Monday, January 06, 2020


DECEMBER 2, 2019

When the Patriots drove to the Houston 7 for a 1st and goal on their very first possession, I thought that it was a good sign, especially since they had used 7 runs and 2 passes. Sony Michel had runs of 4, 0, 5, 5 and 17 to get to the 7. Edelman contributed catches of 11 and 12 yards. But then they failed to score a TD and settled for a field goal. Tom Brady was visibly mad after throwing away the 3rd down pass. Houston had wisely put 2 men on James White and no one else could get open. Little did I and other Patriot fans know at that point that Brady’s anger at his receivers had just begun.

When the Pats Defense again stopped the Texans, there was a chance that NE could add to their lead. However there was a troubling sign on that 2nd Houston possession. Van Noy had sacked Deshaun Watson on 3rd down, but a replay showed that on the play Kenny Stills was wide open having beaten Jonathan Jones.

It was that second Pats possession that would be a harbinger of their fate. Brady was hit as he threw the ball on the 1st play as Isaiah Wynn was beaten by his man. Two more passes ensued and on the 3rd down play, Bradley Roby intercepted Brady. The pass was intended for N’Keal Harry. Did Harry run the wrong route? Or was it Brady’s fault?

The Texans, from their own 21, quickly scored and it was 7-3. The Pats would never see a lead again. But we would see Brady again blowing his top. On NE’s next possession, with a 3rd and 7, RT Marcus Cannon was beaten and Brady had to run for his life, managing to get a 1st down. The next play LG Joe Thuney was beaten and Brady threw it away. On a 3rd and 6, Brady missed hitting Jacobi Meyers. However Brady could be seen yelling ‘separation’ at Phillip Dorsett.

The Texans then went 88 yards in 13 plays, mixing runs with short passes, and took a 14-3 lead. The drive took 6:52 off the clock. On the TD, the Texans showed some trickery as they had 3 men in the backfield with Watson. Two went out for the pass and Duke Johnson was wide open. With an offense that is struggling big time, the Patriots were in big trouble. Brady was sacked on 3rd down on the next series as RT Marcus Cannon was beaten. It was 14-3 at the Half, but the Pats would have the ball first. Hope.
Hope left early after a Brady INT was negated by a Houston penalty, because Brady was sacked again on a 3rd and 6. Then the Pats went for it next possession on 4th and 1 (incomplete pass to Sanu) at the Houston 42. It left the Texans with a short field. Watson took full advantage. After his 35 yard TD pass to Will Fuller was reversed, Watson calmly hit Kenny Stills for a 35 yard TD on the next play. 21-3.

The Pats didn’t give up and scored on a James White 12 yard pass reception, but new kicker Kai Forbath missed the extra point. At 21-10, they would have been a TD (2 point conversion) and FG behind. At 21-9, that wasn’t the case.

The Texans put the final nail in the coffin by beginning the 4th quarter with a 9 play, 75 yard drive that took 5:18 off the clock and left the Pats looking at a 28-9 deficit. DeAndre Hopkins beat Stephon Gilmore for 10 and 27 yard catches on that drive. The Texans then used a trick play as Watson handed off to Duke Johnson who handed off to DeAndre Hopkins who passed 6 yards to a wide open Watson. The game was effectively over. NE would get two more TDs, White an 11 yard pass at 3:49, and Edelman a 20 yard pass with 55 seconds left. They were lipstick on a pig of a game.

Tom Brady will shoulder much of the blame (24 for 47 with an INT), but this was a team defeat. Brady was sacked 3 times and hit 12 times. His receivers had great difficulty getting open. Was that good defense by Houston or poor pass routes?

Similarly the Defense did not look like the one Patriots fans had seen in every game but the Ravens debacle. The D gave up a 14 yard TD pass, a 13 yard TD pass and a 35 yard TD pass. We won’t hold it against them for the trick 6 yard pass to Watson.

How much did the illness that caused 9 different players (per the Pro Jo’s Mark Daniels - 12/2) to be listed as questionable affect the Pats performance? 5 were on defense including Collins, Dont’a, Chung and Gilmore. We’ll never know, but Pats fans can only hope that it’s a healthy crew that faces the Kansas City Chiefs next week at Gillette.

On the positive side, the Patriots rushed for 145 yards. James White had 79 on 14 carries and Sony Michel 45 with 10 carries. The Texans only had 52 yards rushing, but it was their passing game that couldn’t be stopped.

DeAndre Hopkins was targeted 8 times and had 5 catches. That was not all against Stephon Gilmore because at times the Pats played zone. Duke Johnson had 5 catches on 6 targets. Kenny Stills had 3 catches on 4 targets. Watson was an efficient 18 of 25.

For the Patriots, James White had a great game. Along with being the leading rusher, White was targeted 11 times, had 8 catches, 2 for TDs. Julian Edelman had 12 targets and 6 catches, 1 for a TD. The rest of the receivers didn’t help much: Meyers had 3 catches (7 targets), Sanu 3 (5), Dorsett 2 (6) and Harry 0 (1). Harry’s stats suggest that he was not on the same page as Brady.

As if the Patriots offensive line didn’t have enough problems, they lost fill-in center Ted Karras on the 2nd series of the 2nd half. James Ferentz took over.

On the series in which the Pats scored on White’s 12 yard TD pass that made it 21-9, Brady and Bunch had to overcome 3 penalties (Cannon, Edelman and White). On a 1st and 30, Brady hit Edelman for 44 yards.

