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This and That (Start Me Up)

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Zeus, Sep 5, 2012.

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  1. Zeus

    Zeus PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The lack of real NFL Football over the last 212 days has dulled the senses and deadened the central nervous system. But today, something clicked into place. Adrenal glands and synapses that have been dormant since February are stirring back to life. All because it’s Football Season.

    So, for the foreseeable future (or until February 3rd), we’re Back in Business. This and That world headquarters has been a beehive of activity, feverishly working around the clock for the last 45 minutes or so to bring you one fan’s take on what is happening around the NFL. As those of you who were among the seven or eight regular readers of this feature last year will recall, This and That may or may not appear on a semi-regular basis, whenever I can string together a handful of semi-coherent thoughts (which is a polite way of saying whenever I feel like it). Some of this stuff is even true, most of it I outright made up and the rest is the result of near hallucinatory ruminations of my fevered imagination.


    So here goes …

    1. Quick Quiz: What is the significance of the date December 24, 2000? Answer below.

    2. Not so Fast - How can the addition of Mario Williams make the Bills a contender and yet the loss of the very same Mario Williams not affect the expectations of the Texans as legitimate contenders? Fans and pundits routinely overestimate the impact of a single player (exception: elite QBs). The Bills lost eight of their last nine after a promising 5-2 start. The abysmal finish was due to the mediocre play of QB Ryan Fitzpatrick and the lack of depth needed to withstand the inevitable injuries that every NFL team faces. Unless Fitzpatrick plays more consistently and the Bills have adequately addressed the depth issues, Mario Williams cannot single-handedly make the Buffalo Bills a contender.

    3. Delusions of Grandeur - The jets entered the offseason with an aging defense and significant problems at quarterback, running back, wide receiver and offensive line. To address these pressing needs, the jets traded for The World’s Most Overhyped Athlete and drafted a defensive end who expressed an active disinterest in actually playing during preseason and even now steadfastly remains out of shape. According to the jets’ Coach Ryan, this looks to be the best jets team in recent memory. The Sporting Press loves Coach Ryan because loud, stupid and inept is surely more entertaining than buttoned down and successful.

    4. Delusions of Adequacy - In Miami, the Dolphins may be getting a creeping sense of déjà vu as new head coach Joe Philbin seems eerily intent on reprising the ill-fated Cam Cameron era. Expect to see thousands of Dolphin fans at each home game disguised as empty orange seats.

    5. A New Hope - The Patriots have pushed the restart button on defense. While the influx of young talent brings speed and athleticism, look for this group to struggle a bit early on as a lack of understanding of the system and general inexperience take their toll. The fortunes of the offense will turn on the team’s ability to mold a cohesive offensive line where the retirement of Matt Light, the absence of Brian Waters, the rawness of Nate Solder and the aching back of Sebastian Vollmer add up to a sizable number of question marks. Expect a heavy dose of shotgun draw plays and screen passes to keep the pass rush honest (and because Josh likes them). Two other thoughts: 1) better hope Brandon Lloyd and Brady click (and fast); 2) the offense will miss BJGE more than people think, especially inside the 5 yard line.

    6. Cheap Shot – As usual, a backhanded compliment from Dan Shaughnessy who picks NE to go 16-0 and then lose to the Giants in the Super Bowl. Dan doesn’t really believe for one second that the Patriots will win 16 regular season game but prefers snark to thoughtful commentary.(An aside – last year Dan wrote that Adrian Gonzalez had rubbed people the wrong way in the Red Sox clubhouse because “nobody likes a know-it-all.” Pot … kettle … black …)

    7. The Sultan of Tweet – Irsay Jr.’s bizarre twitter antics provide an unwelcome glimpse into the inner workings of his tortured psyche. The Colt owner’s misplaced sense of entitlement has him insulting his fans while claiming credit for all his team’s successes (“if u don’t like it buy ur own team and try to make the playoffs 9 seasons n a row n put together 7 straight 12 win seasons n a row as Owner!”) I don’t remember seeing any tweets about flushing $21 million down a sewer by signing his nerve damaged quarterback to a huge contract barely weeks after neck operation #3 (but before #4) and subsequently entering the next season with over $30 million of dead money on the cap. Irsay Jr. is a legacy member of the Billionaire Boys Club because his daddy left him the business. Sorry, that doesn’t make him a genius and neither does having teams bad enough to enable drafting Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck.

    8. Gotta love the NFL Injury Report which lists Cowboy TE Jason Witten’s injury as “abdomen” in reference to his lacerated spleen. Hard to discern what some of the other purposefully vague listings might really mean but here is the beginning of what might eventually constitute a user’s guide:

    • Foot (ingrown toenail, turf toe, sprain, fracture, terminal athlete’s foot, dismemberment)
    • Abdomen (pulled groin muscle, abdominal tear, sports hernia, lacerated spleen, liver and/or kidney failure, genitalia severed by angry concubine of Antonio Cromartie)
    • Head (cut self shaving, toothache, decapitation, missing eye, total psychotic breakdown)
    You get the idea. Please feel free to add to the list.

    Quiz answer - On Sunday, December 24, 2000, the New England Patriots lost to the Miami dolphins 27- 24. Since that date, the Patriots have not played a single game where they had already been eliminated from championship competition.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2012
  2. mrscruff

    mrscruff PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #32 Jersey

    You are right that Mario Williams single handedly will not make a huge impact but put him next to Kyle Williams and Marcel Dareus and that is one promising D-line bolstered by a speed rusher like Mark Anderson. And agreed on Ryan Fitzpatrick and their O.

    Concur with your thoughts on the O-line and hope it gels sooner rather than later and that (major) injuries do not throw a spanner in the works.
     
