Red Sox: From Insult to Injury back to Insult

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Before pitchers and catchers even reported last year, I was deep into my push for the Red sox to sign Jon Lester to an extension. My number was five years at $125 million dollars. Everyone laughed – yes everyone. Including Larry Lucchino. Luchinno thought my idea so ridiculous that he offered Lester an insulting four years and $70 million. Of course Lester and his people turned down Luchinno and his offensive deal. Talks were shelved. After all, would you invite a person back to dinner you overheard saying your wife’s cooking was low-grade dog food?

Fast forward to the trade deadline. Lester gets called into the managers office and is told he’s being shipped off to Oakland – yes Jon, we love you and everything you’ve done for this ball club including the two world series trophies, but you’re thirty now and well buh-bye. On the way out of Fenway Lester, like he had since the opening of camp, said all the right things, and with what could be considered for Jon Lester a smile on his face hugged John Henry got into his truck and in the way of Horatio Alger or The Donner Party went west young man. By the time Lester took the stage at his press conference you could tell this man was hurt. He stood there in his A’s uniform looking like an eleven year old who was made to wear the ugly itchy sweater aunt Helen had knitted for him last Christmas. Still, his time in Oakland was stellar – Lester went 6-4 in 11 starts with an ERA under 2.50. He was pitching a team whose hitting down the stretch was worse that the one he left into the playoffs. He was pitching for a shot at his third world series ring. He was pitching for his first taste of free agency. He was pitching with an injured ego. The World Series didn’t happen the taste is here and the ego will shortly be healed.

Now, eight months removed from the initial insult, Lester is making the rounds. The Cardinals, Cubs, Braves and others are courting Lester’s talents. The now pitching poor Sox are reportedly making “serious offers”, yet the numbers leaked are as insulting as Lucchino and Henry’s initial. Six years between $110-$120 million. Seems Luchinno thinks that the home discount Lester said he would take last spring is still in effect. Even though dad kicked his number one son out of the house for being too old to live at home anymore. This offer can’t be serious – it can’t be more than wishful thinking at best. At it’s worst. It’s merely a show to ease the mind of the masses so John Henry and Luchinno can say, well we tried didn’t we? If the issue with extending Lester was always the years and not the cash why go Six now at such a still low ball number ? I’m not sure who should be more insulted at this point – Lester or us…

Follow /give me Grief on Twitter @Tmurph207

How Important Is a Win For The Patriots Sunday? Mammothly

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A question was asked on Patriots Central Radio last night – what is more important, the Patriots win over Denver or the Pats road game coming up this Sunday. the win over Denver makes this weekends trip to Indy vastly more important than beating Manning two weeks ago – and immensely more important then the local media is making it out to be.

a W Sunday is important not only in erasing the truth that the Pats are struggling against playoff caliber teams on the road (1-6 since 2011), but for this season in particular. The win against the Broncos propelled the Patriots into first place in the AFC.Both Denver and New England are sitting at 7-2. The Pats, by winning their match up with Manning, are in the driver seat with Manning and the Broncos riding shotgun. The Colts are sitting in the back seat with the kids at 6-3. But what if the Patriots go into Indy and lose? they drop to 7-3 and all the way down into third place in the AFC. The Colts will move up to 7-3 overtaking the Pats for second place and Denver will regain the top spot in the AFC because they own the best record, even with another loss ( the Pats wont run the table ) Denver would have already beaten the Colts and should retain home field. A loss Sunday night will almost certainly force the Patriots to make another trip to Mile High in January.

As you can see, this makes this is a must win for New England. If Bill and Tom can pull off a W in Lucas Oil Sunday night it takes the pressure off. The Colts would drop to 6-4 and The Patriots own tiebreakers against the number 2 and 3 seeds and the team’s trip to San Diego won’t mean a thing. Even if they lose to the Chargers, The Colts will be too far behind to overtake them – and New England, at the very least, won’t see a road playoff game until the AFC title game. Lose Sunday and they are looking at playing wildcard weekend. Yes, other things could happen to avert that scenario, but the Colts and Broncos both have a cup cake schedule compared to the road the Pats have to travel. Take care of business Sunday, Bill – you’ll sleep better for the rest of the regular season.

