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Posts Tagged ‘Wes Welker injury’

Patriots-Jets running diary

Posted by Bill Koch on September 19, 2010

With all the hype and attention that this week’s Patriots-Jets showdown has received, we here at Ramble On decided that we had to step up our game. The result is a running diary for your reading pleasure. This is all actual material from the BK Lair, and there’s nothing retro or filtered about it.

4:14 p.m. – After watching the Tennessee Titans pretty much hand the Pittsburgh Steelers a game (and a playoff lifeline without Ben Rapelisberger, as Pittsburgh moved to 2-0), we’re live from the Swamps of Jersey. And what’s the first thing we hear? J…E…T…S…you know the rest. I hate Fireman Ed.

4:20 p.m. – As usual, the Patriots run the fake reverse to Wes Welker and throw a bomb toward Randy Moss into double coverage. Of course the pass goes incomplete as Moss crashes out the back of the end zone. We hardly ever (okay, never) second-guess Bill Belichick – he’s forgotten more about football than we’ll ever know – but turn the page. Everyone knows it’s coming and it never works. You’re wasting a down.

4:25 p.m. – That’s a swing and a miss by Kyle Wilson. Tom Brady failed to read the blitz coming from his left, but Wilson whiffed on the sure sack and Brady hit Welker to bring New England into field goal range…

4:26 p.m. – …And Stephen Gostkowski misses the 37-yard kick after the Patriots take a delay of game penalty. What a stupid mistake that was. Guess that new $14-million contract didn’t do much to make Gostkowski much more accurate.

4:29 p.m. – There’s the Mark Sanchez we all know and love!!!! Great diving interception by Patrick Chung after Sanchez overthrew an open Dustin Keller running down the middle of the field. Remember, Jets fans – 20 interceptions last season. Good teams don’t have quarterbacks who throw 20 interceptions. Therefore, by definition, you do not have a good team.

4:32 p.m. – Thanks a lot, video replay. And thanks to you too, CBS, for going to a commercial break to preview some of your horrendous fall programming. I don’t want to hear about Doogie Howser’s new series. Even Rex Ryan and his idiotic coaching staff stopped talking smack long enough to challenge the Chung interception. We could see that call being overturned from a mile away.

4:36 p.m. – My Mom tries hard, but she sometimes knows very little about pop culture. She just correctly identified Justin Timberlake in a commercial and then pressed her luck by guessing that he was in…Boyz II Men. Yep, that’s my Mom. I love her.

4:39 p.m. – Aaron Hernandez just hit the X button on some poor fool in the Jets secondary to pick up a first down. He’s a freak athlete. Thanks for rolling those joints in Gainesville and slipping to the fourth round.

4:41 p.m. – Eric Smith just tried to take Welker’s head off. It’s worth the 15-yard penalty for New York, because there goes New England’s best offensive weapon – and it was all thanks to a high throw by Brady. He just got his primary receiver killed thanks to his inaccuracy. Anybody else notice that, or were you all too blinded by the three rings he won seven years ago?

4:44 p.m. – I don’t think I’ll ever miss Laurence Maroney, but I’m more and more likely to help with his plane ticket out of town every time I watch BenJarvis Green-Ellis push the pile and finish a run with some power. He’s more than capable of playing the necessary role in this offense.

4:46 p.m. – End of the first quarter, 0-0. Feels like New England has had the ball too long to not have the lead. The Patriots need to end this drive in the end zone.

4:52 p.m. – Knee injuries? A dirty hit by Eric Smith? NOTHING stops Wes Welker. There’s his third touchdown of the season and a 7-0 lead for the Patriots. Antonio Cromartie’s coverage on that play was about as solid as his parenting skills. (Yes, that will never get old.)

4:55 p.m. – Charlie Tweeder sure has come a long way from Varsity Blues. First a recurring guest spot on Entourage and now the remake of Hawaii Five-O? We’re impressed. Not bad for a guy who was last seen exploding bottled beers and stealing police cars in the middle of nowhere Texas with Dawson Leery.

