Ladies and gentlemen, the turkey is gone (most of it anyway) and the season has officially begun. I'm happy to report we sit at 1-0. Matt Moore is welcome at my Thanksgiving table any time, as long as it means he stops by Gillette after to serve out a quick W with a side of interceptions.
In a week where Bill is taking a lot of heat for leaving Tommy in the game too long (ridiculous, Tom should never come out except for kneel downs, he doesn't need the negative rushing yards) I have a few other questions for our Emperor.
Firstly, how sure are we with that fake punt call? Lets do a pros and cons. I love that it worked. Going three and out to start the game is ass, and that conversion put the Fins on their heels, which we quickly turned into an opening drive tuddy. I love that other teams will now spend time at practice preparing for our fake punt, even though Bill already ripped that page out of the playbook and burned it. I hate that Nate Ebner is now dead, RIP in peace, but I get that you could never have seen that coming. I hate that this play is now dead. We famously called off a trick play against the Chiefs in 2014 during the regular season, which we then used in the yoffs against Baltimore, saving our season. Part of me couldn't help but feel like this fake punt might have been better utilized elsewhere.
Most importantly though, it seemed reckless. I'm pretty sure we were inside our own 30. If we don't pick that up and Miami scores they have a ton of momentum. This felt like a game where we were going to hang 35 no matter what, regardless of what went down on the opening drive. The benefits were yea we score first right now, when the downside was potentially giving Miami the belief they could win. It felt like that surprise onside kick against the Eagles a few years ago. It was like we were messing around just to do it, because you think you're safe. Like when you're clowning around in the driveway with your little brother and you are taking only hook shots for fun, letting him get to 10 points, knowing you can just turn it on. It's all fun and games until he banks one home beating you 11-9 and you start crying in front of your father like the LOSER that you are.
Secondly, why in the world didn't we challenge that fumble that MY BOY Trey Flowers forced?? The refs were saying they blew the play dead. And I hate those quick whistles. Many a fumble has been erased from the record books because of over eager wind pipes. I'm pretty sure you can't challenge a fumble if the play was blown dead. So at first I thought that was the problem. Then they showed the replay and not only is the ball clearly knocked loose, but also its a full second before the whistle blows. And there was a clear recovery! Trey was already up and running with it before the first whistle blew. I haven't looked this up, but I don't think Bill has a great challenge record this year, and maybe the boys upstairs couldn't get a good look at it before the Fins snapped the ball, but even still this felt like a must throw. Its a first half timeout you're risking, who cares. That's a big play. And Trey must have known it was out. See what he says. I don't know. I was just shocked not to see the reg flag there.
How about DIDI, eh?? The kid goes for over a buck for the first time in his career. In 28 snaps and 15 carries he carves out 112 yards. He was lookin real good. Kind of like Swingers Vince Vaughn, not Old School Vince Vaughn. It's kinda like new school Vince Vaughn. I can't belieeeeeeve I thought he might get cut preseason. I don't know what I was more wrong about, DIDI's value to this team or Gilly's ability to be an NFL running back. DIDI's jump cuts are so good they fake me out. I get up to grab a BL Smooth and then he stops on a dime and it sends me crashing into corner of the fridge. It's humiliating. I start looking over my shoulder to see if Hermione Granger confounded me like I'm Cormac fucking McLaggen.
As good as he played, DIDI's most memorable moment had nothing to do with his feet. Are the refs fucking my dad with that no call on Suh's facemask??? DIDI went nuts. It happened right in front of three different zebras. DIDI blew by Suh and then his head got turned around like an owl. Missed calls are part of the game. Just like bad parking is a part of Stop and Shop. I get it. But missing this call was like parallel parking through four perpendicular spots on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. It can't happen.
Gronk was another guy being his best self out there. The big boy went for 5 for 82 and 2 tuddies. Twinkle Toes almost bobbled the second one out of bounds, which was a dime Tom threw while getting hit. If Gronk had juggled that too long I'm not sure who would have killed him first, me or Tom. That's why Gronk gave the "phew" gesture when he knew he reeled it in. I guess I don't give Pats pass catchers enough credit. It must be hard to focus when you know your life is on the line if you drop one.
I will say though, every time Gronk gets hit I'm positive his season is over. Those god damn seam routes are the worst. I love that fake WR screen, Gronk acts like he is blocking, then blows past a corner for a free 20 yards as much as the next guy. But they are an automatic shot to the knee from the safety and the trailing line backer. I'm not sure it's worth it. I can get my 20 yards another way thank you very much.
