Fan Voices

Much like last year, the New England Patriots (9-3) had to hold on in the fourth quarter to knock off the Indianapolis Colts (0-12) at home. The Patriots, in the end, made Colts quarterback Dan Orlovsky put up Peyton Manning-like numbers (30/37, 353 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT), but it was Tom Brady's connection with tight end Rob Gronkowski (2 receiving TDs, 1 rushing TD) that gave the Patriots an asymmetrical 31-3 lead going into the 4th quarter.  Despite the defense's charity, New England won its ninth game of the season 31-24 and [...] Continue reading → | , , , , , , , , ,
It seems that every time the Indianapolis Colts (0-11) and New England Patriots (8-3) play each other, the 1SKILLZ Gameplan comes out the day of and much shorter than usual.  Oh well, that might not be a bad thing.  This game was originally scheduled for Sunday Night Football, but it has been flexed out to 1pm Eastern kickoff at Gillette Stadium due to the Colts' record. The Colts are coming off of a 27-19 loss at home to the Carolina Panthers in which they allowed 201 yards and 3 TDs on the ground.  The Patriots are coming off of a 38-20 win on the road against the Philadelphia Eagles; QB Tom Brady (24/34, 361 yards, 3 TDs, no INTs) found WRs Deion Branch and Wes Welker for 100+ yard days.  The Colts and Patriots have faced each other in the regular season for now the ninth season [...] Continue reading → | , , , , , , ,
Where I live, a lot of people are not that interested in professional football. Sad yes, but true. They prefer college football. I always ask why they like college football more. Some say it is more exciting, some say it is about the school and not about money (too bad players are paid now), and some like it more because it is an excuse for college kids to drink. However, a few tell me that they love college football because of the rivalries and the pride the players take in them. Alabama vs. Auburn is called the Iron Bowl. Michigan and Ohio State has a loathing that runs deeper than the ocean. Oklahoma vs. Texas is called the Red River Shootout and more rivalries. Rivalries are the deepest part of competition, and the human species loves competition. So, I can see why a [...] Continue reading →
Week 12 in the NFL featured a feast of mouth-watering action—arguably the best slate of games of the season to date, starting with the most palatable Thanksgiving Day menu ever in league history. Here are my NFL Week 13 Power Rankings with an updated examination on the 2011 playoff picture. This week’s biggest movers are the Redskins (31st to 26th) and the Raiders and Giants, two teams that swap positions for 8th and 13th.  The Ravens (3rd to 2nd) and 49ers (2nd to 3rd) also exchange places, along with the Bears (7th to 9th) and Patriots (9th to 7th). Ranking the dreadful dozen (worst 12 teams) this week is like trying to solve the Rubik’s Cube and catch football passes simultaneously.  Interestingly enough, each team beat the team ranked just behind them from 22nd to [...] Continue reading → | , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
This Sunday, the New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts will meet up once again for the ninth straight season.  This game was supposed to be on Sunday Night Football, as it has for the past three seasons.  However, due to the Colts' 0-11 record, the game has been flexed to a 1:00pm start.  Yes, Colts QB Peyton Manning's neck surgery is a major reason why.  But to say Manning's injury alone is the cause of a winless season thus far?  Unacceptable.  Because if there's one thing the Patriots have done better than the Colts, it is become a football team that can operate independently from the most important player on the team. Many folks look at how well Tom Brady has played this season and have concluded that the Patriots would be "lost" without Brady.  I've even heard that [...] Continue reading → | , , , , , , , , ,
You would think the Philadelphia Eagles watched tape, or prepared for a big game before, or pretended to care that a game is 4 quarters and 60 minutes long. In the 1SKILLZ Gameplan (http://www.nfltouchdown.com/nfl-thanksgiving-week-2011-patriots-at-eagles-the-1skillz-gameplan/), I mentioned the following in breaking down the difference between the New England Patriots' coaching and the Philadelphia Eagles' coaching: When it comes to mistakes and mismanagement, the Eagles and Patriots can be extreme opposites.  Whether or not Eagles defensive coordinator (and former offensive line coach) Juan Castillo can come up with the right way to use his cornerbacks will decide how [...] Continue reading → | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Happy Thanksgiving to you all!  The 1SKILLZ Gameplan continues to be churned out earlier in the week to accommodate the Thursday games, and thus we cover  the Sunday, November 27 game at Lincoln Financial Field before the holiday.  The New England Patriots (7-3) go on the road against an NFC team for the third Thanksgiving week in a row, this year to face the Philadelphia Eagles (4-6).  This is a 4:15pm game for the East Coast, marking the fifth national television game in a row for the Patriots, and the fourth in five games for the Eagles.  While the Patriots attempt to make a move to stay on top of the AFC (they are currently tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens, and Houston Texans), the Eagles are fighting for their playoff lives after blowing five fourth quarter [...] Continue reading → | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Allow me to fall back from analyzing football to get personal for a moment.  This is my attempt to be a Fan Voice. I have been the New England Patriots Fan Voice on this site for a third season now, and I always get asked if they're my team now.  The truth is, I've always been a very objective NFL observer; I said that much in my first article when I was put on to write as the Tennessee Titans Fan Voice (http://www.nfltouchdown.com/2009-tennessee-titans-1skillz-benchmark-the-intro-version/).  I don't have much loyalty to any team, and I don't allow for emotion to get in the way of my analysis.  I'm the type of fan who picks "All NFL" as their favorite team on Madden, just to avoid [...] Continue reading → | , , , , , , , ,
For a quarter and a half, the Kansas City Chiefs, led by QB Tyler Palko in his first career start, had the New England Patriots right where they wanted them.  The Chiefs were pulling out all the stops: Wildcat, no huddle, hurry up, throws to the tight end, runs from three different backs, quick onside kicks, fake fourth down attempts.  The Patriots were on the ropes!  Tom Brady sacked three times, losing a fumble!  The Chiefs have a 3-0 lead!  Thomas Jones is gaining positive yardage! Then, in an instant, the Chiefs got GRONK'D. A blown coverage, a missed tackle, and 52 yards later, Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski scored the game's first TD.  It was over for the Chiefs right there.  The Patriots once again started slow, but wound up putting the Chiefs away before the 4th quarter [...] Continue reading → | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
On November 21, 2011, the New England Patriots (6-3)) will host the Kansas City Chiefs (4-5) on Monday Night Football.  Or as I like to call it, Patriots vs. Patriots West, as the Chiefs are led by former Patriots executive Scott Pioli as general manager. The Chiefs are coming off of a 17-10 loss to the Denver Broncos at home; Broncos QB Tim Tebow only completed 2/8 passes, but one of his completions was the game-sealing 56-yard TD pass to WR Eric Decker.  The Broncos ran 55 times for 244 yards against the Chiefs, including a 7-yard TD run by Tebow.  The Chiefs threw 34 times, and still didn't have as many yards as the Broncos.  The Patriots made perhaps their biggest statement of the season last Sunday Night, dismissing the New York Jets on the road 37-16.  QB Tom Brady threw for [...] Continue reading → | , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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