Pregame Post: Wrecking the Jets

Anytime the Patriots and Jets play, it can go anyway. So to start this pregame up, I’ll post the definition of the word toss up.

toss up - an unpredictable phenomenon; “it’s a toss-up whether he will win or lose”

The Patriots offense has been a mess the past two weeks. Brady is not playing smart, but he is not getting help with the play calls. The only way the Patriots are productive is if they run, run, and run some more with Green-Ellis and Ridley. The Jets run defense is ranked 21st in the league so its manageable, but it’s Bill O’Brian we’re talking about… On the defensive side of the ball, Andre Carter is filling his role and Wilfork is always there. Kyle Arrington is playing well and McCourty is starting to fight his way back. Sterling Moore will be starting in place of the injured Chung, so may God help us there.

The Jets offense looks great on paper, but is very inconstant. That starts with Mark Sanchez, but he can manage a game. Shonn Greene is very incontinent too and LDT is old. Holmes is the fire though. He can burn our secondary like they are highschool players. In fact, he is the only player the Jets have I’m scared of. The Jets defense has a very good secondary lead by the best corner, Revis, in league. Their line on the other hand is not very good and again, is ranked 21st against the run.

Honestly game is a toss up and every drive will count. I changed my prediction so far about 10 times…

Game Info:

  • Played at MetLife Stadium
  • Starts at 8:20
  • On NBC

Patriots Injury and Inactive Report:

  • Patrick Chung
  • Taylor Price
  • Brandon Spikes
  • Shane Vereen
  • Dane Fletcher
  • Donald Thomas
  • Ryan Mallett

Key Matchups:

  • Dustin Keller vs Pats Linebackers
    • Keller is a tightend that scares me when the Jets use him right. With Spikes out, well, he scares me more
  • Shonn Greene vs Pats D-Line
    • The Jets live or die with Greene and Sanchez, so if Greene is shutdown, it’s just Sanchez

Questions:

  • Will Tom Brady be sacked twice?
  • Sterling Moore is starting in place of Chung… How will he play?
  • Does Sanchez have a career day?
  • Jeff Tarpinain is starting too…. Does he get lit up as well?

Predictions:

  • I have no clue how this game will play out
  • Patriots 17, Jets 14
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Big Al Cut and the Patriots ran over

The biggest piece of news today is the Albert Haynesworth, the $100 million dollar man, has been cut from the team. The move comes after the loss against the Giants, which we will get to later. According to Greg Bedard of the Boston Globe, on three consecutive plays, Haynesworth was thrown to the ground with one arm and pancaked to the ground by a David Diehl. Also, during the game he and defensive line coach Pepper Johnson were seen in a heated argument.

The dude has talent, but no motor and drive. I would consider myself one of his biggest supporters, but enough is enough. Like Leigh Bodden (one of my favorite players) he was becoming locker room cancer and a cancer to the team. Good riddance to the man and good luck to Kyle Love, not that he’ll need it or anything.

But back to the Giants game. Simply put it, this was a game lost by the offense. Sure the defense let up the winning drive but how many times did the Patriot offense stall? We all know the defense struggles at times, but this is a Tom Brady lead offense. I’ve seen him do amazing things with the likes of Jabar Gaffney and Reche Caldwell so there is no excuse that this offense with Wes Welker, BenJarvis Green-Ellis, Stevan Ridley, Gronkowski, and Hernandez should be stalling.

So lets talk more on the offense. At the head of the problem is Bill O’Brian. First off, I’ve never liked that guy. His play calling is vannila and he doesn’t utilize players to the fullest potential in situations. During the game the Boston Globe sent out a tweet stating that “ Bill Belichick and offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien were having a pretty animated discussion on the Patriots’ bench”. Ridley was only ran 3 times, Woodhead 7, and Green-Ellis 12 times. On the Giants side, Brandon Jacobs ran 18 times for 72 yards. Brady passed 49 times only completing 28 of those. The ball simply needs to be ran more and the tight ends need to be involved more throughout the game, not just the fourth quarter.

