By Fergus Head.
The best week of the football season is finally here, so I thought while I’m stuck at home recovering from surgery that has left my face looking rather like a Megabus has smashed into it at 50mph, I might as well give the games a look and a prediction.
Colts vs. Chiefs, Luck vs. Mahomes. What an absolute treat with two quarterbacks at the peak of their game. The Colts looked mighty in the first half against the Texans, and had they shown that same edge a bit more in the second half I would have found it harder to pick against them, but they almost appeared to run out of ideas, which was hidden by how weak Houston were in capitalising on this stagnancy later in the game. The defense was heroic against All-pro receiver DeAndre Hopkins and sophomore phenom Deshaun Watson, but they have to deal with that all over again this week, on steroids.
Tyreek Hill pairs up with Travis Kelce to create one of the most dangerous pass catching pairings in the NFL, with a quarterback who this year became only the second in history to record 50 TDs and 5000 yards passing in a season. If the Colts want to win this game, which they definitely can (anything is winnable when Andrew Luck is your QB) it will come from continued inspired offensive play, not just one half of it. Let’s not forget Andy Reid’s unbelievable record after a bye. That extra time to prepare will have given the offense the recuperation time it needed, alongside an extra week of creativeness. Expect to see more of those easy chunk plays from earlier in the season, alongside a rejuvenated run game boosted by a loud Arrowhead stadium.
Darius Leonard will be crucial to the Colt’s chances, because if the Chiefs can run the ball too, they will be impossible to handle, and the game will be put to bed with ease. The only chance at stopping the Chiefs offense is by relying on a front 4 that can crash the pocket and stop the run without much assistance, and a quick, intelligent spy to keep Mahomes flustered with nowhere to run. And even then some praying will be required (see 4th&9 vs Ravens) to stop Mahomes. But Leonard has proven with his speed and instincts that he can fit that spy role well.
On the flip side, the Colts have to replicate the running attack of the wild card round, and if they gain any form of lead, start pounding Mack early, as easy as it would be to keep throwing with Luck. If they can tire a sub-standard Chiefs defense and keep the KC offense off the field with smash-mouth running (no doubt headed by the Herculean Quenton Nelson), it will make the shoot out easier later on if Luck needs time in the pocket. Thankfully for Andy Reid, Mahomes’ ability to march the length of the field regardless of the time left on the clock eradicates some of the concerns over his time management skills (no doubt his weakest attribute as one of the premier coaches in the league) and though the Colts will be a plucky and worthy opponent throughout, I just think there is more to see from Kansas City in these playoffs than just another one and done.
Prediction: Colts 30-45 Chiefs
The ‘Boys have the best chance of all the underdogs to get it done this weekend in my opinion. They’ve proven their ability to not only come up clutch in a crucial situation, play physical and bruising football that can stymie any team in the NFL on their day, but also to beat the very best in the league with impeccable defensive efforts from their young-guns.
While it’s quarterback intrigue galore across the rest of the matchups, this game takes us into a time-warp back to an age where the focal points of offenses were those who can take the ball up the field on the ground, the prototype work-horse back. Elliott and Gurley represent two of the elite examples at their position, behind lines built for games such as this; hard nosed playoff football, ON GRASS. There will be plenty of examples of lost footing on the dewy ground in LA on a night such as this, and I expect the white of the Cowboy’s outfit to be muddied and stained by the end of the night, but not without reward. Of course, no analysis of the Rams can take place without observing the mighty Aaron Donald who poses the biggest challenge to an O-line that has suffered from some injury woes this season.
However, behind him there is little else to suggest that the Rams will shut down a Cowboys offense that has found its groove somewhat later this season, and if the run game isn’t all that it was expected to be, then look outside the numbers for the next man up. Amari Cooper has sparked brilliance in his oft-troubled quarterback since his arrival, and after a few quiet games where Dallas rested on its ground-pound attack to see out the season, Coop bounced back last week with a crucially dominant outing that kept the Seahawks defense scared deep and opened up the whole game plan. Both the previously lauded cornerbacks for the Rams have been liabilities at times this season, and if I were the Texas based outfit, I’d want to exploit that matchup with deep crossing routes from hard play-actions early on and try to jump to a lead early in order to force Jared Goff to drag his team back into it, as I don’t know if he’s capable of doing that.
