Tag Archives: Patriots

Why I Was Glad To See The Patriots Lose (Reposted from 2008)


In 2008, I wrote an article describing why I was pleased to see the 2007 New England Patriots lose Superbowl XLII to the New York Giants. The article not only described my joy at seeing the Pats denied, but traced much of the path of how I became a football fan. With the Patriots and the Giants meeting in the Superbowl again last night, I planned to write a follow up, analyzing the match up, the sentiments of a Pats-hater after another New England Superbowl loss, and the evolution of the game four years later. But I thought it would be interesting to revisit this article first and to take a look back at what it was like to see a team that almost had a perfect season fall just short.


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The Andrew Preview: NFL Divisional Round Playoffs

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The Steelers and the Ravens will face each other for the third time this season.

1. Six of the seven expected coaching vacancies this offseason have been filled. Both Leslie Frazier of the Vikings and Jason Garrett of the Cowboys managed to shed their “interim” tags at  the end of the regular season. From the college ranks, coveted Stanford Coach Jim Harbaugh signed a five year deal to coach the San Francisco 49ers. On the coordinator front, the San Diego Chargers’ Defensive Coordinator, Ron Rivera, agreed to become the coach of the Carolina Panthers, and the St. Louis Rams’ Offensive Coordinator, Pat Shurmur, will become the new head coach of the Cleveland Browns. Finally, former Carolina coach John Fox agreed to become the new head coach for the Denver Broncos. That leaves the Oakland Raiders as the only current head coaching vacancy in the league.

2. This week we have a pair of unpleasant off-the-field tidbits for you. First, former Giants’ linebacker Lawrence Taylor plead guilty to sexual misconduct and patronizing a prostitute this week. As part of his plea bargain, Taylor will serve six years probation and must register as a sex offender. Taylor caught with a sixteen-year-old prostitute in May after the girl’s uncle alerted police. Taylor asserts that he did not know the prostitute was underage and that she told him she was nineteen. In other crime tangentially related to football news, Brett Favre’s sister, Brandi Favre, was arrested on Tuesday as part of a methamphetamine bust in Mississippi. She is currently out on bail, and facing charges manufacturing methamphetamine and generating hazardous waste. Her next court appearance will be on February 8th.

3. The Steelers received a visit from a familiar face yesterday, as Bill Cowher returned to watch the team practice for the first time since resigning as Pittsburgh’s head coach in 2007. Cowher became an analyst for CBS, and it was in this capacity that he watched the Steelers practice for their game against the Baltimore Ravens this Saturday. During the visit, Cowher interviewed many of his former players, including Ben Roethlisberger, James Harrison, and Hines Ward. Cowher, who currently lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, was seen hugging and shaking hands with many of the Pittsburgh players during the trip.

The Playoff Picture

Your final standings/seedings:


1. New England Patriots (14-2)
2. Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4)
3. Indianapolis Colts (10-6)
4. Kansas City Chiefs (10-6)
5. Baltimore Ravens (12-4)
6. New York Jets at (11-5)

My apologies for the mixup two weeks ago. I did not realize that the Colts could jump to the third seed with a win and a Chiefs’ loss. That’s not bad for a team that was 6-6 a month ago, though that’ll be little consolation now. The AFC playoff picture was exactly what we thought it would be, aside from Indy’s switch with Kansas City.


1. Atlanta Falcons (13-3)
2. Chicago Bears (11-5)
3. Philadelphia Eagles (10-6)
4. Seattle Seahawks (7-9)
5. New Orleans Saints (11-5)
6. Green Bay Packers (10-6)

Again, pretty much what we expected from the NFC, with the only mild surprise being that the Seahawks managed to become the first sub-.500 team to not only make the postseason, but win a playoff game. It’s a bit notable that the three teams with nothing really to play for in Week Seventeen: Chicago, Philadelphia, and New Orleans, all lost in their final week of the regular season. We saw what that lack of momentum did for the Eagles and Saints; we’ll see if the Bears can do better.

Head of the Pack

Your final statistical leaders in:


1. Phillip Rivers (San Diego) –4710 yards
2. Peyton Manning (Indianapolis) – 4700 yards
3. Drew Brees (New Orleans) – 4620 yards

Phillip Rivers jumped from third to first in Week Seventeen to become the 2010 NFL Passing leader.


1. Arian Foster (Houston) – 1616 yards
2. Jamal Charles (Kansas City) – 1467 yards
3. Michael Turner (Atlanta) – 1371

A little bit of a surprise here with Michael Turner jumping back into the top three in the final week of the season, but Arian Foster is the 2010 NFL Rushing Leader by a good 159 yards.


1. Brandon Lloyd (Denver) – 1448 yards
2. Roddy White (Atlanta) – 1389 yards
3. Reggie Wayne (Indianapolis) – 1355 yards

There were no changes from Week Sixteen to Week Seventeen, and Brandon Lloyd is the 2010 Receiving Leader.


