Y Factors 2018: Patriots vs. Dolphins

-by DNOMN8R314

Having a losing record obviously sucks, as do copious injuries and repeated on-field errors. But (to paraphrase Gil Santos) despite all the cries of doom and gloom, the Patriots will be on the field Sunday against their southernmost division foe. Here are some possible under-the-radar keys to victory.

Speedy thing goes in, speedy thing comes out: The most prominent criticism of the Patriots’ 2018 defense is their lack of speed, especially among the linebackers. As Bill Belichick has shown, his pattern of team building is to stock up on undervalued assets when something new becomes popular. In this case, it has not worked, as loading a defense with bigger, stronger players in contrast to the speed revolution has only built a defense that can be run circles around. (A minor counterpoint: Belichick has not completely ignored the need for athletic linebackers in coverage, as seen by the drafting of Christian Sam.) With Ja’Whaun Bentley now on injured reserve, the stripped-down LB corps is now at bare bones. In order to counter the speed of Miami skill players such as Kenyan Drake and Jakeem Grant, Belichick and Brian Flores will have to balance getting the best players, those who most know the defense, on the field, and putting more athletic players in the game. This could mean more snaps for players like Nicholas Grigsby and Cyrus Jones, or even special teamers like Nate Ebner and Brandon King. You can pick whichever adjectives you’d like to describe this week’s defense, but I keep coming back to “interesting.”

Hollister at ya boy: An underrated missing piece to the offense last week was tight end Jacob Hollister, whose sudden injury left New England’s pass catching group even more depleted. While Hollister’s injury could keep him out this week and potentially a little longer, I’m still including him on the list. Through training camp, Hollister showed improvement from his rookie season and had started to earn Tom Brady’s trust on the field; fans got another brief glimpse of this during Week 2 when the second-year tight end nabbed three catches. While the group of players listed under “wide receiver” on the depth chart may still have one more game to go before receiving their biggest boost (and also the whole Josh Gordon thing), getting Hollister back will give Brady another player who is capable of on-field success.

Try to remember the kind of September: This is a Y Factor for the fans more than for the team on the field. Yes, this team has played poorly in the start of the season. Yes, there are changes to be made. Yes, it’s very frustrating and we can feel annoyed about it. But it is also still Week 4. The Patriots, among other things, have been very good at adjusting after the first four weeks of the season and becoming their strongest possible team as the season goes on. This applies also to personnel, as Belichick is always looking to upgrade the roster through trades and free agent signings. So I’d urge you all to remember that a football season is never worth panicking over, and encourage you to enjoy it. (And hopefully, the team will indeed play better so we can enjoy the season more!)

With that, here’s your regularly scheduled panic.

Well, last week was interesting. The Browns won, the Pats lost, and my reasoning for last week’s prediction, with a little tongue-in-cheek, came true. Huh……Hmmmmmmmm…. And now this week has become more interesting. It’s the beginning of a 3 game home stand that will define this season. As with last week, I won’t go into detail regarding team strengths and weaknesses, or injuries, or personnel decisions. We’ll save those for later weeks.
What I will bring up is this: If the Pats lose, Miami will go 4-0 while the Pats will be 1-3. The road to the playoffs, let alone the division, will become much more difficult. Accordingly, I consider this game an important crossroad for the Patriots.
And as such, the Week 4 BSJ TUMS-O-METER prediction is 2 cases.

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Deadsmack #NotDone
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Deadsmack #NotDone

Limited snaps for Gronk tonight?

Kerthwap
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Kerthwap

I’m guessing zero. If he’s actually needed, they’re in trouble, and he’s more likely to get re-injured trying to win with the game on the line.

Deadsmack #NotDone
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Deadsmack #NotDone

Just win baby, just win

Deadsmack #NotDone
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Deadsmack #NotDone

Tom Morello – “Rabbit’s Revenge” feat. Bassnectar, Big Boi, and Killer Mike (Official Music Video)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wN93iaEwd1o

Deadsmack #NotDone
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Deadsmack #NotDone

Welcome back Bunny 🙂

Calipatsfan3473
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Calipatsfan3473

No MacArthur Park?

vb112
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vb112

That one, and all of its terrifying incarnations, belongs to Bones.

vb112
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vb112

Yasssss – nothing like a little Tom Morello/RATM to get fired up.:-D
Thanks, Smacky!

