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Brady and the offense struggled in their first game without Gronk.

Yes this headline is very misleading.  The Patriots put up 26 points and defeated The Rams 26-10 on sunday, however if you really watched the game the offense was not impressive.

After giving up 49 points last week The Rams defense was on the ropes, and as a whole I’m sure they were a team that was looking to get home after back to back games in the pacific time zone.  The Patriots scored on their first possession, a 4th and 1 rush by LeGarrette Blount that went for 43 yards and a touchdown.  Then they scored early in the second on a touchdown pass from Tom Brady to Chris Hogan, however after this the offense hit a wall.

The Patriots average 3.1 offensive touchdowns per game, yesterday they scored 2 and struggled to do so.  Without Gronk the offense doesn’t thrive like they should.  Not having that big body in the middle of the field hurts them, Gronk is a matchup nightmare, he does things on the football field that most guys can only dream of doing.  The Patriots always preach about finishing drives off with touchdowns, well yesterday they kicked 4 field goals.  When the playoffs come around you have to score touchdowns, not kick field goals.  On the season The Patriots have been stellar on 3rd downs.  They are 6th in the league with a conversion rate of 44.5%.  Yesterday they were 4-12 on third down.  When Brady needs a completion he looks for his hall of fame tight end, and when he’s not there things change.

The Patriots are still the favorites in the AFC, but without Gronk it levels the playing field.  The defense will have to play more like it did yesterday, and multiple guys are going to have to step up on offense to pick up the slack of Gronk not being there.

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 1.Patriots vs. Rams

 MISC

 ·         Patriots have won at least ten games every year since 2002 – spoiled are we!

·         After watching the Pats again this week – I still feel the lack enough talent to win the AFC championship (not as fun without Gronk)

·         Insane the Matt Patricia look alike in the crowd

·         Lots of empty seats to start the game – gotta finish that last beer and then men’s room and then stop for a beer at the concession

 BRADY

 ·         Fox was killing us with the 201 win angle but they brought some great stats to the table especially the win – loss record when trailing or tied in the 4th quarter 50-42.

·         I presume that Brady did the Shields commercial as a favor to someone

·         Drives me crazy watching TJ McDonald drive Brady into the ground and the franchise having to defend himself. Someone touches Brady ten players should be on top of him

 OFFENSE

 ·         Why don’t teams play Blount to bounce everything outside

·         Concerning the lack of connection between Brady and Bennett – last three weeks 6 receptions for 40 yards / Since having three TD’s on 10/9 – hasn’t scored

·         I like the Pats keeping Lewis touches to a minimum

·         Chris Hogan is a pretty boy blocker – goes to the area but doesn’t want to hit anyone

·         Great day for Malcom Mitchell but he heard about the last target that he didn’t come back to the ball

·         Three screens set up for big gainers but blocks missed by Cannon, Devlin and Hogan shut them down

·         With Gronk out – Edelman is going to get abused – hope he makes the playoffs

·         Insane that the Pats have scored touchdowns on seven of their first twelve drives of the year

·         Blount is to Barry Sanders as Maurice Alexander is Harlan Barnett – spun around and inside out

DEFENSE

·         Chris Long one tackle (sack) and the announcers and team went crazy like he was Ray Nitschke

·         I’ve been begging for an aggressive defensive game plan all year and I finally got it – thanks Yukon

·         Good day for Shea McClellin who had a sack, got his drivers permit and carried a cheerleaders books to class

BELICHICK GARB / KRAFT SIGHTINGS

·         Bill went with shortsleeve sweat coat (equipment guy has to hook him up with some sunglasses)

·         Robert had another huge day – not only several sightings – highlights of the 2001 Super Bowl team mainly featured him (That was him who returned the Kurt Warner pass wasn’t it?)

MISC

·         No one trusts more in Bill than me – BUT – the preseason ESPN player rankings had Gronk as #3 / Chandler Jones #56 / Jamie Collins as #61 – you have lost three of your top four ranked players for the playoffs and you got a 2nd round and 3rd round pick in return.   

·         Why not bring Jerald Mayo back for last four regular season games and playoffs?