1. DeMarcus Ware (Dallas) – 16.0
2. Tamba Hali (Kansas City) – 15.0
T-3. Cameron Wake (Miami) – 14.0
T-3. Clay Matthews (Green Bay) – 14.0

A bit of surprise here with DeMarcus Ware jumping ahead in the final week to become the 2010 Sack Leader, and with Tamba Hali pulling into second place.

Four Big Match Ups

1. Baltimore at Pittsburgh, Saturday, 4:30 P.M. EST on CBS – I have said all year that I’m not sure who the Pittsburgh Steelers have been this season. Most teams that make it to 12-4 either start rolling early and stumble at the end when there’s not much on the line, or perform consistently well with a few aberrant stumbles here and there. The Steelers, on the other hand, arrived at this record in a pretty unusual way. They started out strong, winning five of their first six games and seemed like they might even run away with the division. Then, the Steelers seemed to struggle a bit in the middle of the year, losing by double digits to New Orleans and New England. While they still managed to win at this time, they were just barely eking out victories over bad teams. Finally, they seemed to pick things up at the end, winning four of their last five games, and absolutely crushing the weaker squads in their division. If ever there’s a time to keep up that momentum, it’s now. Mike Tomlin and Big Ben are hoping to roll onto the field with the team that dominated at the beginning and end of the season, not the one that struggled in the middle. The Ravens, on the other hand, are looking to once and for all step out of the shadow of Pittsburgh in the AFC North. The two teams entered the postseason tied at 12-4, but the Steelers got the division and the bye, thanks to the tiebreaker, dropping the Ravens from a potential second seed down to the fifth seed. How did Baltimore respond? With a thirty-point beat down of the AFC West champion’s from Kansas City The Ravens looked like a team possessed as they absolutely manhandled the Chiefs. The Ravens will look to continue that type of play against their division rivals, and pave their way to the AFC Championship game. This game is my pick for the best matchup of the weekend.

2. Green Bay at Atlanta, Saturday, 8 P.M. EST on FOX – The Packers have won their last three games in a row, beating a playoff contender in the New York Giants, and a pair of division winners in the Chicago Bears and the Philadelphia Eagles. Now, they’ll try to defeat their third NFC division champ in a month and unseat the Atlanta Falcons. Aaron Rodgers on offense and Clay Matthews on defense have led these Packers into the playoffs and seem to have the momentum going into this game. That said, the Atlanta Falcons have won nine of their last ten games, will be setting up shop in the Georgia Dome, and have had an extra week to rest and prepare for their opponents. Matt Ryan and the Falcons have been far and away the top team in the NFC this year, and they’ll look to continue their great season all the way to the NFC Championship game. Expect a great fight between two great teams.

3. Seattle at Chicago, 1 P.M. EST on FOX – A great many of us thought, and some still think, that the Seattle Seahawks had no business making the playoffs. Even among those of us who thought they deserved the berth, most expected the high-powered New Orleans Saints to completely steamroll a Seattle team that couldn’t even manage a winning record. Well, in a weekend of upsets, Seattle pulled off the biggest of the weekend, and one of the biggest in NFL history, as they hung on to beat New Orleans 41-36. The Seahawks have pulled off a lot of firsts this year. They were the first sub-.500 team to make the playoffs and also the first sub-.500 teams to win a playoff game. Now, can they become the first sub-.500 team to make it to the NFC Championship game? Not if the Bears can help it.  Chicago is coming off a bye week. They’re rested, and looking to enter the game fired up against Seattle. With Jay Cutler, Julius Peppers, Brian Urlacher, and Devin Hester taking the field, expect the big names of Chicago to look to make an impact in the team’s first playoff game in four years. I expect this to be a much better game than the records portend, and the kick-return battle between Hester and Leon Washington should be worth the price of admission on its own.

4. NY Jets at New England, 4:30 P.M. EST on FOX – It’s Jets-Pats, baby. How much more is there to say? In our second divisional matchup of the weekend, two of the biggest teams from this season will square off for a third time. At the Meadowlands, the Jets got a huge two-touchdown victory over the Patriots in Week Two, and looked to have the fast track to the top of the AFC East. Then, in lucky Week Thirteen, the Pats returned the favor and then some, as they absolutely demolished New York in a 45-3 drubbing at home. Now the Jets will return to Foxboro with both teams’ seasons on the line. New York initially seemed to be reeling from that New England game, but then they appeared to have righted the ship at the end of the season, winning two of their last three match ups, including an important victory over the second-seeded Steelers. The Patriots, on the other hand, have won their last eight games in a row, and scored no fewer than thirty-one points in each outing. This matchup between the top seed and the sixth seed in the AFC has the potential to be a back and forth affair or a blowout. As fans of good football, let’s hope for the former.

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The Andrew Preview: NFL Week Eleven

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The Colts and the Patriots square off in the latest round of what has become the rivalry of the decade.