Murph

Monster Keys to Patriots v Colts

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Rivals, what a great word, I get chills when I hear it. For those of you to young to remember the AFL it was the birthplace of the Patriots and the AFC East, for most of my life the Colts were a part of that AFC EAST, the Colts joined the Pats, Bills, Titians and Dolphins in 1970 and AFC East I and many of you grew up with was born. After they bolted like cowards in the middle of the night for dome life in Indy the Colts remained part of the proud division until realignment in 2001 and I guess to this day I still feel like this is an AFC East match up. I’m old, I’m cranky and I don’t like change. So let me have this and just enjoy the ride. So you see kids this is much older than Manning and Brady. This sits with us old folks like any game between the Pats and The Dolphins or Bills, maybe not the Jets. The colt game meant something in the 70’s 80’s and even into the millennium and it still does today. But enough of the history lessons, lets get to the keys of this game and what the Pats need to do this week.

Defense

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Andrew Luck is without a doubt the most mobile QB the pats have seen to this point, he’s a hybrid of the old and new style of NFL signal caller. RB Ahmad Bradshaw is a back that can hurt you in a number of ways. The Line needs to control their space and keep the holes small forcing the colts to abandon the run and become one-dimensional. With the line doing their job the linebackers can focus on negating Bradshaw in the passing game, get to him behind the line of scrimmage and curtail any positive yardage. Allowing the ends to collapse the pocket from the outside and keep Luck contained amd extending drives with his legs or allowing his wide-outs to beat coverage downfield with his mobility.

Win the Turnover Battle. Like the Constitution we hold this truth be self-evident. Wow I can’t get off the history lessons today can I?

Line them up and Knock them down

The Colts pass catchers don’t like to get manhandled, Allen, Wayne and Hilton all need to get jammed up at the line of scrimmage. I don’t want to see a single free release off the line of scrimmage all night. Let Browner tussle with Allen and keep Revis moving around the field shadowing TY and knocking down those crossing rout tosses before they get into his jitterbug hands. With these two options minimized the rest of the DB’s can roll coverage’s to negate the deep balls Luck lives and dies with.

The Offense

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The Sugar being; Sugar Shane Vereen. While the passing game has been in assault mode over the last few weeks the same cant be said about the running attack, Vereen needs to be more involved in this weeks game plan. There has been ZERO chance of the Pats running the ball and yet The Broncos and The Bears both spent most of their days not just biting but chewing on a huge play action Grinder. The Colts have had two weeks to watch these tapes. If I see it they do too.

Turn it into an Exploitation Film

When the Colts come back to their facility Tuesday and start breaking down Sunday night’s game film, I want them cringing at the sight of Rob Gronkowski mugging molesting and bulling the middle of this Indianapolis defense. The Colts have no answer for Gronk. In all honesty I don’t think they would have one for Tim Wright, this team give up so much yardage to opposing tight ends that if Manning still played in Indy the NFL would outlaw the position. For opponents, Manning of course would still get his.,

Keep it short

Third and Long cant be the narrative this week, the Colts are atop the league in stopping the opposition on third down Tom needs to make sure he keeps third down situations short.. Move the chains people. keep the D rested and hungry.

Run it up

Fourteen – Eighteen -Twenty One, there is no lead safe this week. Bill cannot take his foot off the accelerator Sunday night, not against this team, not against this quarterback, he is too competitive: Luck isn’t Jay Cutler he isn’t Matt Ryan or Phillip Rivers. There’s no quit in this kid.