Deadsmack #NotDone
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Deadsmack #NotDone

Nice to see you here again. We missed you.

vb112
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vb112

I missed you guys, too. It’s been a crazy-busy couple of years, but things are evening out a bit. So hopefully I’ll be able to continue popping on regularly.

Kerthwap
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Kerthwap

Almost, but too smooth and produced.

Kerthwap
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Kerthwap

The Colts are seriously beat up and injured. Overly aggressive coach? Just mailing this game in and focusing on more achievable wins in the upcoming weeks? Players not wanting to get embarrassed, so faking injury? Recent ninja attack? Discuss.

HunterCenter
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HunterCenter

likely just bad injury luck, similar to all of the Pats draft picks.

Neil X
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Neil X

Yeah, there is no need for conspiracy theories to explain a rash of injuries in the NFL.

HunterCenter
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HunterCenter

although I do like the mental image of a ninja dressed in a red, blue, and silver ninja outfit going into the Colts’ locker room and slicing some tendons.

vb112
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vb112

Damn, HC; that escalated quickly. How ’bout they just slice up some footb–you know what? Forget I said anything.

Kerthwap
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Kerthwap

Always maintain plausible deniability.

vb112
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vb112

I thought it was “always look on the bright side of life”?

Kerthwap
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Kerthwap

… and now I’m scrambling to get that song out of my head.

HunterCenter
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HunterCenter

hey now… Kerthwap brought up the idea!

vb112
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vb112

SIGN ALL THE NINJAS. On topic – was just chatting about the Colts-Texans game with a Dallas fan at work. (I am completely surrounded by NFC; it’s quite refreshing, tbh.) Anyway, he had the less popular take of, “Hell yes, you go for it. Screw the tie; play to win.” His thoughts were that Reich is a former player, probably still has that mindset and wants the W. So while the outcome wasn’t ideal, the players know he’s thinking like them and maybe there’s some trust built that wasn’t there before. Long story short – don’t sleep on ’em. Found… Read more »

Kerthwap
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Kerthwap

Can’t fault the “no ties!” attitude. Was still stupid to call that timeout at the time. As a fan, I prefer my aggressive coaches to also manage the game intelligently.
Cheerleader coaches like Rex Ryan carry the team, until the team realizes the coach is an idiot and is getting outcoached. Then it’s straight downhill.

vb112
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vb112

Good point on the timeout. And yes, the cheerleader coach/locker room issues correlation is likely no fluke.;-)
Ah, Rexy…I wish I could say I miss him, but I don’t.

Pauly
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Pauly

100% agree. Think it is something (some) fans and talking heads hate but will endear with with a large core of his team.

I also agree with Neil below. The Colts are badly wounded and badly underestimated. If the Pats let them hang around in this game, I think the Colts will play a lot tougher than expected. Need to score early and often in this one.

vb112
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vb112

Yep. I’m hoping Bill’s had footage of Deflategate coverage on a 24-hour loop. Stay angry, stay focused, punch ’em in the freaking mouth. This ain’t no practice!

Pauly
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Pauly

KICK ‘EM IN THE DING DING

HunterCenter
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HunterCenter

THROW ‘EM ALL OUT OF THE CLUB!!!

Pauly
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Pauly

That too

HunterCenter
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HunterCenter

your idea is more fun, however

dp73
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dp73

We are only one game removed from the awful Lions game. Any team can give us a game if the circumstances are right. I respect every opponent because I have seen a lot of games when I expected a win and the Patriots lost. Even at home.

rondo723
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rondo723

I think this game will be more interesting than expected. Last week the Dolphins had the tools that have torn up the Pats D of late (crossing routes, speedster RBs in space) but opted to go downfield. Reich did a great job in the SB, and Hines is his Corey Clement, Ebron his Ertz. I think they’ll do everything they can to exploit the Pats but may not have the personnel to do it, the opposite of the Fins last week.

Kerthwap
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Kerthwap

My biggest concern with games like this is that Bill will try to get cute, and try to limit the playbook, and not show his hand. Maybe script 10 straight running plays to start the game to test some personnel as if it were a preseason game, or something weird. Or, let’s stick with the 3 man rush for an entire quarter, without mixing in any pressure.

HunterCenter
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HunterCenter

well, it is still the Pats preseason.