4:59 p.m. – The booing has started already in the Swamps of Jersey. It’s only fitting that LaDainian Tomlinson just had back-to-back carries. We’ve told you before here at Ramble On that the guy is a loser.

5:01 p.m. – How does Sanchez not dodge Gerard Warren? He’s more clueless than we ever thought he could be in the pocket. Getting sacked by Warren is like getting sacked by Rex Ryan – unless Ryan thinks you’re a pretzel M&M. Then you’re going down for sure.

5:04 p.m. – That’s about as dumb as it gets from Tully Banta-Cain. You’re facing an offense that can’t move the ball and you just gave them 15 free yards thanks to a late hit four yards out of bounds. I wouldn’t shed a tear if we didn’t see him again for the rest of the day.

5:06 p.m. – Ryan looks about as confused as we’d expect him to look after that Braylon Edwards touchdown. Yes, Rex, that’s what one looks like. More familiar to you and your undisciplined ways should be the taunting penalty that Edwards just took after the score that is going to hand the Patriots good field position on their next drive.

5:13 p.m. – Yet more lessons for Kyle Wilson, courtesy of Wes Welker. Hit AND wrap, son. Don’t just hit. You can’t tackle a tough S.O.B. like Welker that way.

5:16 p.m. – Kyle Arrington just got himself released. Committing a personal foul and allowing the Jets to get off their own 5-yard-line without even running a play is inexcusable. Go join Banta-Cain in the corner and don’t speak again unless spoken to.

5:21 p.m. – Sanchez now has eight straight completions. Is that even possible? The next thing we know, Lindsay Lohan will be clean and sober.

5:25 p.m. – We don’t remember seeing any special teams practice during Hard Knocks this preseason. Guess it never actually happened judging by the way the Jets just let that punt bounce into the end zone.

5:28 p.m. – There’s Hernandez again. Wow. Running like that down the middle of the field should be illegal at his size.

5:30 p.m. – Rich people don’t write checks and SLOUCHES DON’T MAKE THAT CATCH!!! That’s Randy Moss, folks. Not even Darrelle Revis and all his new-found millions can stop something like that. Straight cash indeed. That’s a very fitting way for Moss to rack up his 150th career touchdown and put the Patriots back on top.

5:34 p.m. – No football coach will ever learn that the prevent defense doesn’t work. Baltimore ruined Sanchez last week by attacking him on every snap. Now the Patriots are letting the Jets walk down the field by rushing just three players on every snap during the two-minute drill. They would have had all the momentum going into the locker room for halftime, and now they’re only going to have some of it.

5:37 p.m. – And there’s a three-point gift to New York. That’s some shameful defensive football by New England. It just feels like the Patriots should be much more comfortable than 14-10 at halftime. We’ll be back in a bit when the action resumes.

5:52 p.m. – And we’re back. No signs of Revis as the second half opens. Perhaps his hamstring hurts because he missed all of training camp, was out of shape when he showed up and went straight back into practice. Just sayin’.

5:57 p.m. – Still no Revis as the Patriots set up for their first offensive series of the second half. Believe it or not, this is what we were actually afraid of in New England. Now the Jets fans will have an excuse when the Patriots finish this one off and move to 2-0, resuming their rightful place atop the AFC East.

6:01 p.m. – For all the good he’s done today, Hernandez just showed us that nobody taught him how to block while he was at Florida. He just let Welker get killed on a bubble screen to the left. There’s clearly still some work to do there.

6:03 p.m. – Can somebody explain to me what Brady just did there? He wasn’t under any pressure and just threw the ball up for grabs to hand Cromartie an easy interception in front of Moss. That’s a terrible decision for a guy who is allegedly so cerebral in his approach to the game. It’s 14-10, Tom. It’s not 35-10. Pay attention.

