Silver Lining to Patriots’ Ass-Whoopin

The good news? The Red Sox pack up the truck for the journey to Fort Myers on Feb. 12. It couldn’t come soon enough.

Decent Football Picks, Week 12

It’s Thanksgiving weekend and us football fans have a lot to be thankful for. Here’s a few of them:

1. The Pats have had no major injuries: Brady is still healthy, as is Moss and Welker. Jerod Mayo made it back sooner than expected after leaving the opening-night game against Buffalo. Fred Taylor and Sammy Morris are on the shelf, but with the Pats being a pass-happy team it really doesn’t matter. The left side of the line is a concern but not a season-ending one.

2. The Colts-Pats AFC Title Game is setting up to be the biggest non-Superbowl game ever: I can’t f’ing wait for this matchup. The Colts got lucky the first time. This could be the highest-rated non-championship game in sports history.

3. Ochocinco: Yea, some people see him as an asshole, but I think Ochocinco is good for the league. He’s a breath of fresh air in a league that is always trying to crack down on celebrations and creativity. Plus, I got to give the guy credit, he backs up every ounce of smack he talks and “Child Please” is pure gold.

4. Eric Mangini is terrible: Ever since Mangini busted Belichick in Spygate and told the Boston Herald he taped the Superbowl walkthrough against the Rams (That was the biggest secret of the whole Spygate saga, who was the rat who spilled the beans about the Superbowl after Congress confirmed it wasn’t Matt Walsh), I’ve seen him as nothing but a huge d-bag, and now he’s getting what’s coming to him. Next stop, the unemployment line.

Fugaze (9-7 last week, 75-83 overall) won last week, again, and is charging toward Helmet (8-8 last week, 87-71) and Tubesteak (7-9 last week, 78-79 overall) for the Decent Football Picks Championship.

Anyway, here are the lines on this week’s games, taken straight from Las Vegas: Green Bay (-11) at Detroit, Oakland (+13½) at Dallas, Giants (-6½) at Denver, Indy (-3½) at Houston, Cleveland (+14) at Cincy, Chicago (+11) at Minnesota, Washington (+9½) at Philly, Miami (-3) at Buffalo, Arizona (+2) at Tennessee, Seattle (-3) at St. Louis, Tampa Bay (+12½) at Atlanta, Carolina (+3) at New York Jets, Jacksonville (+3) at San Francisco, K.C. (+13½) at San Diego, Pisstburgh (+1) at Baltimore and New England (+3) at New Orleans.

Helmet Head’s picks: Green Bay, Dallas, New York, Houston, Cincy, Washington, Chicago, Miami, Seattle, T.B., Carolina, San Fran, K.C., Baltimore and New England.

Tubesteak: Detroit, Oakland, Denver, Peyton Manning, Cincy, Minnesota, Washington, Miami, Tennessee, Atlanta, Seattle, Jets, Jacksonville, San Diego, Baltimore and New England.

Fugaze: Lions, Cowboys, Giants, Houston, Cincy, Chicago, Washington, Miami, Arizona, St. Louis, Atlanta, Jets, Jaguars, San Diego, Pittsburgh and New England

So how do we think the Pats will fare on Monday night?

Helmet Head (Pats 51, Saints 47): “Rumor has it, when Belichick hangs up the clipboard, he’s going into the catering business.”

Tubesteak (Pats 42, Saints 17): “Hurricane Bill Belichick comes into New Orleans and rips the roof off the Superdome. It gets so absurd that some Pats players come out of the lockeroom to perform Mungo Jerry’s “In Summer Time” during halftime. The Pats halftime show becomes known as the biggest ‘slap in the face’ in the history of sports.”

Fugaze (Pats 48, Saints 40): We’re in for a thriller on Monday night. Pats pull this one out and it becomes one of those “remember the Saints Game?” games everyone talks about when the P-Men win the Super Bowl.

Decent Football Picks, Week 7

So who's the only guy in a suit for the plane ride to London?

Last week, I wondered aloud about how terrible Oakland was. Richard Seymour and the Raiders then go out and beat Philadelphia. Guess Oaktown wasn’t as bad as I thought, but I do know this: The Raiders are better than the St. Louis Rams.

How bad are the Rams? The Patriots scored more points in one snow game than the Rams have scored all season (59-54) and are in dead last in team offense and only better than the Lions in team defense. History shows that teams that spend top-5 picks on linemen usually improve but rookie left tackle Jason Smith was benched two games into the season for horrible play and last year’s top pick, defensive end Chris Long, has yet to record a sack this year. They haven’t won a game in more than a year (Their last win came against Dallas on Oct. 18, 2008). Ironically, The Pats started St. Louis’ current 16-game losing streak with a 23-16 win in Foxboro on Oct. 26, 2008, when New England scored 10 unanswered points for a come-from-behind victory. 

