Tag Archives: Rob Gronkowski

Patriots Destroy Vikings, Brady Still Not Satisfied

After a lackluster start for the Patriots defense, that allowed Matt Cassel and the Minnesota Vikings to march right down the field and into the End Zone on the opening drive, the Patriots defense stepped up, and didn’t allow the Vikings to score another point, as the Patriots defeated the Vikings on Sunday, 30-7.

brady vikings

The opening drive for the Vikings offense was very reminiscent of the Dolphins first drive of the game last week against the Patriots defense, and like the Dolphins they had an early 7-0 lead. After a 3 and out from the Patriots offense, Devin McCourty picked off Matt Cassel at the New England 39 yard line, and returned it 60 yards, to the Vikings 1 yard line. Stevan Ridley powered it into the End Zone to tie the game, and from there on, it was all Patriots.

With less than 30 seconds left in the 1st half, and with the Vikings trailing by just 10, and trying to lower the gap to just a touchdown by going for a field goal, Chandler Jones stepped up, blocked the kick and returned the ball himself 58 yards to score a touchdown. Instead of the game being separated by 7, the Patriots took a 17 point lead into the locker room. The blocked field goal was the Patriots first blocked field goal since 2010.

In the second half, the Patriots defense didn’t fold like they did last week, and shut out the Vikings. The defense had four interceptions against Matt Cassel including one by the new and hyped Patriot, Darelle Revis. The defense was also able to bring the pressure, and sacked Cassel 6 times. Even when they couldn’t sack him, they made him throw quickly.

The Patriots offense didn’t do much in the 2nd half, and only put up 2 field goals. The lack of offense and offensive touchdowns led Tom Brady to speak out after the game, and let his dissatisfaction known.

“I’m glad we won, I just wish we’d go out there and play like we’re capable of” said Tom Brady during his post game press conference. “A lot of guys contributed. A lot of great plays were made. Hopefully offensively we can do a better job next week.”

Although his comments are similar to what Bill Belichick expresses after any win (we still need to work on things and get better), Brady had a right to complain about his offense, at least about his receivers. Brady only completed 15 passes, and 6 were to Julian Edelman, and 4 were to Rob Gronkowski. Edelman looked like he did last year in this game, and was Brady’s go-to guy when finding a receiver. He also performed well on Special Teams, by averaging over 15 yards on punt returns.

Despite finding Edelman often, Brady and the rest of his receivers didn’t seem to be on the same page for most of the game. For Tom Brady to be Tom Brady, he needs receivers to be in sync with him.

The running game wasn’t an issue for the Pats offense. They rushed for a total of 150 yards, and Ridley himself rushed for 101 yards, with ZERO interceptions.

The win was Brady’s 149th career win which puts him in 3rd all time on the win list for Quarterbacks, and it was Bill Belichick’s 200th win.

Next up for the Pats is the Raiders at Gillette next Sunday

Patriots Drop Season Opener to Dolphins

Every season, the Patriots seem to have difficulty in Miami and this season was no different as the Pats dropped the 1st game of the season, 33-20, to the Dolphins in Miami. In the first half, we saw the Patriots team we were expecting to see, as they scored all 20 of their points in the first half, and took a 10 point lead into the second half.

After scoring 20 points in the first half, the Patriots came out in the 2nd half with an anemic looking offense. Tom Brady and his receivers couldn’t get much going at all. The offense was so weak, they only picked up 3 first downs in the 2nd half.

NFL: New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins

Brady, who wasn’t happy about Logan Mankins being traded to Tampa Bay two weeks ago, had little help from his offensive line, as he was sacked 4 times in the game, and he fumbled the ball twice. Miami took full advantage of this, and brought the pressure to the Quarterback frequently, and Brady never had much time to make his throws.

The offense was the only Patriots downfall for the Patriots, as the defense couldn’t do much to stop Miami, especially in the 2nd half. The Dolphins were led by Runningback, Knowshon Moreno who rushed for 134 yards on 24 carries. Moreno is no stranger to the Patriots as they saw him twice last year when he played for the Denver Broncos, including the November matchup in which he ran for over 200 yards at a very cold Gillette Stadium.

