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Patriots Talk: Favorites To Win It All

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Patriots Talk: Favorites To Win It All

 

It seems like only yesterday that the Patriots were riding on a huge amount of hype when the acquired legendary Minnesota Vikings [Wide Receiver] Randy Moss from the Oakland Raiders. Him and Wes Welker (of course Donte’ Stallworth) joined the team to become a part of the receiving core that would make one of the greatest offenses in NFL history. It’s amazing to think back on the season that was considered the impossible.

 

The Patriots according to the latest Bovada over and under odds were released and had the Patriots’ as 12.5 to win over 16 games. This is the highest that Bovada have given the team since their 16-0 season in 2007. It’s been over 10 years since then and the team are bringing in plenty of hype to back up the stats.

 

In addition, they are the Las Vegas odds on favorites to win the Super Bowl as well. And the only NFL team favored in every game in the lines as stated by Sportsbook Operator CG Technology this week. It would appear the Patriots are very likely to make a potential repeat, something they have not done in over 12 years.

 

 

With the current NFL odds for the Patriots are considered heavy favorites, which cannot be said for the Cleveland Browns who are considered unlikely to win any games in 2017. But again these are only based on strength of schedule. According to most reports, the 32 teams strength of schedule is as follows:

 

1. Denver Broncos: 147-107-2, .578

2. Kansas City Chiefs: 147-108-1, .576

3. Los Angeles Chargers: 145-110-1, .568

4. Oakland Raiders: 144-111-1 .564

5. Buffalo Bills: 143-112-1, .561

6. Miami Dolphins: 140-116-0, .547

7. Washington Redskins: 138-116-2, .543

T-8. New York Giants: 135-117-4, .535

T-8. New York Jets: 137-119-0, .535

T-10. Dallas Cowboys: 134-118-4, .531

T-10. Philadelphia Eagles: 134-118-4, .531

12. New England Patriots: 135-121-0, .527

13. Atlanta Falcons: 133-122-1, .521

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 132-123-1, .518

15. New Orleans Saints: 130-125-1, .514

16. Carolina Panthers: 129-127, .504

17. Los Angeles Rams: 121-130-5, .482

18. Green Bay Packers: 122-132-2, .480

19. Chicago Bears: 122-133-1, .479

20. San Francisco 49ers: 119-132-5, .475

T-21. Detroit Lions: 119-135-2, .469

T-21. Cleveland Browns: 119-135-2, .469

23. Arizona Cardinals: 118-135-3, .467

24. Baltimore Ravens: 117-137-2, .461

T-25. Seattle Seahawks: 115-138-3, .455

T-25. Houston Texans: 115-138-3, .455

T-27. Minnesota Vikings: 115-139-2, .453

T-27. Pittsburgh Steelers: 115-139-2, .453

29. Cincinnati Bengals: 115-141-0, .449

T-30. Jacksonville Jaguars: 111-142-3, .439

T-30. Tennessee Titans: 111-142-3, .439

32. Indianapolis Colts: 107-146-3, .424

 

Anything that falls below .500 is considered unlikely to make the NFL playoffs but most predictions are never fully accurate (just look at last season to figure that out). With how the Patriots have handled the off-season and managed their situation, they have every right to be considered the favorites heading into 2017. Right now, the odds of the Patriots winning Super Bowl LII are 4-1, which is higher than any other NFL team (the second highest is the Dallas Cowboys 11-1).

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

New England Patriots

Patriots Injury Report: Tom Brady Suffers Injury, Status Questionable

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Uh oh, according to multiple reports the Patriots starting QB suffered an injury at practice.

Future Hall of Famer Tom Brady is listed on the Patriots injury report on Wednesday with limited participation in practice. But with the report coming after media availability on Wednesday, how the injury happened was a mystery. Until a reporter did some digging.

According to the Boston Herald’s Karen Guregian, Tom Brady needed X-rays after he jammed his throwing hand at practice on Wednesday when he was accidentally run into. The X-rays showed no structural damage.

But for Patriots fans who might be worried about the QB’s status for Sunday they should take a deep breath.

