New England Patriots News: Regular Season and Preseason Updates
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3/25/15: The New England Patriots have simply owned the AFC East for the past decade and a half, as no division rival has been able to mount a sustainable threat to the team. Many are wondering if that changes this year. The Patriots lost their wonderful cornerbacks, with Darrelle Revis going to the rival Jets. The Dolphins have beefed up their defensive line with Ndamukong Suh. Meanwhile the Buffalo Bills have upgraded their offense substantially at almost ever position. Could this be the year that the Patriots fall? Probably not, but it makes for good copy and conversation.
3/18/15: The New England Patriots were able to upgrade their secondary last season by signing cornerbacks Brandon Browner and Darrelle Revis. They will have neither for the 2015 season. The Pats and Revis could not come to an agreement on a long-term deal and the team was not about to pay him $20 million to stick around for another year. So he was released and quickly found work with the rival New York Jets. With Revis gone, the Patriots realized that they would have to change their secondary scheme and Browner was not a fit. So Browner left as well and did not have to wait long before signing with the New Orleans Saints.
3/11/15: The New England Patriots have not been shy about using the franchise tag in their history, it is just that they tend to use it differently than most teams. Rather than tag a standout position player, they have now used the franchise tag three times on a kicker. Last week, they tagged place kicker Steven Gostkowski, which was the seventh consecutive year that a kicker or punter has been tagged. Gostkowski will now make over $4 million next season unless another team signs him for more. The Patriots would then have the right to match or let him go and receive two first round picks as compensation.
3/4/15: The Deflategate investigation is ongoing and there really is no time table set out for its resolution. There are three thing that can be expected, though. First is that the New England Patriots will not be returning their most recent Lombardi Trophy. Second is that critics of the team will continue to believe the Patriots have a culture of cheating dating back at least 15 years. Finally, Patriots fans will fervently deny those charges and continue to live in their own world. The investigation will end at some point and there may be discipline for the team, which could be fines, loss of draft picks or perhaps nothing at all.
2/25/15: It has been a lot of weeks since the deflated footballs scandal in the AFC Championship Game came to light, but the NFL is not ready to release any findings of their investigation. A new wrinkle has come up, and that is speculation that the Indianapolis Colts altered the ball after linebacker D'Qwell Jackson's interception. The league is not commenting on that speculation but one has to wonder if the NFL will consider that as they research all the facts surrounding the incident and decide what type of punishment is appropriate, or if any at all.
2/18/15: Nice guy and QB Tom Brady convinced Chevy to give the truck he earned for being named the Super Bowl MVP to Malcolm Butler. Butler, of course, famously picked off Seahawks' QB Russell Wilson to seal the Patriots win. Smart move by Brady. Even if his intentions are good, what he really did was avoid a $21,000 tax bill. Now that tax obligation goes to Butler. Somewhere, someone is saying that if Brady was a real team mate then he would pay the taxes, forgetting that he actually gave away a brand new truck when he did not have to.
2/11/15: The New England Patriots arrived back in Boston to a hero's welcome, and naturally they had a parade to celebrate their success. Even that was not without controversy as running back LaGarrette Blount (who was kicked off the Steelers for his behavior, but saved by the Patriots) mocked Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch during the celebration. In other news, Patriot fans are jumping all over Jerry Rice's comments that he used stickum on his gloves when he played, a tactic that was outlawed four years before Rice ever came into the league. Additionally, there has been no news on the deflated balls investigation.
2/5/15: The New England Patriots defeated the Seattle Seahawks to win Super Bowl XLIX last Sunday, capping an incredible run by the team. It was the sixth Super Bowl appearance by the Bill Belichick and Tom Brady duo, their fourth victory, and the first one since the Spygate scandal nearly a decade ago. It also came on the heels of the Deflategate controversy, where 11 of 12 Patriot footballs were underinflated in the AFC Championship Game. The NFL did not come to any conclusion about that issue prior to the Super Bowl, so it may be months before there is anything new. In the end, the Pats rallied to beat Seattle, so they are going home with the hardware.
