Tuesday, December 27, 2005


At the moment, the Patriots are the #4 seed in the playoffs which mean they would host the #5 seed - the top Wild Card team - in the 1st round. At the moment, that is Jacksonville. If the Patriots don't win, they will be the #4 seed no matter what.

The Pats can move up to be the #3 seed if they win and Cincinatti loses. That would give the Pats and Bengals the same record (11-5) and the Patriots would have better tie-breakers. If the Patriots do get the #3 seed, they'll host the #6 seed - the second Wild Card team - in the first round. At the moment, that is Pittsburgh, but if a lot of things happen, it will be Kansas City.

Jacksonville is probably going to beat the Tennessee Titans which will lock up a #5 seed for them. The only way the Steelers will miss the playoffs is if they lose to the Lions, Kansas City beats Cincinatti, and San Diego loses to a Denver Broncos team that has nothing to play for.

If the Patriots get a #3 seed and win their first round game, they will automatically go to Denver to play the Broncos in the 2nd round. If the Pats wind up as a #4 seed and win in their first round game, they'll play Indianapolis in Indy if the Bengals win their game. If the Bengals lose, the Patriots would go to Denver.

So what do the Patriots want? Obviously, a first round game against Jacksonville seems more inviting than one against Pittsburgh, but we know Pittsburgh a lot better than the Jaguars. But the Steelers are playing pretty well as of late. Then there's the second round. Would you rather play the Colts in Indy or the Broncos in Denver? Neither one is very appealing.

The Patriots are going to win against Miami, most likely. It will be January and the Dolphins are the Dolphins. Cincinatti will probably beat Kansas City, but that game is a lot closer to call. Furthermore, the game is in Kansas City and the Chiefs are playing for life, not for seeding. The Chiefs just might pull off an upset and cause a disturbance to the playoff scenarios. I don't think they will, though. I see us being the #4 seed, hosting the Jaguars (who will have a better record than us). We will win a close game, Pittsburgh will beat Cincinatti. We will then go to Denver and the Steelers to Indy. I'm not going to predict any further than that as I am getting too ridiculous.



23 December 2005 C Whitmer

After suffering through last season’s devastating playoff sweep, Red Sox fans everywhere found themselves uttering that old familiar phrase: “Just wait’ll next year”.

Well Red Sox fans, the wait is over. With spring training only weeks away, the 2006 MLB season is on its way, and the Boston Red Sox have already made some big moves as they get ready to chase down another Championship. And as Red Sox fans everywhere dust off the old cap and mitt and anxiously await the spring thaw, one thing they do not have to wait for is the opportunity to score great tickets to the Red Sox games of their choice. Licensed online ticket brokers are already offering excellent seats for the 2006 regular season, as well as the post season, and (cross your fingers) the World Series.

So it’s time to start anew. Now that the fair-weather fans have jumped off the bandwagon, only the true die-hards remain. And as a die-hard fan nobody needs to tell you just how sweet it will be to avenge that playoff nightmare and knock those “other Sox” back down to the bottom of the league.

Because if we had to wait 86 years to see a World Series winner in Boston, missing a year in between isn’t the worst thing that could happen. The 2005 season was a tough one to take, but the Sox are now poised to pitch, catch, slide, dive and hit their way right back to the Fall Classic. Eager fans everywhere are expecting nothing less, and though the Red Sox fell just short of becoming back-to-back champions last season, winning it all again this year would easily make up for it.

And heck… 2 out of 3 ain’t bad.


Not surprisingly, the Red Sox bungled their negotiations with Kevin Millwood, who signed a 4 year deal with the Rangers. The Red Sox only offered him three years. Even though Larry Luchino bragged about the extra money they have to work with, they didn't seem willing to spend any of it to get Millwood. Boras and Millwood were asking for quite a bit, but what they asked for is about on par for pitching free agents this off-season.

Millwood's record last year was an unimpressive 9-11, but his ERA was an AL best at 2.86. He would have given the Red Sox great depth in the rotation and given us more leeway to trade guys like Clement, Wells, and Arroyo. Instead, the Red Sox didn't propose an offer that would have had a chance of convincing Millwood to come play for Boston as opposed to Texas.


The Patriots won this game in the first half and sealed it with their 9+ minute drive to begin the second half. They made a great deal of mistakes, however. Brady did not show up with his A game. The defense did very well once again and a combined rushing attack allowed the Pats to dominate the game. The Jets sucking helped out a lot, too.

Mike Vrabel stood out as the best player on the field. He caught 2 TDs and sacked Bollinger as one of his 4 solo tackles and 6 overrall. He is the first player since sacks have been recorded as a statistic to record one and catch 2 TDs in the same game. Vrabel now has 6 career regular season TD catches. He has only caught touchdowns.

The Pats had a great combined running attack. 50 carries spread to 6 players. Dillon had 26 for 77 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Faulk had 10 carries for 38 yards. Heath Evans came in for 6 carries and 16 yards. Patrick Pass had 3 for 14 yards. Tom Brady sneaked 3 times for 7 yards. Each sneak was a succesful 1st down run. Doug Flutie carried it twice for -1 yard. 50 carries for 151 yards. Not a great average per carry, but a consistent and relentless ground attack that dominated the time of possession. The Pats had the ball for 24 minutes in the 1st half and 44 in the entire game. At one point, they ran 31 straight plays before the Jets got the ball back.

The defense was stellar. The Front Seven got excellent pressure on Bollinger. They recorded 4 sacks. Few of those Sacks were pure individual pressures. They were well designed and well executed plays. McGinist, Colvin, and Vrabel all had great days once again.

The defense pressured Bollinger and stopped the run as well. The Jets only had 40 rushing yards in the game. The defensive backs were able to cover decently enough and gave the pressuring pass rushers time to get to Bollinger and force some bad throws, including the one Samuel picked off.

There are a few things to be worried about. Brady was not very accurate or all that wise with his decisions. He was good, but not the normal Brady we're used to seeing. The biggest worry from the game is the status of Tedy Bruschi. TB54 went down in the 1st quarter with what appeared to be a problem with an ankle. All that is officially known is that it is a left leg injury and that he will be receiving X-Rays. I wouldn't be shocked if we saw little to no Tedy Bruschi in the Miami game on Sunday.