The Patriots just continue to roll on, continuing to make the dire predictions of doom from after week four look silly.

The criticism of the team and how they played at Kansas City at the time certainly was legitimate, but what was ridiculous was the assumption that they wouldn’t get any better.

I’ve been consistent on this.

(Some of the replies to that tweet are great.)

A 42-20 win in Indianapolis last night was the latest step for a squad that has made the changes and adjustments needed to improve since the round beginning. 199 rushing yards and four touchdowns from Jonas Gray didn’t hurt, either.

While they could certainly stumble a couple more times before the end of the season, it seems safe to say that those who wrote them off were a bit premature.

It wasn’t perfect last night, but it was powerful.

As for this “road win” storyline, which permeated the talk over the last week, as in, “They aren’t a good road team…they haven’t won a big road game since 2011…” Name me a good road team in the NFL. Most good teams are .500 on the road.

A sampling from this morning:

Separation Sunday: Patriots seize command of AFC with decisive win over Colts – Chris Price, WEEI.com

Patriots continue their run with thrashing of Colts – Tom E Curran, CSNNE

Patriots keep getting better and better – Jackie MacMullan, ESPNBoston

Defense builds up speed – Karen Guregian, Boston Herald

Jonas Gray learned success in Detroit, and the world learned his name Sunday night – Kevin Duffy, MassLive.com

After win over Colts, Patriots are in the running with the best – Mark Farinella, Sun Chronicle.

Get the complete coverage at PatriotsLinks.com.

******

Expert analysis from NBC’s Tony Dungy, Rodney Harrison  – Chad Finn looks at NBC’s coverage from last night.

Collinsworth and Michaels were certainly fawning over the Patriots last night, but Collinsworth also correctly pointed out what happened on Brady’s first interception, that with the pass rush coming he couldn’t see the safety Adams coming over to perfect position to make the pick.

On the second Brady interception, which looked to be one of the worst passes we’ve seen from Brady, the end zone view showed that Gronkowski was wide open and running away from the coverage. The issue was again the pass rush which resulted in the underthrown ball, and easy pick for the Colts.

The Inside Track in the Herald has speculation that WEEI might be trying to get the gang back together again.

Glenn Ordway ’EEI return in works?

Let’s say I’m skeptical.

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50 thoughts on “Gray Matters

  1. Good point RE road wins, Bruce. What is GB’s road record? Denver’s? Seattle’s? Indy’s? Philly’s? Detroit’s?

    Those are all first or second place teams and they are all .500 or below on the road.

    I tweeted this morning, three things we won’t hear from local, national, or local-market media for the respective teams:
    1. New England provided the “blue print” for beating Denver.
    2. Drew Brees’ window is closing.
    3. Classless GB runs up the score

  2. Finn, on SoSH, comments:

    Track column is a rewrite of my Friday column, except with less truth and detail and more input from this week’s designated Ordway toady.

    Are the “Track” authors Ordway “toadies?” Either way it doesn’t look good for Holley in the future.

    1. Ordway must have been a source for the herald broads. He’s an old man desperate for attention. Ironic that he broadcasts from his basement.

      1. It’s not the first time they discussed him going back to the station. Before his show launched in the Spring, both he and PZ admitted to such, even after the rumors were leaked. I have no clue the source but both stations do have someone who regularly talks to both papers in the town + others.

  3. Bruce,

    I am not sure what to make of Finn’s article. I was surprised to hear that Dale is doing afternoon’s on a week to week contract. Further, other than the morning show nothing at WEEI is working right now. It is better than it was under Jeff Brown but the new midday show is very difficult to listen to and poor Dale is now carrying Thorton and Holley which just makes for bad radio.

    I think an Ordway return with Thorton in the Shepard role might help them some…although i am not a fan of Thornton I can see him having a place there. The issue like with the old show is the quality of the guest hosts. If it is Buckley, Sterns,LJ and Fred…they might as well cancel it now. If the other host are guys like Reiss, Curran, Ryan and a smattering of national guys who goose a show then it has a chance to find a decent audience.

    If they bring back the Big Show does that push Dale and Holley back to Midday. Or will they realize Holley is the issue and either team Dale with someone new or just start again from scratch?

