Postseason Y Factors 2018: Patriots at Chiefs

-by DNOMN8R314

Since Bill Belichick and Tom Brady joined the New England Patriots, the team’s record in road AFC Championship Games is:

  • ’01-’02: @Steelers, win 24-17
  • ’04-’05: @Steelers, win 41-27
  • ’06-’07: @Colts, loss 38-34
  • ’13-’14: @Broncos, loss 26-16
  • ’15-’16: @Broncos, loss 20-18

It’s been a long time since the Patriots came out in top in a road tilt deciding a Super Bowl participant, although this is also a small sample size over an extended period. But I’m dissecting history right now, and as Belichick likes to remind press conference attendees, history means nothing going into any given week. The 2018 Chiefs are not alien to the 2018 Patriots, as New England came out on top 43-40 in a Week 6 Scorigami. It’s guaranteed that nobody in Foxboro will be resting on that victory; as Patrick Chung said, such an attitude in the locker room will result in their being demolished. (Although he used shorter words and made the point much clearer.) While the team prepares to take the field at Arrowhead Stadium, we prepare to lose our minds, but also analyze matchups and build up hope. Here are a few of those.

TEs and thank you: Of Kansas City’s ten rostered pass catchers, the only player who does not stand over six feet tall is lightning-fast wideout Tyreek Hill. In particular, their top two tight ends, Travis Kelce and Demetrius Harris, post towering heights of 6’5″ and 6’7″, respectively. The Chiefs are a team that can win with height as well as speed, so the Patriots will need to be ready to combat both possibilities. During the 2018 season, Kelce caught 10 touchdown passes and Harris three; of those 13 scores, 12 came from inside the 20-yard line. (The outlier? 25 yards.) Of course, New England will try to keep the Chiefs out of the red zone, but should the defense find itself pushed deep in their own territory, keeping an eye on the tight ends will be a priority. While Chung will be the primary defender against tight ends, another possibility is 6’4″ safety Obi Melifonwu, who has been inactive for the Patriots’ last five games but has the size and athleticism to help counter Kelce and Harris. Naturally, he will need to make his way onto the active list first, past seven other fully healthy Patriots. I’m reminded of the leadup to Super Bowl LI, where Michael Floyd had a unique set of size and physicality on the New England roster, but was still inactive for the game. I wonder if Melifonwu, despite his potential usefulness, may be in the same situation.

Damien the system: After the Chiefs released Kareem Hunt, ex-Dolphin Damien Williams stepped up as Kansas City’s top running back, scoring six touchdowns over the final four weeks of the season and adding two more in their Divisional Round win. While Williams is no Hunt, he does pose a threat both on the ground and against the pass, catching 23 passes for a pair of scores during the regular season. During late November and early December, the Patriots were exposed in the run game when selling out to stop the pass, as they were repeatedly gashed on the ground. Against the Chargers last week, New England kept Philip Rivers from winning through the air while also stifling Melvin Gordon’s rushing. Kansas City’s offense finds its heartbeat in the arm of Patrick Mahomes, but their running game can also win a game if the opponent neglects it. As they did a Sunday ago, the Patriots will need to succeed in every stage on defense in order to leave Missouri with a victory.

Allen a day’s work: Sportswriters this week have frequently penned how the Patriots’ offensive key to the game will be a strong running game, as the Chiefs’ front seven has been weak against the run this year. Just as important to this as the running backs are the blockers, and while writers have discussed how the New England offensive linemen or even fullback James Develin can be the key to a Patriot win, fewer have mentioned tight end Dwayne Allen. Allen is hardly a weapon in the receiving game, catching only three passes in 2018, but he has been a dominant run blocker during his two seasons in Foxboro. The Chiefs have a strong trio of edge defenders in Dee Ford, Justin Houston, and Breeland Speaks, and while the Patriots will certainly look to keep them away from Brady on passing plays, they’ll also have to stop them from blowing up runs in the backfield. Whenever he takes the field, the onus will be on Allen (and of course Rob Gronkowski) to keep Kansas City’s edge rushers away from the ball no matter who has it.

