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A New England Patriots Community Blog

Updated: 2017-09-19T11:00:07-04:00


Pats Pulpit Podcast Episode 085: How the Patriots rebounded against the Saints



Also, should the Patriots be worried about the Texans? What teams around the league look good?

The New England Patriots needed a win against the New Orleans Saints and earn one in decisive fashion. Tom Brady looked excellent, Rob Gronkowski was productive, and James White and Chris Hogan combined to replace Julian Edelman in the offense.

The defense also played fine. Drew Brees and the Saints moved the ball up and down the field and a decision to go for it on fourth down and a missed field goal took six points off the board and allowed the Patriots to add a field goal before the half. This game was closer than the final score indicated as the Patriots offense suffered more injuries.

Hopefully Gronkowski’s groin injury, Chris Hogan’s knee injury, Phillip Dorsett’s knee injury, and Rex Burkhead’s ribs injury are all minor and that the quartet, in addition to Danny Amendola (missed the game with a concussion), will be able take the field next week against the Texans.

The Patriots got back on track against the Saints. Now they need to string together a few more positive weeks to get back on top of the AFC.

Alec and Rich cover it all. This podcast is available in the iTunes store, Stitcher, TuneIn, BluBrry, and via RSS Feed. Please subscribe and comment on what you want to hear about in future podcasts!

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New England Patriots links 9/19/17 - DT Adam Butler: “We practiced much harder” in Week 2


Daily news and links for Tuesday TEAM TALK Press Release: Patriots victory tops Boston television market ratings; Patriots 5th Quarter edges out Emmy Awards. Infographic: Breaking down the win over the Saints. Paul Perillo tells us who won their matchups on Sunday. Don Banks Snap Judgments, Week 2: The Patriots rolled to 555 yards of offense and blitzed New Orleans with 30 points in the first half. Conference Call Transcript: Bill Belichick. Patriots locker room celebration following their 36-20 win over the Saints. (1.30 min. video) Post Game Locker Room: Brandin Cooks, Patriots discuss the win. (1.37 min. video) LOCAL LINKS Jeff Howe focuses on how the running backs are stepping up at just the right time. CBS Boston points out how Deatrich Wise and Jonathan Jones both excelled in expanded roles against the Saints. Phil Perry says Deatrich Wise's performance on Sunday is a very encouraging sign for a defense that needs to put more pressure on opposing QBs. Kevin Duffy sees Deatrich Wise as another Arkansas draft-day steal by Belichick. Mike Reiss gets into the reasons for Malcolm Butler's reduced role on Sunday. Michael Hurley serves up some still-tasty Sunday leftovers: '... the 53-yard touchdown by Gronkowski shouldn’t be ignored'. /Always a fun read. Doug Kyed Patriots film review: How Tom Brady kept offense producing after injuries. Mike Dussault (PatsPropaganda) Notes on the Patriots-Saints re-watch: " was a pretty methodical strangulation by the Patriots." Jeff Howe details some of the stats after breaking down the Pats’ 36-20 victory Sunday over the Saints. Chris Bokum (PatriotsWire) Tom Brady reveals Patriots draw up 1,000 passing plays per season. Ian Logue (PatsFans) How important is Rob Gronkowski? Third down numbers don't lie. Henry McKenna (PatriotsWire) Is Brandin Cooks doing enough for Patriots offense? Nick O'Malley relays Tom Brady on how the Patriots took the play that gave the Chiefs a 78-yard TD on, and ran it against the Saints. Mike Reiss power-ranks the Patriots newcomers through Week 2: Deatrich Wise Jr. leades, David Harris trails. Doug Kyed hears injury updates from Rob Gronkowski “nothing serious and I’m day-to-day” and Phillip Dorsett “Just a little sore but I’m all right”. Henry McKenna (PatriotsWire) Report: Dont'a Hightower could return as soon as Week 3. Adam Kurkjian Patriots Notebook: Phillip Dorsett hopes to play Sunday. Bob Socci's Notebook: How the Pats kept calm amid a few seconds of panic. Ryan Hannable saw a fired-up Bill Belichick in the locker room after the win. Doug Kyed reports the Patriots worked out six free agents, including DL Datone Jones. The ProJo sports staff picks five possible additions to the depleted Patriots receiving corps. Ron Borges issues his Patriots Report Card: Week 2. The Saints defense "couldn't stop a leaf blowing across the lawn." Ryan Hannable highlights Bill Belichick on WEEI yesterday, discussing the win over the Saints and explaining (in detail) the headset issues in New Orleans. Ryan Hannable notes Bill Belichick mentioned how he feels the team could have been much better in pick-route defense. Ian Logue (PatsFans) Tom Brady full interview with Jim Gray - "Anytime someone leaves the game, it's serious." Robert Alvarez (PatsFans) Best of social media: Week 2 Patriots vs. Saints. NATIONAL NEWS Mike Tanier (Bleacher Report) Be careful, NFL: Tom Brady is in trouble, and that's when he's at his best. CBS This Morning (CBS News) What does Tom Brady eat? How the star stays on the field in his 40s. (4.34 min. video) Michael David Smith (ProFootballTalk) At 40, Tom Brady is not acting his age. Hank Gargiulo and Seth Walder (ESPN) Best and worst QBs of Week 2: Tom Brady returned to his old self against the friendly Saints defense. Brian Burke (ESPN) The plays that swung week 2: A Gronk game-breaker. A dazzling scramble TD. A missed game-winning FG. ... Analysts (Football Outsiders) Audibles at the Line: Week 2. Gregg Rosenthal ( The Debrie[...]