1. In what seems to be the season for drunk driving, yet another NFL Player is facing a DUI charge. Tampa Bay rookie wide receiver Michael Williams is being charged with driving under the influence after police in Florida observed his black escalade weaving in and out of traffic. Williams’ blood alcohol level was 0.065, which is below the legal limit in Florida of 0.08. Nevertheless, sheriff’s deputies in Hillsborough County said that Williams’ eyes were glassy and that he smelled like alcohol when they pulled him over at two-thirty in the morning. Williams also submitted to a urine test, though the results will not come back for four-to-six weeks. Williams currently leads all rookies in receiving yards, and it’s presently unclear whether this charge will affect his playing status.

2.  Cleveland Browns’ linebacker Marcus Bernard blamed stress as the cause of his fainting spell in the Browns’ locker room last Thursday. Bernard passed out in front of his locker prior to practice and was briefly hospitalized. Bernard made a full recovery, saying that “I’ve got a lot going on personally. I’ve just got to take care of my body better with the things that are going on.”  After numerous tests by doctors ruling out heart problems or other major medical conditions, Bernard was cleared to play in Cleveland’s overtime loss to the New York Jets. Bernard was missing from the locker room after the loss, though this time he left for the hospital to witness the birth of his son. Bernard said the stress of the impending birth contributed to his anxiety, but said, “that’s life.”

3. Mum’s the word from Indianapolis Colts’ receiver Austin Collie after the controversial hit he received in Indy’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Collie was quoted as saying, “I understand everyone’s concern, but I prefer not to discuss the specifics of the play in Philadelphia. I hope that can be respected.” After receiving a pass in the middle of the field, Collie turned around and was immediately sandwiched between two Eagles tacklers. Kurt Coleman delivered an inadvertent helmet-to-helmet hit that sent Collie out of the game on a stretcher. Collie is just now returning to practice, and has declined to discuss the incident, saying that he just wants to work to get back onto the field.

2008 Detroit Lions Memorial Winless Teams


It took ten weeks, but the lowly Buffalo Bills managed their first win over fellow perennial cellar dwellers, the Detroit Lions. The Bills managed to stave off a fourth quarter comeback from the Lions to get their first victory of the season, beating Detroit by a score of 14-12. For those of you keeping score at home, last season’s final winless team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, got their first win in Week Nine, one week earlier than the Bills. Here’s to the ’08 Lions popping the champagne.

Head of the Pack

Your statistical leaders in:


1. Phillip Rivers (San Diego) –2944 yards.
2. Kyle Orton (Denver) –2806 yards.
3. Peyton Manning (Indianapolis) – 2663 yards

With Drew Brees falling out of the top three.


1. Arian Foster (Houston) – 920 yards
2. Adrian Peterson (Minnesota) – 908 yards
3. Chris Johnson (Tennessee) –838 yards

With Ahmad Bradshaw falling out of the top three.

1. Brandon Lloyd (Denver) – 968 yards
2. Roddy White (Atlanta) – 934 yards
3. Terrell Owens (Cincinnati) – 834 yards

With no one falling out of the top three.


1. Clay Matthews (Green Bay) – 11.0
2. Cameron Wake (Miami) – 10.0
3. Osi Umenyiora (NY Giants) – 9.0

With Umenyiora breaking last week’s four-way tie for third place.

Three Big Match Ups

1. Oakland at Pittsburgh, 1 P.M. EST on CBS – If you had told me last year that it would happen, I wouldn’t have believed it. We’re nearly two thirds of the way through the season, and the Oakland Raiders are in first place in their division. Between an impressive running game featuring Darren McFadden and a punishing defense, the Raiders have climbed atop the AFC West and look to be as competitive as they have been since the halcyon days of Rich Gannon. Oakland has won three straight, four of their last five, and this streak included routs of Denver and Seattle plus a victory over Kansas City that gave the Raiders the tiebreaker edge in the division. Now, Oakland will go up against what may the best team they’ve faced all season. That said the Pittsburgh Steelers did not look like one of the best teams in the NFL last week. They were whooped by the New England Patriots, 39-26, in a game that was not even as close as the score indicated. The Steelers looked beat as they labored to keep up with the Pats in a game that was supposed to be a showcase of the best of the AFC. Though the Steelers are still at a very respectable 6-3, tied for first in the division with the Baltimore Ravens, the team has struggled a bit over the last month, with losses to both the Patriots and the Saints, and a close win over the Dolphins that required a little help from the replay booth. Both squads will look to stake out some territory in the AFC and gain some breathing room in tight divisional races. With Oakland seeming to have found its footing right when Pittsburgh seems to be stumbling, could this game be a story of two teams moving in opposite directions?