·         Another drop by Cyrus Jones in punt game

·         I know John Lynch is pro-Patriots but we are sensitive in New England – his reference to the pumped up footballs I’m sure is a shot at the league and not Brady

·         Fox Stat – since Super Bowl – Rams are 87-147 / Pats 180-55

·         Nice commercial for Malcom Butler – ch-ching – Visa – although I don’t know if I like it ending with him getting beating off the line

·         If some local station did a live broadcast of the 2001 celebration Saturday night – it would have been the highest rated show of the day

·         The two teams combined for 5-28 on third down

 

2. Around the NFL

·         Patriots, Raiders and Cowboys are 17-0 on the road

·         Bears, 49ers, Browns are 0-18 on the road

 

3. Pump the brakes – Bruins / Celtics / Patriots were 5-0 this weekend

·         The five teams the played were all under .500  

·         Combined records of 33-56

 

4. Around College Football

* Congratulations to Dr. Pepper – you’re quest to find the worst athletes in America has been a success – but to parade them out on national television at halftime of games to throw a football six inches into a target is mean.

* My College Football Saturdays are over for another year – good grief!

* I was 1-3 in picks (did not give myself San Diego I had the spread wrong)

* Sad to see Verne Lunquist go to the Keith Jackson retirement home

* Any coach that runs three times into the line on first and goal should lose their job

* Three great games to end the day – Wisconsin – Penn State / Clemson – V Tech / Wyoming – San Diego

 

5.  No on Napoli – too many strikeouts (can’t keep his shirt on either)

·         Napoli – 2016 – 215 strikeouts in 609 at bats – yikes strikeout every 2.83 at bats

·         Pesky – 1947 – 22 strikeouts in 638 at bats – yikes strikeout every 29 at bats

 

6. Dak Prescott vs. Tom Brady –

Brady 2001……11-3 / 18 TD to 12 INT / 63.9% completion / 86.5 rating

Prescott 2016 – 11-1 / 19 TD to 3 INT / 67.9% completions / 108.6 rating

 

7. Old School – In honor of Coach Adazzio – how about I give him a break and talk about BC’s worst football season – 1978:

 

·         Record 0-11

·         Ed Chlebek coach

·         Ended the season losing to U Mass, Holy Cross and Temple

·         Multiple future NFL players on that team including Fred Smerlas

 

8 Amazing Stat – Patriots overtime drive versus Oakland in the Snow Bowl:

·         15 plays / 8 minutes – 25 second drive

·         Brady was 8 for 8 (JR Redmond 3 rec, Jermaine Wiggins 3 rec, Brown 1 reception, Patten one reception,

·         Vinatieri 23 yard field goal

 

 9 Just a Little Bit Outside – Rotten Tomato ratings out of 100% of Christmas specials:

·         How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)…..100%

·         Miracle on 34th Street (original of course)…97%

·         It’s a Wonderful Life…………………..…..94%

·         Rudolph……………………………………..92%

·         Charlie Brown Christmas……………………92%

·         The Christmas Story…………………………87%

·         Elf……………………………………………84%  

·         Christmas Carol (Albert Finney best one)…..75%

·         Twas the Night Before Christmas……………65%

·         Christmas Vacationing……………………….64%

·         Frosty the Snowman………………………….60%

·         Home Alone…………………………………55%

 

10.  Randomocity

* Watching Brady slide is painful – I think with the knee braces these QB’s wear they should be able to spike the ball to kill the play even downfield instead of sliding

* Didn’t know that the narrator’s voice on Grinch was Boris Karloff

* I read this but I’m not sure if it’s true – Coach Adazzio pulled a scholarship from a committed kicker to give to his son – the kicker Michael Geiger went to Michigan State and became an All American

* Sidenote: Patriot fans booing Adam Vinatieri is one of the drunkest things Boston fans have ever done

* With today’s technology, how wasn’t the Everett – Xaverian game at least on the computer if not the TV?

