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Saturday, January 12, 2008

Can the Patriots express be derailed tonight?

NEW ENGLAND -- Here, where drama is relegated to action on the field, the Patriots and Jaguars play tonight in an AFC Divisional playoff game. I will be covering it.

And before you say it, I know this is a Dolphins blog and I know tonight's game doesn't involve the current Dolphins. How could it? It's a playoff game.

But it does have a tie to the 1972 Dolphins. In fact, if the Patriots lose, the Miami media relations department will e-mail a number of quotes from members of the perfect team talking about the fact they remain the lone unbeatens.

Anyway, I'm thinking that as Dolphins fans, you will have an interest in tonight's game because the Patriots are threatening the remarkable feat accomplished by the Perfect Season team. Am I correct on this? Will you watch, in part, because you want to see if the Pats can be derailed from their roll toward perfection?

Two more questions: Will you be rooting against the Patriots simply because you don't want them to be undefeated as the '72 team was? And do you believe the Jaguars have a legitimate opportunity to beat New England?

I may be naive, but I think the Jaguars have a great chance. I spent two days on my radio show two weeks ago painting a scenario where the Jags beat Pittsburgh and then beat the Patriots. Crazy?

First, I think Jacksonville quarterback David Garrard is the Patriots' nightmare matchup. He does not make a lot of mistakes, as he threw only three interceptions all season, and he can scramble both to evade the pass-rush and even to gain yardage. I know he wasn't great last week against Pittsburgh, throwing two interceptions, but I chalk that up to playoff jitters. He should get over those now.

Secondly, I believe the Jaguars can run on the Patriots. They ran on the Steelers, they can do it on New England. Granted, the Pats will load up to stop the run, but so has everyone else this year against Jacksonville. I believe Jacksonville can wear down the Pats front seven by the second half, if they stick with the run.

That brings up the matchup with New England's offense. The Jags can't be running the ball late in the game if they're trailing by a wide margin. So they MUST contain Randy Moss and Wes Welker and Tom Brady.

Look for former Dolphins cornerback Terry Cousin to be matched against Welker much of the evening. And look for Jacksonville to push the pocket right up the middle against Brady -- this will be a lot harder if John Henderson cannot play.

I don't think Moss can be stopped but if the Jags are hitting Brady during every pass play, his accuracy is nowhere close to his usual 70-74 percent completion rate. The Jaguars have to limit the Patriots to under 30 points. That will be difficult, some say impossible.

I say it's possible. I also say the Jaguars can win this game. Will they?

You tell me.

17 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

not a chance for the jags. Their secondary got torn up by the Steelers last week.

12:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want the jags to win. but hard to see it happening.

1:08 PM  
Anonymous NCFINFAN said...

Bet with your head not your heart. I hope, my heart speaking, the JAGS pull off a huge upset. Reality, my head speaking, there is NO WAY the Jags D can contain Moss, Welker, and Stallworth, not to mention there TE's. Unless NE makes alot of mistakes, turn overs, I just cant see Jags winning. NCFINFAN, but I sure hope they do, I cant stand NE!! I am a Hater!!!

1:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Jags will have the first three scores of the game, whether FG or TD.

1:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am rooting for the jags, even though I still hold a grudge about that playoff game years ago against the dolphins years ago. But I don't think it is very likely that the jags will win.

2:45 PM  
Anonymous Martin K said...

Hey Mando,
I'm rooting for the Jags upset... as all 'Fins fans are. I believe the Jags will give the Pats some problems w/ their physical O & D lines. The Jags will keep it close, but the Pats will win. Indy will beat them next week though, so don't worry.
Any word from Ireland on Dallas' desire to deal w/ the 'Fins on the #1 pick?
P.S. Can you call Gisele and Bridget Monahan & have them both show up at the game??

2:58 PM  
Blogger David said...

I don't think the Jags can do it. Their pass rush looked unimpressive last week against Pittsburgh, and I don't think their secondary can contain the Pats WRs.

3:27 PM  
Blogger David said...

And yes, I know the Jags had 6 sacks..... But they let Pittsburgh throw their way back into the game in the 4th quarter.

3:29 PM  
Blogger Arturo said...

As the quote goes"On any given Sunday..." of this matter Saturday, any team can win and I say the Jags will beat the Patriots, it's about time, they had 3 close calls during the season (Colts, Ravens and Giants) and were lucky and survived. I say their luck will run out tonight. Go Jags!!!

4:33 PM  
Anonymous UCFfinfan said...

the real question is, if in fact the pats do lose any game this post season, how will they be looked as? They can no longer be the best team ever as our very own Parcells would say. Hell, they would go from beeing the "best ever" to the biggest disappointment ever. that said.....

LETS GO FRED
LETS GO MOJO
LETS GO GARRARD
LETS GO JAGS!!!!!!

I strongly feel that all dolphans should route for the jags the rest of the way, Id rather see a FL team win than any other. too bad the bucs looked like clowns against manning lite.

5:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Armando, the Sentinel is bad mouthing the Herald in Harvey Fialkov's recent blog. Does Cam have hard feeling to the Herald? What gives?

8:31 PM  
Anonymous Alpha said...

Geez, Armando - nice cheap shot against the Fins (how could it be)....

I never thought for an instant the Jags would win and have to grudgingly admit Brady was impressive last night.

Why I was cheering for J'ville had nothing to do with 17-0. It had to do with the fact that I'm completely sick of the Patriots and their Masshole fans. They are the most arrogant, ignorant jerks I've ever encountered - and they pull for a classless jerk of a coach leading a stacked team to run up the score. Cheating all the while. Bellicheat is the coach of the year? A proven cheat who was fined the largest amount allowable by the NFL's rules?

I thought that cheaters (Merriman rule) were not allowed such accolades. I also thought that coaches were held to a "higher standard". We heard all that - but recent events show that was only lip service.

The Patriot getting beaten - and beaten badly would be the best thing that could possibly happen for everyone outside of the ignorant a$$es that are their fans. Funny, before 2000 it was as hard to find a Patsie fan as it is to find Bin Laden. Now they're everywhere you look beating their chests and talking smack. I can't wait for the day they're back where they've historically been.

11:22 AM  
Blogger David said...

Patriots fans are obnoxious, but it could be a lot worse.

Imagine if the Jets had a team this good.

4:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ahh, 17-0...where's Mercury Morris NOW???

-a Lifelong Pats fan

8:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah the Jags had a real good shot. The Patriots aren't losing. Get it through your toothless, moronic Dolphin fan skull.

9:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well now it's Packers or no one to beat the patsies...

10:26 PM  
Blogger Marc said...

All I can say is how bout that Chambers kid....Helluva athelete...

12:05 PM  

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