The curious case of Malcolm Butler

There’s a lot to talk about today after last night’s loss, but nothing more noteworthy than the absence of one Malcolm Butler.

Malcolm played 98% of the defensive snaps in the first 18 games of this season. Last night he played zero. He did play one snap on special teams.

So the question is… why didn’t Butler play?  There’s been a few theories on this.

The first is taking Belichick for his word that Butler’s benching wasn’t a disciplinary reason. When asked about it after the game Bill said “We put the best players out there and the game plan out there because we thought it’d be the best to win.”

Personally, I think this is complete BS. I don’t think there’s a single Pats fan who felt this was “the best decision for the team.” It’s also clear that some Patriot players feel that the benching of Butler did not put the team in the best position to win.

Former Patriots cornerback Brandon Browner put up numerous Instagram posts during the game which displayed how he was highly critical of Bill’s decision to bench Malcolm. One of them which can be seen below, was liked by defensive captain and linebacker Dont’a Hightower. It’s pretty eye opening to see a leader on the team like an Instagram post critical of his own coach (his username is boomtower). I can’t imagine Bill is too happy about this.

The other theory is that Belichick lied to everyone and the benching WAS disciplinary related. I think this was more likely. There’s already been some whispers that he missed curfew one night last week and got caught with weed when he came back late to the hotel. There haven’t been any Patriots insiders to report this yet so nothing is official on this front.

The argument against this would be then why didn’t Malcolm come out after the game and say this or hint it in his post-game comments. He knew it was the last time he’d be in the Pats locker room and he won’t be back with the team.

Instead when asked was he given a reason on why he didn’t play, Malcolm said “No.” He also said, “They gave up on me. F*** It is what it is”. He clearly was very emotional and it is interesting looking back at it that he didn’t give the media anything and basically said he doesn’t know why he was benched.

If he was indeed benched for disciplinary reasons and something to do with weed or being intoxicated, then why dress him at all for the game? Why let him play a snap on special teams? Bill should of just sent him home and put him on the inactive list for the game if he really wanted to prove a point. They had 2 corners on their practice squad they could of activated for the game.

I reserve the right to change my opinion on the following take if we get more information that Butler really crossed the line, but if he was benched because Bill really thought the combination of Eric Rowe, Johnson Bademosi, and Jordan Richards were better… or he was benched the entire game because he missed curfew and got caught with some weed, then you could make the argument Bill potentially cost them a Super Bowl victory. Of course he’s still the best coach in NFL history and I want him to come back next year, but this is something I know I won’t ever forget when looking back at this Patriots run/game and I would assume a lot of other people would agree with me as well.

I think we all know Malcolm Butler will never play another down for the Patriots and although he had a down year by his standards, I’ll miss the guy a lot. Nobody will ever forget the interception he made to win Super Bowl 49 but his legacy is more than that in my opinion.

We all know its been a rocky year for him on and off the field but for the majority of his time with the Pats, he had been the ultimate example of the “Patriot way.”

He made the roster as an undrafted free agent. He’s never been the most athletic player, or the fastest (ran a 4.62 at the NFL Combine)… but this guy competed his ass off as much as any corner in the NFL. He became so easy to root for the last few years because of how hard he played, how well he played despite being grossly underpaid, and becoming one of the better cornerbacks in the league as an undrafted free agent.

It definitely hurts to see Malcolm’s career with the Patriots to come to an end like this. I hope he finds a way to get paid this off-season and success with his next team. In the meantime, I’ll try and hold back my tears as well Malcolm.

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Dear Patriots Fans

Every Patriots Super Bowl article/ memory is better with NFL Films Music… Play while reading if you please.

Dear Patriots Fans,

While I don’t think this will be the Patriots’ final playoff appearance with Bill and TB12, there’s no denying the fact that the iconic duo is nearing the end of their record run. Nothing lasts forever and with Brady now 40 and Belichick 65, you have to think they only have a few years left together.

