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A Big Ugly Win By The Big Uglies.

 

By TOM

December 20th, 2010

Did anybody watch the Jets Steelers game? Was that an ugly game to watch or what? Every time either team did anything good it annoyed me. I had to shut it off the 2nd quarter, LOL. The Good: with Pittsburgh losing and the Pats winning the Pats garner all the tie breakers against Pittsburgh . The Bad: is that a loss for the Jets would have all but knocked them out of the Playoffs. How great would it have been to watch the Jets lose three straight? The Ugly: technically if the Jets win out and the Pats don’t, the Jets could still win the division. The Pats still need one win or a Jets loss to lock up Homefield advantage throughout the Playoffs.

This was a big ugly game won by the big uglies. Just for the record, Vince Wilfork was clearly the Player of the Game. He had his best game of the season at a time when they needed him the most. He was truly spectacular when Brace, Wright, Deaderick, and half the D-Line was out with injuries. I just wanted to say that in this game, under these conditions, with these injuries Wilfork had to step up and be great for the Pats to win, and he did. What better compliment can you give to a Player?

The game started out unpredictably with a crazy onside kick, that I missed as I was writing how the game was going to start out predictably with blah-blah-blah happening. Flynn comes out throwing short, which is what he has to do, because he has a weak arm, Greg Jennings for 4. Brandon Jackson garners a 1st down on the next play. Dimitri Nance runs for 4. Jackson then slips off a Wilfork bearhug only to get a Mayo Smackdown. Then the FB flies for a 1st down. Warren and Mayo sniff out the Screen but Jackson still somehow gets 3 yards. The more I watched Brandon Jackson the more he reminded me of BJG-E, and the more he reminded me of BJG-E the more worried I got. Green Bay goes into the shotgun, and Driver makes a terrific catch for a 1st down. And the Pack was suddenly in the Redzone. BJ…I mean Jackson rumbled to the 8-yard line. Enter Some-Guy-Named-Moore who just dashes inside Chad Clifton and sprints unimpeded for another big Sack. The Patriots blitz Guyton and some-Dane-named-Fletcher and both put pressure on Flynn who throws the ball away, for a super important clutch counterpunch as the Packers had really come out and punched the Pats in the face and they were reeling. It force a field goal. 3-Nothing Packers, and it was starting to look like the Pats were not mentally prepared for Green Bay .

The Pats come out looking to soften up the Green Bay's gut a little as BJG-E runs off-tackle for 5. A Welker misreception led to a nice pass to Gronk who grumbles down the field for 30. Then old friend BJ Raji Sacks Brady. On 2nd and 17 Green Bay comes out with 2 D-Linemen, and Brady throws it to Woodson. However, Branch made a terrific catch right at the 1st down marker, and spins his way to a 1st down. Boom! BJG-E follows Mankins through the line, and then burst back to his left for a 33-yard touchdown run, and a much needed clutch counter punch. Pats-7, GB-3. Clutch Counterpunches- 2.

Nance falls down for zip-yards. Then Flynn goes deep to James Jones, but McCourty’s coverage is just perfect. On 3rd and ten big Vince Wilfork powers past both Daryn Colledge and Scott Wells and almost gets Flynn to the ground, but he somehow gets away and throws the ball as some-Dane-named-Fletcher slams him to the ground. Punt. Then another Bushleague call as they claim Jarrett Bush was blocked into Edelman, even though he wasn’t moving at all when Edelman slammed into him? And it should have been a block in the back call or an interference call, it was neither. It was a punt that forced Edelman into Bush not the block by Pats player. Another crap call. We saw that exact play happen to Slater three times, and it was interference every time.  

BJG-E runs to nowhere. And Mathews stunts right into Brady who scrambles away, but has to throw the ball away. Brady makes another clutch throw and hits Hernandez who then runs for a 1st down. The Amazing Woodhead Weeble-wobbles for 6. Then an interesting stat pops up on the screen. Woodhead is averaging 5.2 YPC, 11.2 YPC, for an average of 6.9 yards every time he touches the ball. Woodhead burst behind Seabass and Connolly for a lightning 15 yards. They slipped the ball quickly to Woodhead right up the middle for 2. The Pats come out in the hurry up, but out hurry themselves for a false start, 2nd and 13. A Welker Screen is annihilated by Charles Woodson, 3rd and 13. Brady goes deep to Tate, but he overthrows it a little and Tate had to knock the ball out of Sam Shields hands. 