Getting beaten this week would be an immeasurable blow to a Rams team that were unable to secure a playoff win last year being beaten by the Falcons in the Wild Card round at home. Earlier this season, a feisty Eagles team got the job done in the Coliseum too, and to call it any sort of fortress would be to forget the high-profile games that have been dropped too regularly by this Rams team in the last couple of years. Sean McVay has to find a way to beat the Cowboys to continue to be regarded as one of the brightest stars in this league, because the NFL moves so fast, it will be a long off-season if he can’t, and believe me, though I don’t think they should, questions will be asked. That said, despite my dislike of Jerry Jones and Jason Garrett, I’m a massive fan of the style of play that Dallas bring to the table, and to have them around would be refreshing in contrast to the rest of the teams left.
Prediction: Cowboys 21-17 Rams
This goes against everything I usually stand for in terms of betting against the Patriots, but watching the swarming front 7 pin Lamar Jackson in and hold him to 3 points for most of the game, I know for a fact that it won’t be easy for Tom Brady. I won’t go as far as saying he’s scared or worried, he’s the greatest competitor in sports history, but human instinct has to kick in as Melvin Ingram (who played out of his mind versus the aforementioned Jackson and the Ravens), Joey Bosa, Derwin James and the rest of the supporting cast announce their glee at a chance to get to Brady in such a big game. Not only that, but this has the feel of the year of Rivers. The other signal callers that entered the league with him and have so often stolen the spotlight have both underwhelmed, while Rivers has been inspired all year. If he’s going to win it all, it’s got to be soon, and it would be poetic if it happened in a year when Big Ben didn’t make the playoffs and Eli Manning’s viability as a starting QB was questioned for much of the season.
The biggest danger for the Chargers is this: we’ve seen over the past few seasons some of the weakest situational football on offer come from them, and if there is one matchup where that will hurt you more than ever, it’s against the genius of Belichick and Brady. Watch out Chargers fans; if they can’t stay disciplined, it’ll turn ugly in Foxborough. That said, the Bolts couldn’t have been more disciplined in all areas of the game against a vaunted defense and punishing offense this past Sunday. All of the defense were completely tuned in with their assignments, Rivers played with poise and shrewdness, never putting the ball in danger, while Badgely and Desmond King highlighted the leaps and bounds being made in the special teams areas with clutch field goals and long returns. The advantage of creating a hostile environment is least effective against the Chargers; they are 8-1 away from home, with ‘home’ being a loose term as it is, given the lack of support. There is character aplenty in this team and they pose a huge threat to New England.
Now for the Patriots. The focus lies completely on protecting Brady. Get him hit early and/or often and the game is done. We’ve seen more than ever Brady struggle to stand his ground in the pocket when pressure is getting up in his face, and the way Ingram and the rest of that D-line played on Sunday will have to be countered with a great deal of inventive scheme, as the talent isn’t there on its own. That said, Belichick is master of the counter-punch and the Patriots have had a week of rest, and a lifetime of experience in games such as this. Also, they just don’t lose. It wouldn’t be surprising to see the Patriots come out much as they did earlier this season like they did against the Packers at a warp-speed, the ball flying out short and fast, with complementary bruising runs from rookie Sony Michel.
I predict a remarkable game of football, both running backs (Michel and Gordon) making their mark early, before both quarterbacks take a hold in the later stages to create a fascinating chess match. It might not be high scoring, but every single matchup is crucial, in all 3 phases of the game. Don’t be shocked if special teams play an enormous factor, and watch out for the pressure on Brady, it’s where this game will be won and lost. I see an incredibly tasty rematch of Chargers-Chiefs in the Championship game, which I can’t help but hope for given their last matchup.
Prediction: Chargers 28-25 Patriots
Oh Nick Foles, how you make our lives difficult. Somehow it feels completely stupid to bet against him. And I can pride myself in saying that I haven’t bet against him since his remarkable run last year. This is a different beast though.
