Green Bay takes on Atlanta, Pittsburgh faces New England. Who do you think will win?
Green Bay Packer vs Atlanta Falcons
There is all this talk of Matt Ryan being the MVP this year but the Dirty Birds better not sleep on Aaron Rodgers. Hollywood is digging into Rodgers personal life, nevertheless that will not distract one the finest quarterbacks around. The family may air their dirty laundry to reporters but I would expect Rodgers and the Pack to be prepared for the Falcons.
The Falcons have all the pieces in place this year. The Falcons have home field, a good running game, good defense and the play calling of Kyle Shanahan for “Matty Ice”, going against the worst passing defense in the league. There is no way they can lose. Right?
Pittsburgh Steelers vs New England Patriots
Someone pulled the Steelers team hotel alarm at 3AM this morning. This is not the first time a rival of the Patriots has been the target of a false alarm. What now, ALARMGATE? Seems suspicious because it happened in Boston but I am sure Belichick had nothing to do with it…WINK! Steelers fans better hope that their offense can put up some points this week. Field goals are not going to get the job done. Tom Brady is mad. Deflategate just pissed him off and he wants vengeance. He is about to take it out on Ben Roethlisberger’s team. Even with the best running back and receiver in the league, I don’t see Pittsburgh beating the Patriots in Foxborough. I expect to see the Patriots win their 9th Lamar Hunt Trophy.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, who has never been one to embrace technology, has had it with Microsoft Surface tablets on NFL sidelines. He went on a surprisingly long-winded rant about the devices in today’s presser, where he essentially said that the tablets suck ass and he’s not using them anymore.
Oh I can’t agree with Belichick more! Being a fan of Apple products, I am glad to see someone fight back against Microsoft! I am not saying the league will switch to OS but I do know they are more dependable. A Surface Table is still a PC!
Sunday Morning QB: Tom Brady’s dad wants Patriots to run up score vs. Colts for Deflategate
Tom Brady and his father Tom Sr. are best friends. Tom Sr. often says what you figure Tom is thinking.
All last week, the Patriots quarterback was asked about getting revenge on the Colts on Sunday night in Indianapolis in the Deflategate Bowl. The Colts were the whistleblowers when they accused the Patriots of letting air out of the footballs in the AFC Championship Game on Jan. 18. It led to Roger Goodell suspending Brady for four games, a ruling that was overturned in court.
Brady was politically correct in his answers last week about getting back at the Colts. He wouldn’t bite. He never came close to saying the Patriots want to run up the score, even though no score will be big enough for Bill Belichick.
One question at Brady’s news conference Wednesday:
Q: Isn’t there any human part of you that wants it a little extra this week?
Brady: I’m a human. There’s no doubt. I’m definitely human.
Forget that. Brady is so incredibly competitive and at times vindictive going after players who have bad-mouthed him and the Patriots that he surely wants to humiliate the Colts and break the NFL single-game record for points set in Washington’s 72-42 victory over the Giants in 1966. He just won’t say it.
So, I called Tom Sr.
They are so close that Tom Sr. told me in my recently released book “Brady vs. Manning” that he went to a psychologist in 1995 for eight weeks of counseling to help him deal with being separated from his son after Tom decided to attend Michigan rather than Cal-Berkeley, which is just 35 miles across the San Francisco Bay from the family home in San Mateo.
There is no doubt how Tom Sr. wants things to play out Sunday night.
“The main thing I want is to see them win. As long as they have one point more than the Colts, I’m fine,” Brady Sr. said. “That being said, I’d like to see them put 60 points on the board, and love to see Tom throw for 500 yards and eight touchdowns. That’s me dreaming. That kind of comes from me.”
The eight months of Deflategate were difficult on Brady’s family. It’s not easy to hear your son called a liar and cheater and have his legacy questioned when you believe he did nothing wrong.
Tom swore to this father than he didn’t order the footballs deflated and that he had no knowledge of how they got deflated. He told the same thing to Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who is like his second father. If Brady or the Patriots were involved and they admitted it right away to Goodell, then Kraft could have certainly tried to minimize the damage. But Brady didn’t give him that opening.
The league then turned a possible misdemeanor into a federal case with the issue ending up in U.S. District Court in Manhattan in August. It still has the potential of winding up in the Supreme Court.
