Upon returning from Jacksonville late Sunday night, I wisely took off Monday from work so I could rent a car and drive to Foxboro, Massachusetts to see Monday Night football as the New England Patriots were hosting the Houston Texans in what was deemed a preview of the AFC Championship game come January.
I went to Avis and I rented a Ford Fusion for the day. I went back home and I picked up the King and away we went. We wound up driving in some horrible rain which lasted most of the ride. We stopped off in Warwick, Rhode Island to pick up our pal Steve Fekete aka the Padre Punk who was staying at the Comfort Inn there. He just finished driving from Cincinnati where he saw his Dallas Cowboys beat the Cincinnati Bengals that Sunday afternoon. I know he needed a break from driving and it made perfect sense for us to pick him up. We know a back way in and out of the Gillette Stadium area so I preferred to handle the driving.
Thankfully as we were approaching Foxboro the rain was letting up. When we parked the car at 6:53PM it stopped. With that being said, we were now ready for some football. It was a warm night for this time of year especially in New England. We got out of the car and we walked over towards the Stadium. Along the way, we made a pit stop at Papa Gino's which claims to have the best pizza in New England. I like to believe that's true because I think it's really good myself. Steve also approved of it as well. After we finished eating, we finished walking over to Gillette Stadium.
We got inside just before the game started.
As for the game we saw, it didn't exactly live up to the hype. Apparently the Texans had stage fright. The Patriots scored early and often. Tom Brady hooked up with tight end Aaron Hernandez for a 7 yard touchdown pass with 9:27 left in the first quarter. The Patriots extended their lead to 14-0 with 2:49 to go in the quarter when Tom Brady connected with wide receiver Brandon Lloyd for a 37 yard touchdown pass to make it a 14-0 game.
In the second quarter, Tom Brady and Aaron Hernandez found the end zone again. This time a four yard touchdown pass to make it 21-0. That's how it stayed as the teams went into the locker room at halftime.
In the third quarter, Tom Brady aired it out as he hit newcomer and former Patriot Donte' Stallworth on a 63 yard bomb to give the Patriots' a 28-0 lead with 9:49 left. The Texans finally got on the scoreboard on their next drive as running back Arian Foster ran in from a yard out to make it a 28-7 game. The score stayed that way after three quarters.
In the fourth quarter, the Patriots' Brandon Lloyd recovered a fumble in the end zone for a touchdown which made the score 35-7 with 14:15 left. The Patriots' offense wasn't done yet. They got another touchdown on a 14 yard run from Stevan Ridley with 7:23 left to make it 42-7. The Texans found the end zone one more time as back up quarterback Tyler Yates ran in from a yard out with two minutes to go to make it 42-14. That's the way it ended as the Patriots showed the Texans who the best team is in the AFC. For the Texans' sake, they're hoping for payback to come in January. We'll wait and see how things unfold then.
After the game, we drove Steve back to his hotel and the King and I came home. We arrived around 4:30AM.
Tuesday morning I took off from work so I could get some sleep. I went and returned the car I rented. I drove 449 miles safely. After I returned the car, I went to work for the afternoon.
After work, I went to the Barclays Center to see the Battle of the Boroughs part two as the Brooklyn Nets were hosting the New York Knicks.
Steve also drove back to Brooklyn and he joined us for the game. After the game, he was heading towards Charlotte, North Carolina where he was going to see the LA Clippers play the Bobcats.
As for the game we saw together, the Nets raced out to a 26-9 lead in the first quarter. They led, 30-16 after the quarter.
In the second quarter, the Knicks made a comeback and they trailed only 53-49 at halftime.
In the third quarter, the Nets maintained their slim lead as they led, 79-74.
In the fourth quarter, the Knicks found a way to overcome the Nets as they left the Barclays Center with a 100-97 victory. The Nets had chances in the closing seconds be they came up empty and they fell short this time.
Wednesday night after work I came home made dinner and I did my laundry.
Thursday I went to work in the morning. I took off in the afternoon so I could go to the dentist and I rented a car so I could drive down to Philadelphia to see the Eagles play the Cincinnati Bengals in Thursday Night football at Lincoln Financial Field.
I wound up renting a Ford Focus for the day. After I went to the dentist where I got a good report on my teeth, I went to pick up the King and our friend Frank Anichiarico who joined us for the football game.
We left later then I wanted to but luckily traffic getting out of NYC was better than I expected so we were able to get to Philadelphia without a problem. We stopped off at McDonald's on the way and we ate in the car as we headed to Philadelphia.
I parked the car around 8PM and we walked over to the Stadium. We barely made the opening kickoff. I knew it was going to be a close call. Thankfully it worked out well in the end.
As for the game we saw, the Bengals' running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis scored on a 1 yard touchdown run with 11:10 left in the opening quarter to make it 7-0. Kicker Josh Brown booted a 24 yard field goal to extend the lead to 10-0 with 7:51 left.
In the second quarter, the Eagles responded as they got on the scoreboard thanks to an eleven yard touchdown pass from quarterback Nick Foles to wide receiver Riley Cooper with 11:40 left until halftime to make it a game at 10-7. The Eagles tied at the game at 10 with 7:37 left as Alex Henery kicked a 22 yard field goal. With 17 seconds to go in the half, Alex Henery gave the Eagles a 13-10 at the intermission.
In the third quarter, the Bengals regained the lead with 1:10 to go as quarterback Andy Dalton ran in from 11 yards out to give the Bengals a 17-13 lead. Moments later with 21 seconds left, the Bengals scored again as defensive end Wallace Gilberry recovered a fumble and he returned it 25 yards for a touchdown to extend the Bengals lead to 24-13.
In the fourth quarter, the Bengals got the ball back again and they capitalized as kicker Josh Brown kicked a 32 yard field goal with 14:12 left to make it 27-13. They scored another touchdown with 12:47 left as wide receiver A.J. Green caught a 5 yard pass to make it 34-13. That's how it mercifully ended. The Eagles were competitive for most of the game then they self destructed and it made the score more lopsided than it should have been.
Friday morning I returned the car I rented from Avis before I went to work. I drove 273 miles safely.
After work, I went back to the Barclays Center to see the Nets play the Detroit Pistons. Before the game, I stopped off at McDonald's at the Atlantic Center Mall and I had my pre game meal.
After I finished eating, I went inside the arena and I meet up with my pal Phil Butleman who was also there.
As for the game we saw, the Pistons lead, 25-23 after the first quarter.
In the second quarter, the Nets took the lead, scoring the Pistons by 14 points to lead, 59-47 at halftime.
In the third quarter, the Pistons roared back and they went back ahead, 77-73 after three quarters.
In the fourth quarter, the Nets out scored the Pistons by four to even the score at 90 to force overtime.
In overtime, both teams scored 10 points to remain tied at 100. By doing so, they were forced to play a second overtime.
In the second overtime, the Nets outlasted the Pistons as Joe Johnson hit the game winning shot at the buzzer to break the tie at 105 to give the Nets a dramatic 107-105 win.
Stay tuned for a few special posts that will recap the memorable weekend I spent in Western New York and North of the Border.
Thank you for reading and following along.