As we gear up to watch our favorite team play in their 8th Super Bowl this century, take a step back for a minute, take it all in and don’t take a second of it for granted.  Honestly, it’s almost easier said than done sometimes. The last time the team played on wildcard weekend was way back in the 2009 season, with a 33-14 home loss to Baltimore. The last time they missed the playoffs was in 2008, when TB12 tore his ACL in week one of the regular season against the Chiefs. The Pats still finished 11-5 and became the first team to have 11 wins and miss the playoffs. The last time they failed to reach double digit wins was 2002. I was 9 years old… today I’m 25. As Patriots fans, we’ve been spoiled to the max by this organization over the last 17 years….17 YEARS!

This isn’t supposed to happen in the NFL. It can maybe happen in the NBA where it’s easy for superstars to team up in free agency, or the MLB where there’s no salary cap and a team like the Yankees or Red Sox can quickly rebuild with their superior financial resources , But this isn’t supposed to happen in the NFL, the ultimate team sport. The salary cap era was supposed to prevent dynasties. Also, injuries occur frequently in the NFL and can catastrophically derail your favorite teams season. The Patriots have defied all those theories – year, after year, after year.

If you’re my age and reading this, talk to your parents about the team before B.B. and TB12 joined the organization. They’ll tell you about how bad the organization was for so many years. They’ll tell you just how much it meant to them to even make the Super Bowl back in 1997 against the Packers, even though they would fall 35-21.

That game was my first sports memory. I remember watching with my dad back when I lived right around the corner from the old Foxboro Stadium in Sharon, Mass. He was getting so angry and intense as he began to watch the game slip away from the Pats.

Now we watch as Patriots fans and expect to be in the Super Bowl and win every year.  Now we watch and a game that would be “slipping away” for the 31 other NFL teams, just feels like another chance for the organization to add to their prestigious history. As fans, we all know the game is far from over and we EXPECT them to pull off a comeback and win.

I remember watching a game against the Redskins during my freshman year of college back in 2011. Brady threw for 350 yards and 3 TDs and the Pats won by 7. This was back when he “only” had 3 Super Bowl ring’s but I recall thinking to myself, “Wow this isn’t going to last forever. This man is absolutely amazing. I need to make sure I appreciate every damn time Tom takes the field and tries to pave his way to become the best QB ever.” Fast forward a little over 7 years later and there’s no longer any doubt on who’s the best QB in NFL history. He’s playing in his 4th Super Bowl since that day and going for his 3rd ring in the last 4 years. Everything he and Bill have accomplished in their careers, remains unfathomable to me.

As fans, we no longer concern ourselves with the naysayers who call the team cheaters, or the Patriots haters who come up with any and every BS excuse on why we win/ why they hate us. At this point, the legacy of B.B., TB12, RKK (Robert Kenneth Kraft), and the entire organization is firmly cemented.  Now they get another chance to add to the accolades and history… and B.B. and Tom get another chance to display why they’re not only the best coach and QB in NFL history – but maybe the best coach and athlete in sports history.

Sincerely,

An extremely fortunate and grateful Patriots fan

Quit your hating on LeBron James

LeBron James has been arguably the most scrutinized, hyped, and tantalizing athlete of my generation. At this point, unless you’re totally naive, you’ve come to respect his greatness on the basketball court. He is hands down one of the best basketball players to ever take the hardwood. His achievements speak for themselves. If you for some reason – you think he’s overrated or sucks then there’s no argument that I or anyone can ever make to convince you of his greatness.

LeBron James the person, on the other hand, still has a lot of haters and naysayers. The people who continue to dislike him, as a person have many terms to describe him; tool, loser, cocky, fake, big-ego, etc.

There are “many” reasons LBJ the person has elicited many haters over the years. These people will start their argument with how he handled “The Decision.” This was when LeBron televised his choice to spurn the city of Cleveland and join the Miami Heat live on ESPN back in July of 2010. I was also throwing a lot of shade at LBJ for the way he handled this situation.

LeBron has been the first one to regret how he handled “the decision.” He’s been quoted saying “If I had to go back on it, I probably would do it a little bit different.” He’s also said, “If the shoe was on the other foot and I was a fan, and I was very passionate about one player, and he decided to leave, I would be upset too about the way he handled it.”

