Take Nothing For Granted ……
I’m not so sure that Bill Belichick can take away anything positive from the New England Patriots’ — loss at Heinz Field on Sunday afternoon against conference rivals the Pittsburgh Steelers . Mike Tomlin’s — team simply knew that to have any chance of overcoming the his opponents, was to literally shut down the passing — game of Tom Brady and this Patriots’ offense .
Slide show for your perusal .
With an always stout and aggressive defense you simply knew that this would definitely be a stern test for Brady and his teammates. Dick LeBeau as the Steelers’ defensive coordinator might just be the premiere defensive strategist in the NFL today. This Hall of Fame cornerback made a name for himself in the NFL but his involvement now with the Pittsburgh Steelers speaks volumes as to the faith placed in him by head coach Mike Tomlin and the defensive players of this Steelers’ unit. This game not only became a test of wills between the two teams but also a test of the two celebrated quarterbacks on opposite sides. Between them , Brady and Ben Roethlisberger have won 5 Superbowls over this past decade . The two franchises are two of the most celebrated within the NFL and their legacies speaks volumes as to the respect that they’re given .
There is no denying that the real issue for the Patriots for much of this season has been the inconsistency of the defense and the very fact it seems to be a work in progress. If Bill Belichick and the coaching staff believes that the approach now being taken concerning the defense will be a wholesale remedy as the season progresses then from my point of view he’s sadly underestimated the merits of this defensive corp. They’re amongst the worst in the NFL in pass and run defense never mind the fact that although team has an offense that is clicking on all cylinders there has to be a resolve about the defensive side the Patriots’ game. If not, then there’s no chance in hell that this team can comfortably survive within the environment of the postseason.
Heinz Field proved to be the twelfth man in this duel between two divisional leaders within the AFC . In front of a raucous crowd of some 68,000 fans this game became a battle of two teams seeking to make their presence felt within the NFL in the early part of the season . And clearly after this 25-17 loss it certainly gives credence to the fact that the New England Patriots are not as good as advertized . As an avid fan of the team I think it only worthwhile to be critical of the organization when I firmly believe that they are not playing up to their potential . And that clearly has been the case with Patriots over the course of this season as it has unfolded. The real dagger in the heart for the New England Patriots was Steelers’ tight end Heath Miller who repeatedly got the secondary of the Patriots so rattled that they had no answer for the player. Time and time again Miller got the better of whomever was meant to be covering him. And Roethlisberger repeatedly took advantage of the mismatches as the game unfolded to place the offense in a far competitive position strategically for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
With the loss it will be interesting to see how the New England Patriots regroup from the defeat. Clearly Bill Belichick and the coaching staff will have to go back to the drawing board and reassess the flaws on this team . It is one thing to be conceited and arrogant as has always been the case with the Patriots’ coach. But now it is getting to a stage where even I as an ardent fan of the team now have to question the lackadaisical approach and complacency often shown by the coach !
With all of the hyperbole placed upon the NFC East and the teams within its midst , I continue to find it so asinine when I continue to hear the rather idiotic analysis provided by ESPN contributors such as Merill Hoge and Skip Bayless as to what they view to be the superiority of teams such as the New York Giants (5-2) , Dallas Cowboys (3-4), Philadelphia Eagles (3-4) and Washington Redskins (3-4) ! The teams within the division are a combined 14-14 and from a conference and divisional standpoint their respective records can be best described as mediocre . But somehow the ” buffoons “of the four letter network would simply have you believe that the best football to be found within the NFL comes from that division. I can only surmise that both Bayless and Hoge similarly admire the stench of fecal matter when it’s placed within their midst !
The Philadelphia Eagles played host to the Dallas Cowboys at Lincoln Financial Field , in Philadelphia , Pennsylvania on Sunday , in what could be best described as a game that could well determine fate of their respective seasons .
If we were led to believe that it is Andy Reid’s immediate future that was said to be in jeopardy then the play of his team simply didn’t reflect that . Instead the Eagles simply laid waste to a Cowboys’ team that was ill prepared for the Philadelphia Eagles’ onslaught. Reid’s opposite number Jason Garrett may have for the moment the full support of Jerry Jones and the entire front office of the Dallas Cowboys. The complete ineptitude shown by the team under Tony Romo’s presumed leadership abilities left a great deal to be desired . Offensively and defensively , the players lacked composure and their execution in several facets of the game left you wondering whether or not you might well have been watching a varsity high school team. And the continued belief that Romo is one of the better quarterbacks in the league certainly wasn’t reflected in this game. The player had a less than 50 % completion rate and an interception which added to the Cowboys’ woes over the course of the game.