6:06 p.m. – Very nice play call there by the Jets. Everyone in the world thought they were running it on 3rd-and-1 and Sanchez made a beautiful play fake and throw to Dustin Keller to bring the ball out past midfield. You can feel the momentum starting to shift New York’s way.

6:08 p.m. – Now the Patriots are being gashed by Tomlinson. If he had actually done this in the AFC Championship game all those years ago the Chargers might not have wanted to run him out of town so quickly.

6:11 p.m. – Good stand by New England’s defense inside its own 20 to hold the Jets to a field goal. Now Brady and the offense need to respond with a drive to restore order in this one.

6:16 p.m. – There’s an underthrown ball down the seam intended for Rob Gronkowski. It actually made it look like Wilson had decent coverage when he was beaten by a step and at a distinct height disadvantage. Brady is struggling right now and the members of the Jets defense are starting to feel pretty good about themselves. That’s dangerous.

6:20 p.m. – Finally some good news for the Patriots – there goes Nick Mangold to the locker room with a shoulder injury. He’s the best Jets’ offensive lineman by far. Let’s hope New England’s defense starts attacking Sanchez and crew sometime before it’s too late.

6:22 p.m. – Much like they didn’t teach Hernandez to block at Florida, they clearly didn’t teach Brandon Spikes to play pass defense. How many times is Keller going to slip behind him? Somehow, if I could blame Tim Tebow for this, I would.

6:24 p.m. – And the Jets have taken the lead. Sanchez just hit Jericho Cotchery to make it 19-14 with 38 seconds left in the third. I just threw up in my mouth a little bit. This all started when the Patriots let New York just roll down the field to end the first half – and when Brady threw that horrendous interception to Cromartie.

6:26 p.m. – Jim Nantz wants someone to talk to Braylon Edwards about nearly picking up a second flag for taunting after he reached over Darius Butler and made a nice catch to pick up the 2-point conversion. Who’s going to do that, Jim? Rex Ryan? Mr. Discipline himself? N.F.W.

6:28 p.m. – Bill Belichick is on the sideline phone and doesn’t look all that happy. He’s either talking to his defensive staff in the booth, his divorce lawyers or one of his kids to arrange bail and get them out of their latest marijuana arrest. It could be all of the above right now and be less painful than going into the fourth quarter trailing.

6:31 p.m. – There’s another terrible throw by Brady intended for Moss. This could be an interception that would allow the Jets to take complete control of this game, and it would be mostly on Brady’s shoulders that it’s gotten to this point. Let’s hope that Eddie Hercules isn’t in a New York State of Mind, because if he is then New England could be just about done in this one.

6:34 p.m. – Nantz just told us that Brady has been intercepted on two of his last four passes. Which of these quarterbacks was the liability coming into this game? Remind me again, because right now it doesn’t look like the guy wearing No. 6 in white. It looks like the guy wearing No. 12 in blue. And Revis is still nowhere to be found. Much like $14 million can’t make a kicker any more accurate, $72 million can’t make a quarterback any more accurate.

6:38 p.m. – Finally some heat on Sanchez and a huge three-and-out from the Patriots defense. That might have saved any chance New England had of winning this game, even with over 13 minutes left.

6:42 p.m. – Brady so far in the second half: 4-for-9, 19 yards, two interceptions. Just sayin’.

6:44 p.m. – Not a good sight here – Kevin Faulk on the bench having his left knee worked on. If New England stays behind for most of this quarter and is forced to throw the ball Faulk is a huge loss.

6:47 p.m. – There’s another prayer thrown in Moss’ direction, this time much too deep. Moss was open and Brady missed him by a mile. That’s another disappointing series that ends in a punt and puts the Jets just one score away from wrapping this one up.

6:51 p.m. – Has anybody seen Brandon Meriweather this season? I see Patrick Chung making a tackle on this latest screen play, but I don’t think I’ve heard Meriweather’s name called since he was curiously voted to last year’s Pro Bowl. Maybe he threatened to take off his helmet and stomp some fools if they pointed out his general ineffectiveness so far this season.

