Never a dull week with the New England Patriots. When it seemed like there could be no absurd headlines in a week leading up to a game against the Jags, we were gifted with the saga of Tom Brady’s thumb. When game time arrived, and Brady was throwing darts in warm ups, we were “gifted” with a nail biting game against a Jags team that played like absolute warriors.
I always have to remind myself with this team that patience is indeed a virtue. Let McDaniels and Patricia take a quarter or two to assess their opponent and make adjustments. Let Tom settle into his grove. Let the opposing pass rush tire themselves out, and then we attack. Even when I know the best thing to do is relax and trust this team, sometimes it feels as difficult as folding a fitted sheet.
This one got tough at times. The Jags defense came as advertised, if not better, and that was made infinitely more frustrating when Blake Bortles was throwing completions at a 90% clip and making no mistakes. After the coveted “bag o’ tricks” play that got all of New England on their feet, followed by the Didi fumble that brought all of New England to their knees, I felt the first genuine wave of “oh shit.” That truly felt like the moment that tells you that the universe wants something that you don’t.
In the end, the Patriots did what they do best. They out smarted their opponents. As the game ticked on, the Patriots players and coaching staff knew what to do, when the Jags players and coaching staff did not. There were early signs of unpreparedness from Jacksonville. Like kneeling out the clock with 55 seconds left and 2 timeouts. That was the most shocking thing I’ve seen in a football game perhaps in my entire life. The crucial error however came as the game was coming to a close, and the Jags tried to “not lose” instead of just play football. That’s where the Pats will kill you, and that’s exactly what they did.
Credit where credit is due however, that Jags team is filled with a bunch of awesome guys who played one hell of a game. The speed of their defense completely stifled the Pats offensive game plan and forced McDaniels to rethink his strategy. Bortles stepped up HUGE in the biggest game of his life, and Fornette rumbled as he does. That entire team has my respect, with the exception of Barry Church who is a cheap shotting pile of shit who should be suspended for no less than 2 games. My favorite part of that grimy play was that the second Gronk went out of the game, the Jags D didn’t know how to readjust their game plan. They planned all week to double Gronk, and when there was no Gronk it was like they all stood around with no idea what to do. It was like when a hero loses his villain and has no purpose in life.
Anyway. Onto the awards.
BEST WEEK EVER
Playoff Danny. We talk a lot about how Danny Amendola is a strange player. He kind of disappears to an extent during the regular season. He pops up now and again and makes monster catches on 3rd downs and reminds us how much Tom clearly trusts him and relies on him. Then every year, he comes up HUGE in the playoffs at least one game. Well I am here to say that Danny Amendola is without a SINGLE DOUBT a Red Jacket New England Patriot.
This guy came into town from the Rams and people were calling him the Welker replacement. I firmly called those people idiot fools, because we already had a player who was better than Welker could have ever dreamed to be, and his name is Julian Edelman. However, I did think considering his 5-year 31 mil contract that he would be a huge player for us. Early on in his Patriot career due to injury and other knocks, it didn’t seem like a good addition. Then Danny starting making HUGE plays in HUGE moments. “Maybe this guy isn’t a total waste,” people started murmuring in the New England streets. Then Danny started playing when his groin was LITERALLY detached from his body. “Woah this guy is a bit a warrior, huh?” Billy from Dorchester could be heard saying on location at Sand and Gravel. Then Danny started taking pay cuts. Then Danny started throwing tuddies in the payoffs. Then Danny started catching tuddies in the bowl(s). There is no denying. Danny AmenBROla, is a Patriots legend.
Yesterday, DA simply added to the saga. He followed up his divisional round game of 11 catches for 112 yards, with a AFCCG concerto of 7 catches for 84 yards and 2 tuddies, AND one pass for 20 yards. At this point, it’s not just the numbers with this guy. It’s the way he does it.
Right off the bat on the first possession of the game, the Patriots go for it on 4th and 2. Brady throws a lob pass over Amendola’s shoulder right on the sideline that Danny pulls in for 20 yards and a first which lead to the first points of the game. First drive of the day and DA is making game changing plays. Then with 10:48 left in the 4th, down 10 points, facing a 3rd and 18, the Patriots convert a miraculous play to keep the game within reach when Amendola pulls in a pass from Tom with three defenders surrounding him. On that same drive, he climbs the ladder and readjusts his body to make a huge catch to get into the red area on 2nd and 10. The very next play, Amendola runs a crossing route and catches his first tuddy of the game. With 5 minutes left in the game, down by 3, DA fields a punt at the 50 and takes it to the 30. Finally, with 2:49 left in the game, Amendola runs a route to the back of the endzone, elevates, makes the catch and then expertly extends his feet to get in for the game winning touchdown.
Big plays, at big times, by a big man. Performances like that is why Danny gets to celebrate another AFC Championship like this.
The Pittsburgh Steelers. Hey, Pittsburgh, how’s that egg on your face feel? I have long said that I think the Mike Tomlin run Steelers are a clown car of jackassery. Right now, however might be their Grand Opus of idiocy. James Harrison is a Pittsburgh Steelers legend. He’s a man who has tested time and put in performance after performance. He’s 2 time super bowl winner, 5 time pro bowl selection, 2 time first team all pro selection, and a defensive player of the year winner. The way the Steelers cast this man out is a damn shame. They threw him out like a used diaper.
A week after humiliating themselves by overlooking the Jaguars and getting the score run up on them, the lowly Steelers community is forced to watch the legend that they threw out to the wolves dominate in the AFCCG and head to the Super Bowl with Tom Brady. I don’t want to, but you honestly sort of have to feel bad for them. What a BUM, loser franchise. You had a dominant linebacker who has bled for your team for over a decade rotting on your bench when he could have been getting sacks. You looked a legend in his eyes and told him to kick rocks. You spit on his face and called his mother a hamster.
Poo poo to the Steelers. You honestly deserve to feel utterly ashamed. Thank god for Tom Brady and the Patriots though. This is one of those times when America should acknowledge the entire organization for how humble and great they are. James Harrison was ruined. A legend of the game relegated to humiliation by the team he trusted most, raised from the ashes by Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft. There should honestly be a 30 for 30 made about this story. James Harrison is like an old dog that a family gave up on when he had plenty of love to give and fetch to play, and the Steelers drove him to the side of the highway, let him out to pee, and then took off while his leg was still in the air. Unfortunately for Pittsburgh, the next car to drive by was Tom Brady’s endorsed Aston Martin. He picked up a timid James, gave him a bath and a few scratches behind the ear, and now James is pissing all over the Steelers grave.