Not as much charge for this matchup

I think I now know how I would have felt if the Red Sox had played the Twins in 2004 ALCS instead of the Yankees. It just wouldn’t have been the same.

I have to admit, I very much wanted to see the Patriots and the Colts this Sunday in Foxboro for the AFC Championship. It has become such a great rivalry and the Colts left such a bitterly sour taste in the mouth of every Patriots player and follower last January. Matter of fact, it was the most bitter Boston sports loss since the Yankees and Aaron Boone beat the Red Sox in game 7 of 2003, which is why the rematch this Sunday would have been so compelling.

Brady is at the very top of his game right now. And until yesterday, I thought Manning was still at the top of his. We are just spoiled around here to watch this football team week in and week out. Has Brady ever come up as small in the late stages of a big game as Manning did on his last two series yesterday? Granted, Manning did have nice numbers — 33-for-48, 402 yards, three TDs. But interceptions will kill you this time of year and he had two of them.

Now we’re left with the Pats and the injury-plagued Chargers. Just as I thought Jacksonville would give the Patriots everything they could handle last week, I don’t see this one being much of a game.

I predict the Pats win by a minimum of two touchdowns.

If any of you can convince me otherwise, please give it your best shot. Because there is very little going on Red Sox-wise, I figured we could talk some football.

Ian.

24 Comments

Ian,

I totally agree with you about the Patriots. Very disappointed to see the bolts come to Foxboro/Foxborough. I would rather see the Colts.

Brady did come up small in Denver 2 years ago. Champ Bailey returned an interception 100 yards and that was all she wrote for the Pats that night. Other than that, Brady has been out of this world in the post-season.

The Pats blew a 21-6 lead in Indy last year. That has been the motivation for this team in 2007 and into the playoffs. They only played 30 minutes of football in the A.F.C. Championship game a year ago. That certainly hasn’t been the case this season. A mismatch with San Diego coming into town.

Hey bosoxbrian:

My memory of the Pats game against SD last year was that they were a bit fortunate to sneak out of Cal. with a victory. You don’t see this year’s bolts as comparable to last year’s? Not even with the 8 or 9 in a row that they have won, not to mention the 2 play-off wins they have finally generated?

What’s the story on bolt injuries? Any likelihood that either LT or Phillip Rivers won’t play, or will be significantly less than 100%?

Both of Manning’s interceptions yesterday were tipped by his receivers. I thought he played an excellent game and was just unlucky. Plus the Colts had two red zone turnovers yesterday (Harrison fumble and that absurd one-handed INT by a linebacker) which killed them.

I’m neither a Patriots nor Chargers fan but I’m excited for this one since San Diego has something to prove after the Pats beat them at home last year and then danced on their logo.

I’m sure Rivers will be fired up and jawing as always. Even though this might not be the closest of games, it will still be entertaining for other purposes.

If I was a Patriots fan, I’d be nervous to face the Packers in the Super Bowl. If you think Favre gets a lot of calls from the refs normally, wait until he’s on the biggest stage in football and has an entire country rooting for him.

dbenjamin,

I would agree with you about last year’s playoff game in S.D. Pats were very lucky to come out of there with the victory. Brady stunk it up for the first 3 qtrs.

Big pass play to Caldwell late in the game, set up the winning f.g. He is now with the Redskins. He had the big eyes in Indy last year.

This year’s Pats team has so much firepower. Last year at this time the best w.r. was Reche Caldwell, he is nothing but a average w.r.

Pats smoked S.D. after cameragate and I think the Pats will win by a wide margin again this Sunday. Petal to the metal this Sunday for the Pats.

Zachary’s comment about the refs and Farve is interesting — I hope the zebra’s stay out of the post season this year, though they have shown signs of poor eye-sight again already. The Chargers should have one by 11 not 4, without that ridiculous holding call on the Bolts that negated a 86 yard return for a TD near the end of the first half and cost the Chargers 7 points. But sweat redemption came in a strange form, the ‘absurb’ one handed interception that took away 7 points from the Colts, was by the same player who got called for that phatom absurb holding call that the ref invented.

