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Blognostications

2011 - Week 14 v New England Patriots

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Blognosticator - Jimbo

I hold grudges. It’s not something I’m proud of but it should give you insight into why I hate Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots.

Besides cheating scandals and being the cause of the NFL grossly overprotecting Quarterbacks, I mostly hate the Patriots because of one game. You know the one I’m talking about. On October 28, 2007, the CLASSLESS Patriots ran up the score on Joe Gibbs to the tune of 52-13 and were STILL throwing the ball with almost a 40 point lead.. Since then, the ONLY times I rooted for the Patriots was when they were playing Dallas. What did that game do to my psyche? I was upset the injury to Saints head coach Sean Peyton didn’t happen to Belichick. I wanted Tom Brady to suffer the fates of Matt Schaub, Jay Cutler, Matt Cassel, Matt Leinart and Michael Vick…COMBINED. I blame my wickedness on my last dozen years as a Redskins fan.

Sadly, I don’t see my wicked wishes coming to an end this week. The Patriots are on a roll. While Brady has seemed all too human this season when it comes to sacks, bad throws and taking hits, the S.O.B. is showing WAY too much resilience for my liking. Sack? Offensive Holding? Rare back-to-back errant passes? NO PROBLEM. We’ll just chip away and get that first down. His stats this season are proof.

I’m not saying the Patriots aren’t beatable, especially after their game against Indianapolis last week and our play the past three weeks. What I’m saying is….The Pats will find a way. They remind me of one Lucille Van Pelt, she of the nefarious placekick hold. Just when you think THIS is the time you’re gonna kick that ball, she finds a new excuse for pulling it away and causing you to yell “AAAAAAAAH” and land flat on your back, wondering if traction will even work this time.

Gratuitous New England Joke: Ah Hahvahd Dictionary defines KHAKIS as “wut ya need to stat a cah in Bahston.” You were expecting “There once was a man from Nantucket”?

Alrighty then, let’s get on with the dirty business….

WHEN THE PATRIOTS HAVE THE BALL
Other than perhaps Deion Branch, New England doesn’t really have a guy who can stretch the field deep. Then again, they haven’t really needed it. Wes Welker will line up anywhere and everywhere and present matchup problems. Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez will make us long for the days of facing Jason Witten and, just when we think we have a sack on Brady, he’ll dump it off to one of these three and drive our Defense bananas. Add in the pounding running game of Benjarvus Green-Ellis, which I predict will be enough to allow Brady to effectively use play-action, and Jim Haslett and our defense will be left pulling out their hair. Belichick will likely attack us the way the Bills did—rollouts, play-action, assorted screens and creating mismatches. The Pats are the essence of ball control.

WHEN THE REDSKINS HAVE THE BALL
IF we see Good Rex and IF we can run the ball effectively and NOT turn the ball over, I fully believe we can keep this close. To do that, we absolutely HAVE to control the ball AND the clock and keep Brady off the field, and we have to do that WITHOUT our “Ganja Twins”, Trent Williams and Fred Davis. The last thing we want to do is get into a gun-slinging match between Brady and Grossman. This means we have to run the ball. The other thing we have to do is keep Graham Gano OFF their field except to kickoff and kick PAT’s. Without Davis, Mike Sellers, Logan Paulsen and Darrell Young will have to pick up the slack and Santana Moss and Jabar Gaffney will need to get open. Roy Helu will need to put up some decent numbers in the running AND passing game for the Skins will have a shot. This is all assuming we’ll forego those usual Red Zone penalties. Heck, the Colts put up 24 on this Pats defense so we know they can be beat. One advantage the Pats D “might” have is former Redskin Andre Carter. Hopefully, Haslett has changed up our D enough so that Carter won’t recognize everything but you can bet Belicheat has picked his brain extensively. That guy would steal a peak at his mother’s cards in a game of Old Maid just to try to gain an advantage.

SPECIAL TEAMS
The Patriots have a knack for coming up with a big play at some point in the game. Everybody’s favorite Special Teams coach, Danny Smith, is going to have to find a way to win this battle. If Gano has to kick FG’s, he has to be perfect. Banks will need to step up once again and give the offense a short field to work with.

KEYS
No turnovers by our offense while running the ball effectively.
Pressuring Brady to the point where he has to throw the ball away or into coverage.
Win the field position and turnover battles.

PREDICTION

Sadly, I think offensive mistakes/turnovers will be our undoing once again. Pats 34, Skins 20.
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