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Connelly’s Top Ten: Going to Denver

1. Patriots Run Over Colts:

8 Conference Championship games amazing – thank you Bill Belichick and Tom Brady

BRADY

* I like the not giving up on plays and keeping his feet moving in the pocket (old Brady – maybe inspired by Aaron Rodgers)
* I give him a B-
* Missed Vereen for a TD on the flat and threw to Edleman covered in back of end zone

OFFENSE

* Crazy John Hannah, Leon Gray, Don Calhoun, Sam Bam Cunningham running game – wow
* Great game by Blount – gotta keep an eye on him though – his instinct can be to get into trouble (please run through the end zone and don’t stop)
* Hoo-man might be as good as blocker as Gronkowski
* If I was at Foxboro, I would have personally escorted McDaniels off the field calling those two rushing plays in the two minute drill to end the half
* Blount last three games – 431 yards / 8 TD
* I hold my breath every time Ridley has the ball in his hand
* When the Patriots hurry up to the line they run left 95% of the time
* Next time James Develin bounces it outside he should be fined
* Let’s lose the wheel route to Vereen
* Five three and outs – not good

DEFENSE

* Could Jamie Collins be a star?
* Saw Hightower make a legit, fend off blocker, fill the hole and great tackle
* Patriots hit Luck ten times
* After watching the Dennard play, I was looking for a graphic that said “this play was made possible by a Nebraska judge”
* McCourty knocked an interception out of Dennard’s hands
* On Hightower’s interception he should have lateralled the ball to Talib
* Why did the Patriots take Talib off Hilton and go zone?

SPECIAL TEAMS

* Gostkowski are you kidding me punting – five punts / 41.8 average (plus had to handle a low snap)
* Mallett can’t hold on kicks? – can’t get Brady hurt
* Ryan Allen’s attempt to move the football was Gary Yepremian-esque
* I’m sure they got this right BUT didn’t the Colt knock it through the back of the end zone – not a touchback (never had possession?)
* Too many penalties
* If you get a chance to see Slater on Gostkowski’s first punt – his misses the returner but gets back on his feet to make the play – amazing effort

OFFICIALS

* If you watch the delay of game on the Patriots that led to the penalty, then the bad snap, then the injury to Allen – the official was standing over the ball and wouldn’t let them snap until 4 seconds on the play clock
* Patriots got some huge calls – didn’t get called for roughing the passer on Ninkovich / generous call on interference on Edelman / non-call on Arrington inteference / trip by Vellano

KRAFT SIGHTING – AS CONTRACTUALLY OBLIGATED

* 9:59 left in the third quarter
* 6:59 left in the fourth quarter

MISC

* Interesting interview before the game with Bill Cowher and Bill Belichick – Cowher called Belichick the greatest NFL coach ever – surprisingly back at the studio Boomer Esiason brought up Spygate as a qualifier – they are 87-22 since that Spygate day.
* The skycam on cable is amazing
* No real injuries is huge
* You need Dobson next week
* Red seats empty to start the second half
* Adam Vinatieri has now been in 27 postseason games (17 with Patriots / 10 Colts): 50-60 on field goals

2. AROUND THE NFL:

* Why I don’t bet – I was 0-4 on my picks this weekend
* I would not hire Charger offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt after that conservative three quarters game plan – never mind he had three interviews this week instead of preparing for this game
* In the middle of a playoff game and Charger Keenan Allen can’t stop pointing to his name on the back of his shirt
* When Peyton Manning tries to draw defenders off sides he moves his head and hands in an obvious illegal motion
* I wish they turned off the microphone when Manning has the ball – Omaha, Omaha, I get it you got an endorsement deal with Omaha steaks
* Its tough watching punters try to be part of the game – Lindsey Vonn would dropkick every punter
* Drew Brees threw up on himself in Seattle – wasn’t managing the play clock he must have thrown 10 screen passes and passes out into the flat into the ground or feet
* Why didn’t Saint who recovered the onside kick keep running?
* Carolina Panthers spent the whole game talking and they are going home now – rookie yahoos

