Facebook is one of the most popular websites around today. And it just so happens that it is a social media website. Today, the world is very interconnected and Facebook helps progress this interconnectedness. On Facebook, you can connect with friends, write on their wall, send them a personal message, or tag them in a photo. In addition, you have access to a news feed, where activities of friends come up. The news feed looks like this:
In addition, the Facebook main page includes a chat feature, which carries over to other pages. It allows the user to essentially IM with friends, thus replacing the once popular AOL Instant Messenger.
Facebook clearly gives friends the opportunity to stay connected and continue to garner relationships. However, with all of the great things that Facebook brings to the table, Facebook has its’ downsides. First, Facebook is a place where information gets posted, whether it is pictures or wall posts. Therefore, this information can be viewed by everyone. While there are security settings, this information is still visible by certain people. So, it is necessary to make sure you do a good job cleaning up your Facebook and keeping some of the more personal and controversial aspects of your life off of the Web.
With Facebook currently being one of the main leaders of all social media websites, it is likely that other sites will ID some of the flaws of the site and correct them to make it better. Overall, though, Facebook is furthering the current age of connectivity by providing people with a new outlet for getting and staying connected.
Mission Accomplished. This past Sunday, my roommates and I took to the Linc, ready for the Pats to take down the Eagles. With many people talking about going into the Linc like it was invading the beaches of Normandy, the naysayers were quickly silenced by the Patriots. By the 4th quarter, lower bowl seats were readily available for any Patriots fans who stayed for onslaught or any brave Eagles fans who stayed to see the hometown team getting ripped apart. With 4 Patriots fans decked out on Temple University campus en route to the Linc this picture shows how the New England Patriots and their fans made the Liberty buildings and the Comcast tower a second home for one Sunday and pulled off another victory, winning 38-20.
Well, here we are. Five weeks after the Patriots beat the Jets in Foxborough to advance to 4-1 and take a stranglehold on the AFC East over their archrivals, New England is now faced with a daunting task: win in New York for AFC East supremacy over the Jets. The last time the Pats ever won in New York was in 2007, the year of which we will not speak. For the Pats, winning this game will be the biggest victory of the season for a variety of reasons.
Let’s face it: the Pats are reeling. I can sit here and tell you losing 24-20 to the Giants and 25-17 wasn’t all that bad because the Pats played awful football and had a chance to win. I can sit here and say “Tom Brady won’t have another bad game” or “Mark Sanchez isn’t that good even against the Pats defense.” But in the end, I’m not sure if either is true. With such a big game on the line, I’ll always stick to my guns and say there isn’t a quarterback-head coach combination that I’d rather have. Belichick and Brady live for these moments, the down and out situation where everyone is laying into them, and then BOOM, they slap everyone in the face and say, “You do remember we are the Patriots, right?
For the Pats, though, this game isn’t about Brady or Belichick. Hell, it isn’t about any of the veterans either. These guys know what these games mean and they know how to deal with them. This game is for Devin McCourty, Jerod Mayo, Patrick Chung, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, and the rest of the Pats young guys. One thing that we all take for granted as Pats fans is that during the glory years, the team was stockpiled with veteran leaders. Tedy Bruschi, Rodney Harrison, Ty Law, Troy Brown, Mike Vrabel, Lawyer Milloy, and the list goes on.
We are now in a new era, a new era with a lot of talent, especially on defense. If you watched the first half of the Pats-Giants last Sunday, you would have seen a defense that played with intensity, fire, heart, swagger, and a certain look like they had something to prove. And they proved it. The unknown Phillip Adams laid a few licks on Giants receivers, while Brandon Spikes absolutely stood up Brandon Jacobs at the line to force a 4th-down. The defense was incredible. They shut down Eli Manning and the Giants for 30 minutes and before you knew it, it was over. The intensity, fire, heart, swagger, it was gone like it had never existed.
For the Pats to win this game, that can’t happen. If anyone in the NFL is afraid of the Jets offense, you need a wake-up call. This offensive unit is sub-par at best and any defense playing with a high level of intensity can keep them off the board. If this Patriots defense can stop the Giants, then we sure as hell know they can stop the Jets.
