Kirk, Gerry and Sean discussed the Pats dominating win over the Texans and Phil Simms made a fool of himself.

When a Patriots QB falls, another rises #CircleOfLife

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Things to consider while wondering if this might be the right time to make up some silicone bracelets that say PRAY4ROGER:

— This is why we do it. New Englanders’ love for Bill Belichick baffles all the haters, anti-Patriots jihadists, Spygate alarmists, media bomb tossers, Deflategate Truthers, press conference victims of passive/aggresiveness and other assorted zealots obsessed with headsets, bugged locker rooms and Nazis behind the woodpile. But games like this are exactly why every Patriots fan would jump in front of a speeding T bus if it would save the life of His Hoodedness.

— The Patriots just went into a game with a third-string rookie quarterback — the “Designated Survivor” now made Commander in Chief of the offense — with no backup QB on the roster for the first time in NFL history, with Rob Gronkowski as healthy as Hillary Clinton, and put a 27-0 beatdown on a 2-0 team with elite players on both sides of the ball. They did it because the man at the top doesn’t panic, doesn’t waver in the moment. He keeps his focus, evaluates the situation calmly and finds a way to thrive. The same sportswriter fossils who bitch and snipe at his every move have nothing but contempt for the way their audience embraces him. But this game was as good an example as you’ll ever find as to why we do it.

— But that won’t stop the great unwashed media hordes from trying to play this down like it’s no big thing. They’ll spin it like the Texans are “tomato cans” along the lines of the 2008 Detroit Lions. But they know what we all know. That the last time the leader of a group pulled off something this impressive, loaves were turned into fishes and water into wine.

— Of course, Patriots wins are always more enjoyable when there’s some good, solid revenge involved. It was 10-0 in the second quarter when CBS cut away to Bob McNair, the lucky spermer Texans owner who said during Deflategate, “J.J. Watt wouldn’t have destroyed his phone.” So knowing he sat their while the Pats dismantled his bastion-of-integrity team made it even better. Like it was a good round of hate sex.

— Just on an emotional level, it means everything to me that while TV is desecrating my beloved ’80s icons like “MacGyver” and “Lethal Weapon,” Bill Belichick is successfully rebooting my other beloved ’80s icons, like the power run game, the quarterback option, the jet sweep, the end around and the naked bootleg.

— You cannot say enough good things about the offensive line. Nate Solder continues to be a force field on the outside. Like I said on the air yesterday, save for Logan Mankins, the Patriots haven’t had a guard better at getting out in front on a pull block than Joe Thuney. Marcus Cannon got the better of Watt, Whitney Mercilus and occasionally Jadaveon Clowney. They might as well put Dante Scarnecchia’s “Employee of the Month” picture up now and give him the restaurant gift card that comes with it.

— Case in point, the Jacoby Brissett touchdown run. The Pats lined up in gun trips left with LeGarrette Blount in the sort of H-back spot behind Cannon. Before the snap, Houston adjusted out of a 3-4 to a 4-3, with Benardrick McKinney coming down to left outside linebacker with Mercilus sliding inside. Shaq Mason threw a great pull block on McKinney, Cannon sealed off Mercilus and Watt came in through the back side of the play to catch nothing but air. Meanwhile, Malcolm Mitchell ran Jonathan Joseph off all the way to the end zone before he even had to block him. Which he did. Brilliant play call against that defensive front and perfect execution.

— Then there was Blount’s touchdown for the final score. The Pats were in 21 personnel, I-formation and strong side right. Solder kicked the end Brennan Scarlett out past the beer stand and Thuney put saw horses in front of Clowney. On the second level, Julian Edelman got all up in Quintin Demps’ grillmix and James Develin took out Andre Hal. That left one man to beat, and Blount slipped through McKinney for the demoralizing touchdown.

— Now we just have to wait for the Fun Police in the league office to decide Blount posing with the Militia constitutes excessive celebration, a choreographed dance, use of a prop or some type of microaggression and they start flagging it.

— I confess to hating myself for going this long without even mentioning the defense the morning after a shutout. But I’ll find it in my heart to forgive me, since there’s just so much win here and so little time.

