Randolph Charlotin's New England Patriots fan blog

February 06, 2012

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Randolph Charlotin

1. WR Wes Welker feels it worst, but he wasn’t the only one. He will be kept awake at night by a fourth quarter drop that would had been a first down inside the 20. On the next play, WR Deion Branch let a pass hit the ground as he crossed deep over the middle. On the Patriots final drive, Branch dropped another pass over the deep middle. It appeared the ball was deflected, but the ball did pass through his hands. Lastly was TE Aaron Hernandez on a probable 10-yard gain on the final drive, but he heard the footsteps of the approaching linebacker.

2. Of my three keys to the game, it was the second one that proved costly. New England forced three fumbles on the night and failed to recover all of them. The first fumble, which was recovered by LB Brandon Spikes, was negated by a too many players on the field penalty against the defense. The drive continued and the Giants scored on a touchdown pass to WR Victor Cruz two plays later.

Continue reading "Pick Six: Super Bowl XLVI"

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February 04, 2012

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Randolph Charlotin

Just four years ago the New York Giants pulled off arguably the greatest upset in Super Bowl history by beating the 18-0 Patriots, ruining New England’s bid for perfection and keeping the Pats from their place in history.

The emotions from that loss are still raw. Many players from that team refuse to watch the game. They haven’t forgotten what it felt like to lose that game.

Would it feel good for the Patriots to make the Giants feel what they did in Super Bowl XLII by beating New York in XLVI? You can say that, but it’s not New England’s motivation.

It’s been suggested that revenge is part of New England’s motivation. Certainly it’s understandable. The Patriots have a history of delivering payback. They had revenge in mind when they obliterated Buffalo 49-21 in the season finale to avenge a 34-31 loss earlier this season.

Continue reading "Hours Before Kickoff: Super Bowl XLVI"

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January 28, 2012

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Randolph Charlotin

November 6, 2011. With just 1:36 left to play, QB Eli Manning drove the New York Giants offense 80 yards in just 1:21 for a 24-20 come from behind win over the Patriots in New England.

Fast forward 13 weeks and these two teams will meet again, this time with the stakes much higher. This is the second time these two teams will play for the Lombardi Trophy, just four years after the Giants pulled off arguably the greatest upset in Super Bowl history by defeating the 18-0 Patriots, 17-14.

These teams have changed since November’s nail-biter. The Patriots rolled off 10 straight wins while the Giants barely made the playoffs by going 3-5 the rest of the regular season, finding their stride in the final two regular season games and riding the momentum through the playoffs.

Continue reading "A Lot Has Changed Since the Regular Season Game"

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January 24, 2012

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Randolph Charlotin

1. DT Vince Wilfork was in beast mode all afternoon. Six tackles and a sack doesn’t begin to explain his influence on the game. Wilfork had at three tackles for a loss and his share of pressure on QB Joe Flacco. It was a dominant performance by a team leader showing what it takes to get to a Super Bowl. It was arguably Wilfork’s best game in the biggest game of the year.

2. The other hero on the afternoon was CB Sterling Moore. He practically saved the game with the two passes defended at the end of the game. Moore first knocked a sure touchdown reception by WR Lee Evans out of the receiver’s hands just before Evans’ second foot hit the ground. The other was swatting away a pass to TE Dennis Pitta. That would had put the Ravens inside the five yard line with a fresh set of downs. As badly as K Billy Cundiff hooked the 32-yard field goal, if the ball was spotted about 10 yards closer, Cundiff doesn’t miss.

Continue reading "Pick Six: AFC Championship"

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January 21, 2012

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Randolph Charlotin

After a playoff win over San Diego, several Patriots mocked then-Chargers LB Shawn Merriman’s “Lights Out” sack celebration right on the Chargers logo at midfield.

In a thorough dismantling of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Championship played in Pittsburgh, WR Deion Branch was caught on camera asking the fans, “Where’s your towels? Where’s your towels?”

In the third Super Bowl win over Philadelphia, WR David Givens caught a touchdown pass and celebrated by flapping his arms like wings, then shook his head no, sending the message this won’t be the Eagles’ night.

Disrespectful? Depends upon who you ask. Victims don’t like attitude to salt the wound.

New England didn’t make friends during their dynasty days. They just put the boots to almost any team that stood in their path. Sometimes they reminded their foes after demolition.