The St. Louis brass was almost ready to completely throw in the towel earlier this week when they tried to work out a deal with the Patriots for star running back Steven Jackson. The Pats had their eye on Jackson in the 2004 NFL Draft but ended up taking Vince Wilfork with the 21st pick. Jackson went 24th to St. Louis. In the end, newsroom sources say the asking price was too high (possibly two first-round picks) so the Pats will have to get by with Kevin Faulk and BenJarvis Green-Ellis for the time being.

You didn’t know that last week was Lucky 7s Week at Decent Community? I didn’t either, until Helmet, Tubesteak and myself all went 7-7 last week. Stranger things have happened … on Star Trek. I don’t gain any ground and sit in the basement at 41-48 while Helmet (54-35) maintains his lead over Tubesteak (47-42).

Anyway, here are the lines on this weekend’s games straight from Caesar’s Palace in Vegas: San Diego (-4½) at Kansas City, Peyton Manning (-13) at St. Louis, Chicago (+1½) at Cincinnati, Green Bay (-7½) at Cleveland, Minnesota (+4) at Pittsburgh, New England (-14½) vs. Tampa Bay in London, San Francisco (+3) at Houston, Mark Sanchez (-6) at Oakland, Buffalo (+7) at Carolina, New Orleans (-6½) at Miami, Atlanta (+4) at Dallas, Arizona (+7) at New York Giants and Philadelphia (-7) at Washington.

Helmet Head’s Picks: San Diego, Manning, Cincy, Green Bay, Minnesota, Pats, San Fran, Raiders, Bills, Saints, Falcons, Cardinals and Eagles.

Tubesteak: San Diego, Manning, Cincy, Green Bay, Pittsburgh, Pats, Niners, Raiders, Buffalo, Miami, Atlanta, Ny Giants and Eagles.

Fugaze: San Diego, Peyton Manning, Cincy, Green Bay, Minnesota, New England, San Francisco, Oaktown, Bills, Dolphins, Falcons, Giants and Redskins.

So how do we, and my copy of Madden 10, think the Pats will make out in London?

Madden (Pats 47, Bucs 16): Tom Brady shredded Tampa’s weak secondary. Randy Moss and Wes Welker combined for 19 catches for 362 yards and four touchdowns. Brandon Merriweather had two picks and a fired-up Adalius Thomas got the message from his benching last week with eight tackles and a sack.

Helmet Head (Pats 41, TB 6): “Like a nice piece of toast, a nice pair of Umbros, a good ole’ fashion town parade and a pair of stinky socks, the Pats this week will be crisp and crunchy, slick and tight, draw a nice crowd of Pecka Heads and infest the sneaker that is London.”

Tubesteak (Pats 45, TB 0): “Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, Start. That’s all I have to say about that.”

Fugaze (Pats 49, Tamp Bay 10): I just don’t see a way that Tamp keeps this remotely close — The Bucs are just a pitiful football team. I think they’re going to scrimmage Apponequet on their bye week after coming home from London. The Pats have scored almost 100 more points than the Bucs (163-77) this year. All you guys who play fantasy football should pick up Laurence Maroney right now: Tampa is allowing 177 rushing yards per game. Pats roll, but hopefully not too many offensive linemen come home with those strange European STDs I read about in Time Magazine.

Whiteout

Winslow Townson/The Associated Press

 Team records set by the Patriots Sunday in the 59-0 embarrassment of the Tennessee Titans:

  • Most points in a game
  • Most points in a half (45)
  • Most points in a quarter (35 int he second)
  • Most total net yards in a game (619)
  • Most passing net yards in a game (426, tie)
  • Most touchdowns in a game (8, tie)
  • Most passing yards in a half (345)
  • Most passing touchdowns in a half (5)
  • Most passing touchdowns in a game (6)

 NFL records set

  • Most touchdown passes in a quarter (5 in the second)
  • Largest halftime lead (45-0)
  • The win ties the largest shutout victory and the largest margin of victory since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger.

