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 2013-14 New England Patriots as they traverse the 2013 and 2014 NFL seasons under Emmitt's guidance. This page will be updated every Friday during the real 2009 NFL season.
Emmitt Smith name head coach of the New England Patriots on 2014!
THANKSGIVING GAME RECAPS
By Alex Rodriguez, Special to the NFL Bible Network Friday, Nov. 28, 2014
LIONS LOSE YET ANOTHER THANKSGIVING GAME
Just another pitiful year for the Detroit Lions. The Green Bay Packers once again obliterated Detroit on Thanksgiving, winning 42-10.
"We tried our hardest, but just came up a bit short," head coach Jim Schwartz said. "We'll do better next time."
A few Lions definitely gave it their all, but it wasn't by choice. Schwartz apparently forced Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson to play despite knee injuries.
"I don't think I'll ever be able to walk again," Johnson said. "A week off would have really helped me, but playing in this game set my knees back three years. But I guess I'll just have to suit up next week as well."
Following a 15-yard reception in the second quarter, Johnson couldn't get up off the turf. Instead of sending the team doctors on to the field, Schwartz grabbed his whip and lashed Johnson's injured knee repeatedly until his star wideout got up. Johnson had to reenter the game one play later.
Meanwhile, Stafford took a jarring hit from Clay Matthews in the third quarter. Two of Stafford's fingers fell off during the sack. He tried to leave the game, but Schwartz raised his whip to indicate what sort of punishment his quarterback would receive for missing a play. Stafford made up his mind and took the next snap. He was sacked again.
"We love our coach, but he's very demanding," Stafford said afterward. "We know we have to play no matter what sort of injuries we have, or we'll get whipped like crazy."
Schwartz didn't address Stafford's comments, but was quick to praise left tackle Jeff Backus, who was responsible for 10 of Matthews' sacks today.
"Jeff's doing a great job," Schwartz said. "He has allowed only 117.5 sacks this year, but I'd rank him among the upper echelon of left tackles in the NFL."
And that's exactly why the Lions are doomed to suffer their 14th consecutive losing season.
ROMO CHOKES AWAY ANOTHER BIG GAME
Everyone thought it was going to be different this year.
Throughout the week, all the talk surrounded how much Tony Romo has matured this year. Romo had vowed not to see any more busty blondes until the season was over, and he told the media that he was relieved that Roy Williams, Marion Barber and DeMarcus Ware were off the team so they couldn't steal his glory.
"Man, it was tough to win with those guys," Romo coolly told the media. "I don't play well when someone steals my thunder. First it was T.O., then it was Roy, then it was Marion, and last year it was DeMarcus. It's going to be different this time."
In a battle for first place in the NFC, the 9-2 Cowboys established a 34-10 lead over the 49ers. However, moments later, Mike Singletary used his psychic powers to give San Francisco a 35-34 advantage.
Charged with assembling a game-winning drive with two minutes left, Romo heaved a poorly thrown Hail Mary on 3rd-and-1. Instead of sailing toward the end zone, the ball fluttered to the 50-yard line, where a 49er defensive back intercepted it.
"I really thought that was fourth down," Romo revealed. "I guess I should have been paying attention to the game, but I was distracted because I have a date tonight! I know I usually date chicks in December, but this one's different."
TMZ reports that Romo met Dakota Fanning (now 20 years old) prior to this game, and the two hit it off.
"I only wish I met her last week, so I could have taken her to Eric Mangini's birthday party," Romo said. "But I feel like we have a lot of chemistry. We've only known each other for a few hours, but guys, I think she's the one. Screw football, I love Dakota!"
PATRIOTS IMPROVE TO 12-0
When any team makes an undefeated run, there is always a game where you luck into a victory. The Patriots escaped the clutches of the Baltimore Ravens on a Monday night back in 2007. Two years later, the Saints needed help from the officials to vanquish the Dolphins. If the Patriots finish 16-0, we'll be able to put this contest into that pantheon.
The 5-6 Carolina Panthers, who were massive road underdogs in this contest, inexplicably established a 20-0 lead. Anthony Morelli was a mess, going just 2-of-19 for -3 yards and five interceptions.
"Eh yo, ball I throw one way, and ball go the other way, eh yo!" Morelli told Suzy Kolber prior to halftime. Apparently, Morelli had way too much to drink during Thanksgiving dinner. After the conversation was over, Kolber looked relieved that Morelli didn't try to kiss her.
The Panthers opened up with another touchdown drive in the third quarter. As the Gillette crowd was booing its team for the first time all season, Jake Delhomme received a call on the sidelines. Delhomme, who was giddy after throwing the touchdown, suddenly looked disturbed. His eyes scanned the stands, and for a second, it looked like he was going to break down and cry.
After a Patriots punt - all three of Morelli's passes were fired into the opposing bench - a sullen Delhomme took the field. He dropped back for his first pass and heaved it toward Patriots corner Darius Butler, who returned it for a touchdown.
"Dag nabbit," Delhomme yelled, looking to draw attention from his teammates.
On his next possession, Delhomme's pass went directly to another New England defensive back, who scored to make the game 27-14.
The next drive featured yet another pick-six. Delhomme waited until a teammate looked at him until he started slapping his helmet with his hands.
Suddenly down six, Delhomme promised each Panther that he'd take care of the ball. Instead, it seemed like he handed the ball off to Patriots nose tackle Vince Wilfork, who rumbled in for yet another score.
Though the Patriots had the lead, Delhomme kept turning the ball over. The game ended 42-27, with the Patriots barely covering the 14-point spread.
"Dag gubbit, I just don't know what happened there," Delhomme said. "I'll try to do better next time."
Delhomme says he doesn't know what happened, but we do. We were able to lip read what Delhomme said while on the phone in the third quarter:
"I don't know who you are. I don't know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you that I only made $10 million this year. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long mediocre career committing turnovers, skills that make me a nightmare for Panthers bettors. If you let my son go now, that will be the end of it. I will not look for you. I will not pursue you. But if you don't, I will look for you. And if I don't find you, I will throw interceptions. I will fumble the ball. And I will make sure the Patriots cover this football game."
Asked about this, John Fox denied that Delhomme's performance had anything to do with his kidnapped son.
"Jake is playing well right now, and he's our best option," Fox declared. "We don't know anything about Jake Jr. All I can tell you is that he's not locked up in my basement, and we're not continuously renting children's movies so he doesn't cry and alert the neighbors. Oh no, that's definitely not happening. I would never kidnap my quarterback's son and then extort him into throwing games so I can bet against my own team. That's just ridiculous."
Emmitt, meanwhile, ignored the Delhomme-Fox controversy and concentrated on the victory.
"We have won the game fair and... uhh... the shape that have four equal side and four right angle, I can't remember the name," Emmitt said. "We are very undefeated right now. We won our 12th game. Before this win, we have 11 wins, and now we have 12. If we win next week, we will have... uhh... the number that have one more value than 12."