I'm going to need 87 to stay healthy because as we all now know Marty Bennett has also taken up residence in our graveyard. Pisses me right off. I know he was banged up. He certainly looked it. But if he only had 30 snaps in him I wish we had rested him til the playoffs. Having him empty his tank in the AFCCG and the Bowl would have been a lot more helpful than getting his services while we gave the Broncos and Raiders swirlies. I declared the Bowl back on once we stole Marty from the Packers. I'm not canceling the bowl yet, but I need Money Mitch back more than ever now.
I can't go too far without addressing the fact that Tom Brady, my lord and savior, has betrayed me by throwing a horrific pick to the horrific Dolphins. Hey Tom, we have a fucking MVP to win. I wanted 300, 3, and 0 on Sunday. I will live with 225, 3, and 0. I appreciate the extra tuddy, but I can NOT tolerate the pick. Kindly never throw another interception again. Also I love you and sorry for lashing out. That's not me that's the cranberry sauce talking. I brought a left over sango for lunch and you know how that jellied berry gets me all hot and bothered. You're the greatest. No more picks. xoxo
Tom was also charged with a lost fumble, which is a comical ruling on the stat sheet, considering the fumble was a snap fired past his ear hole by Ted Karras. I am happy to admit Karras looked more than serviceable last week. I was rattled to not have our starting center who, along with brain injury, ran Bryan Stork out of the league, but Karras handled his business full next man up style. The same can not be said about his performance yesterday.
Everyone will be talking about the snap. It handed the Fins 7 points and made this thing a game. It was about to be 21-0 and a snoozer, but after that play I had to stress drink til the 4th quarter. The crazy thing about the snap was the hot mic was picking up Brady's audibles. I love when that happens. But he was looking at The Chef and screaming "Brandin! Brandin!" He was trying to get DinDin's attention so he could give him a new route. If Cookie can hear Tom, then Karras certainly can. How the FUCK does Teddy think hearing Brandin over and over is the snap count? Psycho decision to snap the ball there. It wasn't just this play either. Karras looked confused and out of position multiple times. He was blown backwards on a few run blocks, and he was not a source of strength in a line that let Tom get plastered to the ground 8 times.
David Andrews needs to get his ass back on the field immediately because I would love to never look at Ted Karras again. What the hell is this illness anyway??? I'm hearing its a stomach thing (like we can afford Andrews losing any weight) but I reject that. Remember when this happened to Jamie Collins? The Pats announced Jamie was sick and then he missed two months. Andrews better have Small Pox if he's going to miss two games. I've had the flu. You take a day off. Eat chicken noodle soup, drink ginger ale, watch The Price Is Right while you fall in and out of fever dreams. Then you wake up the next day, rub some dirt on it, and go about your business. Don't come at me with this "he's sick" bullshit if he's gonna miss two god damn games. Get on the field.
Oh, one more thing about that bad snap. If Tommy ever dives on a ball like that again I will have a heart attack. Or a stroke. Or a panic attack. I don't know which. I'm all about trying to get on the ball but give it a shoulder check for me one time! If you've got time to get on it then go ahead. I understand he's a competitor. But if you have two guys up your ass ready to dislocate your shoulder the second you reach for the ball go ahead and pull up buddy. Hit the breaks and they will fly right by. Maybe they over pursue it. Maybe they scoop and score. Either way, Tom still has his right arm attached, which means the Dolphins are going to lose. They only way they win is by Tom diving on the ball and leaving in a sling.
Big props to the red area offense yesterday. If memory serves it was 5 trips and 5 tuddies. I was a little shook we didn't take the points when it was 28-10 and we were in range, but that's only because we are PATHETIC trying to pick up short yardage when it matters. You need to get that every time. It's not hard. If for god knows what reason we actually can't get it on the ground, then start throwing the ball. But that's beside the point. It was so nice to see us converting in the red area because it lets these games get comfortable. If we even go 3 tuddies 2 FGs in there, this game is way sketchier than it should be. Those 4 point plays separate the good teams from the bad teams, and never more so than in the yoffs. Let's get in the habit now.
