Being a Boston-based sports blog, how could we not touch on the whole Welker situation? I didn’t want to and put it off because, frankly, I’m indifferent about it. My general essence over this ordeal can be summed up by one word, “meh”. I mean we clearly had this coming. As much as I wanted Wes to stay, this was inevitable after how things have been panning out over the last few years. You can argue that he chokes in the big game situations, but the guy put up crazy numbers for us and left it all on the field. I’m not going to blame him, or the Pats for that matter. The NFL is a business. Belichick, Kraft, and the front office made a business move that they feel made sense to better their business. Granted, letting him go to Denver wasn’t ideal for us in New England, this isn’t the first time the Pats have made risky moves in terms of signing, or not signing, a big player. Also, keep in mind Danny Amendola isn’t some scrub. The guy can play. Oh and in case you forgot, Brady will still be the one throwing the ball to him. I don’t know about you but the way the Patriots have completely dominated over the last decade, and that’s not an opinion, I think I can safely put my trust in Bill and company to make the right offseason moves for the team. There’s always a plan. With that said, will we miss Wes Welker? Of course. You haven’t watched a single Pats game over the last five years if you say different. Just how much though, is the question? Only time will tell.
Tom Brady was fined $10,000 last night after a slide against the Ravens last week that the league called a dirty play. Not that it matters, I’m pretty sure him and Gisele can swing the 10k. Ed Reed said he didn’t mind the play that much because it was in the heat of the game, but Bernard Pollard (one of the dirtiest guys out there) took to the media to complain. He said that if you can call it on the defense, you have to be able to do what’s right and call it on the QB too. Anyways, I like Brady for doing this. It shows that he was pissed off and wanted to do anything to win.
Ignore the voice of the guy in the video, even though it is pretty amusing.
A new story surfaced today about a former Oakland Raiders’ Head Coach. According to multiple players that played for Bill Callahan, he “sabotaged” SuperBowl XXXVII. According to Wide Receiver Tim Brown, who has almost 15,000 yards and 100 Touchdowns in 17 seasons, Coach Callahan changed their game plan right before the SuperBowl. He said that the whole team called it Sabotage. Callahan was brought into the organization by Jon Gruden, and remained good friends with him. Coincidentally, Gruden was the head coach for their opponent in that game, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Brown said that Callahan always seemed fed up with the Raiders’ organization and even walked off the field on them a couple times. Even Jerry Rice, who was on the Raiders during that time at the end of his career said he found it “very unusual” that the coach changed everything at the last minute. The Raiders ended up losing 48-21.
Normally, I’m not much for conspiracy theories but this seems fishy. Jerry Rice said that they practiced running the ball all week, and then on Friday, two days prior to the big game, they changed the plan to pass. They didn’t just throw it a little more, Quarterback Rich Gannon threw the ball over 60 times in that game. Many former players are either taking shots at Brown, or backing up his remarks as the story keeps developing.
Do you think a coach would actually sabotage a SuperBowl win, and his legacy by handing it over to a friend?
Well so much for my prediction of a Denver Broncos vs. Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl. As you probably know by now, both those teams lost this past Saturday and Sunday. The Baltimore Ravens beat the Broncos 38-35 in OT at mile high and the Atlanta Falcons edged their way past Seattle by a score of 30-28 in Hot-lanta. The other two teams to advance were the New England Patriots who defeated Houston 41-28 and the San Francisco 49ers who beat Green Bay 45-31.
With that, here’s a look at the AFC and NFC Championship games, and My New Predictions:
AFC: New England Patriots vs. Baltimore Ravens:
Tom Brady and Joe Flacco meet up in the AFC Championship game for round two of what is sure to be a great grudge match between these two squads. If you find yourself feeling a sense of Deja Vu’ this Sunday, that’s because these two teams met up in last year’s AFC Champ showdown. The Ravens though are hoping this Sunday is anything but a re-run of last year’s finish, which left them a few plays away from reaching Super Bowl XLVI.
