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NFL Week 8 Power Rankings: Patriots, Brady try to put finger on problems

Posted by Obnoxious Boston Fan  October 26, 2013 10:02 PM

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Brady Kid - Patriots.jpg
Forget the Zapruder film.

Never mind the fury surrounding "Push Rule Gate."

Ignore those tales of aliens and strange beings from "Area 51."

Tom Brady has two fingers taped together on his throwing hand.

The Patriots are doomed. Brady's washed up already at 36, after all, he's only thrown one TD pass in his past three games. Now, his throwing hand is obviously crippled.

The undeniable visual proof, via State Run Media no less, is posted at right [courtesy of the Patriots' Facebook page].

So, is Brady's career on the rocks?

Did he get hurt last week against the Jets and the Patriots are playing Patriot Games?

Or is this just a fake-out, to lure the Dolphins into a false sense of security.

After all, the photo was literally staged, and Brady is showing off his hand as if to say "Look at my taped-up fingers."

Whatever the "real story," any and all conjecture here is proof that no good deed goes unpunished.

Brady, Rob Gronkowski, Bill Belichick and the Patriots granted six boys their wishes via the "Make A Wish" foundation Saturday at Gillette Stadium.

Perspective. Imagine you have a child who has been stricken with some horrible illness that makes you question everything else in life. Your child is given the opportunity to ask for anything and he or she says simply: "I want to meet Tom Brady" or "I want to meet Gronk."

This space has gleefully crucified Brady and Gronk when warranted on the field, or off it, when the issue at hand affects their play. As a rule, what players do in their personal lives is of no real issue to anyone outside their personal life. That doesn't mean we're not above the occasional [10 or 20 times a week] "Gisele Was Right" or "Bibi Jones Would Approve" remark.

But we'll give them props for being props Saturday.

That doesn't let Brady's mysterious taped fingers off the hook.

Brady was back in his one-time familiar spot as "probable-shoulder" on the Patriots' injury this week. Brady appeared to be favoring his right hand in last week's they-deserved-to-lose-but-the-call-was-horribly-timed-and-didn't-affect-the-play 30-27 OT loss to the Jets.

But whenever you lose to the Jets, tensions are high.

During the week when we were focused on the World Series, the Patriots and Jets traded shots about who said what to whom about the Push Rule.

What did Belichick know and when did he know it?

But that Nixonian witch-hunt fizzled.

Everyone moved on to Week 8.

The Patriots are facing a Dolphins team Sunday that has crumbled following a quick start. Ryan Tannehill is on pace to be sacked 69 times this season. The Dolphins offensive line is in shambles, although Bryant McKinnie is expected to play this week.

The Patriots are 9-2 against the Dolphins at Gillette Stadium and they've done it without the help of any snowplows. New England has won six straight against Miami and eight of 10. The last time the Dolphins got a road win against the Patriots was give years ago, when Tannehill was a freshman receiver at Texas A&M.

Richie Incognito has never beaten the Patriots anywhere -home or on the road - in his nine-year NFL career. "It's something I'm hungry for," Incognito told the Miami Herald.

The Patriots will be hungry for stability, a sustained offense with the return of Danny Amendola and an opportunity to solidify what's left of their defense.

The presence of Amendola and Gronk in the same lineup for the first time this season gives Brady an opportunity to get back into whatever is his groove these days.

If his fingers aren't irreparably damaged.

Of course, with the Patriots, you never know what to believe.

No matter what you see.

Here are this week's rankings. Teams are listed with their records and last week's ranking.

Here's the Week 6 GIF of the week, thanks to wide receiver Justin Blackmon, who delivers best hit of the year for the Jaguars at the expense of a security guard in Jacksonville who was dutifully keeping his eyes on a half-empty stadium

Hit[via BuzzFeed]

1. Chiefs [sorry if you're offended] (7-0; 2) - Are now the lone team in the cross-hairs of the 1972 Dolphins. Host the Browns this week. Keep the champagne on ice for another week, Coach Shula.

2. Seahawks (6-1: 4) - Worst case scenario for Red Sox fans: fall victim to Rams on Monday night as Cardinals win Game 5 of the World Series down the street at Busch Stadium.