Personally I gave up my hate over LeBron’s handling of that situation a long time ago. He made a mistake, lived up to it, and moved on. It would be silly to hold it against him for the rest of his career. After all it’s not like he cheated on his wife (Tiger), was caught in the hairs of a murder (Ray Lewis), or gambling at casinos the night before a game (Michael Jordan). Lets also not forget that he returned to the Cleveland Cavilers a few years later and helped lead the city to its first championship in any sport for the first time in 52 years!

Other people will argue that LeBron is just “so cocky” based on his tweets or Instagrams. The latest Instagram that sparked controversy was one from last Tuesday per below…

All the LeBron haters are coming out after him on this one.

“Oh wow he’s so “humble”… congratulating himself for an achievement he hasn’t even accomplished yet.”

For those of you out there who want to continue to critique him for every single thing he says, tweets, instagrams, and does on or off the basketball court, here’s some advice.. get over it and put yourself in LeBron’s shoes for a second.

Imagine the following scenarios: growing up with no father at any point in your life, moving a dozen times and living on couches with your troubled mother between the ages of 5-8, being told as a junior in high school and up until today that you’re going to be the best ever at your profession and that you are the “second coming.” There hasn’t been a single athlete that ever has had to deal with as much hype and expectations as LeBron James.

Now picture this when it comes to LeBron… he’s lived up to all the pressure and more, not only on the basketball court, but off it as well. He’s never even sniffed trouble with the law off the court, and he was named one of Time Magazine’s top 100 most influential people in the world. He has started his own philanthropy work to essentially rebuild the Akron, Ohio school community.

As a leader of his team, his teammates will vouch that he is one of the hardest-workers they’ve ever seen. He’s never taken his incredible athletic genes for granted. Take for example this quote by teammate Kyle Korver.

“Behind the scenes, just how hard he works. He’s a machine. You don’t see guys this late in their careers, guys who’ve had this much success, be the first guy in the gym. He’s still there. I was blown away.”

If you want to argue that LeBron has a lot confidence and once in awhile has a big-head… I won’t argue with you. But don’t take for granted everything he’s achieved in his career, on and off the basketball court. Don’t take for granted that he’s been told for almost 20 years just how good he was going to be/is… and has lived up to all expectations. I would wager that if the roles were reversed and you were in his shoes, you’d probably have just as “big a head” as LeBron… if not much bigger. I know I would…

LeBron on the cover of SI as a Junior in High School

If LeBron wants to take time to gloss over one personal milestone, that means a lot to him, then let the man be! He’s overcome a lot over the years and could never have never imagined in his wildest dreams, that he would be where he is today in his career/life.

The only athlete in my generation that I think has had as much sustained success as LeBron is none other than our own hero Tom Brady. As a Tom Brady fan, it irritates me when haters call Tom a “cheater” for deflategate, a “baby” for always complaining to the refs, or a “pretty boy loser” for putting his name to the Uggs. These irrational reasons for shooting hate towards Tom Brady are frustrating and dumb… and not much different than the irrational hate people aim towards LeBron.

So if you are someone who is constantly hating on LeBron James, hopefully this article has opened a new light for you on why it’s time to push that hatred to the side. Sit back and start embracing the once in a lifetime NBA Player, and the man he is. Respect the greatness y’all!

Tiger Woods is officially back on the PGA Tour this Thursday… but what does this mean?

Tiger Woods is slated to tee it up at the Farmers Insurance Open this Thursday. This will mark his first official PGA tournament since his latest back surgery last April. The tournament is played at Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego, California. Tiger has won an astonishing 8 times here as a member of the PGA Tour.

Tiger will be returning from his 4th back surgery. We’ve seen this story multiple times over the last few years. Golf and sports fans around the world watch with anticipation at the possibility of  getting a glimpse of the old Woods, the man who dominated golf unlike anyone we’ve ever seen. We are then given the same unfortunate story where he plays in a few tournaments only to have reoccurring back problems and then heads back (no pun intended) to the sidelines to try and heal the chronic problem.

There’s still a lot at stake for Mr. Woods, if he can find a way to come even close to his old form. He’s been stuck on 14 major victories since 2008. This is second to only Jack Nicklaus who holds the record with 18.

He’s also second in career wins on the PGA Tour with 79, trailing only Sam Snead who had 82. In fairness to Woods he has 329 career starts on tour while Snead had 585. To put that in perspective, Tiger Woods has won 24% of his career starts on the tour..or almost 1 of every 4 starts.

