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Patriots Expectations Need To Pump The Breaks

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Patriots Expectations Need To Pump The Breaks

Look, the New England Patriots are the reigning Super Bowl champions. And this upcoming season they are once again the rightful favorites to win it all once more.

Did they get better this off season? On paper, yes. In reality, it is unclear. Of course, we have all season the training camp propaganda of Brandin Cooks reeling in crazy catches. But with the New England Patriots, you need to click with Tom Brady. And that only comes in a live NFL regular season game.

While I think this team will be good, it is important to keep expectations low. The NFL around them looks weak, but there are several teams like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that look poised to come at the Brady-Belichick throne.

Every year there seems to be an NFL team that takes a great leap forward, last season it was the Atlanta Falcons, and the year prior it was the Carolina Panthers. New England should win the AFC East no problem. But at this point looking at that or even further is foolish.

[perfectpullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””] But what I will sell you on is Brady having a lesser year than he did in the previous. [/perfectpullquote]

I am not going to sell you on Brady’s velocity falling and the fact that outside of the Super Bowl comeback he was mediocre in the playoffs. But what I will sell you on is Brady having a lesser year than he did in the previous. With him, I don’t think he will hit a cliff, but a slow decline? Yes, that is in the Tom Brady cards.

The future hall of famer had a touchdown-to-interception ratio of 28-2 last season. Will he repeat this type of percentage? Highly unlikely.

New England’s offensive line will be fine under the watchful eye of Dante Scarnaicia, but even with an addition to the receiving core and the running back group. One can still question what you will see this season from Brady. He is now 40-years-old, an age that is relatively uncharted amongst quarterbacks. The sample size for NFL QB’s is small, you have the likes of Brett Favre and Warren Moon in that category, outside of them, there isn’t much else to look at.

Tom Brady

HOUSTON, TX – FEBRUARY 05: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots attempts to tackle Robert Alford #23 of the Atlanta Falcons after an interception in the second quarter during Super Bowl 51 at NRG Stadium on February 5, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Brady Won’t Be This Team’s Problem, The Defense And High Expectations Will Be

Farve had a successful post-40 season, but his o-line in Minnesota fell apart in front of him. This isn’t something that I envision in New England with Brady. For that reason, I do not believe Brady would be part of any struggles this years team will face. He will find a way to work with the weapons he has, he is still a number 1 or 2 QB in the entire league.

One thing that has already plagued this team has been a lack of training camp intensity according to reports. This issue has gotten under Brady’s skin down at Patriots camp.

“I’m always pretty frustrated throughout the day in practices,” he said. “You’re just trying to create some urgency. I ask guys to dig a little deeper. It goes like that. Sometimes things don’t go great in the first quarter of games, sometimes they don’t go great in the first half, sometimes they don’t go great for the first three quarters, but you’ve got to keep grinding. You’ve got to keep digging deeper. A lot of times football is a lot about momentum. Things don’t go well early and then you find a little rhythm, start making some plays, scoring some points and then you can rattle off 28 points. That’s football.

“I think what you realize with this team is they’re not going to make it easy on you. There is no easy play, there is no easy throw, there is no easy run. They’ve got good players, they’ve got a good scheme, so it’s really challenging and has forced us to raise our game.”

The later part of the quote from Training Camp is Brady talking about the Houston Texans, a team they are sparring with in camp. I’m not sure why the Patriots are requiring a kick from Tom, but one can wonder if the 19-0 and repeat talk has gotten around the locker room at One Patriots Place. While I do not think this will be an issue in a Bill Belichick locker room, I do believe it will take a little bit of effort on him and the coaching staff to manage.

Defense Can Be An Issue

This year’s defense is without Rob Ninkovich and others who have either changed teams or walked away from the game. You could see it in week 1 of the preseason, the bend not break defense was not anywhere close to championship winning levels.

Not a big deal from a week 1 preseason game, but it shows how far this team will have to come on the defensive side of the ball. In years past this kind of stuff has lingered into the regular season. For that reason, I believe the best football out of the team will come in the back half of the year. For that reason, I believe they could lose a few games in the front half of the schedule.

Don’t get me wrong, this year’s team will be good. I have questions on defense, and I also question if Josh McDaniels will try and throw too much with Brady. I believe they should start the year with the ground and pound like last season. Set the running game early so teams have to respect it when you are throwing down the field later in the season.

