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Patriot's Vs The Monday Night Letdown.

 

By TOM

December 9th, 2010

This is another tough game to judge. An NFC team we are unfamiliar with, the weather conditions which seem to change daily, and the Monday Night letdown make this a tough game to call. The Pats have to a letdown after last weeks game, in what even the owner called the most important regular season game in his history. The Pats and the Bears are both looking to own their Conferences, and each needs this win to achieve that goal, though a non-Conference lass would hurt the least. The Bears appear to be the more desperate team. They have a much harder final four with games against the Pats, then they have a Bye week (as they have to go to Minnesota to play the pathetically imploded Vikings), the Jets, and end their season in Green Bay, in what looks like will be the final fight for the NFC Central Crown. 

Oh, and just for the record, the Jets don’t stink. I love how before the Monday Night game the Jets are force onto themselves, and then have one disastrous game and suddenly they suck. I wonder how many people who follow sports have actually played sports? Because if have played sports than you’ve played in games like that. I’ve been on both sides of games like that. Games were you can’t do anything wrong, and your opponent can’t seem to do anything right, and maybe more accurately played in games were you couldn't seem to get it together early, and your opponent starts rolling and suddenly that momentum is bowling right over you. The Pats aren’t as good as they looked on Monday, and Jets are certainly are not as bad. However, that win placed the Pats the top of the AFC hill, and now the all the other kids are trying to knock them down. And, BB showed he is the unequivocal Coach of the Year with his coaching this constantly improving defense, which is the youngest defense in the league or damn close to it.  

The biggest problem the Pats face is that the Bears and Jets share so little in common in how they win and play. The Jets are the big bad brash bullies on defense, and the Bears are a speed-baby-speed defense. The Jets are a team that needs to run, and the Bears are a team that wants to pass. This will be a completely different game then what we saw last week.

The Bears biggest problem is that they built an O-Line to run, and then traded for Cutler who has to throw. This O-line is not so bad when they are moving forward, and not so good when they are moving backwards. The less they throw the better they are, or rather when they can use the run to set up the pass Cutler looks like a genius and not the dumbest QB in the League. Which is a problem for this weekend, as weather is going to significantly hinder the passing game. This is a problem for the Pats. If the Pats can’t pass, you have to believe their running game will not be as effective, while the Bears offense has become effective when Smith forced Mike Martz to start calling running plays. In the past 6 games, when Martz uncharacteristically emphasized the run, Cutler has been on a tear. Throwing 10 TDs, and only 3 INTs. Plus he’s garnered over a 1,000 yards in the air, and the offense has garnered 24 point a game.  

The good news for the Pats D is they they have been significantly tougher against the run in the second half of the season than the first. Their run defense will be tested, and tested hard, viciously, and repeatedly. If the Pats can stop Matt Forte early they should have the advantage. This game looks like another Tight End game, which significantly favors the Pats. Running shorter patterns and blocking for the running backs is going to be the offensive keys to victory for the Pats.

Picking this game is simply ridiculous. We have no idea how the weather is going to affect the game. Does a Bear DB slip and fall down causing a TD, or does a Pats WR slip and fall down causing an INT , or visa versa. Which QB is going to be effected by the wind the most? The wind won’t be as strong as it was in Buffalo last year (LOL), when the ball literally took right turns in the air. Brady has the history of playing in this weather better than any other QB, but Cutler has the stronger arm. Whose defense is going to be affected more? The good news is that snow usually kills speed, and the Bears are more of a speed based defense, and their Wide Receivers are more speed based guys. Both Devin Hester and Johnny Knox were guys who were drafted because of their speed, and not their college acumens. Both have developed into legit NFL receivers, both had big question marks coming out of college. Although, I would not want to try and tackle Hester in the open field in the snow!

In the end, I think you have to favor the Pats as they have the better history winning game in these conditions. If you are looking to pick this game, the game this game most compares to is the Buffalo game from last season, when the weather killed any hope of passing or kicking the ball. This game will be an ugly slug it out affair. I think this favors the Pats, call me crazy? The Bears are a speed team, and the Pats are a physical tough team. However, the Pats are also facing the Monday Night Letdown, and the Bears are at home and need this game more. I hate betting against a home team that needs the victory more than the road team. If the Pats win this game it will be a signature win from the mental perspective. The Pats have to be significantly mentally tougher than the Bears to win this game. I think they are, but you would be fool to put money on this game! The deciding factor could just be some weather related turnover or touchdown that is just impossible to predict. My prediction, take the Pats and cross your fingers;-)

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

patsfanmock12@yahoo.com

 

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