It was recently discovered that Rob Gronkowski has underwent surgery a few days back for an infection in his arm that he hurt multiple times last season. The good news is that he isn’t expected to miss any extra time and should be reporting to camp with the rest of the Patriots. Hopefully this is true, since we probably would have had a shot at two Superbowls with him healthy. That’s speculating, but still. Gronk has been under the knife three times since getting hurt against the Colts midway through November.
This won’t stop Gronk from being Gronk though, as he was criticized for his craziness at a Las Vegas nightclub a few weeks back. Obviously, Gronk is still young and making the most of his youth, as he deserves to do. It’s gotta be tough for all of us Patriots fans to know that he has yet another injury, but at least it isn’t a major setback…hopefully!
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?
For those of you who love to bet, you’re not alone. Although I am skeptic to bet on the actual outcome of the Super Bowl (due to superstition and my incredibly bad track record with betting), I thought it would be fun to check out some of the other wagers that are out there. Here are a select few that your average bookie probably wouldn’t take:
How long will it take Kelly Clarkson to sing the National Anthem? (o/u 1:34)
Will Kelly Clarkson forget or omit at least one word of the National Anthem? ($10 wins $25)
What color will Madonna’s hair be? (anything other than blonde is $10 for $25)
Will Madonna be wearing fish net stockings at any time during the half-time show?
How many times will Giselle be shown during the game? (o/u .5)
How many times will Tyree’s catch be shown during the game? (o/u 1… this is probably the easiest bet ever)
So would you take any of these? Some of them feel like locks. I’m sure there will be even more absurd ones to come in the next few days.
This is from a few days ago, but I wanted to make sure we got this out there. As I’m sure most know, the Pats had a send off “pep rally” at Gillette the other day before the team left for Indy. At the rally, Tom Brady stated this:
“We have the greatest fans in America. You guys have proved that year in and year out with your support. I wish I could take all you guys to Indy with us. We’re going down there, and we’re going down there for one reason. We’re going to give it our best and hopefully we have a lot more people at our party next weekend.”
Yup, certainly a low blow by one of the best quarterbacks, arguable of all-time. Is anyone surprised that the NY Media tried to spin this on Brady and blow it out of proportion? Not only that, but Gary Myers, writer for New York Daily News tried putting Brady on blast even more so, saying he provided the Giants with bulletin material and comparing his statement to Jerry Jones well planned act of giving his players NFC Championship tickets before the Divisional game a few years back. I think it’s safe to say the Giants are scared. No, petrified. They just have no motivation to win this game, and the New York media knows it. In a pathetic attempt to stir up spirits in New York, the media just gave the Patriots all more of a reason to stomp all over the Giants. Brady’s been there before, he knows the routine. He’s never been one to stir up controversy in the media prior to a big game. Never. New York on the other hand? Jeeze, where do I begin?
Indy is all about the “Fan First” mentality this year while they are hosting the Super Bowl. Last year, when Dallas hosted, there were over 1200 seats that were said to be “unsafe” causing many Steelers and Packers fans to stand to watch the game. Obviously, many fans wanted reimbursement from both the Cowboys and the NFL in general. This year, they are trying to avoid that. Indianapolis is primarily a pretty friendly place, as I am told.
Not to mention it snowed, and since they weren’t ready for it, it made it very difficult to travel to and from events around the Texas area. At least in Indy, if it does snow most bars, hotels, and events are within walking distance. So far, Indy is doing everything the right way. They even brought in people that work for Disney cruise lines and events to show the workers at Lucas Oil Stadium how to maximize the visitors’ experience. So, assuming that the Pats can hold on and crush the Giants, it should be a pretty great weekend for all of those who attend.
With the hype of the Super Bowl surrounding us, Sports Illustrated has just issued their Super Bowl magazine this week featuring Tom Brady on the cover. This is Brady’s 15th time on the cover so most Pats fans are just going to use that as another arguing point as to how much better Brady is than Eli, which obviously is a closed discussion. On the other hand, those who pay attention to detail, or even the superstitious readers already know what I’m getting at.
