Tag Archives: patriots

Not a Soccer Blog…Top Eight From The News

Thanks to the absence of the venerable Nick and Austin, I have heard rumors of this blog turning into a “soccer blog.” While I have no problem with that, I thought I would appease all my eager fans with a mixed bag of non-soccer news.

Here are the top eight stories today and my not-so-humble opinion on them.

1. Brett Favre and the J-E-T-S? Who saw this one coming? I don’t think Favre will pull a Namath and win a Super Bowl, but I do think he takes a team that won just four games last season to the playoffs.

I also would like to see the Jets release Chad Pennington already so that the Bears can add him to their stable of unreliable, mediocre quarterbacks. One positive about Pennington: he is much better than Grossman and Orton.

The Patriots are safe on the top of this division for at least another year.

2. In honor of Landy I will delve into the Packers. This was a huge mistake. Plain and simple. ESPN’s Rachel Nicols asked the question that I would like to see answered: “Are the Packers better off with Aaron Rodgers than Brett Favre?”

How can they answer that with a yes? They have never seen Rodger play for a whole season, and while I am sure he will be decent, Favre is a Hall of Famer. There is no comparison. This is a win now league and the Packers just shot themselves in the foot.

3. Because we are The Looper I have to mention something having to do with golf don’t I? How ironic would it be if Sergio Garcia won the PGA Championship this weekend? The man that was expected to challenge Tiger Woods wins his first major with Tiger sidelined with an injury.

But, to tell you the truth, I hope he wins it. I think without the pressure of having to beat Tiger, Garcia will be loose and this could mark a significant turning point in his career if he is able to pull it out. He is just one shot off the lead after most of the field finished the first day and he is one of the top five most talented golfers there so why not?

4. Have you lost count of how many players Georgia has suspended this season already, because I have. They are named the preseason number 1 and immediately their players begin to act like they just won the National Championship.

Let me be the first to say that I don’t think Georgia will finish in the top 20. They obviously don’t have the maturity or leadership, their coach, Mark Richt, doesn’t have the experience to withstand the pressure and while their star running back, Knowshon Moreno, will be a front runner for the Heisman, he is not prepared to lead this team through the heart of an impossible SEC.

5. Can’t you see it now. Kids all over L.A. with dreadlock wigs and wearing number 99 Dodgers jerseys on Halloween as the Dodgers battle deep into the playoffs behind midseason acquisition, Manny Ramirez. So far Manny has hit four home runs in just six games and has energized this team that was struggling mightily to score runs.

I still can’t believe the Red Sox made the trade. I know Jason Bay is good—I have seen him 16 times a year when the Cubs play the Bucs—but he is not Manny. This is a team that is fighting for their playoff life and they traded away their best bat.

If they are able to overcome the Rays and withstand a run from the Yankees and make the playoffs it won’t matter but I don’t know if they will be able to without Manny in their lineup.

6. Sticking with baseball, how can I not mention the Cubs. Just a week and half ago people said they were going to fail as they fell into a tie with Milwaukee. But just five days later the Cubs were the proud owners of a four game sweep of the Brewers and a five game lead in the division.

Since that series the Cubs have continued to roll winning nine of their last 11 games. Meanwhile the Brewers have been winning but have also been fighting—Parra and Fielder’s little shoving match in the dugout the other night—and seem frustrated after not taking advantage of a great opportunity with Chicago in town for four games.

In no way am I writing off the Brewers but I do think they need to pull themselves together the rest of August in order to avoid a catastrophic collapse like we witnessed last season.

7. Why is there football on tonight? It is not that I am not ready for football—it reminds me that fall is coming and that is always a good thing—but it seems so early for people to be hitting each other.

Am I going to watch any of the games tonight? No. Maybe I will turn on the Bears game for five minutes to see Orton beat up by the Chief’s fourth string defense, but otherwise these games are absurd.

These EXHIBITION games are more for the coaches than anyone else and all the hoopla that comes from these games is completely ridiculous. The football writers need to wait until at least Labor Day, please.

8. I guess I will finish up with the Olympics, which begin tomorrow. I am excited to see the summer games. Great athletes competing in the largest competition in the world is always good time.

Highlights for me have to be whether the USA basketball team can actually win gold, Michael Phelps (why did he grow that disgusting ‘stache, by the way?) run for eight golds and how many people asphyxiate do to the poor air quality.

