It's not often you see Tom Brady and the Patriots look bad on national television. I said after week one that I was not sold on the Patriots this year. I also said that they would struggle and tonight they struggled tremendously.
Brady and the offense only accumulated 290 total yards, 159 passing. Brady for majority of his career has played with mediocre receivers and still managed to put up hall of fame numbers, but I think those days are over. I still think Brady is one of the best QBs in the game but the Patriots have relied on just him for too long now. Even with Gronk, the Patriots have a lousy receiver corps. Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman are supposed to be Brady's outside receivers, but yet both are under 6 feet. Neither are deep threats, and honestly, the Pats haven't had a deep threat since Randy Moss. It's time for the Patriots to get some true play-makers in that locker room before Tom has an early departure.
Patriots are also bad defensively. Bad tackling was the main issue tonight, allowing 207 yard rushing. Jamaal Charles made his return from a high ankle sprain he suffered two weeks ago, scoring 3 TDs, (2 receiving 1 rushing), and gaining 92 yards on the ground. His backup, Kniles Davis also had a good night, rushing for 107 yards on 16 carries. Surprisingly, the Pats came into this game with the best defense, statistically, but I don't see them ending this season that way, especially after what I seen tonight.
October is going to be a great month for sports, starting with the MLB's postseason. Royals and A's will spark off the postseason in the AL Wild Card game, winner will move on to the ALDS to face the Angels.
The A's have a roster full of players with playoff experience while the Royals have an inexperienced group but talented. The Royals are making the postseason for the first time since 29 years, the longest playoff drought in baseball. James Shields, their dynamic ace they traded for 2 years ago, will start for the Royals while Jon Lester, who was traded earlier this season from the Red Sox, will start for the A's. Both have winning records in their last 5 starts and have something to prove, especially Lester.
This will be Lester's 12th postseason start in his 8-year career. He was a big part of the Red Sox winning the World Series last season but was a casualty of the Red Sox cleaning house. Since arriving in Oakland, he is 6-4 in his 11 starts with a 2.35 ERA. And even better news for the A's, Lester has been lights out against the Royals, 3-0 against them this season.
The A's are the obvious favorite but if the Royals can get some early runs to build a lead, I think Shields and the bullpen can hold the lead for them. When the A's traded Lester they also gave up some offense by giving away slugger, Yoenis Cespedes. The Royals actually won the season series, 5-2, averaging 3 runs a game.
I am going to pick the Royals to pull this one out. The A's are limping into the postseason, almost having to play a play-in game against the Mariners to see who would play the Royals. In the last 2 months of the season, the A's went 22-33 overall, 8-17 on the road. The Royals, on the other hand, are 34-20 in August and September, extending the AL Central pennant race to the final week of the season. The Royals will be playing with a lot of emotions in front of a crazed home crowd and I think they will get those early runs to help "Big Game James" Shields keep the A's lineup in check.