Monday, November 25, 2019


If you believe analyst Tony Romo, the swirling wind had something to do with the errant passes by not only Tom Brady but Carson Wentz as well. That said, it is highly unusual to see Tom Brady go 11 for 25 in the 1st Half, the most incompletions in a half ever for him per Romo. Equally surprising was that Brady did not have a TD pass in the game. That honor went to Julian Edelman, a trick play where Brady lateraled to Edelman who hit Phillip Dorsett in the end zone. That touchdown was the game winner.

Initially the Pats defense struggled with the Eagles offense. A long pass on the very first play resulted in pass interference against Jason McCourty and the Eagles had the ball on the NE 26. The Defense stiffened and K Jake Elliott hit a 42 yd FG.

More problematic was that after the Patriots went 5 plays and 6 plays and then out that Philly drove 95 yards in 16 plays, taking 9:33 off the clock and scoring on a TD as TE Dallas Goedert beat Jonathan Jones on a slant. At 10-0 Eagles, Patriots fans were concerned. There was 12:30 left in the 2nd quarter when NE ran its next play.

In that time, the Patriots would score (settle for) 3 field goals by Nick Folk 35, 22, 39. The last of those FGs was set up when Danny Shelton sacked Wentz causing him to fumble. Lawrence Guy recovered on the Eagles 22.

Wentz, up to that point, had skillfully eluded the Pats pass rush. My game notes show Wentz escaped the rush 5 times early on, including the first play of the game (McCourty’s interference) and later a jump pass to Zach Ertz.

A turning point came after the Eagles went up 10-0. Bill Belichick could be seen with the Defense gathered around him on the sidelines as he gave a teaching lesson. The Eagles never scored again.

The proof that the Patriots Defense stiffened can be seen in a comparison of 1st Half stats and the Final stats. The Eagles had 55 yards rushing in the 1st Half but ended with 81. The Eagles were 2 for 6 on 3rd down. They ended up 3 for 13, so one first down in the 2nd half. Wentz was 11 for 16, but finished 20 of 40. That’s 9 for 24 in the 2nd half.
Missing Patrick Chung, who usually covers the best TE, initially the Pats had Devin McCourty on Zach Ertz, who had 5 catches on 5 targets 1st Half. Ertz ended with 9 on 11 targets. More importantly, Stephon Gilmore had been switched to covering Ertz, and did a great job holding Ertz in check.

Similarly, after the other Eagles TE Dallas Goedert beat Jonathan Jones on a slant for a TD, DB Terrence Brooks could be seen covering Goedert, who was 2 for 2 in the 1st Half, but ended up with 3 catches on 6 targets. Another job well done.

Julian Edelman had the big play on the pass to Dorsett for the game winner (the two point conversion run by James White helped). Edelman had 5 catches on 10 targets and dropped a TD pass in the end zone. You could see how distraught he was on the bench. However on that series which led to Folk’s 2nd FG, Eagles safety Rodney McLeod missed an easy interception. So some bad luck and some good luck and a made FG.

Defensive stats show that DB Terrence Brooks led with 7 tackles. He was followed by Danny Shelton with 6 tackles, 1 assist (7) and that important strip sack. Kyle Van Noy was next with 5 tackles. The team had 5 sacks (Shelton, Van Noy, Dont’a, Butler and Roberts). The D had 12 QB hits and 5 tackles for a loss.

Tom Brady ended up 26 of 47 but hit 10 different receivers. N’Keal Harry had his first ever catch (a 1st down) and had 3 catches on 4 targets. He saw more playing time when Dorsett was injured on his TD catch. Ben Watson (4/3) had some big catches. Ironically the longest pass for Brady was a shovel pass to Rex Burkhead that went for 30 yards.

Other heroes: Nick Folk, perfect on the day, 3 for 3 on FGs in a swirling wind. And punter Jake Bailey whose booming kicks put the Eagles in poor field position much of
the game. Bailey had a 55 yarder to the Eagles 5 in the 1st Half. 2nd Half: 55 (19 yd line), 42 (3), 54 (5) 55 (6) and 54 (12). Wow! Ask Bill Belichick about field position.

One negative (besides the struggle by the Offense): Philly had 21 first downs, 5 by penalty. The Pats had 6 penalties for the game. Bill B won’t be happy with that stat.

