Monday, November 25, 2019


NOVEMBER 25, 2019

Before I get into the nuts and bolts of this rain-soaked soiree, I just want to applaud Robert Kraft and the Patriots for honoring our military at this game. There was a pre-game ceremony to honor veterans and active duty service members as well as a special swearing in of 50 soldiers into the Army.

The National Anthem was sung by Musician 2nd Class Rachel Vennel, who is an active duty member of the Navy stationed in Newport, RI. Ms. Vennel delivered one of the best renditions of our National Anthem that I’ve heard in a long time. No trills nor embellishments, just a gorgeous on-key, full-throated delivery of the song. It was greeted with a great response by the fans which was well deserved. Kudos to Rachel Vennel.

When you are playing in a constant, wind swept torrent of sheets of rain, the players have another obstacle to overcome besides their opponent. Sunday it was the Cowboys who made the key mistakes that contributed to their loss. That and the combination of just enough offense, a powerful defense and strong special teams play that won the game

After the rain and wind caused a 46 yard Dallas field goal try to bounce off the upright, the Cowboys made the mistake of having a punt blocked by special teams stud
Matthew Slater which was recovered by Nate Ebner on the Dallas 12. Two plays later Tom Brady threw the perfect back shoulder pass to rookie N'Keal Harry for a 10 yard TD, Harry’s first ever in the NFL.

The rest of the Half would show the resilience of the Patriots D as they held on a 3rd and 1 (incomplete pass), 3rd and 2 (interception by Stephon Gilmore at the Dallas 29) which culminated in a Nick Folk 44 yard FG into the wind (10-0 Pats); 3rd and 3 (incomplete pass), but a Brett Maher 46 yd FG, and after a 3rd and 7 stop at the NE 11, another Maher FG from 27 yards out. 10-6 Pats at the Half.

During that 1st Half, the Patriots Nick Folk would miss FGs from 46 yards and 48 yards, both wide right (that’s for you ‘Gunner’). Danny Shelton had a bad penalty (false start) on that first miss with the ball originally on the Dallas 23.
The 3rd quarter was scoreless, but again the Patriots Defense was as strong as the unyielding rain, making Dallas go three and out twice. On their 3rd possession, a holding penalty negated a 15 yard catch by Amari Cooper and Dallas ended up punting.

At this point, it was the 4th quarter. The Patriots went on a 12 play drive that took 5:28 off the clock. It concluded with a Nick Folk 42 yard FG (with the wind) to make it 13-6.

The next series is the one that would doom Dallas. The Pats defense was burnt for the longest play of the game as Dak Prescott hit Randall Cobb for 47 yards. Devin McCourty caused Cobb to fumble, but he recovered his own fumble and got an extra 12 yards down to the NE 25. The Cowboys got it to the NE 14 and then had 2nd and 3rd from the 11. Gilmore left his man to break up a pass to Witten and then Prescott missed his other tight end Blake Jarwin. Faced with 4th and 7, the ‘brain trust’ Jason Garrett elected to kick a FG. That made it 13-9 but the Cowboys still needed a TD with time running out. Dumb call. I turned to El Jefe and Driller Killer and said they should have gone for the TD and will lose because of it. They did.

Dallas got the ball back with 2:38 left. On 4thand 11 from their 25, Prescott hit Amari Cooper for a 1st down, but replay showed the ball hit the ground. It was left for the Pats to run out the clock which they did aided by runs of 5 and 12 yards by Sony Michel.

A hard fought win against a very good team that played better than I thought they would considering the elements. On to Houston.

The Patriots beat Dallas, the #1 offense in the NFL (total yards). They did it with a depleted receiver core. No Dorsett (concussion). No Sanu (high ankle sprain). NE had Julian Edelman and two rookie receivers, N’Keal Harry and Jacobi Meyers. All 3 dropped passes. Harry only had one catch - the 10 yard TD. Meyers was targeted 9 times with 4 catches for 74 yards. Edelman had 12 targets and 8 catches (93 yds).

With the return of LT Isaiah Wynn, the Pats were able to run the ball. Sony Michel ran for 85 yards (54 in the 1st half). His yards per carry (4.3) were slightly better than Zeke Elliott’s (4.1) on 21 carries for 86 yards. Wynn wasn’t perfect as he had a false start penalty and gave up a sack to Robert Quinn, one of the NFL’s best. Great start anyway.

