September 23, 2008

Falling to earth

by Dan Bilicki In: Football, Picks

Matt Cassel wasn’t the saviour of the Patriots yesterday. In fact, there was something that I realized after making my pick (taking the Pats -12.5) that should have factored into consideration: The Dolphins own Cassel. Last year, when New England was in full fledged F-U mode, they were killing the Dolphins in Miami and in the third quarter, took out Brady and played Cassel. From there on out, Cassel bombed and Miami started coming back against the mighty Patriots, until they put Brady back in that is. So how come no one remembered that Miami easily handled him last year? It would’ve been a great pick in retrospect. For the record, I also went with Cassel despite being firmly in the “won’t win their second games”-camp (like picking against Matt Ryan and J.T. O’Sullivan in week 2).
And how about Ronnie Brown? Not enough will be said on the Patriots’ complete lack of ability to stop that direct-snap play to Brown that netted him four touchdowns on the day. Brown was so outstanding; he even threw for a TD! That’s the same amount of passing TDs that poor Cassel had in Foxborough yesterday. While I’m sure the Pats will figure out how to remedy this poor play when they visit Miami later this season, I think they should just hope that Ronnie Brown suffers his inevitable injury before they get there.
Brian Griese got his revenge on the Bears, if you really think he was looking for revenge that is. Still, 407 yards passing and a win is never a bad thing against your former team — a team that would rather have Kyle Orton and Rex Grossman than you.
Now that was a crazy finish to the Colt-Jags game. I found myself believing that Peyton had straight-up willed his team to a victory for the second straight week but the Jags and Josh Scobee had other ideas. A 51-yard field goal for a win always feels like a punch in the stomach to the defeated.
The Bills didn’t win that game against the Raiders, Oakland lost it. By refusing to run the ball on third down and keeping the clock moving, or costing the Bills a time out, they lost. How does having JaMarcus Russell lobbing the ball into double coverage help the team in that situation?
I firmly believe that the Eagles are in trouble if Brian Westbrook’s MRI doesn’t come back clean. He is their offence, not just a piece of it.
Well, it wasn’t a great week for many teams and the same can be said for RTP’s picks. I think I’ve learned my lesson from falling into trap games (Cincy at Giants) or forgetting history (Griese and Cassel). At least I’m still at .500 for the season.

This week: 6-9.
This season: 22-22.

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