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New England Patriots News: Regular Season and Preseason Updates
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3/6/14: One recent bit of speculation making the rounds has the Patriots trying to get cornerback Darrelle Revis from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Obviously, anyone who gets Revis will have to worry about the $16 million salary cap figure that he comes with. For the Pat's part, they may prefer to pay him $16 million for next season rather than pay Aqib Talib big money in a multi-year deal. It also helps that they could kind of stick it to the Jets by getting their former best player. This still is speculation, as the Bucs continue to insist that Revis is not going anywhere.
2/27/14: New England head coach Bill Bellichek has made a pretty good career by going against the grain. He went for a high-flying offense when defenses were en vogue. He brought the tight ends into play when the cornerbacks got fast. And he has found a home for several wayward talents that got into trouble off the field. So it is little surprise that has brought Mike Lombardi on board to help the team. Lombardi was most recently the GM of the Browns and was fired a couple of weeks ago. What make Big Bill different is that he figures out what people can bring to the table, and not focus on their negatives. This, again, will probably work out for him and the Patriots.
2/20/14: In the wake of the Cleveland Browns' questionable decision to get rid of president Joe Banner and GM Mike Lombardi, the Patriots may see an opportunity. Certainly, the firings (or resignings, whatever the case may be) were unexpected and just fuel the public perception that the Browns are a dysfunctional franchise. The Patriots, who have been a model of consistency for almost a decade and a half, apparently are talking with Lombardi about joining their club. Lombardi is a respected football man. Lombardi may become a special assistant to head coach Bill Belichick, who has been close to Lombardi for years.
2/13/14: It may have been odd to see, but Pats head coach Bill Billechek just spent four or five hours with Broncos QB Peyton Manning. It was in the practice round of a golf tournament, but still, that could get awkward. Or maybe not. Both Billechek and Manning have long professed respect for each other, so maybe they have a good relationship. Thankfully, this is the offseason. What many people do hope for is one last Brady vs. Manning playoff battle, and hopefully that will come next season. If nothing else, there is always a good chance that NFL schedule makers will give us one last game.
2/6/14: To the casual observer, it may seem that the Patriots have an inside source on the direction the league may take on certain rules changes. It was not too long ago that head coach Bill Billecheck said that the extra point after touchdowns should be abolished in some way. Commissioner Roger Goodell offered that up a couple weeks ago as a possible change to the NFL. Now Patriots owner Robert Kraft wants centralized instant replay (as done in the NHL) rather than the ref making a judgment call. While neither is a bad opinion, others may think that the Patriots have too much influence on the league.
1/30/14: The Patriots had a bit of a shake-up on their coaching staff last week. No, offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is not going anywhere. Instead, long-time assistant Pepper Johnson is leaving the team. He has been with head coach Bill Billechek for what seems like forever, but is heading to Houston for a promotion. In other news, director of player personnel Nick Caserio is staying with the team. He was reportedly offered the GM job with Miami, but turned it down. Maybe this was his way of signaling the rest of the league that he will be available in the future (with a more stable organization).
1/23/14: The media had a field day all week playing up the Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady rivalry - a rivalry that really only exists in the minds of journalists with a deadline. The two faced each other for the 15 time in their careers last Sunday, with the winner going to the Super Bowl. The Broncos won 26-16. Though Brady holds a 10-5 lead all time, they have split the four AFC Championship games they have played against each other. In this case, the Broncos were simply the better and deeper team. The Pats could not recover once cornerback Aqib Talib was injured and Manning was able to exploit the secondary all day.
1/16/14: The Patriots are moving on to the AFC Championship Game next week, much like they do most years. New England ousted the upstart Indiapolis Colts 43-22 last Saturday in a very un-Patriot way. They ran the ball rather than throw it. Basically, they used QB Tom Brady almost as a decoy. He ended up completing only 13 of 25 passes. Instead, the Pats bruised the Colts' defense and running back LeGarrett Blount racked up four touchdowns. They also forced four Andrew Luck interceptions, showing they can go back to their defensive roots when need be. It was a masterful gameplan by the Patriots, and means they are a lot more dangerous than anyone expected.
1/9/14: The Bill Billicheck coaching tree is expanding to other fields this offseason. Former assistant Bill O'Brien is now the head coach in Houston. Instead of retaining defensive coordinator Wade Phillips (who has been very successful at running that defense), he is bringing in former Patriots DC Romeo Crennel (who runs the same defense). Pat's OC Josh McDaniels may be the next coach in Cleveland (former Pats OC Eric Mangini had that job once, and even Billicheck got his start there). The interesting thing is that most Billicheck coaches are not particularly successful outside of New England.