With two up and two down, Patriots rookie Deatrich Wise Jr. stands in good company


Since 2000, five Patriots rookies have recorded sacks in Week 1. Deatrich Wise Jr. followed up in Week 2. Deatrich Wise Jr. worked his way into some history Sunday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. It transpired 35 yards from the end zone, on third-and-7 with 11:56 to play in the third quarter, as the Arkansas product loomed wide across from Andrus Peat. The shotgun snap was handled and around the arc Wise traveled, strong-arming Peat until the 6-foot-7, 316-pound interim left tackle’s back was facing the line of scrimmage. Wise was facing the back of Drew Brees by then. src="" style="border: 0; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;" allowfullscreen="" scrolling="no"> Brees may not have seen him amongst the five-man rush. But he soon felt him. With one glove, Wise ripped the 38-year-old New Orleans Saints quarterback down by the shoulder pads for a drive-killing loss of eight yards. And in the process, the 23-year-old New England Patriots defensive end became just the second player in the Bill Belichick era to notch a sack in both Week 1 and Week 2 of his respective rookie season. The other? Chandler Jones. Not a bad reference point for Wise at this stage. Taken No. 21 overall out of Syracuse, Jones began his tenure with a strip-sack on Jake Locker and followed up with another on Kevin Kolb in September 2012. He went on to collect 36 sacks and Pro Bowl honors by the time New England traded him to Arizona in early 2016. Wise, a fourth-round pick in April, isn’t Jones. He isn’t a starter yet, either. "I am still learning every day,” Wise, who missed part of training camp with a concussion, told reporters afterwards, via “I am really behind right now. I've got to catch up. I am still learning. I'm a rookie, so I still have a lot to learn about the game, about the playbook, and about this whole thing." But learning on the job has proven effective. Wise has deployed his wingspan, heavy hands, and build-up to hit home from the four- to the seven-technique. And he’s found a home along a line led by another Razorback, Trey Flowers, who tallied two sacks as the regular season kicked off against the Kansas City Chiefs two Thursdays ago. Wise was the one who kept Flowers from getting a third during that 42-27 primetime defeat to Kansas City. The former fell on Alex Smith for a clean-up loss of 12 yards before the latter could earn credit. src="" style="border: 0; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;" allowfullscreen="" scrolling="no"> While Wise’s first sack as a pro didn’t arrive with the dominance of his second – Smith tripped as he bided his time in a combination block – it still counted. It still saw him join Jones, Jarvis Green, Malcom Brown and Vincent Valentine as the fifth Patriots rookie to record one in an opener since 2000. Wise will now look to make it three in a row against the Houston Texans and fellow NFL newcomer Deshaun Watson next weekend. Doing so would put him in a post-2000 Patriots club of his own. “I still think there's a long way to go, a lot of things that he can improve on,” Belichick said of the 6-foot-5, 271-pound Wise on his Monday conference call. “But if he continues to work hard at it like he has been, then hopefully each week we'll be able to see some improvement and better techniques and better fundamentals in all of the different areas of the game – not just pass rush, but the running game and playing combination blocks and all the different sorts of things that come into really the heart of the issue, which is playing with good pad level, pad-level leverage and technique.” Wise finished off the Patriots’ 36-20 win over the Saints with five quarterback hits and a tackle for loss to go with his second sack. He played 28 of the defense’s 65 snaps. He set himself up for more. [...]

