Archive for the ‘NFL’ Category

How Kyle Arrington, Patriots Secondary Cornered T.Y. Hilton

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014
Kyle Arrington and the Patriots took away the Colts' primary resource Sunday night in Indianapolis. (NFL Game Rewind)

Kyle Arrington and the Patriots found a way to remove the Colts’ top receiving resource on Sunday night in Indianapolis. (NFL Game Rewind)

NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas

Nearly 40 years have passed since Bill Belichick received his economics degree from Wesleyan University. But what he learned in Middletown is still being put to use two hours northeast in Foxborough.

That was even evidenced in Indianapolis on Sunday, when the New England Patriots’ defense set foot on the Lucas Oil Stadium field to face quarterback Andrew Luck and the Colts’ high-volume passing attack.

Belichick, along with defensive coordinator Matt Patricia, cornerbacks coach Josh Boyer and safeties coach Brian Flores identified the production awaiting them. The ground game, as well as Luck’s league-leading 393 pass attempts could remain. So could the 64 catches for 799 yards combined by tight end Coby Fleener and wideout Reggie Wayne.

The 56 catches for a top-five 937 yards from T.Y. Hilton could not. (more…)


Saturday Slate Week 12: College Prospects to Watch

Friday, November 14th, 2014

NEPD Staff Writer CJ Sousa

 

Will Mississippi State get the monkey off their back and beat Alabama? Or will Amari Cooper & Co. once again own their SEC West rivals.

Will Mississippi State get the monkey off their back and beat Alabama? Or will Amari Cooper & Co. once again own their SEC West rivals?

Some weekends just have a playoff feel to them, and week 12 is certainly one of them. Teams are playing a game of musical chairs for one of the playoff spots, while prospects are running out of time to build their resumes for the 2015 NFL draft. Week 12 has two mammoth SEC match ups, in which all four teams playing all have a realistic shot at the playoffs. Will you be camped in front of a television Saturday? I know I will. Here are the biggest matchups of the weekend broken down. (more…)


2014 New England Patriots Bye Week Awards

Sunday, November 9th, 2014
NFL: Denver Broncos at New England Patriots

Tom Brady stood up to Denver’s vaunted pass rush last Sunday and lead New England to a resounding 43-21 victory. (Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports)

NEPD Staff Writer: Ken Vetrano

Offensive MVP

Tom Brady: I could sit here and write out the stats, but you already know them by heart after all the Brady-Manning week hoopla. I could even break down his throwing mechanics and how he still has pin point accuracy at age 37. I could also detail how he’s getting this done with less than others… but I’m not going to do that. All I really need to say is, mobility. Tom Brady hasn’t become Randall Cunningham, but he’s utilized his legs more than ever this season. Early offensive line struggles this year may have actually benefited him because he looks more aggressive after the snap with his movement. Being forced to create space and time due to poor line play has compelled Brady to step out of his comfort zone, literally. In some ways his recent play has reminded me of Ben Roethlisberger. Who in the past, has had to compensate for a poor line by stepping out of the pocket to give receivers a chance to get open down field. Fortunately, Brady’s line has come together and we don’t have to worry about him taking unnecessary punishment like Big Ben has in recent seasons. But this added element to his game should only bode well for the Patriots’ offense come January.

 

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Saturday Slate Week 11: College Prospects to Watch

Friday, November 7th, 2014
Jaelen Strong burned the Irish for 8 catches for 136 yards and a touchdown last year.  Can the electric Junior do it again?

Jaelen Strong burned the Irish for 8 catches for 136 yards and a touchdown last year. Can the electric Junior do it again?

NEPD Staff Writer CJ Sousa

Week 11 could prove to be the most significant weekend of the college football season. So many crucial games this weekend will impact the college football playoff race, as well as conference races nationwide. Without further to due, let’s dive into the top matchups to be watching as well as a quick top 10 mock draft to see where we stand after 10 weeks.

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Brandon Browner’s Value to the Patriots Illustrated vs. Broncos

Friday, November 7th, 2014
Brandon Browner's game remains unchanged, and both sides of it were illustrated against the Broncos in Week 9. (NFL Game Rewind)

The physical game of Patriots cornerback Brandon Browner remains unchanged. And both sides of it were seen against the Broncos in Week 9. (NFL Game Rewind)

NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas

Brandon Browner’s brand of football may be going extinct. But despite the NFL’s points of emphasis on illegal contact, holding and pass interference, and despite the seven flags he has drawn through three games this season, his brand has remained the same.

The 30-year-old cornerback is not letting it go without a fight, a tug, or at least a shove.

“I’m not going to change my game. I’m not going to let it bother me,” Browner said as training camp opened in July. “I’m going to force them to make the call. I’m going to try to stay aggressive. That’s what got me here.”

Those words have rung true. The brand that got the 6’4”, 221-pound journeyman to the New England Patriots is not unlike what got him to Oregon State, the Denver Broncos, the Calgary Stampeders and the Seattle Seahawks. It’s physical, glaring, and in a sense, ugly.

It’s supposed to be. And the reason why was explained against the Broncos in Week 9. (more…)


How Patriots ‘X’ Receiver Brandon LaFell Has Marked His Spot

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014
Brandon LaFell’s rise has provided the Patriots with the element of unknown. (NFL Game Rewind)

Brandon LaFell’s rise has provided the Patriots’ passing game with the element of unknown. (NFL Game Rewind)

NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas

Brandon LaFell was targeted six times in his first two regular-season games as a member of the New England Patriots. And, heading into his third game of September, the former Carolina Panthers third-round pick had zero catches to his name.

He’s had 36 over the seven games since.

It’s been both a gradual and sudden rise for the 6’3”, 210-pound wide receiver; one that arrived along with the surveillance of his three-year, $9 million contact last March. Organized team activities proved to be about familiarization for him, and that continued through the summer as he looked to find a home on the practice fields behind Gillette Stadium.

Route miscommunications and concentration drops were the unintended consequences of a journey that sent him from the NFC South to the AFC East. The 28-year-old had to acclimate to the ball placement of quarterback Tom Brady instead of Cam Newton, and he had to acclimate to his own placement in the offense of coordinator Josh McDaniels instead of Mike Shula.

It required repetition. (more…)


Saturday Slate: College Prospects to Watch in Week 10

Friday, October 31st, 2014

635500373569565062-Josh-RobinsonKENTAP

NEPD Staff Writer CJ Sousa

All hail Amari Cooper. Granted the Tennessee pass defense isn’t exactly the 2001 Patriots, but nonetheless the star junior receiver caught 9 passes for 224 yards and 2 touchdowns. He ran crisp routes, snatched the ball out of the air, and boy can he run after the catch. A night to remember for Cooper.

SEC Spotlight: I’ve been a fan of Mississippi State RB Josh Robinson for some time now, and I think he’s finally getting some of the recognition he deserves. Against a good Kentucky front 7 Robinson ran for 198 yards and 2 touchdowns, including two of the most impressive runs I’ve seen all year. He shows great balance, vision, and eye discipline consistently. He averaged over 8.5 yards per carry; that should say it all.

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