Neil X
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Neil X

Not in week 5 it isn’t.

HunterCenter
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HunterCenter

sure it is. this is the final preseason game. preseason was merely extended this year by BB, beyond his normal 8 week preseason.

hugo #FreeBoney
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hugo #FreeBoney

This meme should be old but it isn’t

Neil X
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Neil X

I agree. Folks here are taking Indy too lightly. Indy has competed in every game, exceeding not only this writer’s expectations, but likely their opponents’, too. These guys have been a tough out for the Bengals, Eagles and Texans. They are better than their record.

PatriotPrideBoy
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PatriotPrideBoy

From a football standpoint, it’s really tragic that Gil retired before Super Bowls 49 and 51. Him calling those games would have been a cherry on top of the cake

NHBruh
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NHBruh

Do the radio stations broadcast SB as well? Didn’t know that.

hugo #FreeBoney
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hugo #FreeBoney

Yes!
I don’t think I’ve ever heard the TV call of the winning play in SB51, honestly. Every NFL films type thing has the Socci/Zolak call. And I didn’t hear it in the game because it was the kind of moment where you couldn’t hear anything anyway.

PatriotPrideBoy
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PatriotPrideBoy

They do. Zolak and Socci called SB 51, for instance

hugo #FreeBoney
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hugo #FreeBoney

I wonder if Gronk could play fullback as a wrinkle. Like, in a super bowl.

hugo #FreeBoney
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hugo #FreeBoney

Think about it. The Pats have 2 offenses in a way. The I-form stuff. And the empty set where they motion White to read the coverage.
If you could motion Gronk into the upback spot, against a light box…. could you combine the two?

cfpats4
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cfpats4

Develin no neck would take exception to that

Pauly
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Pauly

Or maybe Gronk is Fullbacking as the lead with Develin carrying it. There’s your big back/goalline package right there. If it didn’t expose Gronk to even more abuse, I’d love the idea.

PatriotPrideBoy
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PatriotPrideBoy

That sounds like a great idea. He’s already a great blocker on the line but give him a full of steam first and see if he can pancake guys

hugo #FreeBoney
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hugo #FreeBoney

I’m not sure he’d actually be a good FB blocker honestly. I don’t have the knowledge of the position. Might be too “finesse” for it (hell anyone on a football field but a fullback is pretty much), and its also more about getting low. Whereas blocking in a phone booth isn’t about running into the dude its about wrestling with him.
Just was thinking about the possibilities it would create.

hugo #FreeBoney
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hugo #FreeBoney

Of course, he’s proven he’s good on those wham blocks in the past. Is it really that different?

PatriotPrideBoy
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PatriotPrideBoy

If he was supposed to wham block a LB like Wagner it might be a bad idea. I think he’d be too tall for something like that (i.e low man usually wins).

PatriotPrideBoy
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PatriotPrideBoy

Whereas with a player like Suggs who’s nearly 270 and 6’4″ it’d be more natural. He actually did that in 2011.

dp73
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dp73

Until he gets hurt on that play and we have a month of ” why did they do that posts?” lol 🙂

HunterCenter
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HunterCenter

you mean Develin All Neck

PatriotPrideBoy
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PatriotPrideBoy

I’m surprised they haven’t run that package yet, actually

dp73
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dp73

Not during the regular season. Richard Seymour did that and got hurt. He blamed that injury in hurting him with is contract.

HunterCenter
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HunterCenter

sounds like a Leveon Bell type of usage complaint

dp73
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dp73

This was after the fact that it hurt his contract.

HunterCenter
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HunterCenter

I realize it is not an apples to apples comparison. My point is just… if a coach tells you to block, you should block. If a coach tells you to get 400 touches in a season, you should get 400 touches in a season. These guys are getting paid way too much money to be publicly critical of their usage, whether that be in hindsight or in foresight.

Neil X
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Neil X

I don’t really agree with that. For instance, the Cowboys ground Demarco Murray into the ground in a single season of overuse. It’s irresponsible and cost him tens of millions of dollars. Employees have a right to complain when management makes unreasonable and harmful requests of them.

HunterCenter
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HunterCenter

to complain directly to their coach, in private, sure. but to do so publicly, or to teammates behind the coaches back… that is another matter. Especially when he already made millions from the Cowboys by agreeing to perform in a “harmful” profession.

