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Patriots Get An A.



November 22nd, 2010

This game was an interesting game to see the Patriots development. As the season started, they were clearly not a viable Super Bowl team. However, as the season progressed and no real viable Super team emerged, a hole open for any team who could take it. The Patriots, not only as a young defense, but as a whole team seemed to get a little better each week. And as yucky as it is to say, they even got better a few weeks ago in Cleveland. Where they learned their biggest lesson of all: this week is the most important week of the season, and that that remains true each week or you’ll be saying, “I could-ah been a contender.” This week they showed they have grown into a legitimate Super Bowl contender. Only they had to win this week, and they have to win next week. In a simple twist of fate, if they lose next week, all they have gained is for naught. They need to win, and they need to win by a minimum of 14 points, as the Pats lost to the Jets 28-14. The race between the Pats and the Jets is going to come down to tiebreakers, and the loser loses the all important Playoff Bye week. But that’s a story for next week;-)

The Lions came out throwing. Hill was ranked third in yardage per game for a QB so far this season. Then they ran Maurice Morris for a 1st down. Spikes filled the hole, but the Detroit's O-Line whipped out Warren and allowed Morris Maurice to cut to the outside. On the next run Deaderick and Wilfork stacked the line and gave them nothing, as the D-Line was showing playoff type improvement against the run. An incompletion made it 3rd and 7. A short pass allowed James Sanders to help out Mayo for a Smackdown, and it looked like the back seven and learned a lesson in how to be physical and hit to cause pain. Punt.

Brady came out firing, as the lessons of Super Bowl hopes lies in the passing game. Super reliable Alge Crumpler, who really has been the unsung hero of this offense had a terrific reception for 27 yards. He gave an interesting look, where he motioned sideways to between the RG and RT, which signals the Pats are going to run 90% of the time. Instead, it was  a pass, and he ran between to RG and RT and Dragged to the left sideline where Brady hit him abut 7 yards down field. He turned around and nobody was near him so he was able to chug-a-lugging down field for another 20. If Crumpler isn’t the unsung hero of this offense, then it is BJG-E. He gave the Lions a body shot for 4. An incompletion made it 3rd and 6. And my main man Suh Sacked Brady. And though I love to say, “I told you so,” I told you so. He was the best college football player I ever saw. Punt.

Lions came out with a sweep, but Ninkovich and Warren took on the blockers and Mayo sliced between them for another Mayo Smackdown at the LOS. A swing pass out to Morris looked like it might go for a while, but he was suddenly surrounded and Mayo smacked him down quicker than a dragon can inhale. An incompletion caused them to punt. Edelman had a nice return, and looked like he may have finally learned how to stay healthy on the field.

They come out throwing, but Brady still looked a little over-charged and riffled the ball past two guys who could barely touch it. The amazing Woodhead, well looked a little out of magic as he weaved his way into Brandon McDonald who gave him a Mayo Smackdown. Welker snagged the ball off the turf for a 1st Down, and the Pats were suddenly at the 30. Brady to Welker again to the 11. The Amazing Woodhead couldn't make himself disappear, but pulled two yards out of his hat. Gronkowski had a rumbling bumbling short reception to make it  3rd and 7. Then Welker caught it right at the 1st down marker, and much too the chagrin of everyone at my first family Thanksgiving dinner, except me, they kicked the field goal to take the led on the road. 3-zip Pats.