    1. On the config right now, I don’t think Dale Arnold is the right person to go against F+M. Just me, but Dale is best when he’s doing something like a Sunday show.
      I enjoy him but it seems like the only way for anyone to succeed against F+M, is either a big name (Ordway) or putting up an identical show (Minihane+someone). We’re hopefully done with the “bring in outside market” experiment, and name me one person “waiting for their turn” that would work? I can’t think of any.

      1. If Dale Arnold were a day of the week, he’d be a lazy Sunday. Like you can tell the guy makes an effort not to curse in his every day life and never looks at internet porn. He’s just the kind of person you don’t want to be around because he’s so boring.

        1. The character ‘Ned Flanders’ gets brought up a bit..

          I thought his strength was doing the WEEI Sunday 9-1 or 9-12.. You need a person like that to do a more long-form Sunday show, if you have good guests or co-hosts.

          1. Absolutely. The guy is perfect for Saturday & Sunday mornings. Pair him with a rotation of guests and co-hosts according to the sports season. Callers can go more in depth and actually have discussions with the hosts. When I say he’s boring, I don’t mean that he shouldn’t have a role on the station. I just don’t want to hear him during morning or afternoon drive time. Midday or weekends are made for his style. I’d say evenings as counterprogramming to Felger Jr., but I know Dale wouldn’t wanna give up his Bruins gig. Pairing with him with Mike Adams would be radio gold in my opinion. I’d love to hear Dale’s reaction to Mikey’s off color humor. You know Dale would lose it from time to time. It would be fantastic.

          2. Ah, thanks for clarifying. I think we’re on the same wavelength then.

            When I say he’s boring, I don’t mean that he shouldn’t have a role on
            the station. I just don’t want to hear him during morning or afternoon
            drive time.

            Yeap.

            I used to think you could “battle” what a F+M show is by putting it up against something longer-form like what Dale did on Sunday. I no longer think that’s the case at all. Maybe–just maybe–it’d work 10-2 but on the drives? I don’t think so. The morning battles between the two stations is a perfect example. Both are edgy and unique but with their own flavor.

    2. Holley is done. He sounds like he’s checked out too…Stevie Wonder concert review, long, boring stories about his car burning up…all in the two times I bothered to listen in the last week. As for Dale, he’s never sounded as “up” and “gosh darn happy” as he used to be. Could be he also knows the writing is on the wall for the long-term. As for Ordway, I can’t see it myself. The “Unfiltered” show is horrible without Pete and this Alex Raimer blogger Ordway has become fond of is GODAWFUL I CANT LISTEN TO HIM FOR MORE THAN 10 SECONDS bad. Seems to me that the ship for “The Big Show” has set sail, though I agree with LTD, if they bring on quality co-hosts like Curran then it could have a shot. I just don’t think they’re going back there after bypassing Ordway again this past year.

  4. I might be way off here, but I think if Holley is out at WEEI, I think the best course of action would be to put him with Felger and send Mazz elsewhere. The Felger/Mazz dynamic is getting stale. Felger needs to be paired with someone who will offer some degree of resistance. It would be a proactive move, which never happens.
    When Holley signed his last contract, he was still viewed as an up and comer, and TSH might have taken a run at him. He was able to leverage his way to drive time, and that might have been the beginning of the end. I don’t know what they would do with Mazz though.

    1. I’d say the vast majority of people who dislike Felger’s shtick also feel like he would be great if paired with someone who didn’t echo his every thought. It’s obvious, though, that Felger doesn’t want to be challenged. So, unless there is a significant change in the ratings, The Echo is there to stay.

      1. I agree. No programmers ever look ahead, they wait until they’re getting whacked in the ratings, and then months later they make changes. With F&M still at number one and WEEI still far back, Mazz will stick around. But if T&R slide back more and more, TSH will have to make some kind of programming shake up. But look at their history, other than DA leaving for a national gig, they haven’t made another change other than dumping Tanguay for Andy Gresh.

        1. T & R’s schtick stopped amusing me (in a good way) long ago. This, “The Lodge is attacking us”, victimhood is pretty pathetic. Their on-air, unoriginal and uniformed opinions don’t differ in any way from the members of the so-called Lodge!

    2. Caller let’s not carried away with Jonas Gray. He had a nice night but he still couldn’t get outside the tackles! That’s a problem Mike! An elite runner set’s the edge and he only gained 78 of his 199 yards from the outside!

