Fan Notes from the Game

Coffee. I need coffee.

That was one helluva start for the New England Patriots. A little slow out of the gate defensively, but the offense looked phenomenal and the Pats marched to a convincing win to open up the 2011 campaign. I was somehow able to take some notes in between swigs of Rolling Rock (the official beer of the Alec Shane 1-Man Patriots Viewing Party), which I reviewed this morning.

If you ever want to laugh at yourself, take notes on a game after a beer or ten and then read them the next morning. Yikes.

But what the hey, right? We're all friends here. I took these notes; I may as well share them. So the formula for today's article is a Patriots game, a lot of beer, and the nonsense that follows.

  • Danny Woodhead should be required to stand next to Nate Solder in the huddle at all times. It's a sight we will probably never see again in our lifetime as NFL fans.
  • That said - more no-huddle please. Man was that fun to watch.
  • New England's ability to adjust defensively impressed me. Henne looked clinical on that first drive, but Bill Belichick is a master of making adjustments, and Miami had a much more difficult time moving the ball after that first drive.
  • In fact, Miami's only other touchdown (when it still mattered) came off of the interception which gave the Phins an extremely short field. The Pats D was relatively stout, and while there is definitely room for improvement, I think it was a good first showing.
  • One of the things to improve on: New England gave up more big plays than I would have liked to see. Hoping to see that corrected before the San Diego Chargers come to town.
  • Miami is going to have a decent season.
  • Chad Henne deserves an apology from any Miami fan who was calling for Orton in the preseason.
  • There's no way Reggie Bush makes it though a whole year if the Dolphins keep using him like that. He isn't a between the tackles kind of runner.
  • Maybe it's just me - but does anyone else think that Tony Sparano is an absolute riot? Every time the camera cut to that guy last night, I started cracking up. He's just so damn animated. The man looks like an aging backup dancer from the musical Grease who is trying to make a second career as a football coach.
  • So much for the question marks about the offensive line. Nate Solder's dominance over Cameron Wake was so complete that towards the end of the game I almost expected Solder to just get Wake in a headlock and start giving him noogies.
  • Get well soon, Dan Koppen. Hope you're back out there ASAP.
  • I love Julian Edelman's heart and toughness- but I can't help but feel like he tries to take every play to the house, sometimes putting the safety of the ball at risk. As he continues to develop as a receiver, he needs to learn that sometimes the best play he can make is to cover up the ball and just dive for the first down.
  • Chad Ochocinco is going to get a lot of flak for not getting a whole lot of action in this game - but give him some time. Down the stretch when the games start to really matter, Ocho will be ready.
  • Aaron Hernandez is filthy.
  • Rob Gronkowski is filthy.
  • I debated drafting neither Hernandez nor Gronkowski in any of my fantasy drafts, thinking that either one of them could be hot at any time. I ended up drafting Hernandez in one and Gronk in the other - and I think I'm gonna be juuuuuust fine.
  • I didn't see as much blitzing from Jerod Mayo as I thought I was going to. I'm attributing that to the threat that Reggie Bush brings out of the backfield and Mayo's primary responsibility for this game was to spy the RB and patrol the under routes. Hopefully Belichick can start incorporating Mayo into some more blitz packages down the stretch.
  • First complaint of the season from my neighbor downstairs: 5:48 left in the 4th quarter after the goal-line stand. Second complaint of the season from my neighbor downstairs: 5:47 left in the 4th quarter when Brady connected to Wes Welker to ice the game. If I don't have an eviction notice on my door by the end of the season, I did something wrong.
  • How great is Jon Gruden? Was that an S word I heard after the Brandon Marshall incompletion that brought up 4th and 10? Yes it was! He later apologized for it, but the damage was done. For shame, coach. For shame.
  • A desperate, pleading note to Tommy B - please, PLEASE stop with the Uggs commercials. You have plenty of money. You're a first ballot Hall of Famer. Your wife is smoking hot. You don't need to do this anymore.
  • That said -Tom Brady is still and always will be my perennial mancrush. And after Monday night's performance, I may be straight up in love.
  • BUT: if he don't treat me right, Rob Gronkowski is now waiting in the wings.
  • Which brings me to my final point: I'm going to be in the stands for the home opener this Sunday, and before I get kicked out and arrested for disorderly conduct, my goal is to plant the seed at Gillette Stadium that grows into the mighty, mighty oak that will be forever known as "The Gronk:" a cheer all the fans break out every time Rob Gronkowski makes a play. My initial thoughts:
    1. Stomp Stomp "GRONK!" Stomp Stomp (Hard to coordinate, but pretty bad ass if it works)
    2. The Fog Horn: The whole stadium erupts with a  "GROOOOOO - ooonnnnnk! GROOOOOO - ooonnnnnk! GROOOOOO - oonnnnk!"
    3. The Train Conductor: "GROOOOOONK! GRO-GRO-GROOOOONK! while pulling an imaginary train whistle.

      I'm not married to any of these ideas, so I'd love to hear your suggestions.

Great game overall - always good to start the season off with a W. It's only Week 1, so it's important to temper expectations and not read too much into things - but this is a great momentum builder that I'm hoping we can bring into the home opener next week.

Here's to the first of a very long string of hung-over Mondays and Tuesdays. Ugh.

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