— The Patriots’ game plan seemed to want to take away the home run ball and defy the Texans to beat them with intermediate routes and sustained drives. God knows those words strike terror into the heart of any Patriots fan who remembers the “Bend but don’t break” 2012 team and all those times its marketing slogan should have been “Where mediocre quarterbacks’ incentive bonuses happen.” Or hell, who even remember the second half last week. But this game, it was different.

— Yes, the Pats goaded the Texans into going for the checkdowns and 12- to 15-yard throws. The difference is, this time they didn’t concede them. The Pats corners played tight trail technique, fought for virtually every throw and made Houston work for the ones they didn’t stop.

— Logan Ryan is getting every teams’ No. 1 receiver for the most part, and Thursday night the file in the dossier he was handed was marked “DeAndre Hopkins.” Ryan held him in check with sweet plays like the pass defensed on first-and-10 in the second. That set of downs ended when Pat Chung broke up Ryan Griffin to force a punt.

— But the best pass defensed the whole night was Malcolm Butler fighting through a pick to break up Will Fuller. The play was like watching a battle being reenacted by a bunch of costumed history buffs. (Looking at you, Militia.) The Battle of Malcolm, go! Only this time Butler was playing himself. When will these offensive coordinators ever learn.

— I’d forgotten how mesmerizing Bill O’Brien’s chin dimple is. I love hearing the guy speak, but every time he does I get lost in that thing. It forms a perfect triangle. And I can’t help but think of Tony Stark’s reconfigured Arc Reactor from “Iron Man 2.”

— The problem with playing base cover-2 like the Pats did here is that it leaves you vulnerable to the run. It’s basic math. The line has eight gaps, and with deep safeties and two corners you’ve left yourself with seven guys to fill them. What they seemed to do really well in this game was have Chung move around the box in the “robber” role. One play in particular stood out where he came off the edge of an eight-man box on first-and-10 and made the tackle for a loss. The rest of the time, my guess is they had one of their big war daddies like Malcom Brown or Alan Branch two-gap. But given the hour of the game and the beer goggles through which I was watching it, I’m just spitballing.

— Jamie Collins was a filthy animal. And I mean that in the good way, not the condescending, wiseassy, Kevin McAllister way. He had another interception, obviously. Made a lot of tackles after the catch as Brock Osweiler was forced to go to his checkdowns. But the best play of all was the third-and-4 when he read the swing pass to Jonathan Grimes, flew in like a rocket-propelled grenade and made the tackle behind the line. I thought he looked completely overmatched last week. I’m glad to be wrong.

— Between Charles James II and Will Fuller V, the Texans lead the NFL in “Most names that sound like ‘Jeopardy’ answers under ‘British Monarchs.’ ”

— You know it’s a great night when you barely notice Phil Simms. Sure he had his Simmsian moments. Like when he tried to make the case the Texans had plenty of time and three timeouts, when they were down 20 points with two timeouts. Then there was Brissett chucking the ball 50 feet over Gronk’s head in the end zone and he said, “I don’t blame the quarterback.” Not to mention the obligatory “We talked abouts” and so on. But not even that empty-headed hayseed could harsh my mellow.

— This week’s Applicable Movie Quote: “The distance between insanity and genius is measured only by success.” — Elliot Carver, “Tomorrow Never Dies”

— I’ve waited this long to get too deep into Jacoby Brissett because he wasn’t really the story. Which demonstrates the brilliance of Josh McDaniels and the infinite possibilities of the McOffense. The way it can form a symbiotic relationship with the guy running it and go from wide-open spread to old-school power run to gadget plays and everything in between based on his set of skills. But the kid was poised, confident and never anything less than completely in charge. If they swing a deal to get value for Jimmy Garoppolo in the offseason, I will have zero problems with having a second-year Brissett as the backup.

— Finally, there’s a great historical allegory to make about a coach having the balls to go into a game with one quarterback, a rookie, on his entire roster. Something no other coach would ever be willing to do. After Alexander the Great kicked Persian ass at the Battle of Issus, Persian king Darius offered him a deal if he’d promise to go away and not conquer the entire empire. One of the generals, Parmenion, said, “If I were Alexander, I would accept what was offered and make a treaty.” To which Alexander replied, “So would I … if I were Parmenion.” Great conquerers dare to do great conquerer things.