But despite reports saying Brady will play, the idea that he ran into a player at practice seems suspect. Seems eerily similar to two seasons ago when Brady misssed a preseason game after cutting his hand with a scissor in the locker room pre-game. Of course this is way different with the AFC Championship game on Sunday, but still, this feels and sounds a bit odd.

More will likely come on Thursday.

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Patriots Football Talk: Blowout in Foxborough

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It was another cold January night at Gillette Stadium.  But on the field what we saw was an Offense on fire.  The Patriots were playing their, now annual, AFC Divisional Playoff Game.  Yes, that’s right they do this every year!  They have won their Division 9 Straight Times.  They have earned a 1st Round Bye 8 straight times.  And they have played in the AFC Conference Game, ah hem, now 7 straight times.  Yes it has been quite a run.  In Saturday Night’s Game against Tennessee, the Patriots, showed some of the best that the Team had to offer.  As you can see by the title of this post, it was a blowout.  One for the history books!  Let’s get right into the play by play action.

Ok, so it was cold, we know that; but did you see the “Scuba Suit” that Tom Brady was wearing?  Yeah he came prepared to play all 60 Minutes.  Now the Patriots got the ball first at Kickoff and they only had one 1st Down before they had to Punt it.  It was a slow start before the “Fireworks”.  On their next possession Brady just missed an open Rob Gronkowski.  It would have been a big play if Brady didn’t throw it at his shoelaces.  He was wide open and uncovered at the line of scrimmage. You could tell right then and there that the Titan’s Defense had some communication problems.  As Tony Romo commented: “They looked discombobulated.”

Then the longest Drive allowed by the Patriots came.  The Titans went 95 Yards down the field from their own end zone to score.  It was a Touchdown pass by Marcus Mariota to Corey Davis [7-0].  The long Drive ate up most of the clock of the 1st Quarter.  And the Titans looked strong.  But man oh man, did they “awaken a sleeping Dragon.”

The fire was lit under the Patriots and they responded with a huge 2nd Quarter.  They went down the field with several heroic plays by Dion Lewis.  Then James White came in for a 5 Yard pitch and catch TD [7-7].  3 Minutes and 37 Seconds later James White would score another TD, this time on the ground [14-7].  White would end up having 3 Carries for 11 Yards with a Rushing TD, and 4 Receptions for 29 Yards with a Receiving TD.  It was just some excellent “Hurry Up” Offense.  See the Patriots knew that the Titans were using the same Defensive Line.  And as Tony Romo noted throughout the game, they were getting worn out and tired.  The “No Huddle” Offense proved to be New England’s best weapon against a strong Defensive Line.

Later in the 2nd Quarter Brady threw a 4 Yard TD to Chris Hogan [21-7].  Once again Dion Lewis was a huge factor in the Drive.  Lewis would wind up with 15 Carries for 62 Yards and 9 Receptions for 79 Yards.  Another stellar game for him.  The Pats wanted to score again before the Half but Steven Gostkowski missed a 53 Yard Field Goal.  Let’s face it, it was difficult to make in these conditions.

The Patriots would show an impressive Defense in the 2nd Half.  They would go on to Sack Mariota 8 times for the game.  One of those huge Sacks came on Tennessee’s first possession.  It was just what the Patriots needed.  A stop, to get their Offensive Juggernaut back on the field.  They would end up scoring again on a 2 Yard TD Rush by Brandon Bolden [28-7].  One of the key play makers of the Team was Danny Amendola.  Who had 13 Targets 11 Receptions for 112 Yards.  He was sensational!  Then towards the end of the 3rd Quarter Brady threw to Rob Gronkowski for a 5 Yard Touchdown [35-7].  Gronk would get targeted 9 times with 6 Receptions for 81 Yards with a TD.  It was now “officially” a blowout!

Tennessee would score another touchdown but it was in “garbage time”, ie at the end of the game.  [35-14] was the final score and with that the Patriots moved on to their next opponent Steelers/Jaguars for AFC Championship at 3:05 pm next Sunday.  Tom Brady had a heck of a game, going 35-53 Passes for 337 Yards with 3 TDs.  He is now the oldest player to win a NFL Playoff Game, at age 40.  And with this win it became New England’s 26th Playoff Win out of 35 Playoff Appearances.  Wow what a great number, 35!  Congrats Pats!  I can’t wait to watch you next week!