* How hard is Al Skinner laughing now

* In almost side by ads in Sports Illustrated – warnings for use of a product –  Lite Beer ad – warning was 1 inch by 1/8 inch / smokeless tobacco – 2 inches by 7 inches

* Watched movie Concussion this weekend – B MINUS – You just can’t cast Luke Wilson as Roger Goodell and be taken serious.

1.Patriots vs. Rams

*Gronk hurt again – ugh. This season is following last year’s path – they started 10-0 and finished 3-5
* Goodell’s whole week was made with this injury
*Tom Brady is 1,132 yards short of passing Dan Marino for 4th on all time passing yards (behind Manning, Favre and Brees)
* A question – has Charlie Weis, Josh McDaniel’s game plans and Tom Brady’s skill set been a cause for getting a lot of receivers / tight ends hurt with the short game, quick hitters over the middle, etc?
* Rams – my favorite player growing up was Roman Gabriel / Jack Youngblood played with broken leg / old blue and white helmets were awesome
* Jeff Fisher used to be so smug – now just a loser
2. Nothing to do with the maternity leave – but it’s obvious that Tommy Heinsohn was right about Al Horford he is averaging– 14 points / 6.6 rebounds for $26mm a year (a year, a year) – is he better than players on the below list – considering he got the biggest contract in CELTIC HISTORY:
Sullinger – 2014 – 13.3 points per game / 8.1 rebounds per game
Potapenko – 1999 – 10.8 points per game / 7.2 rebounds per game
Pickney……1989 – 10.1 points per game / 5.1 rebounds per game
Rowe…… ..1977 – 10.1 points per game / 7.1 rebounds per game
Wicks……..1977 – 15.1 points per game / 10.0 rebounds per game
Radja………1996 – 19.7 points per game / 9.8 rebounds per game
LaFrentz…..2005 – 11.1 points per game / 6.9 rebounds per game
3. Bruins / Celtics
* Again – remember when media used to be tough? Fluto Shinzawa enabling again in Globe piece – Bergeron “has fought through bad luck” (3 goals in 20 games) WTF! “Krejci wheels remain a work in progress” – WTF???? (3 goals in 23 games) – so SIX goals in 46 games for combined salaries of $14mm
* Right now – the Brooklyn pick this year would be the third pick
* Celtics can swap with Nets this year (2018 they have Nets and Grizzlies first pick)
4. Around College Football
* Navy has two games to jump two spots to catch Western Michigan to get a Cotton Bowl bid -wow – that will first big bowl since 1963 (someone should write a book)!
* No lock – but I like under in W. Virginia – Baylor game 68.5
* A good Oklahoma State team getting 11.5 in a rivalry game – hmm – I take the points
* My weekly over/under on Navy – go over on the total 61 against Temple
* I like Wisconsin giving 2.5 to Penn State
* I like San Diego State getting 6.5 in Wyoming
5. From Miguel’s Patriots salary cap page –
* Alan Branch really must love pot – for the four games he is going to miss for suspension he will lose $1,132,353 in salary and playing time bonuses
* Total salaries on injured lists $8.7mm…………Vollmer is $5.2 himself
* Players over $5mm  on the salary cap– Brady, Solder, Hightower, Sheard, Gronk, Hogan, Bennett, McCourty
* Players not on the team impacting the cap – $18mm – Mayo is $4.4mm / Easley $2.9mm / Cooper $1.9mm / Scott Chandler $2mm
6. Brady giving up Pick Sixes:
* Only twelve in his career – over 8,048 pass attempts – that’s a pick six every 671 attempts
* Geno Smith has eight over his career – over 866 attempts – that’s a pick six every 108 attempts
* Top five in Pick Sixes – Favre – 31 / Marino – 28 / Manning – 26 / Brees – 25 / Testeverde -23
* Ty Law had one of Brady’s / two of Mannings / one of Warner’s – in the Super Bowl
* Bledsoe had 15 / Plunkett – 12 / Grogan – 11
* John Brodie two over 4,491 passes – one every 2,246 passes / Staubach had two over 2,958
7 Old School – Bobby and Brett Hull combined for 61 hat tricks
8 Amazing Stat – Quarterbacks that have thrown for over 35,000 yards and not in the Hall of Fame (must be eligible)
Vinnie Testeverde……..46,233
Drew Bledsoe………….44,611
Kerry Collins………….40,922
Dave Krieg…………….38,147
Boomer Esiason……….37,920
Donovan McNabb……..32,276
9 Just a Little Bit Outside – American casualties at Battle of the Bulge – Doing some math 81,000 casualties divided by 50 states = 1,620 per state – Massachusetts has 312 towns which means every town would have had 5 casualties from just one battle – and people are burning flags that they fought for.
10. Randomocity
* Great documentary of Canada – Russia 1972 series on Youtube: “Cold War on ice summit series HD”
* Its amazing to think of the abuse Jack Bicknell took in this town after Flutie left compared to the free ride Adazzio gets from the media and school – for $2.6mm a year
*The girl who inspired My Sharona song by the Knack is a prominent LA realtor now and her website has the song playing the background
* George Blanda played in the NFL when Harry Truman was president and Gerald Ford
* Life is good – Tiger Woods back
* Speaking of divorces – Does Barry Sanders really need to do commercials for a divorce attorney firm?