— Thanks to Patriots guru Mike Reiss from ESPNBoston.com

Thursday Ramblings

Looking for Patriots news? The best source is by far Mike Reiss’ blog on ESPNBoston.com. The former Globe Pats writer updates his blog several times every day and his Mailbag is second to none. … So I’ll bet $100 that if you have both Tom Brady and Steve Slaton on your Fantasy Football Team, you’re 0-2, like me. … GoogleNews was no working for a couple of hours on Tuesday. Why did I mention this? When’s the last time you heard of anything Google-related not being up to speed? … Three links for your reading enjoyment (after you leave Decent Community, of course): 1.How XBOX360 is used to fight heart disease; 2) Hungry for some Spotted Dick? You’re in luck as a city council in the U.K. recently reversed its decision to force a local restaurant to rename it “Spotted Richard;” and  3) What better way for high school senior girls to haze incoming freshmen that to put together a Slut List. Girls apparently are upset they didn’t make it onto the list, which has been an annual tradition at a New Jersey high school for more than 10 years. Only in Jersey. … It looks like we see what side the Red Sox organization took in the Nick Green-Jason Varitek-Heidi Watney love triangle. The Sox dismissed Green from the team and sent him back to Boston to chill while Watney follows the squad on their road trip. … Had a great idea for a contest the other day. How about CBS, who’s broadcasting this year’s Super Bowl, giving away a 30-second commercial spot to a small business? It could have an essay contest or some internet vide contest with the gold being a commercial that will make your biz big bucks. Wonder if Boston Regulatory Consulting would enter? … Happy 52nd birthday to German soccer player Wolfgang Wolf. What a decent name! …  Happy 33rd birthday to Stephanie McMahon, former wrestler, daughter of WWF founder Vince McMahon and wife to Triple H. Did you know that one of her storylines during her wrestling days had her getting abducted by the Undertaker, who was going to marry her in the middle of the ring before Stong Cold Steve Austin came in and saved her? … Happy 36th birthday to former NFL running back Eddie George. Did you know that George is married to Tamara “Taj” Johnson, a contestant on Survivor: Tocantins? Did you also know that his mother, a flight attendant, changed her work schedule to be at George’s side when he signed his first NFL contract? If she didn’t change, she would have been on TWA Flight 800, which exploded over the Atlantic Ocean in 1996 due to faulty wiring, killing all 230 people on board. … Finally, happy 29th birthday to Community member Tom “Bunt” Stankiewicz, who heads up DC’s San Francisco bureau. Do you know anyone else who has damaged their car by slamming into a frozen turkey?

How do the Patriots rank in Madden?

The mega-popular Madden 10 video game is set to his shelvesin two weeks. The latest edition of the football video game is an annual event for hard-core gamers, some waiting in lines at midnight for a copy. It’s popular in locker rooms around the NFL as well. It’s very common to find reporters asking questions during training camp about how players feel about their Madden rankings and who the best Madden player on the team is (A few years ago, Laurence Maroney told me he was king of the Patriots locker room, a claim highly refuted by Ellis Hobbs). 49ers quarterback Alex Smith, Titans QB Vince Young and Ravens RB Willis McGahee are considered some of the best Madden players in the NFL.

We already reported the Patriots are the best team in the soon-to-be-released Madden 10, but now Electronic Arts is giving us the individual player rankings, and some of them are surprising. The full list can be seen here, but here are a few that caught my eye:

1. Linebacker Jerod Mayo gets an 88 overall rating: The run-away winner for Defensive Rookie of the Year after playing nearly every single play of his inaugural campaign, Mayo does not even crack 90 in the new rankings. Shouldn’t a rookie who impresses guru Bill Belichick enough to play almost every down for an entire season get an automatic 90? Not to mention he was 10th in the league last year in tackles with 128.

2. Rookie safety Patrick Chung is the team’s hardest hitter: The second-round pick from Oregon has an 88 rating in Hit Power. Surprising, considering he weighs only 212 pounds and has a higher rating than Mayo (87) and 270-pound linebacker Adalius Thomas (84).

3. Fred Taylor is the team’s fastest running back:OK, now this is a little suspicious. I do believe the 33-year-old Taylor is the best running back on the team, but his 88 Speed rating is a little high. He’s more of a bruiser. Maroney should be the fastest (and in my opinion, the most pussy) running back on the team but his 83 Speed rating puts him behind Taylor and Kevin Faulk (84).

So who are the best Pats’ players? Surprise, surprise, Tom Brady (97 overall rating) and Randy Moss (96) are tops, followed by Richard Seymour (95), Logan Mankins (94), Matt Light (92), Wes Welker (91), Dan Kopen (91), Thomas (90)  and Vince Wilfork (90). Connecticut cornerback Darius Butler (77) has the edge among rookies, followed by Chung (75), Boston College defensive tackle Ron Brace (70) and UNC wideout Brandon Tate (69).

A Decent Version of Jon and Kate Plus 8

decent john and kate copy

New England Sports Taco of Decency

The taco.  A symbol of versatility, variety, youth, creativity and perseverance.  The fact that a taco can be filled with practically any meat and cheese illustrates its versatility and variety.  Versatility, variety and perseverance, now there are 3 qualities that the P-Men have illustrated in this decade, and with Brady’s unfortunate injury yesterday, the Pats will have to embrace those qualities in order to compete this year.  No Brady is a big bummer.  Brady is far and away the Most Valuable Player to his particular team, including the Colts and Manning, and after sitting out all pre-season games, Brady appears be out for the 08-09 season.  Not decent!  If Brady can’t play, can the P-Men compete?

We believe that the Pats and the Guru will find a way to win as they have done for the past 8 years.  It is true; the show must go on.  The P-Men didn’t look good against the Chiefs yesterday, that’s no secret, and next week when they face the Jets and Eric Mangini In a Bottle, New England Sports fans will get a glimpse of the P’s versatility, and hopefully what will be the resurrection of the pinnacle team in the New England Sports Taco of Decency. 

Put it this way, if the Giants can beat the P-Men with pouty McGee Eli Manning, the P-Men, the team with the best offensive and defensive lines, Vrabel, Randy Moss, Wes Welker, Larry Maroney, et al., can do their job and get into the Playoffs.