      1. FELGER: What did you think of that interception Brady threw before halftime?
        YARM: It SUCKED, Mike! He’s DONE! He IS! And Garoppolo doesn’t make that throw. He just DOESN’T!
        FELGER: Speaking of which — did you see Brady’s face when they put Garoppolo in at the end of the game?
        YARM: He was PISSED, Mike! He WAS! I’m telling you, Mike, they’ve got big problems. That’s a fractured locker room. I mean, REALLY! They’re done, Mike — they’re DONE!

      2. It almost sounds just like something yarm. Would say expect for the yardage break down. To much work for the squishy pants

  5. Rich Levine makes a crack about the absurdity of Felger & The Echo in this article:

    http://www.csnne.com/new-england-patriots/pats-have-risen-top

    I’ve noticed this has been happening quite a bit lately. Reiss in his weekly mailbags and chats making veiled references to their alarmist style. Ordway mocking Massarotti on Unfiltered. Curran calling out Mazz’s idiocy via Twitter.
    It’s nice to know even their colleagues don’t respect them

    1. If you read Reiss’ blog regularly you know he does a weekly follow up on former Pats playing around the league.

      That’s just him being a good writer, but I wonder if he’s intentionally providing info/ammo to counter the Belichick “bad GM” talk.

    2. “You could literally hear Michael Felger excitedly rubbing his hands together and a puddle of drool building up on Tony Massarotti’s bib.” Thank you, Rich Levine.

  6. My SPORTS talk radio experience today…turn on D&C at 6:15AM.. they are talking about the “Dumb and Dumber” movie (how fitting) turn volume off. Figure this can’t last long, turn it back on at 6:45AM…STILL talking about “Dumb and Dumber”.Turn volume back off..That was it for me and sports talk radio for the day.

  7. Worthless Win, Brady Miscues Highlight Talent Gap Between Patriots and Chiefs

    #hotsportztakez

    (I’m still available for afternoon or drivetime radio slots! Call me!)

  8. When it comes to the Bruins Felger is much more rational because he is a true hockey fan. His rants against the other locals has more to due with hockey snobbery.

    1. Is it possible that the people who vote for Mazz in those annual popularity polls are all doing it ironically? Probably not, but we can dream.

  9. That’s Felger keeping Mazz in his place. The subtext being, “I’m the show. You’re nothing without me. Don’t forget it, boy”

  10. Because I don’t like to be all negative all the time, if you haven’t checked them out yet at Bruce’s urging or via your own curiosity, MassLive has what I think is BY FAR the best combination of beat writers that can be found in Massachusetts. Jay King (Celts), Jason Mastrodonato (Sox) and Kevin Duffy (Pats). My other must reads are Alex Speier (Sox) and Mike Reiss (the gold standard). As for Bruins coverage, i.e. injury news, roster moves, quotes from players and coaches – they’re KILLING it with their official Twitter account.

    I am my OWN columnist and have no need for the Wilbur’s, Shank’s, JackieMac’s, Guerigian’s and Borges’ of the world.

  11. I know he’s not for everyone, but Jerry Thornton did his write up on WEEI for Pats/Colts and included this line:

    “The shrill naysayers who griped they were only beating up tomato cans
    just watched them blow out the top two teams in the conference. And the
    hysterical nincompoops who screamed about the Patriots not giving Brady
    any “weapons” have to come to grips with the fact that they’ve scored
    more points than Indy or Denver and are seven behind Green Bay for the
    league lead.”

    Looks like he’s sticking to certain writers and radio hosts.

    Column here:
    http://www.weei.com/sports/boston/football/patriots/jerry-thornton/2014/11/17/knee-jerk-reactions-week-10-patriots-vs-co

  12. Now why won’t he do that with the Patriots? That’s the big question. Showing Felger’s obvious bias, since unlike the Pats, he is a big fanboy of the Bruins. Will give them latitude on this subject (I am not saying he doesn’t’ criticize them, he does a ton!), but the Pats going 2-2 to start the season after having done that many times in the past is the end of the world.

    1. He seems to loathe Patriots fans.. I can get that coming from someone in Pittsburgh, but it doesn’t work here.

      Caught a segment of their show today between G+Z commercials and he was more upset that Patriots fans didn’t care about Goodell’s arbitrary punishment of Peterson today, because it might happen to “one of their own”.

      You can be a fan of another team. Many here are (Felger, Rich, etc.) But when you use everything to trash the fan base of the market you work in, well..