TUMS-O-METER Prediction:
Well, I have to send this in early, and then it’s final planning and packing and off to Mexico. Hopefully the resort bar puts on both games Sunday. On to the game. Interestingly, the Pats as a team are jelling. For 2, maybe 3 games in a row, the offense, defense, and special teams have put together great efforts. And when on the road in a very raucous environment, that has to continue. But will it? The Pats are 3-5 away from home this season. They did squeak out a win against KC earlier this year, but that was at Gillette. Whoever executes better, minimizes (if not eliminates) errors, and maintains focus will come out on top. Will it be “TB the Legend” or “PM the Up and Coming Star” (and most likely MVP) that survives?
A Super Bowl berth is on the line. As I type this, weather shouldn’t be a factor, but the forecast seems to change frequently… so who knows? And we go back to the question that has been asked often this year: which Pats team, particularly the defense, will show up. Jekyll? Hyde? Have they overcome their seemingly nearly season-long inconsistency? Did Bill really wait until now to start showing schemes and stategies to maximize the talent on the team in the playoffs? We’ll never know. And which Andy Reid shows up? With the talent he has, he’s done a masterful job. But his MO is to choke in big games with strange play calling and poor clock management. Will Mahomes’ bubble burst? Or will the moment not overwhelm him? Will Gronk have a break out game receiving? Will Tyreek Hill run amok? Will the Pats defense contain Mahomes? We wait for the answers and the outcome.
But for the last play in Miami, this game would be played at Gillette. Even so, all the questions would still be pertinent. This game will not be easy. This game will be a test of wills for both teams and their fans. As such, this will be a 3.5 case game at a minimum. Enjoy.

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hugo #FreeBoney
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hugo #FreeBoney

Reading that Trubisky struggled during the skills competition at the pro bowl
“Round 2: you have to throw to your left”

Neil X
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Neil X

Thanks Capt. Buzzzkill.

Neil X
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Neil X

I am fairly confident that the Patriots will beat the Rams, but here is an interesting factoid to consider. There have been 7 Super Bowls between teams that have previously played each other in the Super Bowl:

Cowboys/Steelers (SB XIII)
Cowboys/Steelers (SB XXX)
49ers/Bengals (SB XXIII)
Cowboys/Bills (SB XXVIII)
Giants/Patriots (SB XLVI)
Eagles/Patriots (SB LII)
Rams/Patriots (SB LIII)

You may note that to date, the Patriots have lost every time they faced a team for a second time in the SB.

BoSoxJim
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BoSoxJim

Every time? That’s a sample size of 2 (and they lost the 1st and 2nd time they played the Giants).

Neil X
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Neil X

I am a scientist, Jim. Of course it’s completely a BS statistic to base any analysis or predictions on. I apologize if I implied that this should be taken as a truly serious issue/problem.

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

Joke or not…….. NO MATH!!!! 🙂

Neil X
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Neil X

People always hope there won’t be math. But there is always math in everything that happens.

There is no avoiding math.

BoSoxJim
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BoSoxJim

OK, no math. However, we will discuss potential draft picks instead.

BoSoxJim
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BoSoxJim

You will only be forgiven if you self-flagellate for 15 minutes

Neil X
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Neil X

Well I have been watching Patriots Porn all afternoon. Currently at 1:49 left in the first half of the Carolina SB. 7-0 Pats, two missed Vinitieri figgies so far.

MattDog #AndyIsabellaToThePats
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MattDog #AndyIsabellaToThePats

Lol!!

MattDog #AndyIsabellaToThePats
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MattDog #AndyIsabellaToThePats

I’m sick of these Super Bowls! How I long for the days when we get to see Pats players help the AFC win a Pro Bowl!

Neil X
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Neil X

There were not needed today. The Pro Bowl should determine home field advantage in the SB, like in baseball.

Kerthwap
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Kerthwap

The rest of the AFC would then tank the game, so as not to give the Pats the advantage.

Neil X
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Neil X

It would be a legendarily stupid idea. It’s dumb enough in MLB, but for the NFL it would make the league’s inability to grasp the Ideal Gas Law look like pure brilliance.

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

MLB though so too. They got rid of it.

BoSoxJim
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BoSoxJim

At least the MLB All-Star Game is a “real” game compared to the farces that are the other sports games.

Neil X
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Neil X

Right, exactly.

