Y Factors 2018: Patriots vs. Bills

-by DNOMN8R314

I was going to write something lighthearted and Christmassy in the intro until the Josh Gordon news broke. As Yahoo’s Dan Wetzel wrote, Gordon’s struggles remind us how little football itself actually matters compared to struggles with addiction and mental health.

If you’re struggling, know that you are not alone, no matter how much you think you are, and there is help.

Take a moment right now, just a minute, and be silent. Think of someone who might need help. Is it a family member? A friend? A coworker? You yourself?

If you need help, reach out to someone you trust: your spouse, boss, friend, minister, whomever. If it’s serious, get medical help. Seek out a therapist or a psychiatrist, or both. If you’re considering suicide, call someone now. Call the suicide prevention hotline in your country. (In the US, it’s 1-800-273-8255; that is, 1-800-273-TALK. For other countries, a list of suicide hotline phone numbers can be found here.) Stop reading this article, and get help now.

If it’s someone you know who needs help, reach out to them. If possible, be the person they need right now: a listening ear, someone to hang out with, someone to help solve their problems, or whatever role they need someone to fill. If they need professional help, encourage them to get that help and stand with them along the way. Show them that they are important to you, too important to watch their life fade away. Again, close the article and help them.

Thank you.

The remainder of this article will be football.

Foster, the people: One of the primary beneficiaries of Josh Allen’s ascendance to Bills starting quarterback has been undrafted wide receiver Robert Foster. Since Buffalo’s Week 11 bye, the Alabama rookie has caught 14 passes for 333 yards and a pair of touchdowns, and has become the Bills’ big-play threat, averaging 24.6 yards per reception in 2018. Between Allen’s ability to create yards with his legs, the always-shifty running ability of LeSean McCoy, and the rise of second-year wideout Zay Jones, New England will have a wide task in keeping Buffalo’s offense quiet, and Foster’s growth makes that task more difficult. Call it speculation (because it is), but I think Bill Belichick and Brian Flores will plan to contain the run and force Allen to win through the air. Fortunately, the Patriots’ secondary is their defensive strength, but as always it will come down to 60 minutes on the Gillette Stadium turf.

Rex marks the spot: During the first four weeks of the season, the Patriots offense thrived on their pass-catching running backs; since Rex Burkhead was placed on IR after Week 2, that meant James White benefited. Although Julian Edelman is back in the fold, the comparison to the season’s beginning still stands, as the main reason Tom Brady began targeting wide receivers more frequently was the presence of Gordon. Now that he is not playing, the running backs should see more throws, and I refer not only to White but also Burkhead. In the first two weeks of the year, Burkhead was targeted in the end zone each game (although overthrown); in 2017, he was the first of the Patriots’ new additions to catch a touchdown pass (in Week 2 against the Saints). Since his return from injured reserve, Burkhead has received a mildly impressive number of touches, a trend we should not expect to decrease with the wide receiver depth chart decreased by one.

It was Slate in the evening: There are a few reasons why Matthew Slater is a Y Factor this week. First, his special teams play has gone unrecognized; while the unit as a whole has been subpar in 2018, Slater is always just as rapidly down the field as ever, and his dodging of the ball on the impressive downed punt two weeks ago is an underrated part of that play. Second, there is always the unlikely possibility that he gets an offensive snap or seven as a downfield target, something which I agree is unlikely but kept getting mentioned on Twitter after the Gordon news broke. Third, I still want him to get a goal line target, as he serves as a blocking WR on some plays near the end zone. Fourth, there is no fourth, except that I hope the Patriots go forth and win.

TUMS-O-METER Prediction:
Well, the Pats have two straight losses in the month of December for the first time since… forever. Okay, maybe not that long, but it seems that way. This has been a strange season; in so many ways, it has been a tougher struggle than usual. And now with Gordon out of the picture, the remaining receivers need to step up, and Josh McD needs to get his head out of ass and call two straight decent games. But for now it is on to Buffalo, at home.
Hopefully the home cooking will help the Pats set things straight. Again, a win clinches the division no matter what Miami does, but a loss and a Miami win will make for a very anxious group of Pats fans come Week 17. Two more Pats losses plus 2 more Miami wins give the Fins the division and leave the Pats hoping for a wild card spot, so it is critical the Pats win this week and next. If that happens and the Texans lose a game, they get back the #2 seed. Buffalo comes in at 5-9 but would be more than happy to upset an unsettled Patriots team. Putting this all together and we have yet another 2 case TUMS game. Brace yourselves Bruh Nation: the next two games will be a wild ride.

 

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MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

Good night all. Have a Merry Christmas!

bring
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bring

I bet Chiefs game gets moved to 4:00 to line up with Chargers

rking88
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rking88

good night everyone… merry christmas and happy holidays to all

Jonc77
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Jonc77

happy festivus and kwanzaa

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

Well, a win next week clinches the 2 seed. Couple that with a LAC loss to DEN (possible) and KC loss to OAK (not likely) and they get the 1 seed.

Jonc77
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Jonc77

ill take the win

dfwpatsfan
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dfwpatsfan

I know Jim was worried about the Titans, but the Colts are running a hot hand and if they beat the Titans next week, they’re in. And I would prefer the Colts in Foxboro over the Titans.

