On Musket Fire, I will be doing a new feature that might be a daily thing where I take a look at a few links of note from around the web relating to the New England Patriots, an opponent, or the AFC East as a whole and giving my take on that article. The content used will be tweets, posts, and possibly videos from the day before and the morning of the “Quick-Hit” piece. If anyone has a catchy nickname that they would like to suggest, then I would love to hear from you.
1. Nick Scurfield tweeted that Wade Phillips said, “He’s had the absolute best year any defensive lineman has ever had”, with regards to J.J. Watt‘s ridiculous 2012 season. He recorded 23 sacks, 45 quarterback hits, 41 tackles for loss, and received a grade over 100 (!) from the Pro Football Focus. That’s a ridiculous season indeed, and those numbers are even more impressive when you take into account the fact that he is an interior defensive lineman as a 4-3 DE. That’s just insane.
2. Owen Daniels was once again limited in practice with a minor shoulder injury that he suffered in last week’s big game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Daniels was on a tear, but and he will need to carry that momentum against the New England Patriots. The last time these two teams played, Daniels was pretty much shut down. He will most likely be playing on Sunday, and Garrett Graham (who didn’t play in the first Patriots-Texans meeting) will also play at the tight end position. Alan Ball and Mike Newton missed the Week 14 blowout loss, but those two Texans are also expected to play despite being limited in practice.
3. I saw this piece by a writer on Football Nation that gives an argument for the New England Patriots signing Tim Tebow in the offseason. He brings up the point that Josh McDaniels drafted him for the Denver Broncos, but I could never see this happening. Ever. I’m not going to go as far to say that it’s crazy to suggest it because the piece had some well-reasoned arguments, but I completely disagree with the Pats ever needing or finding a use for Tebow. Let’s just stick with Tom Brady (and Ryan Mallett), shall we?
4. So everyone selected the New England Patriots over the Houston Texans in ESPN Boston’s picks piece. Well, everyone except insider Adam Schefter, and the site also notes that he went 4-0 last week. That’s not the most impressive feat in the world, however, because all the favorites won in the Wild Card round. I’m sure he’ll be getting a notch in the loss column.
5. Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald wrote that all the injury news is the same as usual, and it’s no surprise since it’s the Patriots. Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez, Wes Welker, and Brandon Lloyd were all limited practice, just as they have been all season. It feels great to be a Pats fan, because Bill Belichick knows better than anyone that rest is more important for a star player than a few more reps at this stage.