1/2/14: Its hard to say how much the Patriots benefit from playing in a weak AFC East or simply how good the team really is. By playing in a terrible division, where the nearest competitor was barely 8-8, the Pats pretty much win the division by default. On the other hand, they have taken care of business when they need to, like beating Baltimore and Denver earlier in the year. Regardless, the Pats have the number 2 seed going into the playoffs and a bye this weekend. They will have homefield throughout unless they end up playing the Broncos in the AFC Championship Game.
12/26/13: When will people learn that the Patriots are most dangerous in a week after a loss. The NFL is a week to week league, meaning that whoever shows up on one Sunday may not be the team that shows up the next Sunday. Such is the case with the Patriots. After losing to the Dolphins the previous week (and hearing about how they are paper tigers all week), the Pats destroyed the Ravens 41-7 last Sunday. New England has the AFC East wrapped up (again) and severely damaged the playoff hopes of the Ravens in the process.
12/19/13: That the Patriots lost to the Dolphins 24-20 is of secondary concern. The primary concern is that the Pats lost home field advantage throughout the playoffs with the loss, and they are a much more formidable team in the cold New England January than they are on the road. New England had almost two minutes and the ball at the end of the game, but Tom Brady threw an interception that sealed their fate. The Pats have already locked up first place in the AFC East, but need help via Denver loss to get homefield back. New England (10-4) is at the Ravens this Sunday.
12/12/13: Another week, another come from behind win for the Patriots. New England beat the Cleveland Brown 27-26 in a game they had no business winning. The Pats were down 19-11 after the third quarter and had not really shown anything. However, they scored two touchdowns in 61 seconds late in the fourth quarter for the win. The road will be tougher now, though. New England lost star TE Rob Gronkowski for the season (and possibly part of next) with a torn ACL. The Patriots have a key divisional game against the Dolphins (7-6) in Miami this Sunday.
12/5/13: This is not one of the all-time great Patriot teams, but they keep finding ways to win. At 9-3, they control the AFC East (as always), and this time did it over a much inferior team in the Houston Texans. The Pats trailed 17-7 at half time, but rallied for a 34-31 win behind great coaching and an awakening by QB Tom Brady. Brady ended up throwing for 371 yards and two TDs while TE Rob Gronkowski had 127 yards receiving and one TD. No time to let up though. The Patriots face the struggling Cleveland Browns (4-8) this Sunday.
11/28/13: New England won the most anticipated game of the week by rallying for a dramatic 27-24 overtime victory. This game almost got away from the Pats early as the Broncos built up a 24 point lead going into halftime. But Tom Brady and Patriots stormed back in the second half while shutting down Peyton Manning and the Broncos. It was the 10th victory for Brady over Manning in their careers. New England is in full control of the AFC East and has as close to a gimme game as they are going to get all season when they head to Houston (2-9) this Sunday.
11/21/13: It is easy to understand the frustration of the Patriots and their fans after Monday Night's loss in Carolina. The topic that dominated the Tuesday morning sports talk shows was the uncalled interference on Pats' tight end Rob Gronkowski by Panthers' linebacker Luke Kuechley on the game's final play. The play was initially flagged, but that was picked up as the refs determined that the throw was uncatchable. Game over. Panthers win 24-20. Right or wrong, the Patriots are not happy. However, they are 7-3 and still on top of the AFC East. They have to forget about that call and now focus on 10-1 Denver.
11/14/13: The New England Patriots enjoyed a bye in Week 10 as they get set to head to Charlotte to face the suddenly relevant Carolina Panthers in the Monday Night Game. New England has control of the AFC West with a 7-2 record and are two games clear of their nearest rival, the New York Jets. The Pats have been successful this season despite being inconsistent on both offense and defense. They may be vulnerable this season, but should still capture the division. The Panthers are playing excellent defense and could pose challenges to Tom Brady and Company.
11/7/13: There has been a lot of talk about Patriots QB Tom Brady being injured or losing a step - but he put all that to rest last Sunday with a 55-31 rout of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Brady threw for 432 yards and four touchdowns on the day. Running back Steven Ridley added 115 yards and two scores of his own as the Pats simply rolled the Steelers. The 55 points were the most scored in a game this season. And for all of those that doubt the Patriots, they are 7-2 on the season and control the AFC East by two games. New England is on a bye this weekend.
