PCP: Can Pats make playoffs?

first_imgZetlin:Tom Brady is done for the season. Now what?This situation reminds me a lot of the 2001 Patriots season, when the Jets’ Mo Lewis knocked quarterback Drew Bledsoe out of the game with a devastating hit along the sideline. In trotted a former sixth-round pick from the University of Michigan, a guy who was never really the clear-cut starter for the Wolverines. Who was that, you ask? You might have heard of him. His name is Tom Brady. And the Pats beat the Rams in the Super Bowl later that season. The rest is history.So do I think Matt Cassell is the next Brady? No. Not even close. But with this offense, Cassell doesn’t have to be a superstar; he simply needs to manage the team. He has all the options an incoming quarterback could ask for with Randy Moss — the most talented wide receiver in the game — and Wes Welker, who hauled in 112 receptions last season.The offense will suffer with the loss of Brady, but look for running back Laurence Maroney to emerge as the premier back New England hoped he would become when they drafted him in the first round in 2006.Plus, the Pats have the easiest schedule in the entire NFL this season. They still have one of the best front sevens in football. And oh yeah, the best coach in the league, Bill Belichick wears his infamous hoodie on their sideline.I agree, the AFC East is now wide open, but the Pats are still the team to beat.What, you think some no-name quarterback can lead the Jets to the division title? Dream on.Mason:When Tom Brady went down with a knee injury that was later revealed to be season ending, the entire New England area went on suicide watch.Simply put, Brady has been the face of the franchise since he took over as the starter in 2001. Since then, he’s been named the Super Bowl MVP twice and, oh yeah, the Patriots won the big game three times in that span as well.You can try to point to all the talent the current Patriots team had, but the fact of the matter is the 2001 championship roster doesn’t hold water to today’s. Troy Brown is not Randy Moss. Antowain Smith is no Lawrence Maroney.And now, Matt Cassel is — and never will be — Tom Brady. That’s why the Pats will miss out on the playoffs in 2008 for the first time in six seasons.Look at Cassel’s track record: Before Sunday’s game, in which he came in to replace Brady, he had thrown 39 NFL passes. In his college days at USC, he was a backup to a pair of Heisman Trophy winners, Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart.I’m not ready to totally write New England off. I still think an 8-8 or maybe 9-7 season could be in the works for the Pats. As Derek mentioned, their schedule isn’t exactly daunting.And that “no-name” quarterback on the Jets Zetlin alluded to? He knows a thing or two about how to win and should lead New York to the division title, finally overthrowing the mighty Patriots dynasty.A lifetime backup filling in for an idol? Not buying it. I hope the Patriots have high-def TVs for watching the playoffs.last_img read more

Read More →

Why Real fans don’t applaud Messi like Ronaldinho

first_imgPrimera División Why does the Santiago Bernabeu not applaud Messi like they did Ronaldinho? Ignasi Oliva Last updated 1 year ago 16:05 12/23/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(128) Lionel Messi Barcelona Real Madrid Primera División Real Madrid v Barcelona Real Madrid Barcelona Lionel Messi Ronaldinho Gaúcho Opinion Several Barcelona players have been given an ovation by Real Madrid’s fans in a Clasico, but the Argentine attacker is unlikely to ever receive one A few weeks have now gone by since the 12th anniversary of what seemed impossible at the start of this millennium, as a sector of Real Madrid fans applauded a Barcelona victory at the Santiago Bernabeu. That was achieved by Ronaldinho as the brilliant Brazilian hit a superb double in a 3-0 win in November 2005. It was his third visit to the Bernabeu and his second victory, having handed Xavi an unforgettable assist in a 2-1 victory in his first game at Madrid’s famous home.Back in the 1980s, the Bernabeu also applauded Diego Maradona and many Madridistas later stood up to acclaim Andres Iniesta in 2015 when the Spain midfielder was substituted during a 4-0 success for Luis Enrique’s side. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Lionel Messi BarcelonaMessi started that game on the bench having only recently recovered from injury, but the Argentine attacker has had more memorable nights at the Bernabeu than most other Barcelona players.There was his double in the sides’ Champions League semi-final first leg back 2011, a hat-trick in a 4-3 win for Gerardo Martino’s team in 2014 and a superb winner in La Liga last season which was followed by an iconic celebtration as he held his shirt aloft to the Bernabeu crowd.In total, Messi has played 12 times at the Bernabeu, with seven wins, one draw and only four defeats, a record that would have seemed unthinkable when Barca went seven straight seasons without winning away to Real Madrid until Ronaldinho set up Xavi for that 2-1 win in 2004.Ronaldinho, BarcelonaAndres Iniesta Barcelona Real MadridRonaldinho’s number 10 shirt was worn later by Messi and although the Brazilian helped Barca to back-to-back La Liga titles and a Champions League crown, the Argentine would lead the Blaugrana in an era of dominance with Pep Guardiola, and later Luis Enrique, in charge.It is perhaps for that reason, and also due to the rivalry with Cristiano Ronaldo, that Madrid’s fans are unwilling to applaud Messi, while some supporters also believe he purposely kicked the ball at them during a Clasico clash in April 2011.The constant comparisons with Ronaldo and the bad-tempered Clasico meetings stoked up by Jose Mourinho in his time at Real have not helped and even if the Barca forward produces another match-winning performance in Saturday’s match, he is still highly unlikely to receive an ovation at the Bernabeu.last_img read more

Read More →