Meanwhile, the Pats will be trying to return to the Super Bowl once more to avenge last year’s loss to the New York Giants and capture their first Lombardi Trophy since 2005. The Patriots will also have to try and beat Baltimore without the help of Rob “Gronk” Gronkowski. Gronk suffered an injury to his forearm in last Sunday’s win over Houston and will miss the remainder of the post-season.
My Prediction: Despite missing a big-time weapon like Gronk, I feel as though the Pats can outlast the Ravens in a great showdown between Brady and Flacco. Though on a sad note, it will be tough to watch knowing it could likely be NFL linebacker great Ray Lewis’ last NFL game. Nevertheless, New England wins 24-21 edging Baltimore out again and returning to their second straight Super Bowl.
NFC: Atlanta Falcons vs. San Francisco 49ers:
This matchup will be a slightly different grudge match between these two teams. On one side you have San Francisco who like Baltimore were a few plays away from last years Super Bowl when they lost to the Giants in OT by a field goal. So, like Baltimore, the 49ers will look to avoid the same fate twice against 1st seeded Atlanta.
On the other hand, the Falcons want to prove their the same team who started the season 8-0 and finished the season tied for he NFL’s best record with the Denver Broncos at 13-3. Atlanta will look to avoid another fruitless post-season and return to their first Super Bowl appearance since 1998 (where the Falcons lost the then defending Denver Broncos 34-19).
My Prediction: This game will ultimately come down to one key factor that has been absent throughout this year’s playoffs…DEFENSE. The Falcons arguably sport one of the top QB’s in the league with Matt Ryan behind center. Ryan can light up a scoreboard and uses his weapons on offense like a General on the battlefield.
Meanwhile, the 49ers, have an X-factor at QB…Colin Kaepernick. He put up a stat line against Green Bay that was like something straight out of a Madden game: 444 total yards of offense with 4TDS (2 passing, 2 rushing) that’s 263 passing yards and 181 rushing yards (the most ever by a QB in a playoff game).
With that said, whichever defense can hault the others QB first wins this battle. I give this one to San Fran as Patrick Willis and Co. find away to stop Matt Ryan and the Falcons at home. 49ers win 31-21 as Kaepernick does it again with 276yds passing for 2TDS and 77yds rushing and 1 rushing TD.
Super Bowl XLVII: New England Patriots vs. San Francisco 49ers:
On the games biggest stage two storied franchises collide in a Super Bowl for the ages. In what will be a grueling back and forth battle in the Superdome of New Orleans, I have the Patriots edging out the 49ers 28-24 as the Pats capture their first Super Bowl title since 2005. Tom Brady wins SB MVP.
Final Thoughts: We’ll see how it all plays out this Sunday. Until then, what do you think will happen in the Championship games? Who do you have winning Super Bowl XLVII? Leave a comment.
It’s hard not to write this article without a shit-eating grin on my face. That win last night was just pure satisfaction. As much as I love watching the Pats embarrass the Jets (and the Jets embarrass themselves for that matter), it’s just different when your team can man handle an actual opponent. Houston came into this game with a chip on their shoulder, sitting pretty at 11-1, and boy were they quickly put in their place. You don’t just waltz into Foxborough in December and expect to take down New England. Not in our house.
“Brady could run this offense with Vivian and a baby carriage.” I heard that from 98.5 Sports Hub during halftime and it couldn’t sum up our night any better. I feel bad even touching on the offense because I don’t think I could do it justice. Brady just took complete control of the field. I mean you know it’s a good night when Mallet’s throwing picks halfway through the fourth quarter. On the defensive side, what’s there to complain about? Everyone stepped up, even with Dennard and Talib getting hurt. McCourty had an amazing pick in the endzone and Arrington even managed to break up a few plays, some luckier than others. It’s continuous improvement, although I think Arrington would find it a lot easier to defend the pass if he looked for the ball once in a while. But I can’t complain about last night. There’s just something about taking down the top ranked team in the NFL on a national stage that makes it easy to smile on this Tuesday morning in New England.
