Tag Archives: New England Patriots

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FINAL SUPER BOWL THOUGHTS

Kallas Remarks by Steve Kallas – Some interesting final Super Bowl thoughts (Patriots 28, Seahawks 24) PATRIOTS’ MISTAKE RIGHT BEFORE THE HALF While it’s hard to believe that Seattle was able to go 80 yards in 31 seconds to score a … Continue reading

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TWO FASCINATING NFL PLAYOFF PLAYS TO ANALYZE

Kallas Remarks by Steve Kallas PLAY 1:  Saturday, New Orleans at Seattle, 2:48 left in the 4th quarter, Seahawks up 16-8. TO SCORE OR NOT TO SCORE, THAT IS THE QUESTION You will probably remember the play.  Seattle has the … Continue reading

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LOOKING AT BRADY AND MANNING THROUGH THE LENS OF A COLD SUPER BOWL

Kallas Remarks by Steve Kallas – Well, that was a game for the ages this past Sunday night as Tom Brady and the Patriots, down 24-0 at the half (at home) to Peyton Manning and the Broncos, stormed back in the … Continue reading

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ARMAGEDDON FOR THE NEW YORK JETS?

                               Kallas Remarks by Steve Kallas

You have to be around New York City this week to believe the hype that the Jets-Patriots game is getting for Thursday night.  But the Jet fans have it all wrong.  They have to win this game because the Patriots are a shell of the team that they were even AFTER Tom Brady got hurt.  The notion that the Jets are “better” than the Patriots is absurd (although the Jets are better “on paper,” whatever that means).  The Patriots beat the Jets 19-10 at the Meadowlands in Week 2 in what was viewed, at the time, to be the great opportunity for the Jets since Brady had gone down in Week 1.

When Brady was injured, I wrote an article (see Kallas Remarks, 9/13/08) saying that the Patriots would still be 11-5.  While I won’t back off that now, since Brady was hurt, the Patriots have lost enough big-time players as to have made them questionable for a deep playoff run even if Brady had NOT been injured in Game 1. 

    

INJURIES, INJURIES, INJURIES

 

Give this a little thought:  The Patriots were LOADED at running back with Lawrence Maroney off a very good year in 2007, Sammy Morris, a quality back, Lamont Jordan, viewed a few years ago by Jet fans to be so good that he should have replaced Curtis Martin, and the ever-present, Troy Brown-like (in this writer’s opinion) Kevin Faulk.

But a funny thing happened on the way to having an excellent running game – other than Faulk, a third-down back, they all got hurt.  Not one, not two, but three quality backs.  The Patriots are starting with BenJarvus Green-Ellis, a guy you never heard of before the season.

    

But it gets worse than that.  In addition to losing the right side of their line (Nick Kaczur and Stephen Neal) for a few games, the Patriots have now lost the heart of their secondary, Rodney Harrison, for the season.  Big-time linebacker Adalius Thomas is also down, probably for the season. 

 

WHO ARE THESE GUYS?

 

With Harrison out, you can’t name three guys in their defensive backfield (Ellis Hobbs and who else?).  Yet they held the Colts to 18 points in a tough defeat on the road (and while their coach was correctly criticized for a few things, the critics couldn’t see the forest for the trees – it was a near-miracle that the Patriots almost won that game).

    

Frankly, even the back-ups in the secondary are hurt.  Terrence Wheatley won’t play against the Jets and it’s unclear whether Lewis Sanders will play (and don’t confuse him with safety James Sanders, who will play).

    

The point is, the Patriots have done it with smoke and mirrors (and a still very good defensive front seven) this year in a miracle coaching job by Bill Belichick.

 

WHERE DOES THIS LEAVE THE JETS?

 

Well, if you believe the hype, this is the year for the New York Jets.  That’s hard to believe, but, despite one New York radio “expert” saying this game could start the “changing of the guard” (yes, that’s a quote) in the AFC East, the reality is that this is a very brief window of opportunity for the Jets.  The Brett Favre experiment has been OK to good, nothing more to date, and, if Tom Brady comes back anywhere near what he was before, the AFC East will be a cakewalk for the Patriots next season.

    

So, if there is a “changing of the guard,” it’s a 10-week thing, not a multi-year thing.

 

IS THIS ARMAGEDDON FOR THE JETS?