1.Patriots vs. Jets

 

MISC

 

·         Season is over, they have no offensive creativity (Except one double pass), Gronk hurt, Brady really hurt, Bennett hurt, defense one of the worst in the last fifteen years – can’t pressure QB or cover anyone – its over. Sorry!

·         Gotta love them picking on Revis for the game winner

·         Off to another frustrating start – Brady hit the first two plays / doesn’t get play off on time giving Jets chance to challenge their first down and it is reversed / Have to punt getting Jordan Richards hurt (you could hear him yell)

 

BRADY

 

·         He has a bad injury that will need surgery at some point – might need to rest him

·         Ball was sailing high on him because he can’t put pressure on knee

·         Brady completely Andy Reid-ed the end of the half – what a butcher job – with 1:16 left in the half he completes pass to Amendola, doesn’t use timeout – then doesn’t get off a play until 0:45 (36 seconds!), then completes pass to Hogan at 0:40 and again doesn’t use a timeout – throws a desperation pass to Mitchell at 0:06 that’s incomplete – they have to settle for field goal which they miss – and they take the timeout into the locker room

·         Do not put the Brady blocking downfield on the – “How To Block” – video

·         Brady with over three seconds doesn’t work again – overthrows an open Gronk and gets him hurt

·         He looked grumpy like he knew they were in big trouble

 

OFFENSE

 

·         Josh McDaniel – UGHHHH! His schemes are so vanilla – how many plays drawn up allow a defender to run free to Brady?

·         NO HURRY UP – not even at the end of the first half when it was hurry up time

·         Again they tried the play-action, fake end around – and again nothing

·         Thank God for Malcom Mitchell

·         Gutsy call going for it on 4th and 4 – and not giving Gostkowski a chance

·         Do I get any points for calling the left handed Hogan option pass a month ago?

·         Nice downfield blocking by Mitchell and Hogan on the Blount 18 yard run

·         Every time Lewis touches the ball it looks like he is just ready to be knocked out for the season

·         4-14 on third down – not good

 

DEFENSE

 

·         Everytime the Patriots go with a three man rush I should say an Act of Contrition for what I’m thinking

·         The lack of pass rush, an average linebacker corps is not good enough to win a Super Bowl I’m sorry to say – watching McClellin is like watching a Tufts football player

·         How come Matt Patricia turns every average quarterback into Sid Luckman (Fitzpatrick had a QB rating of 67.6 coming into the game and goes off for 115.2)

·         Malcom Brown a little better – put pressure on Fitzpatrick forcing an intentional grounding

·         Butler’s worst game as a Patriot – was getting beat all over the field

·         Ninkovich is proving the value of steroids – he is a JV player right now – 1 tackle

·         How does Van Noy get matched up one on one with CJ Spiller down the right sideline?

