Tag Archives: Wes Welker

Articifial Turf: Hard to Get Excited About Patriots Against Ravens…

The Texans' cheerleaders have talent, talent.... get it? get it? Cuz they're twins!

Frankly, I’m a little deflated by the Patriots week 17 loss to the Texans, if you’re gonna have Brady playing all four quarters, you may as well have the decency to win the freaking football game. Now the 10-6 AFC East winners host the Baltimore Ravens this Sunday, a team the Pats handed their first loss of the season to in week 4. Wes Welker had 6 catches that day, after missing the two previous games with a twisted knee.

Well... Welker's done for the year.

In the category of best position players not being mentioned as possible MVP candidates, Wes Welker is on top of the list. He has a league leading 123 catches, has gone over 1300 yards receiving, has only played 3/4 of a season and has become the focal point of the Patriots offense. He is currently out for the rest of eternity with a torn MCL and a torn ACL, an injury that occurred in the first half of last Sunday’s game against the Texans. Ouch.

Most unfortunately, it was a non-contact injury caused by one of the worst fields in the NFL that had just hosted a crappy college bowl game between Navy and Missouri. Their field is basically a lot of rectangular plates of grass that can be moved in and out of the Stadium itself, apparently, Belichick had some words about it for WEEI:

Belichick's new T Shirt

“The turf down there is terrible,” Belichick said. “It’s terrible. It’s just inconsistent. It’s all the little trays of grass, and some of them are soft and some of them are firm and they don’t all fit well together, those seams. Some of it feels like a sponge, some of it feels real firm and hard. One step you’re on one, the other step you’re on another. I really think it’s one of the worst fields I’ve seen.”

So there, Houston: Eff You and your crappy field.

Nice guys finish last.

All this being the case, the Patriots now look to the playoffs without their most productive offensive player, only a decent running game, no shut-down corner, no fire-breathing pass rusher, and an all around unexciting chance of winning the big one in Miami, the city where class goes to die.

As far as calling the game, I’m flip-flopping. On one hand, the Ravens have a better running game and a better defense, on the other hand I just can’t bring myself to think Brady and Belichick will lose in the first round of the playoffs.

More to come on the issue.

StartMattCassel, 2008 & 2009 NFL Gambling Champion and Master of Picks

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Artificial Turf: Patriots Feeling Especially Randy

Feeling the love, baby.

One thing was clear when Coach Bill and QB Tom came to the public defense of Randy Moss: We need him. And yesterday, we got him. Moss contributed 3 TD scores on 4 receptions in the Patriots 35-7 romping of the Jax Jags. 13 of Brady’s 23 completions on 26 attempts went to Mr. Welker (who is crushing the league in receptions) and the good guys ran the ball by committee for 197 yards, led by Slammin Sammy Morris with 95 yards and a Six.

So my formula seems to be working: Rush for over 100, score more than 24, and protect the football. (Not a very original formula… but it sure does get the j-o-b done.)

The boys in blue are gearing up for their January run. Last year proved that all you need is a spark to push through the playoffs and the Pats are doing their best Cardinals impersonation as they look ahead. The best part about yesterday’s whoopin was the sideline attitude, they looked loose, and that’s what we need.

A man on a mission.

What we need to remember about Moss, getting back to the ordeal the national media made out of his 2 off-games, is that Randy Moss is only upset by one thing: losing. If you look back at the griping pattern of Randy’s career, it happens when he feels like the team isn’t doing all they can to win ball games… so of course he was a pain in the ass when he played for the Raiders. And frankly, when you compare our prima donna to the rest of the league’s Number 1 wide outs, Randy’s the one we want.

Cry your eyes out, cuz ya suck.

Another thing worth noting about yesterday’s events was the mail-it-in performance the sissy ponies (Colts) put up against the Jets. With no more unbeaten teams in the NFL, it sure does look from my seat like the Peytons had a chance to take a 25 game winning streak into the playoffs and now risk riding a 2 game losing streak and a bye week into January. It is thoroughly beyond my comprehension how you can tell a bunch of paid-professional competitors to just ease up and take lumps.

That's the game face we're lookin for... fa'sho!

So we start looking ahead… the AFC has 5 teams in the 8-7 club and through some incredibly complicated formula… it seems like any one of them may be a guest in Foxboro fo the wild card round. Currently, I’m optimistic, although being a New England fan, that may change 27 seconds from now.

I simply can’t bring myself to believe that the Bill/Brady combo can lose in the 1st round of the playoffs. We beat the Texans next week, we beat our first round opponent in the playoffs, and the poop-talking will begin again. That I can promise you. The Jets are in a win-and-you’re-in situation… and oh boy, I’d love to stuff it down their throats next month.

Go Pats.

StartMattCassel

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Artificial Turf: We were 11-5 last season?

I remeber him having 400 yards and 3 touchdowns per game... At least.