10/31/13: Even with QB Tom Brady not even at an average level, the Patriot showed again why they are the best team in the AFC East. Brady was limited to 116 yards passing and one touchdown on the day, and the Patriots' running game was not that good, but New England came out with a 27-17 win against Miami. The Pats trailed 17-3 at halftime, but scored twice in seven plays to tie the game, then managed a few more points to secure the win. New England is 5-2 and again in control of the AFC East division.
10/24/13: Most of the NFL fans out there may wish there was a way for both the Patriots and the Jets to lose, but many may take solace in the Pats walking away with an overtime loss. Jets kicker Nick Folk hit a 42 yard field goal in OT (on his second attempt due to a New England penalty), as the Patriots fell 30-27 in tight end Rob Gronkowski's first game of the season. Patriots' head coach Bill Belicheck was his usual lovable self, saying after the game that the penalty that allowed the Jets a mulligan on the kick was not pushing into the line of scrimmage (it was). New England is now 5-2 and one game up on the Jets in the AFC East.
10/17/13: The folks up in Boston are happy this week. On the same night that David Ortiz hit a grand slam to essentially win Game 2 of the ACLS for the Red Sox, the Patriots stole a victory from the previously undefeated New Orleans Saints. The Saints led the game late but allowed the Patriots one last chance. The Saints players started celebrating - a bit too early it turned out. QB Tom Brady threw the winning touchdown pass to Kembrell Thompson with five seconds left. The Pats are now 4-1 on the season and head to New York for their second game against the Jets (3-3).
10/10/13: New England repeated a bit of last year by losing an ugly game to an inferior opponent. Actually, Cincinnati is pretty good, but this is the type of game that we have come accustomed to seeing the Patriots win. But Tom Brady and the offense were clearly out of sync. The injuries and rookies caught up to them for the week. And the weather in the fourth quarter did not help either. Danny Amendola returned for the first time since Week 1. It did not matter as the Bengals won 13-6. Star tight end Rob Gronkowski may return in Week 6. The Patriots' offense needs him soon. New England (4-1) hosts the New Orleans Saints (5-0) in top game this Sunday.
10/3/13: New England continued their undefeated streak with more smoke and mirrors against Atlanta - again proving the Bill Belicheck is the best coach in the league. The Patriots are still without TE Rob Gronkowski and WR Danny Amendola, yet still find ways to pick apart defenses. Tom Brady threw for 316 yards and two touchdowns and WRs Julian Edelman and Kenbrell Thompkins each had over 100 yards receiving. Vince Wilfork left the game with a torn Achilles tendon and is out for the season. New England is on the road in Week 5, facing the 2-2 Cincinnati Bengals.
9/26/13: The New England Patriots are undefeated through three games, but they have not looked like championship team yet this year. The latest win was at home, last Sunday, against Tampa. The Pats have enjoyed a soft schedule so far (Buffalo, New York Jets, Tampa) and have been able to get away with playing below their skill level. QB Tom Brady threw for 225 yards, two touchdowns and one interception against Tampa, but everyone knows he is capable of so much more. The schedule gets tougher in Week 4. New England's visits the Falcons (1-2), who are very tough to beat at home and are trying to get healthy.
9/19/13: The Patriots are now 2-0, and are actually 2-0 in AFC East, and that is the good news for Pats fans. The bad news is that they barely escaped in Week 1 (23-21 victory against a rookie QB in his first start) and probably should have lost in Week 2 (a 13-10 abomination of a game against a rookie QB in his second start). The Pats were without their best receiver, Danny Amondola, who may be out up to six weeks. They are also missing RB Shane Vereen, who will not be back until at least Week 11. Since they played on Thursday, the Pats will have had 10 days to prepare for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.
9/12/13: The Patriots won their season opener against host Buffalo 23-21. Buffalo actually controlled much of this game and had a real shot at winning. Pats wide receiver Danny Amendola left the game for a bit with a groin injury, but returned to catch 10 balls for 104 yards. The Pats will be without Amendola and running back Shane Vereen for the Thursday Night Game against the rival New York Jets. Vereen has been placed on IR, and will not be able to return until Week 11. New England should win that game on a short schedule, and really need rookie WR Kenbrell Thompkins to step up over the next few weeks.
9/4/13: QB Tim Tebow was released by the Patriots in their cuts to make a 53 man roster. That Tebow could not make it as the third string quarterback is really no surprise to those who follow the league. Team owner Robert Kraft said he was rooting for Tebow, but head coach Bill Bellichek had the final call. The Pats did keep tight end Rob Gronkowski on the roster instead of putting him on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list. That means that Gronk can return at any time and does not have to sit out the first six weeks.