Should be a good time had by all.

So there you have it. Hope you enjoyed and hope that it inspired Nicks and Austins everywhere to come out and write once in a while.

Giants do it all

I still can’t believe it.

I wanted to see the Giants win the Super Bowl but I don’t think I ever gave them a fighting chance against the “unbeatable” Patriots.

After this game I heard a lot of people say that the Pats blew it. It was theirs for the taking and they did something wrong or didn’t do enough.

But that could not be further from the truth. This win goes to the Giants. They won it.

Everywhere from Eli to the defensive line the team stepped up in a huge way and took it right to the undefeated Patriots.

Before the game most were saying that for the Giants to have a chance they would have get to Tom Brady, control the tempo, and most of all, limit mistakes when it mattered most.

The defensive pressure the Giants put on the Patriots was unreal. They hit Brady and the Pats offensive line all night long.

The stats say the Giants had five sacks but they hit Brady over and over and over again. And unlike teams during the regular season who were able to do this for part of the game, NY were unrelenting in coming after the quarterback for 60 minutes.

Tom Brady is an amazing quarterback and will go down as one of the best in history, but not even he can lead a team when he is on his back half the time.

The next thing the Giants had to do was limit mistakes and not turn the ball over.

Eli was credited with one pick, it was really not his fault as much as Steve Smith’s. When it mattered most, at the end of the game, Eli controlled the ball.

The Pats have one of the most explosive offense in NFL history but the Giants controlled the ball for so much of the game (over 19 minutes in the first half including a record 9 minutes in the first quarter) that Brady and the Pats never had the time to blow the scoring open.

Throughout the season the Pats broke teams with a late score and then their cool defense would take advantage of a quarterback who was forcing it and they would seal the victory with a pick. To tell you the truth thats what I thought was going to happen on the last drive.

But instead Eli did what so few quarterbacks can. He lead his team the length of the field for a game winning touchdown against one of the most vaunted defenses in the most important game of his life.

And throughout the whole drive he looked cool, collected and most of all determined.

The determination came through most of all when Eli should have been sacked twice but somehow got free and rifled a ball 30 yards down the field that David Tyree somehow reeled in.

The whole season the Pats made the other team make mistakes and capitalized on those mistakes to win close games (they didn’t have many but showed real resilience in the few that they did).

But in this game the Giants took it right to the Patriots on both the offensive and defensive ends of the field and earned this victory and the distinction of Super Bowl Champions.

Pats will fail

I know I am completely alone on the Looper staff when I say this, but after going 16-0 not only will the Patriots not win the Super Bowl but they will not make it to the big game.

Maybe it is from watching them intently over the second half of the season or just having a gut feeling that good things do not come to bad people (Billy I am talking to you).

Whether it be the Chargers, my personal choice the Jags, or the hated Colts, someone is going to knock these SOBs off their high horse when it matters most.

I will give them the 16-0 (and say congrats. prost. salud. cheers.) but I also know they will be remembered as the team that lost when it really mattered.

Most $$$ (12.4.07)

The Looper’s Most $$$  player of the week:

The Timeout  (Stat line: Used several times in games across the globe)

A past “Get Some!” notable, Nick Licare‘s girl, the Timeout, was pivotal again this week, earning it The Looper’s Most $$$ award for her use and performance in Monday night’s NFL contest between New England and Baltimore.  With the Patriots down by four points and driving in the last two minutes, forced with a 4th and 1 situation in Ravens’ territory, the ball was snapped and the Patriots were stopped behind the line of scrimmage, short of the crucial first down they needed to keep the drive and their undefeated season alive …

But the Ravens called a timeout just nanoseconds prior to the snap, negating the play. The Patriots proceeded to convert the first down, eventually scoring and eeking out a victory in windy Baltimore. For the now 12-0 Patriots, the timeout call was an early holiday gift (think: stockings full of $$$); for the Ravens, well, it looks like a holiday season of monastic self-denial.

Get some! So $$$, the Timeout.

What a concept

For the first time all season –– minus the undefeated showdown with the Colts, one of the league’s top few teams –– the Patriots played a football game where they actually were in serious trouble late in the fourth quarter (And it happened to come on the same day they were crowned AFC East Champs).