Gilmore continues to play great. That pick at the end of the half was massive. That ball went up in the air and I screamed pick!! It was floating. But I've watched enough football to know that those get caught plenty of time. The DB doesn't turn around, can't get his hands up, whatever it is. So to see Gilmore locate the ball, use his body position, and jump in front of that was incredible. That's two weeks in a row that the D has stepped up huge at the end of the first half to take sure points off the board. I can't express how crushing that is for the opposition. You feel like you worked so hard and are going to go to the locker room with thoughts of an upset dancing through your head. Instead you realize life is pointless and you're existence is a blip on the timeline of the universe.
Gilmore's second pick was totally his by the way. Crazy move by Harmon to come over and steal that. I'm not mad at him for getting in the play. Always always err on that side. You don't know if Gilmore is going to bobble it, or even step in front of the pass the way he did. I'm just saying once the two of them were on the ground fighting over the ball like two 30+ year old bridesmaids over the bouquet, you gotta concede the ball to the guy who made the initial play. Gilmore jumps up and cleanly picks that pass before Harmon enters the frame. I heard Duron say after the game that Gilmore told him to take it when they were lying there. Cool, Gilmore is a good dude. But you gotta know that's an empty offer. It's like when I go home for Christmas and my parents and I grab dinner. I reach for my wallet, and I'm not a barbarian, but if one time they actually let me pull out my credit card I would choke on my cheesecake. Take a hint Duron, for Christ's sake.
I want to quickly talk about injuries in general. I was very glad to see Malcom Brown back. He didn't do anything eye popping, but his 26 snaps were more than both Branch and Guy so he hasn't missed a beat. Adam Butler lead the DLine again, which I still find nuts, but the Fins were passing a lot down the stretch. We really need Hoags back. We need Money Mitch. We need Cannon. We need Andrews. Like now. I want to be safe for playoffs, so don't do anything stupid, but come on boys. You've had enough time to rest up. Let's go. These AFC East games suck because they are automatic wins, but I sit there watching through my fingers for 60 minutes praying we come out healthy. This one was brutal. Van Noy hurt, Ebner dead, Reilly dead, Quis Flowers hurt, MY BOY Trey Flowers hurt (can't fucking believe I jinxed this last week), Waddle hurt. The game couldn't get over fast enough.
Trey and Van Noy (<-- shocking) would be big losses considering how much they play on D. Trey was grabbing his chest, and I feared a torn pec, but then I heard its a rib thing. He gave an interview after the game so usually that indicates it's not that bad. Then again, Burk had a "rib thing" and I didn't' see him for a month. I can't lose Trey to the black hole of the Pats injury report. I can't handle it emotionally. It's the holidays. Don't do this to me. I do not want to go to Buffalo with scrubs playing line backer, d end, and o line, so everybody get into the TB12 recovery center immediately.
Count me among the people who was scratching his head when we released Cassius Marsh. I read all the articles, I get it. He wasn't contributing on special teams any more. I've ranted and raved more times than I can count about his inability to set the edge. And we all know you can do your job in New England or you can find a new line of work. But the two draft pick price was pretty steep for someone who seemed to be a steady player in the defense. Well, he's gone and there is Eric Lee wearing his jersey. I'm not saying Eric Lee is a great player by any means, but in 25 snaps in his NFL debut he had 4 tackle, a sack, and set the edge like a boss. Congrats kid, you can stay.
I'd be remiss to not mention Cookie. With the rest of the receiving core very quiet all night, DinDin stayed hot as hell, going for 6 for 83 and a tuddy. I love that little jet sweep "pass" that the Chef takes around the corner before the defense knows what hit them. It gets Tommy a touchdown pass and lets me watch that little guy motor. I've been tough on Cookie all year, but it's because I have big expectations. He still hasn't met them because the season isn't complete, but like any douche father, deep down I'm happy to see him prove me wrong.
We have a brutal three games on the road stretch coming up. I know that sound insane considering we just had Denver and Oakland on the road. But I'm telling you, @Buff, @Mia, @Pitt sucks. We are going to bring half the team to Buffalo, and will need to beat the violet Bills D with our reserve squad. Then we go to Miami where we will play like absolute dog shit for no reason. Then the Pitt game which will decide the one seed.
If we go 2-1 with the loss NOT coming at the hands of Pitt we are fine. But that's worst case scenario. A loss to Pitt, or god forbid 2 losses during this stretch, will drastically change the outlook on our future. Go 3-0 and you put the league on notice. Including the Eagles, who I ain't scared of AT ALL.
Hey Dwayne Allen, nice 38 snaps, 1 catch, and solid run blocking. Fuck me, right?