New Orleans is unequivocally the best team in the league in my opinion, at 13-3 their record shows it and they cannot be underestimated when looking at the other teams around the league making claims at the Lombardi trophy. Right now Drew Brees is a man on a mission. He will likely miss out on the MVP award this year thanks to that aforementioned kid in Kansas City, but his season will still be noted for its extreme efficiency. Trubisky’s inexperience was an aid for Philadelphia last week against the Eagles born-again defense, but they can be completely assured the same won’t be true of Brees. He will be 100% ready to go, locked in, and like Mahomes and co.; unstoppable. I truly believe that. I couldn’t have more respect, admiration and awe for what Nick Foles has been able to produce in the last couple of the years. His abilities when under the pressures of key games make him a completely different animal to that of the one we saw at the start of this season even. The rule book has to be thrown out, and the Eagles will be in this game, I’m too scared to suggest otherwise. These Birds have embarrassed too many analysts over the last few weeks and months.
Watch out for Cam Jordan vs Lane Johnson. That will be a brilliant one on one matchup for the technique junkies, Jordan demonstrating fantastic speed, and situational awareness that have allowed him to blow up screens and outside runs all year, alongside a slew of pass rushing moves. Johnson on the other hand remains seemingly unbeatable for stretches of these games, Mack finding that out this week in the wild card round, with the whole offensive line dominating on the most important drive of the game that ended in Tate’s catch for the TD. They’ll have to extrapolate that single drive exemplar material to the whole game however, if they want to keep with a Saints offense that has the ability beat you in any way imaginable. They’ll make chunks through the tackles, outside burst runs, seam strikes, and impeccable wide-receiver play from Michael Thomas.
If all of that wasn’t enough, the Saints are at home, in their immensely comfortable dome, which is all advantage New Orleans. We saw the Eagles deal with the conditions in Chicago as they felt at ease outside in the cold. Put New Orleans in their dome however and it becomes a feat so daunting it makes it impossible, at least in my mind, to bet against them.
Prediction: Eagles 21-34 Saints
By Fergus Head
WOOOOOOW! Look how big he is. A common enough exclamation while watching the football unfold every weekend. OOOOOH! Look how fast he is. Perhaps even more common. Players in the NFL today are bigger than ever. In the 1920s, the average NFL offensive lineman was 6’0” and 211 lbs, which is remarkably small, but that was a different time, so let’s skip forward. In the 1960s, with the birth of the Superbowl era, the big men were the same size as the average linebacker today; 6’3”, 251 lbs. That’s still a pretty big man let’s not get silly. Winding forward again, the 90's see the rise of raves, hard drugs, and an average sized lineman of 300 lbs. In today’s NFL, the average is an inch taller, and 12 pounds heavier. To get ahead of the game, players are getting bigger and bigger.
This is what the progression of the size of all players looks like on a visual level, a study well-constructed by Noah Veltman:
That top right distribution of player simply didn’t exist until recent times.
At last year’s combine we saw the 40-yard dash time broken by John Ross with a mind-boggling 4.22. Only in 2015 we saw a world record broken by Byron Jones for his 12’3” standing broad jump. Of course, combine stats don’t give the whole story, but the point stands, players are getting bigger, faster and better. Even without the numbers, it’s a fairly reasonable assertion that the things we are lucky enough to witness every Sunday are becoming more and more athletically astounding.
So what’s the point of all this? Well, while the game has changed and developed, the rules, the way its played, and of course as discussed, the players have morphed, one thing has remained constant. The field. It is simply and utterly absurd that the field has remained 100 yards throughout all of these cataclysmic changes in size. 2018 has been an explosion of offense, and don’t get me wrong that’s lots of fun, but seeing Tyreek Hill cover the length of the field and Patrick Mahomes flick it to him as though they were on a tennis court, not a football field, got me thinking . Annoyingly, Brock Osweiler got me thinking too. He’s 6’7”. All he has to do is lie down with the ball in his hands a few times and he’s made it to the goal line.
But enough of the silly stuff. I am well aware that this will not be a popular opinion. But it at least needs to be considered. I’d suggest adding 20 yards in length, and 10 in width. The end zones remain the same as they are, 10 yards, because once the plain is crossed their length is irrelevant, and the difficulty of the Redzone is not having lots of space to play with, and this is a suggestion designed to make football more competitive. I appreciate that the stat book would likely have to be thrown out, and that pains me more than you can imagine; stats got me into the sport, and the history a close second, so of course that would be a monumental loss. But I don’t watch arena football, it doesn’t look right, and with the size and speed and raw ability to do better stuff than before, players are dwarfing the field. Changes to the rules have (rightly in the interest of safety) forced, to some degree, defensive players to slow down, they can’t fly in and pummel anything that moves with their brain being used as a handy airbag anymore. So there needs to be something to redress the balance, and I think this is it.