The Pats came out in an unusual Nickel with four down linemen with Ninkovich putting his hand down at RDE.  Hill thought he had Nate Burleson wide open, but my main man Meriweather came over the top and tipped the ball in a terrific play. Meriweather more than any other player appears to have learned his Super Bowl lessons this year, and he dived over the player to get the ball rather then dive through the player, which was legal before this season. On 2nd and 10 the Pats D-Line gave the Detroit RB nothing, but he was somehow spotted two yards. The Pats same out with only two D-Linemen on the field. They charged up field but Hill was able to squeezed though them and pass the ball for a 1st down. With the Pats still having only two D-Linemen in the game, the Lions came out running. Ron Brace and Warren were well blocked, and Mayo and Guyton weren’t able to get off the two O-Guards who got out on them and Aaron Brown picked up 8. Detroit passed for the 1st down. With three D-Linemen back in the game Brown wgot another big hug from Wilfork at the LOS, but still somehow got 4. Guyton made a nice pass defensed to make it 3rd and 6. Pats got a ton of pressure, and TB-C flushed Hill out of the pocket. However, Hill did a little dance around Mayo for a 1st down. Wilfork hugged Brown at the LOS of scrimmage again, and Mayo came in for his patented Smackdown. Detroit had to run a QB Screen, LOL, but it worked for a 1st down. Then as the 1st Quarter ended Hill throws up the ugliest TD pass I’ve ever seen. He threw the ball about ten-yards short, and all’s Calvin Johnson could was fall down, but the wounded duck somehow reached him as he was laying down in the endzone. Pats-3 Detroit-7, Super Bowl Lessons Learned-5

The ensuing drive started out horribly as my main man Suh burst through the line and took out BJG-E. On 2nd and 13, Brady gets absolutely crushed in the back by Vanden Busch. However, the refs made another bogus call. Mankins tried to cut Corey Williams. however, Williams slipped past him, and he bounced into Vollmer, who was blocking Cliff Avril. He did not engage or block Williams in any way, Williams just happened to bump into his back as he hopped over Mankins. Brady gets blown up from behind again by Vander Bosch in the Endzone, on what looked like the two biggest hits on Brady this season back-to-back. The Pats had set up the screen, but the Amazing Woodhead couldn't make the defense disappear and was upended for a little upside down levitation that only gained five when it looked like he was going to go for awhile. Woodhead showed a little magic as he flashed off a defender and made his helmet disappear, but couldn't make the 1st down. Punt.

Aaron Brown ran a long way around for short 3, as Love blew up the play. Love by the way had a great game. He was blasting O-Linemen off the line all game. However, Calvin Johnson caught a casual 1st down pass. The Pats D-Line continued to get good penetration, but Hill as still able to get the pass off for 8. Then another short pass to Brown made a 1st down, and Lions were suddenly over the Pats 40 again. They tried to run at Wilfork who hugged Brown, and Chung came flying over the top to give him a slamming Mayo Smackdown. Spikes made a shoestring tackle on the FB to prevent a 1st down. Nate Burleson caught a 1st reception and celebrated by grapping his nuts, LOL. Then Maurice Morris burst between Warren and Cunningham for a 1st down run. Detroit was at the ten and looking to score. This time Warren gave the big hug to Maurice Morris at the LOS for a 2-yard gain. Chung had a terrific Pass Defense in the Endzone to make it 3rd down. Then Derrick Williams, caught the ball on a short pass and took off towards the Endzone. Arrington gave him a big hug, but he was able to stretch out and fumble the ball. However, the tip of his tit apparently was out of bounds and the fumble was ruled a non-fumble. On forth and the tip of his tit, Hill barely snuck his way to a 1st down to make 1st and goal at the tip of hit tit. Rob Sims whipped out Love and Wilfork and Best ran it in for a TD. Pats-3 Detroit-14, Super Bowl Lessons learned-5.

The Pats now came out with the season on the line. Had they learned their lesson in Cleveland, and understood the dynamics of the trap game? Had they learned their lesson against the Colts? When they have a chance for the infamous double-halftime-score, they have to take advantage of it.  These two simple lessons could be the two biggest of the season. Brady came out throwing with 5:51 in the half: Gronkowski for four, BJG-E for a terrifically tough 1st down, another tough 4 for BJG-E, and the Pats were looking perfectly efficient. Until, Brady hit Tate right in the hands forty yards down field, but…he…dropped…it... 

