Monday, October 15, 2018


OCTOBER 1, 2018

Driller Killer, ‘Search Me’ Sue and I knew as well as season ticket holders Wild Bill, Shawn and Harry that the Patriots had to win this game against the Dolphins. It was a ‘Do or Die’ game. A loss would have Miami on top of the AFC East at 4-0 and the Pats with 3 losses. Coming in, the Dolphins were 0-9 at Gillette in their last 9 games there. They are now 0-10.

We were hoping that WR Josh Gordon would play. Brady didn’t have many passing options vs. Detroit. No Edelman yet and TE Jacob Hollister out (again for this game). Plus Dorsett had no catches vs the Lions and Patterson had one. If nothing else, Gordon could be used as a decoy and Miami would have to cover him. Gordon contributed 2 catches on 2 targets, both for 1st downs on 3rd down plays.

The game started slowly for the Pats after they won the toss and got a 3 and out vs. Miami. Tom Brady’s passes were off at times, throwing behind the receivers. A couple were nearly picked off. On that first opening possession, they had to settle for a field goal. The Patriots would be 3 for 4 in the Red Zone on the day.

It was obvious to all that the Patriots were better on both sides of the ball. Sony Michel was running well and getting good blocking. Michel had 80 yards in the 1st half on 15 carries.

On defense, the team was bolstered by the returns of Trey Flowers, their best pass rusher, and safety Patrick Chung. With CB Eric Rowe out, Jason McCourty was at LCB. Their job was to keep Miami’s running attack grounded, which they did (56 yards), prevent any deep completions and do a better job on 3rd down. The Pats held Miami to 3 for 11 on 3rd down (27%).

They also needed to put more pressure on the QB. NE had 2 sacks (Adam Butler and new signee John Simon) and 5 QB hits, two by Lawrence Guy.

The Pats were also helped by Miami’s penalties, two came on 3rd down and kept Pats drives alive. One resulted in the Pats opening Field Goal, and the other allowed a 55-yard TD by a wide open Cordarrelle Patterson that made it 10-0. Both penalties were on CB Xavien Howard.

With 7:41 left to the Half, a bad snap with QB Ryan Tannehill in shotgun formation led to Kyle Van Noy stealing the ball from Tannehill. On the next play, James White ran 22 yards up the middle for a TD and 17-0 lead. NE loves to take advantage of unforced errors.

With 7:29 left, I told Driller and Sue that the Pats had enough time to score again, and so they did with Phillip Dorsett making a sensational catch of a low throw for a 9-yard TD.

It was 24-0 and the Dolphins were basically cooked. In the 2nd Half, the Pats would add a James White pass reception for a 14-yard TD and Sony Michel scored his first career TD on a 10-yd run. Michel had 100 yards rushing by the end of the 3rd quarter.

Josh McDaniels dialed up a good mix of play calling. He had a Patterson end around, used some flanker screens, including one to TE Dwayne Allen which lost 4 yards. In fact on the Pats first series of the 2nd Half, McDaniels tried a deep go route to Allen (unsuccessful). On a 2nd and 16, he had White take a direct snap, lateral to Brady and Brady then hit White with a 9 yard completion.

Now comes a short week, and Andrew Luck and the Colts in on Thursday night. Gronk has a gimpy ankle so not sure if he’s playing, but Edelman will be back. With better play by Patterson and Dorsett and the running of Sony Michel, the Patriots are starting to have more weapons. Patterson had 3 catches on 5 targets and Dorsett 4 catches on 7 targets. James White led receivers with 8 catches on 10 targets (68 yards).

DE’s Cameron Wake and Robert Quinn plus LB Kiko Alonso have made life miserable for Tom Brady in the past. Alonso had 3 tackles and 9 assists to lead his team. He had 1   QB hit. Quinn had 3 QB hits and Wake 2. The Dolphins had 7 QB hits in all, many after   Brady had released the ball. Radio analyst Scott Zolak felt Alonso should have been called for a roughing the passer on his hit.

Danny Amendola had no impact on the game. He had 1 punt return for 12 yards and 2 catches on 3 targets for 21 yards and one first down catch.