MattDog #AndyIsabellaToThePats
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MattDog #AndyIsabellaToThePats

The bad thing for Andy Reid is that the extra 2 weeks of vacation just means more time for his players to get in trouble with the law.

dp73
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dp73
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dp73
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dp73

Was there even a send off rally in LA?

Calipatsfan3473
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Calipatsfan3473

Yes- at the construction site of the new stadium.

dp73
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dp73

How many attended?

Calipatsfan3473
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Calipatsfan3473

No idea- there’s a photo over there————–>

MrScratch
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MrScratch

There was and Nickell Robey-Coleman got there way too early.

M.Fan
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M.Fan

The NFL officials however saw nothing.

Kerthwap
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Kerthwap

This … is why I come to this website!

MattDog #AndyIsabellaToThePats
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MattDog #AndyIsabellaToThePats

Lol!

SamiG
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SamiG

SB49 highlights nfl network

M.Fan
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M.Fan

This Pro Bowl game was a travesty of a football game. I just hope that JuJu escaped any serious injury in this meaning- and lifeless game.

Calipatsfan3473
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Calipatsfan3473

What happened to him?

M.Fan
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M.Fan

He limped off after a catch. Looked like a knee injury, I see now that it is reported as a knee “contusion”, whatever that exactly means. Nothing too serious, just hurts like hell for a few days, I guess?

Calipatsfan3473
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Calipatsfan3473

That’s too bad.

Kerthwap
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Kerthwap

They had some kids playing “NFL Flag Football” this morning. It was far more fun to watch.

Jonc77
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Jonc77

I wonder if next Sunday will be Toms last game?

NorthShore
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NorthShore

He already said no. —>

Jonc77
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Jonc77

I know im just messing around. I think its stupid they even ask him or talk about it

NorthShore
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NorthShore

Of course it’s stupid, which is why the media can’t help themselves and have to keep making it a thing every year.

Calipatsfan3473
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Calipatsfan3473

Well- Jason Garret doing his usual brilliant coaching job- NFC has scored 0 points.

dp73
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dp73

NFLN at 5PM will show the NE -Seattle Super Bow.

At about 5:28 Malcom Butler will be the “King of the World.” lol

FAB330
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FAB330

REPAINT THE TAIL!!!!!!

MattDog #AndyIsabellaToThePats
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MattDog #AndyIsabellaToThePats

?

FAB330
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FAB330

Well, right now there are 5 trophies painted on the tail of Patriot1.

NorthShore
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NorthShore

Great. Now we’re going to have to read about Patrick Chung’s trash talk all week long. I knew as soon as he said it that it would be jumped on by the media as a major faux pas. My guess is that nobody in LA would have heard anything about otherwise.

Calipatsfan3473
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Calipatsfan3473

It’ll be fine.

NorthShore
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NorthShore

Oh I know. It’s just annoying that even the most minute thing is turned into a big deal when it concerns the Pats.

Calipatsfan3473
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Calipatsfan3473

You need to get some TUMS from Jim 🙂

Lordmadone
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Lordmadone

What did he say?

*edit* A Mild “We’re gonna go out there and kick their a$$”. meh

NorthShore
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NorthShore

He said “We’re going to kick their ass”. Nothing earth shattering, really.

Calipatsfan3473
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Calipatsfan3473

Brandin Cooks responded to it.

Kerthwap
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Kerthwap

How many of you appear in in this video? Fess up!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8FIcHvhWWl4

Calipatsfan3473
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Calipatsfan3473

I think I see Jim in there!

Kerthwap
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Kerthwap
Mattsky
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Mattsky

I assume that they set out to make the Super Bowl Shuffle look good in comparison.

Jonc77
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Jonc77

catch the ball Welker!!!!!!!!

Kerthwap
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Kerthwap

It was overthrown!

Jonc77
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Jonc77

I always laugh when people say that

NewEnglandBlight
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NewEnglandBlight

I tried to watch the pro bowl.. put on spotify and decided to clean my house instead

dp73
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dp73

There were more people at the rally today then there were to see the Chargers at any one game this year. 🙂

Calipatsfan3473
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Calipatsfan3473

35,000- that has to be a record for a send off rally.

Kerthwap
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Kerthwap

Someone was trying to convince me that Pats fans wouldn’t travel to Atlanta, because they’d be bored with the whole SB thing.