That’s it folks those are my keys to the Pats taking that next step towards another Division title. I hit the hot spots I hope bill takes my advice. Why wouldn’t he? its worked the last five weeks hasn’t it

follow/give me Grief on Twitter @Tmurph207

One Shot Stories- Update

On Wednesday We were honored to get a sneak peak into the world of John King. John is such an inspiring man, with a strong will. He was brave enough to share his new venture, and give our listeners an opportunity to read experts from his new book. Do yourself a favor, check out the following links. If you think that you’re missing out in life, think about how you would react when your back is against the wall.

 

Butchie says: Sandoval, Ramirez Aren’t the answers To the Red Sox Questions

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Some people just can’t let a crock pot sit and simmer. They need to walk over to it stirring in sage adding thyme or maybe just to lift the lid for a better whiff. This is already happening to the Red Sox stew as reports are coming in that the Sox will be talking to free agents Pablo Sandoval next week and possibly Hanley Ramirez. Why not, the Sox need a third baseman and Sandoval is just that. Hanley Ramirez says he would be willing to be that. I say. So what.

While I use the post season to my advantage in many an argument, this writer isn’t in the business of overpaying for a great post season, this is what the Panda is looking to do, cash in on an amazing post season. Sandoval’s regular season numbers are legit, he does bat from the left side of the dish, that’s something this lineup desperately needs. But is it a need so desperate that you would be willing to again go long money (six years 100 + million) for a player who is at best an average defender and who doesn’t hit for power? I for one wouldn’t, not at the numbers being tossed around, not for the cash that it would take to pry him away from a team that needs him, in a city he loves to play for. Four years at 60 sure, but six north of 100 there’s no way. Think about this. The pro Panda camp is already talking about moving him to DH in a year or three. I don’t know about you but if Boston is going to pay a man between 18=20 mill a year he had better be able to hold down the position he was inked to play for more than a season or two and hit 30 and 100 year after year.

The Panda is just 28 and yet his glove work is so average there is talk that the Sox or anyone can just move him across the diamond to First or DH, Pablo’s power numbers while never impressive are dropping fast. SLG – OPS – OPS + have all slipped over each of the past three years. Does this sound like a future DH? Most of this town is upset that the Sox pay a real DH as much as they do, but overpaying the flavor of the month is just fine. While I would like to see what Sandoval could do in this division and with the Wall to work off of, not at this price. And certainly not when the second paragraph of every article or conversation is when the time comes, we have a singles hitter to step in for Big Popi.

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Then there is the now position switching promise of Hanley Ramirez. There is no doubt that Hanley is the best hitting SS on the market. The issues with Hanley have never been talent but attitude ,dedication and love of the game. He has to much of one and none of the other. Here in Boston the romantics remember the Ramirez that the Sox shipped off to the Marlins, all shiny and new and full of promise. Fact of the matter is, that Hanley never truly materialized. Lets play the Hundred Game. In a Ten year career he has just one 100 RBI season, he hasn’t scored 100 runs since 2009. Only twice in the last six seasons has Ramirez even managed to get on the field for more than 100 games and one of those season just happened to be his walk year.(SHOCKING)For all his talent and promise, has just three All Star appearances over his career.

After insisting to everyone and anyone his entire career that he was/is a short stop Hanley is now contrite and even repentant sounding in his claim he will play anywhere he’s needed, why because hes an awful Short Stop. I’m not buying this new and more flexible Ramirez . While interviewing with GM’s around the league and speaking to the press all the right things will be said, but when all is said and done it wont be a smooth transition to third. the first of many cold spells will lead to talk from his camp about not being comfortable in his new position and a move back to short is what he needs to concentrate/relax at the plate. In short this lineup doesn’t need a Drew brother dressed in sheep’s clothing, it doesn’t need another right-handed bat and it doesn’t need the diva that Hanley Ramirez is.

