Posts Tagged ‘Aaron Hernandez’

Mike: Now that we’ve gotten the QB’s out of the way, it’s time to shine the spotlight on the best part of the Patriots offense: Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez.

Considering that the Giants have not allowed a tight end to score on them since Christmas Eve, when the Jets’ Josh Baker caught a 5-yard TD-pass in the first quarter…

Nick: Wait, that’s actually not true. Vernon Davis torched the Giants for two touchdowns just one week ago. Nice try, though.

Mike: My sincerest apologies. The Giants allowed two touchdowns to a tight end since Christmas. Considering Gronkowski scored more touchdowns in a single game against the Broncos than the Patriots have allowed all post-season, I would expect you to take the prospect of a serious challenge for him a little more… well… seriously.

So which way is the scale leaning? Will the Giants defense continue to shut down tight ends or will Gronkowski be so whacked-out on Toradol that he’ll manage to mow over defensive backs like the good ol’ days? (more…)

Mike: Were you happy about that win? Bill Simmons seems to think that there could be no truly positive outcome for the Division Round match-up with the Broncos. Either the Pats handled business at home against a weaker team, or they didn’t do a good enough job, or they lost. Lucky for you and my playoff gambling, the Pats took care of business.

Nick: Are you kidding?

Mike: I’m not kidding.

Nick: I was ecstatic about this win.

Mike: The Pats were supposed to tool on the Broncos. I don’t know how much excitement you can take out of a game like that.

If the Pats beat the Packers with a hickory stick, I would totally understand your excitement. But it was the Broncos — a team that finished 8-8, which was good enough to take the title in the worst division in the league: the AFC West. I know you think that no game in the NFL is a gimme, but this was a game the Pats should have won; you’re just giving them credit for some shit they’re supposed to do.

Nick: We’re talking about the same Broncos team that managed to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers, right? As you might recall, the Steelers were supposed to win that game. The Packers were supposed to win, too. How’d those games turn out? Besides, it’s a playoff win. The Patriots are playing for the AFC Championship. Of course I’m excited.

As you kindly haven’t let me forget, it’s been four years since I’ve tasted the sweet nectar of a playoff victory. I even made sure I bought Budweiser because that’s what I was drinking when the Pats took over in the second half of that Sunday night game against the Jets. Budweiser: my anti-jinx. So when the Pats jumped out to a 14-0 lead before the first quarter was half over, I couldn’t have been happier. When Brady had thrown for five touchdowns before the first half ran out? Bud heavy had never tasted so sweet.

This was exactly what we needed. A dominant win in the playoffs, with the offense firing on all cylinders and the defense actually making some stops. With the dread of a continued playoff drought over, it feels like I can breathe again. I can look towards the actual match-ups and rationally consider what the outcome will/should be, rather than assuming the cards are irreversibly stacked against New England as karmic retribution for giving the whole league the finger in 2007.

Mike: I’ll give you the psychic effect for the team — the momentum is a good thing. But… I guess there’s no way to not have momentum going into the championship game… either you’ve won one (or two) or you’re no longer in the playoffs. Whatever.

Nick: I’m not talking about momentum. I’m talking about ending a drought and reestablishing a mindset and culture of winning. I mean exorcising demons and getting monkeys off your back. You don’t think the Patriots are breathing a little easier with that first playoff win since ’07 under their belts?

Mike: Yeah, I guess you’re right. The Patriots always lack for confidence. Poor Brady needs to get that weight of having to prove something off his shoulders. What the hell are you talking about? The man has three Superbowl rings on his hand. He doesn’t have to prove shit. NFL players don’t put as much stock in the dribble of ESPN analysts as you do. Whatever, have it your way:  “Nobody believed in us!” “It was us against the world!” “Everybody thought the tuck rule was bullshit, but we did it!” Just whatever.

Even Tom Brady said last week’s performance doesn’t matter.

Nick: You don’t think they’ll be a little more relaxed and just play their game rather than feeling the pressure to perform? I know I am.

Mike: Please, you’ve been in a relationship for two years now. When was the last time you “performed?”

OK, now championship football begins. The Ravens are traveling up I-95 this weekend for a visit to Foxborough. It’s Brady’s laser-show offense versus one of the best defenses in the league.

So let the jokes about Rocca-Flocca-Flacco’s mustache begin. Can the Patriots overcome a defense as strong as the Ravens? (more…)

Mike: Nick, I’m sure you’re relishing the fact that I have to write this preview with you while my Jets are in utter turmoil. You probably assume that I’m already resigning myself to a Patriots romp through the AFC. But, it’s amazing what a week without Patriots football will do to your memory… it makes me super optimistic about

TEEEEEEEEBBBBBBOOOOOOOWWWWWW!

Wait. That didn’t work last time. Maybe a new rally call will do:

ONE AND DONE! ONE AND DONE! ONE AND DONE! ONE AND DONE!

So, let’s hear it, Nick. How are the Pats going to win their first postseason game since before our 21st birthdays?

Nick: Come up with all the lame rally cries you want, but I’m supremely confident that the Pats will handle business this Saturday in Foxboro. Well, maybe supremely confident is a bit of an overstatement, because I’m always pessimistic (particularly when it comes to Boston sports) and there’s a 10% chance that some Supreme Being is pulling some serious strings to make Tebowmania an official religion.

So how will the Pats win this game, you ask? The way they have won every game this year: offense, offense, and more offense. And the possibility that Tebow will complete 6 whole passes this week. (more…)