Barstool Sports

Monday, January 16, 2006

Coulda, woulda, shoulda: Pats season ends in Denver

The Patriots could have won the Divisional playoff against Denver Saturday night. The Patriots would have faced the Steelers at home this weekend for the AFC Championship. The Patriots should have won a 3rd strait Super Bowl. But it didn't happen. The team known for precision and excellence in the NFL over the past 4 seasons committed 5 turnovers. 3 fumbles and 2 interceptions in the 24-13 loss to Denver.

The Broncos, who again play the roll of kryptonite to the Pat's Superman, played superb defense, putting the heat on Tom Brady throughout the game, and preventing the Pats to get too far out of the shadow of their own end zone. On the other side, however, the Broncos running game was non-existent as the Pats front 7 shut them down, to the point that Denver gave up on the run and put the ball in Jake Plummer's hands. Things were going well as the Pats stopped the Broncos on a 4th and goal from the 2, as for some reason Mike Shanahan decided to call a fade route which was incomplete. The Pats held on to a 3-0 lead with little time left in the 2nd Quarter when Kevin Faulk fumbled, leading to a horrible pass interference call and a 7-3 Broncos lead. Next, rookie Ellis Hobbs fumbled (from a hit by the kicker) the kick off, and Denver converted that into a field goal and 10-3 halftime lead.

From there the Pats had a chance to cut the lead to at least 10-9 in the 3rd, but more pressure from the Broncos forced Brady into a interception in the endzone and a Champ Bailey 101 yard return to the Denver 1. The play, which should but won't be remembered for Ben Watson's hustle, ended with Bailey fumbling the ball out of bounds. A lack of camera views failed to show that the ball went out over the end zone marker, which would have been a touchback and Patriots ball. Instead it was now a 17-6 Denver lead. The Pats appeared to get things under control later but a special teams trick play, where Troy Brown played coverage then rushed back to field the punt, ended with the sure-handed Brown fumbling the ball and a 24-6 Broncos lead.

From there the Pats fought back, cutting the lead to 24-13, but it was not to be. They just had too many errors to beat a good team like Denver. It was a tough way to end the season, but UB should have seen it coming, as the Pats were 20th in the league this season in turnover ratio at -6. What does the future hold? More on that later, but for now UB feels confident that the Pats will be right back next season, fighting for that 4th ring...but they'll have to do it without Eric Mangini.

Mangini (left, showing off his butt for Ellis Hobbs) signed on with the New Jersey Jets tonight. Mangini takes over a team that went 4-and-12 after coming within a field goal of playing in the A-F-C Championship Game. He joined the Patriots' coaching staff in 2000 and took over the defense when Romeo Crennel became the Cleveland Browns' head coach after last season. UB's not sure if it is the best decision to leave the Pats for the slums of the J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets, and UB's not too sure if it was the best move by the Jets to take a guy who just this year got promoted to defensive coordinator. Then again out of the options on the table, Mangini is probably the right move. Who were they gonna hire? Mike Tice?

So on Sunday UB was in the middle of ordering a steak sandwich and a steak sandwich when he looked up and saw that the blowout that he had predicted (50-17) in Indianapolis was in fact a 14-3 Steelers lead over the Colts:

UB looked up to see the Colts being dominated by a Steelers team that only one person had picked to win. Once again Peyton Manning was failing in the NFL playoffs and Tony Dungy looked like a deer caught in the headlights.

And how about Ben Rothlesandwich? This kid turned out to be a prime time performer after all. The game saving tackle he made on Nick Harper's sore knee has to be remembered as one of the great clutch plays in Steelers history. Of course it came after, as Bill Simmons called him the human butt-crack, Jerome Bettis proved once again he is a goat in big games. For the record the next big play Bettis makes in a big game will be his first. He has to be one of the most over rated players of all time. He could rumble when he was younger and bowl over players, but these seasons of 15 TDs, none longer that 3 yards, is a joke. Time to hang em up fatbody.

The meeting of the minds. On the left, the worst big game coach in league history. On the right a damn good coach who has made a lot out of a little time and time again, but is not exactly a giant in big games either. Cowher is 1-4 in AFC title games, all at home, and the one win came after the Colts dropped a hail Mary in the endzone. Also, having the most Pro Bowl head coaching jobs in NFL history is not a good thing. Dungy on the other hand should really be let go. The Colts are in a tough spot. From a PR stand point they can't fire Dungy, but they really should. Look at what happened to Tampa Bay when they were tired of Tony leading a very willing team to playoff disappointment, year after year, they won a Super Bowl with John Gruden. The Colts better figure that out before Manning is too old to play any more. Oh yeah, and if there was ever a sign that your coach can't cut it, it is when the quarterback takes it on his own to send the punt team back and go for it on 4th and 2. Can you see Brady doing that over Belichick? Or any other player in the league for that matter? They would be benched.

And then there is Peyton Manning. Blaming your O-line for the loss. Not smart. What's gonna happen next year when they decide to step aside on the first play of the game and watch you get your head taken off by the rush. Oh man UB wishes they would do that...wouldn't it be great?

And finally there is the liquored up kicker Mike Vandershank. UB's drives don't slice that much. That was the worst kick, maybe ever. Kris Brown's miss for the Texans may have been a little worse but what where they playing for? Of course who does Vandershank blame for the loss? God. Yep god hates the Colts. Here is a real stable person...He should get his walking papers too. But he won't, because the Colts aren't smart enough to read the writing on the wall and make the changes. They will all be back next year for another early playoff exit...

Moon River...


At 12:03 AM, Blogger Thigh Master said...

what kind of a name is POON?

At 4:35 PM, Blogger Uncle Buck said...

I'm afraid I'm gonna have to pull rank on you. I didn't want to have to do this. I'm with the Mattress Police. There are no tags on these mattresses.


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