8/29/13: The Patriots played their dress rehearsal game at Denver, and most expected Tom Brady and the Pats to simply pick apart the Lions. The Lions, however, were easily the dominant team. The Pats offense looked completely out of sync and was unable to muster much of anything. QB Tom Brady is known for being able to make second tier receivers household names, but losing his tip five pass catchers from last season may be more than even he can handle. In short, the success of this team is completely dependent upon how quickly the passing offense comes together.
8/22/13: The city of Boston went into a panic last week when Tom Brady was rolled over in a scrimmage and left the field with a hurt left knee. It was the same knee that he tore his ACL in 2008. No worries though. Brady returned to practice a couple days later then played in the preseason game against Tampa. He looked to be in mid-season form as he picked apart the Bucs defense. Brady may not put up the same numbers as in previous years with his young and untested receiving corps, but the Patriots look to be just fine and will be likely be the AFC East champs, again.
8/15/13: We have a Tim Tebow sighting in New England. Patriots' backup QB, Ryan Mallet, was injured from a blow to the chest in the second quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles. There is no time table yet on Mallet's return. Tebow entered the game, but did not do much to dispel the concerns about him at QB. His first two passes were incomplete - one too short and the other too long. He took a sack on third down to end the series. He did complete one pass for 15 yards (a dump off to the running back), so Tebow has not done anything yet to prove that he is a viable starting QB.
8/8/13: The Patriots offense will have to look different this season - they are currently without their top five pass catchers from last season, though tight end Rob Gronkowski should be back at some point. Of course the team is known for making stars out of unknowns, and that may be the case this year. Many people are high on third year running back Shane Vereen to have a breakout season. Vereen is 5'10 bowling ball, and that is nice - but his real value is catching the ball out of the backfield. He has terrific hands, so we may see a lot of bubble screens from the Pats offense this year.
8/1/13: New England Patriots head coach Bill Bellichek took about twenty minutes to discuss the Aaron Hernandez situation with reporters. The Hoodie was uncharacteristically open and honest about the situation, and did a pretty good job about trying to close the situation for the time being. A couple days later, though, he was asked about the Rob Gronkowski injuries and rehab and reverted to being the say-nothing curmudgeon that everyone is accustomed to. Tim Tebow, who played with Hernandez at University of Florida, was asked about the situation and he just said it was heartbreaking on all accounts.
7/25/13: With all the bad publicity that the New England Patriots have taken in the past few weeks - and there is no reason to rehash those stories here - maybe it would make sense for the team to highlight their publicly esteemed players like Tom Brady and Tim Tebow. Of course the entire Patriots offense revolves around Brady. However, there is no such glow around Tebow. It is possible that he does not even make the team considering that he has to prove he can throw a ball and read defenses if he wants to remain as a quarterback. That being said, there is so much goodwill around Tebow, it does make sense to use him as a positive example in the near future.
7/18/13: The recent legal troubles for the New England Patriots have been terrible for the team's reputation and the league as a whole. The latest word on the Alfonzo Dennard arrest for suspicion of DUI is being evaluated and he will be in court on July 31 to determine if he violated his parole. Media recently has condemned the team for their willingness to bring in players with checkered pasts but exceptional talent for relatively low prices. To be fair, the team has been fairly successful in keeping their men in line, but the recent events do provide good copy for the media and pundits.
7/11/13: As previously announced, the Patriots held a jersey exchange day for those people who purchased Aaron Hernandez number 81 jerseys through the team. Jersey owners were able to return the jerseys and select a new one free of charge over the weekend. As of Saturday night, about 1,200 had been swapped out. It is a smart move by the Patriots who obviously do not want to be associated with a man who is being investigated for one murder and possibly several more. Not surprisingly, Tom Brady number 12 jersey were the most popular replacement among fans.
7/4/13: By now, the Aaron Hernandez story is well known. He sits in jail without bail for a murder charge. He is also being investigated for two other murders in July 2012. The Patriots are acting as if Hernandez never existed. They have scrubbed his stats from the website and are offering a jersey exchange. The team has moved to never pay Hernandez another dime. They released the former player and cancelled his contract. They probably will not have to pay the guaranteed money for future years, but will likely have to pay the $3.25 million owed from the previous season.
6/27/13: As expected, the New England Patriots have been very hush hush about the Aaron Hernandez situation, though they released him after his arrest. Hernandez, of course, is being charged in a homicide case and is behind bars. The Patriots dismissed him from workouts last week, but will likely not cut him in the foreseeable future. The team just gave him a $40 million, 5 year contract, that included $12.5 million in guaranteed money. If the team cuts him, they probably have no chance of getting the guaranteed money back. However, if he goes to jail, then they could file a legal action to recoup the cash.
