Tag Archives: patriots

Projecting the Patriots Starting Offense

New England Patriots

SAN DIEGO, CA – DECEMBER 07: Quarterback Tom Brady #12 and his New England Patriots teammates take the field against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium on December 7, 2014 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)

Now that the NFL’s team OTA’s are underway, we can take a look at what might be the Patriots starting lineup. Going into the draft, many believed New England would take a Cornerback in the 1st round. But there was also a sense that the Patriots might move up for CB Byron Jones out of UCONN, the Patriots didn’t do that either. But when it came to their 1st round choice, they picked 6’2″ 320 lb Defensive Tackle Malcolm Brown out of Texas. Scouts said he was a top 20 talent, but as many players do, Brown slid further and further down the draft board till pick #32. Lucky enough for New England, they had just lost All-Pro Defensive Tackle Vince Wilfork to the Houston Texans. So New England thought Brown would be a perfect replacement.



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After the draft the Patriots would go on to sign multiple free agents, even some Patriots fans should remember. The Patriots inked LB Brandon Spikes and LB Dane Fletcher to 1-year deals.

The Patriots were hurting for depth at Linebacker and this is the exact veteran depth they needed. The Patriots filled their roster to the brim at 90 players. The Patriots have exactly $9,998,212 in salary cap after they signed their draft picks and multiple free agents after the draft. So lets get to assessing the roster.

Lets play devil’s advocate and say Tom Brady’s suspension stays at 4 games, for the first 4 games you have Jimmy Garoppolo under center, after that. Tom Brady re-claims his throne and the Patriots continue their winning ways.

We all know at Running back LeGarrette Blount is the starter, but with Shane Vereen going to the Giants, the Patriots need a receiving back, my best guess for a starter is last years 4th round pick out of Wisconsin James White. The 5’10” 205 lb back has great hands and is great at finding open space. The Patriots drafted White to prepare for the departure of Vereen. James White is my pick, but he has other competition like Tyler Gaffney, Dion Lewis and Travaris Cadet.

At Wide Receiver the top 4 starters would be Edelman, LaFell, Amendola and Dobson. I believe that Dobson (if healthy, which is a huge “if”) can put up some good numbers for New England. The former 2nd round pick out of Marshall has all the ability to be the Patriots deep threat. In Dobson’s first season he put up good numbers for New England. Dobson went for 37 receptions, 519 yards and 4 touchdowns. Not too shabby for a rookie. But Dobson will have to out battle Brandon Gibson, Josh Boyce and Brian Tyms.

The Patriots added great Tight end depth this offseason, bringing in, 6’7″ Buffalo Bills Scott Chandler. Scott Chandler will add an extra dimension to the Patriots offense, with Chandler and Gronkowski working the seams, it makes LaFell and Edelman even more dangerous. The Patriots also added former Washington Redskins Fred Davis. Davis will have to beat Michael Hoomanawanui for a roster spot, but I believe that you could pencil in Chandler’s name next to Rob Gronkowski.

Now, time to see who will protect Tom Brady. I strongly believe Nate Solder is a shoe-in at Left Tackle for the Patriots. While at Left Guard, its up in the air, the Patriots could go with their 4th round pick out of Florida State, Tre Jackson. The 6’4″ Guard was listed as the 2nd best all around Guard in the draft behind the Redskins Brandon Scherff. But they could go with their other 4th rounder, Shaq Mason. Mason is a big mauler at Guard, the 6’1″ 300 lb beast could fit very well in the run game. NFL Network’s Mike Mayock said he believed Mason was the best run blocker in this draft. But the one thing that allowed Mason to drop in the draft, was his lack of skill in the pass blocking department. At Center, Bryan Stork is an obvious starter. For Right Guard, its a little tougher. The Patriots don’t have a plug-and-play Right Guard, their only options are Marcus Cannon, Jordan Devey & Ryan Wendell. Wendell isn’t exactly the Patriots fix at Right Guard. He did a pretty solid job last year, but maybe the Patriots could get more out of a Marcus Cannon who is younger and bigger. Lastly at Right Tackle the Patriots have a fine starter in Sebastian Vollmer. Vollmer has been in the NFL for several years and has a great experience at the position.

