Monday, December 10, 2018


DECEMBER 10, 2018

Driller Killer and I have seen many Patriots games, having attended home games since the ’70’s. There were 1-15 and 2-14 teams that found various ways to lose games. Not even those teams lost as excruciatingly as did the Patriots yesterday in Miami. NE is now 1-5 in their last 6 in Miami.

OK, it’s obvious, but must be mentioned, that the Patriots offense (421 net yards) left a possible 7 points on the field. Gostkowski’s missed extra point and missed 42-yard FG hurt. Tom Brady’s bone-headed taking of a sack allowing the clock to run out without even a field goal try was the piece de resistance in how to lose in Miami. Brady says he thought they had a time out left. Maybe the heat got to him.

The maddening part of this game (well the ending mostly) is that while the offense was able to score touchdowns in the 1st half often and using various players, the Pats defense gave up those touchdown leads almost as easily. And with a missed extra point, every time Miami scored a touchdown, they went back ahead.

Especially galling was the inability of the run defense to corral a guy who is about to call it a career, Frank Gore (35), who had 92 yards on 12 carries (7.7 yard avg.). Gore did not score any touchdowns though. That was left to ex-Patriot Brandon Bolden, who according to the announcers had had one carry for the season. Bolden, always a standout special teams player, stood out on this afternoon as he had carries of 54 yards and 6 yards for touchdowns. They were his only two carries on the day! An outsider might say that the Dolphins Brain Trust has been misusing Brandon Bolden.

Bolden’s scores offset touchdown catches by Cordarrelle Patterson (wow! finger tips!) and Julian Edelman. Yet the Patriots were up by 6 just before half when Albert McClellan blocked his 2nd punt of the day. After a pass to Gronk, the ball was on the two with 21 seconds left. The Pats took their last time out after Gronk’s catch. What followed was two incomplete passes and a sack of Brady by Robert Quinn who beat LT Trent Brown. The loss of possible points there would be crucial.

The Patriots have had trouble scoring in the first and 3rd quarters. The Pats had Develin’s 2 yard score in the 1st quarter, but then the missed extra point. The Pats were held scoreless in the 3rd quarter (missed FG) and had just two FGs in the 4th. Credit has to go to Miami’s D.

Seven seconds. Miami has no timeouts. They are on their 31. A completed pass and 2 laterals. Patriots players, like JC Jackson, didn’t seem to know whether to cover a man for another lateral or tackle the ball carrier. Gronk was the last line of defense, but a stumble and bad tackling angle kept him from stopping Kenyan Drake’s TD run. 69 yards. Game over. Arrghh! Miami remains the Pats’ House of Horrors. 4 road losses!

The Pats need to beat the Steelers next week in Pittsburgh. One home field playoff game is probably lost. They don’t need to lose the bye and have to play a wild card team.

The Patriots run defense had looked promising against the Vikings (95 yards, though they went away from the run), and the Jets (74 yards). A true barometer might have been the 150 yards they gave up to Tennessee, the week before their bye.

Frank Gore fumbles on the first play of the 2nd half. Trey Flowers knocked it out. DL Lawrence Guy ended up sitting on the ball which was pulled away by a Dolphin.

The Patriots pass rush has been evolving. Sunday they sacked Ryan Tannehill 5 times, and hit him a total of 9 times. Tannehill still went 14 of 19. Trey Flowers sacked Tannehill twice. Just before the half, John Simon and Alan Butler combined to sack Tannehill whose RT stepped on his right ankle. Tannehill came back in the 2nd half to hurt the Patriots.

The Dolphins had two sacks but they were costly. One was Quinn’s as time ran out in the 1st half, and the other was by Bobby McCain, which came just before the end of the 3rd quarter on a 3rd and 3 from the Miami 47. Marcus Cannon, who mostly blocked well against Cameron Wake, took a bad false start penalty which made it 2nd and 15. So Edelman’s 12 yard catch wasn’t a 1st down. McCain’s sack followed.

LB Albert McClellan, recently added, had 2 blocked punts. One led to Edelman’s TD catch. The other should have resulted in points before the half, but Brady took the sack.

Just before Gostkowski’s missed 42-yard FG, Edelman dropped a flanker screen on 3rd and 8 that would have been a 1st down.

On Miami’s 2nd game possession, Stephon Gilmore missed an INT and probable TD.
Sportzine is also available at thanks to Buffalo Steve Lenz
Sorry Navy fans like Richard Flinn and Buffalo Steve Lenz. Army was too strong. A good game if you liked defense. I was impressed with Navy’s linebackers. Belichick has drafted Navy grads before. Long snapper Joe Cardona is one of them.

After a disastrous road trip, the Bruins returned home and mulched the Leafs 6-3 (per Jack Edwards) and Ottawa 2-1 in OT. They just got D Charlie McAvoy back from a concussion and he gets a cheap shot from Toronto’s Zach Hyman. Hopefully McAvoy has no ill effects. He did play regular minutes vs Ottawa. McAvoy is very good at getting the puck out of his own end, and is effective on the power play and penalty kill.

Meanwhile the Celtics have started to find all their gears. Coach Brad Stevens has Jaylen Brown coming off the bench now. They beat the Chicago Bulls by 56 points and that was without Al Horford and Aron Baynes.