All a complete waste of time of course, no way Goodell is making the field bigger, not with the ratings through the roof as offensive football paves the way for an insatiable market, clamouring for more. I just don’t want the day to come where it looks like I’m watching a Madden game with sliders way out of tilt, and a longer field might just help.
By Fergus Head
I really love Cam Newton. Well, when he’s on the field, with his gum shield stopping him saying silly things. But aside from his apparent little-man syndrome despite being 6”5 and 250lbs, I do really love him. He’s so much fun. My favourite single-second clip of anything football related is Cam Newton rising from a knee in front of some very extravagant pyrotechnics in New Orleans before their playoff loss in the Wild Card round earlier this year. As his frame fills the screen there is an unbridled feeling that you are genuinely about to watch someone do stuff nobody else on Earth can do. Cool stuff.
Cam Newton entered the league in 2011 with an immense amount of expectation from fans, teammates and coaches alike. He was a phenomenon. A star before he’d even set foot on an NFL field, and even bigger one once he had. On and off since then, Cam has been both invaluable, and underwhelming; priceless, and pricey. Analysts poke at his completion percentages with long sticks, asking it to do something despite the glaring lack of a Probowl receiver since his rookie year, aside from TE Greg Olsen, who’s very good when he’s on the field. Coaches demand he does more running, while ‘using his legs less’, so that he can use his physical powers without being overly physical and risking an injury.
Nobody knows what to tell Cam, because he’s the first child. It’s always the way. Parents don’t know how to deal with the first child’s growing pains because they’ve never been through it before. But there aren’t any parenting books on how to utilise this kind of weapon most effectively. It’s never been seen before. There have been pretenders before and since, middle children you might say, but nothing compares to the freak that is the original Cam Newton. Just how much of a toll is his style taking one wonders? Time will tell. But that consciousness of time passing is the point of this piece. Why aren’t we appreciating him more?
When we once ogled at his raw playmaking ability and special size and speed, combined with the arm talent, we now criticise ruthlessly because he isn’t what we want him to be. It isn’t reasonable. Cam hasn’t changed for the worse; expectations have changed for the unattainable. Time and time again. Newton has less than 100 rush attempts only once in his career, and has proven his toughness numerous times, yet people still question his competitiveness. Surround Newton with some actual receiving talent and passing game issues will start to mend themselves with the new OC in town. The last time Newton had a Pro Bowl wide receiver, was also the only time he has thrown for over 4000 yards; his rookie year in 2011 with Steve Smith. Of course he isn’t perfect, but there are glaringly obvious ways to help Cam out. He has made his offensive line look better than it is every year he has played. He’s the best runner inside the tackles on the team, and he’s the quarterback.
That’s the padding. In the end I’m not the coach, I’m not an expert analyst who has all day to look at the stats and film of every game he’s ever played, nor am I going to be unanimous in what I’m saying. Newton no doubt gets flustered, makes silly mistakes, and goes through some very dry spells. But what I do want to focus on is the way we watch him and enjoy the rest of his career. I’d suggest he has 3-6 years left at his best depending on the way they go. I do not want to waste another minute trying to find reasons why he isn’t playing well enough to enjoy watching him. I don’t want to be pouring over his numbers while he pummels another defensive lineman into the ground as the lead blocker like he did last week against the Giants, only to look up and write a think-piece on his inadequacies as a short to intermediate passer.
Cam Newton is, and always will be, a revelation. He’s created a whole new position and because they don’t know how to tame it, a lot of people will misinterpret it as redundant. But in a league dominated by athletes, Newton, like he did in that short moment before the Saints game, rises above them all and persistently sets the league alight.
Oh and for the clip, it’s 53 seconds into this: www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gxyAsydWuA
By Fergus Head.
The NFL claims to breed parity. Equal chances for (almost) every team to believe at this stage of the off-season they have a chance to do something great in the coming year, at least relative to themselves. The Browns for example only require a single win for their year’s burst of euphoria, whereas on the flip side the Eagles and Patriots have the hope and buzz of an already proven roster poised to do it again. All the way in between, the rest of the league promises personal, team, and world endeavour. For this I am truly grateful, but I’d argue that this electricity leaves the NFL indebted to one entity. The Cincinnati Bengals. The only team with no genuine belief that improvement or devolution is coming in any shape or form any time soon. No excitement whatsoever, just humdrum everlasting. Having a single team representing everything the NFL claims not to be, is like Plutarch depicting dastardly individuals in his Parallel Lives, to show us all what it could be like if we didn’t have the good.
