So Sarah and I were really, genuinely, truly planning on doing an epic and comprehensive Patriots Season Preview, the kind you see on fancy-schmancy blogs with like, design concepts and a readership and all that stuff.
But as the preseason ticked onwards, Sarah and I kept getting distracted and it kept getting put off.
So now the season opener is upon us, and so we found an hour between crap to just talk about the Patriots this season. We’ve done minimal research here beyond reading ridiculous advice for our fantasy football teams, probably miss some really important stuff, but look, the title says it’s half-assed, so what do you expect? We’re very busy, you know.
But we’re always talking about sports, and we figured we’d just work the Pats stuff into our usual Monday bullshitting session, which we do anyway and now will just stick up online.
Please excuse the lateness of the preview, and here’s hoping we do better next time, and at least talk about the Patriots with an air of authority. Maybe if we’re feeling confident enough, we can even scream and yell and pound our fists on the desk.
S: I’m totally rocking my t-shirt and Tom Brady jersey earrings. I didnt really think teaching in a Wes Welker jersey was appropriate.
M: That’s wonderful, Sarah. Great way to make friends all over this country, being a Pats fan. So looking at the team tonight, I actually don’t think the big question for me is Brady’s knee. My big question is what this defense is going to look like.
S: I was actually thinking about that this morning as well – everyone’s all hyped to see Brady back, but I honestly think he himself will be fine.
M: Yeah, he looked just fine in the preseason. Granted, we know they wouldn’t tell us if anything was wrong, but whatever.
S: But yes, over the course of this offseason we really lost the veteran core of our defense.
M: I’m really looking forward to watching Jerod Mayo develop. They seem to have a hell of a lot of faith in him, his teammates, coaches, etc. and clearly they think this will be a big year for him.
S: So I’m pretty sure tonight’s game against the Bills isn’t really going to look like any games against that team that we’ve seen in quite a while, by the way.
M: Just because of TO?
S: Well, the combination of TO and the shift in our defense. I’m hoping our offense will stay consistent, but I’m thinking they’ll take a different defensive approach than we saw in the preseason.
M: Well yeah, our offense just needs to tighten up a bit and it’s golden.
S: The Brady-Moss connection will be SUPER AWESOME to see again, I’m not going to lie. Same with Brady-Welker. Cannot WAIT.
M: Ok, well, obviously. It’s worthy of note that holy crap are we deep in receivers. After those main two we have Galloway and a bunch of other great options.
S: Truth. I’m just saying, though. It’s been a year. I need my fix.
M: I do wonder a bit about our running game though–again, just like I do every damn year. Yes, we’ve got Maroney, and Fred Taylor and that crew get the job done, like, what, 5? 7? yards at a time, but I’m thinking that’s yet again not our strongest point. But I’m not sure how much that will matter unless we’re facing a defense that can stop the Brady-Moss Awesome Express.
S: That’s fairly consistent with recent years. At some point I’d love to see us step up the running game but I think with all the shifting in defense this offseason, that needs to be the focus of whatever retooling the team is doing right now. Make sure the defense is solid, then start working on adding new facets to the game.
M: I concur! We’re clearly really good at this.
S: Well, obviously.
M: I guess I don’t actually need to know that much to broadcast my sports-loving homerist bullshit into the universe after all. Should have known.
S: Well, that’s not true per se. I mean, someone who didn’t know much about football wouldn’t know that, for example, the Bills were 6-1 last season against the style of defense the Pats have been using in their preseason games. BUT, they were 1-8 against the other style the Pats have been known to use. Most people don’t know that the Pats use multiple defensive systems!
M: But you can bet your ass Belichick knows that. But no, most people I imagine do not consider this information.
S: I’m really curious if they’ll use the 3-4 (which has worked well against the Bills in the past) or the 4-3 (which they used in the preseason).
M: Your prediction?
S: I’m also curious as to why they used the 4-3 so much if they knew the first team they were facing is really good against that one. My prediction is that Bill Belichick is a sneaky bastard, and they’ll go with the 3-4.
M: Belichick being a sneaky bastard is hardly a risky prediction.
S: I mean, it’s a fairly solid assumption to make.