Ryan Tannehill played well, and did exactly what he needed to do to help the Dolphins to victory in the game. He threw for two touchdowns, and threw for an interception early in the game, when Alfonso Dennard picked him off deep near the goal line.

Seeing his first game action since mid last season, Rob Gronkowski had 4 receptions, including a 6 yard touchdown from Brady in the 2nd quarter. Gronkowski didn’t play as many snaps as he normally does, but that was expected as he didn’t make any appearances in the preseason, and Bill Belichick is trying to limit his playing time until he’s completely 100% back to normal.

This week 1 loss was the 1st week 1 loss since 2003, when the Patriots lost to the Drew Bledsoe and Buffalo Bills 31-0. Later that year the Pats got revenge by beating them by the same score, then of course went on to win the Super Bowl! So lets hope history can repeat itself, and the Pats can rebound and make a run to Super Bowl 49!

Patriots Pulse: Can Danny Amendola Stay Healthy This Season?

The obvious answer is probably not, look at his injury history. Amendola has only played in all 16 games once in his career, 2010 with the Rams. While with the Rams he played in 14, 16, 1, and 11 games respectively. Last year with the Patriots he played in 12 games, he didn’t miss any of the same games Rob Gronkowski missed down the stretch, but Tom Brady did not look his way too often.

Danny Amendola hauled in 10 passes in last year's opener than was ineffective for much of the year.

Danny Amendola hauled in 10 passes in last year’s opener than was ineffective for much of the year.

Brady did not look his way at all in the AFC Championship Game against the Broncos where Amendola had no receptions as well as no targets. Amendola was brought in to replace the production vacated by Wes Welker but he did far less than expected. Julian Edelman who has had his fair share of injury history as well, stepped into the Welker role hauling in 10 passes in the AFC Championship. Edelman became Tom Brady’s favorite target and was fourth in the league in receptions with 105. Amendola only had 54.

Amendola has grown tired of hearing, as well as talking about his injury history. This offseason during a phone interview with 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Adam Jones, Jones asked Amendola a few questions relating to his injury history, Amendola was not too pleased and hung up on the phone interview. St. Louis is much different than New England. The comparisons to Welker are really unfair but now in his second year with the Patriots he should be expected to step up.

Amendola had a great showing in last season’s opener against Buffalo bringing in 10 passes for 104 yards, a game he was also injured in. After that he missed the next three games, and was not looked for often in the following games by Brady who was throwing passes to the likes of Edelman, Aaron Dobson, Kenbrell Thompkins and Austin Collie. Amendola did not bring in double digit grabs again until Week 15 against the Dolphins. He is surely capable of being a good receiver, he just needs to looks and to be healthy.

Courtesy of Dirty Water Tees, Amendola was hardly the savior the Patriots offense was looking for.

Courtesy of Dirty Water Tees, Amendola was hardly the savior the Patriots offense was looking for.

Danny Amendola’s injury history is well documented, but is it really his fault? Some might say it is bad luck. With new rules in place for defensive holding penalties, Amendola might be able to break out this season, splitting time in the slot with Julian Edelman while giving newly acquired receiver Brandon LaFell chances to get open. The real key to the Patriots offense has always been Tom Brady needs multiple weapons to throw to because once they double his favorite receiver where will he look? The AFC Championship Game last year was a prime example. Amendola will have to step up this season to silence his critics, myself included.

NFL Preseason Week 1 Preview: Patriots @ Redskins

Tom Brady Patriots Boston Sports Then & Now

It is time. The first real action of the 2014 NFL season is upon us. After 14 days of training camp and joint practices in Washington, New England will take on the Redskins tomorrow night at FedEx field with a 7:30 kickoff. Crowds of close to 22,000 have flooded Bon Secours Training Center to catch a glimpse of the AFC East powerhouse. As with every first week in the preseason, the main priority is health and maintenance – don’t expect to see starters going more than a few series.