Calipatsfan3473
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Calipatsfan3473

I thought that I had read that SB ticket sales were slow- so maybe there’s something to it.

dp73
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dp73

It might have something to do with the cost of even a 3 tier Resale ticket.

Cheapest ticket 2671 for one.

https://www.vividseats.com/nfl/super-bowl-tickets/super-bowl-2-3-2609621.html

Will that be cash or credit card? lol

Calipatsfan3473
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Calipatsfan3473

Ugly hats——————>

Kerthwap
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Kerthwap

The awesome thing about being a Patriots fan is never having to be seen in a participation hat.

Calipatsfan3473
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Calipatsfan3473

Or look at a banner.

dp73
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dp73

“Brady closed it out by imploring the crowd to chant “We’re still here!” multiple times, which has been one of the team’s rallying cries.”-Mike reiss

OR

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHwVBirqD2s

rondo723
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rondo723

anyone watching the pro bowl? it’s in tropical storm weather and I don’t think anyone’s even running

rondo723
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rondo723

oh man this is terrible

Mattsky
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Mattsky

The last time I watched it Dan Fouts was one of the QBs

Dingo
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Dingo

The Rams should be docked 10 points for this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=QxkKlzInR4Y

Dingo
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Dingo

New England should release a similar tune: Pat IT.

Kerthwap
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Kerthwap

OMG, it’s still playing five minutes later! It’s an anthem!

Kerthwap
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Kerthwap

“If you ram it just right, you can ram it all night! This is amazing!

Calipatsfan3473
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Calipatsfan3473

Now there’s a conspiracy theory with the refs all being from SoCal in the NO game last week? They really need to let it go.

BoSoxJim
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BoSoxJim

Adam Schefter
‏Verified account @AdamSchefter

Asked if there’s any chance that Super Bowl LIII is his last game, Tom Brady told @JeffDarlington, “Zero.”

Still won’t stop all the hot takes on the subject.

Calipatsfan3473
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Calipatsfan3473

Why do they keep asking?

BoSoxJim
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BoSoxJim

Good question.

Dingo
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Dingo

They want to hit a home run rather than get a base hit or earn a walk.

Jonc77
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Jonc77

same reason you keep saying every year is his last year

Jonc77
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Jonc77

they will never learn. it wont end well for Tom. if he is going to SBs he isn’t retiring

FAB330
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FAB330

This just in: Tiquan ‘High top fade’ Underwood did not make trip to Atlanta

Kerthwap
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Kerthwap

Have there been any Alex Silversto spottings?

Jonc77
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Jonc77

catch the damn ball Asante!!!!!!!!!!

Calipatsfan3473
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Calipatsfan3473

Watching the replays?

Jonc77
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Jonc77

I was. I keeping thinking there might be a different outcome. like they sack Eli. Asante catches the ball. or Rodney knocks the damn ball away

Kerthwap
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Kerthwap

You have to click on the video for the alternative ending!

dp73
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dp73

Anyone go to the send off today?

Kerthwap
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Kerthwap

Two hour drive, each way… hell no.

BoSoxJim
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BoSoxJim

wuss

Kerthwap
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Kerthwap

My Dr. says I have Skittle pox.

BoSoxJim
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BoSoxJim

Is it contagious?

Calipatsfan3473
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Calipatsfan3473

Nope 🙂

Kerthwap
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Kerthwap

Woo hoo! Pro-bowl day! … said no one, ever.

Mattsky
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Mattsky

**Breaking News** The Detroit Lions beat somebody in January. Too bad it was a NYC cop. EAST ELMHURST, Queens (WABC) — Detroit Lions linebacker Trevor Bates was charged Saturday with attacking an NYPD sergeant in a Queens police precinct after he allegedly refused to pay for his taxi ride, the Queens District Attorney’s Office said in a statement. A yellow cab driver called police around 1:30 a.m. and said the NFL player, who was staying at a Hampton Inn near LaGuardia Airport, refused to pay his $32 fare. Police arrested 25-year-old Bates and took him to the 115th Precinct. Police… Read more »

dp73
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dp73

It’s a good thing we never had a player that was on the team that actually hit a police officer. Oh wait , we did.

