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Topic: WILD CARD round starts Saturday, January 4th!! Post Reply | Post New Topic
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Rick Senger
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Joined: 16 April 2004
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Posted: 04 January 2020 at 1:47pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

If the Patriots survive and beat the Titans, they're toast if (when) they run into the Ravens.
*****
As Spock once said, "I've been dead before," but there's no question this is a steep mountain to climb particularly in Baltimore.
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 04 January 2020 at 11:17pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

The long national nightmare is over... NE's #1 defense played well (particularly in the 2nd half shutout) but the offense mustered little after Burkhead was tackled at the one yard line in the first half.  I think the Pats win if Tennessee doesn't stop them three straight plays for a field goal there because they'd have led 17-7 with momentum and a noisy crowd.  Instead the Titans gained inspiration and immediately drove for their own ultimately game winning TD right before the half.  

Now the question becomes... is Brady gone?  He hasn't played well in a while and I do see decline but there is some validity in the notion that he hasn't had the offensive support of other years.  I think it could go either way but while it would be a disappointing exit from Foxboro, I have nothing but love and awe for what the 199th pick in the sixth round in the 2000 draft has been able to accomplish.  Hard to imagine NE lets a six time superbowl winner go without a fight given the endless fan goodwill he's earned plus a bare cupboard behind him but there's always the trade route or some sort of desperate Hail Mary ala Colin Kaepernick.  I don't see them offering him a three year big money deal when the next time he suits up will be age 43. Time will tell. 
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Matt Reed
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Posted: 05 January 2020 at 3:20am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Sorry to all Pats fans, but I (for one and all) am glad they're out of contention.  I get it.  My best friend (a Bama fan) tells me all the time that when I say this that I have a problem with "excellence".  I don't, really, but I do want to see someone other than the Pats vs team X from the NFC in the playoffs.  I just do.  Two decades is enough.  Not for Pats fans to be sure and, let's be real, someone has to step up to be a giant killer.  But I'm sick and tired of the Pats always and forever being in the divisional round or the Super Bowl.  I just am.  Call me petty or what have you.  I'm fine with that.  And, as a result, I'm ecstatic that the Pats aren't playing deeper in January.  Sue me.  They were a subpar offensive team all season that thrived on their defense until teams figured them out halfway through the season.  They were ::gasp!!!!:: normal and were beaten by a better team.  

My Vikes will more than likely lose today v the Saints and in a weird way I'm OK with that.  I can't imagine the fear of losing Brady and (soon) Belichick instills in Pats fans considering history.  The Cowboys, Redskins and 49ers enduring 20+ years of mediocrity after their glory years.  I'm honestly of a mind that a team gets both the good and the bad and the Pats have had the good for nearly 20 years.  It's time for a change.   
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Matt Reed
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Posted: 05 January 2020 at 3:30am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

As to not having the "offensive support" Brady has had in recent years, I call bullshit.  Brady looked tired.  He didn't have the arm strength and threw a ton of balls in the dirt.  I don't think if he'd had three excellent receivers that they would have waltzed deeper into the playoffs.  42 is 42.  Age catches up with you whether you like it or not.  Pats fans can scream all they want for another season with Brady at 43 years old if only they get two competent WRs and a better RB than Michel, but they're kidding themselves.  
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Brian Floyd
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Posted: 05 January 2020 at 10:14am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Brady is declining, which happens to all QBs. He's already said something along the lines of not retiring this offseason. He may want to keep playing a few more years, but I am sure Robert Kraft will make the retirement decision for him in another year or two if they don't make at least a deep playoff run.

I'm sick of the same teams in the playoffs and Super Bowl all the time, period. Of the teams currently in, I like to see Texans,Titans or Bills vs. the Vikings or 49ers *. If the Packers are in, I'm automatically for whoever the AFC team is. I'm sick to death of Green Bay, and a couple of the Cowboys' past playoff losses to them are questionable. I hope the Packers turn to crap for at least 3 years after Rodgers hangs it up.

*Preferrably Titans vs. Vikings.


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Rick Senger
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Posted: 05 January 2020 at 1:10pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Brady's numbers were noticeably down, I give you that.  Lowest QB rating in six years, ditto his completion% of 60.8.  On the other hand, 24 TDs to 8 INTs wasn't bad.  Net passing yards were good enough for 6th.  Those last two stats aren't at the usual Brady level but they're above league average.  He threw a couple long, stinging passes yesterday that showed me he still has range and strength.  He threw for 300 yards in five games but consistency (long his calling card) seemed more of an issue, particularly in the second half of the season when he typically shines but this year not so much.  Still I think few would argue he doesn't still have NFL game.

You can argue degrees but it's hardly BS that Brady's supporting cast was worse this year.   For starters, Gronkowski's retirement.  Big, unique loss at TE that they never came close to replacing.  They also let go Chris Hogan, Cordarelle Patterson and Demaryius Thomas, leaving them with basically two productive receivers; Edelman and James White.  They rolled the dice on Antonio Brown and failed.  Josh Gordon was gone after 6 games.  Gronk was a huge loss not just for his stats but because he was a major disruption / attention grabber that made it possible for Edelman and White to get single coverage opportunities.  Edelman still caught 100 passes this year because he's Edelman but b/c everyone knew he was the primary, it took 152 targets to get them, not a great ratio.  If Thomas and Gordon or Hogan had stayed and Brown hadn't turned out to be insane you could argue the core was competitive with previous years but they didn't.  NE was short a couple receivers and a TE.  That coupled with a leaky o-line (starting center David Andrews didn't play all year, Isaiah Wynn out 8 games) and weaker running game (Michel had fewer yards in 16 games and 247 attempts than in 13 games and 209 attempts last year) made it easier for defenses to key on the passing game and contain the one potent threat, Edelman.  

Brady is certainly on the downslope (at 42 he should be) but the offensive decline is not all on him.  There's plenty of blame to go around.
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Brian Floyd
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Posted: 05 January 2020 at 4:37pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

I bet Matt Reed is fairly happy right now.....
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Matt Reed
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Posted: 05 January 2020 at 4:41pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

No one but Vikes fans thought Minnesota would come out and dominate the way they did. I don't think even diehard fans like myself thought they'd play a near perfect game v the Saints. Playing from behind, they score 17 unanswered points and ultimately hold a Saints squad averaging 35+ points over the last six games to 20.  Gutsy play calling on 3rd down to get Thielen the ball on a long pass and then another 3rd down call/execution to Rudolph to seal the win in OT.  

Going to SF next weekend will be tough, but no tougher than the environment we just experienced in NO. I believe!!! SKOL VIKINGS!!!!!!
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Matt Reed
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Posted: 05 January 2020 at 4:44pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Looks like I was the only one to pick the Vikes here on the board.  Even sweeter!  SKOL!!!

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Kevin Hagerman
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Joined: 15 April 2005
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Posted: 05 January 2020 at 5:09pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

I must have thought I picked the Vikings because I came here to post that I was 3 for 3, but clearly I did not.  I probably confused my rooting for them to win and my prediction that they would not.
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Kevin Hagerman
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Posted: 05 January 2020 at 7:48pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Divisional round is posted
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Matt Reed
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Posted: 05 January 2020 at 9:24pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

The only one to go 4-4 this weekend.  I'll take it!
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