It might be unfair to expect Woods to ever regain his elite form and catch Nicklaus’s 18 Major Championship victories, but I don’t think it’s out of the question to see Woods get a victory on the tour this year (yes I’m drinking the kool-aid but this comeback feels different then the last few years).

The return of Tiger goes far beyond his stats and career achievements. I can’t think of a single athlete who means more to the popularity of a sport than Woods.

I’m a golf junkie. I can promise that you won’t meet a person who has more knowledge about the PGA Tour than myself. I follow it week in and week out, and can spit out a random fact about 90% of the golfers on tour.

Unfortunately golf’s popularity has been in a downward spiral the last few years. Last year the final round of the PGA Championship drew it’s lowest overnight TV rating since 2008.

Last year’s final round of the Masters, which is the biggest event in the sport drew its lowest overnight TV rating since 2004. Not coincidentally Tiger Woods didn’t play in any of the Majors last year. He’s obviously been sidelined for the last few years, and seen his game decline even when described as “healthy.”

Back in December when he played in the Hero World Challenge, an exhibition event that hosts 18 golfers, TV ratings for the event opened some eyes. It was the highest rated PGA event of the 2017-2018 season to date and had very similar ratings to the final event of the 2016-2017 season “The Tour Championship.” This was very impressive for an exhibition tournament during the beginning of December.

As Woods continued to rise to the top of the leaderboard on Friday afternoon, my phone continued to light up with text messages from friends (many of them casual golf fans)…

“Here comes Tigerrrrr”

“Tiger is gonna win the Masters I’m telling you now”

“uhhhh ohhhh MJ he’s backkkk”

“His swing looks more comfortable than it ever has the last few years”

Several snap-stories that I viewed during that Thursday and Friday were videos or pictures of friends at work with one monitor displaying their work duties.. and other screen streaming Tiger’s round.

The event had 22.4 million streamed minutes, the second most of any NBC Golf Event in the entire calendar year of 2017.

This is the power that Tiger Woods holds over the world of golf. Many casual fans can only name a few golfers after Tiger. Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, Rory Mcilroy, Dustin Johnson, and Justin Thomas would be the ones that come to mind.

It’s a shame that the golf’s popularity is in the decline, because the tour is filled with more young talent than it has had in years. Seven of the last eight major championship winners marked the first time they have won a major tournament.

Tiger’s latest return will give us a chance to see this young talent on the tour and introduce the nation to a new set of young superstars that people will begin to follow. This excites me as PGA Tour Junkie. The sport deserves more popularity and attention.

At the end of the day though, no one can captivate, excite, and thrill people like Eldrick Woods(his first name is Eldrick not Tiger). Almost everyone wants him to succeed, whether you’re a die-hard golf fan, casual golf fan, a golfer on the tour, or just a fan of sports. If Tiger’s good, it’s better for everyone and has the entire sports world buzzing.

There are roars on a golf course… and then there are Tiger roars. Here’s to hoping we get at least one more moment like the 72nd hole putt that forced a playoff at the 2008 US Open. I’ve watched this countless times. It still never gets old and always gives me the chills… SOUND ON AND GO TIGER!

What in lord’s name does Charles Barkley have against our Celtics?

It’s crazy to think that as we sit here today on January 18th, we’re exactly one month out from the NBA All Star Game and 3 months and one day removed from the gruesome Gordon Hayward injury that occurred on opening night. The first 3 months of the NBA season have flown by!

The Celtics are sitting here just beyond the halfway point with a 34-11 record. I think I speak for all green teamers when I say that the first half of the season has been all we could ask for and more considering the Hayward injury and turnover to the roster from last year. They’ve answered just about every challenge their schedule has thrown at them. They’ve already beat the top 7 teams in the NBA in terms of win-loss record (only team to do that). They have the second best record in the league, and have played one of the most condensed schedules in the first half of the season, due to the road trip to London for a game with the 76ers last week.

Despite having the best record in the Eastern Conference, it seems that the media continues to underestimate just how good this team is. Nobody has gotten under my skin more than Charles Barkley when it comes to disrespecting the Celtics. Some of you may have heard his comments regarding his thoughts on the Celtics when they played the Warriors and Rockets. For those of you who haven’t, let me remind you.