 

BELICHICK GARD / KRAFT SIGHTINGS

 

·         Bill same gray hoodie from the Simpson’s Boston special

·         Kraft 6:24 left in the 2nd quarter

 

INJURIES

 

·         Gronk yet again – I would not sign him for crazy money – he has a body of a 42-year-old (same about Edelman – don’t sign for big money slowly declining)

·         Bennett – that ankle is going to be a problem all year

·         Richard injury I spoke of already

 

MISC

 

·         Gostkowski another miss – yikes – I think it’s worse than that. His body language is not good and the ball is coming off his foot funny almost knuckling

·         Saw it in the Michigan game and every football game – the marking of the football is so random – you need technology to step in

·         Greg Gumbel brings nothing to the table but stating the obvious – and to think that CBS named him their number one announcer over Sean McDonough fifteen years ago

·         The league is imparting parity upon the Patriots – Take away two first round picks, suspend the best player in the league, no fine on defenders taking shots at the best player in the league’s knee which could change the course of the season, and the refusal to call interference on players defending against Gronk

 

2. Around the NFL

 

·         Article about Matt Forte deciding on the Jets over the Patriots in the offseason – that wasn’t the best career decision

·         I feel this about changing pitchers and people – if you think should make a change – then make the change – Cincy embarrasses itself last year in the playoffs and they come back with Marvin Lewis and they are 3-7-1

·         Drew Brees 458 TD to 213 INT / Brady 446 to 151 INT

·         Carson Palmer 4-6-1 since talking bad about Brady 

·         Jamie Collins 0-3 now

·         Its approaching December when Chandler Jones goes into hibernation (or to the police station)– 1 tackle – that is not Von Miller- like

·         Ravens run a play in which they commit a penalty on purpose so that they play is re-run and the clock runs again – doesn’t seem like the integrity of the game – ie – tackle eligible

·         I think domes should be outlawed – boring inside game that is sterile

·         Tony Romo salary cap dollar figure $14,000,000 / Dak Prescott salary $450,000

 

3. Bruins / Celtics

 

·         Celtics 2-4 against teams with an above .500 record / 7-3 versus losing teams

·         Bruins 5-9 against teams with an above .500 record / 7-1 versus losing teams

 

4. Around College Football

* I was 1-2 ugh

* I agree with Harbaugh – biggest game of the year and the home team gets penalized SIX yards to opponents 59 yards including three questionable interference calls and an insane bench penalty 50 yards away from the play never mind having the benefit of the spots all day

* I wonder what the break down on subjective interference calls are on home team versus the away teams

* The eight-team playoff would make lots of millions – first round: Alabama vs. Penn State / Ohio State vs. Oklahoma / Clemson vs. Wisconsin / Michigan vs. Washington

* With so many fans storming the fields now – there must be at least one fan breaking an ankle a game jumping over the walls

* With the coaching changes in college football – seniors should be allowed to transfer to another team – not the team that the coach went to though

* I don’t get it – Boston College is excited about their season and becoming bowl eligible? They only played four teams in the top 60 (according to RPI) which they were 0-4 against while being outscored 202-21! Remember when the media in this town mattered? Addazio said after the game: “top of our university, unwavering faith”

 

5. In 2018 the Red Sox have already committed $108mm to five players – Price, Sandoval, Hanley, Pedroia and Porcello.

 

6. I wish USA Soccer was paying attention to my blog back in June (6/24/16) when I showed that Klinsmann wasn’t improving the team and that their best coach over the last twenty years has been Arena – it’s just that he doesn’t look the part – more of a John Lovitz wanna be.

* FIFA Ranking over the six years since Klinsmann took over in 2011 – 34 / 2012 – 28 / 2013- 28 / 2014 – 13 / 2015 – 27 / 2016 – 31st  

* Average FIFA Rankings for the USA’s last four coaches – Arena (98-06) –  17th / Sampson (95-98) – 22nd / Bradley (06-11) – 23rd / Klinsmann (11-16) – 28th

7 Old School – Prior to Carlton Fisk home run in Game 6 of 1975 World Series – he had four over his previous 156 at bats – or one every 39 at bats

 

8 Amazing Stat – Cam Neely scored 50 goals in 44 games in 1993-1994 but on one leg. After scoring his 50th he only played six more games and missed the playoffs – Niedermeyer dead, Wormer dead, Ulf – dead! 