2. Indianapolis at New England, 4:15 P.M. EST on CBS – Despite not playing in the same division, we inevitably see the Colts take on the Pats, year after year, and the game rarely disappoints. Still, both teams will have to pull out all the stops to outshine “The Call” from last season that resulted in the narrowest of comeback victories for Indianapolis. The Patriots will be out for revenge, and they look like world-beaters after their decisive victory over the Steelers. At 7-2, New England is tied for the best record in the NFL, and they have won six of their last seven games. However, the solid victories over other great teams like Pittsburgh and Baltimore only make their Week Nine trouncing by the Cleveland Browns all the more puzzling. Which Patriots team will show up in Foxboro – the one that made the Steelers look like the Bills, or the one that made the Browns look like the Jets, who hold a tiebreaker win over the Patriots. That tiebreaker win is just enough to keep New England out of first place in the AFC East. The Colts, for their part, are in a tough divisional fight of their own. Their win over division rival Houston and Tennessee’s loss to Miami did make things a little easier for Indianapolis, but both the Titans and the Jaguars are only a game out of first, and the Texans still have the talent to make a run for the division crown as well. What’s more, this is a Colts team missing many of its most talented players. The team has seen injuries to big time contributors like Austin Collie, Dallas Clark, Bob Sanders, Joseph Addai, and Anthony Gonzales, among many more less-heralded players. Indy has made the best of it though, winning four of the last five games despite missing a few stars from their usual cast. Expect both teams to bring their best into what has become one of the biggest rivalries in NFL history.

3. NY Giants at Philadelphia, 8:20 P.M. EST on NBC – A look at the Giants and the Eagles, both taking on division rivals in Week Ten, is a study in contrasts. The Giants, having decimated the Seahawks to the tune of 41-7 in Seattle, came back to the Meadowlands and promptly laid an egg at home. The Giants soundly lost to the woeful Dallas Cowboys, at team that appeared to have all but quit in recent weeks and hadn’t managed a win since Week Three . The New York O-line looked old, the defense looked porous, and the G-men put in one of their worst performances of the season. The Eagles, meanwhile, put on a clinic, setting a record for first-half points as they destroyed the Washington Redskins on Monday Night. When all was said and done, Philly won by a score of 59-28 against a much tougher Washington team that seemed wholly unprepared for the Eagles’ offensive assault. Michael Vick scored six touchdowns, further fueling the talk that this man who was in jail just two years ago may very well become the league’s next MVP. The Eagles looked like one of the best teams in the NFC, while the Giants looked like one of the worst. Despite this, both teams are tied atop the NFC East at the moment, and this game will not only decide which team can claim sole possession of first place, but may establish the pecking order for the rest of the season. With a win, the Eagles could cement their position as the best team in the division, if not the conference. On the other hand, a big victory over Philly would allow New York to show that Week Ten was just a hiccup, and the Giants are still the top team in the division. Both teams will pull out all the stops in this big divisional rivalry game.

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The Andrew Preview: NFL Week Ten

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The Steelers take on the Patriots in a match up of two of the best teams in the AFC.

1. In a move where the only surprise was the timing,  Jerry Jones fired Dallas Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips, and named Offensive Coordinator Jason Garrett as interim head coach of the team.  The news came Monday after the Cowboys were embarrassed in a 45-7 loss to the Green Bay Packers in the nationally televised Sunday Night game. The loss dropped Dallas’ record to a pitiful 1-7. This is the first time that Jerry Jones has made a coaching change mid-season, but the Cowboys owner, who bought the team in 1989, said that he had been in “denial” about how bad the squad had become. Phillips’ final record as the Cowboys’ head coach is 34-22, with a 1-2 record in the post season. He released a statement thanking the fans and the organization for all of their support. When asked for comment, new coach Jason Garrett said, “Wade is no longer the coach. I am the coach and what we’re going to do going forward (is) get ready to . . . give ourselves a chance to beat the Giants on Sunday.”

2. Broncos Linebacker and leading tackler D.J. Williams has been charged with driving under the influence. Williams was stopped on Friday at 2:40 A.M. for driving without headlights on, when he was arrested for DUI and ordered to appear in court on December 13th. This is the second time Willaims has faced such a charge. In September of 2005, Williams plead guilty to drunk driving, receiving a sentence of twenty-four hours community service. Williams will likely face a suspension from NFL Commssioner Roger Goodell. By comparison, Goodell handed down a four-game suspension to Chargers Wide Receiver Vincent Jackson for his DUI arrests. When reached for comment, Denver coach Josh McDaniels said, “We’re certainly disappointed and don’t condone that behavior from any of our players or anybody within our organization.”

3. It’s high school all over again, as the NFL is cracking down on the dress code. Noted NFL showman and provocateur Chad Ochocinco received a twenty-thousand dollar fine from the league for violating its uniform policy. Ochocinco had on gold cleats when the Bengals took the field against the Steelers in Week Nine, in violation of the league’s on-field dress code. This is his second fine of the season, after having lost twenty-five thousand dollars for violating the league’s social media policy by tweeting before a game. Jets linebacker Bart Scott was also fined twenty-thousand dollars for violating the uniform policy, though his offense was far less ostentatious. Scott was cited for not having his chin strap on at all times, in a violation more directed toward ensuring safety than maintaining professionalism.

2008 Detroit Lions Memorial Winless Teams

Buffalo Bills

For the third time in as many weeks, the Bills have ended the game three points away from their first victory, but have found themselves unable to seal the deal. Buffalo fell to Chicago, 22-19, for their eighth loss of the season. The Bills have one of their best chances to get that first win of the year this week when they take on the two-win Detroit Lions at home.