Jermaine Cunningham Rips around Bryan Bulaga, but Flynn somehow escapes again, and runs to the outside were he falls down in front of Ninkovich for a yard. A Draw to Jackson was set up nicely, but it still only garnered a few yards as the first quarter expired. Then Flynn floats the ball up nicely, and Meriweather pulls a Tebucky Jones and tackles McCourty as Jones floats alone into the Endzone, and it looks like Green Bay had landed another haymaker. GB-10, Pats-7, Clutch Counterpunches- 3.

The drive started off as the disastrous Desmond Bishop just destroys Brady and causes a fumble. However, Brady recovered the ball for a loss of ten. Welker finally beats Woodson for a 7-yard catch. Punt. And it was starting to look like one of those game where lady luck was not on our side. But Rib Ninkovich stunts inside for a nice clutch Sack, 2nd and 17. Then Jordy Nelson makes a huge drop just a few yards short of the 1st down, 3rd and 17. GB makes a terrible call, giving the ball to the FB on 3rd and 17. Punt.

Now it was time for the most mentally tough team in the NFL show the stuff that champions are made of. Green Bay marched into your house and punched the Pats right in the face 5 times, and now was the time to get up off the canvas and start punching back. An end-around to Hernandez runs for a terrific jab of 16-yards, and another clutch play. The Ex-BC great Raji slips between Koppen and Connolly to Smackdown BJG-E for a loss of 4, but a Hold makes it 1st and 20. Time for another clutch play or two by Brady. He riffles the ball low for an amazing clutch throw, into the only spot Hernandez can catch it as Atari Bigby had dived in front of him, and Hernandez is able to scoop it off the turf for 6. A quick outlet to Crumpler made it 3rd and ten. But Brady dropped back into great coverage and had to throw it into the dirt. It was starting to look like the amazing focus that had led them to this position was faltering, and another lesson was to be learned, the only question was would this lesson cost them a game. 

Now was the D’s turn to try and step up and punch GB in the mouth. A first yard run was swarmed over by a sea of blue for a good beginning. Guyton stepped in front of Quarless to knock the ball out. Wilfork leaped offside to give GB a second chance and made it 3rd and 4. Jones beats McCourty for a predictable 1st down. The D stayed tough however, and punished Jackson for 4. Wilfork powered his way into the hole, but Jackson bounced off of Josh Stitton’s butt and tried to bounce outside. However, Cunningham grabbed him for 2-yards. An illegal pick by James Jones broke Jordy Nelson wide open on the sideline for another non-call against the Packers and a 1st down. Flynn threw a soft one to Quarless who gets slammed by McCourty for a roundhouse intimidation hit. But the refs step in and blow another one. As they are conferring on some imaginary penalty they were trying to make up, they decide against it. As Ed Hercules, or whatever his name is announcing that their was no penalty, the other refs decide to illegally watch the stadium screen, and make no mistake about it the refs are explicitly ordered to not watch the stadium screen so they have plausible deniability when they make an obvious mistake that everyone can see on replay occurs. The illegally decided that what they were illegally watching was illegal. And yes folks right as Hercules was announcing that there was no illegalities on the play, his cohorts in crime dropped an illegal flag on the field. Then they illegally gave the Pats a  15-yard penalty, as lady luck spits in our face. McCourty does a great job setting the edge, and Wilfork bounces outside grabs Jackson and slows him down again, and Mayo and Guyton slam him down. Flynn makes another nice throw to Quinn Johnson for a quick 4-yard pick up. However, the Pats refuse to blitz again, and big surprise Flynn has as much time to throw as he had at LSU, and big surprise- 1st down. However, the Pats blitz two and the pass is incomplete. Then the Pats blitz 1 and the pass is incomplete. Flynn flicks it high and McCourty slams Driver out of bounds as he tries to grab it. The Pats rush three and a perfectly executed Screen to that Damn Fullback brings the ball down to the 3-yard line. A pass interference call made it 1st and goal at the 1, and Greg Jennings Slants into the Endzone for a touchdown. GB-17, NEP-7,Clutch Counterpunches-6. 

Then “Clutch” Connolly picks up the Squib Kick and grumbles Straight up field holding the ball like he is Sisyphus carrying the boulder up the hill instead of pushing it. With the earth trembling and the football gods laughing he breaks to the left with blinding speed, or at least the entire Green Bay Special Teams unit suddenly looked blind as Connolly bops and weaves between blind Packers and somehow falls down on the 4-yardline for a clutch 71-yard return, which is the longest return for an offensive linemen in NFL history, for maybe the most super amazing clutch counterpunch of the entire year for the entire NFL, LOL. BJG-E catches the ball at the 2-yard line and it looks like Brady is entering into his previously expected clutch play. The two-minute warning came and it looked like it was time to slam the ball repeatedly into the gut of the Packers. BJG-E for nothing, but it runs over 40 seconds off the clock, as the Pats want a TD and no time left on the clock for the Pack to do anything with the ball after. Then Brady bounces around inside the pocket nervously as he looks left, and then turns to the right and riffles the ball right into the gut of Hernandez to another clutch Touchdown. GB-17, NEP-14, Clutch Counterpunches-8.

