Posted on: December 22, 2008 2:08 pm

The NFL hates the New England Patriots...

I honestly do not believe that the NFL has it out of the Patriots, but the schedule change they made earlier today, flexing the Dolphins vs. Jets game from 1:00 to 4:00, really hurts New England.

The thing that bothers me is that there had to have been someone involved with this move that said, "If we make this schedule change and the Patriots win at 1:00, then the Jets are eliminated and could just lie down and let the Dolphins win, but if we leave the game at 1:00 then all three teams will have something to play for" and therefore someone more important simply said, "whatever".

I'm trying to follow the advice so often given by Bill Belichick and only worry about what the Patriots can do, but it is so hard. These two ideas keep bouncing back and forth inside my head:

1) The Jets lie down and let the Dolphins cruise to victory. My first thought when I hear this is "Yep, that could happen". The Jets despise the Patriots and they would like nothing more than to bring New England down with them. Mangini and Belichick aren't exactly best buds and the Jets could get away with it because they have played so awfully recently that anyone could say that they gave it their all.

2) The Jets come out, play well, and win. I know if the Patriots win then the Jets have "nothing to play for", but I hate that line. You always have something to play for, even if you can't make the playoffs. Every single player on that team is fighting for a job, a bigger contract, or even tv time, and the only way to get those things is to play well. If Mangini goes out and loses his last four games, even if the last game was "meaningless", he could definitely be on the way out the door. I just don't see how the Jets players/coach could throw this game away.

I just hope after everything is said and done a flex-schedule change isn't what ultimately decides who goes to the playoffs in a winable AFC.

Posted on: November 25, 2008 3:17 pm

Patriots Playbook: Weird feelings for Matt Cassel

For all the females who are reading this in hopes of picking up some juicy insight on the total hunk that is Matt Cassel, I'm sorry, I'm not talking about that kind of feeling.

What I'm talking about is lack of fulfullment.

When I watch Cassel improve every game, move around in the pocket, throw on the run, rush for first downs, make tough throws, and win big games, I think, "Wow, look at this guy. He's young, he's got great talent, and he's a winner. I can't wait to watch him develope over the next 10 years and become a franchise quarterback!"

Then I remember that Cassel, assuming Brady's rehab continues as expected, will be wearing a different uniform next year.

It's unreasonable to believe that Cassel will remain as the backup with the Patriots when he could be making a projected $12+ million as a starter for one of the many QB desperate teams in the NFL...but you can believe that if his new team is on the Patriots' schedule next year there will be a large contingent of New Englanders who will be very nervous going into that match-up (including the Patriots' secondary).

So why is it that I feel cheated when I watch Cassel play? I compare watching the Pats' QB to watching a child grow up. You put all your effort and care into that child, encourage him to do his best even when other people might tell you he's not going to amount to much. Then, when he is finally turning into something you can really be proud of, he's taken away from you. Your child is given to new parents who benefit from the time you put into him and it's possible that he might make his family better than yours.

I guess what I'm saying is while I love watching Cassel play and excel the way he has been, that it's hard for me to put my whole heart into it because I know next year our baby is going to sign with a new family and leave us behind to watch him prosper elsewhere.

But, in the big picture, it's not so bad. We still have our oldest son Tom.

Posted on: November 25, 2008 2:48 pm
Edited on: November 25, 2008 2:56 pm
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