Overall, the Patriots offense looks to have only gotten better in the off season, maybe New England will have a juggernaut of an offense and defense that is sub par at best. Only time will tell.

 

BST&N Road Trip Diaries – Super Bowl XLIX

Super Bowl

My first Super Bowl. My last Super Bowl. It was perfect.

During the third quarter of the AFC Championship game with the Patriots up three touchdowns vs Luck and co., I opened my laptop (something I never do during a Patriots game). I began to feverishly search for flights to Phoenix.

My girlfriend said to me “don’t jinx it, the game isn’t over” – the Patriots proceeded to go up a fourth touchdown. She said “you don’t even have a game ticket” – I told her things would work out and I owed my college roommate a visit.

With a plane ticket booked I proceeded to reach out to just about everybody in my network to let them know I was Super Bowl bound and was in the market for a ticket. I was hoping (against hope) that someone would come across a ticket and think of me.

Days went by and the prices on resell sites were going up and up and I had heard nothing from any of my friends, families, and long lost cousins (from Seattle).



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My positive outlook was warranted as I got a call from a friend of mine asking if I would be interested in a ticket for face value. The answer, was obvious.

I was set – I had transportation, a place to stay, and THE ticket.

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12 Reasons The Patriots Lost Super Bowl XLVI

The Patriots are just about set to take on the NFC Champion Seahawks in their sixth Super Bowl appearance in the last 13 years. In their two most recent trips in 2007 and 2011, however, the Pats have not been able to come away victorious. In their most recent Super Bowl loss to the Giants, there were some pretty clear reasons as to why they were unable to win the game. We all remember the last-minute, game-winning touchdown drive orchestrated by Eli Manning, Ahmad Bradshaw’s accidental touchdown and the last-second Hail Mary attempt falling incomplete. Chances are, however, most people have forgotten about some of the other reasons the Pats came out on the wrong end of the score, but not to worry. Here are the top-12 reasons the Patriots lost Super Bowl XLVI.

Tom Brady walks off the field in Indianapolis following the Super Bowl XLVI defeat.

Tom Brady walks off the field in Indianapolis following the Super Bowl XLVI defeat.

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Pats Witch Hunt: Panthers, Vikings Cheated By Heating Up Balls This Season

panthers vikings cheated

As the Foxboro Witch Hunts (AKA Deflategate) drag on and on and on, stories are surfacing on how other franchises cheated by doctoring the balls. Brad Johnson of the 2002 World Champion Tampa Bay Bucs admitted to paying a ball boy to alter the footballs. But perhaps that is ancient history to most, so lets step into the hot tub/sauna time machine to November 30th, 2014.

The Panthers were taking on the Vikings in the coldest game in Minnesota in over 38 years. So cold in fact that BOTH teams “cheated” and/or “altered” the footballs by trying to heat them up which is indeed AGAINST NFL Rules.

ESPN:

NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino said Monday morning on NFL Network that officials warned both the Vikings and Panthers not to heat up the balls during Sunday’s game, and would remind teams this week not to heat game balls.

“You can’t do anything with the footballs in terms of any artificial, whether you’re heating them up, whether it’s a regular game ball or kicking ball, you can’t do anything to the football,” Blandino said. “So that was noticed during the game, both teams were made aware of it during the game and we will certainly remind the clubs as we get into more cold weather games that you can’t do anything with the football in terms of heating them up with those sideline heaters.”

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Patriots v. Ravens: How They Match Up

After a much deserved Bye Week, the Patriots return to action on Saturday against the pesky Baltimore Ravens in Foxboro. Of course the team from Baltimore is very familiar with Gillette Stadium, especially in the postseason, as they are the only team to ever beat the Patriots there twice in the playoffs. Those wins were in the 2009 and 2012 seasons and Terrell Suggs and the militia of Ravens fans will never let the Patriots forget about those seasons.The Patriots will try to avenge both of those loses, and if they don’t, this season will be considered an enormous failure to the franchise.

patriots

Those games will mean nothing when the game starts on Saturday afternoon. Here’s how these two teams matchup:

Rushing Attack: Most people may have assumed that without Ray Rice, the Ravens would struggle with running the ball effectively. In reality, Baltimore has had more rushing yards they they’ve had in 5 season. Justin Forsett has led the way for the Ravens with over 1,000 yards on the season and 8 rushing touchdowns. The New England defense gave up an average of 104 yards per game in the regular season, but that number is a bit inflated due to the terrible start by the club. They gave up 191 rushing yards in week 1, and then in week 4 gave up 207 in the embarrassing Monday Night loss to the Chiefs.