Stephon Gilmore so blanketed Dallas’ best receiver Amari Cooper that he was only targeted twice with no completions. The last ‘catch’ was ruled incomplete. Cooper did have one catch, but it was negated by a penalty. Gilmore switched off on Jason Witten on the play from the NE 11 where Dallas settled for a FG. In fact, Witten, who was targeted 4 times, only had 1 catch for 5 yards.
Sportzine is available at thanks to Buffalo Steve Lenz
There was consternation by Pats fans about who would handle punt returns. Gunner Olszewski originally handled punts but was placed on IR. After the trade for Sanu, he had been handling punts, but was injured on one last week and was out. Old reliable Julian Edelman was back there, but wisely stayed away from the ball, not even making a fair catch. It was obvious that the coaches didn’t want to risk him being injured. At the end of the 3rd quarter, the Pats elected to have no one back to return the punt. Amazingly Dallas got called for delay of game. On the ensuing punt, Rex Burkhead was back and called for a fair catch.

On 3rd down, the Patriots Defense held the Cowboys to 2 for 13. The Pats weren’t much better at 3 for 14. Interestingly, NE had 27 rushes to Dallas’ 26. The Pats had 10 first downs by pass and 6 by the run. That’s closer to the balance that they need to succeed.

Dallas sacked Brady twice (I think Cannon gave up the other) and 6 QB hits.

NE had no sacks and 5 QB hits. Per the Boston Herald’s Andrew Callahan (11/24), the Cowboys have allowed a league low 12 sacks.

Dietrich Wise had a dumb penalty for the 2nd week in a row, a roughing the passer.

Shawn Colvin
Special K
Special K, very good guess but incorrect. I have seen Colvin a few times and always enjoyed her music. - Z

Hi Jim, how about Emmylou Harris. Thanks for sending the"zine". David Annese Sorry David, good try, but no, it is not Emmylou Harris. - Z
Glad to have you back in the game!!
My TRIVIA QUESTION guess is Sheryl Crow.
Go NAVY. Beat ARMY. 
Richard Flinn
Good guess, Richard, but no, Sheryl Crow is not the correct answer. - Z

One last guess- Emmylou Harris?
Richard Flinn
Hi Richard, no, not Emmylou Harris either, but thanks for trying to answer the trivia question. - Z

Since the Sportzine comes out on Monday, the chance to see Martin Scorsese’s The
Irishman is almost gone. For Rhode Islanders, it’s only playing at the Avon and Cinemaworld in Lincoln. The run ends tomorrow, Tuesday, then it will be shown only on Netflix which funded the movie. However in order for The Irishman to qualify for an Oscar, the movie had to be released to theatres before the end of the year. As a Scorsese aficionado, I will try to see the movie. At 209 minutes, that’s a long film. But this is Scorsese, one of the preeminent American directors, and someone that I’ve been tracking since Mean Streets (1973). Hope you see it.

Special K made an excellent observation on Netflix’s ploy. She referenced the loss of drive-in movies and said Netflix and other streaming services would like to do away with movie theaters.

Dr. John was back at the Hot Club after a time away. When I said that I had just seen Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite at the Avon, he recalled seeing Aliens 2 there. John said it was filled with Brown students and their dates, who mostly hid under their seats during the movie. However when Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) dons the metal superstructure to face off against the Mother Alien creature and says “Get away from her, bitch”, there were loud cheers from all the women.

Last issue, I asked you to name the woman who is a singer/songwriter/guitarist who had success with others covering her songs, but won a Grammy for Best Country Song and then had a breakout album that garnered her a Grammy for Best Folk Album and later won a Grammy for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance. No one got it. The answer: Lucinda Williams. Lucinda won her Grammy for Best Country Song when Mary Chapin Carpenter covered her Passionate Kisses. The breakout album was Car Wheels on a Gravel Road which went Gold and won her a Grammy for Best Contemporary Folk Album. Later she won Best Female Rock Vocal Performance for Get Right with God from the album Essence. I still love her Sweet Old World album (1992).

A change up: this double album was the sole studio album by a group. It was not received well, never charting in Britain, and reaching only #16 on Billboard’s Top LPs chart in the US. Yet the album has since made the Grammy Hall of Fame. Name?


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