1/28/15: The New England Patriots may be in the Super Bowl this season, but the heat is on them about possibly deflating footballs in the AFC Championship Game against the Indianapolis Colts. The Patriots routed the Colts 45-7 in the game, and deflated balls, which help the quarterback and receivers handle the ball, may not have had any material influence on the final score. However, It is at least the third time that the Patriots have pushed the envelopes on what is legal and illegal, and that has drawn the ire of many fans around the league.
1/21/15: The New England Patriots are headed back to the Super Bowl. Since it is not against the New York Giants, they may actually win one for the first time in over a decade. The Pats easily dispatched the upstart Indianapolis Colts 45-7 on Sunday night. They made Colts QB Andrew Luck look like an inexperienced youngster. Of course, the win does not come without controversy as several game balls were reportedly taken out of use in the game because they were under-inflated. The Patriots controlled the game balls, and has a history of being a bit loose with NFL rules, so naturally scrutiny is coming down on them.
1/14/15: Once again, the road to the Super Bowl will go through New England. The top seeded Patriots used some trickery and deception on their final touchdown drive late in the fourth quarter to beat the visiting Baltimore Ravens 35-31. The Patriots moved around their offensive lineman to prevent the Ravens from identifying which receivers were eligible. While not against the rules, it certainly looked like the Hooded One found a loophole. Do not be surprised if the NFL takes a look at changing this rule before next season. So the Patriots will host the AFC Championship Game on Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts, with the winner representing the conference in the Super Bowl.
1/7/15: The Patriots lost the last game of the regular season to finish at 12-4, which is about par for the course with this organization. But the loss did not matter because they had already clinched the number one seed in the AFC so they will have home field through out the playoffs. What was more important was keeping everyone healthy, particularly Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski. With those two safely bubble-wrapped, the Patriots enjoyed a bye last weekend and have an extra week to prepare for their Super Bowl push. New England will host Baltimore on Saturday.
12/3/14: The Patriots seven game winning streak came to an end last Sunday as the Green Bay Packers defeated New England 26-21 at Lambeau Field. This was one of the most anticipated games of the season and it did not disappoint. The Patriots were in the game the entire way and had a chance to win near the end, but a Tom Brady pass to tight end Rob Gronkowski was knocked away. The Patriots are still the class of the AFC and have an impressive 9-3 record through 13 weeks of the season. They stay on the road this week with the Sunday Night Game at San Diego.
11/19/14: New England at Indianapolis was one of the premier games last weekend, and it was supposed to be a good barometer of where two of the better AFC teams stood. The Patriots showed that they are still the class of the AFC with a decisive 42-20 road win. Indy actually held a 14-10 lead at half time, but New England buried the Colts int he second half with four touchdowns. Running back Jonas Gray had a monster day with 38 carries for 199 yards and four touchdowns. New England is now 8-2 and hosts the Detroit Lions on Sunday.
11/13/14: It was just over a month ago that the alarmists in the media were telling anyone who would listen that the 2-2 Patriots were dead in the water. That QB Tom Brady was washed up and coach Bill Belicheck had lost his touch. So the Patriots went into hyperdrive and have won their last five - including blowing out the Denver Broncos, which may prove important for home field in the playoffs. Now, those same 'experts' are saying how the Pats are the team to beat in the AFC and that Brady is still in his prime. New England had a bye last week and heads to Indianapolis for a primetime game on Sunday night.
11/5/14: New England made a statement by crushing the visiting Denver Broncos 43-21 in the biggest game of Week 9. Sure, Peyton Manning had the big stats with over 400 yards passing and two TDs, but he also threw two costly picks. Tom Brady, meanwhile, 'only' managed 333 yards but had four touchdowns and one interception. Neither team ran the ball much, combining for only 109 yards rushing. Brady is now 11-5 against Manning all time, and the win could be a deciding factor in home field advantage during the playoffs. New England is now 7-2 on the season and gets to enjoy a bye this week.
10/29/14: For those that dismissed the New England Patriots earlier in the year, they should look at what the Pats have been doing lately. New England has been destroying everything in sight and is on top of the AFC East (again). The Pats buried the Chicago Bears 51-23 at home on Sunday. They scored 31 points in the second quarter to put the game away early. QB Tom Brady threw for a monster 354 yards and five touchdowns while tight end Rob Gronkowski finished with 149 yards receiving and three scores. A huge game this Sunday when the Denver Broncos come to town for a late afternoon game.
