Monthly Archives: October 2019
So the New England Patriots didn’t do anything significant prior to this past Tuesday’s trade deadline.
Well, other than unloading Michael Bennett about a week ago. Said last week he would likely be traded for a bag of footballs and…he was. It’s too bad he never bought into the program. Because my sense is that the team could use him at some point down the road. But it appeared he was going to continue to be a distraction, so addition by subtraction seemed to be the only answer. Oh well.
As for the period right before the deadline? We were a little disappointed that no more offensive line help was brought in. I can live with what the team has at tight end and wide receiver, despite everyone clamoring for more help there.
But the offensive line is a mess. This has been absolutely no secret.
Marshall Newhouse is a disaster, Shaq Mason and Marcus Cannon have not played well this year, and Mason missed the last game with an injury. Ted Karras seems to be a capable backup, but because of David Andrews’ health situation, he now is the starting center. And hasn’t been great. James Ferentz started for Mason last week and this is not a positive thing. He’s been in the league for like six years, this was his first start, and he was actually cut in camp and not picked up by anyone for a little bit until the Pats came calling back. I think he’s been cut plenty of times by the Pats and never wanted elsewhere.
You want more? The team traded picks for Jermaine Eluemunor and Korey Cunningham late in camp. Cunningham can’t even sniff the field. Eluemunor has barely played. How can they not be better than Newhouse and Ferentz??
Isaiah Wynn is on track to return in a few weeks. But are people overrating this? He has missed the better part of the last season and a half. Does he have talent? Sure. But how do we know he is truly any good?
He can’t hurt I suppose.
But it would have been nice to see a major move along the line. And I’m not even talking about Trent Williams from Washington specifically. But…SOMEONE.
Usually, offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia and the Pats figure it out by the end of the season.
But this feels different.
In other news:
*The weather was bad Sunday, but thankfully the Cleveland Browns puked on themselves a little bit as well.
The game was closer than it should have been. And once again the Pats jumped out to a big lead but never really put the game away.
Don’t get me wrong, I was at the game and never felt like the Pats would lose. But they should have scored over 40 in this one.
Part of that goes back to the offensive line. The running backs simply have no holes.
The Pats would prefer (as most teams would) that once they get a nice lead, start leaning on the running game to eat clock and get out of there.
But they haven’t been able to do that.
Also, make no mistake that Sony Michel is part of the problem. As a first round pick, you would think that he could make something out of nothing more often. But he simply never does that.
I mean, most running backs just take what is given them. But the great ones get more.
The expectations are kind of high, but you would think a first round running back would be on track to be “great”.
But maybe that’s just me.
*Mike Nugent gets released and Nick Folk replaces him.
You Gostkowski haters happy now?
I’ve been saying it forever (or at least since Gostkowski started a bit of a decline). “Be careful what you wish for”.
Gostkowski may not have been as accurate in recent years. And he was bad this year before he landed on injured reserve.
But Nugent stunk. Folk does stink…and he will prove that to us again.
Folk will not be the last kicker for New England this year. Take that to the bank.
Let’s just hope this doesn’t cost the team when it matters.
Who would have thought that the kicker would possibly be more of a concern than the offensive line or any other position?
As for tonight’s game:
San Francisco (-9.5) at Arizona
I’ll say it again: divisional games on Thursday can be hard to predict. Cop out when we lose the pick again? Perhaps. But the short week has an effect, no doubt. The Vikings should have hammered the Redskins last Thursday night. But they won by only 10. And Minnesota was at home. That being said, it’s going to be hard to take the Cards here. The Niners have given up 77 points in 7 games. AZ has given up 223, third most in the league. The Cards will likely be without star running back David Johnson and his backup, Chase Edmonds, will also be out. Kenyan Drake to the rescue? Doubtful. San Fran looks like a wagon right now. So the short week may not actually mean a thing this week.
San Francisco 34, Arizona 13.
