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New England Patriots

Patriots Talk: Players That Have The Most To Prove

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Patriots Talk: Players That Have The Most To Prove

It is here. The final game of the preseason is tonight against the New York Giants. The Patriots now have to see who else can prove their worth and make the final cuts. With players like Julian Edelman falling to an ACL torn or Kony Ealy being traded, many roster spots are now left open. As of now, there are several players on the roster who still need to prove themselves to make the roster for the 2017 NFL season.

Austin Carr (Wide Receiver) – Arguably the most polarizing and most spoken name after hearing of Edelman’s injury is none other than Austin Carr. As of now, he has been a player that has done well in both training camp and in the preseason (especially his touchdown catch in the first preseason game against the Jaguars) Due to his ability to play in the slot that he was well-known for at Northwestern, he has been seen to make the fifth and final slot for the receiving position.With wide outs like Chris Hogan, Brandin Cooks, Danny Amendola and Matthew Slater (mainly special teams) likely making the four top spots at wide receiver, Carr could make a push for the fifth spot of players like Cody Hollister with a strong performance tonight.

Brandon Bolden (Running Back) – While Bolden has been a major special teams players, with the addition of Marquis Flowers from the Cincinnati Bengals, his butt is on the hot seat. He provides little as a running back and with the amount of depth the Patriots have especially with strong performances from Dion Lewis, D.J Foster, and Mike Gillislee, he will be one of the few special teams who likely won’t be able to validate their position. The current picture looks like the end for Bolden unless he gets on the practice squad if he clears waivers.

Cyrus Jones (Cornerback) – Oh boy, the one issue that seems to be a never ending concern is Mr. Cyrus Jones. Despite being the highest draft pick in the Patriots 2016 Draft, he has had severe difficulty adapting to the game. The player had these same issues at Alabama until his final year where he broke out. So far, Jones has shown little to no improvement as a defensive back and has been shown to be a liability as a punt/kick returner. He has mainly been competing with Eric Rowe for the slot corner back position, but Jones’ best chance of making the final 53 roster is his job as a special teamer. He has shown some improvement in that area, but there are many issues that still need work. Jones is the most likely of any on this list to make the final roster, but having a horrible game today would be the signal to sign his release papers.

Adam Butler (Defensive Tackle) – Possibly the biggest surprise to see on this list is Butler. The reason for why he is a major player is due to the lack of depth at defensive tackle. He has shown an ability to break through the defensive line and make a presence in the backfield, but long time players like Malcolm Brown and Alan Branch are the current starters at the position. The undrafted free agent out of Vanderbilt has been quite the surprise and considering how much depth is still at the position, he could make spot if he shows something against the Giants tonight.

Jacoby Brissett (Quarterback) – While the team has traditionally carried two quarterbacks on the roster, Brissett was added onto the roster when he was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2016 NFL Draft. Many have felt that Brissett despite being able to handle the quarterback position. He still has much to improve and with both veterans on the team at Quarterback, he is likely to be stashed onto injury reserve or be put onto practice squad once waivers are cleared.

Jacob Hollister (Tight End) – Hollister is an undrafted rookie free agent that has been on the hot spot for awhile now. His first preseason game where he had over 116 yards receiving had many thinking eh could be a third tight end behind Allen and Gronkowski. Even though Matt Lengal has been pushed to injury reserve, Hollister is now competing with James O’Shaughnessy for the final tight end spot. Without another strong showing with this final preseason game, he could very well be on the cutting block.

As of now, there is a lot of names that can be tossed around to make the final cuts but we can never be certain on everything, especially when it comes to Bill Belichick. The game will be starting tonight at 7:30 PM EST at Gillette Stadium.

Stephen is a Contributing Editor for Trifecta Sports Network and covers the New England Patriots and the NFL.

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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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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