The Patriots are undefeated, just like they were for an entire season in 2007 when they played a Spygate revenge game every week. They are not good enough to make it through 16-0, but their offense is hard to stop. “This week is no different than any other week,” Brady Sr. said. “I want to put 60 points on the board every game.”
Of course, that’s not realistic. But Brady Sr., who follows the game closely, knows the Colts are a “little more vulnerable” than they’ve been in past years, even though in the last three meetings, including two playoff games, Indy has been helpless on defense as the Patriots have outscored them 130-49 and rushed for 657 yards.
In the second half of the title game in January, after the deflated footballs were pumped up full of PSIs, Brady was 12-of-14 for 131 yards and two TDs and no INTs. The Patriots outscored the Colts, 28-0. In the first half, playing with deflated footballs, he was 11-for-21 for 95 yards with one TD and one INT and the Patriots led 17-7.
Brady is off to a red-hot start with 11 touchdowns and no interceptions in New England’s 4-0 start. The Colts have the No. 28 overall defense and the No. 28 pass defense.
“I don’t have any inside information that, ‘Yeah, we’re going to pick them apart,’” Tom Sr. said. “Tommy never says that. He always says, ‘We’re going to win.’”
Belichick never shows any mercy. Brady has no compassion on the field. The Colts are in trouble.
RIGHT KIND OF FINES
The NFL must have a strict uniform code or you could imagine what some of these knuckleheads would come out wearing on the field. Even so, Goodell needs to tell his uniform police to lighten up. Last week, Cam Heyward, the Steelers’ defensive end, was fined $5,787 for a uniform violation for wearing his father’s name on his eye black. “Iron” was under his right eye and “Head,” was under his left. Ironhead Heyward, a former NFL running back, died from bone cancer at the age of 39 in 2006 when his son was 17. Heyward tweeted, “Got fined for honoring my Dad who bravely fought cancer on my eye black. #Nevergiveup #CancerSucks.”
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and while players are wearing shoes and towels with pink in them, Steelers running back DeAngelo Williams wanted to take it a step further and wear pink accessories all season. His mother died in 2004 from breast cancer. The league said no. “I just think there’s a lot of other things we can worry about,” Heyward said. “Guys want to do right by the league. They don’t want to upset anybody. I do it to honor somebody, DeAngelo does it to honor somebody. And it shouldn’t be taken to offend anybody. We’re not trying to gain publicity by it. We grew up in this game loving it, and to be a part of it, it’s a blessing. But I want to honor people I’ve grown close to for it.”
When Johnny Unitas died in 2002, Peyton Manning wanted to honor him by wearing black high top cleats, which were Unitas’ trademark. Because as a team the Colts wore white shoes, Manning was told he would be fined $25,000 for wearing black. Manning backed off, not because of the money, but because but he didn’t want to bring anything negative to Unitas’ name. In a 2013 game against the Giants, when Brandon Marshall was with the Bears, he was fined $10,000 for wearing green shoes to bring attention to Mental Health Awareness Week.
The NFL doesn’t want players becoming billboards, although the league and its network partners have a sponsor for everything. But in the cases of Heyward, Williams, Manning and Marshall, it’s not like they were endorsing a product. The league should concentrate on cracking down on what’s really important: Make sure the players have their jerseys tucked in.
D IS FOR DENVER
The Broncos are 5-0 because of their defense. Manning is struggling. Denver defeated the Ravens in the first week and the Raiders last week without an offensive touchdown. Manning has six TDs, seven INTs and 1,234 yards passing. His 77.3 QB rating is 30th in the league, ahead of only Ryan Tannehill, Colin Kaepernick and Matthew Stafford. Manning has thrown an interception in every game — it’s the first time he’s thrown an interception in five straight games since 2007. … Signing players from other teams to huge deals is risky and so far the Dolphins are not getting the return on their investment in Ndamukong Suh, who signed a six-year, $114 million deal, including $60 million guaranteed. Suh has 10 tackles, no sacks, the Dolphins are 1-3 and head coach Joe Philbin and defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle already have been fired. “Let’s be fair,” said Mike Tannenbaum, the Dolphins executive VP of football operations. “We signed him to a six-year contract, so we’re four games into a six-year contract. He hasn’t played as well as we hoped, we haven’t played as well as we hoped. I think we have to give it a grade of incomplete.” Tannenbaum is defending his investment. For that kind of money, Suh should be getting an A-plus.