Archive for the ‘Patriots’ Category

Without the Football: Exploring the Presence of Patriots Halfback Shane Vereen

Thursday, September 11th, 2014
In a 33-20 defeat, Shane Vereen left an impact on the Dolphins defense. (Steve Mitchell - USA Today Sports Images)

In Sunday’s 33-20 loss, Shane Vereen left an imprint on the Dolphins defense. His seven carries and five catches were only part of why. (Steve Mitchell – USA Today Sports Images)

NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas

There’s something to be said for dictating an opponent’s movements. Shane Vereen’s utilization has helped him do so.

That was on display Sunday, as the New England Patriots opened up the 2014 season against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium. The 5’10”, 205-pound running back caught five passes for 35 yards, and he handled seven carries for 36 yards and a goal-line touchdown as well.

But Vereen’s impact in a 33-20 defeat was about more than what he did with the football. Over his 53 snaps, it was often about what he did without it.

Force adjustments. (more…)


No Gronk, No Chance

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

NEPD Staff Writer: Jason Cappell 

Opening week was a rough start for the New England Patriots. They have no excuses. Miami simply outplayed New England and deservedly earned the win. The Patriots failed to execute both offensively and defensively, but if there is anything positive to take away from their crushing loss, it was the impactful return of Rob Gronkowski.

Plain and simple Gronk is a catalyst for the Patriots offense. With a substantially improved defense, the Patriots once again entered the season with a “Super Bowl or bust” attitude. But without a healthy Gronk come January, they don’t stand much of a chance.

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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…)


2014 Patriots’ Secondary: An Island Chain Has Emerged Behind Revis

Sunday, September 7th, 2014

NEPD Staff Writer: Ken Vetrano

Christmas came early this year when Lovie Smith gift wrapped #24 under the tree for Patriot fans. In the span of about 48 hours New England went from losing Aqib Talib to their main AFC competition the Denver Broncos, to signing one of the hand full of players that would be considered an upgrade to him.

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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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Logan Mankins Just Another Victim of The Patriot Way

Friday, August 29th, 2014

NEPD Staff Writer: Jason Cappell

It’s never easy for fans to say goodbye to one of their favorites. But for Patriots fans it’s a concept that certainly isn’t new. While Logan Mankins is one of the all-time great Patriot players, it’s clear that over the past few years his reputation exceeds his level of play.

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2014 New England Patriots: Final Roster Projection

Friday, August 29th, 2014
Aaron Dobson eased concerns about his injured foot last night.

Aaron Dobson’s roster spot is secure, but there’s still plenty of uncertainity on the team.

NEPD Editor: Mike Loyko

The preseason ended last night in the Meadowlands with a 16-13 loss to the New York Giants and with roster cuts due on Sunday, it was the final opportunity to earn a roster spot. At least 22 players will be cut from the roster between now and Saturday afternoon, even after final cuts are completed more transactions will follow as the Patriots piece together their 2014 roster. Last night we learned a lot about the players who played, but we also learned a lot about the players Bill Belichick decided to sit out. As we approach final cuts a few things are clear. This is a much deeper roster than last year, especially on the backend, and this team is not without areas of weakness. Here’s how I project the initial 53 man roster to shake out.

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