The Patriots Run game has been what we normally expect from the Patriots. Ridley missed more half the year with an injury, and occasionally a running back will have a big game for the Patriots like Jonas Gray against the Colts. As seen during the Green Bay game, if the run doesn’t seem to work early, the Patriots completely abandon it, and go strictly to a passing game.

Advantage: Ravens

Passing Game: Joe Flacco has been known to air the ball out from time to time. He has success with that, and Steve Smith Sr., and Tory Smith are usually on the same page as him. He’s no Peyton Manning or Tom Brady, but he’s proven he can get the job done when it matters. He is not “The best QB in the game” as his coach John Harbaugh claims, but somehow he wins playoff games. He’s thrown for 13 touchdowns and ZERO interceptions in his last 5 playoff games. Those stats are a little scary. As all of Baltimore has tried pointing out to me all week, Flacco also has the most road playoff wins in NFL history. That’s great, but a bit of a deceiving stat, considering great quarterbacks like Peyton and Brady haven’t had the opportunity to play on the road as much because of their regular season dominance.   Read more

Reasons Why You Should Hate the Ravens (In Case You Forgot)

On Saturday afternoon, the football team from Baltimore will come into Gillette Stadium to face the #1 team in the AFC. The Ravens are no strangers to playing in New England during the postseason. In fact they are only one of two opposing teams to win a game at Gillette after week 17, and they’ve done it twice in the past 5 years. If the history between these two teams doesn’t make you hate the Ravens, I can help with why you should hate them.

1.)    Terrell Suggs.

suggs

Suggs should be all the reason you need to hate the Baltimore Ravens franchise. He talked a lot of smack about the Patriots on different occasions. If he gets his ass beat by the Patriots he runs his mouth and accuses of them of cheating. If he beats the Patriots, he still runs his mouth in the most unsportsmanlike way.

Of course the Ravens had Ray Rice on this team until the start of the year, but somehow Suggs is still on this roster just because there was no video of him beating a woman. According to a 2009 report from the Baltimore Sun, Suggs beat his now wife on multiple occasions, and the one highlighted by the report detailed how he tried to pour bleach on Candace Williams.

So the lesson here kids is, if you want to play for the Ravens you can be as horrible as you want so long as there’s no video of the incident.



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2.)    Worst Fans in all of the NFL.

I’ve experienced 31 teams come into Gillette, and Baltimore fans are by the far the worst when they come to New England. First of all they all wear these UGLY purple Camo pants.

I’m not a fashionista, but wearing something that ugly should be punishable by death.

camo pants

They all sing that horrible White Stripes song “Seven Nation Army”, y’know the one that every college marching band plays and every student sings along to. Pink Hats singing “Sweet Caroline” isn’t half bad after you’ve experienced these horrible people sing the White Stripes for 3 hours straight. In general, the Ravens have been the most disrespectful towards me at the stadium, and for no reason. They are this way even during a week 3 regular season game.

These Ravens fans gave Ray Rice a STANDING OVATION at training camp AFTER the incident in which he beat his wife. Not only were they satisfied with him only getting a 2 game ban, but they were ready to build him a statue for what he did.

I’ve crossed into enemy territory and have seen the Patriots play in Philadelphia. A place that is supposed to be the scariest place to wear opposing colors to a game. Compared to Baltimore fans, Philly fans seemed like Mr. Rogers. Way more friendly and respectful than fans of Baltimore. It’s not just Ravens fans who are horrible; it’s all Baltimore sports fans. Oriole’s fans are just as bad and would always talk smack to opposing fans even when their team was in the toilet.

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