I remember the refs ruining the Seattle Pittsburgh Super Bowl two years goal, and I am fan of neither club, but that was the worst super bowl officiating I had ever seen.

Let’s hope the stay clean enough to not stack games the rest of the way.

Patriots being the luckiest team on earth when it comes to calls — even though they don’t need it this year.

How about some baseball talk?

(1) Haven’t been on the blog in a while, so its probably been discussed, but I see the RedSox may have re-signed Mirabelli.

Makes sense, but these six figure bonus’s for staying in shape are pretty hilarious. There should be a six figure PENALTY for NOT staying in shape when you making the kind money that these guys makes. I need to give Theo a call and set him straight on that.

(2) SOX schedule looks tougher than the Yankees schedule again this year — last year it was definitely noticable — and the SOX beat them out anyway — but this year — pretty darn tough April — combined with Japan opening, hope they don’t get into a big whole early — that early half lead was critical to overall success last year.

And the last 10 games are 3-Toronto, 4-clevelan, 3-yanks?

Definitely sounds pre-meditated? how long in advance are the schedules laid out? and who governs the bias? anyone know?

Ian,

I don’t normally watch AFC, but I’ll watch the Pats vs. anybody to see if the streak lasts

Zack,

That’s my ideal SB match up too. Don’t know who’ll be favored, but I think the refs will keep it pretty even. They do send the best to the biggest game.

Look at the four remaining teams. They are the four teams that played hard through the end of the season. The Colts final game against the Titans was a disgrace to professional football and the Cowboys essentially took the last three weeks of the season off. Both of those teams lost to inferior teams. They failed to execute. Dropped passes, stupid penalties, blown coverages and poor tackling led to their demise. They got what they deserved.

Personally, I’m glad to see the Chargers come to town. This time, it is the Chargers playing with a chip on their shoulders. I think Philip Rivers is a cocky SOB that needs a huge slice of Belichick’s humble pie. It cracked me up to see LT and Rivers in interviews saying they both could have come back and played had the situation been critical enough to warrant it. Wait, they were trailing 24-21, probably looking at their last opportunity to score. I’m thinking in football terms, with the season on the line, that’s pretty critical. Kudos to Voegel and the Chargers who stepped up to take care of business, but what were LT and Rivers thinking when they said that?

The Chargers want to dance on the flying Elvis. I think this will be a more heated rivalry game than the Colts would ever have brought to town. It should be fun to watch and I hope the Patriots drub the Chargers.

No one down here in Texas enjoyed watching T.O. “Pop & Bawl” Owens whine about his QB more than I. I’ve listened to Cowgirl fans talk trash all year — even after the first beating the Pats gave them…. thankfully they’re gone. Favre will be gunning for gold, but Brady should take it up a couple of notches and the Pats will prevail in the Super Bowl (after the practice game with the Bolts).

i wish doug mirabelli would just retire from baseball. as a huge red sox fan, he is the one person who i cannot stand as a player because i know he will never account for anything at the plate. behind the plate, yes…but he can’t hit for his life.

i love tim wakefield, but i was really hoping this offseason that mirabelli wouldn’t re-sign :(

also, watching T.O. cry was absolutely hilarious!

Patriots 24

Chargers 13

I am like everyone else when it comes to Mirabelli, I wish he wasn’t a member of the Red Sox. The guy can’t even hit his weight, enough said.

Wow, not much to talk about this winter. Looks like the Santana thing has gone quietly to sleep and other than some bench slots, the Sox don’t have many holes to fill.

So, for the sake of discussion, I’ll respectfully disagree with the posts on Mirabelli. He’s done exactly what the Red Sox wanted him to do. As far as hitting is concerned, it’s tough to expect a guy playing every five days or so to hit with any consistency. That being said, his run production for the number of at bats he had approximates that of Tek. He’s not a bad guy to have around.