Everyone is talking about all the depth and talent the Sox have in their system, great use it. Use it to bring in a third baseman that fits this lineup, that fits this ballpark and that fits this town. Boston needs to spend its money on the mound. The rotation and the pen is where to spend. The Front office needs to use their heads to bring in the right third baseman and their prospects to bolster the staff and the bench. If you are going to overpay someone make it an ACE who can slip into a third or forth spot in the starting rotation in 5 years, not a singles hitting third baseman who will be your future light hitting first baseman or worse this teams DH. Nor a right handed head case that spends more time in tubs and the trainer’s room than on the field.

Murph

Follow/Give Me Grief on Twitter @Turph207

Butchie Says: Bring Lester Back…

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Its time for The Hot Stove to heat up…or should I say, its time to set the Crock Pot to low? Lets face it people, most of the time free agency in MLB is a waiting game. While someone might speed through McDonalds for that Big Mac, no meal of any significance will even hit simmer before the Winter Meeting in San Diego this December. So look at it this way – today we are just strolling through the isles of our local supermarket selecting the best ingredients to drop into that slow cooker. Hoping in the end we have a nine-course meal and didn’t settle for just a burger and fries.

The Sox are looking at a lot of holes to fill this off-season; with the casting off of Jon Lester and John Lackey the most glaring is top of the rotation talent. And that’s what we will focus on today. If this post season showed Ben anything it’s that you can’t get it done in this league without an ace. There are a few names that should be on the Sox shopping list that won’t come cheap, but then the meat of your meal never does.

Jon Lester: this is painful. Lester was shipped to the A’s at the deadline for the middle of the order bat the Sox craved (Yoenis Cespedes). I wrote last spring that the Boston brain trust could ink Lester to a 5 year $125 million deal. Ben (and most people, not you) laughed at me. They offered 4 at $70 – idiots. That 5 at $125 will look pretty good when/if the two sides sit down again. Lester, in this writers’ opinion, is the best Lefty in baseball. Sorry Kershaw and Sale defenders – post season numbers count. And Lester just gets it done when the calendar turns to those pretty autumn landscapes of October. Even at thirty, Lester is the surest thing in this year’s free agent class – and carries no compensation. Resigning Lester should be Benny’s mission in life – 5 and $125 is gone, but 6 and $150 could still get it done.

After inking the big-ticket item in Lester, I can’t rightfully expect Ben to run after Max Scherer can I? Nah I can’t, but it would be nice. I think the Sox will have to make a more prudent decision when it comes to their # 2 man.

Brandon McCarthy: On the surface, McCarthy looks like a fools errand, but after going 3-10 with an ERA over five with the D-Backs he was sent off to the bright lights of NYC and turned in one hell of a second half going 7-5 with an ERA well under three. Cherington could steal Brandon away from the Bronx helping himself while hurting the Yanks for 3 years and $45 million.

Kenta Maeda: Hiroshima Carp. Trust me – this Japanese import is no Masahiro Tanaka, but if the Carp decide to post the 26 year old, he could be a great # 3/4 starter. Last season, he posted a more than respectable 2.56 ERA and even with the Murph exchange rate of 1.25 runs per, would fit nicely into the back end of the Sox rotation. And we know he would fit into a clubhouse that is already Asian fusion friendly. A $20 million posting fee that doesn’t count towards the tax numbers the Sox don’t want to exceed and a 4-year $48 million could add something special to the back end of the rotation.

There are other moves that can be made to bolster this pitiful rotation. But resigning Lester is paramount. Trades with the Phillies for Cole Hamels or the Reds Johnny Cueto are rumored to be on the table. Both would look great in a Sox uniform but will be expensive to bring in. I would rather spend cash than empty the farm system to get both these arms to Boston. That being said, if Lester can’t be inked desperate times call for desperate measures and I am anything but a prospect hoarder – having said that, I would love to see either as Boston’s “day two” starter.

