrelevant.  Even the stuff that came out of Mike Tomlin’s mouth.  Just not a big deal.

As for the game itself, Pittsburgh was the opponent I know I least wanted the Patriots to face on the way to the Super Bowl.  After Denver didn’t make the playoffs, that is.  None of the other AFC playoff teams scared me at all.  We all saw what Kansas City was last week.  How can you be afraid of THAT?

And now that the Pats kind of played like garbage last week, the game has seemingly made a lot of people around here nervous.  More nervous that they had been initially anyway.

Houston supposedly had the number one defense and Pittsburgh does not.  So that will hopefully in and of itself make the Patriot offense look better.  But if Tom Brady gets picked off twice and Dion Lewis fumbles twice again, they will have a much more potent offense to deal with in Pittsburgh as opposed to the high school one that Houston offered up.

Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown are absolute monsters.  Locals this week have been pointing to Ben Roethlisberger’s road woes this year.  But we should all know better.  We know what he can do.  The Steelers also have some other “no name” wide receivers that appear out of nowhere and make plays.  A little concerning when the Pats have Logan Ryan and Eric Rowe to cover them.  Let’s also not forget that Pittsburgh’s offense wasn’t exactly clicking on all cylinders last week either with their 6 field goal game.

I think we should expect both offenses to play a little better.

BUT, the Patriot receivers are hobbled.  Especially Martellus Bennett.  I’m not sure if he is just running on fumes at this point.  He would be a huge plus in this game.  And it appears he is really gutting it out.  But I don’t know if has anything left.

And…God knows I don’t want to see LeGarrette Blount get the ball 25 times.  I know, he had a good game against them during the regular season.  But that was a long time ago.  The Steelers seem to be better on D than back then.  And Blount is a guy that will chew up bad defenses.  But be less than mediocre against even average defenses.

I know…a lot of negative Patriot talk here so far.  But I will support them in one case:  strength of schedule.  Their schedule certainly did consist of many horrible teams this year, no question.  And that is what a lot of the talking heads have been harping on over the last week.  But the Steelers didn’t exactly play a Murderer’s Row down the stretch either.  Including the playoffs.  Miami is terrible.  And, sad to say, may have even been in the game if Ryan Tannehill was the QB in the Wild Card game instead of Matt Moore.  Moore had 3 atrocious turnovers that basically let the Steelers run away with the game.  And we’ve already been through the KC game.

Enough rambling here…even though I am still trying to make a decision.  Ok, just do it.  Bell and Brown get plenty of yards.  But the Pats stiffen near the goal line, as they have done for years pretty much.  The sky really isn’t falling…at least I hope not.  New England, 31-23.

Last week:  2-2 (2-2 against the spread).

Total:  5-3 (4-4 against the spread).



About mpdenton

I am a passionate and life long fan of the local teams...and by local I mean New England. I remember the days of Ray Bourque, Larry Bird, Steve Grogan and Wade Boggs...meaning I have lived the highs and lows of the Boston sports scene. With all this pent up Boston sports emotion, I clearly have a lot to say about the local teams and sometimes about sports in general. Maybe even the Revolution... I appreciate you reading my blog and hope you enjoy my rants.

Posted on January 22, 2017, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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