10/22/14: While Tom Brady does not own the Jets in the same manner he owns the Buffalo Bills, he still has a very strong record against them. He improved that record to 19-6 in the Thursday Night Game with a 27-25 win. The Pats have played four games in just over two weeks, winning three of those. This one may have been closer than they would have liked, but it is a division win regardless. Brady has picked it up since a sluggish start and threw for 261 yards and three touchdowns in this game. The Pats are (again) on top of the AFC East with a 5-2 record. They are at home this Sunday to host the Chicago Bears.
10/15/14: The simple fact is that New England does not lose to Buffalo. It does not matter where they play, New England does not lose to Buffalo. That narrative held true again as the Patriots systematically cut through the Bills defense time and time again for 37-22 win. Any concerns that QB Tom Brady is past his prime should be laid to rest. He threw for 361 yards, four TDs and no interceptions. The win boosted the Patriots to 4-2 on the season and was the second big margin win in a row. New England is on a short week. The Patriots host the New York Jets on the Thursday Night Game.
10/8/14: The speculation that the New England Patriots were on their way down and that QB Tom Brady was losing his skills seem wildly silly after the Pats completely destroyed the highly regarded Cincinnati Bengals on national TV last Sunday Night. The Pats have struggled through much of the year and were routed by Kansas City in Week 4. But they stormed back with a 41-17 drubbing that should calm everyone down again. Brady was Brady again. He threw for 292 and two touchdowns. The running game put up another 220 yards and a score. New England heads to Buffalo to take on the Bills this Sunday.
10/1/14: The 41-14 rout of the Patriots at the hands of the Kansas City Chiefs was witnessed on a national stage last Monday. Within hours, those that make a living out of analyzing all things NFL had come to the conclusion that the Tom Brady Era was over and the Patriots reign is finished. Brady has looked shaky this season behind an inept offensive line and does not have the targets he has had in the past. The Pats are also 2-2, and in no way eliminated from anything yet. But it makes good copy to dump on an aging former champion. Perhaps the Pats can change a few minds this week when they host the Bengals.
9/24/14: In what was one of the lesser exciting games of the season, the New England Patriots beat the visiting Oakland Raiders 16-9 in a rematch of the Tuck Rule Game. Neither team was particularly effective on offense. The Patriots managed just over 300 yards in total offense, including 234 in the air from QB Tom Brady. Brady added one touchdown and let the defense and special teams do the rest. The win pushes the Patriots to 2-1 on the season, with the lone loss being in Week 1 to Miami. New England is on the road this week for the Monday Night Game at Kansas City.
9/17/14: The Patriots rarely lose consecutive games, and they continued that tradition by trouncing the Minnesota Vikings 30-7 last Sunday. Minnesota may have been caught off guard and distracted by the sudden deactivation of star running back Adrian Peterson, but the Patriots defense came to play. They forced four interceptions and kept the Vikings at bay for the entire game. QB Tom Brady still seems to be struggling. He threw for only 149 yards and one TD, but no interceptions. New England has their home opener this Sunday as they host the Oakland Raiders and try to improve to 2-1.
8/28/14: The Patriots are the heavy favorites to win the AFC East (again) this season - and probably will be until QB Tom Brady and head coach Bill Belichick decide to retire. It also helps that their divisional foes continue to fall all over themselves and have not offered much competition over the past 13 years or so. That dynamic makes them easy to underrate, but the team could have a very strong defense this season. While they have been living off of Brady's arm for the past several years, the team has quietly stepped up their defense, which could be among the better units in the NFL this season.
8/21/14: Cary Williams, the cornerback from the Philadelphia Eagles, had some choice words for the New England Patriots a few weeks ago. Specifically, he said that he did not want to share practice with a group of 'cheaters'. Williams also turned QB Tom Brady's first toss into a long pick-six. Brady rebounded and played very well in the few series he had against the Eagles. Incidentally, Williams claims that he sought out Patriots head coach Bill Belicheck to apologize and offer his respects. While not the odds on favorites in either conference, there is an outside chance that the two teams could meet again in February, which would be fun.