3. Patriots playoff fun facts:

When team rushes for over 115 yards……………………11-0
When Brady throws for LESS than 225 yards…………..10-1
Outrush opponent…………………………………………………14-0
When opponent outrushes Patriots………………………..2-6
When Brady throws 40 times or more……………………..5-5
Win Turnover battle………………………………………………12-2
Lose Turnover battle……………………………………………….4-5
At home………………………………………………………………..12-3
When Brady rushes for over 10 yards……………………….3-0
10-2

4. Patriots dead money:

Patriots have $28mm of payroll on injured reserve / $16mm in dead money including Ocho Cinco $1.5mm / Hernandez $2.5mm / Lloyd $3.5mm / Fanene $2.6mm / Leon Washington $1.2mm

5. Lakers:

Phil Jackson has to be loving what’s going on in Los Angeles after being stiffed for the job: Mike D’Antoni is 54-55

6. From overthecap.com – Patriots rank by position in the league in contract value:

QB – Brady – 15th
TE – Gronkowski – 1st
RB – Patriots have no running back in top 50 contracts
WR – Amendola – 27th
CB – Talib – 25th
K – Gostkowski – 4th

7. Amazing Stats:

In the Patriots overtime victory over the Raiders in 2002 playoff game – the Patriots won the coin toss and took the ball – they marched 15 plays in 8:29 before Vinatieri kicked a 23-yard field goal

8. Old School:

Drive to set up Adam Vinatieri’s 45-yard field goal on January 19, 2002 – the greatest kick in football history

* 2:19 – Troy Brown fields punt on own 19-yard line and returns 27 yards to the Patriots 46-yard line, where he fumbles – recovered by Larry Izzo
* 2:06 – Brady to Faulk – 7 yards
* 1:59 – Brady runs – 5 yards
* 1:50 – Brady fumbles, but then ruled incomplete properly as the Tuck Rule reads – Brady incomplete
* 1:47 – Brady to Patten – 13 yards
* 1:18 – Brady incomplete
* 1:15 – Brady incomplete
* 1:11 – Brady one yard
* 0:32 – Vinatieri 45-yard field goal

9. Just a Little Bit Outside:

Local Super Heroes – 126 residents of Hyde Park died in World War II (Boston Globe)

* Wesley Ross killed at Pearl Harbor – Ross Field named after him
* Lt. Commander Whitney Wright – shot down 19 planes, sunk 79 ships in 4,015 hours of flying
* Edward Smith – outsmarted 25 German snipers taking them all prisoners by himself
* The Quigley’s father and four sons all served
* Lt William Marlow escaped three times from German prisoner camps
* Leslie Hillier – twice wounded stayed to fight and was eventually killed

10. Randomocity:

* For those with teenagers out their driving – youtube “Anti Speeding New Zealand”
* Did you see the Nets double overtime game against the Heat – Pierce missed winners at the end of regulation and the first overtime!
* Has anyone seen Armon Armsted in Foxboro yet
* Gronkowski has been healthy for two of eight potential eight playoff games

About Michael

Lifelong Boston resident who finds equal enjoyment in celebrating the local team's success as I do complaining about their failures. I have been writing the Top Ten for the last decade as well as five sports books: 26 Miles to Boston, Rebound, The President's Team, The Great Book of Boston Sports Lists and NBA List Jam.

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Discussion

One comment for “Connelly’s Top Ten: Going to Denver”

  1. the ball can’t be advanced by the offensive team recovering the onside kick.

    i went 4-4 in picks for outright wins this weekend! 2-2 if counting the spread (SEA and DEN didn’t cover).

    knew you would have something to say on pierce missing those buckets. that team is horrible. what a trade for the Cs.

    can’t believe this is the first road playoff game since 2006… that is an amazing fact.

    reply mpc – pats insane run – surprised by that on side kick rule but if you say so

    Posted by tronburger | January 13, 2014, 8:39 am

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