Patriots bring in former first round draft pick Datone Jones, five more players for free agency workouts


New England is taking a look at some unsigned players. After last week's loss at the hand of the Kansas City Chiefs, the New England Patriots brought multiple players in for free agency visits. Now, after Sunday's 36-20 victory against the New Orleans Saints, the Patriots still continue to take a look at players on the open market. According to ESPN's Mike Reiss and Field Yates, the team brought in six yesterday. Let's take a look at them. WR River Cracraft An All-Pac12 honorable mention, Washington State wide receiver River Cracraft finished his 2016 senior year with 53 catches for 701 receiving yards and five touchdowns. However, an ACL tear forced him to miss the Cougars' final three games of the season and ultimately led to him going undrafted. The 6'0 wideout has been on the open market since. DE Datone Jones In 2013, the Green Bay Packers made defensive edge Datone Jones a first round draft pick. Since then, the 27-year old appeared in 67 total games registering 9.5 sacks, 85 tackles and an interception. However, the Packers declined his fifth-year contract option, making him a free agent in 2017. The 6'4, 280 lbs defender signed a one-year deal with the Minnesota Vikings but in early September was placed on injured reserve due to a shoulder injury. He was released off the list a week later and has not had his first free agency visit. WR Kenny Lawler After a standout career at Cal, the Seattle Seahawks picked Kenny Lawler in the seventh round of the 2016 NFL draft. The 6'2, 195 lbs wide receiver has yet to appear in an NFL game, though, as he spent his entire rookie season on Seattle's practice squad. The 23-year old was signed to a futures contract in January but again failed to make the Seahawks' 53-man roster. He was re-signed to the practice squad but released off it last week. CB Robert Nelson Robert Nelson originally entered the NFL as an undrafted signee by the Cleveland Browns in 2014. The Arizona State product appeared in seven games his rookie season – mostly on special teams – before spending the 2015 season with the Arizona Cardinals and Houston Texans. In 2016, Nelson returned to Houston and appeared in 13 total games for the team. However, during this year's roster cutdowns, the 27-year old was let go. WR Nelson Spruce Colorado product Nelson Spruce joined the Los Angeles Rams as an undrafted rookie in 2016. The 6'1, 205 lbs wide receiver, whose story was featured in the HBO series Hard Knocks, was able to make the team's 53-man roster but did not appear in a game before being placed on injured reserve in November. Spruce was again placed on injured reserve this year but was waived by the Rams on September 4th. DE Jonathan Woodard The Jacksonville Jaguars drafted Central Arkansas defensive lineman Jonathan Woodard in the seventh round of the 2016 NFL draft. However, the 6'6, 270 lbs defender was unable to see the field his rookie campaign as he tore his Achilles tendon in May. And while he was healthy again in 2017, the Jaguars opted to release him during September's roster cutdowns. Follow @BerndBuchmasser Follow @PatsPulpit src="" width="450" height="80" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true"> [...]

Panthers lose All Pro TE Greg Olsen to a serious injury, will miss Patriots game



The Panthers top receiver will be out for an extended period of time.

Carolina Panthers TE Greg Olsen is expected to miss 6-8 weeks with a broken foot, according to multiple reports, which means that he will miss the upcoming week 4 game against the New England Patriots.

The Panthers have been winning on the back of their defense, which has allowed a mere 6 points and 393 yards through two games combined. The Patriots defense has allowed more points and yards in each individual game this season.

Olsen has led the Panthers in yards from scrimmage in each of the past three seasons and has been the leading receiver in four-straight years. He was named Second Team All Pro in 2015 and 2016 and is not easily replaced. The next Panthers game marks the first time Olsen will have missed a game in a Panthers uniform.

Ed Dickson will replace Olsen at tight end, but he’s averaged just 12 receptions for 123 yards over his previous three years on the Panthers; he’s not the most dynamic tight end. Carolina will lean on the 6’5, 230 pound receiving duo of Kelvin Benjamin and Devin Funchess to replace Olsen, while expanding the role of 6’1 slot receiver Russell Shepard. Rookies Christian McCaffrey and Curtis Samuel should have more opportunities as receivers, too.

But the unfortunate elimination of Olsen from the game removes the most dangerous of the Panthers skill players and should simplify New England’s defensive strategy. Look for Stephon Gilmore and Eric Rowe to cover the big receivers, with Malcolm Butler in the slot. With Olsen gone, the Patriots should be able to dedicate more defensive resources to stopping the running backs and Newton from leaving the backfield.

Panthers QB Cam Newton also suffered an apparent sprain to his recently surgically repaired ankle and that deserves monitoring, too. Newton called the injury “scary.”

WATCH: Patriots locker room reacts to 36-20 victory over the Saints



Go inside New England’s locker room following the team’s first win of the season.

"We needed that one," were the first words New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady spoke to Robert and Jonathan Kraft after his team’s 36-20 victory over the New Irleans Saints. Indeed the team did, to get some momentum after its blowout loss against the Kansas City Chiefs on opening night.

Overall, as the behind-the-scenes clip from shows, New England's quarterback was fired up following a very good performance. Brady reminded his teammates that the win was “what we needed” as they entered the locker room and later congratulated rookie defensive lineman Deatrich Wise Jr. to a sack – before adding that he'd like to see more.

Head coach Bill Belichick praised the team's preparation during the week leading up to the game: “That was a good week, finished off by a good day today. It took all week, though.” The future Hall of Fame coach then talked about building on the performance and improving while getting ready for the upcoming opponent – the Houston Texans – by a having “a good week all the way through”.