The other night NESN used a different camera angle at times in the Bruins game. The camera angle was from behind the goalie so the action is coming right at the viewer. They can then switch back to the normal view.

Kevin Draper and Ken Belson of The New York Times (12/7) had a story on the NFL and KC RB Kareem Hunt. The article mentions that while the NFL questioned Hunt about an episode in June at a resort in Ohio (Put-in-Bay) where he supposedly punched a man, they never asked Hunt about the February incident in Cleveland (in which he reportedly shoved and kicked a woman). NFL – Not Fully Looking.

In the same article, it is mentioned that in the Ray Rice incident which the NFL badly mishandled, Robert Mueller was brought in to investigate the NFL’s conduct. Mueller’s report stated: “the NFL should have done more with the information it had, and should have taken additional steps to obtain all available information.”

PC does the hard part beating BC at Conte Forum, but then loses at home to UMass. A learning experience.
In Sunday’s Globe (12/9), Peter Abraham notes that in the playoffs, Craig Kimbrel allowed 7 earned runs on 9 hits and 8 walks in 10 2/3 innings.

Abraham also added that the Red Sox still owe Pedro Sandoval about $19 Million which ends after the 2019 season. Interestingly’s Mark Dunphy (3/6/18) had the numbers as $18,455,000 in 2019 and a $5 million buyout in 2020. Bad trade. Lost $.

Per the Globe’s Ben Volin (12/9), ESPN has the Patriots 32nd in the NFL (that’s last) in ‘third and medium’ offense. That’s defined as 3rd and between 3-6 yards to go. The Pats convert 35.4% of the time. Stats Inc has them at 34.2% for 3rd and between 4-6 yards.

Yesterday’s Pats game very Shakespearean " A Comedy Of Errors".
Trivia got me - the Sax part was not computing - well win some lose some.
Ken Forestal
Ken, that Comedy of Errors became a Tragedy for the Patriots and their fans. - Z

James, believe Boz Scaggs is the artist on your music quiz. A great blues guy, and Silk Degrees, as we’ve discussed before is a classic. Peace brother.
Mike Curtis
Mike, good guess but incorrect. - Z

What!!! Is this the perfect example that there can be two right answers???
Mike Curtis
Mike, no, because the key is that Boz was never in a band that had a Top 30 hit in the '60's and a #10 song on his own. In 1967-1968, Boz played in the Steve Miller Band which did not have a Top 30 hit from Children of the Future or Sailor. That band did have a couple charting songs on the third album Brave New World which had Space Cowboy, but Boz had left the band by then. Plus Boz didn't have a #10 song on his own in the '60's. Try again. - Z

At your request, how about Van Morrison?
Mike Curtis
Mike, your 2nd guess is right on. It's Van the Man. I knew you could do it. - Z

Boz Scaggs.... I do believe... Special K Special K - good guess but no. - K I have a brain cramp....before I answered issue was with the clue "he played saxophone", harmonica and guitar....well doesn't everyone? This is what made me choose Boz....
So I fall back on my best Jeopardy advice...first answer that pops into your head....which was Van Morrison but I have no knowledge of him playing sax...also I have only heard him referred as Blue-eyed Soul...not White Soul. Special K Special K, yes, always go with the first answer that comes to mind. Van Morrison is correct. Sometimes there will be a reference to blue-eyed soul (like Hall and Oates). I didn’t know if the Belfast Cowboy has blue eyes. He does. - Z

Amanda read the paragraph in the Hot Club section of last issue’s Sportzine in which I mentioned her. She corrected me that her ring is made of just one fork. I admitted that that made sense because that led to the Bear talking about cork and the things people in Portugal make out of cork. Suddenly a voice from across the bar said ‘Cork Soakers’. This was in reference to a Saturday Night Live sketch about a family of cork soakers.
I was telling Britt that I had seen 3 great movies in the span of a month: Bohemian Rhapsody, A Star Is Born (twice) and Green Book, the other day. Britt agreed that she wanted to see the latter and likes Viggo Mortenson. I told her Viggo was great as was his co-star whose last name was Ali, someone I hadn’t seen before. Britt said that the actor, Mahershala Ali, starred in Moonlight which I have not seen. She recalled that Moonlight wasn’t initially given the Oscar for Best Picture due to a snafu. A check of IMDb shows that Ali won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.
Oh and I told Britt that one thing that surprised me about Green Book is that the director is Peter Farrelly, Rhode Island’s own (and Cumberland’s) Farrelly Brothers who are more known for comedies. Britt knew Peter Farrelly directed it, of course.
LAST ISSUE’S TRIVIA ANSWER So last issue I asked you to name a white singer of soul who can play guitar, sax and harmonica, had a hit song with a group in the ’60’s, a #10 on his own in the ’60’s, had a platinum album in the ’70’s and wrote a song with which Rod Stewart had a #5 hit. My Air Force buddy Mike Curtis had the answer as did Special K, albeit on their second guesses – Van Morrison. Sir George Ivan Morrison’s group Them had a Top 30 hit with Here Comes the Night. Morrison had a hit in 1967 with Brown-Eyed Girl. The ’70’s platinum album was Moondance. Rod Stewart’s version of Morrison’s Have I Told You Lately was #5 in 1993.
What is the best selling movie soundtrack of all time? For extra credit, what was the soundtrack that it pushed to #2? My thanks to Pal Al for the trivia suggestion.


Post a Comment

<< Home