      1. I am more frustrated with Goodell and his kangaroo court way of dealing with player issues. There has been radio silence regarding Rey Rice in the past month and I cannot help but think that Goodell called in a bunch of favors to bury the story or flat out threatened NFL reporters to keep it quiet (subtly of course). Then there is this line in his released statement. “While an adult may have a number of options when confronted with abuse — to flee, to fight back, or to seek help from law enforcement – none of those options is realistically available to a 4-year-old child.” While true it gives off an impression of directing the narrative by trying to rank offenses.

        1. Here is a crazy thought. Bb mentioned Ray Rice again yesterday on the dh show. If he is reinstated by the judge to be able to join a team.I won’t be surprised if he becomes a patriot

          1. I honestly wouldn’t care if he became a Patriot. There is only one team in the league that could shut down the questions about Rey Rice and that is the Patriots. I am pretty sure we would all hear a very loud ‘Damn’ coming from the press box if he ever did sign with the Patriots. However, I am pretty sure Bob Kraft said a week or two ago that Rey Rice would never be a Patriot.

        2. Not just you but the PA. Problem is the NFLPA agreed to this whole thing. I disagree with the handling but the NFLPA also collectively bargained this, so I’d respect it and my understanding is most judges would too. If that’s the way in the future looks like it will change.

  13. Belichick the GM’s offseason mistakes according to the ugly Boston sports media in September:
    1. Not resigning Talib.
    2. Not resigning Blount.
    3. Trading Mankins.
    3 for 3, boys. Will we hear some accountability this afternoon? Not bloody likely.

    1. Oh, haven’t you heard? They finally “got some players” this off season and are now “winning some games!”

      This, brought to you yesterday by the same guy who spent the 3 minutes I listened to today, telling us how the Patriots do this every year (win a glut of games in Oct/Nov/Dec) and then “fail to produce” because they only beat teams with awful qb’s, even in the playoffs. (Insert list of qb’s the Patriots beat in 2010, 2011, and 2012 during late runs).

      My favorite part of this rant was when the host was telling us how, even in 2011, the only qb they beat was Flacco who “was still ‘Suck-o’ at that point of his career.”

      So, when they don’t “go get players” and “win some games”, they still uh, win some games. Oh wait, no, they only won games in the regular season during those seasons which is…just like this year as they have not made the post season yet.

      Must be nice to be able to pick and choose the argument based upon where the goalposts are situated…especially when you get to maneuver said goalposts to fit your own needs.

      People really listen to this drivel for four hours?

      1. It’s great being a sports talk show mediot, it really is. On the one hand, you can complain about “not winning a championship” in seasons like 2011-2012, when the team devoted a good portion of its offseason assets to re-signing its own best players rather than bringing in “name” free agents, but was still good enough to win the Super Bowl each year anyway, falling short primarily because Gronk was either severely limited (SB 46) or out (AFC title game in ’12) due to injury; AND the team was missing a key defensive player because of injury (Andre Carter, SB 46; Talib in the ’12 AFC title game); AND Welker developed butterfingers on two critical plays, one in each post-season loss. On the other hand, you can pat yourself on the back for being “right all along about needing to load up and spend money” when they have an offseason like 2014, when the team lost a key free agent at a critical position (Talib), and then went out and signed a “big name” replacement — in this case, an upgrade like Revis — all the while ignoring the fact that the Pats would have been perfectly satisfied had Talib re-signed for three years instead of them having to roll the dice on what amounts to one year of Revis. Oh, and you can also take credit for urging them to get Brady more weaponz like LaFell, even though three months ago you were ripping them for signing LaFell, who was still trying to learn the offense, instead of pursuing Emmanuel Sanders more aggressively. To paraphrase the late, great Phil Lynott: A sports talk show host’s life is the life for me.

  14. I was thinking that Heyward would be interesting target, but according to either Speier or Mastrodonato, the Red Sox did not even inquire about trading for him. It was a very good trade made by the Cardinals.

  15. So have you all ever heard of Grantland Rice?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grantland_Rice

    Simmons’ website is supposedly named after him, yet I see nothing on the main page, or anywhere else at all that mentions this. No tribute. Not even a paragraph or a single sentence. He is mentioned, in passing, in a handful of articles, but it seems fitting that there should be at least a little bit more than that.

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