I Still Don't Think the Pats Are Gonna Make the Playoffs...but They're in 7th and "Control Their Own Destiny"
Last night the Patriots picked up their seven win of the season against the Arizona Cardinals, 27-13. For now, the Patriots occupy the AFC's seventh and final playoff spot.
I'd never want to hang out with him socially, but it sucks that Kyler Murray went down. Nobody wants to see that; you hope he can bounce back. At least he'll have plenty of time to game—# lowhangingfruit.
There's no denying his absence changed the entire game. Even though the Cards were only 4-8 going into MNF, with a dynamic mobile QB and D Hop vs. an offense that struggles to string three first downs together, anything can happen. With Colt McCoy at the helm, even with the Patriots' pedestrian offensive efforts, you knew they'd probably be fine (although my b hole for sure tightened up when it looked like Agholor fumbled and the Cards had a scoop and score of their own). I'll give Nelson some hashtag good guy credit for this **heads-up** play.
Josh Uche went off with three sacks to bring his season total to 10; when I heard that last night, I was low-key shocked. I watch every game but didn't realize he was anywhere close to those numbies. 55 doesn't play enough, last night was Josh's first game in 2022 where he logged over 45% of the defensive snaps (64%), but in the past five weeks, Uche has been an absolute beast. Nine sacks.
Uche's monster night makes him and Matt Judon the only teammates in the NFL with double digits sacks. I would've never guessed that, but it's super encouraging going into the regular season's final month.
I love watching Rhamondre Stevenson play football, it was a huge bummer to see him go down, but two young backs, Kevin Harris and Pierre Strong picked up the slack, showing how replaceable running backs can be.
Big Ups to super-utility man Marcus Jones on his first career INT. Only the Patriots could have a corner who scored on special teams and offensive before registering his first pick.
Dude lays the wood too.
MNF was a solid team win against a team that the Pats should beat. I fucking love that Mac barked at Patricia. That and the defensive TD were the highlights of the night.
We're 7-6 with four to go, and while I wholeheartedly expect to beat the Raiders, those final three games are tougher than a $2 steak—Bengals on Christmas Eve, Dolphins, and @ the Bills to close out the regular season. I could easily see this team going from 8-6 to 8-9, but maybe we find a way to go 3-1 and put up back-to-back 10-7 seasons.
I love the Pats and would enjoy seeing them make the playoffs, but I also know this team is flawed. If we get the Chiefs in the Wild Card round, we're at risk of having a worse loss than last year's playoff game. I believe in our defense, but this offense can't go blow for blow with Mahomes when 2 out of 3 passes are behind the line of scrimmage.
For the good of the league, it'd probably be better to see the Chargers take the final playoff spot; they could maybe go on a run (even though Brandon Staley is a moron who hates field goals), but as of now, the Pats hold the seven seed, and it's theirs to lose. If they win out, they're guaranteed a playoff spot. Gun to my head, the Chargers get in ahead of us cause we're looking at 9-8 or 8-9, but at least we're in the mix. I wouldn't hate to see the Bills have home field locked up and rest guys, so we can get in over the Chargers. That's a straight-up loser mentality, but I just wanna get into the dance. You never know what can happen with a decent running game, solidish defense, and above-average kicker. As bad as the offense has looked this season, they have decent skill guys. Just find a way to score like 26 points.
I was on the Zappe bandwagon, but I'm fully prepared to absolve Mac of nearly all responsibility for his regression this year. The playcalling SUCKS. He's not a dink-and-dunk guy. Let 10 sling it downfield, but it's almost impossible to do that when Trent Brown can't pass block because he weighs like 450, and whoever's been at RT whether it's Wynn or that bum, who shouldn't be rocking #75 is essentially a turnstile. I believe in Mac; the Patriots have failed him this season. They deserve a much larger slice of the blame pie.
I didn't watch the Manningcast last night. It was a great alternative to a shitty booth last year, but with Troy and Buck, I'm not turning them off (they're the best duo in the business by default since Al Michaels and Collinsworth broke up). Peyton told a funny story about Belichick's pettiness. Fuck Art Modell!
R.I.P. Mike Leach.