Jerry has a book! “From Darkness to Dynasty: The First 40 Years of the New England Patriots” has been called, “The perfect book for any reader who is a diehard Pats fan.” It’s available now online and at bookstores everywhere. Details and scheduled book signings are at

Blog Author: 
Jerry Thornton

On a glorious day to be a Patriots fan, Sean Salisbury took a seat on the casting couch to talk about the Patriots’ 27-0 blow out win over the Texans.

Salisbury, a former quarterback, had a career QB rating of 72.9, which, coincidentally, was Brissett’s QB rating last night. Despite the fact the Patriots played with their backup backup quarterback, Salisbury thinks the Texans were intimidated going into the game.

Salisbury was a great guest host. He was wide awake for all four hours, he was informed, involved and was willing to talk about anything. He even got the full hosting experience when Albert from Rhode Island told him to shut up.

Salisbury, who does radio in Houston, has had an interesting media career. He was on BattleBots, taught the great Adam Sandler quarterback mechanics for The Longest Yard and was the center of a “pecker pic” controversy when he was at ESPN. But he said his situation was not as bad as Anthony Weiner’s because Salisbury’s pictures stayed on his phone. But also Schlong Salisbury did not show the pictures to any underage women and his children weren’t in them. So yes, not as bad. Creepy as hell, but not as bad.

Unfortunately, he did not roll out his fire hose for Kirk and Gerry.

Anyway, Bart Hubbuch is back.

In his own way, the King of the Trolls congratulated the Patriots on their win:

Michael Lombardi made his weekly appearance at 8:30 to discuss Thursday’s game and said Bill Belichick was “not even remotely close” to testing Garoppolo’s toughness by pressuring him to play through his injury. He also said the best place to see a Springsteen show is in Milan. Finally, here is the most Belichickian middle finger to the league outfit possibly ever:

Happy Birthday, Bruce Springsteen.

Line of the day: Salisbury, on his penis: “Maybe I should cast it and they can sell it in sex stores.”

Caller of the day: Troy Moody, is kind of a big deal because his nickname was Troy Flutie when he was a quarterback in high school and still talks about it 40 years later.

Producer contribution of the day: Ken does a great job with the trending.

Blog Author: 
Lucy Burdge

Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Red Sox at Rays, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Cardinals at Cubs, 2:20 p.m. (ESPN)
MLB: Yankees at Blue Jays 7:07 p.m. (ESPN2)
MLB: Giants at Padres, 10:30 p.m. (MLB)
College football: Wyoming at Eastern Michigan, 7:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
College football: TCU at SMU, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: USC at Utah, 9 p.m. (FS1)
Soccer: Bundesliga, SC Freiburg at Borussia Dortmund, 2:20 p.m. (FS1)


— Sunday’s game in Charlotte, North Carolina, between the Panthers and Vikings remains on as scheduled, despite a state of emergency in the city due to protests over a police shooting earlier in the week.

Panthers president Danny Morrison said in a statement that the team has been in contact with local authorities and the league, noting: “We are continuing to monitor events as we prepare for Sunday’s home game.”

Players interviewed Thursday showed support for playing the contest despite the violence that has gripped the city.

“If you take this game away I think it is going to just continue to add to the stress and add to what is already going on in a negative way,” Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis said.

However, there was concern among players.

“My wife usually takes the kids uptown and they tailgate with family and friends, but we said maybe this week we should just come to the game, park in our lot and go up to your seats and get settled in,” Panthers tight end Greg Olsen said. “Is it worth moseying around in a town that is in such a heightened state of chaos?”

Panthers safety Tre Boston said he is considering joining Colin Kaepernick’s national anthem protest, but he plans to do more research before coming to a decision.

“You have to find a way you are not disrespecting people and that everybody understands where we are coming from, but at the same time you want to get your message across,” Boston said. “And sometimes it can feel disrespectful when you send your message across and somebody doesn’t believe in it. We’ll see.”

