Pats Preview: Week 5

Some NFL analysts study trends. Others study stats. Our man, Gonz, does neither. But that won’t stop him from breaking down each week’s Patriots’ game. His picks are for amusement purposes only, since last year he dropped a small fortune to the world’s worst bookie.


It’s been an interesting week since the Pats demolished the hapless, over-matched Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night Football.

Let’s see, Rodney Harrison is back on the field after serving a four-game suspension for taking human growth hormone. His teammates welcomed him back with open arms, including one who was like, dude, no worries, who hasn’t been there?

Meanwhile, some crazy nut is suing the Pats and alleging that Tom Brady spiked Donovan McNabb’s Chunky Soup with a listening device.

All of that, though, takes a backseat to this: Browns head coach Romeo Crennel has been wondering something. He’s been wondering who might win in a fight between himself and Bill Belichick.

You read that right.

Well, actually, in Crennel’s defense, he was wondering who might win in a fight or a foot race. You know, whichever comes first.

When the former Bill Parcells and Belichick disciple was asked about this weekend’s Pats vs. Browns matchup and how he might fare in the “battle of wits,” Crennel didn’t really bite. “Bill doesn’t play and I don’t play,” he told the Herald.

But you know the Herald reporters — they’re nothing if not persistent. So writer John Tomase employed one of those journalism techniques that we all learned in school — rephrasing the query by using a hypothetical. I’m paraphrasing here, but it probably went something like: sure, but what if you did “play?” (Genius, by the way.)

Naturally, Crennel had to answer — so befuddled was he by Tomase’s Jedi mind tricks.

“If it was a physical matchup, I’d probably win,” Crennel said. “If it was a race, he might win.”

Fight! Everyone come quick! (Forget the footrace; those are for grade schoolers and Communists.)

Let’s go to the “Tale of the Tape,” as they say in boxing: Crennel is about 5-feet tall, 400 pounds (don’t bother checking the numbers, that has to be right), which definitely gives him the size advantage. And Belichick is a small man, so he probably doesn’t have much of a reach, either. Plus, he wears those cutoff sweatshirts, which has to hinder your movement. In a fair fight, we like Crennel for a number of reasons.

Ah, but if we’ve learned anything about the Pats this year, it’s that the boss man doesn’t fight fair. If these two did tussle, we suspect Belichick would hit him with a garbage can lid long before the bell sounded (and probably while Crennel wasn’t looking).

Advantage: Bill “Bare Knuckles” Belichick.

The Pick: Bill KO’s his former protégé early. Pats 35, Browns 14.