6:54 p.m. – All my UConn people out there are hanging their heads in shame over Darius Butler’s performance today. He’s been awful and been picked on mercilessly by Sanchez, and that pass interference call brings the Jets into field goal range.

6:56 p.m. – And right on cue, there’s ANOTHER pass interference call on Butler. Eddie Hercules got the number wrong – he blamed Chung – but it was Butler who climbed up Cotchery’s back to bring the Jets inside New England’s 10. This game is about to end.

6:57 p.m. – Game over. That Sanchez touchdown pass to Keller should just about do it. There’s a new career high for Sanchez with his third touchdown of the game just one week after he looked worse than Ryan Leaf. This is the perfect example that in the NFL nobody is ever as bad or as good as they look from week to week. The Jets got humbled by the Ravens last week…who lost to the Bengals today…who got humbled by the Patriots last week. That’s the way this league works.

6:59 p.m. – J…E…T…S…JETS! JETS! JETS! God damn that Fireman Ed.

7:00 p.m. – Ever wonder how people who tune into CBS right now feel about 60 Minutes starting late for the 30,256th time during football season? Am I the only person who thinks of these things? I’m about to be 31 years old and I don’t think 60 Minutes has ever started on time during the football season in my life. I wonder how Mike Wallace really feels about this.

7:04 p.m. – How much time does Brady need to make a throw? He had all day until he got sacked by Jason Taylor and fumbled away any chance New England had of staging a late comeback in this one. And stop right now before you get after the offensive line – that’s the first sack the Patriots have allowed this season after giving up less than 20 all of last year. It’s not their fault. Did Welker and Moss suddenly forget how to come open in the secondary after they shredded the Jets in the first half? It’s not their fault either.

7:06 p.m. – That was shades of Taylor’s days in Miami. He’s used Matt Light as his personal turnstile for most of the last decade, first with the Dolphins and now again with the Jets. I hope Taylor did the right thing and named at least one of his kids ‘Matt’ in honor of Light. The way Taylor’s played against him, he’s been able to add a new wing to his Miami mansion with all that contract cash generated by the dozens of sacks he’s racked up against the Patriots.

7:10 p.m. – Get your earplugs out, Patriots fans. That first down leap by Tomlinson should just about do it. We’re going to have to listen to the Jets fans until the two teams meet again in Foxboro on the first Monday night in December. That also brings a close to this running diary. Quite honestly, we have nothing else to say. We’re pretty sure the Jets’ fans will say it all for us.


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Five more thoughts from Pats/Bengals

Posted by Bill Koch on September 12, 2010

Since this is opening week of the NFL season and may as well be a national holiday, we here at Ramble On will toss in five additional thoughts from today’s battle between the New England Patriots and the Cincinnati Bengals. These come free of charge and are solely for your entertainment in the aftermath of the Patriots’ 38-24 victory at Gillette Stadium.

— How great was it to see Wes Welker back in the end zone? The little guy with one of the biggest hearts in the league scored twice and looked his usual sharp self operating in the slot and over the middle in the center of the Cincinnati defense. Keep in mind that he’s just eight months removed from major knee surgery and you’ll realize that it’ll only get better from here for No. 83.

— No, you weren’t imagining things. We also thought that Patrick Chung was in on just about every tackle made by the Patriots’ defense. The second-year safety from Oregon finished as New England’s leader with 12 stops on the day, a terrific performance for a guy who had just 37 tackles all last season. We like to see players who are fast and physical on that side of the ball and Chung was all of that and more on Sunday.

— When was the last time New England scored a defensive touchdown? We couldn’t think of it either until Gary Guyton returned an interception 59 yards for a score in the second quarter. Guyton’s big play made it 24-0 and was the highlight for a defense that didn’t look so good throughout training camp. We’d like to see the Patriots’ defenders be a little more active than they were last season – this was a decent start.