Week (against the spread): 8-7
Week (straight up): 14-1
Lock Of The Week (season, ATS): 4-4
Season (against the spread): 61-60
Season (straight up): 82-39
Since the Thursday Night Football loss put the Blowhard under .500 for the year against the spread, we are a little sour.
So here comes a speed round:
Denver at Indianapolis (-6.5)
Not sure the extra 3 days off helped Joe Flacco’s speed or mobility.
Indianapolis 27, Denver 13.
Los Angeles Chargers at Chicago (-4.5)
I thought the Chargers were supposed to be good. Now they are looking at 2-6?
Chicago 23, Los Angeles Chargers 17.
Seattle (-3.5) at Atlanta
I hear Matt Ryan is trying to play. Does it matter?
Seattle 41, Atlanta 14.
New York Jets at Jacksonville (-5.5)
I actually think the Jets and Sam Darnold will bounce back a little bit this week.
Jacksonville 24, New York Jets 20.
Arizona at New Orleans (-9.5)
Drew Brees may play this week. Looks like Alvin Kamara possibly too. David Johnson also for the Cards perhaps. Maybe Kyler Murray keeps it close this week anyway?
New Orleans 31, Arizona 27.
Philadelphia at Buffalo (-1.5)
Philadelphia 24, Buffalo 16.
Cincinnati at Los Angeles Rams (-12.5)
Maybe the Bengals should have kept Marvin Lewis?
Los Angeles Rams 44, Cincinnati 10. Lock of the week.
Tampa Bay at Tennessee (-2.5)
Don’t have any idea.
Tennessee 23, Tampa Bay 20.
New York Giants at Detroit (-7.5)
When is the last time the Lions were favored by seven and a half?
Detroit 27, New York Giants 13.
Carolina at San Francisco (-5.5)
Panthers have won four in a row, Niners six. Something’s gotta give.
San Francisco 30, Carolina 17.
Cleveland at New England (-12.5)
I keep waiting for a team to score some points against the Pats. The Browns are the best offense…by FAR…that the Patriots have faced this season, even at 2-4 as an overall team. Cleveland is coming off a bye week. Is this the week the Pats D cracks a little?
New England 31, Cleveland 17.
Oakland at Houston (-6.5)
The Raiders still stink.
Houston 31, Oakland 20.
Green Bay (-4.5) at Kansas City
Patrick Mahomes has been ruled out. That’s enough for me, despite being at home.
Green Bay 34, Kansas City 24.
Miami at Pittsburgh (-14.5)
Spread seems a little high but that doesn’t mean the Steelers will lose. Mason Rudolph or Devin Hodges.
Pittsburgh 27, Miami 20.
Week (against the spread): 0-1
Week (straight up): 1-0
Lock Of The Week (season, ATS): 3-4
Season (against the spread): 53-54
Season (straight up): 69-38
…well…I am not, but New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold did on Monday Night Football.
Truth be told, all QBs see ghosts from time to time. It’s just unfortunate for him that they miked him up, he said it to his coach, ESPN then broadcast it and now the whole world knows.
Like they couldn’t tell though.
I feel a bit bad for the kid because he probably wasn’t the one who should have been miked up, in my opinion. Maybe a long time vet on the team should have. But he is the quarterback. Then again, I cannot believe that NFL Films, or whoever is in charge, approved it for airing. Usually, all the miked up stuff we see on TV is just a ton of innocuous stuff. Pretty much nothing of substance. So no one looks bad.
Did Darnold truly look bad from that comment? I am not so sure. It was obvious he was having a bad night. He just confirmed it through the microphone. Every QB has one of those days, especially the young and inexperienced ones. No matter how great they may eventually become. It probably shouldn’t be held against him honestly.
But yeah, the New England Patriot defense was swarming Monday night and neither Darnold nor the J-E-T-S had any kind of answers. Specifically Adam Gase, the Jets head coach. It was like they weren’t even prepared for the game.