Head of the Pack

Your statistical leaders in:


1. Phillip Rivers (San Diego) –2944 yards.
2. Drew Brees (New Orleans) – 2587 yards
3. Kyle Orton (Denver) –2510 yards

With no one falling out of the top three.


1. Arian Foster (Houston) – 864 yards
2. Adrian Peterson (Minnesota) – 857 yards
3. Ahmad Bradshaw (NY Giants) –765 yards

With Chris Johnson falling out of the top three.


1. Roddy White (Atlanta) – 934 yards
2. Brandon Lloyd (Denver) – 878 yards
3. Terrell Owens (Cincinnati) – 770 yards

With Reggie Wayne falling out of the top three.


1. Clay Matthews (Green Bay) – 11.0
2. Cameron Wake (Miami) – 9.0
T-3. Tamba Hall (Kansas City) – 8.0
T-3. Osi Umenyiora (NY Giants) – 8.0
T-3. John Abraham (Atlanta) – 8.0
T-3. DeMarcus Ware (Dallas) – 8.0

With no one falling out of the increasingly inaccurately named top three thanks to a four-way tie for third place.

Three Big Match Ups

1. Tennessee at Miami, 1 P.M. EST on CBS – For the second time in a about a month, there’s intrigue and interest in what impact Randy Moss will make with his new team. The Titans are also facing the question of whether Vince Young or Kerry Collins will be starting, and moreover, who will be taking the bulk of the snaps in the game regardless of who starts it? The Titans report that Young is a game time decision this week, as fans are excited about the prospect of a “three-headed monster” with Young behind center, Chris Johnson running the ball, and Moss going downfield. Tennessee has won three of its last four games, but lost to the resurgent Chargers going into their bye week. Every win matters in the AFC South where the Titans are tied with the Colts for first place in the division at 5-3, but with the Texans and the Jaguars each only a game out of first place. For their part, the Dolphins have been hot and cold this season, never stringing together more than two wins in a row, but never losing more than two games in a row either. To add to the peculiarity, each of Miami’s four wins has come on the road, meaning that nine weeks into the season, the Fins will be looking for their first home win despite being a competitive team. Still, with Chad Pennington expected to start for the first time since early 2009 (and so excited at the prospect that he’s rapping) expect Miami to come out roaring and attempt to not only get their first victory in front of the home crowd, but to gain ground in the highly competitive AFC East.

2. New England at Pittsburgh, 8:20 P.M. EST on NBC – This game has my vote for being the likely AFC Championship preview. The Patriots have been nigh unstoppable this season. They’ve played their share of close games, but have continue to manage to eke out the win, even over other league leaders like Baltimore. The offense has looked stellar despite numerous changes at receiver, and when they entered week nine with the best record in football, many thought that no one could stop the New England juggernaut. Then along came….The Cleveland Browns? That’s right, the 2-5 Browns did not just beat the Patriots, they routed them to the tune of 34-14. Expect the Pats to come out with a chip on their shoulders, eager to prove that least week was an aberration against the class of the AFC. The Steelers are in much the same boat, having won three of their last four games after the return of Ben Roethlisberger and standing tall at the top of the AFC North. Pittsburgh is looking good, but is still in search of a win over a major player in the playoff race since Big Ben has come back behind center. The Steelers are still smarting from a loss to the defending Superbowl Champion New Orleans Saints on Halloween night, and will look to show they can still hang with the best with a victory over the Patriots.

3. Philadelphia at Washington, Monday 8:30 P.M. EST on ESPN – Donovan McNabb doesn’t know the two-minute drill. He’s out of shape. He didn’t give the Redskins as good a chance to win as…Rex Grossman. These are the reasons that Mike Shanahan has given for his controversial benching of McNabb in the last two minutes of Washington’s loss to Detroit. What’s more, the Redskins’ bye week has given our nation’s capital plenty of time to mull over these ever-changing justifications, given us even more intrigue when McNabb takes on his old team for a second time. As usual, the NFC East race is increasingly competitive, and to both stay in the thick of things and put this unpleasantness behind them, 4-4 Redskins badly need this win. The same goes for the Eagles, as the return of Michael Vick coming out of the bye helped give Philly a tight, but signature victory over the Indianapolis Colts in Week Nine. Despite their injury issues, the Eagles have won three of their last four, and are only one game behind the New York Giants in the division. Vick currently holds the league’s highest passer rating at 105.3 and in the last year of his contract, he’s looking to show not just the Redskins or the Eagles, but the entire league, that he still has what it takes to lead a team in the NFL. Expect a great game between two division rivals who both really need this victory to keep up in the chase for the postseason.

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The Andrew Preview: NFL Week Five

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The Patriots traded Moss to the Vikings for a third round draft pick.