Back in November, Barkley had this to say before the game against the Dubs.

“They’re not gonna beat the Golden State Warriors tonight, and they’re not gonna hold the Golden State Warriors to 94 points,” Chuck said. “I promise you that.”

Then at halftime, Barkley decided to chime in again with his thoughts on the Celtics as they trailed the Warriors by 5.

“I’m sitting here watching, and I’ve watched them play maybe five times. They would not be favored in the Eastern Conference,” Barkley said. “I’m not even talking about Cleveland. I’m not sure they can beat Toronto or Washington. I’m just saying. I don’t know how they’re winning these games.

“Like if I’m the Wizards or I’m Toronto, I’m like, ‘this is a toss-up series. We can beat this team.’ This team right here, they put zero fear in anyone’s heart.

The full clip is right here for those of you who want to see it.

 

The Celtics would go on to beat the Warriors that night and hold them to only 88 points. Well below the 94+ points Barkley suggested they would score.

A little more than a month later, with the Celtics down big at half to the Houston Rockets, Chuck felt compelled to let the national audience know that the game is “O-V-E-R. The Celtics would go on to rally from 26 points down, the largest comeback in the NBA to date and beat the Rockets that night.

Image result for charles barkley celtics

Now I don’t have a problem with Charles Barkley thinking the Celtics won’t advance to the NBA Finals. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and the Celtics are by no means a lock to get all the way there.

On the other hand, to say “this team right here, they put zero fear in anyone’s heart” is a slap in the face to Kyrie, Al, Brad and the entire squad. I’m not sure there’s a single team in the NBA who plays harder or is better coached. They had won 13 games in a row and had the best record in the NBA. Then to come back a month later and once again essentially count them out and declare a game “O-V-E-R” illustrates the lack of attention Barkley has paid  to the Celtics this year.

So many of you probably read Barkley’s comments and think “okay so he made a few dumb comments but has surely learned his lesson and understands the Celtics should be taken seriously.” Well believe it or not, on Monday night Chuck may have shown his biggest lack of respect yet.

I was sitting in my parents living room watching pregame for the Cavs vs. Warriors game on MLK night with my mother.  For those of you wondering, Yes… I’ve brainwashed my mother to sit down and watch any big NBA game with me these days. She’s even putting in NBA DraftKings lineups on her own. But anyways, I almost fell out of my seat when I heard Charles Barkley in this pregame segment on Monday night…

 

The Milwaukee Bucks!!? A team that hasn’t even won a playoff series since the 2000-2001 season. I immediately lashed out in anger to my mother when I heard this.

So let’s set the record clear “Chuck”, a team that won 13 straight games at the time of your comments in November This team right here, they put zero fear in anyone’s heart, a team that won 16 games in a row and has the second best record in the league isn’t even mentioned when asked just a few days ago who is going to beat LeBron James  to get to the NBA Finals.

Yet the 23-21 Milwaukee Bucks and Jabari Parker who’s coming off his second  torn ACL in in the last 4 years and has averaged 15.8 points per game in his NBA career could “put fear in another teams heart.” 

I almost hope that Barkley has just been trying to troll Celtics fans at this point because of the hate he’s recieved from them on Twitter the last few month for his comments. If he truly believes his comments and overlooks the Celtics like this, then he has lost all credibility in my eyes.

Charles Barkley isn’t the only one who still hasn’t jumped on the Celtics bandwagon. As of Tuesday night the Cleveland Cavaliers who have lost 9 of their last 12 games and sit in third place of the Eastern Conference with a 26-17 record are still the heavy odds on favorite in Las Vegas to advance to the NBA finals. The Cavs are -140 to advance, while the Celtics sit at +240.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with betting terms, this means you would have to bet $140 on the Cavs to win $100, while a $100 bet on the Celtics would win you $240 if they advanced to the NBA Finals.

I don’t disagree that the Cavs shouldn’t be the favorites to win the East. Sorry green teamers but until LeBron is knocked off in the East, he deserves to be the favorite and you should know/respect this if you’re a Patriots fan with Tom Brady’s history. LBJ has made 7 straight NBA Finals appearances, a pretty amazing stat when you take a step back to take it in.