First, a comprehension of the scope of what the Bengals have achieved is necessary. Imagine if in golf, in a theoretical world, there was one player regarded as utterly and abrasively middling. He’s never hit over or under par, in every competition he enters he smacks a handy 72, trots home down the middle of the road, indifferent in the face of mediocrity. No matter who says what, regardless of legendary advice, cash prizes, and historic allure, he does everything exactly the same to avoid progression or regression. He even pummels the odd drive into the rough if the round is looking too good, and hits a couple of eagles to rescue a dodgy one. Those closest to him clamour for a new trainer, or regime, or approach, but on he blindly ploughs resigning to the average. Now however unlikely, in golf, it’s somewhat feasible to imagine that the autonomous player, individual to the utmost degree, could make this call. The whys are irrelevant, point being it can be done, there’s no pyramid of power, only he has to decide that that’s what’s happening and it happens.
Now consider that the Cincinnati Bengals have translated this formula into a mass enterprise. From the 52-man roster, to the Head Coach and his staff, to the front office, and to everyone affiliated with running the franchise, they commit whole-heartedly to the bland, painful, so-so certainty of hitting a 72. As a result, Goodell and his merry men selling the sport have a dipstick of epic proportions, a 32th of the whole league is a constant, marching unstoppable force of complete and utter stagnancy. In return for this morbid commitment, the league always knows where it stands and everyone gets a metaphor for what not to want. Now to allow for the continuation of such a selfless device, many things need to be in place, and here we see the many grandiose debts that entwine
themselves with Cincinnati’s franchise and impact the way the NFL works today.
First and foremost, to have achieved this, the Bengals are indebted immeasurably to A.J. Green. A cunning ploy to justify their running-of-the-mill, having drafted a real-life stud, they can point at him for his entire career to show they can do their job and should be kept on in this mind-bogglingly flat lining existence. Many have been lulled into a false sense of security by what is effectively football’s version of ‘My Sister’s Keeper’ as Green and everything he possesses is poured into keeping mediocrity alive. He bails out Dalton, he bails out Marvin Lewis, he bails out every OC, and the GM. The method is maintained by this spark of quality. Of course, to redress the balance and averageness, Burfict is kept around to weigh down the other side, but together they handily cancel each other out. Moreover, another debt can be seen, endless, tired, repetitive storylines. ‘Burfict Banned’, ‘Burfict Out’, ‘Burfict an Evil ***t’ and the such like. It
is amazing how rich and deep the history of monotony in Cincinnati goes. Ask yourself when the last time Burfict didn’t have to start a season by being let off by Marvin Lewis. I’ll tell you the answer. It’s never. Even when Bart Starr was throwing TD's, Burfict was getting banned. It’s always been and always will be. Marvin Lewis is the man for the job because he’s not going to upset the balance. Oh how we are indebted to him for his undying tedium. Andy Dalton is such a non-entity, I don’t actually remember him doing anything. Did he play last year? Don’t know mate, I was in a blind stupor, wallowing in filth exuded as I resigned myself to sameness for life.
The greatest debt then goes to the fans. Subdued to boredom, we lack initiative as poignantly as all those in the club. “At least we aren’t the Browns!” we clamour. But to be honest, at this brazenly endorphin free crossroads, I’d rather we were anything else but what we are. But too much rides on it, the NFL could crumble. Can’t be risking that kind of thing, straight and narrow, faith in the system and all that. I just don’t know how long I’ll last…
By Fergus Head
It has become routine to read that what the Patriots are doing is routine. That’s the point we’re at. What must really hurt is that there really is very little an opposing team, head coach, or co-ordinator (specifically defensive) can do to kid themselves into thinking they’ve put together a sound plan. It’s simply not in human nature to conjure up such impossible imaginations as that this week, in spite of all the evidence thrust under our noses from this month, year or decade, that this obscure, arbitrary week will be the one where Brady, Belichick and the rest of the gang are outdone. It’s not feasible. Without even trying, the Patriots now win mind games simply by turning up and playing. The opposition has most likely spent the majority of the week exhausting all of their mental energy and fortitude on trying to convince themselves that the plan they’ve put in place is satisfactory. That’s just so painful. Years of training, graft and dedication have lead a man who is therefore someone at the peak of his craft, to stand on the other side of a 100-yard field, and watch a 60 minute dismantling of his life’s-work. Playing the Patriots instils an inferiority complex from the first minute of preparation, to the final whistle, and it’s the repetition that is why what they do seems so easy. It isn’t the only reason they’re great, but it’s such a huge part of why it seems so lackadaisical when they win, it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. When they win, things get easier for them to do so.
