Walter - I feel your pain re SD; they have had a huge injury list! I thing I note - doing analysis for AFL Australian football - is that teams with a huge injury list often underperform when they begin to get players back from injury; this is often because the injured players return a week too early and fail to fire (or get re-injured); also the players who have been carrying the extra load for them tend to relax that week; the trend in the AFL is that these teams generally miss the spread (often by a lot) as the year goes on - but they sometimes have 1 (maybe 2) unexpected wins against unwary middle to lower ranked teams. They may fire against JAX this week, but I would like a SD expert to tell us if the recently returned players are likely to improve.
Speaking of injuries - these are good reasons for being confident on TB and DEN this week. Harry Young, Melbourne
The premise: Coming off a Super Bowl victory, the Patriots open the 2013 season with a blowout win. Unfortunately, they get into trouble for Spygate II. As punishment, Roger Goodell orders the Patriots to fire Bill Belichick and replace him with Emmitt Smith.
This is a weekly feature that will take a newspaper reporter's perspective and follow the 2013 New England Patriots as they traverse the 2013 NFL season under Emmitt's guidance. This page will be updated every Thursday during the real 2008 NFL season.
Emmitt Smith name head coach of the New England Patriots in 2013!
PATRIOTS-LIONS GAME MOVED TO...?
By Steve Sanders, Boston Beat Senior Writer Friday, Sept. 27, 2013
Patriots practice was canceled Thursday. The weather wasn't the culprit. Emmitt didn't give the team the day off. And no, Bob Kraft did not schedule one of his Roast Beef Sandwich conventions at Gillette Stadium.
As the players and coaching staff arrived at the field, they found thousands of beer cans, several piles of vomit and a Chad Pennington blowup doll scattered across the grass. Laveranues Coles was nowhere to be found.
Defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel, anxious that his secret stash of Oreos may have been eaten, hurried up to his office. The Oreos were safe, but Crennel found new starting quarterback Anthony Morelli passed out on his desk. Morelli was too drunk and disoriented to answer questions, but he was heard continuously whimpering, "I no win beer pong! I no win beer pong!"
Upon hearing this, Roger Goodell fined the Patriots $500 million and announced that the Lions would decide where this game would be played.
That would mean Ford Field, right? Well, Lions general manager Matt Millen had something else in mind. Millen announced that with William Clay Ford's approval, this would be the first game in NFL history to be played online.
"Only a true football genius would come up with this, and that genius was me," Millen boasted. "I'm pleased to be the man behind the scheme to bring a whole, new futuristic experience to our fans."
As you may remember, Millen was fired in September 2008, but was rehired a few months prior to the 2009 season. William Clay Ford, known by many as the Emperor, offered a brief statement three years ago for that decision.
"The fans are too happy ts-ts-ts-ts-ts," Clay Ford said. "With Matt Millen, they will be miserable again, and my apprentice son Billy and I will be able to continue our reign as rules of the Motor City ts-ts-ts-ts-ts."
So, if this game is online, how will Detroit fans buy tickets, and where will they sit?
"We haven't ironed out all the details yet, but believe me, everything will be taken care of," Millen stated. "When have I ever not come through? All the great players that I've drafted - my record speaks for itself."
But how will the players get online? It's not like there's some magic machine that allows people to enter the Internet. Or is there?
"You guys are asking way too many questions that I know the answers to," Millen declared. "Look, when you're a football genius like me, explanations aren't needed. The Emperor and I will figure things out. We always do. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to scout an athletic receiver with a really, really fast 40."
Unlike Millen, Emmitt was less enthused with playing Sunday's game on the Web.
"I do not understand these," Emmitt said. "If I cannot logged on to the American On The Line, how can I show up to coach the New Zealand Patriots football team?"
Patriot fans are hoping Emmitt will figure out how to get to the game. At 2-0, he's undefeated as New England's new head coach.
LIONS FORFEIT GAME AMID INTERNET PROBLEMS
By Steve Sanders, Boston Beat Senior Writer Monday, Sept. 30, 2013
Football fans everywhere were curious to see how the first Internet game in NFL history would play out. Well, they'll have to wait a bit longer.
Hundreds of thousands of disgruntled Detroit fans logged on to the team's Web site Sunday morning, causing the site to crash. Millen called the hosting company and asked for more bandwith. Unfortunately, owner William Clay Ford refused to pay for the bandwith required to host an NFL game on the Web. Roger Goodell announced that the Lions would have to forfeit the game.
"I can't believe how dumb these idiots are," Goodell said. "How people still cheer for this team, I have no idea. But when I took over as commissioner of the NFL, I never imagined I'd have to deal with such stupid people."
While Millen, angry that his plan blew up in his face, refused to address the media, William Clay Ford had an important announcement for the fans.
"With another loss, this is a great time for ticket prices to increase ts-ts-ts-ts-ts!" Clay Ford announced. "And if you cancel your season tickets, my apprentice will eliminate you ts-ts-ts-ts-ts."
The faux victory improves New England's record to 4-0. The Patriots host the 4-0 Chiefs next week. Emmitt was optimistic about his team's chances to claim its fifth victory.
"Now that we do not have to go on America On The Lines, I am confidence we can win the ball game on the field... s," Emmitt said. "The Chiefs are a good ball club because they can throw the ball and run the ball. They also play defense. We need to score more points than the Lions to uh... uh... not lose but the other thing.
"Anthony More... Marli... Manni... Morgan is doing a good job reading the playbook and learning the plays," Emmitt continued. "If his girlfriend do not have to go to a job interview next Sunday, she can explain him the plays and make sure we throw the football good against the Lions."
Meanwhile, when Bob Kraft was interviewed during his fourth lunch at Arby's on Sunday afternoon, he stated that he would hire security guards to patrol Gillette Stadium at night, so there won't be any more after-hour parties.
"These damn fines Goodell is handing out are taking away from my Arby's fund," Kraft moaned. "With less money in my pocket, I won't have as many sandwich points. And less sandwich points means a sad Bobby Kraft."
I'm not sure if anyone really knows what a sandwich point is, but I can imagine a 5-0 start to this season would taste pretty good to Kraft and his fans.