Epics & Fails – New England Edition

Best wishes to all of you at the start of the ’11 Holiday Season.

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EPIC: JAKE O’CONNELL’S CAREER DAY

Yes, Tyler Palko did more than alright in his first career start. But what about Jake, the third-year tight end who had his career-best game with three catches (two for first downs). It was not overlooked on Monday Night by yours truly … if only because I need some semblance of positive material to fill out this space.

Just kidding — as you’re about to see, the game against the Pats brought along plenty of positives … if you’re an optimist, and I’m a Chiefs fan, so you have to be optimistic, even when it’s hard.

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FAIL: DONALD WASHINGTON’S HESITATION

Sure enough, Derrick Johnson was completely lost in trying to cover Rob Gronkowski in what proved to be the turning point of Monday’s game – Gronkowski’s 52 yard catch-and-run that gave the Patriots a 7-3 lead late in the 2nd quarter. But can I really put most of the blame on D.J. after watching Donald Washington take himself out of his blitzing assignment on the play? When his costly indecision could’ve very well prevented Brady from getting the ball to Gronkowski in the first place?

I don’t think so.

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EPIC: D.J.’S TOUCHDOWN-SAVING PLAY

Then again, even though he undeniably dropped the ball on the Gronkowski TD, at least D.J. made up for his aforementioned blown coverage when he broke up Tom Brady’s pass to Danny Woodhead, just a fraction of a second before the Pats’ multi-purpose back could get a hold of the football in the waning seconds of the first half.

The play not only gave D.J. a second Shining-Moment-At-The-Goal-Line for the season. It’s also further corroboration that for only the second time in the last 12 years, the Derrick Thomas Award (given out to the Chiefs’ MVP) will go to a Defensive Player. That is, of course, unless the newly-arrived Kyle Orton out-Tebow’s Tim Tebow and pulls a miracle run for himself.

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EPIC: THE CHIEFS SUPREME JOB ON WELKER
Integrated by last Monday’s supreme efforts from Javier Arenas and Jalil Brown (who combined to hold Wes Welker without a catch until late in the 4th period), the recipe to beat the ’11 Patriots has become extremely glaring for everyone to see.

Yes, Gronkowski and (Aaron) Hernandez may hurt you. But take Welker out of the game and you’ll give yourself a chance.

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EPIC: THE THREE SACKS BY WALLACE GILBERRY, AMON GORDON AND TAMBA HALI IN THE FIRST HALF
Those sacks came in a span of only six snaps – Yes, there’s no need to further explain why this was EPIC.


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EPIC: THE “REBIRTH” OF THOMAS JONES.
Granted, 8 carries for 48 yards doesn’t seem that much of a contribution from a guy with over 10,000 rushing yards for his career, and from whom a respectable production was still expected. But considering just how god-awfully washed up Thomas Jones has looked for most of the ’11 calendar, the passion and determination with which he ran against the Patriots really made my day. Indeed, as part of a very important reason that I will explain later on this feature and that unquestionably earned Jones an EPIC seal of approval.

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FAIL: DON’T GO THERE TYLER

I’m no NFL General Manager, Head Coach or QB Coach, but if I know something about quarterbacking that I can relay to Tyler Palko is this: for the sake of your pro career, it’ll behoove you to never throw short into TRIPLE coverage.

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FAIL: THE JULIAN EDELMAN PUNT RETURN FOR A TD

Blame it on Jalil Brown for getting easily juked by Julian Edelman; or, if you agree with the Spanish broadcast, on Dustin Colquitt for unusually outkicking his coverage; or, just simply on the Pats’ Edelman for making a great play if you wish. It doesn’t matter. Anytime you give up what essentially turns out to be the backbreaking point of the game, you’re bound to find your way into these latitudes.

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MAJOR FAIL: FORGETTING OF THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSON IN FOOTBALL, VIA RYAN LILJA

ALWAYS keep your head up.

 

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EPIC: THE APPROACH OF TODD HALEY

The thing that I loved most about the game – notwithstanding the result – everyone on the team left everything they had on the field. And for that, the Head Coach should be lauded. Todd Haley only reinforced my belief in him with Monday’s exhibition, if only because no matter how injury-depleted or talent-deprived the Chiefs might just be, he won’t let them quit. Even if that means taking risks like kicking onside after grabbing the lead, or putting Jerheme Urban to take the snaps from center, or juggling back and forth the entire RB depth chart to destabilize the opponent. It’s exactly what you do when the going gets tough: you look for solutions, and not excuses. Some of you might still not be sold on him, but you eventually will. Believe me — the guy has what it takes.


2 Responses to “Epics & Fails – New England Edition”

  • November 25, 2011  - Rick says:

    Nice job, Enrique. :)


  • November 25, 2011  - Enrique says:

    Thanks Rick. My pleasure.




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