Posts Tagged ‘Tom Brady’

2014 NFL Trade Deadline: Are the Patriots looking for a dance partner?

Saturday, October 4th, 2014
NFL: Oakland Raiders at New England Patriots

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick may be looking to the trade deadline for reinforcements (Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports)

NEPD Staff Writer: Ken Vetrano

Twenty-four more days are available for NFL teams to trade players. The Patriots’ front office has around $14M available in cap space, and as of Monday night New England fans have about zero patience available for this team.

Frustration, disbelief and confusion are the best ways to describe what fans are feeling right now. There are so many places to point the finger, but placing blame won’t solve this organization’s issues any faster. What this team needs is a shake up, and Monday night’s debacle in Kansas City was just that.

Now it’s up to the Patriots to pick themselves up, get back on the horse, and circle the wagons. They have enough talent, at least on the defensive side of the ball, to clinch their division. But talent alone doesn’t always translate to wins, it also takes effort and patience. Two things players and coaches have lacked through four games.

In order to right the ship a lot of internal transformation has to take place in that locker room. However, infusing a new element onto a roster can sometimes provide the necessary spark desired to pivot a franchise 180°. Deals at the trade deadline don’t happen often in professional football, and they’re usually never significant moves when they do.

Bill Belichick trading for Aqib Talib a couple years ago is the exception to that rule. Talib gave a lack luster Patriots’ defense the jolt needed to spur a turn around that season. Question is – is there another player available this year who could do the same?

The desert and Motor City may offer solutions…

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Monday Night Massacre: A Patriots Pictorial Essay of Tom Brady’s 26 Pass Plays vs. Chiefs

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014
Tom Brady and the Patriots' passing game saw the results hinge on the seconds and the routes. (Denny Medley - USA Today Sports Images)

For Tom Brady and the Patriots’ passing game, it came down to the routes and the seconds afforded for them versus the Chiefs. (Denny Medley – USA Today Sports Images)

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…)


Second Glance: Observations From Patriots’ 16-9 Win vs. Raiders

Monday, September 22nd, 2014
The Patriots walked away with a win against the Raiders on Sunday. But the team remains unsolidified on both sides of the ball. (Winslow Townson - USA Today Sports Images)

The Patriots walked away with a win against the Raiders on Sunday. But the team remains in flux on both sides of the ball. (Winslow Townson – USA Today Sports Images)

NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas

They don’t award style points in the NFL. The New England Patriots’ 16-9 win over the Oakland Raiders evidenced why.

The Week 3 home opener at Gillette Stadium netted a total of 10 punts between Oakland’s Marquette King and New England’s Ryan Allen. It saw a total of six field goals between Sebastian Janikowski and Stephen Gostkowski. And by the time defensive tackle Vince Wilfork clung onto his third career interception and the Patriots clung onto the victory, every point in the game had been scored by a player whose last name ended in “-kowski.”

Neither backfield crossed the century mark in rushing. Neither passing game threw for over 235 yards. And combined, the offenses of the Patriots and Raiders converted on just one of six red-zone opportunities.

It wasn’t how it was drawn up. It was, however, more of what it has been for head coach Bill Belichick and the Patriots thus far in 2014.

Upon second glance, here are seven observations from Sunday’s tilt. (more…)


Predictability a Problem for the Patriots

Saturday, September 20th, 2014

NEPD Staff Writer: Jason Cappell

With 105 receptions for 1,056 yards, Julian Edelman proved in 2013 that he’s more than just a capable NFL receiver. Rob Gronkowski’s 46 touchdowns in 56 career games indicate that he’s no slouch either when it comes to the New England passing attack.  But the Patriots need more. They need more than just Gronk and Edelman catching passes for their offense to truly take shape.

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2014 New England Patriots: Ranking the Roster from 90 to 1

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

Where does the emerging second year star rank within the roster?

NEPD Editor: Mike Loyko 

The 2014 Patriots season gets underway this week and it’s about this time everyone begins releasing roster projections for the final 53. I like to look at the roster from a broader perspective to figure out where each player on the 90 man roster stands and evaluate their chances of actually making the team.

Many of the 90 players that take the field on Thursday do so with no chance of making the team regardless of how good they perform. A handful of the players will be fighting for a 3-4 coveted spots, and a couple guys will make the roster no matter how bad they play. Here is where I believe all 90 players on the team rank in relation to one another and their chances of making the final roster.

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2014 AFC East Rankings: Changes After the 2014 NFL Draft?

Friday, May 16th, 2014

NEPD Staff Writer: Ken Vetrano

How does the AFC East stack up after the 2014 NFL Draft?

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New England Patriots Reach The AFC Championship: Open Thread

Saturday, January 11th, 2014

Jamie Collins showed up huge against the Indianapolis Colts. (USA Today Sports Images)

NEPD Editor: James Christensen

For the third consecutive year, the New England Patriots have reached the AFC Championship game. Their opponent hasn’t been determined as of yet—the Denver Broncos play the San Diego Chargers Sunday afternoon—but it won’t be the Baltimore Ravens.

In a 43-22 win, it is tough to single out a specific performance. LeGarrette Blount was a sledgehammer. The offensive line was incredible. Alfonzo Dennard had two picks and nearly had a third. Stephen Gostkowski stepped in for Ryan Allen and punted as well as he kicked.

However, in my opinion, Jamie Collins was the most impressive player in the game.

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