The pats had to call Timeout, and the opportunity, the lesson, and the game looked like it was in trouble. However, Detroit being Detroit, with the Pats looking like they were going to do themselves in, went back to their penchant for losing and bailed the Pats out. Alphonso Smith grabbed Woodhead's arm and never let go as they ran for ten yards together, for a far too easy pass interference call. The Mojo learned in the Colts' lesson seemed back as: BJ ran for 5, the Amazing Woodhead looked like he had his magic back as he weaved, cast, and tricked his way for four. A play action pass to Hernandez, and the Pats were over midfield at the two-minute warning. A play action pass left Welker wide open at the 1st down marker. A 5-yard run by BJG-E, and the Pats appeared to have their Mojo back. BJG-E thudded right up the middle and powered his way into the Endzone for an impressively tough touchdown. Pats-10 Detroit-14, SBLL-6

However, the defense still needed to be taught a few lessons, as Detroit came out with less than a minute in the half, and no time to score. However, zip-zip-zip and they were amazingly in field goal range, and the young defense suddenly looked like they were not a Playoff caliber defense. Pats-10 Detroit-17, SBLL-7.

Halftime produced many of he same question. Could this defense continue to get tougher. Would the Brady be able to continue it’s efficiency into the forth quarter?

Brady came out throwing, but they outsmarted themselves with an overrun Flea-Flicker. However, Alphonso Smith pass interferenced on Tate on a Bubble screen, but it wasn’t called. Brady couldn't hit Branch who had broken free behind the defense on a double move. Punt.

The Lions came out looking like they had the game in hand, and Maurice Morris burst behind the RG and RT for a 17-yard run. Enter the Pats big play defense. Rising star McCourty was given the difficult job of covering Calvin Johnson, who burst inside to gain position on McCourty, but McCourty danced around him, and got the inside position. Hill knowing his receiver was 6-5 threw it high, and McCourty leaped up and snagged the ball out of the air for an impressive I-N-T Bay-bee. He came down and was able to hold his balance, and was able to return it to Detroit’s 26.  A BJG-E run and a pass to Welker brought the Pats to the 11-yardline. Then BJG-E followed Mankins into the hole, and grabbed Neal’s but who dragged him for a tough 6 yard run. Enter the miraculous Wes Welker who caught the ball at the 4, and dragged Alphonso Smith into the Endzone to tie the game. Pats-17 Detroit-17, SBLL-8.

Detroit came out running the ball, but a Mayo Smackdown made it 2nd and 9. Wilfork burst up  the middle to almost eat Hill like a turkey, but he was able to flick it out to Jerome Felton for another yard. Love was able to flush Hill out of the pocket, but Hill seems to throw better on the run. He threw a strike to Brandon Pettigrew for a 1st down. Brown ran into another bear hug by Wilfork, who spun him around for a 2 yard gain. Then Calvin made a great reception, leaping over a hapless Arrington to make it 1st and goal from the nine. They tried to run again, but Meriweather came up and cut down Brown like he was a turkey on Wednesday. However, Hill hit Maurice Morris sneaking out of the backfield, to make it 3rd and goal form the 1. They throw a fade to Derrick Williams, but Williams decided to not run the pattern, and it sailed out to seas for an ugly incompletion. However, they ran a Toss play to Maurice Morris who got the corner and the Endzone. Pats-17 Detroit-24, SBLL-8.

Patriots came out running, but Woodhead couldn’t magically disappear and barely made it to the LOS. A Gronkowski Screen made it 3rd and 2. Enter old friend Deion Branch. He pulled a double move on Smith and caught the ball forty yards down field. Then he bopped and weaved and shrugged his was for a spectacular 79-yard TD reception that tied the game. Pats-17 Detroit-17, SBLL-8  The Detroit coaches lost their composer on the sideline, and it was apparent why the Lions were 2 and 8. Their coaches didn’t know how to coach, and instead humiliated Alphonso Smith on the sideline.