On the other hand, -140 vs. +240 is a huge discrepancy in the betting world. It’s a clear sign that Vegas and sports books have yet to take the Celtics as a true threat to the Cavs.

To my fellow green teamers, it’s been one hellueva ride so far this season. I look forward to a long playoff run and hopefully knocking the Cavs off with home court advantage in the East Conference Finals. If you’re someone that hasn’t totally jumped on the bandwagon yet, I suggest doing so now. A lot of people have a lazy argument that they don’t watch the NBA because “there’s no defense” or that “the players don’t always try.” I can promise you that the Celtics don’t fall into either of these categories. You’ll quickly fall in love with them if you follow them night in and night out… and I promise you, you’ll understand that they are a serious threat to become the first non-Lebron led team to get to the NBA Finals since our own Celtics last did it in the 2009-2010 season.

Feel free to share any thoughts on Chucks idiocy , if the Celts can take down the Cavs in the Eastern Conference Finals, or if any other team has a chance to get to the finals instead of Boston or Cleveland in the comments section below.

 

The 2 most frustrating teams in the NFL

For those of you that don’t know me, let me preface this by saying I’m a die hard Patriots fan. Like most people though, I also follow the rest of the landscape of the NFL. When your favorite team in the league has won 5 Super Bowls since the start of the 2001 season, you gain an appreciation for great coaching. For the last year or two I’ve been persistent that the problem isn’t that there aren’t enough good QB’s in the NFL like a lot of people argue… It’s that the coaching flat out SUCKS!

Let’s get to the 2 teams that really are the driving force behind my thoughts and frustrations in this blog. The Pittsburgh Steelers ended up being the same damn old story this year. They’re led by who I consider the most overrated coach in the NFL, Mike Tomlin. When I look at the Steelers roster top to bottom I think they may have the most talented roster in the NFL. With them it’s always a matter of focus. Take for example this interview with Tony Dungy back in November https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zyv1-xEEj4 Start at 18:00 and listen to what Mike Tomlin says about the Steelers game with the Patriots in a few weeks down the road. It’s clear he’s overlooking his upcoming schedule.

Now in fairness the Steelers would go on to win their next 3 games after this interview before the showdown against the Pats. Let’s be honest though… the Packers with Brett Hundley going into Heinz Field had no right hanging around and almost stealing that Sunday night game from the Steelers. The typical Steelers who are notoriously known for playing down to their competition, slept walk their way through the first half of that game, only to come roaring back in the end and get a 3 point win… despite being huge 14 point favorites. The next week was a lot of the same story. The Steelers traveled to Cincinnati to take on a Bengals team whose season had come undone. Once again the Steelers slept walk their way through the first half, woke up in the second half and stole the game from the Bengals. This has been the problem with Pittsburgh for years. They continuously play down to their competition. They always illustrate a lack of focus throughout points of the season, which starts with the coach.

Now let’s talk about the Patriots game. I was extremely impressed with the Steelers back on that Sunday in mid-December. It’s clear they were ready to play and had a good game plan. But as you all know they crapped their pants on the fake spike play. As bad of a decision it was by Big Ben to throw the ball, what I couldn’t get over was the fact the Steelers didn’t have 2 or 3 plays ready to go after the Jesse James TD was overturned and ruled incomplete. Instead Ben got up to the line of scrimmage after a short completion to JuJu Smith Schuster, and didn’t have a play ready to run on 3rd down. He then ended up making the costly decision to cost the Steelers the game. For me it still goes back to coaching though. Tomlin (and offensive coordinator Todd Haley) had a few minutes during the Jesse James review to have a few plays ready for Ben.  Instead it was obvious they didn’t plan to have a few plays ready during the review and the disastrous interception then occurred.  The picture below illustrates just how confused everyone on the field was for the Steelers during that play.

