Saturday, December 31, 2011

Game 16 - Today Redemption is spelled P-A-T's

Hello old friends, Landies here just checking in to let all the SBS readers know that we have not been shut down by the FCC, CIA, CTU, or any other organization. I'd like to congratulate XMark and myself for both getting new "real" jobs, where we have to do actual work on the job rather than blog. That coupled with writing nearly 40 pages of papers for my finals led to my Baxter like disappearance. But fear not - just like Baxter, I have returned to eat a whole wheel of cheese and befriend the Kodiak's to save the day. Or just write about the Patriots. Although perhaps I should just stay away seeing how the Pats have thrown together a nice little winning streak during my hiatus. Anywho, I have plans for quite a few posts over the next several weeks, but today we'll just touch on a few brief topics regarding the Bills.

  • Allow me to be the 854563168th person to compare this weeks game to the "Lawyer Milloy Bowl" from 2003 - the year when Belichick cut Lawyer before week one, shortly followed by Buffalo kicking our ass 31-0 on opening day - highlighted (lowlighted?) by 350+lb Sam Adams returning an INT for a TD (and one of the more feeble moments of Brady's career). Things came full circle in the NFL world, as the Pats came back to beat Buffalo by the same 31-0 score in Week 17 en route to their 2nd Lombardi Trophy. This of course was the last time the Bills beat N.E. until Brady's 4 INT debacle way back in Week 3 when people still thought Buffalo was good. Buffalo came out of the gates at 5-2, signed Ryan Fitzpatrick to a $59 million extension (yes, you read that correctly), and promptly shit the bed - now standing at 6-9.
  • The losses of Fred Jackson (2nd in the NFL in total yards when he went out) and All-Pro DT Kyle Williams obviously played a big role in this downfall; but this is not the same opponent we saw way back in September. Even though the Bills look like a pushover of an opponent, I expect to see the "full 60 minute effort" that every Patriot has been preaching for the past month.
A few more notes from Sundays game:
  • The #1 seed is important mainly because of the struggles of Baltimore (3-4 on the road and 8-0 at home) and Pittsburgh (4-3 on the road and 7-1 at home).
  • We've seen the Pats set hundreds of impressive records over the past decade, but here is on that is on the opposite end of the spectrum: If the Patriots give up 135 passing yards on Sunday, they will set the single season record for most passing yards allowed. Considering they've given up nearly 300 yards passing per game this season, I'd say this record stands a pretty good chance at falling. Great job guys.
  • Brady is set to become one of only 3 QB's ever (4 if Rodgers reaches the milestone today) to throw for over 5,000 yards in a season. He is having an MVP caliber season, posting absurd numbers and carrying the D, but is being overshadowed by Rodgers and Brees. He also need 4 TD's to reach the 40 TD mark on the year.
  • While the loss of Fred Jackson was clearly a huge blow for the Bills, it has allowed C.J. Spiller a chance to shake the "bust" label that was quickly being assigned to his name after a dismal rookie season. Spiller has shown plenty of the explosive play-making ability that made him such a high draft pick last year. I looks for the Pats to key on Spiller on defense, making him priority number one.
  • Both Spikes and Chung will be active for the first time in over a month today, so it will be nice to see them get some warm up action for the postseason. Also something to watch - with the quality play of Dane Fletcher over the past couple weeks, will Spikes get the start or has Fletcher done enough to secure the role?
  • A non-Patriots note: today marks the final game of Jason Taylor's career. Always a Pats nemesis, Taylor was one of the best at his position throughout his career, a top notch leader and hopefully can deliver one last knockout blow to the Jets playoff hopes today.

On that note, I'll see you all in this space over the next several weeks. I wish you a Happy and Healthy 2012 and here's hoping the world doesn't end.

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