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Patriots enjoy an award-winning start

Posted by Obnoxious Boston Fan  October 21, 2011 11:41 AM

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bradybelichick.jpgBreak time is over for the New England Patriots. Thanks to the NFL Sunday Ticket and fantasy football, we barely survived. (Note: Tim Tebow is pretty good - now if he could only beat an NFL team.) The Steerlers are next for the Pats, but Big Ben will have to wait. That will be a first. Here are our bye-week awards, notations and accolades for the NFL's most-maligned 5-1 team based on sheer opinion (with a few facts thrown in just to confuse things).

The envelope please ...

All-Everything-- The road to Indianapolis goes through Tom Brady, who is on a pace to throw for 3.18 miles this season. Even when he's bad, he's spectacular. He closed his worst statistical game of the season against Dallas (QB rating of 82.3) with a "we'll see you in Canton" 10-play, 80-yard, 2:09, video-game-like, game-winning drive. Clearly, the new hair is working. Biggest concern -- getting hurt or banged up over the course of the season after all those knockdowns and sacks (seven in the past two games.) Second biggest concern -- waterslides. BTW, Aaron Hernandez's snack will probably be the last chicken we see in the Pats' locker room. This ship is stable.

The They Won But ... Award Who needs Valium when you have Brady. Thanks to their "bend but don’t break but cause mental breakdowns to watch" defense, the Pats cause more anxiety than a mandatory staff meeting. The Pats have the NFL's No. 1 passing attack and the NFL's No. 32 passing defense. Despite the dual personality disorder, it's hard to find a better team in the AFC. They have shown improvement (save for the Buffalo loss) each week where it was needed. Want a consistent running game -- how about 183 yards against the Raiders and 152 against the Jets. Need a big win on the road? See previous at Oakland. What about that secondary? Tell it to Tony Romo. Bill Belichick and Brady will become the winningest coach-QB tandem in history with their next victory. They know what they're doing.

The Chief Justice -- Running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis has been solid, dependable and tenacious. Of course, his worst game came in the team's lone loss – which is further evidence of his value. He also has the best nickname, hands down, in the NFL. The Law Firm has restored order when it comes to the team's running game – he gained 136 yards and 2 TDs in the 30-21 victory over the Jets and has averaged 4.3 yards per carry this season with 5 TDs and – of course – no fumbles. The Pats have a running game this season and he's the reason. When Brady goes play-action these days, teams think he might actually hand off the ball. The verdict is in. Law Firm is guilty of being a front-line running back in the NFL and he wasn't even drafted. In Bill We Trust -- to get lucky sometimes.

twitterocho.jpgJack Dorsey Hashtag Trophy -- This honor is named for the founder of twitter, who is very much still with us. The same may not be said much longer for Chad Ochocinco, who has contained his biggest moments this year to 140 characters or less. If we gave @Ochocinco one tweet character for each yard receiving this season – he'd still be four under his per-message limit. Thus far, for their $6 million, the Patriots have gotten nine catches and no TDs. That's a slow quarter for Wes Welker against the Dolphins. #whatsmyroute? #85allhype #signwelker

The Prime Cut -- Move over "Prime Time," the Pats have "Prime Cut," "Prime Rib" and "Prime Roast" rolled into one. Vince Wilfork has two interceptions and nearly a third. His first pick against San Diego was right out of Football Follies -- if for nothing else than the fact that it was the first time we've seen him go Forrest Gump with the ball and half the offense in pursuit. Wilfork is a tremendous athlete and remains a cornerstone (if not the entire foundation) of the Patriots' defense. He's shown he can keep one step ahead of most offensive linemen on the dead run, not to mention avoid getting caught up in the mess caused by ex-Miami booster/bad boy Nevin Shapiro. Double-team him at your own risk. See Andre Carter.

The Bronze Boot – Punter Zoltan Mesko has only been used 18 times this season and ranks in the middle of the pack in the NFL in average (45.8 yards). But he has consistently given the team much-needed field position as the team's defense continued to establish itself. He puts up consistent solid hang times, has landed eight punts inside the 20, has had zero blocked and earned an Emmy nod with his flop against Dallas last week. The guy does his job quietly and reliably. The Patriot Way Romanian Style.

Righty Tighty Award -- What name says tight end better than "Kardashian?" How about "Gronkowski" or "Hernandez"? Back when the Red Sox were in 1st place, who would've guessed that Rob Gronkowski and Hernandez would each have more catches than Deion Branch at Week 7 and at least three times as many receptions as Ochocinco. (Rob has all 29 catches between him and brother Dan). Gronkowski and Hernandez have combined for eight of Brady's 16 TD passes and 56 of his 160 completions. And they should be together for at least another 10 weeks, which is about nine weeks longer than the tabloids give Kim and Kris. This double tight-end set will be a model other teams will try to duplicate in the future.

tony-montana.jpgThe World Is Yours Statue -- This goes to Belichick. (If you haven't seen or played Scarface, you can probably stop reading here.) During one of Tony Montana's epic rants, he dismissed his rivals with this thoughtful observation: “(Expletive) Gaspar Gomez. And (expletive) the (expletive) Diaz Brothers. (Expletive) them all. I bury those cockroaches!” You’ll have to dig up the You Tube clip on that one yourselves. Most Patriots fans feel the same way about the Ryan Brothers. Last season, the twins went 3-1 against Belichick, with Rob running Cleveland's defense in that 34-14 beatdown. Rex is slightly older and Rob is the one who looks like Rex in a wig and acts like he's head coach of the Cowboys. The past four times the Pats scored 30 or fewer points (including January's playoff debacle) came courtesy of the Ryan Family's defensive schemes. But you can only keep the Hoodie pulled down for so long. He spends a lot on "counter-surveillance," just like Tony did. This season, despite those defensive efforts, Belichick is 2-0 against the NFL's twin versions of Nacho "El Gordo" Contreras (in terms of girth and verbosity). Wonder if the phone rang in Buddy Ryan's office at 3 a.m. last Monday? "We (messed) up, dad, he got away." (Note to Scarface fans: Tried to work in a Manny Ribera reference here but couldn't.) Astonishingly, Rex continues to insert foot in mouth. He finally backed it up on Sunday outcoaching Norv Turner, which is like outcoaching Norv Turner. Brady's resilience against the Jets and come-from-behind drive against the Cowboys set the Ryans' reputation back a few belt notches. The Pats and Jets meet again Nov. 13. As Tony would say if he was still alive: "Bury those cockroaches."

Don't forget to join us right here for our weekly Patriots in-game fan chat next Sunday against the Steelers. We'll get it started about 4 p.m. As always, let us know what you think. Post your thoughts here, on our Obnoxious Boston Fan Facebook page or e-mail them to me at obnoxiousbostonfan@hotmail.com. And don't forget to follow us on twitter @realOBF. Thanks for reading. Pass the clicker.

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Obnoxious Boston Fan offers a fun, unique and biting perspective on the Red Sox, Celtics, Bruins, Patriots and whatever else people are talking about in the world of sports. We More »
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