From an offensive standpoint, I’m concerned. Concerned, not panicked. Brady was uncharacteristically AWFUL. Three turnovers aren’t going to win many games. Yet, the Pats put up 20, while still getting shut out in the first half. When you think of things like that, it shows how good this offense is. Turn the ball over three times, and for 30 minutes, don’t score once and then in the next 30, put up 20 without thinking. Like the defense, the Pats offense only decided to show up for 30 minutes. You want to win football games? Show up for 60.
One thing I’ve been saying all week is look for Ochocinco. He was targeted 5 times last week and held without a catch. But, he wasn’t being overthrown, wasn’t undercutting routes, wasn’t dropping passes. It was simply a timing thing. We all know Ochocinco wanted to be a Patriot. His relationship with Belichick has never gone unnoticed, as one could always see the two casually chatting at Pro Bowls. With that, we know Ochocinco wanted out of Cincinnati. He WANTS TO WIN. And, if there’s anything else I know, I think Tom Brady likes to do that winning thing a little too. With the Ocho most likely to be lined up with Antonio “I’m-going-to-either-get-burned-or-get-flagged-for-pass-interference” Cromartie covering him, I could see Ocho having the opportunity to make an impact. And I see it happening.
60 minutes. Not 30. 60. 60 minutes of inspired play and the Pats win. It really is as easy as that. Losing games in New England is not of the norm. The Pats have talent on both sides of the ball and all year have shown that. It’s now time to put it all together. 60 minutes. That’s all it takes.
Another week, another dud. The New England Patriots came out flat and in the end, fell to the Giants 24-20 at Gillette Stadium. The Pats lost their consecutive home wins record and fell to 5-3 on the season. Thoughts:
-Tom Brady was terrible. I mean just plain AWFUL. His numbers don’t look all that terrible, as he went 28-49, while throwing for 342 yards and 2 touchdowns. But, Brady threw 2 interceptions, while giving the football away on a fumble. When the Pats needed him most in the 4th quarter, Brady was fine. But after moving the ball for 438 yards, the Pats came away with 20 points. Not good enough.
-The Patriots offense went 5-15 on 3rd downs while the defense actually rose to the challenge and held the Giants on their 3rd down attempts (4-14). At a mere 33%, New England needs to perform. Converting 3rd downs gives the offense a greater chance of success, so bolstering this statistic is VITAL.
-Chad Ochocinco has again yet to make an impact. Brady targeted Ocho 5 times and the Pats were able to get a whopping ZERO catches out of the highly touted offseason pickup. The Pats were expecting Ochocinco to be another threat when on the field. Thus far, threat has turned into liability.
-Defensively, it was a tale of two halves. The defense was on point in the first half, not only shutting the Giants out, but also shutting the Giants down. The Giants could not muster anything offensively, as the defense played with a swagger and an intensity level that reminded people of those 2000-era defenses. Just as quickly, though, that ended. The defense was unable to close the game down and the team suffered because of it. If either Brady or the defense steps up at the time they didn’t, New England wins.
-Stephen Gostowski hurt the Pats by missing a crucial FG-attempt as time expired in the first half. Gostowski making the kick only gives the Pats a 3-0 advantage, but provides momentum going forward. It may not seem to matter, but it changed everything when ending the half.
Right now, the Patriots are beating themselves. I think we’ve seen on multiple occasions that this team has the ability to be great. The defense has had bad moments (or games in the case of the Steelers), but has also shown that they can be a great unit. We’ve seen the offense is a capable of anything and typically, Tom Brady doesn’t have a day like he had yesterday. But, this is a team that needs to find an identity.
Going forward, the schedule is not all that tough. Right now, they play two teams with a winning record in Buffalo and the Jets. Outside of that, the only game that looks to be a big time match-up is a game with the Eagles. 5 other games seem to be a cakewalk. If the Pats can go into New York this week and beat the Jets, every naysayer and negative qualm about this team will be forgotten. Until then, Pats fans are living on a prayer.
After mustering up the strength to write this blog, I think I’m finally ready to take a look at one of the ugliest games I’ve ever seen the Patriots play. Some thoughts:
-Offensively, the Pats were solid. They only held the ball for 20:38, meaning they were almost scoring 1 point for every minute they had the football. Brady was 24/35 and Rob Gronkowski got into the mix. Also, the Pats went right to Kevin Faulk in his first game back since last season. It was not only nice to see Kevin on the field, but also to see him being used effectively.
