Halloween film festival or Patriots defense?
The most brutal horror movie of the season aired on CBS Sunday afternoon. All the fears about the defense were laid bare by Big Ben and the Steelers. And this after a bye week. The only player on the Patriots to contribute consistently in the loss at Pittsburgh was same the guy who got his picture tweeted with a porn star. No doubt Rob Gronkowski found his inspiration during the bye. Gronk is on to something. The Pats need to follow his lead. The Hoodie should ask Jesse Jane and Jenna Jameson to date the entire defensive line.
Boo. Or more like "boooooooooo." 25-17 Steelers. This flick was rated "T" for terrible.
There were no treats or tricks. Nothing Darth Belichick tried worked. His helmet is dented. So Leigh Bodden was the problem? It got so bad Bodden cut the Patriots on Sunday. Saw the promo for the next "Survivor" episode. "This week, the secondary gets voted off the Razor." The skeptics were right. 5-1 was a funhouse mirror image. Phillip Adams? Morticia is listed as "probable" for the Giants game. (Yes, she's an Addams.) Let's try Uncle Fester at safety. Belichick questioned his players' execution afterward. But how about his execution in getting those players? We've ripped Theo several new ones - but at least he knew how to draft. Belichick buys the groceries - right out of the day-old bin. "Stale defensive linemen - 50% off." "Spoiled Wide Receivers - Buy One, Get Profane Tweets For Free."
BTW, Ocho had the same number of catches Sunday as Terrell Owens, Randy Moss and Randy Vataha combined.
If the Pats' slide into AFC mediocrity doesn't scare you - try this. Since Sept. 1 - the Bruins and Red Sox are a combined 10-27. The Celtics are going to be winless for a while. Only the Stanley Cup has kept the Boston Sports Empire from going the route of the Soviet Union.
When did Heinz Field become a haunted house? We heard again and again how Belichick warned Phil and Jim about the Pats playing sloppy after the bye week. Yet it still happened. Is this like the weather - we know the storm is coming but we're powerless to stop it? Rip on Brady and the offense, but they only had three plays before the Pats were down 10-0. Don't want to sound like an apologist for a guy who threw for just 198 yards and two TDs, but Brady didn't give up 29 first downs. Time of possession: 39:22 to 20:38. They would have saved valuable minutes had the Hoodie thrown the red flag on Gronk's touchdown/non-touchdown. CBS bears some of the blame there. There was no conclusive evidence and the network didn't show a decent replay until after the following play. All of that and and they were still in it before the first ridiculous onside kick. The best way to stop Brady is still to keep him off the field.
There's no angst-riddled historic baggage when it comes to Pats vs. Steelers. This is rivalry is barely past adolescence. Lynn Swann never homered off Steve Grogan in a playoff game. The Pats didn't sell Terry Bradshaw to the Steelers to finance Michael Jackson's "Victory" tour. The deep-seated demented hatred that comes with Yankees, Canadiens, Lakers or Jets just isn't there. It's intense, just not ancient. Today's pain is in the present. But it's still 6-2 Brady.
Even after going 36-for-50, Big Ben is still battling Rex Ryan for top jerk in the NFL. Gotta believe the folks at Disney World had to relieved when Big Ben didn't win the Super Bowl last season. Snow White was waiting for him with can of Mace. Hate him. Always have - always will.
For decades, nothing was expected from the Patriots. And they rarely disappointed. Their biggest rivals were usually themselves. We saw flashes of that on Sunday. The Steelers were once a distant superpower. You didn't root for them, but they were the only thing that stood between the Cowboys and world domination. Meanwhile, New England was the NFL's version of Moronica - run by Moe, Larry and Billy. To say the Steelers and Pats were rivals before Bill Parcells came along is like saying that J'Lo and Roseanne are both hot because they are on TV.
Now it's the Giants' turn. Speaking of Parcells. Until Super Bowl XLII we despised the Giants just because they were from New York. Once upon a time the Pats were the new kids on the block around New England. Ask any Baby Boomer who grew up rooting for the Pats if they watched them on TV each Sunday as a kid. Trick question. The answer is: "no." Why? Most home games weren't televised back in the day because they weren't sold out.
The Giants, on the other hand, were on every week just like M*A*S*H. Watching the Pats play each week on TV as a kid is just another plum of being born after the internet. Hard to believe the Pats and Steelers didn't even meet in the playoffs until the AFC Divisional playoff game in 1997 (won by the Pats 28-3). One thing is for sure - if they meet again this year the game will probably be in Pittsburgh.
- Speaking of demons: The 1986 Red Sox can finally rest in peace. Their permanent impact on our lives was negated in 2004 and now they'll no longer be atop the list of all-time-World Series chokes. Thank you Nelson Cruz, Ron Washington and the entire Texas bullpen. The owners of the Red Sox and Patriots both dabble in soccer, dominated the last decade and neither one of their teams has won a playoff game in three years. But that's where the similarities end. Here's the best and latest example:
Five members of the Red Sox pitching staff (John Lackey, Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz and Tim Wakefield) appear in their uniforms throughout Kevin Fowler's "Hell Yeah I Like Beer" video. Their cameos were shot at Fenway Park last spring and video was posted on You Tube in July. All hell breaks loose after the season. But The Monopoly Guy tells Dennis and Callahan he was unaware of the video until it was brought to his attention after the Fall of the Green Monster. This mess will surely resurface next spring in Fort Myers.
Fast forward to the Patriots' bye week. Gronkowski enjoys some down time with some pals in Arizona and ends up in shirtless in a photo posted on twitter last Saturday night by adult film star Bibi Jones. She details the PG-rated encounter on Toucher and Rich last Monday morning. By Wednesday, at his first media availability, a repentant Gronk says he's already met with the Kraft family and apologizes for the "simple picture" with his tail between his legs and her tail nowhere in sight. Case closed. Gronk goes out Sunday and almost single-handedly keeps the Pats in it. Maybe Brady ought to switch back to - ahem - actresses.
Don't forget to join us right here for our weekly Patriots in-game fan chat Sunday against the Giants. We'll get it started at 4 p.m. As always, let us know what you think. Post your thoughts here, on our Obnoxious Boston Fan Facebook page or e-mail them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. And don't forget to follow us on twitter @realOBF. Thanks for reading. Pass the clicker.
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