 

Well, yeah.  If they lose this game, with the Patriots down their All-World QB and about seven other guys who are really good, it’s all downhill for the Jets, even if they have a really easy schedule the rest of the year (after the Titans).  The real question is, how can they lose this game?  And the answer, as usual, is Bill Belichick.

    

But with the Patriots coming back to very good, not great, status this season, this is the only chance the Jets will have to make some noise.  Can they lose to the Patriots and the Titans and still make the playoffs.  Yes, but what does that mean?  It says here not very much.     

    

The reality is that, if the Jets beat the Patriots, it’s something that’s a nice stepping- stone for this season only.  If they don’t, it’s a terrible loss because this will be the weakest the Patriots will be for years to come (think how good they’ll be next year).

    

For the New York Jets, the future is now.  For the New England Patriots, they’re showing the league how to overcome great adversity even AFTER their great QB was lost for the season.

 

© Copyright 2008 by Steve Kallas.  All rights reserved.

BEWARE THE BRADY-LESS PATRIOTS

                               Kallas Remarks by Steve Kallas 

   

Nobody feels sorry for the New England Patriots.  Nor should they.  But the notion that they’re not a very good football team or that they’re going to be a .500 or so team or that they’re not going to make the playoffs is ridiculous.  Whether you know it or not, the Patriots have (based on their opponents’ record from a year ago) the EASIEST schedule in the NFL this season.  Frankly, while nobody would talk about it in the pre-season (nor should they have), there was a chance that the Patriots could have made a run at 16-0 AGAIN.  That won’t happen now, but they were a virtual lock to win at least 14 games if Tom Brady had stayed healthy throughout the year. 

    

But he didn’t.  So, where does that leave the Patriots in the overall scheme of things?  Where does that leave the Patriots in the AFC East?  Well, it says here that they still have a great shot to win the AFC East and make a run at the Super Bowl.

    

How good is Matt Cassel?  Well, according to Phil Simms, he has all the tools.  Big, strong, very good arm, he certainly has a chance to be a very good NFL quarterback.  He actually looks a little like Tom Brady, standing in the pocket, delivering an early 51-yard bomb to Randy Moss against the Chiefs, throwing from his own end zone.  How many quarterbacks can do that?  Not many.  Cassel’s been around for four years.  He hasn’t played much, but he’s no rookie and he knows the system.

    

Where does that leave the Jets?  Fighting for a wild card, it says here.  The Jets were 4-12 a year ago but they’ve totally re-loaded.  But with Brett Favre at the helm, they were all out to beat the Dolphins, who will be better this year but are a year or two away from being a good team.  This is a big game for the Jets, but the Patriots have an awful lot of experience, an awful lot of talent (even without the great Brady) and the best coach in the NFL (don’t you think he’s got something up his sleeve for Favre?  I do.).

    

It’s the schedule, stupid.  A conservative guess on the Patriots’ record in the AFC East is 4-2.  They shouldn’t have any problem beating the Seahawks and Raiders on the road and the (improved) Cardinals at home in December.  They’ve already beaten the Chiefs.  So if they can split their other six games (Broncos, Rams, Steelers at home, 49ers, Chargers, Colts on the road), a distinct possibility, especially the way the Chargers and Colts played in Week 1, the Patriots can win the AFC East with an 11-5 record.  And, again, that’s being conservative. 

    

The Patriots have an excellent defensive front seven and their secondary is already improved with Bengal reject (explanation, please?) Deltha O’Neal (he already made two great plays late in the game against the Chiefs).  They’ve got a few injuries on offense but, much like Brady did when he replaced Drew Bledsoe on their way to his first Super Bowl, Cassel has the ability to manage the game and even do more than Brady did his first time around (with weapons like Wes Welker and Moss).  Their running game (Maroney, Morris, Faulk and Jordan) is more than adequate but now, of course, more important than before Brady was injured.  The offensive line will improve as the season goes on and, if they beat the Jets on the road in Week 2, the sky will be the limit.

    

Many people seem to think that the Jets (and maybe even the improved Buffalo Bills) have jumped over the Patriots in the AFC East.  It’s hard to believe that people would ignore or discount greatly the winning system that the Patriots have instituted since Brady started playing on a regular basis.  While the most important cog is gone for the season, the system, the talent and the coaching should be more than enough for the Patriots to still have a huge season.  We’ll see.      

© Copyright 2008 by Steve Kallas.  All rights reserved.