Alfonzo Dennard

BoSoxJim
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BoSoxJim

That was before he became a Patriot, dammit! 🙂

MattDog #AndyIsabellaToThePats
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MattDog #AndyIsabellaToThePats

Lol, that means we knew about it and didn’t care!

Kerthwap
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Kerthwap

At least we never had a murderer on our team!

BoSoxJim
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BoSoxJim

Hey, since he died while it was being appealed, it never happened.

Kerthwap
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Kerthwap

I’m going to sneak this excuse into my next Cheatriots debate.

BoSoxJim
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BoSoxJim

They wanted tougher players on defense.

MattDog #AndyIsabellaToThePats
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MattDog #AndyIsabellaToThePats

Isn’t Bates a U Maine guy? Blighty will be devastated.

dp73
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MrScratch
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MrScratch

How did they skip the Raiders? Gruden loves Foles in this a chance that few coaches get coming to a team with an established QB on a big contract. An opportunity to get their own guy. Not to mention Foles has more cache than Carr and that won’t hurt to sell seats in a new stadium/ city.

dp73
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dp73

I didn’t go to the send off today. Instead, I did the right thing and went out to breakfast with my elderly parents.

https://boston.cbslocal.com/2019/01/27/super-bowl-liii-new-england-patriots-send-off-rally/

If I had seen all those people at 5AM in the morning I would have turned around and still gone to breakfast. 🙂

35,000 people just for a rally . Not bad. Spoiled?

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

So, any “run through a wall” inspiring hype videos out yet?

Kerthwap
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Kerthwap

Just Rob Parker moving to Mexico.

bring
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bring

We’re still here

bring
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bring

I think Brady wanted to follow that up with – suck it! But he’s better than that….

NorthShore
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NorthShore

I wonder why Edelman and Gronk weren’t up there

bring
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bring

Captains only

NorthShore
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NorthShore

oh right.

bring
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bring

I love that Matthew Slater is a captain. He represents the team so well – definition of a leader. It’s awesome that he will be showcased by the media this week due to his father being an all-time great Rams player.

NorthShore
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NorthShore

He was a natural to take over from Bruschi in the locker room, too.

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

{Brent Musberger voice..}

“We are live from the………sigh…….cold north cental region of MD and …ah….nevermind…”

MrLucky
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MrLucky

comment image

NorthShore
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NorthShore

I’m guessing nobody told the kid what the “F” stands for 😀

BoSoxJim
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BoSoxJim

Well, if he’s from RI…..

bring
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bring

Some dink fan from RI at the rally just said NE is 4 states

NorthShore
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NorthShore

S/he probably excluded Vermont, where nobody cares about football, and Connecticut, where 90% are Giants fans.

bring
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bring

Not true about CT

BoSoxJim
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BoSoxJim

We all know NE consists of 4.5 states. (MA, RI, ME, NH and 1/2 CT)

bring
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bring

If you exclude VT you might as well do the same with western MA

NorthShore
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NorthShore

Anything west of 495 is not MA 😛

bring
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bring

Yeah, Worcester county and west are the Rodney Dangerfield of MA

NorthShore
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NorthShore

All kidding aside, though, it’s actually really nice out there. Not as hectic as in our area.

bring
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bring

Agree – I grew up in northwest CT

Pauly
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Pauly

That’s funny. Anything south of 89/91 junction is MA, not VT. So it sounds like western MA/Southern VT is orphaned.

Pauly
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Pauly

Whoa. VT cares about football since hockey playoffs haven’t started. It’s just that it’s like CT in that the fans are all mixed. The natives are split NY teams/NE fans and then you throw in the huge transplant population and it’s a mess for rooting purposes. Huge amount of NE hate up here though.

BoSoxJim
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BoSoxJim

That’s why I left them out 🙂 The western half of CT are Yankee and Giants fans.

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

Sigh…..the state of US education…

NorthShore
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NorthShore

There are more people at the Patriots send off rally than the LA Rams have fans.