1. The New England Patriots have traded receiver Randy Moss to the Minnesota Vikings, the for a third round pick. Minnesota drafted Moss out of college nearly twelve years ago. The outspoken reciever had expressed his dissatisfaction with the lack of a new contract with the Pats, saying, “When you have done so much and put so much work in, it kind of feels like I am not wanted.” In Monday night’s game against the Dolphins, Moss had zero catches, a first for him as a Patriot, despite New England scoring forty-one points. Rumor has it that Moss had been angling for a trade since Week One. Favre had apparently sought out Moss as a target for some time. Many source described the Packers’ failure to acquire the receiver for two years in a row, despite Brett’s overwhelming insistence, as a very sore spot between the veteran QB and the Green Bay organization. The addition of Moss will give the Vikings the deep thread receiver they have been lacking since Sidney Rice underwent hip surgery. The Vikings had sought to make a deal with disgruntled Chargers receiver Vincent Jackson, but negotiations fell through. Reportedly, the Vikings and Moss have not yet discussed a new contract. Minnesota and New England are scheduled to play each other in a mere three weeks time.

2. In other trade news, the Buffalo Bills sent RB Marshawn Lynch to the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for two undisclosed draft picks. This will leave the running game in Buffalo to backup Fred Jackson and first round draft pick C.J. Spiller. For its part, Seattle hopes the addition of Lynch will add a spark to its running game, which has been sorely lacking through the first quarter of the season. In order to make room for Lynch, the Seahawks cut Julius Jones, who had been their leading rusher the past two years. Jones had restructured his contract to take a pay cut this season, but still had only been given the ball a dozen times and gained minimal yardage. He was inactive this past Sunday against the Rams. Lynch will join Seattle’s other running back, Justin Forsett. The two were teammates and friends at Cal, with Lynch having even been a groomsman at Forsett’s wedding earlier this year.

3. The Miami Dolphins fired Special Teams coordinator John Bonamego this week after the team’s miserable failure to perform against the Patriots on Monday Night. The special teams play was particularly weak, including two blocked kicks, both of which led to touchdowns on the ensuing Patriot drives and a 103-yard kickoff return. The Dolphins also had a punt blocked against the Jets the week prior. Special Teams assistant Darren Rizzi will replace Bonamego as coordinator. Head coach Tony Sparano called the move a “hard decision” adding, “Nobody works harder than him at what he does.” The Dolphin currently rank last in the NFL in both punting and kickoff coverage.

Undefeated Teams

Kansas City Chiefs

Last season it took us until Week Fifteen until we had only one undefeated team left. This season, it only took us until Week Four. The 1972 Dolphins may be popping the champagne early this year as the Chiefs, with thirteen more games left to play and a 3-0 record, are the last undefeated team in the NFL. The Bears lost to the Giants and the Steelers lost to the Ravens, whittling us down to only one team in the NFL without a loss.

2008 Detroit Lions Memorial Winless Teams

Buffalo Bills
Carolina Panthers
Detroit Lions
San Francisco 49ers

Only one team made it out of the cellar this week as the Browns upset the Bengals to earn their first win. The Bills, Lions, and 49ers are all playing teams at .500 this week, and will hope to avoid to 2008 Lions’ fate.

Three Big Match Ups

1. Kansas City and Indianapolis, 1 P.M. EST on CBS – Who in the world would have guessed that the last undefeated in the league would be the Kansas City Chiefs? Matt Cassel’s group has scored wins in close games against the division rivals Chargers, as well as the Browns, and then pulled off a big, three-touchdown victory over the 49ers. As the sole remaining team without a loss, and bye week to rest up, expect Kansas City to come out looking to prove their mettle this week. They’ll play the team that went the longest without a loss last season. The Colts have gone a meager 2-2 in the first four weeks of the season, and have only shown flashes of the dominating team that made it to the Superbowl last year. After back-to-back resounding wins over New York and Denver, Indy lost a heartbreaker in final seconds in Jacksonville, giving them their second loss in the division. Still, the Colts are in the thick of the AFC South race, only one game back from Texans, and joining the glut of NFL teams at .500. Expect them to come out firing and remind the Chiefs why Indianapolis spent so much of last season undefeated.

2. Denver at Baltimore, 1 P.M. EST on CBS – The Broncos have been playing tight, but solid games these past few weeks. Kyle Orton appears to have come into his own this season, making last year’s Cutler-Orton trade seem a bit more even that initially thought. With a close win in a hard-fought game against Tennessee, the ponies have a tough pair of games ahead, with the Jets waiting in the wings after Denver finishes with Baltimore. Still, the Broncos showed a lot of toughness last week and will assuredly give the Ravens a run for their money. Baltimore, on the other hand, has looked stellar through the first four weeks of the season. Each of its games has been close, with the margin of victory never being greater than a touchdown. Still, with two division wins already, the Ravens are sitting pretty in the AFC North. Last week, they handed the vaunted Steelers their first loss in an exciting 17-14 showdown. The renewed Baltimore D will look to stop the Denver offense in its tracks and extend the Ravens’ dominance by another week.

