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Connelly’s Top Ten: The Secondary is Primary (Problem)

Russell Wilson (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

1. Patriots vs. Seattle:


* Worst 395-yard passing game in NFL history (like Dice K’s 18-win season – no substance)
* Brady too cute at the end of the first half letting the clock run down from 35 seconds to 20 seconds until Belichick stepped in and usurped Brady and called a timeout
* Why not to sign Welker long term? He won’t be alive to see it – the guy is a warrior and should only be lauded by fans and management alike
* Lloyd on sideline is insane, but he has to stay on his feet – he gets very little yards after catch
* Long kick off return – 23 yards (you needed one at the end of the game)
* Offensive players need to follow Stevan Ridley to fall on loose balls
* Brady 2 for his last 7 for 24 yards with a sack
* Nice game by Danny Woodhead, who at one point dragged a Seattle defensive lineman
* Patriots 1 for 6 in Red Zone – disgraceful
* Plays: Pats – 85 / Seahawks – 55


* Parcells would cut someone or fire a coach after this disgraceful trend
* Secondary makes mistakes that wouldn’t be accepted at Everett High School
* Patriots can’t stop an opening drive again – 68 yards / 5:17 / field goal
* Sidney Rice, Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin all had catches of at least 46 yards
* Troy Brown said recently that Brandon Spikes is one of the best run stoppers in the game – maybe he’s close to right
* It took Chandler Jones six games to come up with a post sack dance – Pee Wee Herman Tequila


* Bob Kraft streak alive – shown with 2:00 left in the first half and two other times
* Dan Fouts identified Brandon Mebane by the size of his backside
* Who said the American Family is dead? – Seattle owner Paul Allen brought his daughter to the game
* Patriots are 3-4 in their last seven (had the lead in the fourth quarter in all four losses) – don’t forget Ravens dropped a ball in the end zone in AFC Championship
* I still think Edelman hurt his hand on his spike after his late first half TD three weeks ago
* Sad thing is that the norm has morphed from always making the big plays and closing out games to not making big plays and not closing out games

2. Around the NFL:

* How long is the pink gonna last?
* Not only did Patriots lose but Ravens, Bills, Dolphins, Jets, Giants all won – uggh!
* BenJarvus Green-Ellis who hadn’t fumbled in a lifetime – has three fumbles this year for Cincy
* Patriots have outscored their opponents by 51 / Buffalo has been outscored by 55 – and they are both 3-3
* RG III runs for 138 / 2 TD after a vicious concussion last week

3. Around MLB:

Really has been some great football

* Justin Verlander and CC Sabbathia did what aces are supposed to do: shut down / complete games (see point #7)
* Who is the nutritionist for the Detroit Tigers: Cabrera, Peralta, Fielder and Delmon Young make Gene Lamont look like Jack Lalane
* Don’t forget winner Tiger pitcher Anibal Sanchez was part of the Beckett trade, along with Hanley Ramirez
* The ball – strike calling by home plate umpires has been excellent
* Washington will rue for years the decision to not pitch Strasburg coming up one pitcher short against the Cardinals (stars might not ever be aligned in D.C. again)
* Yankee fans booed A-Rod, Swisher and Cano this weekend

4. Around College Football:

* Back in my groove with College lock: West Virginia – Texas Tech Under
* I feel terrible for Jerry Kill’s condition BUT how long can the University of Minnesota subject its players and programs to the scary seizures of their coach (I’m sure Disability Act makes the situation tenuous)
* During ESPN game day, Doug Flutie had back-to-back commercials: Dove for Men and UPS showing the Hail Mary
* Andre Williams of Boston College has 5 games (career) now with 100 yards plus rushing – other than that, it’s a sad season at the Heights

5. Patriots secondary:

The secondary might be the worst component of a Boston team ever:

* 2012 Red Sox starting pitchers: Beckett, Lester, Bard, etc
* Worse than 1996 Red Sox bullpen: Heathcliff Slocumb / Mike Stanton / Joe Hudson / Stan Belinda / Mark Brandenburg
* Patriots QB’s in 1992 – Hugh Millen, Scott Zolak, Tom Hodson, Jeff Carlson
* 1992-1993 Bruins Goalies: Jon Casey / John Blue / Vincent Riendeau

