Monday, February 04, 2019


JANUARY 21, 2019

Well, I thought Bill Belichick and his coaches had a magnificent game plan when they beat the Greatest Show on Turf Rams in 2002. What they concocted on Sunday came close to matching that brilliance. How else do you explain holding the high flying Chiefs without a score in the first half? Yes I know that KC made adjustments in the second half and scored 31 points, but the outcome might have been quite different if not for the Patriots ability to run the ball, stop the run, pressure kid quarterback Pat Mahomes (4 sacks, 3 in the 1st half) and protect Tom Brady (no sacks, 1 QB hit!).

The Patriots Offensive Line (and coach Dante Scarnecchia) deserve kudos for the job that they did protecting Brady (30 of 46) and opening holes for Sony Michel (29 carries for 113 yards), Rex Burkhead (12 for 41) and James White (6 for 23).

The Pats signaled their strategy immediately as they took the first possession (KC won the toss but deferred) and went 80 yards in 15 plays consuming 8:05 of the clock. They did that with 10 running plays and 5 passes. For the game the Patriots had 36 first downs, 15 rushing, 20 with passes (1 by penalty). They held KC to 18 first downs. That strategy allowed NE to control Time of Possession 43:59 (4:52 of that in OT) to 20:53.

The O Line also held KC’s pass rushers in check. Chris Jones and Dee Ford didn’t even show up on the stat sheet. Justin Houston had just 2 tackles (all stats via’s Gamebook).

The Defense held the Chiefs off by constantly harassing young QB Pat Mahomes, who was sacked 4 times (Kyle Van Noy 2, Trey Flowers 1 and half sacks by John Simon and Lawrence Guy). The Flowers sack came on 3rd and 9 from the NE 22 and took KC out of FG range. The D also had 9 QB hits. Mahomes was 16 of 31, barely completing 50%.

Forcing KC to play from behind after NE got a 14-0 lead also limited the rushing attempts by the Chiefs. Damien Williams had 10 carries for 30 yards and Mahomes, always a danger to run, had only 2 rushes for 11 yards.

It was 19 degrees at game time with a 14 mph wind. That didn’t stop Tom Brady from hitting 8 different receivers with at least one pass. Phillip Dorsett was targeted 3 times but his only catch went for a 29 yard TD. The other 4 TDs were scored on the ground, 2 by Michel, 2 by Burkhead.

Brady threw 2 INTs. The one on their 2nd possession, as he tried to force it to Gronk in the end zone, was a bad play by #12. The other went through Edelman’s hands. Another INT (through Gronk’s hands) was negated by an offsides call on Dee Ford. It was a huge mistake as it kept alive the drive that led to the TD that made it 31-28 NE.

So the Patriots now have a chance of winning their 6th Super Bowl with Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. That would quiet the naysayers, right? Nah!

Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski were tremendous. Edelman was targeted 10 times with 7 catches for 96 yards. Gronk, who supposedly was washed up, had 6 catches on 11 targets for 79 yards. He set a record for tight ends with over 1000 career receiving yards in the playoffs. Most importantly, Gronk was a beast blocking. You could see him wiping out defenders on 3rd down plays and in the red zone (with Brown’s James Develin also bowling over the opposition).

Edelman did have that one ball go through his hands for an INT. It was right after Edelman’s ‘fumbled punt’ was reversed on review as he never touched the ball. It gave KC a short field and led to their go ahead TD that made it 21-17 Chiefs.

The Patriots mixed it up defending the KC receivers. I saw Stephon Gilmore on Sammy Watkins and JC Jackson on Travis Kelce. Jackson had a couple penalties and gave up a TD to Kelce. The Pats used double coverage on Tyreek Hill, who was held to one 42 yard catch on 3 targets. With all the TDs by NE, Hill, a dangerous returner, only had one punt return on which he lost 11 yards. Watkins had 4 catches on 8 targets (114 yards). Kelce had 3 on 5 targets (only 23 yards). Only RB Damien Williams hurt NE with 5 catches (8 targets) for 66 yards and 2 TDs.

The Pats were 13 of 19 on 3rd down. KC was 4 of 9.

Pre-game CBS’ panel had 3 picking the Pats to win and one for KC. The one for KC was, of course, Bill Cowher. Phil Simms, Nate Burleson and Boomer Esiason went with NE.