Kerthwap
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Kerthwap

Seems like Gronk is slower to get up to speed this days. I think Devlin has earned his spot through excellent performance. No need to mess with that.

JLStokes
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JLStokes

I think Jules gets about 7 catches. Tom’s gonna do everything he can to get him catches.

cfpats4
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cfpats4

do you see a high scoring, sloppy game due to the quick turnaround from Sunday for both teams?

HunterCenter
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HunterCenter

I do

Neil X
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Neil X

Is anyone else seeing three copies of every post?

itsBradyBaby
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itsBradyBaby

HAD THAT ISSUE AND REFRESHED PAGE, GOOD NOW

dp73
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dp73

No

Neil X
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Neil X

I got three copies of this…….

itsBradyBaby
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itsBradyBaby

STELLA ARTOIS CIDRE AND GORDAN ON ROOTS FOR TODAY’S GAMEDAY.

cfpats4
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cfpats4

and Gordan on Roots is what again?

itsBradyBaby
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itsBradyBaby

GORDON IS A GIN , DIFFERENT TYPES OF ROOTS I PUT IN IT .

cfpats4
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cfpats4

cheers!

dp73
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vb112
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vb112

Hot take: Abuse of “Reply to all” should be subject to a fine and jail time.

JLStokes
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JLStokes

Tell that to the guy living in the White House.

itsBradyBaby
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itsBradyBaby

EASY

PatriotPrideBoy
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PatriotPrideBoy

Hey, how’s it going?

itsBradyBaby
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itsBradyBaby

12 STELLA ARTOIS CIDRE FOR 14 BUCKS, NOT BAD.

Kerthwap
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Kerthwap

I’m still saddened at the booze inflation, over a dollar a bottle concept. I’ve become my father! Help!

Neil X
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Neil X

Most Trillium beers are $20 for a 4-pack of 16 ounce cans.

HunterCenter
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HunterCenter

never had them, but they can’t be THAT much better then other beers being sold for $10.99 a 6-pack these days

dp73
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dp73

I know it is Julian Edelman’s first game back but I expect he will play well.

vb112
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vb112

Here’s hoping. I’m breaking out my #11 jersey for the occasion. It’s been a while.

Neil X
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Neil X

Every post is showing up 3 times for me. Weird.

I have minimal expectations for him this week. He hasn’t had contact in over a month, he would truly be Superman if he is able to come in and have a typical Edelman game.

itsBradyBaby
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itsBradyBaby

Refresh , I just did

Neil X
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Neil X

That helps, but any new posts after refrshing still show up 3 times.

dp73
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dp73

R.I.P. Gi Santos. I miss him.

PatriotPrideBoy
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PatriotPrideBoy

Oh no…

JLStokes
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JLStokes

He passed in April…

cfpats4
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cfpats4

matt light retired

PatriotPrideBoy
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PatriotPrideBoy

DNOM, are you around?

NewEnglandBlight
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NewEnglandBlight

I recognize it’s all caps Sunday for Nate, but sometimes I wonder if writing in all caps helps him see the text better. Someone once told me they wrote in all caps because they have super poor vision, and can’t read the text on the screen otherwise.

itsBradyBaby
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itsBradyBaby

NOPE JUST SOMETHING I DID ONCE AND THOUGHT IT WAS FUN AND CUNTINUED.

NewEnglandBlight
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NewEnglandBlight

cuntinue on, my friend

cfpats4
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cfpats4

its annoying and he should never be on the supreme court

itsBradyBaby
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itsBradyBaby

OK

PatriotPrideBoy
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PatriotPrideBoy

I have to enlarge the font or zoom in (on websites or other apps); reading small letters just hurts my eyes.

Also, I recently installed a nightvision extension because white text on a black background is way easier to read (personal preference)

vb112
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vb112

I tried nightvision, but it hurts my eyes more – so I ended up buying a pair of blue light readers. Does seems to help with the eyestrain from sitting in front of a computer all day, plus staring at my phone. Extra-nerdy factor a bonus.;-)

jdlboot14
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jdlboot14

It’s actually hard to guess how effective JE will be in stats, vs. how much better the other guys will suddenly do. ie: I could easily see Dorsett or Hogan having a big night because of JE & Gronk. Which of the “other” guys do you think has the biggest night?

itsBradyBaby
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itsBradyBaby

I THINK GORDON GOES FOR 100 YARDS PLUS AND A TD.

