Archive by Author | Larry Liberfarb

Patriots Patter: AFC Divisional Playoffs

Houston, we do not have a problem…..over and out.

Shane Vereen picked a fine time to show his stuff. In addition to the three TD’s, he did a good job on blitz pickups. After your rookie campaign, who would have thunk he had this in him. Certainly not I.

Kudos as well to backfield partner Stevan Ridley, for getting lots of tough yardage. The third partner, Daniel Woodhead, ESQ might be done for the year.

It’s obviously not a good thing that Rob Gronkowski is out for the playoffs, but it is a good thing that the Pats know how to win without him.

Welker, Welker, Welker. How does this shrimp play so big?

J.J. who? Offensive line had another good game. Next week you got to contend with Tyrell Suggs, and a very tough defensive unit.

Speaking of the Ravens, I sure hope they used up their luck this week getting by the Broncos. Was that really Champ Bailey suited up for Denver?

Rob Ninkovich, you continue to amaze us. You figure out a way to make your presence felt.

Scott O’Brien, Patriots special team coach, you have approximately 168 hours to figure out what happened to the kickoff coverage this week. They looked like a unit from the Rod Rust era.

Next Sunday’s start is at 6:30. Pats by 3, call Bookie Bloom.

Celebrating the impending win…Patriots take this one 41-28.

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Patriots Patter: Week 17

Buoy, the Patriots sure made this one look easy. They sailed past the Dolphins 28-0. No way, Rear Admiral Belichick even considered removing Captain Brady from the helm in this one.

First year sailor, Justin Francis, a long shot at best to sail with this crew, has navigated himself into a position of prominence. Could he eventually be promoted to the top deck?

Mates, let us bow our heads and thank the Indianapolis Colts for charting the course of the S.S. Patriot for smooth sailing to the Isle of Denver.

Before I lose my compass, enough with the nautical chatter.

This time of year it’s common to put together lists. I’m no different. Here is my list, in no particular order, of people who annoy the hell out of me.

Bill Belichick – H.C. N.E.P., this “sub-human” treats every Patriot injury as if it is a state secret. At every press conference, Belichick describes (you fill in the name of the team) as big, tough, athletic, well coached and fundamentally sound.

Ed Hochuli – NFL referee, loves to be seen on camera. Ed uses 25 words to explain a decision that would take someone else 5.

Jon Gruden – Former coach, now works as a broadcaster on Monday Night Football. Gruden repeats the same thoughts a minimum of ten times per game.

Rob Ryan – Defensive coordinator, Dallas Cowboys. Ryan comes from a family of annoying people, twin brother is Rex, father is Buddy. Must be a joy to play for.

Fireman Ed – Longtime NY Jet fan, manages to get his mug on TV almost every game.

Either Manning brother – They’re  good, but boy are they annoying.

Bernard Pollard – Safety, Baltimore Ravens. Jerk who injured Tom Brady, forcing him to miss an entire season. He, along with Logan Mankins, is among the dirtiest players in the league.

Jimmy Johnson – Former coach, currently “works” as a broadcaster for Fox. This buffoon must comb his hair with glue, as he never has a hair out of place.

Honorable mentions – Ben Dreith, Ben Hur, Ben Bernanke, Ben Jarvus Green-Ellis, Ben Vereen and Ben Roethlisberger.

Tom Brady signals just how many weeks it will be until he plays another game.  With the bye week secured, the Patriots walk off the field with a 28-0 win over Miami.

Tom Brady signals just how many weeks it will be until he plays another game. With the bye week secured, the Patriots walk off the field with a 28-0 win.

Patriots Patter: Week 14

“The emperor has no clothes.” The 11-2 Texans last night were disrobed by the 10-3 Patriots. Houston looked ill prepared and untidy, as they were outplayed and outcoached by the local lads.

Offensive coordinators Tom Brady and his assistant Josh McDaniel managed to keep the Texans confused with rotating sub packages, quick snaps and lining up players in unaccustomed positions. Aaron Hernandez on his touchdowns was lined up once as a split end, and another time at running back. Guaranteed, Houston’s next opponent, the Colts, implement a lot of the Pats’ game plan.

Let’s stop wasting time. Tom Brady should be immediately enshrined in Canton 44720.  Tom Terrific showed last night that he is among the best to have ever played the game.

