Before we get in to the Monday Night Football game, I’d first like to give a huge congrats to Cincinnati Reds first baseman Toronto born Joey Votto. Votto in his third season really took off this year hitting .324 (2nd in the NL) with 37 HR (3rd in the NL) and 113 RBI (3rd in the NL) in 150 games, that’s one hell of a season. It’s very possible Votto could have surpassed these numbers last year but concussion issues caused him to miss 31 games in 2009, despite that he still had 25 HRs and 86 RBIs.
The most significant part of all this is Votto helped his Reds win the Central division and earned its first playoff appearance in 15 seasons. The 27 year old is a serious contender for MVP is line for a serious pay increase when he and the Reds hit aberration this winter. Votto only made $550k this season making him on of the best bargains in baseball, expect the Reds to offer Votto and long term deal which will probably make him the highest paid Canadian athlete outside of the NHL.
New England Patriots (2-1,0-1 away) vs Miami Dolphins (2-1,0-1 home) Sun Life Stadium on TSN, 8:30 PM ET
Line: NWE by 2
Reason to watch: The Patriots are coming off an unimpressive win, while the Dolphins showed real grit in a loss during week three. The Dolphins played well in their 31-23 loss on SNF, Miami’s offense had possession of the ball for 33 minutes of the game amounting in 436 yards of offense, while QB Chad Henne threw for a career high 363 yards. After watching the Jets smack around the Bills yesterday like Ike did Tina (too soon?) New York looks like their top dog in a tough AFC East.
Watching Henne after the last year and bit in the NFL (and four interesting years at Michigan), Henne still baffles me how he can’t put it all together. There’s too many times during the game his short passes will be batted down at the line, or he’ll just make the easy pass and set up his receiver to get laid out. Look for Pats defenders to bat down 2-3 passes that good quarterbacks just won’t happen too.
Expect WR Brandon Marshall to have a HUGE game against a Patriots secondary thats in shambles right now. Marshall will be lining up across either un-drafted rookie CB Kyle Arrington (Hosfta, I thought they cancelled their football program) or 1st round pick CB Devin McCourty (Rutgers). If you have Marshall in Fantasy Football, your one lucky S.O.B.
New England looked very average last week against the Bills and never developed any kind of rhythm versus one of the worst teams in the league. While the passing game remains a strength (Brady threw for 252 YDS and 3 TDs) and the running game remains questionable with RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis (Attorneys of Law) ran for 98 YDS and a TD last week, going up against a stout Miami defense.
Coach Bill Belichick has his work cut out for him on defense and special teams. With arguably his least talented squad in years, the Bills cut up the Pats D for 374 YDS with 247 threw the air (QB Ryan Fitzpatrick was 20 for 28 in the game) and 100 yards on the ground. 100 yards rushing doesn’t sound bad but when it’s one of the worst offense lines in the football and held the Pats D to one sack there is cause for concern.
Got to like the Dolphins at home as the underdog in a Division game, or thats my two cents.