Green Bay looks to run out the clock as Deaderick slows him down and Mayo comes in to Smack him down. Jackson then burst through the line and look like he was going somewhere, but a Mayo Smackdown a yard short of the first down marker ended the half.

Well these are the games that make champions. You get punched in the face, lady luck turn against you, and refs won’t call a penalty on your opponent. And, every time the ref confer with each other, they talk each out of a penialty on the Packer, or they talk themselves into calling a penalty, even a previously unseen penalty, on the Patriot. What do you do? How do you react? You have to come out fighting and counterpunching and drag yourself off the mat and fight. Winners are not judge by how many times they get knocked down, but by how many times they get up. They have gotten up off the mat too many times in the first half to waste it now.

Green Bay comes out and starts punching the weary home team in the face, Jackson for 2, Jackson for 12. Jackson for 2, and that Damn Fullback for 6. But for some reason on 3rd and three they throw the ball, and Kyle Arrington Leaps to his left for an I-N-T-Bay-Bee, and somehow runs through 4 tacklers for a startling game changing Pick-six. 21-17 Pats baby!

Enter Vince Wilfork, who shuffles down the line as three guys try and block him, and then simple crushes Dimitri Nance into the turf for another super amazing counterpunch, forcing Flynn to throw. He hits Quarless on a short cross, but Arrington pulls him down just short of the 1st down. On 3rd and 1 the Pats stacking the line, but that Damn Fullback bounces outside for a 1st down. A strange looking half-Screen garnered an ugly 1st down. Flynn throws to Jackson , but Ninkovich makes a terrific open field tackle to stop him short of the 1st down. But the Packers come back to the running game for a 1st down. Jennings makes a nice catch short of the 1st down. Jackson runs way too easily over the line, and it was starting to look like a field goal would be a gift. Flynn floats a ball deep and Arrington should have snagged it, but he tipped it away instead. Wilfork makes a good tackle, but it was by the facemask for another big penalty, as the refs ignore the grabbing of his shirt in the back by the O-Linemen he had just beaten, again. For some reason the Packers O-Line was allowed to grab the backs of Pats shirts when they were beaten all game long, and not one call. Back to Jackson for 5. Pats blitz Cunningham who got to Flynn and forced him to throw it away 3rd and 5. They throw the ball to that Damn Fullback who deeks-out three defenders and leaps into the Endzone for a disastrous TD drive by the Packers. GB-24, NEP-21 GB. Super Amazing clutch plays-3.

The Pats respond with a three and out to give the Packers every bit of momentum their decimated team needed.

Green Bay comes out throwing for a first down as the Pats defense looked like they were blind. Jennings makes a deep catch for another 1st down. They run the ball against the Pats now hapless defense for 1. They run it again for 12, and Green Bay is suddenly in the Redzone looking to score again. They throw the ball to Jennings way back behind the LOS, but McCourty was sitting there waiting for him for a loss of 1. McCourty tackles Jennings again to make it 3rd and 6. Then they somehow let that Damn Fullback bop and weave through their defense again on 3rd down for a first down, and now Green Bay was openly laughing in the Pats face. That Damn Fullback tried to Dive into the Endzone but finally gets slammed down. He gets slammed down again to make 3rd and goal from the 1. They try to throw the ball 3rd down, and despite three holds from behind by three Packer O-Linemen, again, Flynn is allowed to throw the ball away without a flag. 27-21 Packers, and I am sick to my stomach. This game just tested my nerves to their limit.

Brady nervously floats a wounded duck to Welker 17-yards down field and he catches sit and runs for another 18 and a super amazing clutch 35-yard catch. Woodhead appears around to the outside for 7. BJG-E catches the ball right in the middle of the field for a 1st down. BJG-E tries to power it into the Redzone but is stop at the LOS. They try to slip it up the middle to Woodhead but Desmond Bishop tries to decapitate him and nearly succeeds. An incompletion causes a field goal. GB-27, Pats-24, Super Amazing clutch plays- 3.

Green Bay comes out with the lead and still holding the momentum, but rising star Devon McCourty says not in my house, and Sacks Flynn for a four yard loss. Jackson comes out of the backfield covered by Wilfork, who has great coverage for another super amazing clutch play, 3rd and 14 Some-Guy-Named-Moore powers his way through an obvious Hold to flush Flynn out of the pocket, and force a punt.

