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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: Josh McDaniels And The Colts Wouldn’t Have Worked Out

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A Case of Behind The Scenes

 

 

Josh McDaniels and the Patriots thought their time to depart after their tough loss in Super Bowl 52 was unavoidable. However, not only did Josh McDaniels get extended, but its been many rumors that Robert Kraft had contacted McDaniels literally hours before he was suppose to take off Tuesday for Indianapolis.

 

It’s difficult to know anything within the Patriots’ organization as they have remained firm in not explaining what goes on behind closed doors. However, multiple sources over at ESPN for the past week since the story broke out about McDaniels’ abrupt decision to not become the Indiapolis Colts Head Coach. The way things broke down was that Kraft and Bill Belichick got together and sat down with McDaniels. With Defensive coordinator, Matt Patricia going to Detroit, this seemed like a desperation move to maintain the coaching staff from the previous season.

 

However, according to ESPN writer Mike Reiss, there was more to the situation then just that. In one of his articles regarding the McDaniels’ decision, he stated:

 

Belichick offered to include McDaniels on more of the inner workings of the organization, from roster construction to financial/salary-cap related considerations. That was viewed as “extremely valuable” to McDaniels. Ownership also endorsed it as a way to extend Belichick’s influence on the organization in future years, although no assurances were given to McDaniels that he would succeed Belichick. McDaniels, who a source confirmed got a significant raise, has privately said in the past that he did not want to be the coach who succeeds Belichick. Although he since may have changed his mind, McDaniels knows Belichick, after five Super Bowl victories, will be a hard act to follow.

Beyond financial and professional stability, McDaniels also was thinking of his family. He wanted a long-term commitment from the Patriots so his four children, ages 12 to 3, would be able to attend the same schools over the next several years. The transient life of a coach doesn’t always make that possible.

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Former NFL Official Claims Eagles Used Illegal Play To Win Super Bowl

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Did you have doubts that the Eagles lined up correctly on the Nick Foles touchdown catch?

Well, you are not the only one with a former analyst now claiming that Philly was indeed lined up illegally on the play.

Appearing on the Talk of Fame Network, former head of officiating and FOX rules analyst Mike Pereira said the Eagles were in fact lined up illegally.

“I know the league came out and said that it’s a judgment call, which it is,” Pereira said, via Pro Football Talk. “The down judge, who was the one that [the play] was on his side of the field, they felt that it was his judgment, and [receiver Alshon Jeffrey] was close enough. Well, he wasn’t. They lined up wrong.

“Not only that, it’s a trick play. And if you’re going to run a trick-type play, then you have to be lined up properly. You could either have six men on the line, or you could have an ineligible number lined up at the end of the line, which was the case. I know what the league has said, but they would have been a lot more comfortable if they would have called an illegal formation.

“We always use a yard [within the line of scrimmage], maybe a yard-and-a-half. But that’s two [yards], and even a little bit beyond two. It’s kind of one of those that has no effect on the play. I get it. But they didn’t line up properly. And it really should’ve been called.”

Bottom line is it was simply a judgment call be the officials, might have been the completely wrong judgment, but based on what we know about Super Bowl LII the New England Patriots were never going to win the game. The Malcolm Butler benching paired with Doug Pederson‘s mindset of keeping his foot on the gas and exposing New England’s weaknesses were the reasons the Patriots lost the game, not this particular play.

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Boston Herald Runs Ron Borges’s Tom Brady Hoax Story

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Patriots

Thursday night Boston Herald reporter Ron Borges penned a story with this headline “Tom Brady wants to get paid like Jimmy G, or he’ll skip OTAs”. A headline and a story that was uncovered as a hoax on Friday.

The Kirk and Callahan show on WEEI revealed that one of their texters pretended to be Tom Brady’s agent Don Yee when texting Borges. The texter dubbed “Nick in Boston” informed Borges that Tom Brady intended to sit out New England’s preseason workouts unless he was paid like Jimmy Garoppolo who signed the largest deal in NFL history on Thursday.

K&C tweeted out the screenshots of texts with Borges outing the story as a complete and utter hoax.

Borges story was actually refuted right off the bat on Thursday night with both NBC Sports Boston and NESN claiming the story held no truth.

As for Borges, this is not his first major failure as a reporter. Since the Herald ran the story they are now looking into the matter.

Overall tricking Borges isn’t a great thing to do. Lying about someone’s identity is never nice with some reporters coming to the defense of Borges. But it is hard to have sympathy for a “journalist” that failed to check his sources and run with a story with only one source confirming of a major story.

Either way, there is no truth to a Brady holdout.

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