This and That (Prime Time)

Discussion in ' - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Zeus, Jan 4, 2013.

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  1. Zeus

    Zeus Supporter Supporter

    1. Prime Time - For the red-blooded American football fan, the offseason drags on interminably while the 17 weeks (just slightly less than one-third of the year) that constitute the NFL regular season are a blur. So here we are, in the bitter cold of January, with 256 regular season football games of 2012 in the rear view mirror, and the promise of the eleven best games of the season – the playoffs – yet to come.

    Indeed, the two most compelling events in American sports are the NCAA Division I Basketball Tournament and the NFL playoffs. What they have in common is that they are single elimination tournaments, resulting in an unrivaled level of excitement and unpredictability.

    2. Here in New England, fans have had their senses and sensibilities dulled by success. Until 2003, in their first 43 seasons, the Patriots had never won more than eleven games in a single season (and had only won as many as eleven five times). In the ten years since, New England has won twelve or more games seven times, averaging over twelve wins per season. The notion that twelve wins in 2012 result is vaguely unsatisfactory to much of the Patriot fandom most seem bizarre indeed in other outposts through the NFL.

    The regular season was a mixed bag. A young team got off to an uneven start. There was the rarity of two home losses (Arizona and San Francisco) coupled with two other near misses (rallying to beat the jets in OT and holding off the Bills with a late McCourty interception). And then, there is the much lamented matter of The Three Field Goals: one missed against the Cardinals, one by the Ravens that was deemed Good Enough by the Officials-With-Seeing-Eye-Dogs, and the one not taken against the upstart Seahawks. A 12-4 record, on balance, seems about right.

    3. Handicapping the Playoff Field – All you have to do is look at the most important position in the sport.

    Top Tier
    • Brady
    • Rodgers
    • Manning

    Good but Not Great
    • Ryan
    • Flacco
    • Schaub
    Talented but Untested
    • Luck
    • RG III
    • Wilson
    • Kaepernick
    • Dalton
    • Ponder
    It’s pretty well documented that QBs face tougher challenges come playoff time. The remaining talent is the best, the focus and intensity is at its highest level and everything happens just a bit faster. Experience matters, especially at QB. A clear advantage here for New England, Green Bay and Denver (although the Broncos’ edge has to be given a haircut in recognition of Peyton’s propensity for playing postseason games with a very large bone in his throat).

    4. Jumping to Conclusions (Part 7,583,456) – I hate that The Sporting Press is already talking up a Patriots-Broncos AFC championship game. There no guarantee this will even happen so can’t we at least wait until the teams qualify before the Overhype Machine goes into warp speed, beating the game into a bloody, unrecognizable pulp?

    5. Horseshoes - It’s easy to see why the Colts might be sentimental favorites among some NFL fans. The Polians left the team in a shambles (over $35 million of dead salary cap money in 2012), the health challenges overcome by Chuck Pagano, the class of Bruce Arians and the heroics of rookie QB Andrew Luck …

    Still, here in New England, we will not forget what owner Irsay,Jr. and his team have stood for over the past decade. The Colts cried like babies after the Patriots repeatedly kicked their asses and then ran sniveling to the competition committee, using their influence (the belligerent Polian Sr.) to get the rules changed to suit their own purposes. And on numerous occasions, the Colts have disrespected fans, opponents, the networks and their sponsors by refusing to even compete in games where they simply didn’t feel like it. This included wimping out on a possible undefeated season in 2009 and tanking the entire 2011 year in the interests of securing the services of QB Luck.

    6. Ray Ray - Yeah, Ray Lewis was a great player and a surefire Hall of Famer (pending certain longstanding legal complications). He also set the all-time career record for Glory-Hog Jump-on-the-Pile-Late Pad-the-Stats tackles. And, just in case anyone hadn’t already noticed, there’s a fine line between being a charismatic leader and a pompous, self-important windbag. Everyone without press credentials or a Maryaland zip code knows that Ray crossed that line a long time ago.

    After two days of the NFL network prattling on about how truly great Ray is ( poll – greatest Americans of all time 1. Abraham Lincoln 2. Ray Lewis 3. George Washington 4. ….), I’m ready to use a sledge hammer to drive huge spikes into my ears.

    7. Unheralded – Hardly anyone talks about Redskin RB Alfred Morris, who gained over 1600 yards and scored 13 touchdowns. RG III has had a great year, but a dominant running game sure makes life easier. This was a masterful coaching job by Mike Shanahan, even if he does look like everyone’s creepy uncle.

    8. New York, New York - Much to the chagrin of Commissioner Blockhead, no playoffs for the denizens of The Big Alpo. Looks like the Giants missed their wakeup call.

    The jets’ season had all of the artistic merit of a dumpster fire (including the pungent odor). Most notably, gang green somehow managed to turn the devoutly religious and resolutely positive Tim Tebow into a malcontent. As a sociological experiment, the jets should replace Le Grand Rex with St. Tony Dungy. It would take less than a season of everyday exposure to the Mean, The Ugly and The Stupid to turn the sanctimonious Dungy into a crack smoking pimp with a meth lab and a child pornography business on the side.