I’ll put it simple. Brady was on the same cover in 2008 for the Super Bowl preview against the Giants. A few months later, Brady was on the cover of another SI issue, just a week before he tore his ACL and MCL in September 2008 against the Chiefs. In regards to the superstitious, I apologize for even posting this, but it had to be said. On the bright side, there were 12 other times he was on the cover and everything was fine. If there’s one guy that doesn’t get fazed by this kind of superstition and hype, it’s Brady. I still have faith. No magazine cover jinx is going to stop Tom from joining the prestigious four ring club. Not on his watch.
Today we will take a look at the linebacker comparison between the Giants and the Patriots.
The Giants linebacker presence often times goes unnoticed. This isn’t because they aren’t good, or they don’t get their job done. It’s because of their QB hungry defensive line. Giants linebackers aren’t on the field to be pass rushers like many other teams use their linebackers. The linebacking crew consists of Michael Boley, Mathias Kiwanuka, Jacquian Williams, Greg Jones, and Chase Blackburn. Boley and Kiwanuka are both above average linebackers, with great speed. The others are mere average defenders. Often times you will see Kiwanuka line up at the end position when they are in passing downs. Overall the linebacking group is average at best, and Perry Fewell does a great job making sure they don’t get exposed.
Overall Grade: C
Like the Giants, the Patriots have a seamlessly never ending linebacker rotation. Brandon Spikes coming back from injury was huge for their run defense, and it showed last week when the Pats basically shut down the most explosive part of the Ravens offense. Jerod Mayo is a top tier middle linebacker, and Rob Ninkovich has been improving all year and is showing he can be solid NFL talent and consistently put pressure on the opponent’s quarterback. Overall the Patriots linebacking crew is very solid when healthy, and that’s how it is right now.
Okay so from today until next Friday before the Super Bowl I will analyze the Patriots vs Giants matchup position by position. Today I am going to begin with the Secondary.
We’ll start with the Giants. Their secondary has been one of the worst in all of football, and the fact that it has been that bad with the pass rush they have is pretty pathetic. Opponents’ quarterbacks are always under pressure and they still allowed 28 TD passes and over 4000 yards. If the Giants were up 20 points in most games this year and opposing QB’s were forced into situations where they had to throw the ball this stat would be somewhat inflated. That’s not the case. The lone bright spot of their secondary is that they ranked 6th in the league with 20 interceptions. If the Patriots O-Line are able to keep Brady on his feet, expect some serious numbers to be put up on this defense.
Overall grade: D+
The Patriots’ secondary has been in shambles all season. The move to switch McCourty to safety was a great one in my opinion. The Patriots’ secondary allowed over 4700 passing yards this season and allowed 26 touchdowns against, both ranking amongst the worst in the NFL. Like the Giants; the Pats also ranked amongst the best in the NFL with 23 interceptions. The Patriots secondary has been slowly improving and the pieces seem to be falling into place. They are going to be tested early and often against this confident Giant offense, and their performance may be the deciding factor in this game.
Tomorrow, our AFC East champs are set for a Christmas Eve matchup in Foxboro against the Miami Dolphins. AFC champions is a great start, but let’s be honest…it’s just a start and in fact, doesn’t mean a whole lot in the bigger picture. Winning out and securing the top seed in the AFC is what the Pats are looking to accomplish. This would set the stage for home field advantage throughout the playoffs, a much more advantageous accommodation than simply winning the division. Although the Pats are 6-2 on the road this year, they need to look past that and at what they could potentially face. Both the Steelers and the Ravens have proved their dominance at home, as opposed to their road schedules. The Steelers are 6-1 at home, 4-3 on the road, while the Ravens are 7-0 at home this year, and 3-4 on the road. The Pats need to come into the final two games of the regular season as if they’re fighting for a playoff spot. No longer does it mean putting in backups and giving Brady a rest. They need to take the Dolphins seriously, as the team has won 5 of their last 7 after a less than dismal start. If the Pats leave it all on the field tomorrow and again New Year’s Day against a struggling Buffalo, they should be well off on their journey to Super Bowl XLVI.