November 13, 2008

Thursday night showdown

by Dan Bilicki In: Football, Picks

While I have no doubt tonight that the Patriots/Jets match won’t be anything like Monday night’s debacle, I’ve still got to comment on that debacle.

I have never seen a more error-filled game than Monday night’s Arizona-San Francisco affair. It seemed like flags were flying on every play down the stretch and this wasn’t even trigger-happy reffing. Then, there was the awful playing calling to go with awful execution on the field for San Fran. If you were looking for any reason to call the call the NFC West weak, well you got it in this game when the division leader won a game against a 2-7 rival by a mere five points and because of a horribly botched attempt to gain two yards with about 30 seconds left.

As for tonight, do we really have to go over the whole teacher-apprentice angle again? It’s a shame that Belichick and Mangini are both in the same division so we’re treated to this overhype twice a year instead of once, or even not at all. I honestly could care less about these two former friends shaking hands at the end of tonight’s game.

How do I think it will go down? Surprisingly, Matt Cassel is looking more like “Brady light” and improving week by week. And that is about 10 times better than the “Turd light” we all thought he’d turn out to be. On the other side is Brett Favre who, while he couldn’t get done in week 2 against New England, has had more time to learn the playbook, adapt to the personnel around him and will now be facing a team that’s been hit by injuries and can susceptible.

The biggest battle of this game will be when New York’s frontline tries to proverbially smack New England’s offence in the mouth. The Patriots offensive line is still one of the best at pass protection and aren’t going to let down their team like they did in the Super Bowl. With a physical runner like BenJarvus Green-Ellis in the backfield, the Patriots could potentially win this game on the ground.

Whoever thought a guy with four names would be a key part to a key divisional game?

The pick: New England -3
Last week: 9-4
This season: 65-53-2

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