The Bruins have been playing well especially at home where they are the only NHL team to have not had a loss (11-0-4). Go Bruins!
Despite no Gordon Hayward, the Celtics are 14-5 and have shown grit. Go Green!

The WooSox? THE WOOSOX? What the ????? "Oh for the love of Mike", our mom used to explain to avoid the cursing...
Our single A (instructional league) team (Grand Junction Rockies), along with the entire 8 team Pioneer League, is about to be cut from MLB sponsorship due to financial pullbacks.  So, I guess it's all gonna be the local college for baseball next spring and nothing for the summer.
Waited a long time for summer baseball out here on the frontier; it was decent ball with really young players who were honing their skills for the future. Enthusiasm. Even got to see a couple of major leaguers rehabbing for a few days before going back up (Jorge DelaRosa and Matt Holliday) Yeah, big deal, they drew a couple thousand to see a real guy hit or pitch. The Rockies actually have a couple of players on their roster who started their careers out here as kids and so there is a connection to the majors by the locals. Big time in a little town.
Bruins looking sharp. My Canadiens will be happy with a .500 year; lotsa youngsters.  Watched the Pats Sunday (Donkos are toast-please! fire Elway).  Pats are a bit off offensively, but Tommy Terrific just may have enough gas left in the tank for one more dance; can't ever count him out.
Bill LaPlante
Hi Bill,

The above link is to today's ProJo column by Mark Patinkin on how House Speaker Nick Mattiello screwed Rhode Islanders of the PawSox.
Worcester has committed a huge amount of money to the WooSox and their new stadium. After a few years of newness excitement, the team may be called the Woe Sox.

Can't believe last night's Bruins 8-1 win over Montreal. Don't recall ever such a win at Bell Centre or predecessor.

The Patriots offense will be better now with LT Isaiah Wynn and the return of Sanu and Dorsett.

The only team I fear is the Ravens and they just lost their Center. Better play them at Gillette in a playoff game. Belichick and the Brady Bunch will be ready if there is a next time. - Z

just returned from Colorado-got to see Celtics on Friday with my son Justyn and my godson Ryan-good game (just a bit shy of a great comeback-they were down 19 pts. and had lost Walker)-Sun-got to watch Patriots game with my grandkids Frankee B. & Ryan (I did most of watching)-great fun-my son told me that when Boston teams visit, ticket prices are raised and that the seats we had would be cheaper for Nets game.
I believe Layla and more love songs or other love songs by Derek& the Dominos is answer to quiz. Clapton was also member of another group that only put out one album.
Ken Forestal
Kenny, you are correct – the quiz answer is Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs.
I saw the end of that Nuggets game not realizing that Kemba Walker had been hurt. Close but no cigar. However they beat Sacramento at the end. Walker is due back tonight. Tacko Fall set some G League record recently with 18 rebounds (14 on the offensive glass) plus16 points. 
The Patriots have joined the Red Sox in changing the price for games against tougher opponents. Our seats are (I think) $179 x 10 games. However the face price on the Steelers and Cowboys tix was $263. Oddly, the KC game is $189. - Z

Can the Pats field a team Sunday with 8 out sick? Who does the kicking?
Paul Beaudette
Hi Paul, don't know how many of the sick players will make it on the field. Last week it was Marcus Cannon who found a way to play. The Pats signed a kicker for the game - Kai Forbath. Hope the game isn't close and he has little negative impact. Supposedly Folk may only be out for one maybe two games. We'll see. - Z

Sportzine is available at thanks to Buffalo Steve Lenz

EE Jim was upset and then he explained why to Dennis and me. He had been by Our Lady of Fatima Hospital and a house on the corner opposite the Hospital has been painted black. Jim thought it was outrageous that someone would paint a house near a hospital black. Dennis and I tried to calm Jim down. Dennis said an owner can paint his/her house any color they want. Jim was not assuaged. He was still indignant.

Last week Special K was mentioning that Netflix and other streaming sites would love to make movie theatres extinct much like what has happened to drive-in theaters. We reminisced about some like the Lonsdale Drive-In and the Seekonk Twin Drive-In with its See side and Konk side. We all knew that the Rustic Drive-In is the only existing Drive-In left in the state (Woonsocket). Captain Jack told us that sometimes when people went to the concession stand, they would move the people’s cars. For a laugh.

Two suggestions I got for my viewing pleasure were provided by HC staff (past and present): The Looming Tower on Hulu and Modern Love on Amazon Prime.

Last time I asked you to name the double album that was the only studio album by a group and was not received all that well initially, failing to chart in Britain and making it to only #16 on the Billboard Top LPs in the US. Yet that double album has since made the Grammy Hall of Fame. Answer: Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs. Only Ken Forestal got it. Derek and the Dominos released it in November of 1970. The band consisted of Eric Clapton, Duane Allman, Bobby Whitlock, Carl Radle and Jim Gordon. Duane Allman played lead and slide guitar on 11 of the 14 tracks. The double album re-charted in the years 1972, 1974 and 1977 and was certified Platinum. It was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2000. The 2012 Super Deluxe Edition of Layla won a Grammy for Best Surround Sound Album. The double album is rooted in Clapton’s then unrequited love for Pattie Boyd, who was married to George Harrison at the time. Because of his commitment to the Allman Brothers Band, Duane Allman never toured with Derek and the Dominos when they hit the US in late 1970 (Source – Wikipedia).

This singer/songwriter also was a record producer, arranger and talent scout. He had a song that became the first posthumous #1 record in the US, and the album it came from was the first posthumous LP to reach #1 on the UK Albums Chart. Name the artist.


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