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

More than the latest inauguration in DC!!! 🙂

bring
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bring

Good measuring stick game last night with Warriors – I think the 4th Q shot-taking pecking order behind Irving needs to be clearly established before the playoffs. Believe Tatum should be #2, and would like Hayward to step up and take #3 from Morris.

dp73
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dp73

7. In part because he keeps a low profile, veteran linebacker John Simon’s steady contributions to the Patriots have flown a bit under the radar. Simon signed a one-year, $800,000 deal in late September after rookie Ja’Whaun Bentley landed on IR, and it is notable that the two games in which Simon played the most on defense were playoff wins over the Chargers (40) and Chiefs (31). That reflects the trust he’s earned from the coaching staff. At 6-foot-2 and 260 pounds, Simon is an outside linebacker/defensive end in the mold of Rob Ninkovich. “He’s brought a toughness. He’s been… Read more »

BoSoxJim
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BoSoxJim

https://thedraftnetwork.com/2019/01/26/5-prospects-who-improved-their-stock-in-the-senior-bowl-game/ 2. Andy Isabella, WR, UMASS Hate on Isabella this week was so weird. The UMASS wide receiver had a drop or two, but he showed unreal quickness and the ability to consistently separate from man coverage. That was immediately apparent in the game, as Isabella got open consistently from the slot and made a couple of nice grabs. He showed elite burst to get vertical on a screen in the second half, breaking a tackle on his way to the end zone. Isabella is a lot better after the catch than most think, and he has the athleticism to… Read more »

BoSoxJim
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BoSoxJim

Suck it, Cali! 🙂

BoSoxJim
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BoSoxJim

And just wait until he runs a sub-4.3 40 and an unreal 3-cone. 🙂

MattDog #AndyIsabellaToThePats
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MattDog #AndyIsabellaToThePats

We’re all entitled to our opinions but it takes work to have an informed one. 🙂

MattDog #AndyIsabellaToThePats
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MattDog #AndyIsabellaToThePats

Where were you on Chris Lindstrom???

MattDog #AndyIsabellaToThePats
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MattDog #AndyIsabellaToThePats

Never heard a peep from you about him. Epic fail, BSJ! 🙂

BoSoxJim
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BoSoxJim

Not looking for interior OL in this draft. Even ones from BC. 🙂

dp73
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dp73

A 2nd or 3rd player?

His SR Bowl performance will certainly help.

BoSoxJim
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BoSoxJim

I was hoping he would be available in the 3rd due to the high volume of WRs in this draft. He’s not quite 5’9″ and weighs about 185. However, I fear after he puts up the numbers I think he will at the combine, people will see him as the next Tyreek Hill.

Neil X
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Neil X

Spent last weekend in the Florida Keys with 20+ college classmates. Sort of a reunion, we just all have remained friends and got together for a few days down there. No one other than me and my wife were Patriots fans. During the AFCCG, it was like a morgue during the first half, and then total bedlam in the second half. It still amazes me how much the rest of the NFL hates the Patriots. My own family told me that that they would happily dance on Belichick’s grave if he died in a car accident. Well, the ending was… Read more »

MattDog #AndyIsabellaToThePats
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MattDog #AndyIsabellaToThePats

Love ya, Neil!

SonySoxJim
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SonySoxJim

Bourbon > Rum

SamiG
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SamiG

Amen. But dont let Mac hear ya!

MattDog #AndyIsabellaToThePats
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MattDog #AndyIsabellaToThePats

I’m about to drink some fancy Hawaiian rum.

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

“Oh bloody hell NO!!!”

– WABBIT

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

MAC: agreed
Commander: Huzzah!!
Ensign: To the plank for ye’ Zoo, along with the other draft talkers….ARRRRR.

hugo #FreeBoney
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hugo #FreeBoney

evening all!

MattDog #AndyIsabellaToThePats
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MattDog #AndyIsabellaToThePats

Also, does anyone know if BB has ever gone against a McVay offense in any of his stops? Did we play the Skins when he was there?

Calipatsfan3473
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Calipatsfan3473

Didn’t they play the Rams last year?

MattDog #AndyIsabellaToThePats
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MattDog #AndyIsabellaToThePats

Hmmm, I thought the played the year before McVay got there.

MattDog #AndyIsabellaToThePats
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MattDog #AndyIsabellaToThePats

We played the Skins Nov 8, 2015 and came away with a 27-10 win.

Calipatsfan3473
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Calipatsfan3473

Not hard to do.