Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Question Answered

Monkeesfan asks - Oh my goodness gracious, to coin a Susan Waldman-ism. What will Shank say now, with the Patriots grinding out a 23-20 overtime win?

This is a rhetorical question. Fans of the site know precisely what will happen - Shank will jump back on the bandwagon!

It was the feel-good game of the year in New England. It reminded Patriots fans of the good old days when the Pats won with brains and teamwork.

Playing without Randy Moss for the first time since 2006, the Sons of Bill Belichick beat the estimable Baltimore Ravens 23-20 in overtime on Sunday to improve to 4-1, a half-game behind the Jets in the AFC East.
Since this is a CNN / SI article, check out the rest of it, and try to ignore yet another mention of Danny Woodhead's height...


Anonymous said...

Shank The Simpleton.

I saw the Baltimore game and afterwards had these feelings:

Pats were fortunate to be on an emotional high (Branch) and playing at home. It did help that Baltimore is somewhat anemic offensively or this could have been another blowout before the 4th.

Pats shouldn’t get too comfortable – they still have to play 7 great playoff teams = Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Indy, Jets, Bear, Packers, Dolphins. If they go 2-5 they are looking at a 10-6 season.

If there are no key injuries then the Pats have a chance. This is the reality. And it should be reported.

The Shank however thinks and writes as though he is playing in some fantasy sports league.

Belichick is much more of a realist than Dan The Dunce. Belichick is passionate and a workaholic at his trade. Bill won’t make many mistakes.

Belichick has the brains and the brawn to make things happen. Shank on the other hand will fantasize about himself.

Good luck to the Pats as the heart of the season approaches.


Anonymous said...

I was feeling brave so I clicked on the link....ARE YOU KIDDING ME?..Shank writing an "INSIDE THE NFL" column?. Shank doesn't know if a football is blown or stuffed.

Monkeesfan said...

Thanks for the plug.

Continuing the Susan Waldman-isms - Of all the dramatic things I've ever seen, Shank Shaughnessy jumping right onto Robert Kraft's bandwagon announcing he is back! Shank Shaughnessy is a New England Patriot again, and there you go Felgie, you don't have to worry anymore with Deion Branch back and Shank filling out that other spot in the bandwagon rotation!

Monkeesfan said...

At least Shank is consistent in deriding those who claimed (like Felger) that the Patriots will be a better team without Moss.

Addressing Anonymous' concerns going forward - yes, the Patriots were playing on an emotional high with Branch's return, were playing at home, and that the Ravens offense was not as good as advertised. What he misses is a key reason why - the Meriweather hit rattled them. It's why I'm less outraged at the hit than others, particularly the Goodell-era NFL and its increasingly typical fit of overrreaction, but that's a separate topic.

This Patriots defense is becoming a hard-hitting ball-hawking wall right in front of our eyes, and it's happening much faster than anyone could have expected. There was all the nonsense we heard in various forums - bring back Ty Law to bring veteran leadership - earlier this year; once again by basically leaving it alone Belichick is seeing the unit become a force again.

As for the rest of the schedule, a quick breakdown -

San Diego - Good offense (5th in points scored), but a mess everywhere else (19th in fewest points allowed and special teams has been bad).
Minnesota - Their offense was saved with the Randy Moss trade, but the Patriots have enough firepower and defense to beat it.
Pittsburgh - Got their quarterback back and their defense has shocked the league with its sheer power. But physical beats physical and the Patriots have owned the Steelers since Bledsoe and Martin ate them for lunch in 1996.
Indianapolis - the arch enemy, no need to recap last season to get motivation enough to beat Manning.

10-6 is far too pessimistic for the Patriots - I predicted 12-4 before the season, and it looks more solid now with the defense becoming what it is.

Anonymous said...


First of all I stated that “if they go 2-5 they are looking at a 10-6 season.” And “if there are no key injuries” they have a chance = two big if’s.

The seven games in question are against teams that will have something at stake. Although I respect Belichick’s approach to management you have to assume that these other teams will study their “tapes” and learn as many weaknesses the Patriots have. My bet is on Belichick coming out ahead but not dominating these seven.

More critical will be the injuries. You say “the Meriweather hit rattled them” => the Pats vs. Ravens. We shall see how teams will try and rattle the Patriots and if Brady can make it through the season uninjured.

I believe Brian Hoyer is the backup QB. I’ve never seen him play. Can he carry the Pats to a 12-4 season?

I think Belichick has made his calculations and to make the playoffs as a wildcard will require 10 wins, to win the division will require 13 wins and perhaps this “13” also gets them top seed in the conference.

The question for Belichick will be – is it more rewarding to win the division and/or conference or win the playoffs? These are separate seasons and require different approaches/strategies … and believe me Belichick thrives in these type of calculations = no emotions and no bull!


Monkeesfan said...

Anonymous - I understand your concerns. But there remains reason for optimism -

Brady has been hit a lot over his career and it has never rattled him - the Bernard Pollard hit cost him the 2008 season but other than that he's kept firing amid frequent hits. Rattling the Patriots has never happened.

Brian Hoyer is the backup, but we already saw with Matt Cassel how well Belichick can develop backup quarterbacks he sees can handle the job.

The other teams left on the schedule will certainly game plan and I'm not expecting the Patriots to dominate anyone. But it is wrong to suggest the Patriots are playing for ten wins - they're playing to win every game, and the depth the Patriots have shown all decade has been a lot greater than that of most other teams. The "win the division/conference or win the playoffs" dichotomy has never existed with this team.

Monkeesfan said...

Finishing the recap of the schedule going forward -

Jets - So far they've been much better than expected, but the performance in Denver was a closer shave than they wanted and Rex Ryan's history of inconsistent performance as coordinator/head coach, not to mention Mark Sanchez' inconsistent history, remains an indication the Jets won't get to the next level.
Bears - The Patriots own Mike Martz, and Jay Cutler has no ability to become a winner.
Packers - suddenly they're not as good as advertised with some sloppy play from all areas.
Dolphins - Yet another Bill Parcells-spawned team has hit the wall. Competitive, yes, but they have not been able to reach another level.

Anonymous said...


I think the Pats (Belichick) will monitor their energy level and see where it stands on December 1st.

In December, the race for Conference Champion might be down to Pats, Jets and Steelers and with 5 games remaining the edge goes to the Steelers easier schedule.

What will the Pats be fighting for if the Steelers are in control of home field? My bet is the Belichick will get everyone healthy for a Super Bowl run instead of trying to beat out the Jets.

It should be entertaining.


Monkeesfan said...

BTW, the part about Minnesota's offense being saved by the Randy Moss trade - boy was I wrong about that one.