— Mariners catcher Steve Clevenger apologized Thursday after sending out tweets critical of protesters in Charlotte and President Barack Obama, including one that read, “Everyone involved should be locked behind bars like animals.”

“I am sickened by the idea that anyone would think of me in racist terms,” Clevenger said in a statement. “My tweets were reactionary to the events I saw on the news and were worded beyond poorly at best and I can see how and why someone could read into my tweets far more deeply than how I actually feel.”

Mariners general manager Jerry DiPoto said in a statement that the team is “very disappointed,” adding: “His tweets do not in any way represent the opinions of the Seattle Mariners. We strongly disagree with the language and tone of his comments.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Sept. 23, 1969, Dick Williams was dismissed as Red Sox manager. Who replaced him for the remainder of the season?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “It was crazy. It was awesome. Definitely great to see all the players just run up to you. I got a headache from all the head bobbing and head bumping. But it was definitely worth it.” — Patriots quarterback Jacoby Brissett, on his first-quarter touchdown during Thursday’s 27-0 victory over the Texans

STAT OF THE DAY: 5 — The Red Sox’ magic number to clinch the AL East, after Thursday’s 5-3 victory over the Orioles gave them eight straight wins

‘NET RESULTS: The Mets tie the Phillies with a two-run home run in the ninth inning and, after falling behind again by two runs in the 11th, win it on Asdrubal Cabrera’s walk-off three-run homer.

Dodgers second baseman Chase Utley fumbles a grounder but recovers with a behind-the-back flip to first base for the out against the Rockies.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Eddie Popowski

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Bruce Springsteen was born on this day in 1949.

Blog Author: 
Jerry Spar
We check in with SI/MMQB's senior football writer Peter King. We talk Patriots/Texans, the value of Jimmy G, and the fledgling Buffalo Bills.
We check in with SI/MMQB's senior football writer Peter King. We talk Patriots/Texans, the value of Jimmy G, and the fledgling Buffalo Bills.

[0:00:50] ... much experience playing. And had high value I don't know how much Matt Hasselbeck played before Michael gripped threaten traitor war. But I've asked you all that to get to this what's the value of shouldn't ...
[0:02:25] ... guy on the market valued more highly than all of a sudden Chicago Bears. Might not offer a one for dropped well they might off one something Sam Bradford. And offer to an up or forgive ...
[0:03:39] ... you know what quite frankly I would do. But it all. That Bill Belichick. It's probably confident that when the original medical results came back Sunday night slash Monday. Obviously there's no break. And the sprain ...
[0:05:07] ... still think that. That's gonna go down and see you know when Bill Belichick retires we. You know we I just think that that that's gonna go down as one of his biggest win. And it ...

We close out the show with the best sound bites from throughout the day.
We close out the show with the best sound bites from throughout the day.

[0:01:09] ... spending the last twelve years I'm like come up hanging out with George Clooney and Matt Damon instead of being stuck in the house with 85 kids became their. Oh yeah and indignant at and it's. Paul let's see ...
[0:07:21] ... the Sox dugout last night you probably saw this it appeared that David Ortiz. Sort of very gleefully past guests and it with a towel flawless teammates getting joint. There was even a brief mention of it during sports editors highlight package Red Sox visiting the Orioles and David Ortiz appears that perhaps some gas in the dugout. Yeah whoever is melted down did. Bill passed some gas in the dugout I'm ...
[0:08:14] ... this time. Andrew Bennett attendee got to feature rolled busting out some Michael Jackson esque dance moves. Today get Levitt tarred and his radio crew wondered why other teams are standing for this showboating. Throw a baseball on any of the Red Sox they're out there in the outfield dancing around after victories like why isn't that showing the opponent up after you've beaten them. That the game is over in your dance around and you're doing one of the guys did Michael Jackson yesterday in the app on certain someone well before the season. I'm just curious why is that is it because the games ...
[0:09:08] ... won last night and a guy in the outfield was pantomime in Michael Jackson. Okay and play again tonight against the same team the Orioles and I guarantee you someone's got a good. And there is ...

Inspired by tonight's showdown against the Texans, we look at four other times the Pats took them on, and the unique circumstances around each game...