Posts Tagged ‘Football’

The NFL media has already begun forecasting doom and gloom on Foxboro’s team after New England visited Arrowhead stadium and got flattened 41-14. Brady looked like a senile old man at times in Kansas City throwing a late pass to Edelman when he could have dived for the first down. But that’s splitting hairs in a horrific loss for New England created by their inability to stop Jamaal Charles and their inability to protect their passer. Belichick’s Belichickian insistence on not overpaying for aging talent (and trading 6-time pro-bowler Logan Mankins) seems to have come at the worst time possible as the Patriots offensive line is struggling severely. For all we know, Mankins would have gotten injured just the same or his level of play would be just as poor as the rest of the line’s and New England would be sitting in a similar spot. But the world will never know. The world only knows that New England’s offensive line is definitely struggling without him.

The lack of pass protection only highlights the Patriots’ lack of receiving weapons. Gone are the days when the Patriots had Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez and a spritely Wes Welker to dissect opposing secondaries. In 2014, their top receiving threat is a tie between ever-injured Rob Gronkowski and underwhelming Julian Edelman. Losing to the Chiefs (a strong AFC playoff team) on their turf shouldn’t be too shocking. Chiefs’ head coach Andy Reid and QB Alex Smith have decades of big game experience between them.

Negativity aside, the Patriots weren’t exactly towering football behemoths at the start of 2014. Sure, the signing of Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner look great on paper. But these guys can’t play on the line, and they don’t catch any passes. The Patriots two greatest areas of needs. The Patriots are certainly a capable team, but they can’t force their will on opponents like they used to. They need to play to their strengths. And no one can do that better than salty captain of the ship Bill Belichick.

New England hosts undefeated Cincinnati next Sunday night at home. A win in Foxborough would re-energize the embattled Patriots team, but first they’ll have to earn it.

What happened last time

In last years’ contest, Texas A&M handed Alabama their first and last loss of the season in a 29-24 outcome. Texas A&M won the turnover battle as well as the time of possession battle. McCarron tossed two interceptions and failed to capitalize on their opportunities.

What’s changed

Texas A&M sent five players to the NFL draft this April, including first round pick OT Luke Joeckel, RB Christine Michael, and DE Damontre Moore. Texas A&M retains Heisman trophy winner QB Johnny Manziel.

University of Alabama sent a whopping nine players to the NFL draft, including three first round selections, offensive linemen Eric Fisher and Chance Warmack, and defensive back Dee Milliner. Another notable loss is running back Eddie Lacy now in Green Bay.

What I think will happen

I expect this to be a close, exciting contest just like the last. Johnny Manziel has only gotten better with time, and McCarron showed a very humble outing against Virginia Tech completing less than half of his passes and throwing for only 110 yards.  Alabama clearly leaned heavily on their running game and did not ask McCarron to stretch too much. Manziel is again leading a high scoring offense putting up 50 points or more in their first two contests. For me the tipping point is Texas A&M’s homefield advantage. This combined with the fact that both teams field competent defenses and AJ McCarron, while a smart passer, is no Johnny Manziel. I predict Alabama will again struggle to contain Manziel and the Aggie offense. (I now make my prediction which can later be used as evidence to show that I am the world’s stupidest football fan after Alabama wins in a blowout 62-0.)

Final prediction: Texas A&M over Alabama 31-27.