— Get used to hearing Devin McCourty’s name this season. Opposing teams are going to try to pick on the rookie defensive back from Rutgers all year long. The Bengals tried it on their first play from scrimmage, throwing a deep ball intended for Terrell Owens that McCourty broke up at the last minute. How he plays will go a long way toward determining just how effective the Patriots will be trying to stop opposing passing attacks.

— Good riddance, Laurence Maroney. Anybody else even notice that he was deactivated on Sunday due to a thigh injury? (And if you believe that nonsense we’ve got a bridge we’d like to sell you.) Fred Taylor (14 carries, 71 yards), BenJarvus Green-Ellis (22 yards) and Kevin Faulk (70 total yards) filled in quite nicely for Maroney, who has been nothing but a bust since being drafted in the first round out of Minnesota. We won’t be too heartbroken if we never see him or his fumble-prone hands ever again.

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The Real Tom Brady remains missing in action

Posted by Bill Koch on March 17, 2010

Tom Brady

When last we saw the New England Patriots, they were getting their asses handed to them, 33-14, by the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC playoffs at Gillette Stadium. New England’s players looked like Pop Warner peewees who wandered into the wrong stadium. Baltimore blew the Patriots off their home field, and New England’s players realized in the aftermath that things needed to change in order for the most successful franchise of the 2000s to get back to winning Super Bowls.

Chief among those players was quarterback Tom Brady, the Patriots’ two-time Super Bowl MVP and three-time champion, who didn’t mince words when it came to his or his team’s performance on that dreadful afternoon. Brady laid down the gauntlet for the 2010 season in his postgame remarks, including himself in his criticism of New England’s performance.

“There’s certainly a lot of things I need to do better as a player, as a leader, as a quarterback, as a mentor,” Brady said. “Hopefully I can provide insight to those players in a leadership role.”

Keep those words in mind and fast-forward to Monday, the first official day of Patriots’ offseason workouts back in Foxboro. Jerod Mayo showed up ready to take charge heading into his third season, finally healthy after a knee problem that dogged him from the opening week of last year. Mayo wasn’t shy about addressing New England’s leadership problems.

“It was a void, as far as having that vocal guy on this team in general,” he said. “I think this year is a year where guys can step up and say what they have to say. It’s a young team as a whole and young guys will listen.”

Mayo, Sebastian Vollmer, Darius Butler and a host of other young players were among the large group of Patriots who reported to Foxboro on Monday ready to participate. They’re looking for a fresh start after a disappointing 10-6 regular season. They’re looking to get New England back into its place among the NFL’s elite teams. They’re also looking for someone to lead them there. They’re the group who Brady was targeting when he promised to “provide insight to those players in a leadership role.”

And here was Brady’s first clear message to those players on Monday – he didn’t show up. He’s God knows where doing God knows what with God knows who, continuing to piss on the legacy of success that he built during the first half of his career with the Patriots. He doesn’t consider this team a priority anymore.

Is this the guy who New England’s players are supposed to follow into battle every Sunday?

Mayo, Vollmer, Butler and the rest of New England’s players are practically begging for someone to step up and take charge, and Brady continues to be disgracefully unwilling to do so. The rest of the Patriots need the guy who attended all 60 offseason workout sessions after his rookie season in 2000, the guy who earned that parking spot closest to the Gillette Stadium players’ entrance for being the team’s hardest worker, the guy who willed himself into being one of the NFL’s elite quarterbacks thanks to a little bit of talent and buckets of sweat in the weight room. That guy doesn’t exist anymore. In his place is an absolute fraud who dresses better and plays worse, who works less and expects more, who promises much and delivers none. In his place is a guy who will lead the Patriots to more losses like the one they suffered in January instead of the past glory that they used to enjoy with him under center. The road to the Super Bowl has already started, and Brady won’t even get in his car.

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