Pats Preview: Week 15


1195486247Some 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.

Huh. Did something happen this week with the Pats and the Jets? Something about a videotape? I missed it. Really, who has time to keep up with the drama when there’s real news happening?

Well, probably doesn’t matter. Only a fool would make a huge deal about a videotape when he should be paying attention to the big story: Sunday is going to feature a serious beatdown. If the news reports are to be believed, the gods remain angry, and a crushing blow is about to be levied. This will not be for the weak at heart.

What? No, I’m not talking about the Pats smashing the Jets (though that will likely happen). I’m talking about the weather smashing all of us (including the Pats and the Jets)…Another storm’s a comin’ on Sunday.

Well, that’s what a bunch of people were saying two days ago. Now, they’re not so sure. Regardless of the uncertainty, we live in New England, and there’s nothing we love more than discussing how a storm will affect everything from the morning commute to grocery shopping to, yes, even football. Sounds the alarms (again).

Thankfully, the Herald has Pats fans (and bettors alike) covered on this topic. As Boston Daily noted earlier in the week, the Jets are a heavy underdog in this game. Under normal circumstances, you’d expect a foot of snow to work in New York’s favor — at least in terms of covering a 24-point line. But that’s just mere conventional wisdom, and the Herald doesn’t go in for that.

To some, Mother Nature — or rather, the nor’easter that’s in the forecast for Sunday’s game – is a more frightening opponent for the Patriots than their actual foe, the New York Jets.

The concern is that a significant snowfall will do a lot more to slow down Tom Brady and his all-world receivers than Eric Mangini’s defense. History, however, tells us that won’t necessarily be the case. For starters, the Pats are 9-0 in games played in snow at Foxboro.

Remember the January 2002 playoff game against the Raiders, the infamous “tuck rule” game, where it was a virtual winter wonderland at old Foxboro Stadium? Brady threw the ball 52 times in the Snow Bowl, completing 32 passes for 312 yards.

In fact, of the five games Brady has played in the snow in Foxboro, he’s thrown fewer than 30 times just once.

Fantastic. It’s settled, then. Snow or rain or sunshine, the Pats will clobber the Jets, and Boston can go right on annoying the rest of the country with more incessant yammering about an undefeated year. ‘Tis the season, apparently.

The Pick: When Mother Nature makes an appearance, we’re all winners (except New York). New England 48, New York 14.