8/14/14: It should come as no surprise that Patriots' head coach Bill Belichick likes new technology. His critics would simply point to the Patriots' video taping other teams as proof, but that would be cynical and way to easy to point out. Like other teams, he has been testing out using tablets during the preseason games rather than the old photo-books. He has positive reviews so far, except when the Wi-Fi connection is lost. He claims that happened during their preseason game against Washington. That is not surprising though. Even with a secure connection there is bound to be a lot of interference.
8/7/14: The Patriots have been among the best teams year in and year out for almost 15 years. That being said, it has been a decade since New England has won a Super Bowl. The Patriots have played in two since, but lost to the New York Giants both times. Patriots legend Rodney Harrison had some challenging words for the current crop of Pats. He challenged them to win the Super Bowl, not just get it. He is tired of being disappointed and thinks the team has the talent to get the job done. In particular, he wants the defense to step up and do their part this season.
7/31/14: It seems to be the Patriots prerogative to not worry what anyone else thinks of them or to make friends outside of their fanbase. Head coach Bill Belicheck has been that way for years and now well-respected owner Bob Kraft is getting in on the act. Kraft wants an NFL team in Los Angeles within two or three years and says that it would be good for everyone. Certainly, it would benefit the NFL to get back into the second largest media market, but someone would have to move there. So Kraft is likely not making too many fans from teams that are usually associated with a move to L.A. such as the St. Louis Rams, Buffalo Bills, Oakland Raiders, Jacksonville Jaguars or San Diego Chargers. But he probably does not care, either.
7/24/14: Many NFL fans love Thursday night games because it is an extra day of football. Many do not like them because the play is often sub-par as the teams are still recovering from playing four days earlier. And it can mess up a fantasy line-up. But count Patriots head coach Bill Belichick as a fan. He likes playing on Thursday and would take more games than maximum one (not counting opening day and Thanksgiving) if allowed. Perhaps he has found the secret in rejuvenating his players on an ultra-short week and would like to use that as a competitive advantage. Of course, playing in the weak AFC East is a competitive advantage all its own.
7/17/14: A lot has been written over the years about the Patriots lacking top quality wide receivers (except Randy Moss and Wes Welker for a time). The team has never made much of an issue of it, perhaps because they believe the QB makes the receiver. But the team probably has a better cache of receiving threats than most realize. Julian Eddleman was outstanding last season and Danny Amendola is very good when he is healthy. Also, second year WR Arron Dobson is healing from foot surgery in March and is expected to take a bigger role this season.
7/10/14: The New England Patriots acted very quickly last season when it was speculated that Aaron Hernandez was the killer of Odin Lloyd. They cut him immediately in a very decisive action. That came just four months after the team gave Hernandez a huge contract that included a large guaranteed signing bonus. The Patriots still owe Hernandez $3.25 million from the guarantee, but have filed papers to get that removed. They do not plan to write him anymore checks or in any way pay for his defense. The NFLPA has filed a grievance on Hernandez' behalf to get the rest of the money.
7/3/14: Ok, so now this is just getting comical. A couple weeks ago, Browns head coach Mike Pettine started a small fire storm by claiming that the New England Patriots had the New York Jets playbook. He got that information from Tom Brady via Wes Welker's wedding. Welker has now come out to say that everyone was just joking around at the wedding and this was nothing more than contrived big talk amongst guys. We will probably never know the truth, but no one would be surprised if the allegations were true, considering the Pats history and all.
6/26/14: The Patriots found themselves in another situation calling into question the ethics of the organization under head coach Bill Belichick. This is not related to any of the alleged spying or questionable camera work from years past. This is new Browns head coach Mike Pettine claiming that the Pats had the Jets playbook. The allegation is that Jets coach Rex Ryan gave a copy to Alabama head coach Nick Saban, who gave it to Belicheck. Belicheck, of course, denied any knowledge. True or untrue, it is just the latest in long line of questionable situations for the Patriots over the past 15 years or so.