Murph

Follow/give Me Grief on Twitter @Tmurph207

Monster Keys To Patriots v Broncos

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Anyone who tells you they haven’t had this game circled on the schedule is lying. From you and I to Kraft to Bellichick and Brady down to the water boys and the talking heads, this is “ The One “. It’s Pats- Broncos, it’s home field it’s Brady-Manning XVI. Honestly what other regular season match up is deserving of Roman Numerals. This is a rivalry so big it has its own Wikipedia page. That’s Bird – Magic, Frazier-Ali kind of respect. But I’m not here to go over the previous XV, I’m here to tell you all what the Pats and Tom need to do to win the Sundays match up between the two best QB of their generation. So lets get to it.

Offence

Fast and Furious: Brady and co need to storm out of the gate Sunday. Let clock control come from moving the chains no taking the play clock down to three two or one. Don’t give this Broncos defense time to breath much less switch out personnel.

Run to Darkness: I can hear you saying to yourself, Darkness? Murph you mean daylight don’t you? No run to darkness, what else would you call DeMarcus Ware and Von Miller? These aren’t exactly the Sunshine Boys. Ware and Miller have been wreaking havoc on opposing QB this season, this one of the most vicious sack combinations in the NFL and how do you combat this kind of Evil? Run at them all day long. Quick pitches to Vereen and off tackle gut check runs to Mr. Grey are just the ticket to keeping these two and the rest of the Oompa Loompa ‘s off balance and Tom standing tall.

Release the Kraken: The Kraken being our Tight Ends who did you think I was going to say, Amendola? While the outside of the Denver defensive backfield is stout the middle of the field is where you want to attack. Once again Tom needs to utilize Gronk and Tim Wright to open the field and force Denver into single coverage’s on the rest of his weapons.

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Defense

KISS: Keep-It-Simple-Stupid. The Best corner in Football plays for you. Put him on Demaryius Thomas and let him do his thing. Let Browner Jam up Julius Thomas at the line allowing you to Flood the secondary and force Manning to hold the ball until he either takes a sack or tosses a flutter-ball into the arms of McCourty, Ryan and the aforementioned best in the business Revis.

The Quick and the Dead: The KISS technique I outlined above will beg Denver to run the ball. And Manning will be only too happy to oblige. Ninkovich, Willfork and Chris Jones need be quick to fill the running lanes and set the edge allowing Hightower, Jamie Collins and Ayers to leave the Denver Running backs for dead.

Pin their Ears Back: Punting was a rarity last week, lets hop that’s the case again but when things don’t go as planed the coverage teams need to be on point. The longer the field the more opportunity the D has to turn Peyton over. Make them travel the length of the field.

That’s it folks, I think I hit all the highlights. Oh you want a prediction? Ok

Patriots: 28
Broncos: 24

Follow/give me on Twitter @Tmurph207

Peyton’s Place

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Every time I think I’m out, they pull me back in. No, I’m not talking about the Mafia – this writer is way to Irish to be a part of that organization. What I am talking about is La Cosa Mannings insipid forehead crew going to the mattresses with their once again rekindled claim that Peyton Manning is the greatest QB of all time. Its been well documented that I am the Chief of the Myopic Tribe Of Tom Brady, but that does not mean I hold him in such regard that I consider Tommy Terrific “The Greatest Of All Time”. This debate, once again, has crested like a wave after Peyton Manning broke Brett Favre’s all time touchdown record this past Thursday. The conversation, if you can call it that, spilled over the dam walls of Twitter and down the valley of talk radio and into the abyss of ESPN. There the myth of Peyton’s supremacy lives – the Loch Ness Monster of sports arguments. The only thing missing in this “In search Of” episode is the Leonard Nemoy voice over. But Mike Lupica picked up that burden on the latest episode of The Sports Reporters and the Godfather of ESPN baptized Manning in the dark waters of the Bristol Abysmal I’m sure it will be replayed over and over again on ESPN one through four hundred. So check your local listings. If you want to see it.