 9 Just a Little Bit Outside – Local Sports anchor salaries in 1986 – (Globe)

Bob Lobel………$450,000

Mike Lynch……..$200,000

John Dennis…….$140,000

 

10.  Randomocity

* What’s wrong with our society? With 21 more shot in Chicago Saturday – TV is advertising – in the middle of the day mind you – a video game from Playstation called WatchDogs 2 which shows street thugs with machine guns shooting people in the middle of a city further romanticizing the greatest plague ever to hit the United States – insane

* After Cam Newton refused to pick up the fumble in the Super Bowl shouldn’t the DAB go away

* The owner of Corona just went back to his village in Spain – Cerezales del Coronado and made every citizen a millionaire   

* Castro must have been a big Brady Bunch fan

* Boston College is selling sports tickets for 50% off on Monday – hate to be that season ticket holder that paid full price and has been loyal despite the bad product

* Sports Illustrated – two recent NBA articles – Are the Bulls Better Off Without Rondo? AND Buyer’s Remorse – top five bad signings – first two are Evan Turner and Rajon Rondo

* Hats off to U Mass Boston and Charlie Titus for not allowing two of their stars play in the NCAA playoffs after their disgraceful red cards two weeks ago

* You can’t have Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph on before December 1st

With his more focus on present, Coach Todd Bowles did not mention to announce Monday night that the besieged Ryan Fitzpatrick would always remain the New York Jets’ team beginning quarterback. This is mainly after the team sat for over years during the seven days when they were not playing. This was a risky decision given the brilliance of the team rivals. You can make the Super Bowl odds especially when trying to find out on how the outcome will turn.

“He is healthy, he is been our starter,” said Bowles of Fitzpatrick when he was asked by the media. “I do not see anything wrong that I could have change with the situation right now.” This would definitely makes it one of the easier decisions that the Coach will make when dealing with the existing situations.

The fan base of Jets has been clamoring for very Petty from the start. Fitzpatrick, who is a free agent right after the season, was also a lame duck. However, Bowles is not ready to easily give up on this season when evaluating players for the 2017. This would be something that the team will be looking for especially when dealing with the situations.

“I do not think anything of the argument will ever exists, ” he said when referring to the people who want to know about the future of the player. He continued to say that the player was doing good to improve in form especially when trying to perform better through these years.

Fitzpatrick, who did sign a-year worth $12 million contract this year in July has been having a terrible year especially on his performance. According to his stats, he only has eight touchdown passes with 13 interceptions, which is all tied for the same league lead. This are pretty low stats given that he would be enjoying massive benefits for the club at the end of the season.

Petty blew an opportunity to wrest the job from the Fitzpatrick, after falling to Los Angeles Rams the 9-6 in the first start in NFL. This means that he could improve on his game when looking forward to improve the ratings before the end of the season when playing. He had a late interception, which killed Jets’ from a comeback bid.

Bowles has said that he always plan to easily go back to the Fitzpatrick. This would be an amazing performance given he has been having a terrible performance during the season. “Obviously, you can throw about 10 touchdowns, you need to have to take a close look at it,” he said of the Petty’s chances. “In addition, barring anything outstanding, the Fitz would have been a starter.”

Just last week, the general manager by the same Mike Maccagnan referred to it as a “complicated” decision by saying it is a delicate balance in between trying to have the first win now by evaluating for their future. He also consulted with Bowles, however, the coach had that final say. This is going to be a pretty challenge especially when dealing with the teams that will take part during the championship.