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Patriots Talk: The Rift Within The Patriots Is Overblown

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New England Isn’t Fazed By This News

 

Talking about this subject reminds me of how Deflategate, SpyGate, and many other news reports seemingly jumped on the Patriots. In fact, some reports have been very mixed about the latest ‘bombshell’ from ESPN’s Seth Wickersham. On one hand, the piece goes over many details that come from sources that aren’t named. The writer for the article, Wickersham, has done pieces like this before regarding the NFL. He has been a senior writer for ESPN for years now. Wickersham has stood by his sources in a radio interview he did last week:

 

I think the reporting process in a story like this has to remain as confidential as possible. I was as transparent as I could be in the story.

 

Transparency is one thing but the thing here is that he had gotten this story from multiple sources inside the Patriots organization, ranging from staffers, coaches and even players. However, by not naming the people involved in this report, you also will be criticized because many will suggest you are making these up.

 

But criticizing the writer is not the topic of this article. It’s to report that this is all been blown way out of proportion. To the point, that some writers have stated they believe Belichick will coach the New York Giants next season due to Robert Kraft interfering in the Jimmy Garopollo trade last October.

 

Who Is Stuck In The Middle?

 

Here is where I believe that article is right and wrong. The writer is correct in that the Patriots had some serious decisions to make regarding the Garropolo trade but that was not even close to the main issue. Many have gone as far to suggest that Kraft had made this decision personal which Kraft has denied and called ‘total fabrication and fiction’ multiple times since the report was released. When he was asked about the trade deadline and Jimmy G, Kraft told Peter King of Sport Illustrated:

 

I assumed once the season started, we’d talk again at the end of the season about it. The next time I spoke with Bill about it was the Monday before the trade deadline. Bill asked me if I was OK with this. I was really taken aback a little bit. I wanted to think about it. I talked to Jonathan, who was okay with it, and I called Bill back and said, ‘OK.’

 

The ESPN article was mainly centered around owner Robert Kraft, Had Coach Bill Belichick and star Quarterback Tom Brady. The three have filed  a joint statement regarding this article, staying they are ‘united.’

 

 

But one of the most interesting sides to this story, is regarding Tom Brady’s personal trainer and business partner, Alex Guerrero. From ESPN:’

 

New players felt the surest way to earn Brady’s trust was to join Rob Gronkowski, Danny Amendola and others by seeking advice from Guerrero at his TB12 clinic — and not team doctors, which Belichick preferred … But according to multiple sources, players openly discussed with Patriots coaches, staff and trusted advisers whether to follow Brady or the team, leaving them trapped: Do we risk alienating the NFL’s most powerful coach or risk alienating the NFL’s most powerful quarterback?

 

This right here is just way exaggerated. Brady and Belichick don’t let egos divide players, these are grown men, not children trying to please the teachers. They will follow what will best suit their interests and just follow the Patriots motto ‘Do Your Job.’ Simply, asking advice and ways to improve performance and seeing what will work shouldn’t have to be complicated unless you players are questioning their own life choices.

 

How Much Is This True?

 

Everyone outside of New England has been eager in seeing the Patriots finally falling off, but the latest reports claim that Brady, Kraft and Belichick will have a meeting with each other after the season is officially over. According NFL Network’s Ian Rappaport:

 

But my understanding is [the marriage between Kraft, Belichick and Brady] is expected to continue past this season. First there is Bill Belichick, under contract for several more years and Belichick came out and said he absolutely believes he’ll be the Patriots coach next year and from what I understand I don’t see any situation where Robert Kraft allows anything besides that. Then there is Tom Brady. Of course, he is also under contract, he is never getting traded from the Patriots he is going to retire there, so it’s really on these three guys to come together after the season, figure it out and move forward.

 

So by all accounts, Belichick is not likely leaving because of what he has built in New England, Brady is still under contract till 2019, and Kraft isn’t suddenly handing the reigns to his son Jonathon Kraft, President of The Kraft Group. So this story will contnued to be addressed but don’t expect this story to hurt the PAtriots moral. At this point, the team is just focused on beating the Tennessee Titans at home on Saturday’s matchup at 8:15 PM EST.

 

 

 

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