This is no longer an argument about Tom Brady and Peyton Manning – this is Peyton Manning verses every QB in NFL history. Its Peyton – his single super bowl win and his records against Joe Montana, Bart Starr, Sid Luckman, Staubach, Elway, Aikman, Brady and Johnny U. Peyton Manning head and shoulders above all these greats? Does he belong in the same sentence as these men? Maybe the same paragraph, but not the same sentence.Like most of these men Manning the Elder, has been surrounded by Hall Of Fame wide receivers, All Pro Running Backs and a few Tight Ends you might know by name. And yet he has one title to his name. Greatest of all time? Peyton, for all his talents and records, has been knocked out of his first game the the playoffs EIGHT TIMES. Four of the eight loses have been Wildcard games. Greatest of all time?

You can’t be considered the greatest who ever played when you have lost on the way in the door this often. You can’t be anointed the best there ever was when you’ve lost more playoff games than you’ve won. When you own not just the record for most Touch Downs and are on the doorstep of holding The most Pass Attempts Pass Completions and Yards Thrown but also the record for most playoff loses in NFL history you simply can’t be called the best to ever. When you have let more championships slip through your fingers than you’ve held in your hands Number One isn’t your place in history.

Think about it people – be objective. Take the few names I jotted down above, while you’re at it, add in a personal favorite or two of your own. Would you choose Peyton Manning over all of these Quarterbacks? I didn’t come here to bury Peyton – that would be impossible. His legend is secure. He is a Hall Of Fame quarterback. When all is said and done and they have chiseled in stone who the best quarterbacks to ever play the game were, Manning is on that tablet. He is in the first Paragraph, but he isn’t in the first sentence. If you don’t agree with me that’s fine, but I bet Peyton would agree, it’s not his Place…

Murph

Follow/Give Me Grief On Twitter @Tmurph207

Monster Keys to Patriots Bears

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To say Tom Brady is hot might be the understatement of the season. With nine TD’s and over nine hundred yards in the last three games, Brady should be forced to wear a sign – approach only if wearing asbestos. The Pats offense is clicking and with a banged up, beaten and broken D, its going to have to keep on clicking Sunday when an upset and underachieving Bears team comes to Foxboro. Here are my Keys to the Pats doing just that.

Defense

Stuff it: Some weeks the Pats look like they don’t care about stopping the run. Honestly, I think Bill’s “don’t give up the big play” philosophy kills this teams defensive rating. In Matt Forte, the Bears have one of the most dynamic runners in the game. He’s one of the few three-tool backs in the league. He can run inside, break outside and catch the ball as well as any wide out in the NFL. Stopping him is going to be a huge task, but a task that needs to be accomplished. The Pats need to fill the running lanes and be careful not to over pursue or Forte will just cut back and turn what looks like a 3 yard loss into a 15 yard gain. I’m not kidding – fifteen yards. The linebackers and strong safety’s need to stay disciplined and limit Forte’s yards after the catch.

Pass the Stick’em: Its time for some old school Raymond Clayborn/Mike Haynes style D. Yeah, I’m talking line up our best with their best and Bump and Run Baby. The Bears wide-out tandem of Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery is one of the best in the league. This is what we brought Revis and Browner here for – isn’t it Bill? Isn’t it?

Own The Zone: When the Bears do make it inside the twenty, the Pats need to make this team settle for three’s. Last week, the bend-but-don’t-break philosophy BROKE and made that Jets game closer than it should have been. Make sure not to lose track of Martellus Bennett, Martellus Bennett. I’m not stuttering, his name needed to be said twice – I’m trying to make a point here people.

Win the turnover Battle: Eight weeks straight, someone call Guinness.

Offense

Put Brady back the way you found him. Clean-unscathed-undisheveled (I just made that word up). In other words, DON’T BREAK THE BRADY. Tom will need time to execute my outline and he can’t do that if he is sitting on his butt all afternoon.

Two is better than one: Beer, Pizza, Bond Movies or Tight Ends – two is always better than one. I want to see more two-tight-end sets this week. The Bears weak underbelly is in the defensive backfield – get Gronk and Wright on the field at the same time and bust open a seam or three. Let your best weapon open up the rest of the field for the short passing game. Pull the safeties across the field to open things up deep.

