Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Bob Lobel: The Yearly Drama of Brady vs Manning

By Bob Lobel (@boblobel)

It’s become clear from the comments on the poll that no NFL teams ever run up the score.

College, yes. High school, all the time. 

The next question that begs an answer would be where Joe Maddon goes next year? Or, will he ever manage the Boston Red Sox. I say he does manage the Boston Red Sox if he sits out a year and the team tanks under John Farrell this coming season.  

At the moment that is all possible. Does it guarantee that wherever Maddon goes there is a World Series championship that goes with him? Probably not, but he would be a lot of fun to have around. 

That will probably be next week’s poll question: Would you hire Joe Maddon right now to manage the Red Sox? 

Not “would he come here” or “would they fire Farrell to get him,” but would you, if you could, replace Farrell with Maddon THIS YEAR?

This week there is one thing that will dominate the sports landscape. 

BRADY/MANNING…PATRIOTS/BRONCOS.  SUNDAY, GILLETTE, 4:30.  Besides the continuation of what seems like a yearly drama, this game has a lot on the line for so early in the season.  Playoff tiebreakers that will impact the AFC championship home field are almost bigger than the Super Bowl. Getting there is where the action is, being there is old news.

I called on my special research assistant, Andy Dougherty of NBC in Stamford, Connecticut, who is  the next big thing in sports production, to examine this coming Sunday. 

Here is what he says about it all:

“Denver has the best winning percentage in the NFL since acquiring Peyton Manning (82%) while New England is second at 75% (Seattle is third at 72%). Including the playoffs, Denver and New England have been 4th and 5th in the NFL behind Seattle, San Francisco and Baltimore. 

According to “Pro-Football Reference,” Denver has been by far the best team in the NFL this year, while New England has been the 6th best.  So, by all measures, the Broncos are the favorites, but the Patriots are within striking distance. 

Some things on the Patriots side are that they have allowed the 2nd fewest passing yards per game in the NFL this season (211) and they are playing at home, where they have not lost since the 2012 season.

Brady is 10-5 career head-to-head vs Manning and 6-2 at home.”  

Thank you Andy Dougherty for just about nailing it, however we all know that there is a reason they play the game and just don’t mail it in.  This is one of those events that probably won’t live up to the hype, but at this time of the week, hype is where it’s at.  

I realize that when the Celtics open their season this week, the availability of Rajon Rondo has been causing some sleepless nights throughout the region.  By the way, did they decide to shorten the games or just the people playing it?  It’s so confusing just trying to keep up.  

Clearly the remedy for that is to focus on Sunday and Sunday alone. Everything else will fall into place. Oh, one more little thing… Why were people calling for Roger Goodell to resign?  Wow, it’s amazing what we allow ourselves to forget when it’s so unpleasant to remember. 

But, when those “no more” spots come on during the games, credit has to go to the production and the airing, so we can’t absolutely forget what would be so easy to do.

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