NewEnglandBlight
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NewEnglandBlight

150+ and 3 tds

JLStokes
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JLStokes

Trying to decide if I should start Pats defense vs the Colts over Jags defense vs the Chiefs.

cfpats4
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cfpats4

luck is a pick machine

Opinion Slayer
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Opinion Slayer

Starting the Jags D at Arrowhead against the #1 O vs NE’s D in Foxboro vs the Colts without TY Hilton would be highly illogical.

NewEnglandBlight
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NewEnglandBlight

Read opslayer’s comments with an accent from an AI robot aboard a spaceship. It just works.

JLStokes
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JLStokes

https://www.colts.com/video/first-down-with-rick-venturi-defensive-blueprint-patriots

It’s amazing how dangerous the trio of Gronk/Edelman/White is. If Gordon can get going, man…

itsBradyBaby
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itsBradyBaby

PRACTICING FOR THE NEXT GAME IS A REASON THEY WANT GRONK EDELMAN AND GORDON PLAYING TONIGHT, PLUS GOT TO MAKE SURE WE ARE ABOVE 500 JUST IN CASE WE LOSE TO KANSAS.

JLStokes
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JLStokes

Ping Pong is actually a great game for a receiver to practice their reaction time.

hugo #FreeBoney
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hugo #FreeBoney

Could have just ended that sentence after game.

PatriotPrideBoy
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PatriotPrideBoy

Gang

Dingo
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Dingo

The Jets’ uni makeover http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/24881867/uni-watch-delivers-winning-entries-new-york-jets-redesign-contest

Unless they show better success, this is sugar-coating a turd.

Neil X
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Neil X

The option with the black shirts is pretty badass.

Dingo
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Dingo

Agreed!

hugo #FreeBoney
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hugo #FreeBoney

The Jets already have one of the best uniforms in the NFL. No need to mess with it imo.

cfpats4
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cfpats4

very surprised jj watt was named defensive player of the month, he was a no show against the pats

Neil X
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Neil X

Yeah, it should have been Khalil Mack, for sure.

NHBruh
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NHBruh

Mack is NFC’s.

Neil X
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Neil X

Oh, it’s conference specific? I never pay any attention to thes kinds of awards.

JLStokes
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JLStokes

I’ve always thought the Waiver wire was dumb for the NFL. So a team cuts you and you STILL can’t choose your next destination until you play a certain amount of years in the NFL.

Neil X
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Neil X

IN general, waiver is good for players, as the contract they have signed remains intact. If they were free agents, they may well not get as big of a contract as the one they were working under before being released.

Neil X
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Neil X

This for young players, specifically. Veteran players are in a different situation.

JLStokes
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JLStokes

Just have the the contract continue to be valid for a short amount of time, but allow the player to determine their next destination.

hugo #FreeBoney
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hugo #FreeBoney

@FieldYates New Bills DT Jordan Phillips had interest around the NFL. The Steelers, Patriots and Saints also attempted to claim him, per source. Buffalo had highest waiver priority.
Bill’s fetish for players who are only good against us never ends!

jdlboot14
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jdlboot14

I might shed a tear when I see Edelman sprint on the field tonight. And another one when he and Gronk line up on offense together.

jdlboot14
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jdlboot14

although I don’t want either of them in this game for long. We should be able to beat the Colts with our other guys and improving run game.

hugo #FreeBoney
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hugo #FreeBoney

Bob Kraft has to be the only owner in sports with a signature shoe

rondo723
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rondo723

do people actually wear those?

hugo #FreeBoney
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hugo #FreeBoney

Probably not but its hilarious

Neil X
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Neil X

He also has a signature dress shirt in a style that went went out of fashion in the 90s. (Colored shirt, white collar.)

dyims
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dyims

NTTAWWT

itsBradyBaby
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itsBradyBaby

PRACTICE PRACTICE, NOT A REAL GAME JUST PRACTICE, GTFOOH.