3. Colts (5-2; 6) - "Peyton, who?"

4. Broncos (6-1; 1) - Peyton Manning is human. Who knew?

5. Bengals (5-2; 7) - Play host to the Jets in the "We Beat The Patriots Bowl."

6. Patriots (5-2; 3) - The idiocy surrounding Push Rule Gate was mercifully snuffed out by the World Series. This is what happens when websites, talk shows and TV have four days to fill after the Red Sox won the pennant.

7. 49ers (5-2; 10) - Playing the Jaguars in London this week as the England braces for what is being called the latest "storm of the century" Monday. The visiting Jaguars will be considered England's largest man-made disaster of the century.

8. Saints (5-1; 2) - Coming off bye after being run over by "unicorns" and "showponies."

9. Bears (4-3; 8) - Bye week.

10. Lions (4-3; 9) - Safety Louis Delmas has given up his pet alligator "Mojo" after new teammate Kevin Ogletree decided to move in with Delmas. Mojo, 5, grew to be six feet long and is being fostered at Detroit pet shop and may end up in the city's zoo.

11. Packers (4-2; 15) - Wonder when we'll hear the Packers or Vikings are also trying to bring back Brett Favre?

12. Cowboys (4-3; 16) - Jerry Jones claims Reggie Bush is a greater threat to the Cowboys this week than Calvin Johnson. That means Johnson will probably have five TD catches.

13. Jets (4-3; 15) - Deserve credit for beating Patriots last week but everything they accomplish from then until the end of time will be the result of the "Push Rule Gate."

14. Panthers (4-3; 21) - Quietly won two straight and have positioned themselves to challenge in the soft NFC South.

15. Chargers (4-3; 17) - Coming off bye week against Jacksonville with bye week against no one.

16. Ravens (3-4; 11) - Bye week.

17. Browns (3-4; 12) - Jason Campbell will be the starting QB for this week's game at Kansas City after Brandon Weeden was benched.

18. Titans (3-4; 13) - RIP Bud Adams.

19. Dolphins (3-3; 14) - After being frustrated by Geno Smith and the Jets' offensive line, Tannehill should be the perfect cure-all for the Patriots.

20. Rams (3-4; 18) - Will not be the lead story in Tuesday's St. Louis Post-Dispatch sports section.

21. Bills (3-4; 26) - Get their test of legitimacy Sunday at New Orleans.

22. Cardinals (3-4; 20) - Carson Palmer this week said he's looking forward to some "winnable games" coming up. Would those be the ones on his Xbox?.

23. Eagles (3-4; 22) - Michael Vick will play in place of Nick Foles at QB, for those looking for a 3rd stringer on their Fantasy League team.

24. Texans (2-5; 23) - Cow Pies continue their 2013 meltdown. Never fully recovered from last December's Monday night demolition by the Patriots.

25. Falcons (2-4; 18) - Got to face Bucs after bye week, which has become about as welcoming as facing the Jaguars.

26. Vikings (1-5; 25) - The Josh Freeman experiment lasted one week, thanks in part to a concussion. Christian Ponder gets another chance this week against Green Bay.

27. Redskins [apologies if you're offended] (2-4; 27) - Bravehearts?

28. Raiders (2-4; 28) - Play Steelers in a matchup that was big 35 years ago.

29. Steelers (2-4; 29) - Statline of the week via ESPN: Steelers haven�t won in Oakland since 1995 and haven't won in California since 2005.

30. Bucs (0-7; 30) - Continue push to get the 1976 Bucs off the hook.

31. Giants (1-6; 31) - Giants and Jets won in the same week for the first time since 300 B.C.

32. Jaguars (0-7; 32) - Florida's three NFL teams are a combined 3-18 this season and Florida State could probably beat two of them.

Don't forget to visit our Obnoxious Boston Fan blog. As always, let us know what you think. Post your thoughts here, on our Obnoxious Boston Fan Facebook page, on Twitter @realOBF or e-mail me at obnoxiousbostonfan@hotmail.com.

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