-That might be the only good thing I have to say in this whole blog. Shifting gears, another poor showing from the O-line. Now, I know this in supposedly the best unit in football and on paper, they had a good game. Allowing only 3 sacks against the Steelers is very good for most teams. But I’m looking at the timing of the sacks. Brady went down twice on a 3rd down, and also was sacked when Pittsburgh was rushing 3 to end the game. The blitz schemes weren’t overly sophisticated, but the Pats line constantly gave up a big sack when the team could have really benefitted without it.
-I lied. The Pats pass rush was quite good. They got to Roethlisberger 5 times, which is a great number considering he has a good line and doesn’t get sacked very often. Good showing there.
-What was going on with Heath Miller early? Pittsburgh attacked New England early and often with Miller and it worked. He was effective on the opening TD drive, but his presence was felt throughout the game. The fear of Pittsburgh continuing to go to Miller opened up Antonio Brown and Mike Wallace for big plays.
-The secondary was awful. This is a unit who I’ve expected to grow. Last year, Devin McCourty was solid and it seems as every week now we’re wondering when that version of McCourty will show up. To this point, he hasn’t and he needs to. Kyle Arrington also has 4 INT’s this year, a good number for someone who looked so bad yesterday. Then, that leaves the Pats without a Nickel corner, a Dime Corner, and a safety, as Pat Chung is a viable option back there. 3 GAPING holes. Problem? Yes. Fixable? Not too sure.
-What’s up with the coaching decisions? Belichick laid an egg in that department yesterday. The Gronkowski “Touchdown” was never so because the Pats never challenged. Two scenarios: 1. Challenge, win the challenge, TD, Pittsburgh’s ball with more than 4 minutes on the clock. 2. Challenge, lose, but get the ball on the 1 with a timeout to diagram two plays to the endzone to keep that time. Worst case scenario, you lose the challenge and the timeout, but if you can punch it in on the next play, there’s 3:50 left with 2 timeouts and the 2-minute warning and Pittsburgh’s backed up in their own zone. Unacceptable.
-The onside kick was a bold move. The Pats have never recovered an onside kick in the Belichick era, so why try? Give Pittsburgh the ball in their own goal area and maybe get the ball back with 2 minutes to go, 1 timeout and a 70-yard field. With Brady, that’s manageable.
Overall, the Pats lost this game by 8 points. They took the best punch any team has given them and STILL only lost by 8 and had a chance to pull it out at the end. A lot of the flaws of the Patriots were evidently exposed, but at the same time, those “flaws” seem to be more concerning than fatal. The Patriots will bounce back as they always do, but it is something that going forward needs to concern both the team and its’ fans.
Ben Cherington was introduced yesterday as Red Sox General Manager. With the Theo Epstein ever closing its’ curtain, it’s now time for Cherington to step up as the GM and make Sox fans forget about the teams’ epic September collapse. After taking the stage yesterday when being introduced by Red Sox brass, Cherington had a little news for Red Sox fans: John Lackey is out for the season to recover from Tommy John surgery. With Lackey already on the shelf, Cherington is now in a position to make moves in his new post. Some food for thought:
-With Lackey out, that leaves the Red Sox with Jon Lester, Clay Bucholz, and Josh Beckett. Daisuke Matsuzaka may return in June, but that still leaves the Red Sox shy a starter. Naturally, the eternal Tim Wakefield may be available, but he was far from solid at the end of the year. Alfredo Aceves may be a possibility for the Sox as he showed tremendous progress at the end of last year. Andrew Miller is still a work in progress. Fact is, none of these are viable options. Options for the Sox:
-Felix Hernandez. Everyone knows Seattle doesn’t want to move King Felix, but they may not have a choice. The Red Sox could look into the possibility of focusing a deal around Jacoby Ellsbury, who right now, is probably the best CF in the game today. A package of Ellsbury, Jose Iglesias, and Jed Lowrie may entice Seattle.
-C.J. Wilson. With a big free agent on the market, everyone knows the Red Sox and Yankees will beinvolved. However, Wilson will most likely command a Lackey or Burnett type contract of 5-years, 82.5 million dollars. The question is if the Sox will want to pull a trigger on that deal.