1.Patriots vs. Jets

 

·         Brady still hurt from the insane cheap shot by Kam Chancellor – of course no repercussions from the league because it was on Brady

·         Speaking of the league’s collective effort to get Brady – interesting that Walt Anderson’s crew was not disciplined for the Monday night fiasco weeks ago between Seattle and Buffalo – of course not he was part of the team that conspired to get Brady and words were used against Brady in the ruling and supported the NFL

·         I hope Brady goes after Revis and embarrasses him – the ingrate doesn’t appreciate that Brady took him on a Super Bowl tour – see #5 below

·         Brandon Marshall has be targeted 91 times only caught 43

·         Darrelle Revis has ZERO interceptions and only two deflected passes

·         Kicker Nick Folk is 16-17 inside 50 / has missed two extra points

·         Fireman Ed was ten when the Jets last won the Super Bowl – I hope he’s in good health if wants to see another one

 

2. LeGarrette Blount compared to past Patriot backs:

 

Corey Dillon……….1,635

Curtis Martin……….1,487

Jim Nance…………..1,458

Blount pace…………1,283

Stevan Ridley……….1,263

 

Also the record for Patriot rushing TD’s is 14 (twice) by Curtis Martin – Blount on pace for 19

 

3. Runners with at least 1,000 yards with John Hannah in front of them:

 

·         Sam Bam Cunningham – 5,453 yards / 43 TD

·         Tony Collins…………….4,647 yards / 32 TD

·         Don Calhoun……………3,391 yards / 23 TD

·         Craig James………………2,469 yards / 11 TD

·         Mosi……………………..2,415 yards / 18 TD

·         Steve Grogan……………2,176 yards / 35 TD

·         Andy Johnson……………2,017 yards / 13 TD

·         Horace Ivory……………..1,336 yards / 14 TD

·         Mack Herron……………..1,298 yards / 9 TD

·         Vagas Ferguson…………..1,163 yards / 5 TD

 

4. College Football – no locks

* I like South Carolina getting 25 against Clemson

* I like Utah getting 10 against Colorado

* I have no feeling on the Navy over against SMU which usually means its going under 68

* Michigan – Ohio State – I hate games in Columbus with the high camera angle – Go Blue!

* Best game of the day – Washington vs. Washington State – Apple Bowl

 

5. Darrelle Revis playoff games over the last six years:

 

* 1 Year with Patriots – 3 playoff games including the Super Bowl

* 5 Years with Jets – ZERO playoff games (including this year – sorry you missed the White House)

 

6. Update on Brady since Deflategate at halftime of the AFC Championship game versus Colts – all the detractors were dying for him to fail with pumped up balls:

* 20-6 record that includes postseason

* 67% completion

* 77 TD to -13 INT

 

7 Old School – Mickey throw in the towel:

 

·         In 1963-1964 season, Bruins Goalie Eddie Johnston was 18-40-12

 

8 Amazing Stat – NFL official Walt Anderson stuff:

·         Since he took part in a sting to catch the Patriots at the 2015 playoffs he has officiated in games in which 26 teams have participated but not the Patriots (and Bears, Giants, Texans, Miami, Tampa)

·         Since the AFC Championship game – The Colts who were co-conspirators with Anderson

o   Last two years without Anderson doing their games they are 10-13

o   Last two years with Anderson doing their games 3-0

 9 Just a Little Bit Outside – Could it be that turkey sandwiches are better than turkey dinner?

10.  Randomocity

* Providence soccer was down 4-1 in the second half to #1, undefeated Maryland in Maryland and came back and won – the third goal by Nick Sailor of Providence could be considered the greatest goal ever – you tube it

* Was Norman Dale any different than Tyronn Lue?

* The three-point shot is ruining basketball – no one even runs anymore because they would rather set up for a three pointer

* Hats off to Mike Lynch for his high school football coverage on Thanksgiving

* Can you imagine if Ulf Sammuelson stuck his knee out and had hurt Gretzky and not Neely – national day of mourning would have been called

* Money spent on the election – $6.8 billion

* Tom Brady is also the greatest bad weather quarterback of all time

Two of the key cogs in this years Bruins teams: Tuukka Rask, and David Pastrnak. (Getty Images).

Despite what the standings may show before the Thanksgiving break, this years Bruins team is on the right track. As of Nov. 23 the B’s currently hold the second Wild Card spot with 22 points and have been playing inspired hockey as of late. Let me speak for the majority of Bruins fans here when I say that I’ve been pleasantly surprised thus far since I wasn’t expecting this team to be as competitive as they are at this point.