6/19/14: Patriots QB Tom Brady was recently the subject of laughable report that questioned if he is among the top five quarterbacks in the league. The central theme to the report was that Brady does not have the gaudy statistics of other QBs that are considered elite. There probably is some truth to that and he may not be one of the best options - if you are playing fantasy football. But the fact of the matter is that he continues to win whether or not he has great players around him or not. For his part, the only stat that Brady cares about is wins and losses.
6/12/14: After the New England Patriots lost wide receiver Wes Welker to free agency (Denver Broncos) a year ago, they signed former Rams wide receiver Danny Amendola to fill the same role. On paper that made sense, as many expected a Welker clone. The practice is much different than the expectation. The knock on Amendola always has been his ability to stay healthy, and again, he missed a lot of time last season to injury. It is a new year and another chance for Amendola to redeem himself. He looks good so far in OTAs, and hopefully that will carry over to the regular season.
6/6/14: We still do not know what to expect from QB Ryan Mallet. He was drafted by the Patriots a few years ago but does not see the field because he is playing behind Tom Brady. There has been a lot of speculation that the Patriots will trade him, especially after they took a QB in the draft, who may be the team's succession plan when Brady retires. Mallet could be a good pickup for someone else. Remember the last time a guy sat behind a future hall of famer for a few years? That would be Aaron Rodgers, who has turned out to be a pretty good QB himself.
5/29/14: It is common knowledge that Patriots Bill Belicheck is always looking for ways to win, even if they are only giving him a small advantage. To the best of anyone's knowledge, he is not trying to skirt the rules these days (by filming opposing team's practices or their sideline directions) but is instead trying to change the rules. His current fight is to allow coaches challenge any play, not just those that are reviewable under current NFL rules. He is not asking for more challenges, just the ability to challenge more plays in order to get the rulings right.
5/15/14: The Patriots have built the closest thing to a dynasty in the NFL based on the AFC East being perpetually weak and taking undervalued players and making them stars. They are hoping for the latter with their latest first round draft pick, who is none other than Dominique Easley from the Florida Gators. Easley was a great defensive tackle when he was on the field, but a few knee injuries likely scared away other team. The Pats have the luxury of great players and coaching, so they may be able to ease Easley in, and teach him to have a great career.
5/8/14: For those that may have missed it, former Patriots star tight end Aaron Hernandez is in even more trouble. He was indicted for assaulting another prisoner by a grand jury - from an incident back in February. He already has enough on his plate with a murder charge, among other things. The Patriots have distanced themselves from Hernandez pretty well so far. Some say that he will get out of the murder charge and be a free man. That leaves to speculation whether or not any team would pick him up. It is probably too early to say, but common logic believes that his NFL career is over.
5/1/14: Once again, the Patriots and Tom Brady will play against Peyton Manning. The NFL released their schedule last week, and is often the case, got these two rivals together. The game will be in week 9 of the regular season at Gillette Stadium in New England. Brady has won 10 of the previous 15 matchups, so he will likely retire the winner in this ongoing rivalry. However, Broncos' fans will quickly point out that Peyton won the last game, which was the AFC Championship Game last season, sent the Broncos to the Super Bowl against Seattle.
4/24/14: The Pats have made a dynasty out of taking lowly regarded players and making them stars. In fact, from top to bottom, it is rare that the team acquires a 'star' player. So this is business as usual for them. Along with the Brown, Steelers and Jets (reportedly), the Pats have an interest in running back Andre Williams. Williams had a good career at nearby Boston College, and was a Heisman finalist after running for almost 2,200 yards and 18 touchdowns. Running backs probably will not go in the first round again this season, but the Pats are always looking for guys that complement their scheme.
4/17/14: The Patriots announced that their team doctor, Dr. Thomas Gill, has stepped down from his position. In a statement from the team, the reason given was Gill's desire to focus on his private practice, which, apparently, will take enough time to not be able to work with the Patriots in his capacity as teh chief of sports medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. Gill has been the team doctor for over a decade, but the team is not breaking their relationship with MGH. Instead, Gill's replacement was named, and that is Dr. Matt Provencher. MGH has provided medical support to the team throughout the Patriots existence.