    9. (Oh!) Tannebaum – Oh how we'll miss Mikey. His manifest incompetence left the jets in the limbo of mediocrity with a buffoon/sexual deviate for a coach, no quarterback, little other appreciable talent, lousy prospects for the draft and their own Fiscal Cliff. For society as a whole, this represents a Humanitarian Success worthy of a Nobel Prize.

    10. Enjoy Wild Card Weekend - The bye is not only great for the Patriots, but also a welcome respite for the local season ticketholders who had attended three home game (two at night) over the last four weeks. Even for the fans, it’s nice to get a week off before the frenzy begins.
  2. RelocatedPatFan

    RelocatedPatFan In the Starting Line-Up

    Zeus, not pulling any punches and throwing a few lightning bolts around too.

    Entertaining read and very neatly presented.
  3. Raymond

    Raymond Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

    No Jersey Selected

    Vince and I.........thought this was delectable.
  4. PatsWickedPissah

    PatsWickedPissah Supporter Supporter

    Disable Jersey

    "The jets’ season had all of the artistic merit of a dumpster fire (including the pungent odor). Most notably, gang green somehow managed to turn the devoutly religious and resolutely positive Tim Tebow into a malcontent. As a sociological experiment, the jets should replace Le Grand Rex with St. Tony Dungy. It would take less than a season of everyday exposure to the Mean, The Ugly and The Stupid to turn the sanctimonious Dungy into a crack smoking pimp with a meth lab and a child pornography business on the side."

    That paragraph alone justifies the building of all those temples to you I saw in the Mediteranian, Oh Mighty One.
  5. Wax Frog

    Wax Frog In the Starting Line-Up

    #87 Jersey

    Pah! He's got nothing on Freyr! ;)
  6. NormZauchin

    NormZauchin Supporter Supporter

    Great post, but I will point out that the 1976 Patriots, led by Steve Grogan, won 11 games in a 14 game season. It projects out to 12 or 13 wins in a 16 game season. After the Brady era squads, my favorite Patriot team. Too bad Ben Dreith short circuited a SuperBowl victory two and a half decades before BB and TB delivered one.
  7. kateean2

    kateean2 Rookie

    Entertaining read and very neatly presented.
  8. SoCal Bong

    SoCal Bong Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job


    The statement is true.

    When is the last time you heard someone "well you have to multiply that stat by 1.143..."?
  9. SacPete1

    SacPete1 On the Game Day Roster

    wow, great post. Please continue.
  10. KontradictioN

    KontradictioN Do you even lift? Supporter

    No Jersey Selected

    I wouldn't say that Shanahan looks like a creepy uncle. He looks more like a weathered, old lesbian.
  11. Zeus

    Zeus Supporter Supporter

    A correction -

    Prior to 2003, the Patriots had six (not five) eleven win seasons. I was working from memory and omitted the 1986 AFC East winners who went 11-5.
  12. The Gr8est

    The Gr8est In the Starting Line-Up

    I disagree with your ranking of Schaub. I would take Luck, RGIII, Wilson, and Kaepernick over him without question, and probably Dalton as well.

    Or maybe we just need a new category. "Trent Dilfer-esque - Capable of winning a Superbowl with an Outstanding Supporting Cast"

    He is the chink in the Texans' armor.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2013
  13. Zeus

    Zeus Supporter Supporter

    Fair enough.

    The point I was trying to make (and didn't say clearly enough) is that half the QBs in the field are first or second year players. That's pretty unusual. Dalton's the only one with any playoff experience (1 game). There's no way to predict how the young guys will react to the pressure of the postsesaon.

    Shaub was the most difficult player to slot because he's 31, has 77 career starts and has played in 113 games over 9 seasons. He has played poorly down the stretch and is clearly at the very bottom of the experienced group.
  14. NormZauchin

    NormZauchin Supporter Supporter

    Let me rephrase my statement. Zeus had said that no Patriot team had exceeded 11 victories in the regular season until the Brady era. While a true statement, it does not take into account games played. The 1976 Patriots had a winning percentage of .7857 which is superior to the .750 percentage of a 12 win season in a 16 game schedule.
  15. Zeus

    Zeus Supporter Supporter

    That 1976 team was the best Patriots' team not coached by Bill Belichick. No way was that RTP (although under the current rule interpretation it would have been).

    I was unable to speak for three solid days after that loss and brooded about it incessantly until the night the ball went through Buckner's legs nearly ten years later.
  16. NormZauchin

    NormZauchin Supporter Supporter

    It's interesting to speculate on what Bill Belichick would have done with two Hall of Famers (John Hannah, Mike Haynes) and the other talent (Russ Francis, Steve Nelson, Sam Cunningham, Julius Adams, Leon Gray, Steve Grogan, etc.) in this or any other era. 2948 yards rushing! Chuck Fairbanks, while a good coach (he brought in the 3-4 defense), is not BB's equal.
  17. SacPete1

    SacPete1 On the Game Day Roster

    It was the game that made me a Patriots fan. 10 years old not knowing much about the NFL (I grew up in Canada), I thought the Patriots got royally screwed and decided to make them my team.
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