Finally, with Matthew Slater out, it was fellow team captain Devin McCourty's job to break down the postgame huddle. “How do we feel about a win in New Olreans? Awwww yeah!”

To watch the clip, click here.

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Week 2 Lions vs Giants: Monday Night Football live discussion, game time, TV schedule and Patriots rooting guide



Join the conversation!

The second week of the 2017 NFL regular season comes to a close today when the New York Giants host the Detroit Lions. The Lions try to start a season with two consecutive wins for the first time since 2011, while the Giants try to bounce back from a 19-3 blowout loss against the Dallas Cowboys.

Here is all you need to know about tonight's contest:

Detroit Lions (1-0) at New York Giants (1-0)

Date: Monday, September 18th, 2017

Location: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford NJ

Kickoff: 8:30 pm ET

SB Nation affiliates: Pride of Detroit (Lions), Big Blue View (Giants)


Announcers: Sean McDonough, Jon Gruden, Lisa Salters

Online streaming: WatchESPN app, NFL Game Pass (international viewers)

Odds: Giants -3

Patriots rooting guide: New England has neither team on its schedule this year and no ties in terms of trade capital. To find out who to root for we therefore have to take a broader look at things – and we find one piece of information that will determine today's rooting interest. One of the Patriots' top AFC rivals, the Pittsburgh Steelers, traded cornerback Ross Cockrell to the Giants for an undisclosed draft pick in early September. The better New York's record, the worse Pittsburgh's draft pick. So, go Gia... well, a tie would be neat, wouldn't it?

Use this thread to talk about the game.

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Film Review: Patriots stole a big play from the Kansas City Chiefs


The Patriots are borrowing from the team that defeated them in the season opener. New England Patriots RB James White gained 96 yards against the New Orleans Saints, with 85 coming through the air. His biggest gain was a 24-yard catch-and-run after he easily beat the linebacker in coverage and moved down the field. “You know that play right there, we talked about earlier in the game, Jim, we talked about copycat league,” color commentator Tony Romo said during the CBS broadcast. “That last play right out of the backfield, guess who they stole that play from?” “Tell me,” CBS’s play-by-play man Jim Nantz replied. “Kansas City last week ran it against New England,” Romo said. “Got a big play on the same thing.” The Chiefs found RB Kareem Hunt in the middle of the field with Patriots EDGE Cassius Marsh a few steps behind in coverage and Hunt ran almost the whole distance of the field for a score. Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels was clearly taking notes because the Patriots incorporated that play into their book for the next week. QB Tom Brady trusted James White to get open and to make the big play and the two connected for a great play just one week after it hurt their own defense. "We have a big plan at the start of the week, and we kind of narrow it down over the course of the week, and then by the time we get to game day we’re really confident in the things that we’re calling," Brady said on WEEI, as transcribed by CSNNE. "Like the play I threw to James, the Chiefs did run that, that was the touchdown play that they had to Kareem Hunt, that long one where they got behind the defense. "But you see different things over the course of the league. Our coaches do a great job studying -- things that are working, things that are confusing. It was a little different variation of what the Chiefs did, but similar action, and we got some confusion on the defense and they really missed James coming out of the backfield.” The Chiefs used Tyreek Hill in motion to force the Patriots to make multiple adjustments. Eric Rowe dropped to free safety and Duron Harmon had to run to the line of scrimmage to cover Hill. The Chiefs overloaded the same side of the field with Hill, Travis Kelce, and Kareem Hunt, forcing the linebackers and safeties to communicate who was responsible for covering which player. Hunt easily beat his coverage- Marsh- who was still learning the Patriots defense. In the Patriots version, they used Dion Lewis to muddle the Saints defensive responsibilities. Tom Brady put Lewis in the near slot and no Saints defender followed and the Patriots could have easily made a quick play for a gain if Lewis ran an out route. The Saints eventually moved a defensive back into coverage of Lewis in the slot, leading Brady to motion Lewis into the backfield. The confusion and eventual defensive back moving into coverage of Lewis told Brady that a linebacker was responsible for guarding James White out of the backfield, with potential for a far more lucrative gain. With Lewis in the backfield, the defensive back seemed confused of his responsibility and eventually decided to help cover the tight end (Dwayne Allen) in the middle of the field, who was already covered by a safety Vonn Bell. This left two linebackers to cover each White and Lewis one-on-one, with both targets easy wins for the offense. White got behind LB A.J. Klein with a lot of space in the open field and the offense easily moved down the field. “Had I not thrown it to James, I had Dion Lewis over near the sideline and no one was on him either,” Brady noted. “It’s just a really good play and perfect call at the perfect time." Brady decided to go with White, but both White and Lewis were wide open with easy first downs. This play reveals so much about the Patriots offense. How[...]