The Patriots will need to be better against the Dallas Cowboys next week at Gillette. Dallas leads the NFL in Total Offense (

Jim-good Zine-the Patriots hand Ravens the Game on platter-Jackson is for real-I just finished reading my thought is Nina Simone is who your looking for-if not mistaken there was some flack about her entering Hall of Fame last year.
Ken Forestal
Thanks Ken, Nina Simone is a very good guess but not who I was looking for.    -  Z

I cheated but think your quiz question was Florence Ballard, a Supreme. I loved the Supremes, the Temps, and the Four Tops….went a few years without listening to any caucasian musicians, from about 66-70.
Dave Knudson
Dave, it's a no go with Flo     -   Z

I think I deserve bonus points for Nina Simone as she fit the profile of your inquiry
Ken Forestal
Ken, after reviewing Nina Simone's bio, I have to agree that you deserve points since she fits the profile of the question. The one element that I left out regarding Laura Nyro is that she was also inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. I don't think that Simone was so honored (but could have been).   -  Z

Jim- in an effort to broaden my ukulele playlist I was prompted to look up one of my my old favorites, Wedding Bell Blues, by Laura Nyro. This led me to a Laura Nyro tribute film on YouTube made in 2014. A gifted performer in her own right, many of her songs were huge hits for other artists- I am thinking you are surely paying homage to her in this week’s music trivia question.
Mark Allio
Hi Mark, yes, the trivia question is about Laura Nyro (née Nigro) which you suggested to me recently.   -   Z

Interesting Headlines N’est Pas?
Ken Forestal
Ken, you mean about the Astros stealing signs?
Now Alex Cora and Carlos Beltran are implicated.
Supposedly there was a TV monitor in the tunnel leading from the dugout to the locker room. If the pitch was a curve, someone would bang on a trash can.
Doubt that MLB will take away the WS win, but I think there will be a huge fine and loss of a draft pick or two.   -  Z

The banging on the trash can should have been a give away (you'd think)-I believe if proven there will be much more severe response than fines and draft choices-suspension or worse-MLB is going to send message-methodical process will come into play-the 1st player to bring to light said it was a coach and player-that would be Cora and Beltran.
Pedroia returning?? He's already cost us (would they have let Kinsler walk?).
Ken Forestal
Ken, rather bang on the drum all day. Reference? I think Pedroia, the gamer is done. - Z   

Sportzine is available at thanks to Buffalo Steve Lenz
We were talking movies and Kevin Bacon’s name came up. FootJoy noted that National Lampoon’s Animal House was Bacon’s first movie. I thought Bacon’s first movie was a small part in Friday the 13th. So we looked it up and FootJoy was right. Animal House was in 1978. Friday the 13th was 1980. Fleet Feet Pete recalled seeing a movie involving National Lampoon that was earlier than Animal House. We checked on that and found  a National Lampoon TV special, not a movie, on HBO (51 minutes). It was called Disco Beaver from Outer Space, and actually it came out in 1979.

The conversation turned to food and someone brought up muffuletta sandwiches. Cap’t. Jack had never heard of them. Special K said that if you go to New Orleans, you have  to visit Central Grocery and buy a muffuletta sandwich. Making his Mark described the ingredients: salami, ham, provolone, Swiss cheese, mortadella and marinated olives on top. I said that I had one last time in NO, and the sandwich is so huge that I got half a sandwich, and I added that the taste of that sandwich stayed with me for days.

So last time I asked you to name the American female singer/songwriter/pianist who had a hybrid sound of pop, jazz, R&B, show tunes, rock and soul, and who had a number of hits on her own that were also recorded with great success by others. Another clue was that she was inducted into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame posthumously. No one got the answer. A tough question that was suggested by Mark Allio (well, he got the answer). My thanks to Mark for submitting the trivia question. When he sent his email (see EMAIL), he did not know that I was going to use it.
Laura Nyro was born in the Bronx (10/18/47). Some of her hits: Wedding Bell Blues, and Stoned Soul Picnic (both done by the 5th Dimension), Eli’s Coming (covered by Three Dog Night), And When I Die (done by Blood, Sweat and Tears and Peter, Paul and Mary). In high school, Nyro sang with friends on street corners and in subway stations.
Nyro had a relationship with Jackson Browne (’70-’71), later married two different men and had a son Gil. However she was actually bisexual and her longest relationship was with Maria Desiderio, which lasted 17 years. Sadly, Laura Nyro died of ovarian cancer at the age of 49. Her mother has also died at age 49 of ovarian cancer. Nyro was inducted into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame posthumously. (Source - Wikipedia)
This American rock, folk and country singer/songwriter/guitarist had early success when others covered her songs (a Grammy for Best Country song). She hit it big with a Gold record and Grammy for Best Contemporary Folk Album, and later won a Grammy for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance. Name?


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