The other problem on offense is the Tom Brady. Yes, Tom Brady is a problem right now. I don’t want to sound spoiled or anything, but at the end of the day he’s the one with the two interceptions and a 57.1% completion rate. Part of the problem lies with the line, which is playing horribly, but Brady is just not playing as well as he should. For instance, take the interception when he was trying to get it to Gronkowski. What was he thinking there? If I recall correctly, Rodney Harrison had a good point about Brady starring down receivers lately.

On Twitter, people were saying that it was like a ‘bizzaro’ world – the defense was playing well. Pressure was in Manning’s face and the Giants were 4 for 14 on 3rd downs (28%). I don’t know about you, but I love that stat. Brandon Spikes was playing lights out until his injury and players were tackling. I know Sergio Brown let the big pass happen, but he shouldn’t of been out there. Chung was hurt and so was Barret. I would chock that up to the game. Arrington, who had a good game until the last few plays, caused a major pass interference call, but with today’s rules, what can I say?

Special teams still sucks. Our field position was absolutely awful. The Patriots did bring in Tiquan Underwood today, so we’ll see….

All together, this game actually answered more questions than it created. We now know that the defense is capable, but is just one or two players short of being there (a safety would be nice) and that the offense needs major progress if we want to compete.

Beasts:

  • Brandon Spikes
    • Spikes was playing with passion and it showed. Unfortunately he suffered an injury during the game

Bums:

  • Albert Haynesworth
    • See above….
  • Sergio Brown
    • Can’t cover and should be on the team
  • Julian Edelmen
    • Fumbled the ball and having off the field issues… Not good Julian, not good

Answers:

  • Will Tom Brady be sacked more than two times?
    • He was sacked twice
  • Does Brandon Jacobs have a career resurgent day?
    • Not really a resurgent day, but he ran with fire in his eyes for 72 yards
  • How does the Patriots as a team respond to the loss last week?
    • With another loss…
  • Does Eli Manning light up the secondary?
    • He was 20 of 39 for 250 yards and 2 touchdowns

Thoughts:

  • I like where the defense is going
  • Ochostinko should be the next cut
  • I’m jumping on the defense bandwagon if you can’t tell
  • And I’m jumping off of the offense bandwagon too
  • Is it still possible to get Romeo Crennel and Josh McDaniels back?
  • I like the Nate Solder pick more and more
  • Corner Jonathan Banks from Mississippi State should be a guy to watch when it comes draft time. He is shutting down top SEC receivers like Alshon Jeffery. He will be a still for who ever drafts him

Tweets:

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Pregame Post: Crushing the Giants

(My PC is on the fritz today so I’m reusing an older image from the preseason… )

The last time these two teams faced off, well, you know the story. No reason to bring up the past, the Patriots play the 5-2 New York Giants in a game of which defense can last the longest.

On offense the Giants aren’t particularly scary with Ashmad Bradshaw and Hakeem Nicks out with injuries. Eli Manning and Victor Cruz having been rocking it all season long, but other than Cruz and Mario Manningham, Eli has no weapons. The defense is banged up in the secondary, but their line is scary. Jason Pierre-Paul has 8.5 sacks on the year and is one of those guys you have to always account for.

The Patriots offense should get back in the swing of things today. Stevan Ridley will get his chance to carve up the Giants and Welker will get a lot of touches today with the Giants blitz attack. The Patriots defense will have Ron Brace back, but I’m not sure that matters. The secondary excluding Kyle Arrington is absolute crap, but they are playing Eli Manning today so who knows…

Honestly this game is a battle of two teams who look almost identical; crappy defenses and pass happy offenses. The deciding factor in this game is turnovers and who runs the ball best.

Game Info:

  • Played at Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, Massachusetts
  • Starts at 4:15 ETS
  • On FOX

Pats Injury Report and Inactives:

  • Dane Fletcher
  • Jermaine Cunningham
  • Ryan Mallett
  • Kevin Faulk
  • Taylor Price
  • Donald Thomas
  • Shaun Ellis

Key Matchups:

  • Jason Pierre-Paul and Justin Tuck vs Pats Offensive Line
    • Pierre-Paul has 8.5 sacks on the season and is out to prove his doubters wrong. He is one of those guys you have to account for every play. The Pats line has been playing awful lately and Tom Brady has been sacked 14 times this year
  • Giants Offensive Live vs Vince Wilfork and Andre Carter
    • The Giants will be without their starting center. Carter is finally showing up and Wilfork is Wilfork
  • Corey Webster vs Welker/Gronk
    • Whoever covers these two will have a rough day. The Patriots offense is out for blood after the awful showing against Pittsburgh and teams have a hard time covering Welker and Gronk on a normal day

Questions:

  • Will Tom Brady be sacked more than two times?
  • Does Brandon Jacobs have a career resurgent day?
  • How does the Patriots as a team respond to the loss last week?
  • Does Eli Manning light up the secondary?