-Mark Buerhle. Buerhle has always been one of the best starters in the game. He isn’t as flashy as a Verlander or Hernandez, but he’s consistent and that holds water with baseball enthusiasts. Buerhle won’t command a ton of money (not in the Wilson range) and knows how to pitch in a big market coming from Chicago. Look for the Sox to make a push for Buerhle.
-The manager problem. The question on every fans mind is who is taking control of the team? Will it be a name like Bobby Valentine or Tony La Russa? Will it be old friend John Farrell? I would hope Cherington takes a look at Farrell. He knows the Sox system, was known as the disciplinarian around the clubhouse, and has done a great job with the Jays in just one year. Also, he knows every starter on the Red Sox staff and would be a tremendous asset.
-The Jonathan Papelbon situation. Right now, Pap is still one of the best in the game. All negative views aside, he had a rough 2010 campaign, but was rock solid in 2011. We learned from Daniel Bard that he is not the number 1 guy inthe bullpen and isn’t quite ready to take on the closer role. However, the days of K-Rod money (3 years, $36-million) are behind us. But, Pap will still be commanding a sizable chunk of change. Hopefully, Cherington takes the time to make sure the anchor is still a member of the Sox.
-The David Ortiz situation. An interesting problem here. Ortiz is coming off a good year, althoughhe was slightly non-existent during the Red Sox collapse. He was not as vocal as he had been in past years with members of the team, as clearly no one in the clubhouse was. The Sox have been tied to Aramis Ramirez, which would allow the team to rotate Ramirez, Youkilis, and Adrian Gonzalez in and out of the DH position to keep the meat of the order healthy. Papi may be back, but I wouldnt be surprised if Cherington went down a different road.
These are the main issues Ben Cherington is walking into. The Sox are in disarray and need help in a few areas. But, they are a contender and it gives Cherington wiggle-room. These issues, though, are major. He only took over Tuesday, but the tone Cherington sets now will be a good indicator of how long the GM will be working on Yawkey Way.
With New England on the bye this weekend, it gave Patriots fans a chance to watch some other football without tearing their hair out. Here’s what to make of it:
-Let’s start with the Jets-Chargers game. In the most relevant game to Patriots fans, the Jets pulled out a 27-21 at the Meadowlands. Sparked by a great defensive performance in the 2nd-half, the Jets were able to hold San Diego scoreless and pull out the W. For Pats fans, we learned what we already knew: New England can beat either team without issue. Rivers did not look like a top-tier QB and the lack of talent around him on both sides of the ball doesn’t give the Bolts much hope. The Jets still have not shown anyone that they are a top team in the AFC. As long as the Pats don’t slip up in intensity, they shouldn’t have a problem with New York.
-Green Bay handled business, barely. If the Pats do in fact make the Super Bowl, odds are they will be pinned against the defending Super Bowl Champs. Green Bay had looked solid, but rookie Christian Ponder had a decent enough game to keep them in it. The key to the Packers is the bend, but don’t break philosophy New England has been so good at. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense will move the football, but as long as they aren’t punching in 7 every time, they can be had.
-Tim Tebow beat Miami. In one of the most hyped debuts of the season, Tebow struggled for the first 57 minutes. However, he led Denver to 15 points in less than 3 minutes and was able to finish it off in OT off a Matt Bryant 52-yard field goal. Miami, meanwhile, drops to 0-6. Andrew Luck anyone?
-In another hyped “appearance” Carson Palmer threw 3 INTs in a 28-0 loss at Kansas City. Everyone loved Oakland, but Palmer along with Kyle Boller combined for 6 picks. Problem? I’d say so.
-Pittsburgh, New England’s opponents next week, squeezed out a 32-20 win over the Arizona Cardinals in a Super Bowl 44 rematch. Pittsburgh looked good and as always, will be a great game for the Pats next Sunday at 4:15.