Being as Jerry Jones has always been the consummate businessman I wonder if he will seek out another corporate endorsement ? Perhaps with the vitamin supplement beverage company Red Bull I would surmise ! They can then call the line of assorted drinks in question Bullshit , because that’s all that has been served up by the organization over the last decade ! If you want proof of that seek the evidence of Sunday’s game and the end result 34-7 victory for the Philadelphia Eagles. I wonder what the spread offered up by the guys in Vegas might have been prior to the game ?
For Michael Vick and his Eagles’ teammates , they’re not quite out of the woods yet because anything short of a postseason berth in the playoffs at the end of this season and there’s bound to be a great deal of anger directed not just at the coaching staff but also the entire front office as well as the Philadelphia Eagles’ players themselves. The clock is ticking on this presumed Dream Team and to my mind they’re liable to meet the same fate as another over-hyped and conceited group from the NBA known as the Miami Heat who simply showed that a yellow streak ran down their spine !
So for some reason the St Louis Rams felt it prudent not to be involved in the Andrew Luck sweepstakes which is bound to take place at the 2012 NFL Draft . By defeating the New Orleans Saints — 31-21 the Rams left the ranks of the win-less teams within the NFL . And now for some reason the fans are now left to speculate which of the remaining franchises will tank their season in order to gain that prospective number one pick .
If I’m Sean Payton along with that entire Saints’ organization and the playing personnel I would be completely embarrassed by such an inept display ! Never mind the fact that the thought to be always dependable Drew Brees had a game that he would rather forget . Conceitedness, much like complacency has always been a bitch and it has a proverbial way of always coming back to bite you in the ass ! Clearly that was the case for the New Orleans Saints as they took their opponents far too lightly .
Having allowed the St Louis Rams (1-6) to get off the schneid with their first win of the season we’re now left with the Indianapolis Colts (0-8) and Miami Dolphins (0-7) as the only win-less teams left in the NFL . And it would be safe to say that we could be on the cusp of seeing a second team go 0-16 for only the second time since the league went to a 16 game regular season schedule. The last NFL team who gave us that dubious distinction were the Detroit Lions from the 2008 —- season . I’m not quite yet ready to place a bet as to whether or not it will be the Colts or Dolphins who will join that inept Lions’ team from three years ago ! But it will be interesting to see what unfolds over the remainder of the NFL season as it regards both franchises .
For Steve Spagnuolo as coach of the St Louis Rams this victory gives the team a renewed confidence over the remainder of their season and a chance to seek some respectability in terms of their overall record and standing within the always woefully abysmal NFC West .
Picture gallery for your perusal .
What thoughts if any do you have on the NFL schedule with regard to week 8 ? And do you feel this season we could very well see another franchise repeat the feat of the Detroit Lions in 2008 by going win-less ? Simply leave a comment as you deem fit .
Picture and slide show details below .
(1) Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, right, and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady meet at mid-field after an NFL football game in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Oct. 30, 2011. Pittsburgh won 25-17 . AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar …
(2) Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers is sacked and stripped by Andre Carter (93) of the New England Patriots during the game on October 30, 2011 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images …..
(3) Heath Miller (83) of the Pittsburgh Steelers dives over an attempted tackle by Patrick Chung (25) of the New England Patriots during the game on October 30, 2011 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images ……
(4) Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha (24) reacts after his interception of a pass intended for Dallas Cowboys tight end Martellus Bennett in the first half during an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 30, 2011, in Philadelphia. AP Photo/The News Journal, Daniel Sato …
(5) Dallas Cowboys’ Tony Romo is sacked by Philadelphia Eagles’ Cullen Jenkins (97) and Trent Cole (58) during an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 30, 2011, in Philadelphia. AP Photo/The News Journal, Daniel Sato …
(6) Head coach Jason Garrett of the Dallas Cowboys questions a call with head linesman Wayne Mackie (106) as Laurent Robinson (81) of the Cowboys looks on during a game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on October 30, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Eagles defeated the Cowboys 34-7 . Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images …..
(7) ST. LOUIS, MO – OCTOBER 30: Lance Kendricks (88) of the St. Louis Rams is tackled by Tracy Porter (22) of the New Orleans Saints at the Edward Jones Dome on October 30, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Rams beat the Saints 31-21 . Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images ….
(8) Drew Brees (9) of the New Orleans Saints is sacked by James Lariniatis (55) and Gary Gibson (71) of the St. Louis Rams on October 30, 2011 at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Missouri. Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images …
(9) St. Louis Rams running back Steven Jackson (39) celebrates his touchdown during the third quarter of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints, Sunday, Oct. 30, 2011, in St. Louis. AP Photo/Tom Gannam …..
Actress Jaime Pressly