  3. Dingleberry

    Dingleberry On the Game Day Roster

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    Great quiz question!

    I will say that Philbin wasn't done any favors by having Hard Knocks thrust upon him
     
  4. sc293

    sc293 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    As one of your 7 or 8 loyal readers last year - I'm looking forward to more of these this year :rocker:
     
  5. ausbacker

    ausbacker Brady > Manning. PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #51 Jersey

    Zeus, you are without a doubt, the best poster on Patsfans.
     
  6. Rob0729

    Rob0729 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    A few comments:

    - I think the Bills did more to improve than adding Mario Williams. The return of a healthy Fred Jackson and Kyle Williams are huge along with several other injured players. Mark Anderson may show that last year wasn't a fluke or the Pats' scheme. I don't think they will seriously contend for the division, but 9 to 10 wins aren't out the question.

    -The delusion of grandeur has spread to the Jets fans. You read their board and you think everyone picking he Jets to go 8-8 or less and third in the division is some vast media conspiracy to disparage the Jets. Many think a bad year for the Jets this year will be a 10-6 season. The fact that their offense didn't score a TD this preseason until the last quarter of the last game is media creation. They believe that even though everyone plays vanilla on offense, the Jets played extra special vanilla because they didn't show the Wildcat. Like Belichick and McDaniels unleashed how they are going to use all their TEs in the preseason. :rolleyes:

    - Who cares what the Red-Headed Stepchild thinks. He is still bitter that the Pats have taken over as the main sport of this town and he lost his cash cow of writing endless books about "The Curse".

    - Jim Irsay is just a winner of the Genetic Lottery Pool. His father was an arse for stealing the Colts away from Baltimore in the night, but he knew what he is doing. Irsay is just a trust fund kid who got lucky to get Manning and may have gotten lucky again with Luck (no pun intended).

    - I disagree the Pats have pressed the restart button. I think we may be seeing the final results of a three year transformation. The only new pieces on defense are really Jones, Hightower, and Gregory. I think Belichick has been moving towards a more aggressive defense with more 4 man fronts for a while now and he has finally got most of the last pieces to execute it. Unfortunately, when you completely retool the defense, it is usually a several year evolution.
     
  7. Sicilian

    Sicilian Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    I believe their thinking is that the Texans defense was as good as it was last year, despite Williams only playing in 5 games. As a result, they should be the same (or similar) without him, where he will still add value to the Bills. I think that's where the contradiction gets resolved.

    Like you though, I don't think he's going to make that big a difference, and if Mark Anderson has anywhere near the season he had for us I'd be surprised too. He just has that feel of a guy who took advantage of a good situation in a contract year, and will regress now that he's been paid.

    Great write-up by the way. Good stuff!
     
  8. Modest

    Modest Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    [​IMG]
    :D
     
  9. KontradictioN

    KontradictioN Do you even lift? PatsFans.com Supporter

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    No Jersey Selected

    If the Bills can stay healthy throughout the regular season, they should be our primary competition in the AFC East. Their D-Line is talented and their starting secondary is nothing to sneeze at. However, at their preseason game against the Steelers, showed, once they have to put in their reserves, that's where they will falter. Their depth simply is not very good on either side of the ball. Further, Fitzpatrick had a tendency last year to put the ball in the other team's hands down the stretch a bit too often. Their running game should be potent with Spiller and Jackson (again, if they can stay healthy) but their passing game leaves a little to be desired outside of Stevie Johnson. If I were a Bills fan, I'd be praying for the perfect health of my starting unit, because their depth on both sides of the ball is terrible.

    They're going to be terrible, IMO.

    Based on what I've seen, Philbin is a much better coach than Cam Cam. More of a disciplinarian and a better offensive coordinator. Too bad he's getting thrown to the wolves down there. Jeff Ireland is totally incompetent as a talent evaluator. They're tossing Tannehill under the bus immediately, though. Outside of Devone Bess and Reggie Bush, they really don't have anybody for him to throw the ball to. I can see a retardation in his game and overall confidence early on ala Blaine Gabbert last year when the Jags tossed him into the fire without any receivers. The positive for Tannehill as opposed to Gabbert is that the Dolphins have a better O-Line than the Jags do.

    Their defense is complete garbage. Their D-Line can't move anybody off the ball, the LB's are overrated (including Dansby), and their secondary couldn't cover a bed. They'll be lucky if the Texans haven't hung 40 on them by halftime this Sunday.

    The defense should appear to improve almost instantaneously, IMO. They may still struggle, but it won't be as bad as last year at least. Early on last year, they were one of the worst secondaries in all of football. Because of that, they finished as the second worst pass defense of all time. So, in those terms, I don't think the defense will struggle as much as you might think. In Week 1, I think a lot of posters here will be disappointed with Chandler Jones. This is due to the fact that a lot of people are going to be looking for him to constantly terrorize the backfield and make the opposing quarterback's life a living Hell. I don't think this will happen. Like the Eagles preseason game, I expect Jones to play a lot of contain. Locker is a mobile quarterback who is at his best while on the move. Like Tebow and Sanchez last year, I expect our DE's to set the edge, keep him in the pocket, and I expect the secondary to make him come off his first read. In doing that, Locker will be in trouble. I also disagree that BJGE will be missed as much as you hint at. Ridley showed that he was able to both break the big one with elusiveness and speed and that he was able to be a power runner when needed. So long as he doesn't fumble, we shouldn't have a hard time forgetting about the Lawfirm.

    Sounds like he just wanted to stick it to Pats fans.

    Irsay is a clown who enjoyed (a little too much) the relative fame that he got from the Peyton Manning debacle/situation over the last year.
     
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