Yes they did end up winning, which seems to be a trend thus far this season, but the 24-point favorites had to come up with a fourth quarter drive to come back against the McNabb-less Eagles.

I can’t decide if this is a good thing or not for the NFL.

On one hand it shows that the Pats are human and that it is not set in stone that they will win the Super Bowl and go undefeated. But it might be more of a wake up call to New England than to any other team.

After blowing out the Bills and starting the game against Philly with an early pick six it looked like we were going to have much of the same. Pats’ coach Bill Belichick probably got a good yell in during half time and another after the game.We will see how they respond next week when they travel to Baltimore which is another physical defense like the Eagles.

The credit in this game has got to go to A.J. Feeley and the gutsy Eagles for sticking in there and grinding it out. Stepping up against the undisputed stud of the NFL without your starting QB and putting up the fight they did is impressive.

The Patriots’ D needs to get their business in order because despite picking off Feeley three times (1 for the TD and the two late in the fourth to ice the game) they did allow the Eagles to score 28 points.

Part of me is disappointed that the Eagles couldn’t pull off the upset, but I think overall I am just happy to see a game where New England had to work for the W. Hopefully, with games against the Steelers and Giants remaining on the schedule, we will see more of this from the Pats.

Still Perfect!

As I spent Saturday hiking up Camel’s Hump (for P.E. credit), Saturday night freezing in my tent on top of Camel’s Hump and Sunday morning hopping down Camel’s Hump eager to get home, I had one thing on my mind.

Alright, I’ll admit, I had several –– among them: hot food, a hot shower, my bed –– but first and most pressing on my mind was the looming Patriots-Colts matchup.

Sitting on the couch, glued to the game Sunday afternoon, I was beginning to think my motivation had been for naught.

Phantom pass interference calls … Joseph Addai … yet more penalties … more Joseph Addai … and Tom Brady throwing interceptions?

There were brief interludes of Patriotic beauty, primarily the Randy Moss one-handed grab across the middle of the field –– question: can anyone else in the NFL make that catch, that gracefully? –– but they were far too brief and sparse. How'd he do that?! Randy Moss snagging the ball with one hand during Sunday's game against the Colts.

As the game moved into the final quarter, I was not losing faith –– no, no –– but I would be lying if I didn’t admit that it was reminiscent of the headache I fought off at 10 degrees the night before while trying to fall asleep in my cold, miserable sleeping bag.

The Patriots were losing 20-10 with less than 10 minutes to play, a new sight this season and a far cry from last week’s 52-7 rampage against the Redskins.

It was unnerving, to say the least.

It was only unnerving, though, until the most perfect NFL team in several years returned to form: the take-no-prisoners, leave-no-survivors mentality they had displayed for, oh, the seven games since Spy-gate in week one.

Set up by a couple of great kick returns by Wes Welker and a couple of solid defensive stops, the offense finally got on track and just in the knick of time.

A deep ball to Randy Moss, the Pats’ first significant shot at a big play (over double coverage, no less), led to a Brady-to-Welker touchdown and put the Pats within three, 20-17.

They pulled ahead four minutes later on a Kevin Faulk touchdown catch.

After the requisite spring from the couch, shouting and fist pumping came the swift realization that Peyton Manning could do a lot of damage in four minutes.

Well, as we all know now, that threat didn’t materialize: in beating the Colts 24-20, the Patriots moved to 9-0 on the season.

If the first eight games were played by a newer, meaner, more talented Patriots team, this game was won old school, a team effort marked by timely big plays.

I bet that chip on their collective shoulder is now about as hard and cold as my boots were Sunday morning.

No Mercy

Just, you know, checking up on the Pats this morning on ESPN.com and came across this nugget of beauty. I’ve never seen John Clayton write anything this funny.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/columns/story?columnist=clayton_john&id=3084539

I wish I’d have gotten to saying it first – New England out for firstborns? HA! Thinking about it, yesterday was quite a day: first, the Patriots demolished the Redskins 52-7 – I’ve never seen an NFL score that big, that’s something that’s usually reserved for USC playing some Directional Michigan school – and then the Sox complete their sweep of the Rockies in the World Series. A good night, I’d say.

More to come on the Red Sox mob that stormed Burlington last night…