Oh yeah, and he’s really inexpensive too!

I agree with GSM, if the Sox had expected him to hit, say, 270, then he hasn’t done his job. What they expect is for him to catch Wake. He does that well.

I won’t predict a score, but I do think the Pats win, probably by two scores. I think Kyle Brady becomes a key in this game. He is a blocking machine and will serve to keep the Charger linebackers off Brady. The Chargers may get some early pressure, but the Pats will adjust and that will be that.

With the emphasis on getting to Brady, it would not surprise me to see Maroney have another good day. If he starts out well, Brady will use play action to finish the Chargers off.

I see the Chargers’ only hope being to go toe to toe with the Patriots in a shootout. That was Jacksonville’s approach and it worked for a while. But that’s a battle nobody in the league, except maybe Brett Favre, can win.

I’d like to chime in on the Mirabelli thing. Here’s a random stat — he leads the team in RBIs per hit. Which is to say, whenever he does actually get a hit, he is usually driving someone in. (Moreso even than Ortiz!) Plus they haven’t found someone who can catch wakefield who hits any better than dougie.

Interesting stat. It always SEEMED like he(Mirabelli) got clutch hits, but that could have been my perception not reality. It’s nice to see that I was correct.

I like Mirabelli for a totally different reason. He looks like Telly Sevalis. Imagine a lollipop in his mouth when he comes up to bat and you’ll see what I mean. Kojak. Plus he has a surreal calm behind the plate, like a yoga master waiting for the knuckleball. Imperturbable.

I have 10 minutes to kill before we close up, so I’ll state my case.

Doug Mirabelli has led the Sox to 2 World Series victories. Sure, it sounds improbable, but look at the facts.

Tim Wakefield is the active leader in victories on the Sox. Who’s his personal catcher? Doug M.

In ’04 Tek and A-rod get into a fight. The Sox pick up momentum from that and go on to win the WS. Who was Tek’s back-up that year? Doug!

In ’06 Theo made the mistake of trading Doug. Even tho he came back, the Sox missed the playoffs that year.

Now we learn that Doug M. is the leader in RBI per hit! Seals the deal for me.(sorry ian.fisk)

Just having some fun. Gotta go work now.

It’s not difficult to be the leader in RBI/per hit when you total a ******** 23 hits in a season.

I am completely indifferent towards Mirabelli. Whether they kept him or had Cash (an equally, if not worse, gifted hitter) catch Wakefield, I don’t care as long as we don’t have another Josh Bard situation on our hands.

Speaking of indifference, the Sox and Lopez agreed on a one-year deal. Here’s hoping that Francona starts using Lopez as a righty-specialist since he is actually more effective against them.

You know it is a slow time for the Red Sox when we are discussing Doug Mirabelli.

I agree with you zachary about Francona’s use of Lopez, let’s hope he’ll be used correctly in 2008.

Well, mission accomplished!!! I stood in line this morning for 2 hours and got the prize: 3 tickets to see “our guys” on March 7. And I get to see our former “glue guy” Millar. What’s that I smell?? Oh yeah, it’s
Spring Training right around the corner, now I’m starting to come out of hibernation. OH YEAH!

Arnie, Youk shaved his goatee for charity. How about Dougie shaving his head for charity and we could call him Kojak with alacrity. (I think you are dead right with the doppelganger – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0069599/)

Ellen, ST can’t come soon enough. Good that it hasn’t been such a long lay-off this year though :-)

Ha,ha…..Dougie’s evil twin! Now the bloggers can complain twice as much.

Oy! It’s a long winter this year. Unreasonably cold here this winter. Ellen, how many days til pitchers and catchers?

Hey, how about those New York Football Giants? They played the Pats tough in December. Maybe they can pull off the upset of the century. Joe Namath, you out there? Guarantee us a victory! THAT would be a great story.

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