Predictions:

  • Patriots offense has a big day
  • Vince Wilfork has a sack
  • Eli Manning looks flustered all day
  • Tom Brady is sacked twice
  • Patriots 38, Giants 24
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Reality shows its ugly head

Where do I start? The offensive line was horrible, the secondary tested our faith, special teams were certainly special, and the coaches were out coached. The only upside to this game is that it can’t get possibly worse.

My biggest issue with this game was the offense. First off, the line was horrible. I’ve never seen Logan Mankins and Sebastian Vollmer play as bad as that. Tom Brady had no time to wait for a play to develop. Secondly, the wide receivers where not getting any separation from the corners. The corners were all over them. Thirdly, the play calling was terrible. Why was Stevan Ridley not ran? I love Kevin Faulk, but why did he have more carries than Ridley and Green-Ellis combined (he had 6 carries while Green-Ellis had 5)?

With the constant 3 and outs, the defense could never get a break the entire game. The secondary was worse than chopped liver. Can someone call Asante Samuel and beg him to come back? The pressure was too sporadic. Its great that Andre Carter get two sacks, but Big Ben had all day. Oh, and the fact that 3rd downs are apparently first downs now is also a problem.

Don’t even get me started on special teams. Stephan Gostkowski missed a field goal and absolutely botched two onside kicks. Danny Woodhead seemed to dive for the 20 yard line everytime and in my current state I want to trade him and Gostkowski for a pair of competent people. Zoltan Mesko however looked great with booming punts.

The problem with this team is that fundamentals are missing and the scheme/players no longer works. Devin McCourty missed so many tackles he looked like Darius Butler. The offense missed too many blocks. 4-3 is not working, but nothing will work until we get a #1 corner like Asante Samuel or a legit, young pass rusher like Brian Orakpo.

All of the problems start off with the top. Belichick the general manager is failing Belichick the coach. We need a true defensive coordinator like Romeo Cornell or Rob Ryan (before last night’s Cowboys game). We no longer have the talent for Belichick to have all the roles. While we have drafted better the last 2 years, we cannot trade the high picks for a bunch of lesser guys. The offense has too many holes to hide lack of strong talent beyond Wilfork and Mayo on the defense.

Beasts:

  • Andre Carter
    • Carter had 2 sacks on the day and looked like the reason we got him. Unfortunately for him though the rest of the defense didn’t show up.

Bums:

  • Patriots Offensive Line
    • I can’t begin to start. False starts, missed blocks, and no time happened too much
  • Patriots Offense
    • A 30% 3rd down efficiency… Come on!
  • Patriots Secondary and Linebackers
    • Slow, horrible, and could not cover was the story of the day
  • Patriot Coaching
    • There is no way Bodden looked as bad as Molden. The changes at halftime didn’t work and the Gronk TD was not challenged (I realize BB didn’t get a good view, but please…)
  • Patriots Special Teams
    • A missed field goal and 2 botched onside kicks

Answers:

  • Does McCourty shutdown Mike Wallace?
    • Nope
  • Do the Patriots run all over the Steelers?
    • The Steelers turned the Patriots into roadkill
  • How does the cutting of Leigh Bodden effect the defense?
    • Molden, his replacement, looked like a chicken with his head cut off
  • Jerod Mayo and Sebastian Vollmer are back. Is their impact felt?
    • Vollmer’s impact was felt negatively
  • Chung, Ihedigbo, McCourty, Arrington, Molden, Adams, and Ventrone. Does Big Ben burn these guys?
    • Big Ben took them to the house and back again

Thoughts:

  • I’ve never been so wrong in my life with my prediction
  • Heinz Field was booming the entire game
  • This was a wake up call
  • Why was Gronk a non-factor the first half?
  • Brady looked flustered all day
  • I really want the Pats to draft a WR and CB  without injury problems

Tweets:

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Pregame Post: Sticking it to the Steelers

Anytime the Patriots and Steelers play, it’s like two giants colliding head to head. Granted this is a Steeler team missing Hines Ward, James Farrior, and James Harrison, but this is a Patriot team with a depleted secondary and a pass rush that rushes like an old lady. But for the sake of today’s game, it’s two giants colliding.

