..... here are a few thoughts because I have nothing better to do today.
1. Conspiracy theory: I believe that Jaws is without question the best analyst at ESPN. I have to believe that he doesn't actually believe his report about Moss taking off plays. I believe he was forced to go into the filmroom and find a few plays to present as proof to this trumped up accusation. Just another example of ESPN CREATING news rather than just reporting it. And it another in a long line of its piling on the Pats and creating a negative image, so its "good vs evil" story line can continue.
2. THis is the same guy who YESTERDAY told us that because Brady was hit only 4 times out of 59 passes that his OL actually DID do a great job, even though the IMPRESSION was that Dallas had a lot of pressure on him. That was a GOOD analysis. Yet how come the Randy Moss who was on the field for all of those 59 passes, runninng 20-50 yd sprints, with someone banging on him, can't take a couple of plays off? Where is the logic.
3. Every analyst who was a WR, constantly makes the point that you can't play the position WITHOUT taking a few plays off. Don't forget you not only have to sprint DOWN field, about 50% of the time, yuo have run back to the huddle. Don't forget that Moss is on the field virtually everytime the Pats pass the ball. BELIEVE ME, the Pats coaching staff and players AREN'T worried about Randy Moss' effort.
4. Contrary to common wisdom, I am of the firm belief that the Pats should opt to KO, every time they play an AWAY game for the following reasons.
a. At the start of the game the crowd is at its noisiest, which makes it more difficult to execute the offense.
b. The opponent's defense WILL show its new wrinkles, and because of that
the offensive players are more likely to make a mistake early on in the game, and FURTHER inflame the crowd
c. AND morst improtantly, I think its a DISTINCT advantage to get the KO opening the 2nd half. You have seen the what the defense has to offer. The players are now "into" the game. You have had a chance to make any adjustments to the game plan. The crowd is likely to be less noisy. Finally you don't risk the possiblility of having your defense on the field for 2 long drives in a row. A killer for us in the 2006 AFCCG, where the Pats were on the field for a long dirve at the end of the half. A long drive at the start of the half, and ANOTHER long drive after a 3 and out. After that they were toast.
This isn't a critical thing, but I still think its a small edge, every game, but even a bigger one when you are on the road.
5. "bountygate" is a joke. Back in college we had pools on our team to see who would get the first sack, fumble recovery, cause a TO, etc. And that was in the 60's at a division 3 school.
This is a practice that is as old as football and does NO HARM.
I'm beginning to worry about Roger Goodell's overbearing attempt to control EVERY aspect of the game. His over the top approach is actually DAMAGING the game IMHO. Not only did he practice overkill on the Pats during spygate, his Nixon like approach to explaining his actions, not only hurt the Pats, but the league in general. His actions on the bounty gate with the Packers again make people look at the league in a negative manner. Frankly, forgetting about his actions against the Pats, I'm getting tired of his "little dictator" act.
6. Continuing the cospiracy theory: I couldn't BELIEVE the tease on ESPN the other day. "....and later we will talk about how the Patriots might be breaking ANOTHER NFL Policy"
What makes it so mean spirited is that when they actually DO talk about it, their own analysts rightfully laugh at them, yet it was a constant theme on every show they did that day.
7. I was really worried about the Cowboys BEFORE the game last night, and the first few moments had me REALLY worried. HOWEVER when you think about it, the Cowboys barely beat a team without its top 4 players, who's defense had to change its basic defensive philosophy, lost their QB early in the game, when the had the homefield advantage, AND at least 2 outrageous calls go in their favor.
No it will make for a great media hype session the weeks before the game "should" the Pats and Cowboys make it to the game. However, given a neutral field, I think the game itself will be a 3 score win for the Pats.