The real opportunity in this game is for rookies and at risk players to display their game speed and an early understanding of the playbook. Belichick is no stranger to bringing in proven veterans in the offseason. Whether it’s to help groom the youngbloods or add a positive presence in the locker-room, someone like Will Smith can only benefit the organization.

It’s hard not to mention new additions Darrelle Revis, Brandon Browner and Brandon LaFell. In one off-season, the Patriots may have transformed their defensive backs to the best in the NFL. Despite a four game suspension to start the year, Browner has displayed his physical presence early and often in 2014. Remember how good Rodney Harrison was at safety? It’s hard to deny Brandon’s elite athleticism as one of, if not, the largest corner in this league. While Revis has dazzled in camp, matching up with DeSean Jackson should be an early challenge for the Pro Bowl veteran. Brandon LaFell has flashed signs of brilliance in the back of the end zone thus far. With Gronk strictly participating in individual drills, LaFell’s 6′ 2″ height has become a point of emphasis for Brady and the offense. Look for TB12 to establish a game connection with LaFell tomorrow night.

As for the rest of the squad, here are three areas to keep an eye on:

1) Defensive Line: It’s no secret that New England struggled here in 2013. Losing both Wilfork and Kelly, the plugs in the middle, left the Patriots vulnerable the second half of the year. Big Vince has showed he’s “back” with an interception and TD rumble in a recent practice; however, how will the veterans respond in real game speed? Ninkovich and Jones excelled last year and need to keep up the edge presence to take the pressure off the vets and rookie Dominique Easley. It’ll also be great to take a look at the Florida 1st round pick. Furthermore, with Sealver Siliga hurting his hand, expect Joe Vellano, Michael Buchanan and Jake Bequette to get some serious playing time.

2) Quarterback: Yes, the Patriots drafted Jimmy Garoppolo ahead of a much needed tight end in the 2nd round this year. Yes, Ryan Mallett’s contract is up after the season. Yes, Tom Brady claims he will be playing until he is 40. What does this all result in? Media speculation and a little fire under Brady. Jimmy has not looked good in training camp and while Redskins coach Jay Gruden claims, “Brady is a hall-of-famer and the best of all time”, there’s no denying he is getting older. The Mallett vs. Garoppolo battle will be on tomorrow night.

3) Running Back: The early word on Wisconsin 4th round pick James White is quite positive, he is more than just a change-of-pace back. We all know the ball security issues Ridley has struggled with; however, there is no denying that he is our best pure back. Losing Blount to the Steelers will hurt, no way the Patriots get to the AFC Championship without him. Brandon Bolden may now be our “powerback” but White needs to step up in Blount’s absence in 2014. Vereen has shown great potential to be a more explosive Woodhead, but continues to nurse ailing injuries. Will this be the year he stays on the field? Let’s see who shines tomorrow night.

Prediction: Garoppolo shines, impresses doubters and the Patriots edge out a meaningless game with Belichick calling two timeouts in the 4th quarter.

 

A Look Ahead: The 2014 New England Patriots

In recent years Tom Brady and Bill Belichick’s New England Patriots have always started an NFL season as many peoples favourites following 3 Super Bowl triumphs in the Brady-Belichick era. With that being said the team haven’t lifted the Lombardi trophy since 2004 and have also fell at the final hurdle twice in 2007 and 2011. For most franchises going deep in to the postseason is still considered a successful campaign but for the Patriots it’s win the big one or bust.

This is at the forefront of New England’s mind especially heading in to a season where the GQ quarterback Tom Brady will be 37 come kick-off time on September 7th. You can certainly argue that the window is closing for the legendary although it has been said as well as mentioned often that Terrific Tom could play in to his 40s. Personally I would put him in a bracket along other sporting legends who’ve enjoyed success in their twilight years such as Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs and Ryan Giggs of Manchester United.

New England Patriots

So with that being said whilst looking at Brady’s career in recent years it is clear to see that he can still get it done and hasn’t deteriorated even with a receiving cast last year that including rookies along with no real superstars to throw to. A fourth Super Bowl ring would almost certainly cement Brady as the best quarterback of all-time; I mean who could argue with 4 Super Bowl wins and 6 appearances on the grandest stage of the all. If that happens this year retirement will naturally be thrown out there by the media but regardless of whether the Pats win it all this year I think Brady will play for at least another 3 seasons, including this one, as that would mean he would be 39 when the 2016 season starts and potentially could signal the end of his career.

