Patriots cowboy up
In New York for the baseball playoffs this week, but I was able to watch the Patriots-Titans game on tape and came away extremely impressed with the team toughness showed by the Patriots. This game shows beyond a reasonable doubt that we shouldn't factor injuries in whether the Patriots win or lose a game. Until they show me otherwise, they're a team worthy of picking to win every week from here on out.
The game reminded me so much of the their win in '01 against New Orleans which propelled them to a long winning streak and the Super Bowl. The Saints were the most physical team in the league at the time and the Patriots just smacked them around. I think they did the same thing to the Titans last week. I wrote a couple of weeks back that I felt all of the injuries might have a positive effect on this team because players who normally wouldn't play, namely the rookies and younger veterans, have begun to step up and gain valuable playing experience.
Ty Warren got his first start in the 4-3 defense and he played a very physical game. Watching him closely, he won a lot of his one-on-one battles which shows the kid has some grit to him.
Two shocking things: Adam Vinatieri missing gimme field goals and Ty Law playing to the level he's playing with that ankle sprain. Vinatieri's misses are reminiscent of the 1999 season, the final one for Pete Carroll, when he missed a couple of gimme's that led to losses. Carroll probably should have been 10-6 that season. I suppose every few years it happens, and nobody feels worse about it than Vinatieri, who has consistently been one of the best kickers in the game. Law's 65-yard interception for touchdown was painful to watch because you knew his ankle was killing him, but this guy has proven himself over and over again. Hopefully, the Patriots can reach some sort of an agreement on his contract.
Pick: Patriots over the Giants.
For those of you who missed it, the seven lead changes in the Patriots-Titans game were the most in any game, regular or postseason, since 1999. In'99, Oakland beat KC 41-38 in OT in a game with seven lead changes. Three weeks earlier, Carolina trimmed Green Bay 33-31 in a game with eight lead changes. No other game had more than six lead changes in that time span.
The Patriots, Home Depot, and KaBoom as well as town organizations are getting together to build a playground at 8:30 a.m. Oct. 14th. Hope the old hammer doesn't come down on one of the Patriots' players -- oh, say, Tom Brady. He's got enough wrong with him physically, but this is a great project at Payson Road in Foxborough. Continued...