Archive for the ‘NFL’ Category

Front in Transition: Charting the Patriots’ Defensive Shift Beyond Rob Ninkovich vs. Dolphins

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014
The Patriots showcased 17 different personnel combinations along the defensive line versus the Dolphins. Rob Ninkovich was part of only four. (Brad Barr - USA Today Sports Images)

The Patriots showcased 17 different personnel combinations along the defensive front versus the Dolphins. Rob Ninkovich was part of nine. (Brad Barr – USA Today Sports Images)

NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas

Over the course of 2013, the New England Patriots defensive line altered through 58 personnel groupings.

Part of it was scheme, as some players departed to the sidelines during short yardage or passing downs. Part of it was attrition, as some stayed on the sidelines for the duration.

Rob Ninkovich was not one of them.

His No. 50 jersey was spotted on the field for 1,114 snaps last season – according to Pro Football Focus – second to only teammate Chandler Jones among the league’s 4-3 defensive ends. And by the conclusion of Week 17, there were only 54 snaps in which Ninkovich hadn’t been seen on it.

In Sunday’s 33-20 loss to the Miami Dolphins in 2014 regular-season opener, there were 39.

Ninkovich was one of the first 11 on the field for the tilt at Sun Life Stadium. But the 6’2”, 260-pound edge-rusher was not a constant across from Jones.

That wasn’t necessarily a deviation from the 2013 campaign, which saw Ninkovich step back to outside linebacker when the Patriots moved from a four-man line to a three-man line. Yet something was different on Sept. 7. (more…)


Saturday Slate: Week 2 Matchups to Watch in College Football

Friday, September 5th, 2014

NEPD Staff Writer: CJ Sousa

Nothing quite beats opening weekend of college football. There’s no preseason, no practice runs. Week 1 as usual provided entertainment all the way through. Before I get into the Week 2 matchups you should be watching, lets recap Week 1.

What we learned: Kenny Football! Kenny Heisman! Kenny Trill! Kenny.. Sumlin? Seriously, Kenny Hill looked great.   His throws’ were accurate and on time all night long. But it’s time Kevin Sumlin gets recognized as one of the best offensive minds in football. Receivers were open… all… night… long. South Carolina’s defense had no answers, as they were too busy running sideline-to-sideline trying to catch their breath all night. (more…)


2014 NFL Season Predictions and Prognostications

Thursday, September 4th, 2014
Is this the year Tom Brady and the Patriots end the Super Bowl drought?

Is this the year Tom Brady and the Patriots end the Super Bowl drought?

NEPD Editor: Mike Loyko

The 2014 NFL Season finally kicks off tonight when Green Bay travels to Seattle to take on the defending Super Bowl champions. For the next five months our daily lives will be consumed by football until a champion is crowned in  Phoenix, Arizona on February 1st. Is this the year the Patriots finally clear the final hurdle and win their fourth Lombardi Trophy? Is this the year the Jacksonville Jaguars return to respectability? Well, I think we all know the answer to the last question, but there are plenty of other questions to be answered. Here are my predictions for the 2014 NFL Season.

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Patriots vs. Eagles Post Game Thoughts and Analysis

Friday, August 15th, 2014
Ryan Mallett bounced back and showed he's here to stay.

Ryan Mallett bounced back nicely tonight and showed he’s here to stay.

NEPD Editor: Mike Loyko

Tom Brady saw his first action of the pre-season and 155 days after agreeing to terms with the Patriots, Darrelle Revis was on the field playing in a Patriots uniform. After a somewhat sloppy and non-entertaining pre-season game vs. Washington, the Patriots had plenty to improve upon and took the field Friday night looking to do just that.

These are the games where players distinguish themselves and players either continue to build on early camp momentum or fizzle out. Who stood out and who struggled vs. the Eagles?

(more…)


Preposterous Patriots Preseason Predictions, With a Bayou Twist

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

NEPD Staff Writer: Ken Vetrano

The preseason has officially kicked off, and as the summer develops so don’t rumors around the league. Jobs will be lost, depth charts will shift and the turk will begin hoarding playbooks. Only thing guaranteed during August is movement, plenty of roster movement. This summer I’ll try and explore some potential moves, and maybe even predict a few surprising transactions.

Basically, I’m going to throw some stuff against the wall and see if it sticks (i.e. my Brandon Marshall Post ), if it doesn’t… I was obviously just kidding guys.

(more…)


2014 Patriots: Roster Projection 2.0

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

Whose bubble will burst when the roster cuts are made?

NEPD Editor: Mike Loyko

The first week plus of training camp is already in the books and the roster is still far from a finished product. Jobs aren’t won during the first week of training camp, but they can be lost via lack of production, injury, or other players making the most of their opportunity.

In the Patriots case there hasn’t been a dramatic change in the roster projection. However there are a few minor changes made since the beginning of camp. Here is my 2.0 version of the Patriots projected 2014 roster along with a few thoughts on position battles up to this point.

(more…)


Madison to Foxboro: The Game of Patriots Rookie James White

Monday, August 4th, 2014

Rookie running back James White has emerged from the pack in Patriots training camp. It hasn’t been for his size or speed, but for how his game translates. (Photo: Oliver Thomas)

NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas

It’s never been about size or straight-line speed for James White. For the 5’10”, 205-pound running back, who clocked a 4.57-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine in February, it’s been about what’s not measured by tape, scale or stopwatch.

Vision, patience and balance.

Those are the tools White countered with when the competition caught up. He may never again be the most powerful player on the football field. He’ll likely never be the fastest one, either.

In a sense, he doesn’t have to be.

The 22-year-old Fort Lauderdale, Fla., native has a way of seeing rush lanes before they present themselves. And whether it be on a handoff, a direct snap, a reception or a kick return, he has revealed the timeliness, the low center of gravity and the short-area quickness to get through them.

The fourth-round draft pick has continued to get through them as a member of the New England Patriots this summer. (more…)







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