Taking a Nap Before Week 9; Who are Week 9's Sleepers?
posted at 11/2/2009 3:35 PM EST
Patriot’s fans understand players are catching some R and R during the bye week, resting injuries, pulling groins running to Cumby's from 'thieves?', and hopefully not engaging in too much Boston nightclub activity. Minus the illegal activity, and if Johnny Whilite was really running from thieves or just in a rush to get a 40 oz Bull Ice, we don't really know.
What really matters is New England's week 9 match-up VS. Miami "I talk too much bullcrap" Dolphins. Forget Joey Porter (great job posting two tackles BTW you fat mouth), their inconsistent back-up QB, and their 'wicked awesome' rookie corners. What really won Miami the game is Ted Ginn's record smashing special teams TD's (thanks to Larry Izzo for missing a tackle on one of them), and also Jason Taylor doing something cool again finally, grabbing a fumble recovery and taking it home for 6. When all was said and done, Miami's win happened to be a blessing on New England's part, separating the New York Jets further back from New England in the divisional race.
Miami's defense is junk, the Jets defense has been junk, and I don't really see Miami having much of chance coming close to winning in week 9. I do not see it happening even if Miami were playing at home, where most every year hell seems to erupt through Earth and everything goes fricken haywire, resulting in a lopsided victory for the 'Phins. Miami has recently been known to throw us off with their Wildcat formation (well maybe once in '08), but your out of your god damn mind if you think BB will let that ever happen again. Miami better be prepared for a new Patriot's defense that has the balls week to week that rotates play-making starters, only to ensure they have the perfect fit to smash the offense they are going up against.
Let’s take a look at this anticipated match-up and see who is going to be on the sleeper list for the Patriots while they post another 50+ point game...
With Julian Eddlmen out with a broken arm, and a practically untested Brandon Tate coming in last week, expect Aiken to be the number three receiver. He is either going to have an explosive game or at lease take some heat of Randy Moss, in return have a dynamite game. Aikens size and speed combination has been noticed on special teams, and last week with a 54 yard TD reception (that was a screen pass) on offense, he has shown enough skill and knowledge to make him the perfect candidate.
This might be a quite obvious decision, but it is harder to analyze given the current situation. Defensive tackle Ty Warren has been slowed down by an ankle injury given the rookie 6th rounder Myron Pryor more game time to establish his presence on the defensive line. 2nd round choice Ron Brace has been very slow to start this year seeing little to no time what-so-ever, but his added size to that of Pryor's stockiness might fit better against the Dolphins run game. However, given Pryor's ability to show he can be a force on the D-line makes him the #1 choice at backing up the defensive tackle spot, most-likely rotating with Ty Warren and Mike Wright in different packages.
Don't get all feisty on me yet; I know many Pat's fans have given up on the guy already, but the defensive scheme is pretty nifty out here, especially coming from Oakland’s defense. Many have failed under the Bellichick defense, but I think Burgess (the once great pro-bowl pass-rusher) will see more improvement from week-to-week here on out. If Chad Henne is going to throw the ball instead of whimping out in the Wildcat formation, expect Burgess to be right on top of him.
Other possible sleepers:
Junior Seau - We are going to need our entire inside linebackers to stop Miami's running game. Seau is pretty damn old, but that's just fine, he is going to need to come in when Jerod Mayo is tired, expect over 6 tackles from the over-the-hill monster. He was also part of a few blitz packages last week that proved he can be a threat at pass-rushing as well, making Josh Freeman for the Bucs dump his pants at least two or three times.
Ty Warren - If healthy expect the 6'5'' tackle to be in the face of Miami's Chad Henne's facemask all day, also providing some healthy run-stop off the D-line.
Darius Butler - His progression as an undersized cornerback has been great to watch this year, already posting two INT's his rookie season. Butler had some plays last week that he happened to blow, but expect #28 to see some more game time packaging with Shawn Springs (if active). Butler's missed plays are not something one should worry about too much; his coverage has been extremely tight on almost all of them.
Adalius Thomas - After his healthy inactivation Thomas' size and speed on the outside could help man the pass rush along side Burgess. I expect the outside linebacker to swat a few balls down from Henne, if not; he will most likely be drilling Ricky Williams into Miami's Gatorade container somewhere near their bench.