Earn Your Respect: For God sakes, RUN THE DAMN BALL. And I don’t mean on 3rd and 17, Josh – I mean actually run it. If this Bears front seven doesn’t at least respect the fact that we are capable of handing off and running the ball, nothing else is going to work. Yes – nothing. Chicago’s line gets after the passer and has 4 sacks in consecutive weeks, so please run the damn ball – I’m begging you.

That’s it folks, pretty simple. When you look at the Pats record, this might not seem like a must-win. But when you look at its schedule, its pretty clear. Bill needs to take my advice this week and come out of this week 6-2.

Murph

Follow / Give me grief on Twitter @Tmurph207

Monster Keys to Patriots v. Jets

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I don’t care what Tom Brady says, Thursday Night Football SUCKS. Don’t get me wrong, it could be great as I outlined (here), but as it’s set up now its atrocious football to watch. But I’m not here to expound on that and I’m not here to fix the Patriots depth issues. Bills famous for his next man up mantra – he drills into everyone heads so that’s his problem – I’m here to run through my Key Ring and show you and Bill exactly how to beat Rex and his J.E.T.S. (Just Eat The Snacks) crew.

Reservoir Dogs: Mr. Bolden, Mr. Devlin, Mr. Gray, Mr. White, Mr. Vereen and Mr. Pink – hey, I like Mr. Pink. Anyone smart enough to grab the diamonds gets some dap here. With Ridley gone for the season, running back by committee will be in full effect and it had better produce more than they did a week ago in Buffalo. Sexy Rexy is going to try to spellbound Tom with multiple blitzing schemes and this crew is going to have to be on point. Chip blocking and screen passes to both Vereen and Devlin should be a huge part in the Pats game plan in helping Brady battle the blitz packages that the Jets will utilize Thursday night. Bolden is going to have to get plus yards when he hits holes and takes tosses to the edge. I’m not expecting a hundred yards out of anyone this week. But they have to keep the Jets honest.

Win the turnover Battle: I warned you…every week.

Lights, Camera, Play Action: Again, the Jets DB’s are a mess. Blitzing Tom is going to be the game plan from the fist drop back till the last. Getting the passing game going with play action is high on my list of musts. Running backs picking up the Jets blitz packages is going to open up the of the field for Tom to exploit and allow Wright and Gronk to bust down open seams and create that YAK we all love so much.

Next Open Man Up: We all loved the game Brandon LaFell played Sunday. The reason he had such a great day? Rob Gronkowski was dragging DB’s across the field and Tom didn’t lean on just him and Edelman. When time allows, Tom needs to again look for the single coverage and hit it – HARD.

Lock Down: To say Eric Decker struggles against press coverage is like saying Butchie kind of likes a good root beer float. The reason Decker isn’t a Bronco anymore is the fact that when he gets any kind of press coverage he pulls a hammy gets a migraine or burses his “ego”. (I actually typed something different there but you know editors). Get in his face and force Geno to check down and make mistakes. Trust me, he will…

Stack That Line. With the corners pressing, Bill can take away the only hope the Jets have – running the ball. How will he do that now that his best run-stopping linebacker is gone for the season? Patrick Chung. As thin as this team is at linebacker is how deep it looks in the secondary. Using Chung in a mutant Godzilla style three safety set could be just the ticket to slow down the Jets running game. He’s fast, hits like a ton of bricks and you know, why not? Moving Collins or Hightower would only weaken a second spot across the second level and two weak links is never better than one. Lets Wang Chung Thursday Night.

Don’t Lose Your Edge: I’m not talking offense or defense here. The last two weeks the Pats came out of the tunnel with an edge – an attitude we didn’t see in the first four weeks of the season. Every year the Jets come here with something more than they show the rest of the season. Don’t let that happen – keep that edge.

That’s it folks my keys to Thursday night Patriots victory. Go Pats

Murph

Follow me/give me grief on Twitter @ Tmurph207