So it’s clear that the Pats have some problems on defense. I don’t think there is one fan of football that would say different. Myself, along with every other Patriots fan out there, lost a few days off our lives going down the stretch in Sunday’s game against Buffalo. Although I’ve been ranting and raving about it with the rest of them, I have faith in Bill. In one way or another, unbeknownst to us, he is taking care of it. And it starts this week.
Facing off against a surprising 6-3 Colts team, a lot of people are feeling a bit nervous heading into Sunday’s game. Granted it will be weird playing the Colts without Manning, Andrew Luck has settled nicely into Indy, posing quite the threat to our porous secondary. On the other hand, Indy’s run game is nothing to rave about. With the addition of Talib and the lack of a running threat, I’m thinking our secondary will come out firing. I mean it’s hard to complain about our offense, and nonetheless, Brady has that under control. It leaves that much more emphasis on the D this week. From one of the biggest Pats D critics, I’m expecting big things this week.
I’m not sure if I enjoyed this more as a shot at Tebow or because I loved watching the Steelers lose so I have some sort of defense while Non’s is drooling over the Orioles success. Either way I think everyone knows what that game meant last night. Peyton and the Bronco’s could be trouble down the line. Might not be as easy as last year’s playoff whomping.
The Patriots end their regular season at home on New Years Day this year, and if all goes well they won’t have to play any true away games throughout the playoffs. With a win Sunday the Patriots clinch the top seed in the AFC East and will have a chance to both playoff games leading up to the Super Bowl.
The Bills have looked absolutely terrible in the second half of the season, but did have a pleasant bounce back win against the Tebow led Broncos last week. The Patriots struggled greatly in their previous matchup with the Bills, but I look at that as a fluke. With Fred Jackson on IR and Ryan Fitzpatrick playing like the Fitzpatrick we all got to know in the past this Bills team cannot matchup talent wise with the Patriots and it will show this week. Expect the Pats to come out firing as this game has great playoff implications.
Prediction: Patriots 34 Bills 21
1. Steelers (13-3) – Pittsburgh has one tough game remaining on their schedule and that’s this weekend against the 49ers. I got them winning that one and also beating the Rams and Browns.
2. Patriots (13-3) – I have the Pats winning out against their rather easy remaining schedule, unfortunately they lose the tiebreaker to the Steelers.
3. Texans (12-4) – They luck out and get to play Carolina and Indy the next two weeks, but then have to face the Titans who I think will be fighting for their playoff lives in week 17. I see them losing that one.
4. Denver (10-6) – They lose this week to the Pats but then win out. If that is the case it doesn’t even matter what the Raiders for Chargers do.
5. Ravens (12-4) – They have two reasonably tough matchups remaining with the Chargers and Bengals. I see them losing one of them and getting the Wild Card.
6. Titans (10-6) – This is the sleeper team that I see passing the Jets. I see both the Jets and Titans finishing at 10-6 but the Titans will hold the tiebreaker by having a better conference record.
Left Out: Jets (10-6), Raiders (8-8), Chargers (8-8), Bengals (8-8)
1. Packers (16-0) – They should win out and clinch the 1 seed
2. Saints (13-3) – They have a reasonably easy remaining schedule as long as they can beat the Falcons, which I see happening. They steal the 2 seed from the 49ers.
3. 49ers (12-4) – They have two potential losses when they play this week vs. the Steelers, and when they go to Seattle the following week.
4. Cowboys (10-6) – It will more than likely come down to week 17 and I see them holding it together for a full 60 minutes and beating them. The overall conference record will be the tiebreaker.
5. Falcons (10-6) – I see them along with the Giants and Lions finishing at 10-6. Atlanta beat Detroit so they get the tiebreaker here.
6. Lions (10-6) – They will finish 3-3 in their division, as will the Giants, but it looks like Detroit will have the better conference record.
Left Out: Giants (10-6), Bears (8-8), Seahawks (8-8)
Check back in at the end of the Regular Season and I will have a full NFL Playoff prediction including who will win this years Super Bowl.