by Chris Warner, Patriots Daily Staff
After watching San Diego score 17 points in the fourth quarter Sunday, we assume the New England region suffered an acute shortage of antacids. The visitors still managed to win, returning home with a 5-1 record only the heartiest (really, hahtiest) optimists could have predicted.
This week, Minnesota brings their bag of tricks (and treats) to Foxboro, including a quarterback who can’t stay out of the headlines and a receiver who’s proven he’s pretty comfortable playing at Gillette.
Lots to discuss this week, with a few more issues than usual on our minds…
I Just Called To Say I Love You Looking At Photos Of My Junk: Oh, Brett Favre. We’ll say as little about your “sexting” scandal as we can, but suffice it to say that the only thing to detract from that story has been fracturing your ankle in two places. Too tough to call at this point how much you will play: it could be a photo phallus.
Wait, what did I just say?
Action Jackson: The severity of Favre’s injury means the Pats have to prepare to face two totally different QBs. The Vikes’ backup is former starter Tarvaris Jackson (Not to be confused with disco group Tavares – which is how I spelled his name before Google asked me what the hell I was doing). As Greg Doyle pointed out so well in his column, Jackson runs the ball and throws with some efficiency, making him something of an anti-Favre. Between readying for Favre’s passing and the running of Adrian Peterson and possibly Jackson, the Patriot defense will have its hands full.
No Offense. Seriously: In the first half, New England’s offense gained less than 40 yards. Total. It has probably taken you longer to read this paragraph than it does to run that distance. Tom Brady led a solid scoring drive in the second half but failed to finish off the contest in the fourth quarter (note to BenJarvus Green Ellis? Cut up the field). This game looks just like a good milkshake: the key is consistency.
Nothing You Could Say Could Tear Me Away From My Guyton: We still love him, but linebacker Gary Guyton covered tight end Antonio Gates about as effectively as a cheap hotel towel. Although he ended up with eight tackles at San Diego, Guyton missed one or two in the open field that could have helped put an end to the home team’s comeback.
Speaking of open field dangers…
Hold Onto Your Percy: If Minnesota receiver/returner/nightmare Percy Harvin gets loose, look out. As good a job as rookies like safety Sergio Brown and linebacker Dane Fletcher did with open field tackling, Harvin makes eels seem like they have handles. Lest we worry too much about that, let’s alter our focus to his receiving teammate.
No Moss, No Moss: Knowing that the Vikings would visit Foxboro only a few weeks after trading Randy Moss to them for about two bucks and a snow cone, how desperate were the Pats to ditch him? What the heck was that conversation like? Will Patrick “For The Love Of God, Stop Calling Me Eugene” Chung be able to play at full speed? Can this young crew of defensive backs step up, or will they get too hyped up?
My, what a perfect segue…
Length, Width, Hype: With everything going on surrounding this game, how will this developing group handle it? Can the offense mesh and stay on the field when they have to? Will the neophyte defense continue to improve, or will they get overwhelmed?
Here’s hoping on Halloween night, the Pats can dress up as a 6-1 team and keep that look all week.
Email Chris Warner at [email protected]