Is there anyone in New England other than Belichick who thinks that Wes Welker shouldn’t get a long term deal?  What does he have to do?

I didn’t think I’d be saying this any time soon, but I now understand what Brandon Lloyd can bring to the table. Last night was his break out game.

I also didn’t think I’d be saying this any time soon, but the secondary played a very good game. In the second half, former starter Patrick Chung got off the bench, removed some splinters,  and played safety when Devin McCourty was moved to DB to replace an injured Aqib Talib. Chung almost immediately got called for a face mask infraction. Good luck with your new team next year, Patrick. Don’t let the door hit you on your way out of town.

Other defensive stalwarts who stepped up to the challenge last night were Jerod Mayo and Vince Wilfork. Both have had stellar campaigns. I know this because Jon Gruden said this at least a dozen times. I looked up repetitious in the dictionary and one of the definitions was Jon Gruden, former Raiders and Buccaneer head coach. How about redundant?

Next Sunday night we have another doozy to look forward to. Yes, Seymour, Randy Moss is still on their roster.

The proud parents of what is likely the galaxy’s most perfect specimen: Vivian Lake Brady. Last night’s final score: New England 42 – Houston 14

 

Patriots Patter: Week 13

Miami gave the Patriots all that they could handle today. Their defense is first rate, especially Cameron Wake. At the half, I believe I heard the Patriots had only 10 yards rushing.

The firm of Ridley, Vereen & Woodhead, PC finally got the push going in the fourth quarter. RV&W allowed them to hold onto the ball for eight minutes.

Other than a fourth quarter reception and an onside kick recovery, was Brandon Lloyd playing incognito?

I love the name Richie Incognito. Poor Richie took a beating being paired off with Vince Wilfork most of the day. Guaranteed, Incognito is in the whirlpool manana.

Coach B could be seen on the steamy Miami sidelines in his summer wardrobe. I think he has become a fashion consultant to underlings Josh McDaniels and Matt Patricia, who both looked like they hate to shop.

I am getting more nervous by the minute for Stephen Gostkowski. I hope he can break his lease, because lovable Bill “might be moving on.”  If there was an inmate being released from Walpole who Belichick thought might be better, and didn’t have as they say “travel restrictions” affecting away games, he’d be on the roster.

Two newbies saw some playing time on the DL, Trevor Scott and Jake Baquette. Scott looked pretty decent. If the Patriots run any lower on the depth chart, (thanks Jermaine), they are going to have to grab someone out of the stands.

Believe it or not department. I read that Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin was once offensive coordinator for Northeastern University. NU has been unbeaten now for several years, as they terminated their football program several years ago.

Next Sunday night, get ready for a showdown. The winner is the best team in the division.

 

Brady and Kraft with a congratulatory handshake after the Pats clinch the AFC East.

Brady and Kraft with a congratulatory handshake after the Pats clinch the AFC East.

Patriots Patter: Week 12

Four J-E-T-S fumbles lead to a delicious Thanksgiving feast for Patriots. Even the most rabid Pats fan had to feel sorry for Gang Green last night.

Sanchez and company looked like they were thinking more about midnight madness sales than football.

The only tasteless dish on the menu for Patriots fans, was the helmet to helmet hit that Julian Edelman absorbed. Edelman the recipient of a TD reception and a fumble recovery TD has been really coming on. Hopefully his head injury won’t derail him for too long.

Highlight reel memory from last night was a play made by Vince Wilfork. #75 stopped Jets lineman Brandon Moore cold causing a chain reaction stop of Mark Sanchez. Vince then pancaked both of them.

Last night OL coach Dante Scarnecchia again exhibited his ability to turn almost anyone over 300 lbs into an NFL quality lineman. With right tackle Sebastian Vollmer unable to go, Marcus Cannon was called upon to fill in. Cannon’s name was barely mentioned by the announcers, and his number not called for a penalty by the referees.

Added to the bright spot department is one Shane Vereen. “Don’t call me Ben” has come into his own finally, and is becoming a dependable reliever for fellow bright spot Stevan Ridley.

It’s hard to find criticism of any Patriots after back to back drubbings of opponents, but I have two I need to get off my chest.

