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Brian Cole

 

Pats Advance to Eighth Super Bowl in Brady-Belichick Era

Danny Amendola

They didn’t make it easy on themselves or their fans, but the Patriots pulled off a stunning comeback to beat the Jacksonville Jaguars in Foxboro on Sunday afternoon. What should have shocked the world has actually just become a routine occurrence in New England football games, as Tom Brady brought his team back from the edge of defeat on his way to another Super Bowl berth. The Jaguars took control of the game early on with a 14-3 lead over the Patriots thanks to a couple of methodical and well-executed drives. New England would close the gap slightly, scoring just before halftime and, after an early Jaguars field goal in the second half, mounted an incredible 14 point comeback to beat the Jaguars and head to their third Super Bowl in four years. The Jaguars offense was surprisingly efficient throughout the first half of the game. Blake Bortles led his team on a number of long scoring drives while playing mistake-free football. He took very few shots down the field but was accurate when he did. While he wasn’t blowingRead More


Pats vs. Jags – Preview of the 2018 AFC Championship Game

Patriots vs Jaguars

The Patriots welcome the Jaguars to Foxboro on Sunday in a battle that decides who will represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. New England is coming off of a 13-3 season and a solid Divisional Round win against the Tennessee Titans, while Jacksonville finished the regular season at 10-6, defeated the Buffalo Bills at home in the Wild Card Round, and had an impressive road victory in the Divisional Round over the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Jaguars are a young, energetic team with a lot of talent and spitfire. They have some young superstars in the making with Jalen Ramsay and Leonard Fournette, anchored by strong veterans like Calais Campbell. They staked their reputation on their fast, athletic defense that carried the team through the season. They were one of the best teams in the league at taking the ball away, finishing second in the league in interceptions with 21. They also held opposing quarterbacks to an astoundingly low 169.9 passing yards per game, which was over 20 yards better than the next best defense (Minnesota – 192.4). The JaguarsRead More


The 2018 Playoffs Have Been a Spectacle of Bad Coaching

Bill Bilichick

There are a number of reasons why Bill Belichick is widely considered one of the best NFL coaches of all time: the regular season and playoff wins, the consistency, brilliant player management, culture creation, second half in-game adjustments, it’s a long list. However, the playoffs have shown that Belichick would be head and shoulders above the rest of the current coaches in the NFL without any of those other accomplishments. The playoffs have been chock full of astoundingly poor coaching, which is rather shocking considering some of the coaches who were in this post-season: Sean Payton, Mike Tomlin, Andy Reid, Dan Quinn, Mike Zimmer and Ron Rivera to name a few. These coaches are all intelligent and experienced, with Zimmer being the only one coaching his first playoff game. Yet we were still forced to witness some extraordinarily poor coaching that was only made acceptable by the sensational efforts of the players. Andy Reid is well known for his horrific clock management, but this playoff illustrated a lack of creativity and player control. Despite holding a 19 point lead, theRead More


Patriots Advance to Their 7th Straight AFC Championship

Tom Brady

At this point it’s almost boring to say, but the New England Patriots are in the AFC Championship once again. They played at an elite level on Saturday night and made it clear that the “distractions” and “infighting” that the rest of the world is convinced is going on will not stop them from being the best team in the NFL. The team started off slow, wasting two drives and allowing Tennessee to get on the board first with a brilliant one handed catch by rookie wide receiver Corey Davis. From that point on, it was all Patriots all the time. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights of the game: – At this point, it is clear that Dion Lewis is right up there for Patriots offensive MVP with Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski. The running back had 15 carries for 62 yards to go along with 9 catches for 79 yards. The poor guy can never catch a break though; he drives the ball all the way down the field, then the Pats hand the ballRead More


Last Minute Divisional Round Picks

NFL Picks

It’s finally Divisional weekend and all I can think about is football, so let’s run through some last minute picks. (Home team in caps) PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (+3) over Atlanta Falcons This is a hard line to take, and I know a lot of people are going with Atlanta. With Nick Foles at the helm instead of Carson Wentz, the Eagles are in a predicament. However, Foles has shown flashes of adequacy, and I think that’s what we will see today. If the Eagles offensive line can give him protection, they should be able to do alright. The Falcons have a ton of talent, but they have been so shakey all year that I don’t trust them to not collapse on themselves. PITTSBURGH STEELERS (-7.5) over Jacksonville Jaguars This was a hard line because I don’t know if the Steelers can beat Jacksonville by more than a touchdown, and that has nothing to do with the game earlier this season. I just think a limited Antonio Brown and a frustrated Le’Veon Bell against arguably the best defense in the NFL couldRead More