My biggest concern entering this season, along with almost everyone who’s followed the B’s the past couple years, was their dull defensive group. On paper, they are one of the worst units in the entire NHL but so far, they’ve managed to not completely sink the teams and fans postseason aspirations. Granted they have had their moments where they look like they’re fishing for swordfish in their own end, however it hasn’t been as bad as it could be. Obviously, the white knight in this case has been the expected-unexpected emergence of Brandon Carlo.

The 19 year-old from Colorado Springs has stepped right into the top pairing alongside Zdeno Chara and has done just about everything that has been asked of him at this point. His big 6’5″ frame knows how to maneuver around the ice and his impressive poise combined with his simple, no-nonsense style of play has absolutely been a welcome addition to the Bruins backend. I will say that he certainly does look his age on the ice at times as he gets thrown around quite a bit and sometimes looks overwhelmed in the D-zone but all that comes down to inexperience and that will improve the more he plays. Basically, I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to say Carlo has been a huge reason this team has been as successful as they are in the early-goings of the year.

Behind Carlo and the other five defensemen on the ice stands a man that was on the verge of being run out of Boston this fall in Tuukka Rask. However, after amassing one of the best starts of his career this season recording an 11-3-0 record in 14 appearances, it would be foolish to overlook the contributions Rask has made to the B’s 11-8-0 overall record. To keep it simple, every game Rask hasn’t started the Bruins have lost, and those games were missing the same feel to it with Rask on the bench. Not only that, but for the most part, Rask has been an imposing presence in the crease making the majority of his saves look very easy. If Tuukka can keep this up he’s going to be in contention for the Vezina Trophy at the end of the season, alongside my favorite goalie in the league in Carey Price (sarcasm, of course) and could single-handily lead the B’s to the playoffs for the first time in three seasons.

The last player I’ve noticed more than any other through 19 games has been David Pastrnak. I’m glad to be saying this because I really enjoy what Pastrnak has brought to the table since he’s been on the roster and I think he’s the true goal scorer the Bruins have missed since trading Tyler Seguin. Leading the team with 10 goals, Pastrnak has looked much more confident in the offensive zone stringing together some nice plays with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand. The one concern I have surrounding his game though is his health. Similar to Carlo, Pastrnak is a young kid still developing muscle and is more at risk to injury because he’s on the weaker side. It’s been an issue in the past and it has popped up already this season, so if anything will hold him back this year, it’ll be the injury bug. Other than that, it’s clear that his overall game is starting to show improvement as his back-checking alone has improved ten-fold, as well as his defensive game in general, and it’ll be critical once the big games roll around in February and March.

Like I said, while the B’s haven’t been tremendous so far, they also haven’t looked dreadful. This team really didn’t have much roster turnover and the new guys on the roster, with the exception of David Backes, are all young players still trying to fill a role so at least to me, it’s hard to be upset with the results we’ve gotten so far. As a team, they seem to be a lot more likeable than in years past and I feel like that comes from their tendency, at least until now, to not give up in games. Other than an embarrassing 5-0 loss to the Minnesota Wild on Oct. 25 and two 5-2 losses to the New York Rangers, every game they lost was a back-and-forth game that I felt they had a good chance to win.

Look at their most recent game against the St. Louis Blues, a couple bounces go their way and they more-likely-than-not walk away with a win against a predominantly top Western Conference team. A 3-2 loss at Montreal also comes to mind in this example as the B’s were the better team in this game, but just couldn’t muster a goal past Price. This could be the most important aspect to this years team because as we all know, part of the reason they’ve failed to make the playoffs was their inability to win big games down the stretch. If they are showing some heart now, I can’t imagine that’ll disappear once the games become even more important down the line.

When it all boils down to it in April, we’ll look back on this start and the towering play of Carlo, Rask’s extraordinary start, the superb play of Pastrnak, and the overall pride this year’s team possesses and be shocked. Hopefully it’ll be a positive shock because they didn’t get a higher seeding in the playoffs, and not a negative shock if they fail to make the postseason, again. Now that would be something I would not be thankful for.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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