2014 New England Patriots Bye Week Awards

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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Tom Brady’s Third MVP Within Reach

November 7th, 2014

NEPD Staff Writer: Jason Cappell

Just five weeks ago everyone had Tom Brady written off. He was too old, past his prime, and no longer an upper echelon quarterback.  But it is amazing how quickly things have changed since the Patriots were blown out by Kansas City.

Since the beginning of October no quarterback in the NFL has been as dominant as Tom Brady, and should his torrid pace continue, the AP would have no choice but to crown him with his third MVP.

Brady’s dominant play and the Patriots five game winning streak are no coincidence.

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Saturday Slate Week 11: College Prospects to Watch

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

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. Read the rest of this entry »


Scouting Report: Jay Ajayi, RB

November 5th, 2014

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken

Coming off an impressive win over the Broncos, it is hard not to argue that the Patriots are the best team in the NFL. Of course, right now that really means nothing and by no means are the Patriots perfect.  The running game production has really fallen off after the loss of Stevan Ridley to injury and while Shane Vereen is a very good pass catching change of pace back, he does not seem like an every down back.  Those two will also be free agents at the end of the year leaving the Patriots with unknown commodities left at the position with Jonas Gray, James White, and Tyler Gafney.  This week, I thought I would take a look at a potential target for the Patriots in the running game, Jay Ajayi. Read the rest of this entry »


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

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. Read the rest of this entry »


Patriots Ready For Denver This Time Around

November 1st, 2014

NEPD Staff Writer: Jason Cappell 

The last time the Patriots faced off against the Denver Broncos it ended in heartbreak for New England.  Not only did the Patriots have to travel across the country but they were also decimated by injuries at the time and really didn’t have the weapons needed to beat Peyton Manning.  However; this time the result could be very different.

Though New England suffered key injuries to defensive stalwarts Chandler Jones and Jerod Mayo, their secondary is now as good as ever and are physical enough to slow down Denver’s weapons.

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