Week 9 – The Mattyoshow Review

In this segment I will provide a weekly review for the previous weekend’s Patriots game, as well as my prediction for next weekend’s game.

-I want to start this post by congratulating the Cleveland Browns for winning Super Bowl XLV.  It was a majestic scene as Mangini got doused with Gatorade, the offensive coordinator was flopping around the field like a fish out of water, and the players were hugging each other, expressing their pure joy after spending an entire season working towards this one goal…Seriously Cleveland?  I know it was a big game for you.  The Patriots had the best record in the NFL, this game has probably been circled on your calendar’s since the schedule was released.  But a Gatorade bath in the first week of November?  You’re better than that Cleveland…or at least we thought you were.

-The lack of a deep threat finally reared its ugly head in Sunday’s loss in Cleveland.  I’ve been calling out this receiving corps for three weeks now, and we finally got to see how much the offense is hindered when you can’t get a receiver behind the defense.  The four longest completions of the day, 22, 22, 26, and 22 yards went to Aaron Hernandez, Rob Gronkowski, Danny Woodhead, and Sammy Morris respectively.  That means every pass completed over 20 yards were essentially dump off passes where the receivers ran after the catch.  Welker was blanketed for the fifth week in a row.  Without a deep threat, this offense will continue to struggle.

-BenJarvus Green-Ellis did his best Houdini impersonation today, disappearing a week after having the game of his career.  Nine carries just isn’t enough to get his guy rolling.  Granted, being down the whole game almost forced the Patriots into a no-huddle offense, where the majority of plays were passes, giving Woodhead more playing time.  But still, nine carries for BJGE isn’t enough to establish the run game, isn’t enough to force the defense into respecting the run, isn’t enough to make the play action pass effective, and isn’t enough to get victories.

-So much for the improving and impressive run defense for the Pats.  Hillis ran into, over, and around New England’s front seven early and often, leading to a career day (29 carries, 184 yards, 2 touchdowns).  Jerod Mayo again led the team in tackles, but he seemed to be one of the few Patriots even attempting to slow Hillis down.  Tully Banta-Cain, Rob Ninkovich, and Jermaine Cunningham were all terrible at attempting to set the edge.  I counted at least five or six times that Banta-Cain flew up the field and Hillis ran right underneath him.  If the Pats want to be considered among the elite teams in the league, their run defense can never have another performance like that again.

-Colt McCoy was 14-19 for 174 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions….unacceptable in my opinion.  When facing a rookie quarterback it is imperative that you not only confuse him, but force him into turnovers.  Colt McCoy was eerily accurate on Sunday, completing severely tight passes through small windows, and often on crucial downs.  I am aware that the Pats defense is essentially as young as McCoy, but Belichick’s scheme needs to be complicated enough to put his defense in places to make plays off of mistakes.  I failed to see it on Sunday, and that was very disappointing.

-NEXT WEEK’S PREDICTION – Patriots 18 – Steelers 17

TCU is for Real; Newton is Bush; JoePa gets 400

The week that was in college football.

TCU deserves to be in the conversation

In the game of the week, the TCU Horned Frogs dismantled the #5 Utes of Utah 47-7.  I have been and always will be critical of the TCU’s and Boise State’s of the world that play cupcake schedules and cruise into the national title conversation.  But I will give credit when credit is due and the Horned Frogs deserve to be considered for a national title berth.  Andy Dalton threw for 355 yards and 3 touchdowns launching himself into Heisman candidacy.  The top 4 teams in the country are now Auburn, Oregon, TCU and Boise State.

Cameron Newton is Reggie Bush?

Early this week word leaked out that Cameron Newton was allegedly “up for the highest bidder” when he transferred from his junior college.  An ex Mississippi State player came out and said that he was told it would have taken cash for Newton to sign at Mississippi State.  Newton’s camp has obviously dismissed the report.  But this sounds all to familiar and comparable to the Reggie Bush years at USC.  It will be interesting to follow this investigation as the season goes on.  I’d like to say the report isn’t true but over the past few years I have learned to trust whistleblowers.

Joe Paterno gets number 400

It only took him a century, but the ageless wonder Joe Paterno won his 400th game yesterday.  In all seriousness this is quite a feat that I don’t think will ever be touched by anyone else.  College football schedules are 14 games maximum.  It would take approximately 28 and a half seasons of undefeated football to get to 400 wins.  Let that sink in for a moment.

Invitations to New York

Cameron Newton is my clear favorite to win the Heisman Trophy so long as his he stays out of trouble.  I have already mentioned that TCU quarterback Andy Dalton will be going to New York for the ceremony as well.  The other invitations will be going to Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore and Oregon running back LaMichael James.  Moore threw for 507 yards against Hawaii on Saturday and has led Boise to an undefeated record to this point in the season.  LaMichael James has been unreal all season long and I readily admit I have slept on him all season long.  He ran for 121 and 3 touchdowns against Washington yesterday.

What’s coming up for the undefeateds?

#4 Boise State @ Idaho

Georgia @ #2 Auburn

San Diego St. @ #3 TCU

#1 Oregon @ California