6/20/13: We are going to skip the obligatory Tim Tebow story here. For now, he is a backup, backup QB trying to earn a roster spot - and that is it. Besides, there are some other interesting stories here. Star tight end Rob Gronkowski is undergoing a second back surgery. He was expected to be ready for training camp, but that is in doubt now. If he is out for any extended period of time, that may seriously hinder the Patriots offense. Also, owner Bob Kraft says that Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin took his Super Bowl ring. A Putin spokesman says it was a gift.
6/13/13: New England did what no one else would - they are giving Tim Tebow another chance, and at QB apparently. The Patriots were probably the only logical choice for Tebow. They have a strong enough franchise and head coach to shut down any media circus. They have an all-world QB who is not about to be pressured by Tebow. It also gives Tebow a chance to develop his mechanics. It should be mentioned that the Patriots OC is Josh McDaniels, the same man who drafted Tebow in Denver in the first round just three years ago.
6/6/13: The Patriots are not known, as an organization, for loyalty to players (Tom Brady being the obvious exception). The team has cut and re-signed wide receiver Dion Branch more times than can be counted. But that is the "Patriot Way" - use players as disposable assets. The team disposed of two more assets this week by cutting offensive lineman Tyronne Green and wide receiver T.J. Moe. Green is a four year veteran and will probably catch on somewhere else. Moe signed as an undrafted free agent this spring, but tore an Achilles tendon. Moe will have a tougher time getting a shot, but could be another Wes Welker with time.
5/30/13: If there is one thing that everyone should have learned about the New England Patriots by now is that the team will not overpay for players regardless of past performance and sentimental feelings. They have discarded all-pros like Richard Seymore, Lawyer Milloy, and most recently, Wes Welker. Now that the dust has settled, Brady has said that his restructured contract did not include any guarantees that the club would use the savings to resign Welker. This is not unprecedented, it is simply business as usual for the Patriots. But this is a franchise that continually finds gems and makes them stars, so they should be fine.
5/23/13: The news for Patriots' superstar tight end Rob Gronkowski keeps getting worse. Gronk injured his left arm in November, then re-injured it in January. He just underwent his fourth surgery on the limb - another one was needed because the arm became infected. The infection is now gone and a metal plate has been installed. The good news is that his arm now looks set to fully heal. The bad news is that Gronk likely needs back surgery. He is expected to have a consultation on the procedure in a few weeks, and undergo the surgery sometime in the offseason.
5/16/13: While the QB and the coach have stayed the same for the past dozen years, the receiving corps in New England always seems in flux. It was not too long ago that Brady was throwing 50 touchdowns and 25 of those were to Randy Moss. Wes Welker did pretty well there for a while too. There is a new look in New England now with Danny Amendola, Aaron Dobson, and Josh Boyce. The Pats still have a couple decent tight ends on the roster in Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, as well. And as long as Brady is throwing, the passing game should be fine.
5/2/13: A good prop bet during the first round of the draft is if the Pats will use or trade their first round selection. If you bet on 'trade', then you win this year. Acting completely within character, New England traded their No. 29 pick to Minnesota for a garage load of mid and late round picks. This is a good draft to do that in, considering there is very little star power, but a lot of depth. The Patriots first pick was the 20th of the second round, where they selected Jamie Collins, an outside linebacker from Southern Miss. Not many teams have the luxury of drafting for depth, but several good drafts allow you to do that.
4/25/13: Most people expect the Patriots to coast to yet another division title, and they probably will. They have only been challenged a couple of times during the Billechek/Brady era, and this year should be no different. But for all of their regular season success, it has been nine years since the Patriots last hoisted the Lombardi Trophy for winning the Super Bowl. New England will pick 29th in the draft, and really do not have a lot of holes to fill. Their secondary should be improved now that Aqib Talib has had some time in the system. The Patriots will have five nationally televised games in 2013, including rematch of the AFC Championship in Baltimore.
4/18/13: On a non-football note, Patriots owner Bob Kraft will donate up to $100,000 for victims of the horrible bombings at the Boston Marathon. The Patriots have established a website for people to donate, and Kraft will match the donations up to $100,000. In an era of greed, publicity, and me-first, it is wonderful to see others work to heal a community. Additionally, Vince Wilfork, who spent his entire nine year career in New England has pledged $10,000 for the healing effort, while new Pats WR Danny Amendola pledged $100 per catch and $200 for every drop next season.
