Brady vs Manning – Advantage Brady

When Peyton heads into Foxboro today it is with certain obvious disadvantages.  Consider this…Tom Brady has been in the same system with Bill Belichick for 12 years and Peyton is in his first year in the system in Denver with John Fox.  Now certainly Peyton is bringing a lot of his Colts offense with him, but the obvious shouldn’t be overlooked, you can’t really compare 12 years with the same team and coach and starting anew with a different team and coach.

It is in big games like this that those comfort factors really come into play. Not to mention the other obvious fact that Peyton is coming off a major injury and is not fully recovered. He really hasn’t got all his arm strength back no matter what BB said at his latest presser.

And finally the game is in Gillette stadium, a place the Patriots rarely lose as they did to Arizona in their last game there.

So you have the following obvious advantages for Brady…

1)   Same system, same coach 12 years

2)   Peyton not fully recovered from major injury

3)   Home field advantage and psychological advantage since the Pats lost their last home game.

Both teams are .500 with 2-2 records.  So someone is going to end up with a losing record today. It might be a close game but it’s hard to see how Peyton wins unless the Brady offense has a bad day and doesn’t execute well.

Personally, I think it’s more than likely the Patriots are going to be 3-2 at the end of the day and Denver will chalk it up as a good game against a difficult opponent they knew going in might beat them.

In any case, this is the NFL where anything can happen on Sunday.

Pats Start 2012 Season With Some Concerns

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Brian Billick said recently, ‘it is a mistake to read too much into the preseason, but it is also a mistake to completely ignore what you see in the preseason.’ So keeping this in mind, here are 5 concerns about the Patriots.

1) Will the offensive find its rhythm?

You can’t just assume that because Tom Brady is under center that everything is going to work out. The Patriots only showed barely a glimmer of any real offensive rhythm in the preseason. This doesn’t have to do with scheming which they obviously did very little of in the preseason, but more to do with chemistry. The addition of Brandon Lloyd has not shown itself yet and can’t be assumed to be a real asset until we see it in game action.

2) How have some of BB’s Free Agent moves improved the team?

A favorite topic of conversation seems to be the debate on BB’s acumen as a general manager. He always makes curious moves, sometimes he hits homeruns (Gronk & Hernandez) and other times he whiffs (Darius Butler, Wheatley & Chad Jackson). So once again one is puzzled by the FA moves with Gaffney, Stallworth & Fanene. Plus what was the reasoning behind releasing Deon Branch?  One thing is for sure, Mr. Kraft paid out some serious change for these moves?

Perhaps BB just places a premium on competition in training camp, or maybe he just made some mistakes, but what was the point of ending up with the current receiving corps plus Salas and Hoomanawanui?

Obviously BB is a brilliant coach, but he seems inconsistent as a GM. Lately it seems like he strikes out more than he hits homeruns.

Well, they may bring Branch back, after all he’s still got a locker (but apparently so does Drew Bledsoe…ha ha).

3) Youth vs Experience

This is the youngest Patriots team in the BB era. There are some good veterans like Brady,Welker, Wilfork and Mayo but it’s a team that relies heavily on youth especially on the defensive side. Chandler Jones and Donta Hightower are exciting additions but they are rookies and can make rookie mistakes. Plus the secondary was one of the weakest in the league last year and seem perhaps marginally better this year with the vet Gregory and the another rookie Tavon Wilson.

4)  The Offensive Line

Are they good enough? This obviously could be a big part of why there was no offensive rhythm in the preseason. Also it brings up concerns about the safety of our 35 year old franchise QB.

I think most Pat fans are spoiled by Dante Scarnecchia and the consistency of the O-line over the years. It’s safe to say that most fans are worried by this. Ryan Wendell and Dan Connolly are the most consistent players with a not very confident Nate Solder and always unhealthy Sebastian Vollmer at tackles, you can see why. Which leads me to the final point…

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5) What the bleep is going on with Brian Waters?

One explanation I’ve heard is that he may not want to play the whole season and they bring him in to shore up the line in mid season. It makes some sense, but there’s much confusion on this subject you know BB’s not going to clear it up, plus part of BB’s charm is his complete indifference to the worries of the fan base.

Final thoughts…

I think a lot of fans wished we had seen a little more chemistry on the field when the offense was on the field in the preseason. Also, it would have been nice if more of the sexy FA moves had worked out. But the truth is many of these preseason jitters will be gone if the Patriots have a strong showing against the Titans in the opener.