M : If I may be so bold, I predict Belichick will be consistently vague and frustrating and genius-tastic throughout the season. That’s me going out on a limb.
S: Speaking of Belichick and being awesome, have you noticed that Josh McDaniels has been trying to emulate the cutoff sweatshirt look out here in Denver? I’m hoping Belichick lays the fashion smackdown on October 11th when the Pats come out this way.
M: I did notice that! What’s going on there? Especially with all the crap Belichick gets for it.
S: Maybe McDaniels thinks he can channel some of Belichick’s awesome, crap be damned.
M: Well, he needs it. God knows. So what games did you watch yesterday? Anything of interest catch your eye? Anything you think the Pats will be wary of in the season ahead?
S: I definitely caught a good bit of Redskins/Giants, and unfortunately as much as I hate them, either the Giants are looking fairly awesome or the Redskins are just fairly terrible, with the exception of Chris Cooley. Or it could be both, I guess – either way, the game against the Giants will be a tough one, which seems to be par for the course lately. I also watched as much of the Bears/Packers game as I could stomach…which, granted, wasn’t much after the Bears’ only points in the first half came off a SAFETY. So much fail in one game. Plus, I just hate the Packers, so. How about you?
M: I watched the Bears-Packers, since I was out most of the day and there were big fantasy implications, all of which panned out to NOTHING for me. It wasn’t a great game to watch. I was kind of disappointed.
S: Oh! I also caught a bunch of the Cleveland-Minny game; Minny’s kicker got me ten points, which was both really awesome and really sad, since Cleveland got blown out of the water. I was really pulling for Brady Quinn, too – there was one pass that he completely whiffed on, looked like the ball just fell backwards out of his hands, and it ended up being a classic turnover off a fumble. Poor guy.
M: Poor Brady Quinn? Seriously?
S: I mean, I’m not going to lie, I cheered for him when he was at Notre Dame. My sister was a big fan.
M: Ew. Did you catch that Stokely play?
S: Oh, I missed that one! Heard about it, though. Or rather, heard all my neighbors screaming about it. Pretty exciting ending to an otherwise boring game, if you ask me.
M: Yeah, maybe they saved up everything for the end. That’s what she said.
M: So, way to make me look like a fucking moron, here, Sarah. Whipping out all that knowledge about defensive strategy. Goddamn, my self-esteem is toast.
S: Go me. I’m telling you, my family’s #1 sport has always been football. The first time I ever got to stay up late to watch TV was the Pats-Packers Super Bowl.
M: Wow, I remember that SB. It feels like forever ago. I actually distinctly remember being totally bummed out because MY TEAMS NEVER WIN ANYTHING. Ha.
S: We didn’t get a taste of victory until the Brady years began. Clearly the man is a good luck charm for the entire New England region.
M: He brings with him the beneficence of the Gods from all sports.
S: That SB, I was 11 years old and Drew Bledsoe was my hero.
M: Bledsoe. Yeah, that worked out well in the end, that whole thing.
S: It really did, you know? You gotta wonder sometimes if Brady would really have had his shot if Bledsoe hadn’t gone down the way he did. Maybe Brades would have gotten traded and would be rocking face for some other team by this point.
M: Oh my God, don’t even speculate about that. Anyway, Cassel’s getting his shot. Granted, KC already BROKE HIM.
S: TRUTH. Were you as vaguely saddened by that as I was? I was pulling for Cassel, as much as you can pull for someone that isn’t on your team.
M: Well, it was great to watch him blossom before our very eyes last year. It was like watching a movie about the dorky, scrawny, unloved backup who finally gets his BIG FREAKIN SHOT when the Golden Boy goes down, and then he throws the clutch pass into the endzone and everyone cheers and his parents are crying and he gets the girl and all that. Except it was REAL LIFE. I mean, how can you not love that storyline?
S: Truth. And then he rocks a starting spot on another team when the real QB comes back, and his new team BREAKS him? It’s like the sad epilogue to an otherwise fun, family-friendly story.
M: Yeah, way to ruin the fun for everyone, Chiefs. AS USUAL.
S: PAR FOR THE COURSE.
M: AGAIN. Pollard, you dick.