4/11/13: Patriot fans must be getting nervous about the return of star tight end Rob Gronkowski. Gronk broke his forearm twice last year and has had three operations. Now it seems that the arm is infected, so the doctors must take out the metal plate and treat the infection before they can put a new plate in. There are some variables here, so he may be back in a couple months or may have to miss the opening of the season. Gronk is a big part of the Patriots offense, so this set back may force the Patriots offensive planners to adjust their scheme, at least for a few games.
4/4/13: The Patriots sure do not let their roster age. They have parted ways with their top two wide receivers, Wes Welker and Brandon Lloyd, replacing them with Danny Amondola (from the St. Louis Rams), Donald Jones (from the buffalo Bills) and Michael Jenkins (from the Minnesota Vikings). The team still has tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, but currently lacks any down field threat. In other news, former Pats hit man Rodney Harrison says that the team got it right by signing Adrian Wilson from the Arizona Cardinals, because he brings attitude and respect to the defense.
3/28/13: The "Patriot Way" is really a very heartless approach to the roster. The team has a value for each player, and if the player wants or thinks he can get more elsewhere, then the Pats part ways (see: Richard Seymour, Rodney Harrison, Ty Law, and Wes Welker for examples). So while the team often loses top free agents, they can keep some on occasion. Such is the case with right tackle Sebastian Vollmer. Vollmer was a free agent that the Pats wanted to keep. Ultimately, he is staying with New England and the opportunity to win a Super Bowl.
3/21/13: There are reports that QB Tom Brady was irate when he learned that Wes Welker signed with the Broncos instead of returning to the Pats. Whether or not that is true, the Patriots immediately signed WR Danny Amondola (St. Louis) to be his replacement, and have gone so far as to offer a timeline of events. The Pats claim that their offer had more guaranteed money than Denvers. Perhaps the team is trying to build some good PR with their fans who loved Welker and his league high productivity in receptions and yards for the past five years.
Unfortunately the Patriots (perennial favorites) did not have make the Super Bowl and we are truly sorry. Next year! But that doesn't mean you can't have a great time at the Super Bowl this year. Check out more info on Super Bowl 2013 tickets over on the SeatGeek Blog.
3/14/13: The Patriots have been quiet in free agency, and that is likely by design. However, there is some big news coming out of New England in that fan favorite and QB Tom Brady's favorite wide receiver, Wes Welker, is leaving for Denver. The Pats franchised Welker last year, but the two sides were unable to come to any agreement on a long term deal. The sides were reportedly very far apart in their demands, so Welker took a two year deal in the Rockies. Patriots fans and players have to be disappointed in the outcome, but maybe the Pats now target Danny Amendola from St. Louis.
3/7/13: After a decade of unparralelled success, one really can not knock any moves the Patriots make or do not make. This season, they opted not to use their franchise tag on anyone, so Wes Welker and Aqib Talib are set to be free agents unless the team re-signs them by March 12. Welker has led the league in receptions since he joined the Pats in 2007, and QB Tom Brady wants him to come back. Talib was acquired from Tampa for a fourth round pick last season, and quickly became the team's best cornerback and strengthened a weak secondary.
2/28/13: The Patriots did it again. The team and franchise QB Tom Brady restructured Brady's contract to extend him until he is 40 years old. More importantly, the move frees up about $15 million in cap space for the team for the next two years. Brady has said that he wants the team to resign WR Wes Welker. The Pats will likely not franchise him, but rather let him test the market to establish the parameters of a new contract. This additional cap space could help New England retain Welker, or bolster the defense through free agency.
2/21/13: Patriots head coach Bill Billecheck must have something up his sleave. How else can one explain not franchise tagging Wes Welker, who averages 112 receptions per year (since joining the Pats in 2007). Welker will be 32 years old and a franchise tag would cost $11.2 million next season. No doubt that he will be among the highest sought after free agents this offseason, unless he signs a new deal with New England. Many teams could use a Wes Welker on their roster, and it is no secret that QB Tom Brady wants the team to keep Welker for a long time to come.
2/14/13: Several former Patriots players, including Willie McGinnist and Tedy Bruschi, have publicly said that it is time for someone on the team to sit down and talk to Rob Gronkowski's off-field antics. That someone, they hint, is QB Tom Brady. Gronk recently was filmed at a Las Vegas night club, shirtless, on stage, and body slamming a friend. Not unusual for a man in his early-20's, but a major liability and embarrassment for the emotionless Patriots. New England was simply not the same offense without Gronk in the line up, particularly since Aaron Hernandez was never really healthy all year. They need Gronk to mature a bit in order to get back to the top. Or they need to make more tapes of other teams' practices. Either way.