Coming in, the Patriots had no punt return yardage in 3 games. That all changed with the return of Cyrus Jones who had 5 punt returns for 45 yards. On a ball punted to the Pats 9, Jones returned it 24 yards.
Gronk is now the career leader in catches for a Patriots TE, his 491st reception passed Ben Coates. And Tom Brady tied Vinny Testaverde’s record of career TDs to 70 different targets with his TD pass to Patterson.

• At half time, LT Matt Light was honored for his election to the Patriots Hall of Fame.  The Herald’s Stephen Hewitt had a story about Light who kept the Pats loose with his pranks, even one on Bill Belichick. Light substituted a fake computer mouse for Belichick’s and Belichick got an electrical shock twice while using it. Light wasn’t contrite and said Belichick should never have been shocked the second time.

• Mike Reiss of ESPN did a great story on Light who played his whole 11-year career with Crohn’s Disease, a nasty digestive disorder which causes severe pain. Light had surgery in 2004 and they removed 13 inches of his intestine, but that didn’t end his Crohn’s Disease.

• The Bruins open Wednesday night at the Caps. Torey Krug’s out 3 weeks (ankle injury)

• Per the Herald’s Jason Mastrodonato (9/30), the Red Sox are 3rd in runs per game, NY 4th (Oakland is 1st). Boston is 4th in OPS (Oakland is 1st). In starters ERA, Cleveland is 3rd (Houston is 8th, Sox 11th, Oakland 12th and NY 15th). In Bullpen ERA, Oakland, Houston and Cleveland are 1, 2, 3 (the Sox 14th and NY 20th).

My guess on the trivia: Dennis Rodman.
Dennis Doyon
Dennis, good guess, but incorrect. Thanks for trying.   -   Z

Is it Dennis Rodman?
Garry Gillett
Nice try, Gary, but no, not Rodman.   -   Z

Without looking anything up, I am guessing Satch Sanders.
Foot Joy
Good try, but no, not Satch.     -   Z

I'm gonna take a wild guess into the past of Celtic greats and say K.C. Jones was the defensive specialist who sometimes put one in the air.
Bill LaPlante
You've got the right team, but the wrong player. It's not KC Jones.   -   Z

Sportzine is also available at thanks to Buffalo Steve Lenz

On Wednesday’s visit to the HC, I ran into the Regal Eagle. He admitted to not having had a chance to read the Sportzine and the trivia question. The Regal Eagle has been very good at getting the answers to the music trivia and I complimented him on it. I noted that this week’s quiz was a sports quiz about the NBA. Taking a copy, he turned to the last page and read the question. I had just told him that no one had gotten it. Within 8 seconds of reading it, he said ‘Bill Russell’. I was impressed. No one else got it.

So in talking to Fleet Feet Pete about the trivia answer being Bill Russell, he remembered a couple great games that Bill Russell had. His search: On Nov. 16, 1957, Russell had 49 rebounds vs. Philadelphia, 32 in the 1st half (an NBA record). In Game 7 of the 1962 Finals against the Lakers, Russ had 30 points and 40 rebounds to help the team win the championship in overtime 110-107. Heinsohn, Ramsey, Sanders and Loscutoff had fouled out late in the game.

Professor Peter was talking about the use of astroturf and other synthetic surfaces in baseball. He recalled Richie Allen of the Phillies complaining about those playing fields and said, “If a horse won’t eat it, I don’t want to play on it.”

So I told Foot Joy and Fleet Feet that I had read that just before Hurricane Florence hit. North Carolina, the commander of the Marine Corps base at Camp Lejeune refused to evacuate personnel. Fleet Feet said I hoped they had airtight Hummers. Foot Joy said, “I’ve never had an airtight Hummer.”

So by now you know that it was Celtics great Bill Russell who once went 0 for 14 from the field against the Philadelphia 76ers and Wilt Chamberlain. It was on January 23, 1965. My thanks to Foot Joy for his excellent Internet sleuthing capabilities. He found the site. Here’s the link to that game’s stats:

These two rock n’ rollers had the misfortune to die early (both were 32). In a strange and eerie connection, they both died in London while renting the same flat from Harry Nilssen. One was a female singer, the other a drummer from another band. They died 4 years apart with the singer dying first. Names?


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