The Detroit offense came out with a vengeance and when I looked up Calvin Johnson was running an end around into Patriots territory to make it 1st and ten at the Pats 33. So now was the time to see it the Pats D has learned their lesson and would stop a team in the 4th quarter for the first time. The pass defense a ball to make it 3 rd and 6, and gave Hill nothing. He scramble for a yard or two to set up a shanked field goal, and the Pats D held, just by the hair’s of their chinny-chin-chin.

The Pats looked to make the 3rd quarter disappear, and ran the ball to the Amazing Woodhead, but had an offside. Brady play auctioned to Woodhead, faked a Bubble screen to Welker and then throw a soft pass to a wide open Gronkowski for a rather complicated 26-yard pass that ended the 3rd quarter. The 4th quarter open with another rather complicated play that turn into a block in the back penalty on the Pats, to make it an odd 1st and 13. Brady hit Welker  for 10, as Brady moved past Phil Simms on the all time passing list. Then Branch skirted free inside the ten, and Brady through a perfect pass and hit Branch in full stride as he strolled into the Endzone. Pats-31 Detroit-24, SBLL-9.

Detroit, now down seven in the 4th quarter naturally came out running. Now that the coaches had destroyed their defense mentally, they were looking to destroy the offense mentally. Two runs equaled a 1st down. Then a dropped pass made it 2nd and 10.  A short pass made it 3rd and five. Arrington killed Hill, who came up wobbling and the Refs called Pettigrew for a completely made up pass interference call. On 3rd and 15 Chung leaped in front of Pettigrew, and just by the tip of his tit cause a misreception. A face mask call on the Detroit was starting to show the Patriots were frustrating them to the point of not being able to compete.

This was it, the moment of truth. Would the Pats come out looking to score or run out the clock? Woodhead dashed for 7. However, the refs were looking to make up for their attack on the Detroit offense called a second straight blocking penalty.  On 2nd and 13, Welker got ten. Then it was time for a little magic, as they direct snapped the ball to the Amazing Woodhead, who disappeared behind his blockers and reappeared past the first down marker, and it looked like the Pats offense had learned another lesson, and continued attacking in the 4th quarter. A penalty made it 1st and five, and an end around to Tate who sped around to the edge and across midfield for a terrific 17-yard run. Woodhead slid inside for 3. Then an aerial attack to Gronkowski made it 1st ten at the 16. Then Brady threw a Bubble screen to Welker who caught the ball with no defenders on him? The Lions just lined up with no one on Welker. He just ran straight into the Endzone as the defensive coaching staff of the Lions was disintegrating before our eyes. Pats-38 Detroit-24, SBLL- 11.

So this was it. Had the Pats learned their lessons? Could they stop anybody from scoring in the 4th quarter? If this was a Super Bowl team, even in the year when the team that wins the Super Bowl might be the worst Super Bowl winner ever, they had to start making defensive stands somewhere. Or had all these lessons been for naught? They had just given up 37 points in the past two 4th quarters. Could they stop anybody? Detroit came out with 6:34 on the clock, down two touchdowns, and three timeouts left. However, Detroit was also self-imploding. Pettigrew steps out of bound for a penalty. However, the Patriots didn’t retreat into the onerous, odorous, awful all-out Prevent-A-Victory way too deep zone. They kept their safeties back, but they actual still had defenders defending the first down marker. On 1st and 15 Calvin Johnson made a nice grab along the sideline for 14. On 2nd and 1 Hill dropped back and overthrew Nate Burleson. McCourty was half covering Calvin Johnson, and half dropping back and just staring at the QB. When Hill threw the ball, he sneaked off the Johnson coverage and broke into the passing lane. With the ball flying high over Burleson's head, and over McCourty's head as well, he was able to leap into the sky and grab that gift from Santa. Then he took off again, flying over the middle of the field to the right sideline. Only to cut back, and bopping and weaving his way over to the left sideline. Where he saw a seam to the Endzone and accelerated towards it. He made it around the last offensive player, but was running so fast he could quiet bend around the corner and just ever so slightly slipped out of bounds. The defense made a stand in the 4th quarter, and no matter how cynical a Patriots fan you are, you have to believe they did something important here in Detroit. Pats-38 Detroit-24, SBLL-12.