Kind of embarrassing. But I do find it hard to believe that they weren’t prepared. As bad as some teams can be, they are all still professionals.
Maybe they were just reading their press clippings from the week before when they beat the Dallas Cowboys in Sammy’s return from a multi week absence due to mononucleosis. He looked good and the offense looked a whole lot better than under Luke Falk (not hard, by the way).
But did they think they had turned a corner and were actually…good?
I don’t know what it was. But the Pats defense, of course, had something to do with it as well. What a run they are on.
Then again, I am not sure they have played anyone yet even close to being good. And yes, I am including the Buffalo Bills, despite their 5-1 record.
Speaking of these bad teams, is it me, or are there an inordinate amount of horrific teams in the league this season?
There’s always a few that are particularly wretched, but this year seems to take the cake. Jets, Dolphins, Bengals, Broncos, Giants, Redskins, Buccaneers, Falcons…and maybe we have to include the Steelers since they lost Big Ben and the Chargers, who have woefully underachieved thus far this year.
That’s a lot of teams. That have ZERO chance of doing anything this year. And perhaps for several years.
Just seems like a lot more bum teams around the league than in recent history. That’s all.
Couple of Patriot thoughts:
*A second round pick for Mohamed Sanu seems a little steep. But Emmanuel Sanders went to San Fran later in the day for a third and a 4th/5th round pick swap. Sanders is a free agent after this year, while Sanu has one more year on his deal. So maybe a 2nd rounder is appropriate. 2 first rounders and a fourth the Rams paid for Jalen Ramsey it was not. Though I suppose we are talking about apples and oranges there.
But ultimately, does the team NEED Sanu? After all, Jakobi Meyers has performed well in the last couple of weeks and has seemed to have earned Tom Brady’s trust. And that is hard to do. N’Keal Harry has started practicing again and is due to be activated. They’ve already designated him as one of their two players to return from injured reserve. Seems to be a waste if they don’t play him. Though…may I present you cornerback Duke Dawson from 2018. Came off IR and was a healthy scratch the rest of the way.
Plus Josh Gordon is coming back too, right? Right?! Ummmmm…curious case with him now. He was placed on injured reserve yesterday. Then reports came out that his injury wasn’t serious and that he will be waived at some point. And then free to sign with any team.
I know, he’s been banged up this season and not very productive when he has been on the field. Still…suspicious.
Stay tuned. Hope some of the Patriot beat writers can come up with something here. Because there is definitely more to this story.
But as for needing Sanu? It can’t hurt to add more weapons. He supposedly is more of a slot guy, so maybe he can take some of the burden off Julian Edelman…who we know is still nursing some sort of rib/chest injury. Sanu also apparently doesn’t drop the ball. Sounds like a guy that can fit into the system pretty well. No complaints about going to get him from this guy.
*I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: Bill still needs to get some more offensive line help. There is time. But there still is a huge need here.
*Does Michael Bennett factor into that? Will be interesting to see how this plays out.
Bennett was reinstated from his suspension and did not sound overjoyed about what was going on still.
Doesn’t sound like a guy that is going to all of a sudden buy into “the Patriot Way”. Have to imagine he will be gone over the next week. And maybe just for a bag of footballs, since every other team knows this.
Ok, enough of that…on to this potential barnburner tonight!
Wahington at Minnesota (-15.5)
Fifteen and a half is a huge spread for a game where both teams have a short week. But, as noted above, the ‘Skins are a truly terrible team. They also have injuries all over the place. Receiver Adam Thielen will miss the game for the Vikes, but my sense is that they won’t need him. The team woke up a few weeks ago, maybe it was more than just criticizing the QB, Kirk Cousins. But they are rolling any way you slice it. And will be playing at home. That all may just be enough.
Minnesota 38, Washington 17.
Week (against the spread): 7-7
Week (straight up): 9-5
Lock Of The Week (season, ATS): 3-4
Season (against the spread): 53-53
Season (straight up): 68-38