Continue reading "Hours Before Kickoff: AFC Championship"

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January 17, 2012

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Randolph Charlotin

1. Regular season or post season. It doesn’t matter. The Patriots keep on breaking records. QB Tom Brady became the first player to throw five touchdown passes in one half of playoff football. He also tied a post-season record with six touchdown passes in a game. Brady did this while throwing for 300 yards in a playoff game for the first time. To top it off, Brady executed a well placed 48-yard quick kick to Denver’s 10-yard line.

2. With the win, Brady and head coach Bill Belichick became the winningest head coach-quarterback combo in NFL playoff history. They surpassed Pittsburgh coach Chuck Noll and QB Terry Bradshaw. Not that the record matters to Belichick and Brady. They are still behind the Steelers tandem in Super Bowl wins, four to three. Brady and Belichick still have work to do to be most successful tandem.

Continue reading "Pick Six: Divisionals"

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January 13, 2012

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Randolph Charlotin

Bill Belichick doesn’t do reunions. The Patriots head coach is not the sentimental type. Only if he feels someone can make the team better, then Belichick will welcome a familiar face back.

Josh McDaniels, formerly the Pats’ offensive coordinator from 2006-2008, is back after a failed head coaching stint in Denver and escapes St. Louis before probably getting fired by new head coach Jeff Fisher. McDaniels will be an offensive assistant to outgoing OC Bill O’Brien, who’s leaving New England for the Penn State head coach job after the playoffs.

It’s unknown what McDaniels will do as offensive assistant, but he won’t be positioned to step on O’Brien’s toes, that’s for sure. But looking at what they did in their separate terms as New England’s offensive coordinator, the offense can be more consistent with McDaniels around.

Continue reading "Hours Before Kickoff: Divisionals"

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January 02, 2012

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Randolph Charlotin

1. Want more records? On TE Rob Gronkowski’s 16th TD reception, QB Tom Brady surpassed Dan Marino for second on the single season passing yards record. New Orleans’ Drew Brees broke the Marino’s record last week and put it out of Brady’s reach with 389 yards on Sunday. Gronkowski, though, set the record for single season receiving yards by a tight end with 1,327 yards. It was a tug of war between Gronk and the Saints’ Jimmy Graham all afternoon, but a late 22-yard reception by Gronkowski, after New Orleans’ game was over, was the difference. Gronkowski also extended the touchdown receptions by a tight end record, raising the bar to 17. Not to be left out is Bill Belichick with his fifth season with 13 or more wins.

2. Good to see safety Patrick Chung and LB Brandon Spikes back in action. They last played November sixth against the New York Giants. With the defense having the problems they’ve had all year, the return of these two veterans for the playoffs should be huge.

Continue reading "Pick Six: Week 17"

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December 30, 2011

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Randolph Charlotin

On Monday, New Orleans QB Drew Brees broke the NFL’s single season passing yards record of 5,084 yards, previously held by Miami QB Dan Marino. Already with 5,087 yards, Brees has one more game to go, extending his lead over Marino.

But by 4:30 Sunday, the record could change hands. New England QB Tom Brady is 190 yards behind the new record holder. If Brady produces another explosive passing clinic, he could nip Brees for the record, ending the title reign after just six days.

The chances of Brady catching Brees is slim, though. Both teams have relevant season finales, as they jockey for playoff seedings. The Patriots can secure the top seed in the AFC with a win over Buffalo while the Saints are competing with San Francisco for the second seed in the NFC and a first round bye.

Continue reading "Hours Before Kickoff: Week 17"

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December 27, 2011

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Randolph Charlotin

1. We often hear how good offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia is. On Sunday, we saw exactly why. LT Matt Light was scratched from the game minutes before kickoff. LG Logan Mankins slid over to fill the spot and reserve Donald Thomas stepped in for Mankins. When Mankins went down with a knee injury, rookie Nate Solder flipped from right tackle to left and Marcus Cannon, another rookie, took over on the right side. It wasn’t a smooth transition, as QB Tom Brady was sacked three times in the first half, but Scarnecchia’s half time adjustments led to one sack allowed and 86 of the team’s 119 rushing yards. Patriots fans should be Tebowing in honor of Scarnecchia. Eh…on second thought…maybe not. But coach Scar deserves praise from Patriot Nation.

2. Like the Boston Bruins scoring goals with less than a minute between them, New England players are grouping statistics. DT Vince Wilfork recovered a fumble for a second week in a row. LB Jerod Mayo picked up his first two sacks of the season. And Brady rushed for two touchdowns after a one-yard plunge last week.

Continue reading "Pick Six: Week 16"

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