WEEK 16 RECAP: WHAT IS THE OPPOSITE OF A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE?

Greg Brown
29 December 2017
Merry Christmas

WEEK 16 RECAP: WHAT IS THE OPPOSITE OF A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE?

Poor Buffalo. Part of me was actually rooting for them this week. The Patriots were basically a lock for a 1st round bye and Buffalo were fighting for the last AFC playoff spot. It was Christmas Eve and the season of giving was in full swing. They are a fairly likeable team with Tyrod Taylor, LeSean McCoy and more importantly the Bills Mafia. Would it be so terrible if the Bills game in and snuck out a win in Foxboro? Wouldn’t a win mean more for the city of Buffalo than it would for the city of Boston? But alas, it was not meant to be. As has happened time and time again, the Patriots stomped the Bills to the tune of a 21 point victory. Poor Buffalo.

Positives

  • Dion Lewis fantasy owners. I know I had Lewis on the positives list last week but if he keeps racking up yards in 3 phases, he will keep making the list. Between rushing, receiving and kickoff returning he amassed a total of 196 yards and 2 TDs (26 fantasy points). Everybody knows it is a big no-no to draft Patriots RBs in fantasy football. Between Lewis, Gillislee, Burkhead and White you never know who is getting touches from week to week. I wouldn’t put it past Belichick to give Lewis the touches for a HUGE day during the fantasy playoffs just to mess with people’s heads who left him on the bench.
  • Gronkowski’s Paws. I know I had Gronk on the positives list last week as well but if he keeps making one handed, toe tapping, pirouette catches like this, then he is going to keep making the goddamn list.
  • Flowers in December.  I think it is fair to say the Flowers brothers, Marquis and Trey, lead the way for the defense this week. Are they actually brothers? Probably not but I’m not googling to confirm or deny. Between the two of them they had 18 total tackles, 12 solo tackles, 2.5 sacks and 4 QB hits. Not a bad day for Mr. and Mrs. Flowers watching in the stands.
  • New Orleans Trolling. 2017 has been the year of the trolling. The 28-3 memes have taken on a life of their own and I will admit that I have also contributed to the saturation of 28-3 trolling. I think at this point we are sort of beating a dead horse. But I will give New Orleans a break here because clearly they have been saving these troll jobs in their back pocket since last FEBRUARY.  As soon as Super Bowl 51 ended at 10:14 PM on February 6, 2017, a pilot in New Orleans said to himself “I know what I’ll do!

Negatives

  • Basic arithmetic in Buffalo. I am not one to jump on the bandwagon of mocking the Bills but they really need to help themselves out a little bit here. I think Tony Romo said it best “You got 15 guys. And so Jim, you can't play with 15 guys, 14 is questionable but 15 is when it gets a little unfair.” Give my year old niece 3 weeks with her new Christmas present and I bet she can run a top 15 NFL defense.
  • Patriots LB Depth. According to Zack Cox from NESN the Patriots only played two LBs throughout the entire game on Sunday (Eric Lee is listed as a DE). While it is fairly impressive to beat a potential playoff team by 20+ points with only two LBs, I can’t imagine it is a good recipe for success in the NFL. For anyone that is saying the James Harrison signing is about stealing the Pittsburgh playbook, please point them in the direction of this tweet. Also shout out to Brian Spead (@therealbnsprts) for that quality dad joke down there. This is how you correctly use internet comment sections folks.
  • Tom Brady haters. I have sensed a growing trend of rumblings about how Tom Brady has seen a decline in play in the last 4 or 5 weeks. Now, certainly he has thrown more INTs than we are used to and at times the offense has looked out of rhythm but we need to be stay objective about it. My guess is a lot of it may have to do with a feeling of “trader’s remorse” from watching Jimmy Grapes’ success over in California but I will not stand for it. Brady has gone through stretches like this plenty of times in his career. Clearly the game plan on Sunday was focused on running the ball and they were certainly successful in that (193 rushing yards). But anyone that tells you Brady played like shit this week hasn’t looked at the box score:

Do you know whose QB rating that is better than? Yah, you guessed it, Jimmy Grapes:

So before you start telling all your buddies “I fackin’ told ya we shoulda traded Tom insteada Jimmy”, keep in mind they are currently being graded on completely different scales.

In honor of the 15 men on the field, this week I thought I would try out a new segment called Patriots Recap by the Numbers:

  • With the win today Tom Brady now has a record of 28-3 against the Buffalo Bills in his career. Those numbers looks familiar to anyone?
  • With 5 catches against the Bills, Rob Gronkowski now has a total of 69 receptions on the year. Nice. Would anybody be surprised if he is a late healthy scratch in Week 17?
  • The Patriots are now 6-0 with Tony Romo in the booth. He will also be commentating the Week 17 Patriots vs Jets game. And more than likely the AFC Championship game.
  • After having a historically bad start to the season, the Patriots defense is now ranked 7th in the NFL in average points allowed per game. The Seattle Seahawks rank 13th.

Couple more interesting random internet pictures that I thought were worth including:

So much butthurt:

Signed jersey LeSean McCoy gave to Dion Lewis after the game.They both played at University of Pittsburgh:

Bet you can't guess which one is the Patriots:

I always considered James Harrison the most terrifying player in the NFL. When he would rock the blacked out visor with the extended facemask and he was just splitting people in half he looked like a goddamn super villain on the field. Welcome to New England you scary mother fucker.

Harrison
Harrison

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