As with so many Patriot related comments, this seems so mundane, but it simply isn’t appreciated enough, it almost never can be. But to continually repeat what is supposed to be so impossible year after year is now an intrinsic part of the game plan. If they don’t carry the invincible mystique that has become so commonplace it’s hard to see as many of the things they do working so infallibly. This is therefore credit to the aura that Belichick and Brady have created over the last 17 years, of course, but with each week comes a new foundation to repeat from, a new time frame in which opposition MUST refer to in order to compete, but in doing so contribute to their own mental and final demise.
Take Saturday, 13th January 2018. AFC Divisional round matchup between New England and Tennessee. The Patriots are 7-0 down after a sublime one-handed touchdown catch from Corey Davis capped off a 95-yard drive that the Titans were clearly very proud of. And rightly so. Ask anyone (other than the Titans) who was going to win, however, and the assurance of the answer one would likely receive would make the uninformed inquirer assume that the Patriots were already 21-7 up, already switching on the auto-pilot. Against any other team, this would be a different story. That kind of drive is never, ever ignored if the Titans are playing the Jags. Or the Steelers. Or any other team in the playoffs, or the league for that matter. A 95-yard drive is synonymous with at least some form of a grip on the contest. But that just isn’t the case against the Patriots. And this is the art of repetition. This is the masterpiece that the Patriots have so successfully created. Yes there was explosiveness from Dion Lewis, who finished the game with his 3rd straight 130+ yard performance, the brutish brilliance of Gronkowski, who’s performance earned him PFF’s highest grade awarded to a Patriot in this game, and of course the collective genius of the minds of Brady, Belichick, Patricia, McDaniels and the rest. These things were all tangible, evident nuggets of this football team’s assets. But it is what can’t be measured that makes watching the Patriots seem so inevitable and predictable. The self-doubt of Dick LeBeau can’t be translated into yards. LeBeau internally changes his mind because of what he saw on tape from week 6 when the Patriots were 7-0 down against the Jets, 10-yard gain. That doesn’t show up in the box score. Dick LeBeau doesn’t shout into his mic. “I’ve changed my mind!!!” so there’s no way that NFL films can write a gaudy Facebook post about the ‘Top mic’d up plays of the week- LeBeau doubts himself in the face of a historically great opponent’.
The Patriots’ greatest weapon is that through amassing a database of continuous success and reliability, suddenly Brandon Bolden is a genuine threat because look, there goes James White scoring 3 touchdowns in a Super Bowl, or look, there goes Wes Welker, a 1.75m tall receiver with a 4.65 second 40-yard dash time leading the league in receptions, or look, there goes that 6th round pick out of Michigan marching his way down the field for his first of 5 Super Bowl's. The use of seemingly underwhelming players is one good example of how the Patriots mould the opposition’s mind to overplay and overthink things, but it’s certainly not the only one. Belichick is renowned for shutting down the opposition’s greatest asset. That’s just what he does. Yet the minute you do that to his team, it shape shifts into an entirely different machine, and suddenly the plan that has been so carefully deliberated over is decimated. In a way it’s hypnotic. The Patriots subconsciously dismantle future opponents in the most counter-intuitive way possible- by never admitting they’re even thinking about them. The impact that all of these seemingly meaningless details have on the teams they will face in the coming weeks, and then years, isn’t quantifiable, and for that reason it seems to be ignored, yet it is arguably the primary point to attack as a member of the opposition, not just for a week but for a whole year. We saw just that play out for the Steelers. So desperate at a chance to avenge the week 15 loss, they tripped before they got a chance, simply because the allure of the glory later on was too much to handle. It’s the ultimate snare, and it’s the Patriot way.
Mowlem is a sports writer from Reading, United Kingdom. All articles are written by Reece Mowlem (unless stated otherwise).