Posts Tagged ‘Danny Amendola’
Thursday, January 8th, 2015
Tuesday, October 28th, 2014
NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas
Efficient and prolific are seldom seen in the same sentence.
Tom Brady was both against the Chicago Bears on Sunday. The 37-year-old quarterback operated a short-tempered New England Patriots offense with brevity on the way to completing 30 passes for 354 yards and five touchdowns.
In doing so, the 14-year pro crossed all three passing thresholds for the third time in his career and first time since 2007, according to Pro Football Reference.
Brady could have crossed more had he stayed in for the final 5:15, only New England’s collective performance at Gillette Stadium did not require him to. The offensive line preserved ground, the rushing committee gained ground, and the defense broke ground, affording second-round quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo a call from the bullpen with a 25-point lead in hand.
And with that, after 68 snaps of command, No. 12 headed to the dugout just shy of pitching all nine innings. He headed off without that final strikeout to seal it all into memory. But he didn’t need it; Brady’s 100th regular-season start in Foxborough was a near-perfect game to those who saw it.
Five incompletions over his 35 attempts were all that stood in the way. (more…)
Thursday, October 2nd, 2014
NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas
Development takes time.
The New England Patriots’ passing game hasn’t afforded itself enough through the first four weeks of 2014. And it all came to a head for quarterback Tom Brady and the offense against the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday Night.
Brady was behind center for only 38 snaps over nine series. He went 14-of-23 passing for 159 yards with one touchdown, two interceptions and two sacks over that span, departing for the sidelines early in the fourth quarter with a 41-7 score.
There was nothing more the offense could do. The Patriots didn’t appear built to close the gap. Not defensively, and not through the air nor ground.
New England’s running game was turned to for 16 carries, 75 yards and two first downs, but it was unable to work symbiotically with an aerial attack that netted just 10 first downs. The Patriots went 2-for-9 on third down, and failed to establish a rhythm in between the Chiefs’ 36 minutes of possession.
There was a difference in calibration between the two sides.
The field was seldom spread by the patterns of the New England’s receivers during the Week 4 tilt at Arrowhead Stadium. And in an effort to get the ball out quickly, there were few elements of surprise between Brady and his connections.
That allowed the Chiefs to respond accordingly, transitioning from a two-deep to a single-high secondary, dropping a safety down into the box to congest the underneath. The front brought pressure with a four-man rush. And the Patriots, in turn, were tasked with beating them at their own game.
New England was not going to beat Kansas City solely over the middle on screens, slants and in routes. Brady and the Patriots route-runners were going to have to beat the defense vertically, down the sideline or deep over the middle.
But the tools weren’t there. The routes weren’t there. And the time in the pocket was not, either.
Over the course of Brady’s 26 pass plays versus the Chiefs, the seconds and routes mattered. The following is a breakdown of the results. (more…)
Wednesday, May 28th, 2014
NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas
As organized team activities opened up on Tuesday, May 27, the New England Patriots filled the 90-man roster to maximum capacity by signing two wide receivers. In doing so, one of the positions which grew scarce with attrition and inexperience last season now stands among the squad’s deepest in volume.
It stands at 13.
In a numbers game, though, less than half of that baker’s dozen will ultimately make the 53-man roster. And if the past serves as an indicator of the future, the process will remain a fluid one until then.
That was illustrated last June, as the Patriots stocked OTAs with 10 wideouts. The pool included three incumbents – who combined 21 receptions for the year prior – along with four veteran signings, two rookie draft picks and two undrafted rookies.
The average age of the nucleus was 25 years old.
But by the time OTAs turned into training camp and the preseason, the landscape shifted. Rookie Mark Harrison was never activated from the non-football injury list, incumbent Kamar Aiken and veterans Michael Jenkins, Donald Jones and Lavelle Hawkins were let go. Several more joined only to meet the same fate.
The fate of New England’s 2014 collection is not yet known. Even so, there are some elements that are. (more…)
Tuesday, December 17th, 2013
NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas
While 34 completions, 364 yards and two touchdowns convey otherwise, the New England Patriots passing game was condensed in Sunday’s 24-20 loss to the Miami Dolphins.
Without tight end Rob Gronkowski attracting defenders off the line, without rookie wideouts Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins stretching the edges of the field, and without left tackle Nate Solder enduring blocks off the blind side, New England’s offense was forced to change shape.
The unit did so with backup tight end Michael Hoomanawanui supplanting Gronkowski, Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola and fourth-round pick Josh Boyce occupying the top three wide receiver spots, and left guard Logan Mankins transitioning to left tackle.
The modifications exchanged size and downfield presence for short, timing routes built to exploit Miami’s off-man and press-ball coverage while preserving quarterback Tom Brady.
The offense remained relatively efficient through the process. Brady was sacked once, hurried 12 times and hit seven times, according to Pro Football Focus, but the Patriots managed to sustain drives of 16, 10, 15 and 12 plays long.
As those four drives merged into the red zone, however, New England’s undermanned and undersized attack revealed its side effects.
Only one drive inside the 20 resulted in a touchdown. (more…)
Monday, September 9th, 2013
NEPD Staff Writer: Oliver Thomas
The New England Patriots squeaked out a 23-21 win over the Buffalo Bills in the regular-season opener Sunday afternoon. But for the better part of four quarters inside Ralph Wilson Stadium, the Bills offense looked like the more dependable one.
New England’s new-look attack was sent sputtering from three unsuccessful red-zone drives, multiple missed blocking assignments from the offensive line, fumbles from running back Stevan Ridley and quarterback Tom Brady, a bobbled catch-turned-interception from tight end Zach Sudfeld, and just four receptions on 14 targets from wideout Kenbrell Thompkins.
Yet down just one with 4:31 left in the final frame, the Patriots defense forced a three-and-out, which afforded Brady and Co. one last opportunity to win the game. And 48 yards later, a 35-yard field goal from kicker Stephen Gostkowski did just that.
New England’s 12-play final drive was more than a display of cohesion, though; it was a display of trust between Brady, tailback Shane Vereen and wide receiver Danny Amendola.
As the Patriots maneuvered through the Bills defense with only minutes remaining, Vereen totaled 31 yards on five touches, while Brady kneeled twice for a loss of three yards.
Although when the Patriots needed to move the sticks in the underneath, it was Amendola who was called upon.
Friday, August 16th, 2013
NEPD Editor: Mike Loyko
After delivering a scare to the entire region of New England, Tom Brady was back on the Gillette Stadium field for the Patriots second preseason game. Brady, as expected was in mid-season form and showed no signs of a knee injury. Now that training camp is over and open roster spots dwindling multiple players needed impressive performances to play their way onto the competitive Patriots roster. Which players stood out and whose bubble burst against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers?
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