  1. I keep on waiting for Brandon Lloyd to “stretch the field” or do something to wow me. This is not an Ocho Stinko case by any means. Brandon knows the plays, seemingly runs crisp pass routes, and doesn’t get “the you f’d up look” from Tom Brady.
  2. To the casual observer (me), Dont’a Hightower always seems to be trailing the play or in the wrong spot. Maybe I am missing something, or maybe I am too impatient, but it’s week 12 and this guy was a first round pick. Let’s hope that he is just one of those guys that takes a little bit longer to get it.

One last observation that I keep hoping will change, is the inconsistency of Stephen Gostkowski. It seems like he is back into a slump. Clutch last minute FG’s win playoff games, wide rights send you home to watch on the 52”.

A week from Sunday, tune in at 1 PM for the Dolphins. BB will have to work hard to keep his guys focused on that one, and not thinking about the showdown the following week with the Texans.

Enjoy your weekend.

Patriots-49 Jets-19

Patriots Patter: Week 11

Patriots require very little luck to win this one, 59 – 24. Sorry.

Coach B, you are a real SOB. How could you do this to Deion.  I understand you have to get more time for Julian Edelman, I understand he doesn’t play special teams. Who, I ask you, is going to sit on the bench next to #12 and soothe his fragile ego after an ill fated play?

That being said, Julian Edelman very nearly had a game no other Patriot in the 52 year history of the team ever had. Namely getting touchdowns with a run,  pass reception, and punt return. I am waiting for a sideline pass to him, followed by a TD pass. After all, Edelman played quarterback at Kent State.

In addition to his typical Gronk game (two touchdown receptions) he also teamed up with Visanthe Shiancoe to take out three guys on a running touchdown in the 3rd quarter.

The Aqib Talib era started today with very mixed results. He gave up two TD’s and intercepted one to get a TD. Let’s see -2 +1= -1. He does however look like one of the more athletic players on the team.

Matt Patricia (defensive coordinator), good for you to finally figure out in the tenth game of the season that you have a young aggressive group that needs to blitz every now and then.  Matt, do us all a favor, scrap the “bend don’t break” scheme and let guys like Mayo and Spikes go after it.

I’m hoping that Chandler Jones wasn’t injured too badly today. With some experience he has the potential to be a Jason Pierre Paul type of guy. His injury gave Trevor Scott the opportunity to get his uniform dirty. He didn’t look bad.

If I heard it correctly, Adam Vinatieri is forty years old. As many of my older readers know, George Blanda  kicked (and occasionally played quarterback) until he was 47.

I am still not ruling out those Jets. If for some reason they are able to upset us on Thursday they are back in the hunt. Mark S, for some crazy reason, plays well against the Patriots.

Enjoy the turkey, cranberry sauce, etc., send the relatives home early, have that turkey sandwich and tune in at 8:20 PM.

Pats win big, 59-24

Patriots Patter: Week 10

If I were a Bills fan, you would have heard the obscenities all the way from Rochester. With their numerous penalties and overall stupid play, they lost a very winnable game. Before I lost count, Bills O-lineman Chris Hairston (75) had four penalties called on him.

Devin, I would like to send out a formal apology to you. Today you played like a first round draft pick, at safety. That interception  you made to win the game allows us to forget about some of your earlier transgressions. I would like to propose a motion to “The Nation” to keep you at safety.

The play of Stevan Ridley is such that I almost can’t think of the name of his predecessor. I think it was something like Ben Hur or Ben Law. 

Donald Thomas and Nick McDonald both continue to see significant playing time each week. I don’t see much of a falloff in either the run game or the passing game when they’re on the field.

Wes Welker must have his thoughts elsewhere (the fiscal cliff perhaps…nah). It seems like almost every week he drops an easy one. Deion (real first name is Anthony) Branch on the other hand seems much more focused. Do you notice that he always sits on the bench next to Tom Brady? Probably wants to get himself on TV.

When game announcer Ian Eagle said it was Jerod Mayo who tackled CJ Spiller five yards out of bounds, I thought for sure he had it wrong. He and Dan Fouts are starting to grow on me.

Chan Gailey’s decision to go for it on fourth and four, rather than the field goal, with about seven minutes to play was very unorthodox. But it worked.

Coach BB’s decision to take the three points with about four minutes remaining would have been talk show fodder if the Bills were able to get a TD. Now, no one will remember it.

I think earlier in the season Stephen Gostkowski  was one missed kick away from being sent packing. Now it seems like it never happened.

I think I am going to need to do some flexing, now that next week’s game versus the Dolphins has been moved to 4:30pm. I’m also thinking that it could be a trap game.

