The Monday after Thanksgiving… Has to be one of the worst Monday’s in the league. We’re all tired, all a little fatter and lazier than we were the week before. Too many of us had a super weird interaction with an old high school friend Wednesday night at the local watering hole. The good news is that yesterday The Patriots went out and shit kicked the crumbling Dolphins. It wasn’t a perfect game, but there’s a lot to be thankful for.
BEST WEEK EVER
I’ve avoiding handing this honor to this man child all season, and I’m well aware that there were more than a couple weeks when it could have gone to him. Gronk was a beast yesterday. I’m notoriously hard on Gronk. He’s without a doubt the greatest TE to ever play the game, and his abilities know no bounds. The injury history wears me down though. I won’t lie that it frustrates me how often Gronk misses time. I know it’s not always his fault, but it’s just such a crushing blow when he winds up on the IR.
This season he has been a hero. His numbers show it as well as his off the ball play, and yesterday was just another example. Gronk’s quickness and ability to get open this season is as good as it’s ever been. The Dolphins tried an arsenal of different matchups for the big man and nothing worked. On Gronk’s first touchdown he was lined up against the big safety, Reshad Jones. Gronk had a quick bump and run and then turned along the goal line to make a phenomenal catch with coverage all over him. Perfect execution of being too strong for a DB. His next tuddy, Miami switched things up and put Kiko Alonso on him. Gronk broke Alonso’s ankles with a quick jab step, and waltzed (bobbled) in for his second score of the day. Perfect execution of him being too fast for a LB.
Gronk is the literal definition of a match up nightmare, and yesterday’s game was a blueprint for it. Another thing that stood out about Gronk was his toughness all game. The Miami Dolphins are quietly one of the dirtiest teams in the league. It was showcased with Bobby McCain trying to Hulk Smash Danny Amendola’s helmet in, but it’s also seen all over the field. Donkey Kong Suh played his usual part of being a world class piece of shit by trying to rip Dion Lewis’s head off via his facemask. (Sweet call refs). The other constant of the game was Kiko Alonso, who could be seen diving at Gronk’s knees after every catch. Alonso is a virus who is an undercover dirt back. He was seemingly trying to injure Gronk all day, but he had to settle for watching Gronk saddle up 2 tuddies and 1 Brandin Cooks and ride them off into the sunset.
WORST WEEK EVER
As sweet as yesterday was, the injury issues for the Pats are starting to get quite gloomy. After watching Ted Karras’s performance yesterday…The night is dark and full of terrors.
The laundry list of injured Patriots is growing. After the miracle that was last year skating by with the fewest players on IR in NFL history, this year seems like death has returned for us, and he is going to get what he’s owed.
David Andrews, Marcus Cannon, Chris Hogan, Eric Rowe, Matthew Slater, and Martellus Bennett were all the latest injuries to the growing list yesterday, and with Nate Ebner seemingly seeing his season come to an end, and Trey Flowers suffering what seemed to be a rib injury, the Pats can’t afford to lose any more players. We were also hashtag blessed to wake up this morning to see that Marty has been placed on the IR with a hamstring and shoulder issue. RIP in peace Marty. We hardly re-knew you.
A huge reason for the Patriots success the past nearly two decades is the ability to plug and play. Guys go down, and the next man steps up. This season we’ve seen people like Jonathan Jones and Johnson Bademosi step up huge in the absence of Rowe. When David Andrews went down with an illness, I was a bit concerned not knowing who we had to fill the center void. Last week we met Ted Karras, a 6’4” 305lb center. Against the Raiders it was almost unnoticeable. Aside from a couple inconsequential missed blocks, Karras seemed to fill the void perfectly. Part of me was wondering if we had an Andrews > Stork situation brewing.
Well let me just say that I was wrong in thinking that, and we desperately need Andrews back. Not the best game for big Ted. Nottttttt the best. Karras looked like a lost puppy yesterday. He was getting snap counts wrong, missing blocks, and getting lost in matchups. The guy looked like the Whomps from Mario 64 wandering around the field.
Obviously the unforgivable moment was the blown snap. Not only did it give the Fins life when they should have been filleted and pan seared at that point…But the worst part was that it lead to a Brady/pass rusher sandwich. I think I speak for all of us when I kindly ask Tom to never EVER put himself in that position again. I know the guy is the ultimate competitor but god damn it did that scare the shit out of me. Tom threw himself at a bouncing ball with two 250lb machines diving after him all because Ted Karras doesn’t know how to count.
I think it’s safe to say that Teddy won’t be having fun at practice this week. I imagine he’s eating his meal in solitary confinement while Bill commissions Ted’s mother to stand outside his cell yelling insults at him.
I don’t know what type of “illness” David Andrews has that’s keeping him out for two straight weeks, but he better be dying of scurvy or AIDS, otherwise this is unacceptable.
(In all seriousness, best wishes to Andrews. Please please get well soon).
**Official David Harris snap count: 126
**Weekly “Is David Harris alive?”: I’m sorry I ever doubted you, David