...and there are SO MANY today, so be patient with me. SUNDAY'S GAME: 1. I thought we pretty much dominated the game on Sunday in almost EVERY area. The 3 TB scores were pretty much gimmees by the Pats. The first TD was a pure fluke (more on that below). The second was a broken play, right after losing a TO on a questionable, but understandable and expected make up call. The last could be attributed to the dreaded "prevent" defense syndrom, however it doesn't excuse Hobbs woefully botched tackle. The vaunted Jags defense rarely shut down the Pats (IIRC there was only one 3 and out the entire game), and most failed drives came because of penalties or lack of execution FROM THE PATS, rather than excellent play by the Jags. Based upon what I have seen lately, in the Playoffs the Pats will be able to move the ball against ANY defense, even on the road. How much they score will be determined on how sharp they are, and if they can "close". 2. Brady will get a lot of kudos for this effort and by and large he deserves them, however this wasn't one of his best games. He was bailed out a number of times by his receivers (a nice change BTW- ) and I can't forgive him for missing Brown on that 3rd down play late in the game. For a clutch QB, it was a bad time to miss an open WR. On the bright side, it would have been a career day for 80% of the rest of the league's QBs, and Tom probably feels worse about his B+ performance than me. 3. Before everyone give TBC a scarlet letter, consider this. There was no way for him to know that Jones-Drew had bounced off his own teammate. IF he HAD be legally down, and TBC tackled him, he would have been hit with a PF call and cost his team 15 yds. If fact Hawkins has been quoted saying they'd already been warned for hitting after the man was down. While an unfortunate turn of events, it was really just a fluke play. A series of unforseen events that are unlikely to occur again. I would find it hard to assign blame or coach someone to do anything basically different, except to tell TBC to hold on to him for a while longer, and THAT's merely monday morning QBing, coming from perfect 20-20 hingsight. 4. The OL needs to get a few KUDOS for this effort. They ran the ball well concidering the chances they got, and the Pass protection was excellent, though for the life of me, I cannot understand WHY the Jags didn't blitz more. Clearly that has been the ONLY way to stop this offense. 5. I have come to 2 disappointing conclusions after watching this game. A. Chad Jackson is going to have little impact on this season (though I reserve the right to be wrong....and hope that I am. ), and that Ellis Hobbs isn't going to rise above beening a good nickel back Not that there's anything wrong with that. Having a good NB is critical to a good secondary. I just don't think that he has the stuff to be a starting CB. If we keep Samuel, we need to have a bigger more physical CB on the opposite side. Right now that is Chad Scott, but hopefully we can upgrade in the offseason. On Jackson, I counsel patience, there have been A LOT of great WRs in this league who have had "lost" rookie seasons. It would have been nice if he were a quick bloomer, but he isn't. That doesn't mean he won't be a significant contributor in the future. 6. The special teams coverage and return teams are seemingly peaking at just the right time. Watching the Bears win a couple of game just through special teams reminds me that I wouldn't be surprised if we won a playoff game because of our excellent teams play this season. On the kicking side, Gotkowski's KO's contunue to be a big reason for our good KO coverage, and his FG's have been as good as expected. Unfortunately if he'd been perfect during the regulars season, we STILL wouldn't know how he'd do in a critical situation in the playoffs. Only time will tell. As for Sourbrund (whatever ), he didn't impress or stink on Sunday. However I hope we will see better as he adjusts. 7. I was goind to ask if anyone knew how being in the playoffs affected the Seattle pick, but that was well answered in another thread. It looks like 22 seems to be the number, and that's a better spot than I would have thought, thought I can't help thinking that the Seahawks won a few tainted games this year, and them going 7-9 and having a mid teen pick, was tantalizingly close. GENERAL THOUGHTS: 8. I watched more game around the league than I usually do and I have come to the conclusion that THEY HAVE to do SOMETHING about roughing the passer, especially the blow to the head call. In the Dallas/Eagle game an Eagle DE made a hard rush while being BRUTALLY held. As all good DLmen do, he had his free hand up as he bull rushed the man blocking him. WITHOUT swinging the hand, he made contact with the QB and sacked him. Yes his arm hit the QB in the head, but I thought that was why QB's wore helmets. There was nothing EXTRA in the blow. If the league is going to allow that kind of play to be penalized, they might as well outlaw DLmen from raising their hands above their shoulders as they near a QB. Yes, its THAT stupid an interpretation. 9. As to the Seymour call, IMHO that WAS NOT too late. The QB hadn't even finished his throwing motion before he was hit. On the other hand, it was to be expected, since the Pats were given a marginal roughing call earlier in the game. BTW the Jags LB WAS very late in hitting Brady, but the love tap he gave him should have been penalized by a slap in the face and derrision from his own teamates. . In fact later in the game Brady WAS pushed down well after he threw the ball. Again it was nothing but a love tap, but if the officials could call the other 2, why not this one. 10. On the play Brady was hurt, THAT WAS THE TEXT BOOK DEFINITION OF A SPEAR. IMHO the player should have been immediately ejected as well as a PF call. Hitting another player with the top of your helmet is the only contact in the game that should be vigilantly called EVERYTIME. Not only can the player being speared be badly injured, but the spearer, himself, can easily break his own neck. Almost all of the severe neck injuries incurred in the game we love so much are caused by hitting another body or the ground with the top of the helmet. THAT is a real danger to both the hitter, and the hitee. The league, the player's union, and the media should do EVERYTHING they can to eliminate this play. Unfortunately the play was COMPLETELY ignored by all parties, and it was only luck that prevented a serious injury to either party. Perhaps I am more sensative to this play because I had a great young player break his neck, spearing someone. Thank god, there was no paralysis, but it ended a promising career and a scholarship opportunity to a kid who needed it. Hitting with the front of the helmet (facemask) puts a player's body in strongest position to avoid injury, hitting with the top, puts the neck into a very vunerable position. That is why EVERY coach teaches to keep your head UP when tackling, and that is why I wince so often when I continually see players at the highest level of the game, CONTINUALLY lower their heads when tackling. Thanks for letting me vent. It was interesting watching the Bengal/Bronco game. For the life of me, I couldn't figure out who to root for. I hate the Bronco's ever since the famed Shannon Sharpe call for the police. I hate the Bengal's chronic police blotter. Finally I tried to figure out who I would want the Pats to play in the playoffs, and decided I wanted the Broncos. As I watch the Bengal's consistantly shoot themselves in the foot, yet STILL be in an away game against a good team. I decided that if they offense EVER managed to keep their TO's to less than 3 they'd be a real problem, and if they ever managed to have a clean game, they'd be as tough as Indy on their best day. Denver doesn't represent that kind of problem, IMHO. Besides what could be better than to wipe that smirk off of Shannahan's skull. I know people will disagree for a lot of reasons, but I for one was happy with the results last sunday.