This year’s Patriots team hasn’t quite been the offensive juggernaut I was sortof hoping for… and trading away our best defensive end in return for futures didn’t really elevate the play of our young defense. That being said, Bill’s boys are on top of the division after limping to a 9 and 5 record with 2 games to go… and they aren’t gimmies. No games are gimmies for this team, as evidenced by the boring 17-10 win over the Buffalo Bills.

I just want you to catch the ball... more.

Randy moss had ONE score in 5 catches for 70 yards… and two other attempts that could’ve been huge but weren’t, and Welker was held to a very pedestrian 40 yards on 4 receptions… but there was just no explosion on the offensive side of the ball… nothing that stood out as a factor that other teams need to contend with. This limpalong football has left us wanting more… and all around the league other teams are solidifying their identities…while here in NEW ENGLAND I would be terrified to play the Raiders… or the other left coast team, Whom the Bengals had to matchup against this past weekend on the coattails of a real team tragedy.

By the time I had seen the coverage on Sports Center about Chris Henry, they were reporting that he was in critical condition after falling out of the bed of a pick-up truck following a “domestic dispute” between Henry and his fiance. They reported that Henry was on life support with critical injuries and he was surrounded by his family. Later that morning, when the timeline had been pieced together, I learned he had died earlier, prior to the live reports I saw.

Chris Henry with his family.

In 55 games, the mentally plagued Henry amassed 21 touchdown catches in 55 games over 5 NFL seasons, all with Cinci. He was a long 6foot4 body with good breakaway speed; a constant deep threat. He was also arrested a couple times, bitched in the locker room and was a general pain in the ass for 4 years. (Total wide receiver.)It’s also worth noting that he was falsely accused a couple of times too… Henry was really taken in by a downward spiral and I tend to root for people who fuck up for a little while and then become awesome.

The tragedy in all of this is that it seems from all accounts, player and personnel alike, that he has turned his life around and that was supported by a terrific season, shortened by IR due to broken arm suffered in a win against Baltimore. And of course… the fact that it seemed to be a completely senseless accident. He was 26, like me.

HEYYYYYADOOOIN

And yet the show must go on, which it did in San Diego where the Bengals fell to the Chargers ona game ending drive engineered by the flaming Philip Rivers.

The patriots continue this week by hosting the Jaguars. Its kindof a must win… if only to build momentum.

StartMattCassel

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Artificial Turf: Kicked in the Fantasy Balls, Effing Brady

I suck so super hard.

I felt sorta this deflated after the Super Bowl loss to the Giants. I mean last night wasn’t just some loss, it was a thorough ass kicking from start to finish. Frankly, Brady sucked. He didn’t play McKenzie at all like he should have and he missed several uncovered receivers in favor of double and triple coverage. Not to mention I needed 17 fantasy points for the win from Welker, Moss and Gostowski COMBINED and I came up one 2 short and effing lost. I needed one extra point, unfortunately, the Patriots needed 3 plus the preceeding touchdowns.

Don't fucking touch me asshole.

Immediately in the game I liked the aggressive stance going it for it twice on 4th down in the opening offensive series… but as the game went on nd we continued to make those gambles and need them more and more… it really did feel like the it was a confidence issue with the young defense. Brees and the Saints really lit our asses up and Bush wasn’t even active.

And where was Edelman? If you watched the game you saw him standing on the sidelines in full uniform with his helmet off watching some dbag from the practice squad (#15) take his minutes. He must have done something unforgivable in practice last week.

Take this page here... and turn it into fucking toilet paper.

Bottom line, Brady sucked, the defense sucked, special team coverage sucked and the Saints had the upperhand all night. The Saints and the Colts are 10-0 and are the best teams in football separated by home field advantage and the Vikings with the MVPerforming Favre are a close second/third.

It’s a ridiculously exciting football for the all-around fan, a team that started 0-6 has a playoff chance for christ sake. Essentially, any team with 5 wins can make the playoffs by winning out and the 7-4 Patriots are looking down the stretch to an increasingly important week 17 game against the Texan which isn’t exactly a lay up…

I don’t want to talk about it anymore.

StartMattCassel

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Artificial Preview: Jingle Jangle in The Big Easy

To

For the

Very Simple game plan:

The Patriots will win by one point tonight if they can play Patriot football. Brady will need to extend the field with Moss so that Wes Welker, Kevin Faulk and Lawrence Maroney can be more effective underneath. Given the Saints’ flexible run defense, I think Faulk is going to be a big X factor as the Pats attempt to beat the unbeaten.

The major key to the game is to not let Darren Sharper score a defensive touchdown.

Accomplish that, and we’re looking at a win for the Good Guys.

StartMattCassel

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Artificial Turf: Colts Make Pats Eat Turf, Pride

Just a foot too short. Faulk must not have seen the yellow line.