2/7/13: The Patriots sorely needed tight end Rob Gronkowski in their playoff loss to eventual Super Bowl champ Baltimore, but he was out with an injured arm. There is no question that he is an elite player and his productivity and impact on games is proof. But his off-field antics are wearing some people thin. Most recently, he was recorded shirtless on stage at a Vegas nightclub, then body slammed a friend. This flies in the face of the stoic demeanor the Patriots embody under head coach Bill Billicheck. However, if he returns to form next sesaon, then all will probably be forgiven.
1/31/13: Would Tim Tebow be a fit in New England? Logically, no. How could anyone justify taking Tom Brady off the field. However, if Tebow would embrace a move to fullback, then it is possible. Patriots' OC Josh McDaniels drafted Tebow in the first round when head coach of the Broncos. The Patriots have a history of taking Jets castoffs and making them good players, like Danny Woodhead. And Bill Billechek seems like the kind of guy who would love to stick it to the Jets by succeeding where they failed. It is all speculation for now, but it is an interesting argument.
1/24/13: Once again the Patriots advanced pretty far in the playoffs, but once again they will not be hoisting the Lombardi Trophy. Last season, it took a Lee Evans dropped ball in the endzone and a missed Billy Cundiff field goal to beat the Ravens in the AFC Championship Game. This year, Baltimore kept it close through half time and then dominated in the second half. The Patriots have been perennial contenders, but have not won the championship since 2004. That was also in the pre-Spygate days, leading some cynics to draw their own conclusions on the Patriots' success.
1/17/13: New England finds themselves in a familiar spot - hosting the AFC Championship Game. Even more familiar is that it is a rematch of last year's game against the Baltimore Ravens. New England handled Houston at home for the second time in just five weeks, holding on for a 41-28 victory. The Ravens were one Lee Evans dropped pass from advancing to the Super Bowl in 2012, but the Patriots ultimately won. This year, however, star tight end Rob Gronkowski will be unavailable as it appears he re-broke his arm and is finished for the season.
1/10/13: New England took their customary bye week to rest and heal. They are spending this week preparing to host the Houston Texans again. The Texans came calling in Foxborough on a heavily hyped Monday Night game in Week 12. The Patriots destroyed them. A month later and the Pats faithful expect the same result. Houston earned their way to the Divisional Round by beating the Bengals in the Wild Card Round for the second straight year. Now they have a much more daunting task: Tom Brady and the Pats in New England with an extra week to heal and prepare.
1/3/13: Its January, so time for the Patriots to have a bye week and start a run to the Super Bowl. New England coasted through their final game against Miami with a 28-0 beatdown. Tom Brady threw for almost 300 yards and two touchdowns, and Steven Ridley added 74 on the ground and a pair of TDs. The Patriots limited the Dolphins to about 50 yards rushing, ending Miami's season with a losing record. With Houston losing to Indianapolis, the Patriots locked up the number 2 seed in the AFC, and will have a week off to prepare for the second round.
12/27/12: Many people thought that the Patriots would drop an easy 50 points on the Jaguars this past Sunday, but these people have obviously have not paid attention to the team for the past 12 years. In typical form, New England pulled out just enough to win, and that was it. The Jags went up 10-0 early, but that was a mere formality, as the Patriots rallied back to win 23-16. The Pats fans were out en masse, giving host Jacksonville its largest home crowd since 2004, and interfering with the home teams' snap counts, which is how the game ended.
12/20/12: The Jags took a trip south to face in-state rival Miami last Sunday, but put in another poor performance in a 24-3 loss to the Dolphins. Jacksonville jumped out to an early 3-0 lead, but that was all the scoring they could muster. QB Chad Henne threw for 221 yards, 106 to breakout wide receiver Cecil Shorts, but the team could not cross the goal line. The loss puts the Jags at 2-12 on the season, and the coaching staff will have to figure out what to do at the quarterback position. Now the speculation will be if the Jags will acquire hometown hero Tim Tebow in the offseason.
12/13/12: If there was any doubt that New England was among the best in the AFC, then those doubts were fully settled last Monday. On paper, the Patriots-Texans game was the best game of the season. But New England jumped out to a very quick 21-0 lead and simply dominated Houston on a cold, snowy, New England night. The Pats ended up with a decisive 42-14 victory and improved to 10-3 on the season, and in good position to win homefield advantage and a bye in the playoffs. Tom Brady was Tom Brady, throwing for just under 300 yards and four touchdowns. New England will get a great test this Sunday when they host the San Francisco 49ers.