6. Nick Carfardo’s column in the Sunday Globe:

* Said David Ortiz might accept a two-year $28mm contract (might???) – and how long before he complains about it?
* Players suggested to sign: Joe Mauer (yes if knees allow 110 games as catcher) / Josh Hamilton (no) / Nick Swisher (no) / Mike Napoli (two years, $10mm, no more) / Cody Ross (3 years / $11mm) / Elvis Andrus (no) / Shin-Soo Choo (yes – could be a breakout player) / Peavy (no) / Greinke (no) / Marcum (no) / Garza (no) / Shields (yes) / Josh Johnson (no) / Adam LaRoche (yes – but for a bargain – he had a career year) / BJ Upton (no)

7. Amazing Stats:

Both Verlander and Sabathia threw complete game clinchers – Red Sox haven’t thrown a complete game over their last 27 postseason games.

8. Old School:

Chandler Jones has five sacks after six games – Patriots seasonal sack leaders (

* 1984 – Andre Tippett………18
* 1985 – Andre Tippett………16
* 1987 – Andre Tippett………12
* 2007 – Mike Vrabel………..12
* 1995 – Willie McGinest……11
* 1986 – Gavin Veris…………11

9. Just a Little Bit Outside:

Bad guys that I liked cheering for:

* Lou Holtz
* Steve Spurrier
* John McInroe
* Jim Harbaugh
* Jose Mourinho
* Jim McMahon
* Bobby Knight

10. Randomocity:

* Interesting article on Barcelona soccer team in Sports Illustrated – the program indoctrinates players at age 10 and has significant political impact in Spain
* Is Jeremy Lin ready to come back from his knee scope yet?
* At Roxbury Latin, Quarterback Mackay Lowrie threw for 497 yards – 295 yards (3 TD) to his brother Sean Lowrie
* Offensive players shouldn’t be allowed to face mask on stiff arms

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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4 comments for “Connelly’s Top Ten: The Secondary is Primary (Problem)”

  1. Lou Holtz a bad guy?

    REPLY – MPC – He rubbed a lot of people the wrong way – but not me – I enjoy him on ESPN as well

    Posted by David H | October 15, 2012, 9:31 am
  2. -Boston Globe runs two polls early on (a) will the Patriots go undefeated? and (b) is the offense better than 2007? What team are they watching?

    -Let’s face it. The Patriots are in decline and Brady cannot even deliver a first down when it matters, let alone a FG or TD. He has become a front runner QB. Great when things are going well but he cannot change the course of a game when adjustments and momentum change.

    -You are right about Welker. He is the offense, everyone else is getting scraps and he is tough as nails. Woodhead stepped up too. Small guys with big hearts!

    -Coaching stinks right now. Belichick and/or McDaniels seem way off. Clock management issues 2 games in a row, forgo the running game from the get go, defense remains in cover 2 sitting way back and still gets beat deep. If we are going to get beat deep anyway why not stunt, blitz, etc. to try to get the front seven to use their athleticism?

    REPLY – MPC – I bet you could see a significant improvement in winning % over the last five years when the Patriots blitz at least 15 times / stubborn to a system to bend not break has cost the Patriots huge games – and almost cost them the Carolina Super Bowl

    Posted by Orange Julius | October 15, 2012, 9:52 am
  3. You know the distinctive defensive units in the NFL sometimes get their own nicknames, like “The Steel Curtain” or “The Fearsome Foursome.” What are we going to call this secondary? “The Bomb Squad”? “Plugged Nickel”? “Tostitos”?

    REPLY – MPC – Appearing on American Bandstand – The TurnStyles

    Posted by TimU | October 15, 2012, 12:49 pm
  4. *The 2-words most commonly yelled at TVs throughout New England yesterday: “Turn Around!”
    * Matthew Slater hurt his leg/knee/ankle celebrating a punt coverage tackle.

    REPLY – MPC – Yes on what was yelled / and you are right he did hurt himself doing his show!

    Posted by Bob T. | October 15, 2012, 4:22 pm

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