I’m not too worried about Mike Wallace. His size is perfect for Devin McCourty. Rashard Mendenhall doesn’t scare me at all. In fact, the only thing that scares me about this game is Big Ben making plays.

The Patriots are still having defense issues, but the things are starting to click. The offense is a Tom Brady offense – smart and efficient. We get Kevin Faulk back so it’ll be interesting to see how he fits in. Taylor Price is back too and a few Patriot Twitters out there are saying he’ll have a major game.

Game Info:

  • Played at Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Starts at 4:15, Sunday October 30, 2011
  • On CBS

Pats Injury Report:

  • Julian Edelman
  • Ryan Mallett
  • Josh Barrett
  • Shane Vereen
  • Dane Fletcher
  • Donald Thomas
  • Jermaine Cunningham

Key Matchups:

  • Mike Wallace vs Devin McCourty
    • McCourty hasn’t had the worst of seasons, but he hasn’t been that good against #1 wide receivers. The good thing about Wallace though is that he is 6-0 so McCourty has an easier time covering him.
  • Steelers DLine vs BJGE, Ridley, Faulk
    • Faulk is back in the lineup and BJGE/Ridley each are having great games. The Steeler defensive line is old and has had injuries all season long.

Questions:

  • Does McCourty shutdown Mike Wallace?
  • Do the Patriots run all over the Steelers?
  • How does the cutting of Leigh Bodden effect the defense?
  • Jerod Mayo and Sebastian Vollmer are back. Is their impact felt?
  • Chung, Ihedigbo, McCourty, Arrington, Molden, Adams, and Ventrone. Does Big Ben burn these guys?

Predictions:

  • Mike Wallace has an average day
  • Ridley will have a monster game
  • Haynesworth gets a sack
  • We don’t have to put Wilfork in coverage
  • Phillip Adams shows up
  • Big Ben throws 2 interceptions
  • Patriots 27, Steelers 24
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Defense saves the Pats

First off, let me say sorry for the lateness of this post. I thought I clicked ‘Publish’, but apparently I didn’t. Anyways…

This game had all the markings of an early 2000s game where the defense had to bail out the offense. If you told me that I’d be saying this before the game, I’d tell you your crazy. There still needs to be a lot done with defense though. Tackling was poor and long balls where still killing us.

The offense seemed out of rhythm at times and Tom Brady was out of rhythm the second half until the game winning drive.

Beasts:

  • Kyle Arrington
    • Relatively our best corner right now, Arrington showed up by intercepting Tony Romo’s pass in the first quarter
  • Brandon Spikes
    • Spikes was all over the field and was doing great with the blitzes
  • Andre Carter
    • Carter is developing, well turning into, the pass rusher we want. With two sacks on Romo, Carter is finally getting it. Now if only Haynesworth can get it….

Bums:

  • Ochocinco
    • When you run the wrong route after 6 weeks of being here, your a bum
  • Mathew Slater
    • Slater lost a fumble off of a return. I could understand if the ball was stripped out like a Ray Lewis strip but it was punched out and Slater’s poor ball security allowed for that

Answers:

  • Did Phil Costa bring on the wrath of Vince Wilfork upon himself?
    • Yes
  • Will the Patriots be able to stop Jason Witten?
    • 4 catches for 48 yards
  • Does Dez Bryant torch the Patriots secondary?
    • With only 78 yards on the day, I’d say no
  • Will Mark Anderson get another sack today?
    • No, but Andre Carter and Kyle Love did
  • Does the offensive line allow any sacks?
    • They allowed 3

Thoughts:

  • Kyle Arrington continues to show why he got paid
  • Whats wrong with Logan Mankins?
  • Brandon Spikes is looking really good
  • Big plays are still killing us
  • We need to tackle better
  • The Pats are still Straight Out of Foxborro

Tweets:

Other:

  • After every game I start a post game discussion on the Patriots subreddit on Reddit.com. The current one is here so go ahead and check it out for some other thoughts
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PreGame Post: A shootout in Foxboro

Coming off of a hard fought win against the Jets, the Patriots play the Cowboys at home in a matchup that either results in a blowout or a nail biter. Will Devin McCourty and company be able to stop the talented but troubled Dez Bryant and Miles Austin? Does Jason Witten become a zero factor like Antonio Gates did in the San Diego game earlier this year?

