Monday, January 02, 2006

Odds and Ends - Patriots/Dolphins

  • The Patriots lost 28-26 to Miami yesterday when Matt Cassell's pass on an attempted 2-point conversion with no time left sailed wide of Bam Childress and out of the end zone. On the day, Cassell threw two touchdown passed, his first two since high school, as he spent his college career at USC backing up Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart. He might have been the 2nd best quarterback in the country during his junior and senior years without ever getting onto the field. Well, he got 3 quarters of NFL playing time yesterday, and played pretty well, nearly bringing the Patriots back.

  • In the end, the Patriots loss to Miami didn't mean much. They get Jacksonville instead of Pittsburgh in the first round. The only real downside to this is if New England and Cincinnati both win each of the next two weeks, they'll play the AFC Championship game in Cincinnati instead of New England. I don't expect Cincinnati to win either of the next two weeks, never mind both, so I don't think it's a big deal.

  • The CBS coverage of the game yesterday was just awful. One of the big plays of the first Miami touchdown drive was a roughing-the-passer call against Ty Warren. CBS' viewers never saw it. Didn't see it live, didn't see a replay - they were too busy doing other things. They missed a 7-yard run in the 4th quarter by Ricky Williams because they were too busy showing the Flutie Hail Mary pass against Miami from 21 years ago. (I may tire of that replay someday, but I haven't yet - regardless, they shouldn't be losing live game action to it without at least replaying the game action, which they didn't.) Randy Cross called Bill Belichick "Bill Cowher" at least 5 times. It was a pretty weak performance in all respects.

  • One of the irritants was the constant talk about how Miami was doing just what they wanted, making a statement against the Patriots. I don't know how much of a statement you could take it as being when they won the game because of a safety and a missed two-point conversion at the end of regulation, and the Patriots had an undrafted rookie wide receiver in his first ever NFL action playing cornerback.

  • There was some complaining from predictable media sources (namely, Michael Felger of the Boston Herald, who loathes Boston College and everyone and everything associated with it, including - or maybe especially - Doug Flutie) about the drop-kick in the 4th quarter. To which my reaction is "get a life." They allowed Flutie to come out in front of his hometown fans, possibly for the last time, and do something that hadn't been done in 64 years, in a game which meant basically nothing outside itself, and Flutie converted the extra-point. The crowd loved it, the team loved it, it had ZERO impact on the outcome of the game, which itself had almost zero impact on anything else (though I think the Bengals would rather have the Jaguars coming to Cincinnati this week than the Steelers) - in short, there was absolutely no reason for anyone with any sense to get bent out of shape over it. So Felger promptly got bent out of shape over it. Frankly, it was less of a joke than Bam Childress playing defensive back...
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