3. NY Jets at Minnesota, Monday, 8:30 P.M. EST on ESPN – This one just got a little more interesting. The Jets keep making this list because they continue to play quality games against quality opponents. For all of Rex Ryan’s bluster, the Jets have so far managed to back it up, winning three of their first four games of the season and sweeping the rest of their division thus far. Despite an initial shakiness, Mark Sanchez is playing like a franchise quarterback, and he’ll have a new target this week with the return of Santonio Holmes. However, he won’t be the only one with a new star to throw to, as Randy Moss will suit up in the purple and gold for the first time since he was traded to Oakland in 2005. Moss will be playing in his second consecutive Monday night game. The Vikings looked to be in freefall, starting 0-2 until they got their first win of the season against the Lions. Now, with the addition of Moss and a bye week to rest and prepare, Minnesota looks like a much tougher game, especially at home. Expect Brett Favre to utilize his new weapon early and often in a match up that just became much more intriguing.

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The Andrew Preview: NFL Week Four

Your Top Stories

The Patriots take on the Dolphins this week after a number of very good AFC East match ups this season.

1. The NFL is investigating a confrontation between Green Bay Packers safety Nick Collins and a fan that occurred during Monday night’s game between the Packers and the Bears. A Milwaukee news station aired footage of Collins arguing with a fan as he leaves a field, followed by Collins throwing his mouthpiece into the crowd. Collins claims that the fan spit on him and used a racial slur. Still, the Packers safety apologized and said that he simply “los[t] his cool.” Green Bay Coach Mike McCarthy indicated that he believed Collins’ account of the incident and that he “support[s] Nick one-hundred percent.” Collins was involved in two plays late in the game that helped put the Bears in position to win the game and may have contributed to his frustration. First, a late game interception by Collins was wiped out by a pass interference call, and Collins’ tackle of Bears running back Matt Forte resulted in another penalty for unnecessary roughness putting. The NFL is engaged in an ongoing review of the incident.

2. With the first three weeks in the books, there is still some quarterback shuffling going around. In the final week that the Steelers will be playing without Ben Roethlisberger, coach Mike Tomlin named Charlie Batch the starter for this Sunday’s match up against the Ravens. Batch entered the season as the fourth string quarterback for Pittsburgh, but following Big Ben’s suspension and injuries to Dennis Dixon and Byron Leftwich, Batch had his chance to show his stuff this Sunday. He certainly took advantage of it, throwing for three touchdowns in the Steelers’ trouncing of Tampa Bay. Also, the Buffalo Bills cut former “quarterback of the future” Trent Edwards in favor of backup Ryan Fitzpatrick. Firtzpatrick threw for more yards in Week Three than Edwards had managed in the first two weeks of the season combined. The Jaguars, facing quarterback issues of their own, picked up Edwards  off of waivers. Edwards is expected to compete with Jacksonville QB David Garrard who has been underwhelming so far this season.

3. The agent of veteran kicker John Carney confirmed that his client would be returning to the New Orleans Saints. Carney, at 46, is expected to sign a one-year deal with the defending Superbowl Champs. The Saints entered the market for a kicker this week after incumbent Garrett Hartley missed a twenty-nine yard gimme in overtime that would have won the game for New Orleans. Instead, Hartley’s shank allowed the Falcons to march down into field goal range themselves and get the victory. Carney was a kicking consultant for the Saints last year, after being on their active roster for the majority of 2009. The twenty-two year veteran kicked his first NFL field goal in 1988.

Undefeated Teams

Chicago Bears
Kansas City Chiefs
Pittsburgh Steelers

A whopping five teams suffered their first losses this week, whittling us down to a mere three undefeated teams. The Packers lost to the Bears; the Texans lost to the Cowboys; the Dolphins lost to the Jets; the Saints lost to the Falcons, and the Bucs lost to the Steelers. Parity is king in the NFL this year. Just for reference, this time last season there were still seven undefeated teams.

2008 Detroit Lions Memorial Winless Teams

Buffalo Bills
Cleveland Browns
Carolina Panthers
Detroit Lions
San Francisco 49ers

Three teams managed to get their first win this week. The Cowboys beat the Texans; the Vikings beat the Lions, and the Rams beat the Redskins. This leaves us with five winless teams, and again, for frame of reference there were seven winless teams this time last season.

Three Big Match Ups

1. Baltimore at Pittsburgh, 1 P.M. EST on CBS – One of the big questions entering the 2010-2011 season was how the Steelers would fare without Ben Roethlisberger. Well, if the first three weeks of the season are any indication, Big Ben should get suspended every year. Though it’s included a bout of quarterbacking by committee, the admirable play from the Steeler backups and a strong defense have led Pittsburgh to an undefeated record entering the last week of Roethlisberger’s suspension. With tight wins against Atlanta and Tennessee, and a thrashing of the formerly undefeated Bucs this past week, the Steelers have shown that they can win without their star quarterback. However, they’ll face their first division foe this week, and the Ravens are no pushovers. Baltimore grinded out a tough win against the Jets, lost a close one to the Bengals, and beat their division rival Browns by a touchdown. Though Ravens RB Ray Rice is questionable for Sunday’s game with a bruised knee, expect a revitalized Ravens offense to balance their typically stout defense and give the Steelers a run for their money.