If you haven’t heard or seen my season win-loss prediction for the New England Patriots, it is 12-4. They could certainly overachieve, but factoring in the defensive issues, strength of schedule, and Super Bowl hangover, I can envision a less than stellar regular season.

 

Tanner founded Trifecta Network in Spring of 2016 and has been the Chief of Content for the Network since that time. Currently Tanner covers all the sports teams in Boston and has contacts in many of the teams in the city. Before starting Trifecta, Tanner was a Site Expert for the FanSided site Chowder and Champions before leaving to cover Boston teams on the ground as a member of the media for Trifecta.

New England Patriots

Patriots Talk: Patriots Shut Out Raiders In Mexico City

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What a day for the Patriots to secure a win in the most Patriot way possible. The game was effectively over before the 2nd quarter ended. The team was dominant throughout the entire duration of the game and it showed. In many ways, there were a number of factors within this game that caused the Raiders to ultimately fold early on in the game

The Altitude Difference

The Patriots had the smart idea to stay in Denver and travel to Colorado Springs to adjust their bodies to the pressures of high altitude. The Raiders took the same approach when they traveled to Mexico City to play against the Houston Texans in Week 11 of the 2016 season. Although, the method worked last year, you can’t deny that there was a lot of outside interference in that game.

This time around, it was very clearly from just the fact that CB Stephon Gilmore and WR Danny Amendola leaving the game due to dehydration showed how taxing the high altitude was on them. The Raiders were arguably worse with their team as they allowed 4 turnovers on the offense yesterdays. The sheer pressure the game put on most of the players was quite significant in this game for both team. But the Patriots ultimately minimzed the effect that it had on them.

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Patriots Football Talk: Patriots Dominance Continues In Mexico

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Patriots

It was a sunny Sunday at the Estadio Azteca, Mexico’s Premier Stadium, in Mexico City.  The New England Patriots were facing off against the Oakland Raiders in what was called a Road Game.  It was a made for TV experience to draw in a more viewers and fans.  It was the NFL’s way to reach a larger market, that being fans in Mexico City.

The Game showed off the best in the NFL.  And you know what?  The best Team in the NFL showed what it means to be the best.  Of course I’m talking about the Patriots dominating yet another Team.  They continue to out preform their opponents on the field.  It’s something that this year’s Team has grown in to.  From being just a contender to being an all-out reigning champ; this Team has figured out how to be great.  Today’s game was proof of that!  I’d say they played perfect, but they didn’t get the shut out.  Hey you can’t have everything!

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NFL Talk: Week 11 Picks

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Patriots

We are finally getting down to the last stretch of the season where teams will finally start to line up where they will make the playoffs and those who will simply tank for the higher pick in the 2018 NFL draft. At this point, most people have teams figured out and know how games should go from here on out. As of now, I got 11-3 correct last week, which puts me at 95-51 for the season.

Tennessee Titans @ Pittsburgh Steelers: Winner – Steelers

At this point in the season, I think the Titans will likely make the wildcard as Jacksonville will run away with the division. The Steelers are pretty much a lock for the playoffs. Their division has the Browns with the worst record in the NFL, and the Bengals and Ravens have fallen off. Even though the game was already played yesterday here was my thoughts before the game:

They are playing the Titans at home and the Steelers defense has been a hack of a surprise for this season. It’s mainly because of how much money was invested into their offense yet their defense has improved substantially from last year. The 2nd best passing defense in the NFL (allowing only 181.8 passing yards per game) and 11th against the run (allowing 102.7 rushing yards per game).

The Titans will have some serious difficulties holding the Steelers down while they are playing at home. Despite the Titans not having a bad team by any stretch (they have the 6th best rushing defense in the NFL), this is the Steelers game to lose and thankfully after what we have seen, that isn’t alot. Steelers won by 40-17 and my prediction was they would score 27-20. (Titans couldn’t even get me that)

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Cleveland Browns: Winner – Jaguars

If the Jags somehow throw this game away I will be so done with predicting their games this season. The Browns are a team that needs a massive overhaul and I don’t see it being enough for them to win this game. The Jaguars will win this game 24-21 with Blake Bortles somehow almost throwing the game away. Almost.

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