Cleveland wins 6-3 over Seattle
Atlanta wins 23-16 over Detroit
Houston wins 41-7 over Tennessee
Chicago wins 24-18 over Tampa Bay in the annual London game
Carolina wins 33-20 over Washington
Dallas wins 34-7 over St. Louis
New Orleans wins 62-7 over Indianapolis
Baltimore takes on Jacksonville Tonight (Prediction: Baltimore Wins 24-13)
Great video and is truly a Boston anthem. These guys, while cocky, relay everything about Boston from the past to the present. They mention guys like Lefty Grove and Antoine Walker, while referencing Kevin Garnett’s famous “Anything is Possible” scream after Game 6 of the 2008 Finals. Great video about the city and awesome cameos from some very recognizable Boston sports figures.
Another Sunday at Foxboro, and another Patriots win. Tom Brady was far from perfect, but was good enough down the stretch and the Pats squeezed out a 20-16 win, which makes it 20 straight at home for the team and 32 straight at home for Brady. Here are some thoughts:
-Brady was perfect again down the stretch. With 2:31 left, Brady was able to execute another game winning drive, finding Aaron Hernandez with 22 ticks left to put the Pats ahead. We are now reminded yet again why Tom Brady created a legend for himself because in the clutch, there isn’t anyone better.
-It wasn’t all roses for Brady. For most of the game, Brady was getting knocked down. On one instance, Brady went into a ball when rush came off the edge. I’d like to see Brady take a chance to get out of the pocket and make a play. Maybe he didn’t have anything down field, but it seems like Brady packs it in whenever he sees a defender in his face. The old Brady wasn’t this way. I want him back.
-Another two picks today for Tom. Granted, one was tipped at the line, but it’s still been a turnover-prone year for Brady. The 4 INT’s he threw all of last year was on the ridiculous end of the spectrum, but I wouldn’t mind a common medium between that and the 8 he has already logged in 6 weeks.
-Enough about Brady. Another great showing by the running game, where as a team they averaged 4 yards per carry. Leading the way was BenJarvus Green-Ellis, who had 58 yards on 14 carries. Great showing out of Stevan Ridley as well, who only was given 3 touches but lead to 19 yards and a 6.3 YPC.
-I don’t know if the Patriots have just seen two above average pass rushes the past two weeks, but the O-line has looked skeptical and I’m being nice with that word. Keeping Brady whole is important, and I know I said that last week. But, it really needs to be done. Although the defense (we’ll get to them in a minute) has been great, Brady is still the key. I know I’m looking ahead a little bit, but if the Pats do end up in a Super Bowl tussle with Green Bay or New Orleans, they’re going to need 30 to win. No offense to Brian Hoyer or Ryan Mallett, but the Pats need Brady.
-The defense was spectacular. Kyle Arrington had an INT, which was his 4th of the year. Andre Carter had 2 sacks, which was the first time a Pats defender had 2 sacks thus far. Three players (Arrington, Gary Guyton, and Patrick Chung) had 10+ tackles in the game. While I took the Jets game with a grain of salt, I think the formidable Pats defense everyone expected at the beginning of the year may have been on display last night.
-This guy didn’t show up in the stats sheet except for the 10 tackles, but Gary Guyton was great. Jerod Mayo is a Pro Bowl caliber LB and Guyton has taken his spot and made the defense great. If you can remember back, Mayo was hurt during the Raiders game. In that game, the Pats gave up 19 points, with 6 of them coming in garbage time. Many people see the defense improving and it is a testament to Guyton who has taken Mayo’s spot and risen to the challenge of replacing a defensive leader. If Guyton proves to be a solid MLB, the Pats could mix some 3-4 schemes into the base 4-3 defense. One thing we know about Bill Belichick is he is willing to mix up looks and loves to do so. Look for Guyton’s growth to spurn some improvement out of the Pats defense.
-Quick shoutout to Dallas. I was impressed. I knew the game would be tough, but they made it brutal. The Boys have a good team and will be a presence in the NFC East. Eagles fans: BEWARE.
Overall, I loved what I saw yesterday. Brady went up against his kryptonite Rob Ryan and took his best shot and still won. I want more out of the offense, but the Pats battled through adversity and the defense stepped up. Great showing going into the bye week.
PS-Great Bruins win the other night. The game against the Hawks was a struggle, but Timmy Thomas showed why he won the Vezina last year and was a crucial part of the Bruins championship run. Hopefully that win provides momentum for the B’s.