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I’m not going to go in depth with my analysis on Pittsburgh’s and Tomlin’s performance yesterday. They’re catching a lot of grief for the onside kick, 4th down and 1 calls, and vanilla zone defensive gameplan. My bigger issue is that it was so evident they overlooked the Jaguars and were focused on the Patriots and a rematch based on comments made the last month or so and even this past week. Why they would overlook a team that humiliated them 30-9 a few months earlier is beyond me. They gave up 45 points to Blake Bortles and the Jags… let that sink in for a second.. FORTY-FIVE POINTS TO BLAKE BORTLES. That is unforgivable in my opinion. To me it’s a lack of readiness and preparation by the players, organization, and once again…coaching staff. At the end of the day if anyone told you Big Ben would throw for 5 TDs and almost 500 yards against the Jags, you would have said “wow the Steelers won that game.” If you picked the Jaguars to win the game, it was because you thought their defense was elite and would shut the Steelers down… not because you thought the offense would explode for 45 points. There’s just no excuse for the Steelers to lose a playoff game at home as 7 point favorites and scoring 42 points against the best defense in this league. This coach and organization is so damn dumb!

Alright… now for the Atlanta Falcons. Just another team that I do not understand. By now we all know about “28-3.” Listen, let’s call a spade a spade. The Falcons puked all over themselves and should of won the Super Bowl last year. I won’t sit here and critique all the play calling almost a year later. The one thing that needs to be said though is their head coach Dan Quinn has never got enough blame for that loss. As the head coach, you should always have the last call on the headset. He should of jumped in and told Kyle Shannahan “do not throw the ball here Kyle.. run the ball.” He didn’t and the rest is now history.

Let’s talk about the Falcons this season a little. Through the first 3 games of the season, they had looked like the same powerhouse they were in the 2016-2017 season. They rolled through the Bears, Packers, and Lions scoring an average of almost 30 points a game and a 3-0 start. After that, they had 2 of the more pathetic losses you’ll see. They lost back to back games at home to Tyrod Taylor’s Buffalo Bills and Jay Cutler’s Miami Dolphins. As a Patriots fan all I can do is laugh about those 2 losses considering the ass whooping the Pats have put on those 2 teams the last 17 years. As an NFL fan. all I can say is “what the fu**!? Tyrod bleeping Taylor and Jay Smokin Cutler!?”

Much like the Steelers, the Falcons have one of the most talented rosters top to bottom, yet they largely underachieved this year.  I was fortunate enough to attend the Falcons vs. Patriots Sunday Night game back on October 22nd. I watched the Falcons make head scratching decision after head scratching decision. Whether it was going for it on 4th down multiple times on their own side of the field in the first half, running Jet Sweeps to wide receiver Taylor Gabriel on 4th and goal plays, or taking both stud running backs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman off the field on plays in the red zone. I was so god damn perplexed by this team that I called Boston Sports talk radio on the ride home from the game and sat on hold for an hour just to rip the Falcons to pieces on the lack of passion and dumb decisions I’ve seen out of this team for over a year now.

The Falcons should be one of the best teams in the NFL for the next 5 years with that up and coming young defense, a potential Hall of Fame quarterback to wide receiver duo, and maybe the best running back situation in the league. Instead I’m sitting here today writing about another heartbreaking playoff loss in the last two years. Except unlike advancing to the Super Bowl last year, they couldn’t even host a damn playoff game this year as they finished with the 6th seed in the NFC.

Once again people in the sports media are talking about the pathetic play calling this team had in the 4th quarter of a playoff game. Why you call a QB rollout to one side of the field on 4th and goal… totally shrinking how much of the field you can use in the red zone and essentially making it a one man route (Julio ran it) is just BEYOND DUMB!!! A lot of people will blame former Offensive Coordinator Kyle Shannahan for the play calling last year in the Super Bowl and new offensive coordinator Steve Sarkasian for his play selection this past Saturday… and for good reason. At the end of the day though, if these things were happening for the Patriots it all falls on the head coach for me and I’d be criticizing Bill.

If you don’t know me, you might think I’m trolling. How easy is it to sit here in Boston and write a blog about the Steelers and Falcons demons after both had heartbreaking losses this past weekend in the playoffs? On the other hand, if you know me well, I’ve been ripping the Steelers, Falcons, Tomlin, and Dan Quinn for months. My overall point here is that the coaching in the NFL is a major problem. I’ll leave you with this question to ponder. Who the hell is the second best coach in the league after Bill Belichick?