The game wasn’t lost on the 4th and too short completion to Kevin Faulk as the clock ticked towards the two minute warning last night. Whether or not we broke our televisions shortly thereafter, from a coaching perspective, I stand behind the decision to go for it on that down & scenario and if you didn’t, you’re too thin skinned for the NFL.

The Colts were going to score from wherever on the field they got their last possession, so it was imperative to either keep the ball through the end of the game or work it down for a field goal to make it a 9 point game. We have Tom Brady and they have Peyton Manning. The decision was, keep the game in Tom’s hands, don’t put it in Manning’s. And Tom Brady, with the game on the line, in a must-have 2 yard situation with 5 WRs… I like our odds. The problem with odds… are the long shots. Freaking Faulk who played great up to that point didn’t run far enough, Brady rushed the throw, the press coverage was perfect and we turned the ball over on a non-reviewable play because we were out of time outs, we got a questionable spot and there was just nothing we could do.

Well shit.

And would someone please shadow the coverage on Reggie Wayne!?!? Man I hate Wilhite today.

I would rather be dancing now than then.

If you want to hear about any upside… like Moss’s 179 yard/ 2TD performance, Edelman’s return to the lineup with a score, Welker’s 9 catch / 94 yard day or how rookie tackle Sebastien Vollmer made Dwight Freeney his bitch and held him to straight zeros on the stat sheet, you’re gonna have to wait till later in the week. I would also like to address the fact that Moss, Green-Ellis and Wes Welker have all gone full-pirate. Seriously, look at Moss’s beard, Green-Ellis’s leather scullrag… personally, I think Edelman needs to join in on it. But I’m gonna wait till I’m less pissed at everybody to talk about something funny.

But we're not dancing. We're dejected losers.

The fact is, we won the game, and then effectively made the statement: we aren’t ready for this win. The Colts were. It just kept feeling… even in the first half, alla 2006, like tha game wasn’t over. They were a better team last night. A F you, NBC for when you gave the magazine cover montage of Brady and Manning you used a bunch of gay magazine covers for Brady and a bunch of sports illustrated covers for Manning. (And I mean ‘gay’ like Details Magazine photo spread with your shirt off, not like homosexual). Just so we’re clear, Brady has been on 9 Sports Illustrated Covers. So go Screw, NBC… tryin to make my boy look like a Mary and Peyton The Thumb Manning look like a football star…

The only thing that will make this feel better is pounding the Jets into the ground next weekend. And then by beating the Saints. If we don’t do those two very important things, we risk this game being the defining moment of the season.

Well shit.

StartMattCassel

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Artificial Turf: Patriots Good Across the Pond Too

Interceptions have become a bit of a theme these past few weeks; Darious Butler on display here.

Interceptions have become a bit of a theme these past few weeks; Darious Butler on display here.

First, a couple things about the feasibility of an NFL franchise in London: Overall, I’ll say that I’d rather see a team in Vegas or LA first, but I think the logistics are there for a team in Europe. The travel is comparable to a cross-country flight for most teams and the interest does seem to be there. Additionally, if there is only one team overseas, the novelty of going to the games will continue to sell out the stadium… which every demo game over the past three years already has; this year Wembley sold out in 6 minutes. The downfall is generally personnel related, asking 53 families, plus coaches, staff and front office guys is a big thing to demand. Plus the TV production teams, stadium personnel and game officials. The need for NFL camera & production teams was overtly apparent, given that the audio, visual and actual camera angles were incredibly poor.

The game itself… was fun to watch, even though Brady doubled his interception total on the season (2 INTs), he put 3 in the endzone and completed the longest play of the season to Sam Aiken, which was the best play of the game for a couple reasons: 1- It was Aiken’s first career score, 2- It was a great run after catch, and 3- Brady showed serious vintage quality. With a heavy pass rush being pushed downfield by the O-tackles, as the end became to come around, Brady sensed the pressure from behind, slid forward with great pocket mobility, set his feet and delivered a powerful strike to a small window for the completion.

Brady showing serious pocket pressence.

Brady showing serious pocket pressence.

Brady was great even after a long wait to get in the game, Merriweather took a pick six off the first play of the game and the defense was stifling from then on out. Darius Butler had another interception and Tully Banta-Cain celebrated his reunion with the team by leading the defense with 5 tackles (along with Mayo & McGowan).

I was also encouraged to see Brandon Tate contributing positive return yards and showing some good bursts on an 11-yard end-around run and a great deep route that he didn’t end up connecting on. That Welker guy led all receivers with 100+ yards on 10 receptions and Sebastien Vollmer, the online European-born played on the field, also protected well and drew a great deal of media attention which he handled very well.

If you have some time, I suggest Googling around the London Times to read the British coverage form the British perspective, they loved hosting the game and were a great host City.

The Patriots head into their bye week with a 5-2 record, solid momentum and have reminded the rest of the NFL that they ARE in the elite tier of competitors and they are hungry for football wins.

StartMattCassel

the Pats are ready to Grind.

The Pats are ready to Grind.

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