"The so-called “only virgin in the NFL” vs. the All-American Dad/Baby Daddy."
A matchup of “Good vs. Hoodie.”
"Mile High Madness."
Call it whatever you want.
New England Patriots vs. Denver Broncos on Dec. 18 at 4:15 p.m. on CBS (time and channel subject to change depending on how much NBC can flex its muscle with the NFL) is the lone challenge left on a list of trap games. It's clear sailing for the Patriots - until they try to tempt fate against Tebow in three weeks. The 6-5 Broncos are the only team on the Pats' remaining schedule with a record above .500. After his prayers were answered Sunday, Denver is 5-1 since Tebow ascended into his role as starer and team savior. Apart from Tebow Week – the rest of the Patriots regular-season schedule is going to be as regular as it gets through the finale against Buffalo (5-6) at Gillette while we're hung over on Jan 1. Their other opponents are the Colts (0-11), the Redskins (4-7) and the Dolphins (3-8). The 8-3 Pats appear to be on auto-Brady. Each week, there will be something to take away from each Patriots game that might be interesting. LawFirm could rip off a 200-yard effort. Julian Edelman might score on offense, defense and special teams in the same game. Tiquan Underwood may not go Jimmy Hoffa for the rest of the season.
The Pats would have to pull a Red Soxian-sized collapse to lose the AFC East - they have a three-game lead over the super-lucky Jets once you factor in the tie-breaker with just five to play. They share the best record in the conference with Pittsburgh (less that head-to-head tiebreaker), Houston and Baltimore. Just keep the Popeye’s and Bud Light out of the locker room and things should be fine. Whatever happened in the final minutes of that catastrophe to the Giants three weeks ago has been scrubbed from this team’s collective memory.
We might see those bad traits again in the playoffs if they have to face the Steelers. But until then – you can spell “Doomsday Defense” with Phillip Adams, James Ihedigbo, Kyle Arrington, Antwaun Molden and the rest of these no-longer-no-names.
There’s not much to mask what happened on in Sunday’s 38-20 defeathering of the Eagles. Sure, the Eagles led this one 10-0. Well, the Chiefs led the Patriots 3-0 last Monday night after the 1st quarter and we saw how much that meant. Monday, the Pats ran off 34 unanswered points. Sunday, Tom Brady and Friends ripped off a 38-3 run with all six of their scoring drives covering more than 50 yards. Brady was again his old 2007 self, ripping apart a defense that failed to cover all his targets, while running the ball just enough to keep the NFL’s newest “Dream Team” grounded in reality. The Eagles are 4-7. Can you say tailspin?
Next week, it’s Curtis Painter and the Woe-and-11 Indianapolis Geldings. Nothing of substance can happen in the game (barring injuries, of course) unless the Pats somehow manage to get in the way of Jim Irsay and Andrew Luck . No doubt fate, providence and luck will be on the side of Brady and the Pats as they rip into Indy for at least a couple of quarters at home before we see Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett take the reins. The following week it's the Redskins, then Tebow the week after that. The Pats will spend Christmas Eve day at home against Miami.
Brady’s numbers Sunday needed some sort of Olympic-style weighing system. Tom Tom Go was 24 for 34 with 361 yards passing, three TDs and zero interceptions before Hoyer took his first snap of the season with 6:54 left in the game. Vince Young put up 400 yards for the Eagles – about 300 of which were meaningless. Vince, some stats are truly for losers. Brady was flawless and the Pats offensive line gave him enough time to sample cheesesteaks from Pat’s and Geno’s while sitting the pita pocket. He connected with Wes Welker (toasting Philly on a play-action fake for a 41-yard TD) twice and Gronk (24-yard cruise missile on 2d in 19) once on scoring plays. He also laid the wood to Deion Branch on a back-breaking 63-yard catch (about 18 yards in the air and 45 yards on the ground) to set-up Law Firm’s TD run that gave New England the lead for good at 14-10 early in the 2d quarter.
Branch and Welker were spectacular slicing through coverage and finding gaps throughout Philly’s second-rate secondary – Branch caught six passes for 125 yards (about half coming on the aforementioned play) and Welker had eight receptions for 115 yards. Cornerback, expatriate Patriot and all-time Super Bowl XLII goat Asante Samuel was a non-factor – somehow ending up on the other side of the field from the ball or behind it just about all day. Denial by design and talent. It’s not like he had to jump or anything. I think I heard Terrell Owens’ name more often Sunday than Samuel’s. Never mind Ochocinco's.
It was 38-13 after Gronk’s spike and Lincoln Financial Field went belly up. Honest, it was ugly. The “Fire Andy” chants eventually gave way to “Let’s beat the traffic.” One has to wonder which team wins next – the Sixers or the Eagles? The folks in Philadelphia haven’t been this quiet since Clubber Lang upset Rocky Balboa in their first fight and finished off the late, great Mickey Goldmill in the process.
Amazingly, the Patriots have muted three of the toughest, loudest and most unruly crowds in football outside of Oakland in the past month. They left a full house in Foxboro in speechless disbelief after losing to the Giants. They helped 79,088 New Yorkers shut up by body-slamming the Jets. Finally, they silenced Philly Fan and 69,143 of his buddies after they spent most of the 2d half screaming for Andy Reid’s head and multiple chins on a very-large platter. Philly Fan saved some venom for DeSean Jackson, who got booed for two drops in the end zone because he was afraid of the big, bad Pats defense. (Don’t hit me, Jerod)
The Eagles and Patriots have both won the same number of games at Lincoln Financial Field this season. Not even a Jonathan Papelbon Riverdance routine - complete in his new No. 58 Phillies jersey - could have cheered up this bunch. Probably most traumatic for the 2d worst fans in America (Phillies and Eagles took top billing in this GQ article) – not being able to throw up on the person next to you because they went home early.
Things are much happier in Patriot Nation these days and no one shot themselves in the leg in the parking lot at Gillette Stadium this week since the Pats were on the road. Things should remain cheery until the Patriots face some real competition or try to circumvent Divine Intervention.
Don't forget to join our weekly Patriots in-game fan chat Sunday against the Colts. We'll get it started at about 1. 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 email@example.com. And don't forget to follow us on twitter @realOBF. Thanks for reading. Pass the clicker.
The author is solely responsible for the content.