12/6/12: The Patriots took another step toward returning to the Super Bowl this past week by locking up the AFC East crown. New England has won their past five games to improve to 9-3 on the season, with Miami in second with only five wins. The Patriots went down to South Florida and beat the Dolphins 23-16 at Sun Life Stadium. New England may have their toughest game of the regular season this week, as they host 11-1 Houston in the Monday Night Game. Both teams are assured a playoff spot, but this game may decided home field advantage later on.
10/1/12 ? The Buffalo Bills had a 21-7 lead early in the third quarter against the New England Patriots. But the lead wasn?t large enough to stop Tom Brady and the New England offense. Brady led the Pats to six straight touchdown drives in the second half en route to a 52-28 blowout. Brady threw for 340 yards and three touchdowns. Wes Welker and Rob Gronkowski had over 100 yards each in receptions. The Pats also added another wrinkle to their offense, a running game. Brandon Bolden and Stevan Ridley both rushed for 100 yards and combined for three touchdowns. The running duo ran circles around the Bills high price offensive line. Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 350 yards and four touchdowns but also threw four interceptions.
New England Patriots Tickets - Team History
Though they haven't hoisted the Lombardi Trophy since 2004, the past 10 years have certainly been fruitful for the New England Patriots. Bill Belichick, Tom Brady, and co. have ended the year with a winning record in every season since 2000. Calling Gillette Stadium home since 2002, Boston's beloved Patriots are favored to win almost every time they step on the field.
New England Patriots Tickets - 2011 Season Info
Though they probably wouldn't say it, the Patriots are entering 2011 still smarting from a bitter 28-21 loss to the New York Jets in the Divisional round of the 2010 playoffs. History, however, has given the Pats no reason to change their outlook or brand of football in 2011. Dumping Randy Moss midseason last year allowed New England to more closely embody the team-first attitude that, if fully bought into, can be extremely effective in the NFL. Save Brady, New England has no superstars on the offensive side of the ball, and still manages to possess perhaps the most potent offense in the league. Their best receiver, Wes Welker, is devastatingly reliable if not a gamebreaking player. BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Jets castoff Danny Woodhead currently spearhead the running game, and both could've probably walked Boston's streets anonymously until last season began. Whether or not the Patriots can use this brand of football to bring home another Super Bowl in 2012 remains to be seen, yet at 5 to 1, they are currently the favorite in Las Vegas.
New England Patriots Tickets -2011 Schedule
New England opens in Miami on Monday Night Football, and will definitely get the best effort from a Dolphins team trying desperately to push itself out of the third-place seat in the AFC East. Sanchez and the Jets don't come to Foxboro until Week 5, with games against the Chargers, Bills, and Raiders giving the Patriots a very reasonable shot of hosting New York with a 4-0 record. A 14-2 2010 will be difficult to duplicate in a league moving closer and closer to parity, yet barring a meltdown or significant injury, New England should make the playoffs in 2011.
New England Patriots Tickets - The Players
The front office gave Tom Brady a new weapon in signing Chad Ochocinco. Bill Belichick has a habit of taking veterans and fitting them into a system that works instead of trying to force them into a system that doesn't fit their skill set. Patriots also landed Albert Haynesworth. There is no question that having Tom Brady under center with Deion Branch, Wes Welker, Ocho Cinco and Julian Edelman out wide that they will have one of the most prolific passing offenses in the league. Don't forget about their defense. Belichick is a defensive mastermind and will take a group of no names and make them one of the best in the league.
New England Patriots Schedule & Key Dates
Opening Day / New England Patriots First Game 2013
New England Patriots Preseason Beginning 2013
Dec 15, 2013 New England Patriots 20 - 24 Miami Dolphins Dec 8, 2013 Cleveland Browns 26 - 27 New England Patriots Dec 1, 2013 New England Patriots 34 - 31 Houston Texans Nov 3, 2013 Pittsburgh Steelers 31 - 55 New England Patriots Oct 27, 2013 Miami Dolphins 17 - 27 New England Patriots Oct 13, 2013 New Orleans Saints 27 - 30 New England Patriots Oct 6, 2013 New England Patriots 6 - 13 Cincinnati Bengals Sep 22, 2013 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 3 - 23 New England Patriots Sep 8, 2013 New England Patriots 23 - 21 Buffalo Bills Aug 29, 2013 Preseason: New York Giants 20 - 28 New England Patriots Aug 22, 2013 Preseason: New England Patriots 9 - 40 Detroit Lions