As for the local newspapers, the Journal had KC winning 33-30 and the Boston Herald had the Chiefs 27-24. The Boston Globe went with the Patriots to win 31-27.
Sportzine is also available at thanks to Buffalo Steve Lenz
Before the NE-KC game, my wish was for no Patriot injuries and no bad calls like the one in the Rams-Saints game. The Saints had the game stolen from them when a referee failed to call #23 Nickell Robey-Coleman for obvious interference on NO’s Tommylee Lewis around the LA 5 yard line. Robey-Coleman also could have been flagged for a helmet-to-helmet hit. One of the worst non-calls that I have ever seen.

Hi Jim,
My guess is The Tubes tho' I never heard of them being run out of Italy or opening for Zep. I've got "The Tubes" cd produced by Al Kooper. Saw them a few years back at a small venue out here and even though it was long past their heyday, they didn't disappoint.
Bobby Sisto
Good to hear from you, Bob. Yes the answer is The Tubes. They opened for Led Zep at Kezar Stadium. They are playing the Odeum in EG Feb 22 and I have tickets (it's sold out). Saw them with Victoria at the Twin River Lighthouse Bar for free. Good concert but bad atmosphere (they still allow cigarette smoking). - Z

The Tubes is your trivia answer. 
Haha - enjoy the concert 
Bill Gunn
Right you are Bill. It’s The Tubes. - Z

Great 'Zine. Glad it's back! If the Patriots O-Line can keep Tom Brady fairly well protected again at Arrowhead, then the Pats have a good chance on Sunday evening. I guess it's all about doing the same things they did against the Chargers.....besides protecting the ball....and play good 'D' the whole game. That is a tough place to get a win (I was there for the '14 Monday Night drubbing the Pats took and it gets loud in that stadium).
Answer to the quiz....of course.....The Tubes! 
Brad Dawson
Yes, Brad, it’s The Tubes. - Z

Nice write up Jim. That Miami game really came back to hurt us huh, would’ve been nice to avoid that KC crowd but it is what it is.
I’m rooting for a 2001 repeat in Super Bowl. Go Pats! Chris Tolentino Well, Chris, you got your wish. Let’s hope that the outcome is the same as it was in that Super Bowl. - Z

Was talking about a prior trivia question about the best selling movie soundtrack of all time which was The Bodyguard. As Buffalo Steve Lenz pointed out, Whitney Houston had the best selling single by a woman in music history with I Will Always Love You from that soundtrack. Turns out Dolly Parton wrote that song. That prompted Dr. John to tell us about a quote by Dolly Parton, who said, ‘Some people say I’m a dumb blonde. Well, I’m not dumb and I’m not blonde.’A check of Wikipedia shows that the good doctor got the gist of her quote which was : “I’m not offended by all the dumb blonde jokes because I know I’m not dumb...and I also know that I’m not blonde.”

Overheard at the Hot Club: “I don’t have a prejudiced bone in my body. I hate everybody equally.”

Special K told me that wrestling legend Captain Lou Albano used to cut his forehead with a razor and then cover it up. That way he would bleed more easily for dramatic purposes. Special K says that Lou claimed the Bruins Terry O'Reilly stole the idea from him. Making his Mark remembered Captain Lou Albano being in Cindy Lauper’s video Girls Just Want to Have Fun. Captain Lou played Lauper’s father in the video.

Last time I asked you to identify the band that had albums produced by Al Kooper and Todd Rundgren, opened for Led Zep and Alice Cooper, got thrown out of Italy after performing and had a Top 10 hit though they were known more for their stage shows. Bill Gunn, my brother Brad and Bobby Sisto all had the answer: The Tubes. Members from two Phoenix bands moved to San Francisco and formed The Tubes. A couple went to the San Francisco Art Institute which helped their elaborate, over the top stage shows. Lead singer John ‘Fee’ Waybill was originally the band’s roadie! The Top 10 hit was She’s a Beauty. However they also had such memorable songs as White Punks on Dope, Don’t Touch Me There (Waybill duetting with Re Styles), Talk to Ya Later and What Do You Want From Life? The Tubes will play the East Greenwich Odeum on February 22 (it’s a sell out).

Jim Dwyer supplied this issue’s trivia question: Who is the only musician to perform with both the Beatles and the Rolling Stones?


Post a Comment

<< Home