TS13
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TS13

And a good time was had by all. Night all, Seasons Greetings to you and yours.

Jonc77
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Jonc77

merry christmas

dfwpatsfan
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dfwpatsfan

This day couldn’t have gone any better for the Pats, hope this streak continues on next week.

Jonc77
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Jonc77

the KC offense should have scored over 40 they suck

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

Game over. Pat’s slim chance for the # 1 seed stays alive.

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

Ref’s keep missing the KC false start.

rking88
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rking88

yep, the RT has been jumping early all night

TS13
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TS13

Missing or ignoring? They did the same during the Chargers game.

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

And the Pat’s game

MrScratch
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MrScratch

Why wouldn’t you boot it out? Only chance KC had was a KO return and they almost got it

TS13
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TS13

Maybe because of injury?

TS13
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TS13

The clock did stop at 2:01, weird.

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

What??????? SEA robbed of a sack..

rking88
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rking88

“that was a gaping hole… and janikowski couldnt get a finger on it hardly”

…phrasing!

Jonc77
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Jonc77

janikowski was thinking about his next beer

dfwpatsfan
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dfwpatsfan

Good to know that I wasn’t the only one laughing my ass off at that comment.

rking88
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rking88

i was about to say “the number of times these two have said ‘gaping hole’ tonight is way too high… then collinsworth finished it up with that line about the finger and i lost it

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

Ain’t over yet.

Jonc77
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Jonc77

its still Andy Reid. they cant beat good teams look at their losses

MrScratch
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MrScratch

Game. This D just can’t stop anybody

C’mon Oaktown!

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

That should do it. but then again

TS13
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TS13

Lol, Russel shoving him into the EZ.

MrScratch
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MrScratch

Circus has come to town

TS13
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TS13

Wow, again.

rking88
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rking88

that big pass play is a combination of a great throw, a great ability by the receiver to catch, and a good job by the line giving enough time for the play to develop… have to have all three for it to be successful

Jonc77
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Jonc77

run

MrScratch
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MrScratch

Unreal catch

TS13
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TS13

Then he takes a sack, smh.

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

Wow…

TS13
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TS13

Crazy catch.

Jonc77
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Jonc77

why are you turning to run?

Jonc77
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Jonc77

catch it and go down

MrScratch
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MrScratch

Gonna be a hell of an ending

dfwpatsfan
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dfwpatsfan

I gotta admit, I am admiring Mahomes. Let’s see if he sustains this level of gameplay for the next few years.

Jonc77
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Jonc77

lets see if he is a winner

dfwpatsfan
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dfwpatsfan

For this season he has been impressive. Though with that defense, I am not sure how far they get in the playoffs.

Jonc77
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Jonc77

I like him a lot. we will see if he is a stat guy or he will be a winner

dfwpatsfan
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dfwpatsfan

For him to go to the next level though, he needs to stop with the boneheaded throws.

rking88
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rking88

incredible throw? i believe ben roethlisberger accomplished that feat no more than a decade ago… in the superbowl no less

TS13
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TS13

Seattle can’t go all conservative on the next possession.

TS13
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TS13

Gee, didn’t see that coming, lol.

Jonc77
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Jonc77

mahomes will cost them big someday with those types of throws

rking88
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rking88

its the kind of thing where when it finally goes wrong, or when he doesnt have all-world skill around him… its gonna be a huge liability

Jonc77
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Jonc77

yep

rking88
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rking88

obligatory “kelce with a free release” comment since jim is currently a captive to the hallmark channel

TS13
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TS13

Come on KC, cough it up.

Jonc77
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Jonc77

if only we had Wilson

rking88
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rking88

-_-

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

TD SEA

TS13
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TS13

Yes, TD!

TS13
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TS13

Come on SEA, get it in there.

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

TWSS

rking88
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rking88

chris collinsworth’s russell wilson boner can be heard through the broadcast

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

TS13
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TS13

Good stop by SEA.

Calipatsfan3473
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Calipatsfan3473

Hill just hurt his knee.

rking88
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rking88

how is it almost 11 and we’re just starting the 4th quarter… has this game been unusually slow or is it just me?

dfwpatsfan
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dfwpatsfan

Sounds about right for an SNF game.

TS13
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TS13

Especially with NBC commercials.

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

Yes

MattDog #N'KealHarryToThePats
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MattDog #N'KealHarryToThePats

Man, if only we had beaten Pittsburgh, or Miami, or Tennessee, or Detroit, or….you get the point.

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

They had the MIA game

TS13
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TS13

I think Icould have lived with the MIA loss had they beaten the Steelers.

Calipatsfan3473
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Calipatsfan3473

Great catch by Baldwin.

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

Try to keep up.

Calipatsfan3473
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Calipatsfan3473

Tired.

rking88
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rking88

doug baldwin is sneaky good

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

Wow. What. A catch.

TS13
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TS13

Spectacular

TS13
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TS13

What the heck was that penalty? False start?

bring
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bring

Could the NFL move our game to 4:00?

TS13
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TS13

Did you call Rog?

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

Nope. Not important enough compared to other games.