Champion time. This is another test this young team has to pass in order to be true champions. Winning a game when you really shouldn’t win the game. They have been playing terrible, but they have to keep fighting. Brady swings it out to Woodhead who disappeared from coverage and runs for a 1st down. Woodhead runs straight into the Green Bay line for 7. Woodhead gets the ball again and cuts back for a 1st down. The Pats are running the ball, but are in the no-huddle hurry up. Brady riffles it to Branch as he gets hit for another clutch 1st down. Then the Amazing Woodhead powers for a 1st down. And the Pats are suddenly at the 10-yard line. Then Captain Clutch drops back and zips the ball to Hernandez who powers over a defender and dances into the Endzone a little too cockily for some peoples taste (my wives’), but not mine (that's right a little Patti Smith reference, and if your too young to get to bad for you;-). Pats-31, GB-27, Super Amazing clutch plays- 6.

Jackson then sprints right up the middle for a fast 1st down, and past midfield. Jackson tried to go off tackle, but Chung slams him down for a four yard loss in a huge clutch play that in retrospect ended the drive. Brett Swain catches a ball to make it 3rd an 8, in what has to be two down territory. Flynn’s in the shotgun as the Pats blitz and surprise-surprise Flynn throws it away to high. Punt.

Four-minute-drive time. Brady throws to Welker, who gets jumped on top of by two defenders to cause the misreception. A tipped pass causes a punt, and the Pats fail the four minute drive test. However, they are up 4, and GB needs a TD to win not a FG.

Jackson runs for 5 before he is gang tackled by four defenders. Meriweather intercepts the ball, enter the refs. TB-C pushed the right tackle in the face after he grabbed his helmet with both hands blocking him in the face, as Wilfork is being Held from behind right in front of the refs. But the refs, as usual, only see the Pats infractions and not the Packers. This is easy the worst refereed game of the season. GB runs three straight times to run the clock down to the two minute warning for some reason? As good as Green bays game plan was coming into this game, their head coaching decisions and clock management has been terrible. Everything is going the Pack way, except for the coaching which keeps making mistakes to give the Pats a chance. The Packers come out at the 35-yard line down 4 with 2:00 minutes to go in the game, and run the ball to take more time off the clock. 2nd and 4. Flynn rolls out of the pocket, but a blitzing Dane-named-Fletcher forces him to throw the ball away. Donald Driver catches the ball at the 24-yardline for a first down, with 1:05 to go. Pats blitz Dane Fletcher and Guyton, and Fletcher sprints into Flynn’s legs and flips him to the ground for a super clutch Sack. 2nd and 18 53 second left. They rush three and predictably give up a pass to make it 3rd and 11. Another three man rush for 10-yard reception to make it 4th and 1. Enter the rookie. The offense was lost as Flynn couldn’t get the play from the terrible game day coaches. He drops back, but a blitzing TB-C brings him down to the turf for a victory, and knocks the ball lose as well. And the final Super amazing clutch play of the day is Vince Wilfork dive onto top of the fumbled ball to end the game, and then laying there for a few minutes exhausted. 

This was a great win for the Pats. This is Playoff football. Green Bay came out and out physicaled the Pats and they still won. The fans were overconfident, the media was overconfident, and I was overconfident. The team had played so prettily over the past 2 and half games that we had forgotten how tough a victory in the NFL really was. They needed a nice tough ugly win to remind the old guys and show the young guys what Playoff football really was. In retrospect I really enjoyed this game. During the game my stomach was in knots with nerves, and this was easily the most nerve wracking game of the season for me. Expectations have changed as the team grew, and now we expect to win every game. That is always a dangerous sheet of ice to stand on. But what the hell, we are only one more win away from hosting the Playoffs in Foxboro, and what is better than that;-)

I would like to apologize to Patsfan for my horrible preview and this okay at best review. For you see I'm not that strong (sorry I have Sister Morphine running through my head for some reason?). I have developed on odd ear inner ear infection that has been making me sick for the past couple of months, and finally wiped me out this past week, I finally got to the doctor on Friday, and they gave me super amazing bionic antibiotics, you know, the kind they give to big ugly guys. By Sunday morning I felt better, so naturally I went and played full court basketball for two hours with my buddies. Brilliant! I truly don't regret it as I had a great time playing basketball, but by 2 in the afternoon I was so sick I could get out of the bed and my ear started aching again. The goods news is that the Patriots aren't the only one who learned a lesson on Sunday. I also learned a lesson, "when the doctors put you on bionic antibiotics, DON'T GO AND PLAY BASKETBALL FOR TWO HOURS WITH YOUR BUDDIES!" 'Nuff said.

If you have any questions or comments feel free to email me:

patsfanmock12@yahoo.com

 

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