2. Washington at Philadelphia, 4:15 P.M. EST on FOX – With three teams each having only one win apiece, the NFC East aint what it used to be. Still, the Philadelphia Eagles have looked to be the class of the division in the early goings. Despite a tough loss to a talented Packer team in Week One, the Eagles have won two in a row and look unstoppable. Andy Reid was vindicated in his decision to name Michael Vick as his starter after the former Falcons quarterback helped deliver a beatdown of the woeful Jaguars to the tune 291 yards, 3 touchdowns, and a 25-point margin of victory. Philly will look to establish their dominance in the NFC East by beating their division rivals. Still, the Shanahan Redskins are not the woeful Washington warriors of old. The Skins already have one win the division over the Cowboys, and it took an impressive comeback from the Texans in overtime to beat them in Weak Two. Moreover, you can expect Washington quarterback Donovan McNabb to be very motivated to show his old team what they’re missing after having traded him in the offseason. With the animated fans in Philadelphia, it should be an entertainingly contentious homecoming for the former Eagle, and accordingly, a great game.

3. New England at Miami, Monday, 8:30 P.M. EST on ESPN – The AFC East has put on some pretty good games these first three weeks of the season, with even the winless Bills doing their part. The Jets and the Pats put on quite a show in Week Two, and Miami and New York followed it up with another nail-biter in Week Three. Let’s hope the third leg of this round robin is just as exciting as the Fins take on the Patriots at home. The Dolphins went on the road and pulled off a pair of close victories over Buffalo and Minnesota to start the season. Unfortunately, they lost their home opener to the Jets in Week Three in a heartbreaker. However, this loss gives them all the more reason to go after another all-important division victory against the Pats. New England, for its part, also has a victory over Buffalo, a loss to the Jets, and a win over one of last season’s playoff teams on its 2010 resume. These teams appear pretty evenly matched, and it should make for a quality match up in the Monday night spotlight game. Expect Brady and Moss to be ready to put on a show while Chad Henne, Ronnie Brown, and the wildcat offense will aim to do the same.

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The Andrew Preview: NFL Week Two

Better late than never. Again, my apologies for the delays and the brevity, it’s been a hectic week.

Your Top Stories

1. Sainz of the times in the Jets locker room. A foreign language correspondent complained of sexual harassment by members of the Jets while in the New York locker room. Clinton Portis was widely condemned for his comments defending the Jets’ behavior. Additionally, Roger Goodell criticized the Jets and their staff for allowing this and has instituted mandatory sensitivity training on the subject.

Peyton and Eli Manning will square off for the first time since 2006.

2. Quarterback injuries strike again. Michael Vick will make his first start since 2006 due to the injury to Kevin Kolb. Also, Seneca Wallace will start in Cleveland due to the Injury to Jake Delhomme. Finally, Matt Stafford is out for Detroit ushering in the exciting Shaun Hill era. Last year saw a rash of quarterback injuries; with three starting QB’s out in just the first week, will the 2010-2011 season follow suit?

3. The looming lockout. A group of four teams, consisting of Indianapolis, Dallas, New Orleans, and Philadelphia, voted to decertify the union this week. Decertification would strip the union of its collective bargaining rights, which would allow individual players to sue the NFL in the event of a lockout. The move has been widely characterized as a means for the players to gain leverage in negotiations.

Undefeated Teams

Half of the league.

2008 Detroit Lions Memorial Winless Teams

The other half of the league.

Three Big Match Ups

1. Pittsburgh at Tennessee, 1 P.M. EST on CBS – This is one of the very few matchups this week between two teams who walked away with a win in week one. Pittsburgh managed to succeed despite the absence of Ben Roethlisberger and young quarterback Dennis Dixon will attempt to carry that momentum against one of the early favorites to lead the pack in the AFC. The Titans, meanwhile, are riding the amazing running skills of RB Chris Johnson who has openly declared his intention to continue at a record setting pace this year. It’s a bit too early to tell, but this may be one of the matchups that gives us a view of what to expect in the playoffs on the AFC’s side of the bracket.

2. New England at NY Jets, 4:15 P.M, EST on CBS – Wes Welker came back in force in week one, scoring two touchdowns and looking in fine form after his injury. The Patriots may be back on a roll and are looking to get a win to bolster their AFC East credentials. The Jets, meanwhile, struggled against Baltimore in their first game of the season, and will look to right the ship and justify their Superbowl hopes. Of particular interest is the matchup between Randy Moss who has expressed dissatisfaction with his contract and standing in New England, and Darelle Revis who is shaking off the rust from an extended holdout and having to overcome a tight hamstring.

3. NY Giants at Indianapolis 8:30 P.M. EST on NBC – Oh yes, it’s the Manning bowl. The Giants came away with a dominant win over the Panthers in Week one, with Hakeem Nicks emerging as a true deep threat and favored target for Eli. The Colts, meanwhile, lost to division rival Houston, the first time that they’ve fallen to the Texans in a meaningful game. The G-Men will look to continue their winning ways while the Colts will attempt to show that last week was an aberration and they can return their dominating success of last season. Of course, Peyton vs. Eli will be a major focus of the broadcast, so expect numerous shots of Archie in the stands looking stoic.

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