Patriots 37 – Bills 31

Patriots Patter: Week 8

No Pepto-Bismol needed for the Rams game. This week required coffee to keep awake through a lackluster Rams effort. St. Louis forgot to pack some “game effort” for their journey across the pond.

Ryan Mallett finally got the chance to see some regular season game action. He served as the “human victory cigar” when the game’s outcome had long been decided.

Next week is the bye week. Many nicked up Patriots will have the opportunity to get some well needed R&R.  Some members of the team should not be too complacent, as Bill B. usually has at least one trick up his sleeve. Lovable Coach B. has often used this week to cut a veteran or two who has slowed down a step or remains injured too long (Steve Gregory).

The Jets are now 3-5, as Miami beat them 30-9. I am not going to make the mistake of prematurely counting  them out this year.

Rob Ninkovich continues to make big plays every week.  Ninkovich was a virtual scrap heap guy, having been cut from the Dolphins’ practice squad. Somehow he has morphed into the Willie McGinest/Mike Vrabel role,  rotating between defensive end and linebacker depending on the situation.

Former captain of the Patriots’ witness protection program Jermaine Cunningham has come out of hiding. He is starting to play like a guy who was drafted in an early round…finally.

If Gronk wasn’t so good, would team brass find his antics so funny? I think not. I am sure that you saw that he spiked a microphone worth several thousand dollars in London.

Tavon Wilson is the definition of a “trick or treat” guy. Enjoy Halloween, Tavon.

I’ll be back in two weeks after the Buffalo game on 11/11.

The spike heard round the world.

Patriots Patter: Week 7

With approximately 4:33 remaining in the game, I pulled out some Pepto Bismol to take away that nauseous feeling. I was starting to feel better momentarily when the Jets Stephen Hill missed a gimme. Then felt sick again, after the Devin McCourty fumble. I’m thinking of buying stock in the company, as lately I’ve needed it almost every week.

The Pats’ defensive line had their worst game of the season. Nick Mangold and company pushed them around all afternoon, giving “The Sanchise” way too much time to find Jeremy Kerley. Bill, when Kerley becomes available in free agency, put his name to the right of “pay to the order of”.

Did you notice that Patrick Chung wasn’t playing? That speaks volumes. Add his name to the growing list of early round secondary players who crapped out. Below his name, you can add Devin McCourty and Ras-I Dowling. You would think Belichick and company by default would get one of these high round draft picks right.

Does it seem like every team in the league has a guy named Trufant at defensive back? Maybe next year the Patriots should  just draft anyone with that surname. 

Here’s a scary thought… the Jets’ defensive backfield is so good, I forgot that their best player, Darelle Revis is out for the year.

Brandon Spikes is a guy that you want on your side of the field. When Allstate is looking for a new Mr. Mayhem, Spikes is my nominee.

Offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia deserves a medal. This guy can make chicken salad out of you know what. Two of the Pats’ starting linemen are out, and he inserts a couple of no-names that make Shane (Don’t call me Ben) Vereen look like Marcus Allen.

There were two things that happened today that you’ll likely never see again.

1. The Pats needing to call a time out on a punt.

2. Teams walking off the field at the end of the game on a play under review.

Image

Patriots 29 – Jets 26

Next Sunday don’t forget to tune in at 1PM for the St. Louis Rams. That name still doesn’t sound right to me.

Patriots Patter

At game’s end Seattle’s coach, Pete Carroll sure looked “pumped and jacked”. We didn’t see much of that when Pete was with NE.

The game started off with bad karma when Seattle won the coin toss and elected to kick off. Belichick’s entire game plan had to be scrapped.

Could the Patriots’ defensive backfield have looked worse? The Patriots will be flying in free agents for tryouts on Tuesday. Jonathan Kraft is going to need to borrow a bus to ferry all of them in from Logan.

One of my personal favorite DB’s from days gone by was Earthwind Moreland. Earthwind is still involved in sports, as he drives the zamboni for the Hershey Bears of the AHL.

The Patriots got CBS’s ninth string announcing crew for this game. It took me halfway through the second quarter before I figured out it was Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts. I thought those guys were doing high school games.

Next week we have the Jets at 4:30 with Mark Sanchez quarterbacking, and Darrelle Revis and Santonio Holmes out for the year. So stay positive.

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