Opinion Slayer
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Opinion Slayer

Well, well, well… GRONK!!!
😉

JLStokes
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JLStokes

@NESN
UPDATE: Rob Gronkowski reportedly should be good to go for Patriots-Colts tonight. http://nesn.com/?p=882221

itsBradyBaby
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itsBradyBaby

WAKE UP KNUCKLE HEADS
GAME DAY.

itsBradyBaby
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itsBradyBaby

GRONK TO PLAY ACCORDING TO PFT
LET’S GO PATS, GAMEDAY.

dp73
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dp73

hOlD HiM bAcK UnTiL tHe plAyOfFs .

itsBradyBaby
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itsBradyBaby

NOPE IF HE CAN PLAY LET HIM PLUS HE WANTS HIS INCENTIVES.

dp73
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dp73

i WaS jOkInG

itsBradyBaby
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itsBradyBaby

GO CAPS, SORRY MAC, U WILL SEE THOSE CAPS HATS TODAY.

hugo #FreeBoney
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hugo #FreeBoney

The Yankees with Judge back are such a formidable team. Single season HR record. 3 innings worth of closers. Some good starting pitching too.

Jonc77
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Jonc77

Billy Beane loses again

Calipatsfan3473
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Calipatsfan3473

Fire him!!

Jonc77
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Jonc77

he does a great job he puts together really good teams for little money. he can draft. he just over thinks it when its crunch time

hugo #FreeBoney
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hugo #FreeBoney

Honestly the As have extremely weak pitching for a playoff team. I don’t think any strategy was going to get them out of Yankee stadium alive.

Jonc77
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Jonc77

they won 97 games you try and reinvent the wheel after winning 97

hugo #FreeBoney
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hugo #FreeBoney

I’m not saying they should have done it that way. I’m just saying their pitching is really awful.
They won 97 games because 162 games is a lot of 4th starters vs 4th starters, 5th starters vs 5th starters…. forget an ace, who on Oakland’s staff is even a front of the rotation pitcher? They had exactly one and he got hurt.

Jonc77
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Jonc77

yeah I get it. relievers aren’t meant to do what they tried to do. I don’t know the A’s staff im a national league guy. but they had to have some starter to pitch tonight. you hope one guy has a great night not 7 guys, the odds don’t work.

Jonc77
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Jonc77

like Eck or Darling said you are banking on 6-7 relievers being on tonight. that’s a dumb strategy

MattDog #FreeBoney
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MattDog #FreeBoney

BB >>>>>>>>> BB

PatriotPrideBoy
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PatriotPrideBoy

Damn, Bruins lost by a touchdown tonight.

MattDog #FreeBoney
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MattDog #FreeBoney

Soooooo close!!

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

Holtby will now be 14-2 vs BOS. With 5 shutouts. Think about that.

MrLucky
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MrLucky

Yankees it is. Let the hate flow through you.

MattDog #FreeBoney
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MattDog #FreeBoney

The indifferense is flowing.

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

7-0.

Calipatsfan3473
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Calipatsfan3473

Isn’t it over yet?

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

The Bruins just had a PP. WAS had 3 shots in goal short handed. Pathetic.

MattDog #FreeBoney
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MattDog #FreeBoney

Catholic Memorial >>>>> Boston Bruins

rking88
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rking88

looks like the B’s didnt realize preseason ended

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

In the course of an 82 game season, you have 3-4 really shitty games. But they ususally occur in Jan/Feb or so. The B’s have already have 1 in their first game. I’ve never seen a team so disorganized and so unprepared.

BTW 6-0. Another PP goal by WAS.

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

And No Fight or fire.

Pauly
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Pauly

Taking a page from BB and extending the preseason

MasterAndCommander
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Free agent
MasterAndCommander

Although the whole team is playing like shit. The vaulted PK unit from last year has given up 3 PP goals in 3 chances.

And yes, here’s my annual rant about the Bruins GM etc. not drafting and trading for speed and sharpshooters.

MattDog #FreeBoney
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Free agent
MattDog #FreeBoney

We’re on to 2019.

Pauly
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Free agent
Pauly

TRADE ‘EM ALL

PatriotPrideBoy
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Free agent
PatriotPrideBoy

Six unanswered goals coming up.

MattDog #FreeBoney
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MattDog #FreeBoney

Bruins suck. Maybe I’ll see what’s going on with this baseball sport.

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

5-0. Rask finally out. Shoulda pulled him at 2-0.

MattDog #FreeBoney
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Free agent
MattDog #FreeBoney

They should trade him for Patrick Roy.

Pauly
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Free agent
Pauly

Cheevers