So with 5:43 left on the clock, the Patriots were looking to finish a game in grand style for the first time in a while. Then the mentally weak Detroit Loins continued their assault on themselves by jumping off sides, and the Refs continued their assault on the integrity of the game by not calling the blatant personal foul on Corey Williams. He jumped off sides and grabbed Brady by the neck and spun him to the ground in with a vicious Horse-collar penalty? After two straight runs to the one-yard line. Brady snuck the ball again, and the mentally weak Lions cheap-shotted him multiple time as he laid on the ground, Levy being the worst as he drove his elbow square into the back of Brady’s neck. The BJG-E calmly took the ball and drove Louis Delmas into the endzone for another Touchdown. A personal foul on the defense seemed to piss mentally weak Lions off rather than the Patriots for some reason? And then on the ensuing extra point they attacked the Patriots like a band of wild animals. I was wrong about the Lions. I thought they were a very good team that got jobbed repeatedly and could easily have been 8 and 2. However, you are what your record says you are! And they are a team that is physically talented, and mentally weak. After watching this performance it is not a surprise that they are 2 and 9. First the coaches fell apart mentally in the 3rd quarter, and then the players fell apart mentally in the 4th quarter. If San Diego isn’t the stupidest team mentally than Detroit is. However, the Patriots learned another lesson by staying calm and not being caught being the second guy in. Three Person Fouls on the self-imploding Lions, and ZERO on the Pats. That may have been the final lesson of the day. Pats-45 Detroit-24, SBLL-14.

Then came the hilarious kick off where the personal fouls brought the ball to the Lions 40. Spare Kicker Guy kicked it though the uprights. Then the Detroit offense came out to prove something, but so did the Pats defense. They threw it short to Brown, who got the best Mayo Smackdown of the season, as he and Chung just smashed him about 3-yards backward, and jolted the ball out of his hands. Then My main man Meriweather leaped up over Bryant Johnson and smacked the ball down, with another nice collision. But Hill hadn’t given up and through the ball to Bryant Johnson for a 1st down. Brady, realizing the importance of this 4th quarter shut out was to this defense was standing up the sideline and cheering his guys on. He was screaming, "Make a play!" Two straight interceptions made it 3rd and 10. But Hill, looking for a little redemption for himself hit Calvin Johnson 20 yards down field. He turned and took it down to the Pats 34 for an impressive 34-yard reception, and the final Super Bowl lesson learned looked in danger, as the Lion had the ball in field goal range with 2:32 left on the clock. However, Guyton got himself a nice coverage Sack, as the Pats secondary blanketed every Detroit Wide receiver. To make it 2nd and 16. However, Hill was a gritty veteran and hit Will Heller short of the 1st. However a personal foul, touching the precious QB’s head was called for a 1st down at the 2 minute warning. Pierre Woods dug himself a Sack on Hill. Then Chung made another Super Bowl defensive play by leaping high in the Endzone to defend a pass. On 3rd and 13 Hill hit Brown coming out of the backfield. He sprint towards the Endzone, but Chung said no! And smacked him down to the turf at the 6-yardline. Hill looked for Bryant Johnson in the corner of the Endzone, but McCourty was there and Johnson dropped the ball, and the Pats shut out  a team in the 4th quarter! Amen. So all's the Pats had to do was kneel the clock out and celebrate a victory. Pats-45 Detroit-24, SBLL-14. Plane leaves for Vegas at 7:00;-)    

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