I predict that this will be a battle of defenses and one the Patriots will win. Tony Romo is overrated and is protected by a young offensive line that can’t protect a rock much less a quarterback.

Game Info:

  • Played at Gillette Stadium
  • Starts on Sunday, Oct 16, 2011 at 4:15PM EDT
  • On Fox

Pats Injury Report:

  • Josh Barrett, thumb
  • Jerod Mayo, knee
There are a few injuries that will be determined at the start of the game..

Key Matchups:

  • Dez Bryant and Miles Austin vs Pats Secondary
    • I’m torn on how the secondary will play against these guys. They’re not better than Santonio Holmes and Plaxico Burres who where shutdown last week, but they do have a better quarterback in Romo throwing to them. The secondary’s success will live and die with the pressure on Romo
  • Anthony Spencer and DeMarcus Ware vs Pats OLine
    • Tom Brady was sacked four times and hit five times by a weak group of Jets lineman that don’t compare to DeMarcus Ware or Anthony Spencer. To say I’m worried is an understatement
  • Sean Lee vs Green-Ellis/Gronk
    • I’m not familier with who will cover Gronk or shadow Green-Ellis on the Cowboys, so I’ll just stick with Sean Lee with the worst task on the Cowboys. Gronk should be over his flu by now and Green-Ellis is playing like no tomorrow 
  • Phil Costa vs Vince Wilfork
    • Earlier this week Costa said that Wilfork is just a ‘speed bump’. Wilfork responded with ‘I’ll be there Sunday. He can tell me that then’. He will be there in full force

Questions:

  • Did Phil Costa bring on the wrath of Vince Wilfork upon himself?
  • Will the Patriots be able to stop Jason Witten?
  • Does Dez Bryant torch the Patriots secondary?
  • Will Mark Anderson get another sack today?
  • Does the offensive line allow any sacks?

Predictions:

  • Tony Romo will come on strong first quarter but will be flustered in the second half
  • Deion Branch will show up
  • The Pats will bring the rush
  • Tony Romo gets sacked at least 2 times

Patriots 34, Cowboys 27

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Pats outplay the Jets to a high flying win

The defense showed up today and kept the New York Jets and their big mouths out of it. The offense need to be bailed out a few times by the defense but overall it was a great Sunday.

Beasts:

  • BenJarvus Green-Ellis
    • He had 136 yards and 2 touchdowns on the day. Green-Ellis really was the difference maker today.
  • The Defense
    • Even though the defense was night and day at times, as a unit they were levels better in terms of pressure than they’ve been in a while. In fact, they forced seven 3 and outs. I feel like the defense really progressed today. Oh, and Mark Anderson has what now, 3 sacks?
  • The Crowd
    • At different times in the game today the crowd noise was really a difference. There are many things I could say about the Patriots crowd, but today they where good.

Bums:

  • Logan Mankins
    • Mankins was getting beat by Mark Devito. That shouldn’t happen
  • Aaron Hernandez
    • Anytime you cause an interception, then you’re on this list

Answers:

  • Will the Pats secondary shut down Mark Sanchez and his wide receivers?
    • The Jets top receiver had 60 yards and Sanchez was 16 for 166 yards on the day. Job well done by McCourty, Bodden, and co
  • Does Stevan Ridley get more touches than Green-Ellis today?
    • Ridley had 7 runs for 13 yards. Green-Ellis on the other hand was really good today
  • Will Welker stay red hot?
    • Revis did have an impact on Welker, but Welker remained the threat he’s been the past four games in more ways than one
  • Does Dustin Keller have a big game or will he stay forgotten?
    • Keller was a ghost most of the game thanks to Patrick Chung
  • Will Ochocinco have his breakout game?
    • Well, he did have two catches