4/10/14: When a team consistently wins and wins its division, like the Patriots (though they have no doubt benefitted from being the AFC East, which is average at best aside from New England), there is little thought given to the business side of the game where the team consistently releases aging or injured players without a second thought. Add veteran safety Adrian Wilson to the ranks of Brandon Spikes, Richard Seymore (trade) and Wes Welker. The team informed Wilson that he would not return in 2014. Wilson did not play a regular season snap for New England as he was hurt for the year in preseason of 2013.
4/3/14: The New England Patriots have their own way of doing things, and that includes letting their well known stars walk if they want too much money (QB Tom Brady excluded, of course). It has happened several times over the years including Ty Law and more recently, Wes Welker. It looked like it would happen again with nose tackle Vince Wilfork. Wilfork even cleaned out his locker and basically said goodbye. But something happened and the Pats got the defensive lineman to restructure his contract. Now it is all smiles and jelly beans in New England as long-time favorite is sticking around.
3/27/14: For all the Patriots success, it is often overlooked or forgotten about that time before their first Super Bowl win (against the St. Louis Rams) that they were (eventually) caught filming the Rams practice, as well as filming other teams later on. Head coach Bill Billechek was fined $500,000 for 'spygate', and it seems to have been swept under the rug. Now a couple of former Patriots are claiming that the Pats are skirting the rules again - though this time is about lying on injury reports. That is pretty tough to prove, but it at least should get the league's attention to remind teams to be truthful when filling out and submitting injury reports.
3/20/14: Like the Denver Broncos, the Patriots look like they are going all in on this season. QB Tom Brady is on the downside of his career, but certainly has the talent to win another Super Bowl. New England had problems on defense last season and hopes to settle that down this season. They cut cornerback Aqib Talib and replaced him with Darrelle Revis. However, long-time Patriot defensive lineman Vince Wilfork has asked to be released as he does not want to take a pay cut to stay with the team. In the meantime, Brady still needs someone to throw to.
3/13/14: If former Bears great Brian Urlacher did not like how the Bears cut long-time kick returner Devin Hester, considering it a breach of loyalty, then he should be glad that he did not play for New England. The Patriots are letting their best cornerback Aqib Talib walk and test free agency, and the same thing could be happing with linebacker Brandon Spikes. Spikes' season ended on the IR, though there has been rumors that his missing meetings played a role in the team's decision to end his season. Spikes is taking the high road here, but admits that it may be best for both him and the team to go in different directions.
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. Houst
Reviewing the Patriots-Colts Mismatch
To put it simply, the Colts-Patriots game this week was supposed to be the NFL's Alabama-Mississippi State. It was supposed to be the best game of the week. It's was also the hardest one to predict. Who would win? Both teams were playing their best football coming into the matchup. The Patriots offense had scored…Read more
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New England Patriots Schedule & Key Dates
Opening Day / New England Patriots First Game 2015
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New England Patriots Past Games Schedule and New England Patriots Scores
|Jan 18, 2015||AFC Championship Game: Indianapolis Colts - New England Patriots||7 - 45|
|Jan 10, 2015||AFC Divisional Game: Baltimore Ravens - New England Patriots||31 - 35|
|Dec 28, 2014||Buffalo Bills - New England Patriots||17 - 9|
|Dec 14, 2014||Miami Dolphins - New England Patriots||13 - 41|
|Dec 7, 2014||New England Patriots - San Diego Chargers||23 - 14|
|Nov 30, 2014||New England Patriots - Green Bay Packers||21 - 26|
|Nov 16, 2014||New England Patriots - Indianapolis Colts||42 - 20|
|Nov 2, 2014||Denver Broncos - New England Patriots||21 - 43|
|Oct 26, 2014||Chicago Bears - New England Patriots||23 - 51|
|Oct 16, 2014||New York Jets - New England Patriots||25 - 27|
|Oct 12, 2014||New England Patriots - Buffalo Bills||37 - 22|
|Oct 5, 2014||Cincinnati Bengals - New England Patriots||17 - 43|
|Sep 29, 2014||New England Patriots - Kansas City Chiefs||14 - 41|
|Sep 21, 2014||Oakland Raiders - New England Patriots||9 - 16|
|Sep 14, 2014||New England Patriots - Minnesota Vikings||30 - 7|