Regardless of when Brady and Belichick leave New England one things for sure you have to say that with these two at the helm of the organisation as well as taking in to consideration that New England have added to a roster that made the AFC Championship game last year you’d definitely put the Patriots as one of the favourites to represent the AFC come Super Bowl 49 in Arizona just after the turn of the new year. They’ll have to contend with the likes of the Denver Broncos who they had an arms race with this past off-season during free-agency. A Brady vs Manning AFC Championship game is well on the cards again when you look at the rosters assembled by New England and Denver but don’t count out a young Indianapolis Colts team that is led but a superb young quarterback in Andrew Luck who just gets better and better as he prepares to enter his 3rd season in the NFL to shake things up for the old dogs in this conference.

The Pats last made the Super Bowl in 2011 and since then have also made the past 2 AFC Championship games so naturally any Patriots fan will have high hopes for New England to make it to the big game but after unfortunate injuries down the stretch in recent years and the fact that the Patriots in general have been spoilt for success over the past decade I personally am looking at the 2014 season through more objective eyes. New England’s success will come down to the young guns stepping up as this roster does have a lot of young talent; Only Vince Wilfork along with Tom Brady remain on the roster from the team’s last Super Bowl victory. You can expect even bigger things from young defensive players such as Chandler Jones and Dont’a Hightower who enter their third season this year as well as Jamie Collins who emerged as a gem late in the 2013 season. The secondary is looking scarily good with Devin McCourty, Brandon Browner and Darrelle Revis all on the roster and all hunting out opposing offenses.

CL AND JC

Along with a revamped secondary the young Pats will have big roles to play in 2014

New England’s success will come down to the young guns stepping up as this roster does have a lot of young talent; Only Vince Wilfork along with Tom Brady remain on the roster from the team’s last Super Bowl victory. You can expect even bigger things from young defensive players such as Chandler Jones and Dont’a Hightower who enter their third season this year as well as Jamie Collins who emerged as a gem late in the 2013 season. The secondary is looking scarily good with Devin McCourty, Brandon Browner and Darrelle Revis all on the roster and all hunting out opposing offenses.

On offense the Patriots have added Brandon LaFell to the likes of Julian Edelman as well as second year players Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins with Dobson in particular being predicted for a breakout season. It is clear to see that this offense of the Patriots has potential with Rob Gronkowski being the key player to any success that the offense looks to have with his blocking for the running game as well as drawing double coverage in the passing game being key. That’s along with the fact that when he receives the ball he is one of the best players in the league especially at getting in to the end-zone and putting points on the board.

With that being said Gronk has struggled for injuries in recent years but if he can stay healthy, especially in the playoffs, then the Patriots have a real shot to go all the way in 2014. For now though I’m sure they’ll be honing their skills and getting back to basics whilst focusing on getting their passing game back to top notch for the 2014 season. If the offense can get it going this season along with a defence that has the potential and players to create a unit that will rival the legendary defensive units from the past 3 Super Bowl winning teams then you’d say that New England has one of the most well equipped rosters in the National Football League and has all the tools to make it to Phoenix Stadium in 2015 with the franchise having a shot at winning it’s 4th NFL Championship.

Does a healthy Gronk in the postseason equal a Super Bowl victory for New England?

Does a healthy Gronk in the postseason equal a Super Bowl victory for New England?

 

Patriots Pulse: Rob Gronkowski Just Tweeting Himself Out Shirtless & Wearing Bling (PHOTO)

rob gronkowski

Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski may not be ready for OTA’s, but evidently he is all about the grind. The “Gronk Grid” must mean being shirtless and wearing a blinged out doallar sign around his neck.

Looks like his teammate Chandler Jones like Gronk’s swoll…

Let’s just hope this grind translates to Gronk being ready for the season opener.

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