Thoughts:

  • Gronkowski was sick for the game so that would answer my thoughts on why he wasn’t being targeted as much as he should of been
  • Pat Chung is on the edge of becoming elite
  • Where was Derrick Mason?
  • Tom Brady was sacked four times and hit five times
  • I had Stevan Ridley in today on my fantasy team… I got three points from him
  • The cheerleaders looked good today…

Tweets:




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PreGame Post: Breaking the Jets

 

There is so much we could say about the Jets. Mark Sanchez is overrated, their offense is sputtering, Rex Ryan needs to shut his mouth, and their offensive line is horrid. There is much we could say about the Patriots defense too, but in this case, I think the Jets offense is worse than the Patriots defense (which is saying alot).

Game Info:

  • Played at Gillette Stadium
  • Starts on Sunday October 9th, 2011 4:15PM EST
  • On CBS

Pats Injury Report:

  • Julian Edelman, ankle
  • Jerod Mayo, knee
  • Danny Woodhead, ankle
  • Sebastian Vollmer, back

Key Matchups:

  • Darrell Revis vs Wes Welker
    • The best CB in the league against one of the best WR in the league always is a key factor
  • Nick Mangold vs Vince Wilfork
  • Kyle Wilson vs Gronk
    • With Welker out on Revis Island, that leaves Kyle Wilson to try to stop Mt. Gronk

Questions:

  • Will the Pats secondary shut down Mark Sanchez and his wide receivers?
  • Does Stevan Ridley get more touches than Green-Ellis today?
  • Will Welker stay red hot?
  • Does Dustin Keller have a big game or will he stay forgotten?
  • Will Ochocinco have his breakout game?

Predictions:

  • We kept Darren McFadden in check so there is no reason we can’t keep Shonn Greene in check
  • Haynesworth will have a massive quiet game (drawing blockers and allowing for other guys to get sacks)
  • Wilfork won’t have another interception today, but he will have a sack or two
  • The Jets show up in the 4th quarter, but by then its garbage points
  • Gary Guyton will make us miss Jerod Mayo
  • Patriots 34, Jets 21
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Pats win but at huge loss

NEPatriotsDraft.com’s Doug Kyed said it best with “a win that presented more questions than answers”. This win was a huge one for the newly balanced offense but left us with an injured Jerod Mayo and a defense that couldn’t stop my grandma.

Beasts:

  • Stevan Ridley
    • Ridley ran 97 yards and one touchdown. He provides the team with a spark and has a much higher ceiling than Law Firm. Initially I hated the Ridley pick, but this kid has turned me into a fan
  • Wes Welker
    • Welker had 158 yards and a touchdown. He is the team’s top target once again
  • Pat Chung
    • Chung made a crucial interception in the endzone with a cast on his hand
  • Bill O’Brian
    • A balanced play calling was key to winning this game and that’s just what Bill O’Brian did, so props to him

Bums:

  • Shaun Ellis
    • Why are we paying this man money? Today he showed up for the wrong reason; missed tackles
  • Sergio Brown
    • Brown played the horrible angle game

Answers:

  • Can the Patriots stop the Raider’s running game?
    • Darren McFadden was held to 75 yards, so yes, the Pats stopped the Raider’s running game
  • Will the Patriots run the ball efficiently?
    • I would of liked the Pats to run Ridley a little bit more, but overall, yes the Pats ran it efficiently
  • How many touches will Stevan Ridley get?
    • Ridley had 10 carries for 97 yards and one TD
  • Will Tom throw an interception?
    • To answer the question, nope, but for most of the day Tom looked great
  • Will the Patriots start out in a 3-4 or a 4-3?
    • It was a mix, but it seemed that the 4-3 was working

Thoughts:

  • Even though we won, this game left a bad taste in my mouth
  • Jerod Mayo is going to be out 4 -6 weeks
  • I heard Seattle was shopping Aaron Curry for a 7th round pick. I would give a 6th round pick for him right now
  • I know this post game recap is a bit short, but I’m a bit burned out right now due to other things right now (cough  Android App for PatsFans  cough)

Favorite Tweets:
During the game I read hundreds of tweets and there are some good ones out there…

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