Patriots vs Titans – Playoffs Round 2

New England welcomes the Tennessee Titans to Foxboro on Saturday night for an interesting matchup that few were anticipating. Most people, myself included, gave the Titans the lowest shot at making it through the Wild Card round, as the Chiefs had a large degree of talent and the Bills had the tools to produce a surprise. Instead, the Titans stunned everyone outside of the Mid-Atlantic by going on a 19-0 run to beat Kansas City on the road and earn a shot at the defending champs. Tennessee experienced a roller coaster of a season. They started off strong, finishing September at 2-1 with statement wins over divisional rival Jacksonville and perennial powerhouse Seattle. They would then drop two games to the Dolphins and the Deshaun Watson-led Texans before rattling off four straight wins against mid-level AFC opponents including Baltimore and Cincinnati. That would be the last of their serious success however, and they would go on to lose three of their last four games, with the only win coming against the Jaguars in week 17 in a game that JacksonvilleRead More


ESPN Publishes Story Detailing Rift Between Kraft, Belichick, and Brady

On Friday ESPN published a story that detailed a rift between the New England Patriots’ owner, their Hall of Fame coach and Hall of Fame quarterback. The story used a number of anonymous sources from inside the organization (players, executives, staffers) to discuss the fractured relationship between Robert Kraft, Bill Belichick, and Tom Brady, the three men who orchestrated the greatest dynasty the sports world has ever, and will ever, see. First things first: there is absolutely a modicum of truth to this story. A story this large does not just get pulled out of thin air, no matter how much Patriots fans like to believe that ESPN has a vendetta against New England. There is also the fact that these men have worked together for 18 years, and it is unlikely that three people that have had the success that they’ve had could get through that amount of time without experiencing difficulties. There is certainly some friction between Brady and Belichick for a number of reasons. The quarterback and coach have always had a relationship that is just that:Read More


Tom Brady’s Post-Bye Week Success Should Give Pats Fans Hope

Many members of the Patriots’ fan base and the Boston sports media have been worried as of late about the health and ability of Tom Brady. He has had an uncharacteristically poor second half to his season, throwing an interception in five of his last six games and missing his targets on some routine throws. First things first: this is not the “decline” of Tom Brady that some of the hot take artists in the national sports media like to claim. This is a 40 year old man trying to make it through an entire NFL season. Even quarterbacks take a fair beating, and his body is worn down after five months of football. He is not completely healthy, which makes the bye week that New England earned that much more important. This gives Brady time to rest and take some of the stress off of his body during the mandatory three days off that the players are given. What should get Patriots fans excited is the success that Tom Brady has had in post-bye week games. From 2010 toRead More


Business As Usual: Pats Lock Up Number 1 Seed

New England Patriots Helmet

The Patriots started the season at 2-2, and the entire football world thought that this was the end for the greatest dynasty in history. In response, the Patriots won 11 of their next 12 games and earned the number one seed in the AFC again, their record eighth straight year with a first round playoff bye. The Patriots took care of business against a Jets team that had surpassed all expectations this season. It wasn’t their cleanest game, but they are certainly not backing into the playoffs like they did in 2013 and 2015. – Tom Brady broke his interception streak and threw for 190 yards and two touchdowns in the victory. It wasn’t his cleanest game, with miscommunication and some bad balls leading to a pedestrian first half for the Hall of Fame quarterback. However he was good when it counted, and essentially locked up the MVP award. Brady finished the season with 4500+ yards, 30+ touchdowns, and less than 10 interceptions for the fourth time in his career. No other quarterback has done that more than once. –Read More


Four Patriots Selected to the Pro Bowl

Should they not make it to the Super Bowl, the Patriots will have four representatives in Orlando for this year’s Pro Bowl. Habitual Pro Bowlers Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, and Matt Slater were joined by the under appreciated fullback James Develin. – Gronk is having one of the best years of his career, which may have something to do with his work with Brady’s trainer Alex Guerrero. The big tight end looks healthy and is moving better than he has in years. He has 69 catches for 1084 yards and eight touchdowns, and is averaging 15.7 yards per catch, which is the third best of his career. He is also a fantastic blocking tight end, and has played a big part in New England’s success in the run game. If the Patriots didn’t have Tom Brady, Gronk would easily be the team’s MVP. He has been crucial on third down and has kept the New England offense running at an elite level in the absence of Julian Edelman. – Matt Slater is a special teams dynamo who is a majorRead More