Y Factors 2019: Patriots vs. Bills

-by DNOMN8R314

Pick your storyline. Division rivalry? Bills in the playoffs, trying to claim the AFC East crown? Pats in the playoffs, trying to defend their reign? Everyone outside of New England rooting for a changing of the guard? Two top-tier defenses? All these have been discussed to their finest points.

Instead, let’s talk about the unsung players and factors that could make the difference in this game.

Joejuan to build a snowman?: Jonathan Jones has been ruled out, leaving the Patriots without their slot cornerback against Cole Beasley. Jason McCourty will likely be Jones’ replacement if he plays, but he too is questionable, leaving four healthy cornerbacks on the New England depth chart. The top two, Stephon Gilmore and J.C. Jackson, are an excellent starting duo; Gilmore is a Defensive Player of the Year front-runner and Jackson has played up his game when starting opposite him. But the next man up, Joejuan Williams is a second-round rookie who, buried on the depth chart, has played just 36 defensive snaps through 14 NFL games. Williams won’t be matched up on Beasley, but he could provide outside coverage, and has enough talent that Bill Belichick considered drafting him with the final pick of the first round. Though he is an indirect possible solution to the question of how to defend Beasley, Williams’ presence could be part of the answer.

Mortar and Bethel: The last cornerback on the depth chart is Justin Bethel, who has played even less defense than Williams, only seeing five snaps, while serving primarily as a gunner opposite Matthew Slater. But Bethel’s speed might result in his appearance on the field, possibly not only against the elusive Beasley but also Buffalo’s top receiver, John Brown. Though it has been speculated that Gilmore will shadow Brown, that is not confirmed, especially as Gilmore has covered both traditional outside and elusive inside receivers (such as Tyler Boyd last week) with success this season. Despite being almost exclusively a special teams player, the absence of Jones may provide space for Bethel to step in – it’s not like he’s a stranger to defense, as Bethel saw significant time at cornerback during his time as a Cardinal. (Of course, Bethel’s skills on special teams will also be important, as the Bills feature Andre Roberts as their returner.)

Let me be Frank: Third-round rookie Devin Singletary has taken over as Buffalo’s primary back, leading the team in rushing yards and sitting behind only Brown and Beasley in receptions. As the Patriots were run over by Joe Mixon last week, they will have to focus on stopping Singletary. But let us not forget that the Bills’ backfield also contains the force known as Frank Gore, the third-most prolific rusher of all time, and Gore can plow over dudes. New England’s defensive front will have to stand stout and clog up holes, or else Buffalo’s offense will not face much of a challenge.

Opportunity Knox: Singletary is not the only third-round selection from this year’s draft class to emerge as a potential star in the Bills’ offense, as tight end Dawson Knox has looked like a complete NFL player already, third on the team in receiving yards and fourth in receptions. If (as has been speculated) Patrick Chung covers Beasley and Terrence Brooks plays plenty of strong safety, Josh Allen will look to pick on Brooks as much as possible. Of course, Brooks is no slouch and could be up to the task of covering Knox, but the six-foot-four, 257-pound tight end is a formidable target for any defensive back. (Just thought of this while writing: what if Williams, who is also six-foot-four, is put in coverage of Knox for certain plays? No idea if that’s the plan, but it just occurred to me as a possibility.)

Swing and a Smith: I wonder if the Bills may look to emulate Baltimore’s Week 9 game plan, as the Ravens featured a running quarterback, multiple running backs, and three-tight end packages in routing the Patriots. Allen is not Lamar Jackson but has been skillful in using his legs to move the ball, I already discussed the Bills’ multiple running backs, and Buffalo has four tight ends on their active roster. While I discussed Knox above and second-stringer Tyler Kroft was a one-time starter in Cincinnati, it’s Lee Smith whom the Patriots might have to plan for. Smith was drafted by the Patriots in the fifth round in 2011 but was released during final cuts and claimed by the Bills on waivers. His first stint in Buffalo and subsequent tenure in Oakland established him as a talented blocking tight end, and Smith is back in Buffalo now. As a player who can stifle defenders and open lanes for the Bills’ talented backs, Smith, though not a star, will be a player for whom the Patriots are on the alert.

BoSoxJim TUMS-O-METER Prediction:
And so we come upon Game 15 of the season. The holidays are here which means teams are either still trying to get a playoff spot or trying for a better seed. The Pats (11-3) clinched a playoff spot last week. As of now, they could still end up as high as the #1 seed, but they would have to win out and BAL lose out (not likely) for that to happen. Regardless of what BAL does, if the Pats win out they would get a bye week in the playoffs. However, lose out and they could be go as low as the #5 seed. Their opponent this week is the Buffalo Bills, who at 10-4 have surprisingly already clinched a playoff spot as well. This week’s game is basically for the AFC East crown. If the Pats win, they clinch. If they lose this week, then Week 17 will become very interesting with no guarantees. Needless to say, both teams have a lot on the line. Both have struggling offenses. Both have solid defenses. This will come down to who makes the fewest mistakes, takes advantage of the opponent’s weaknesses, and controls time of possession. As has been the case this season, key injuries will influence the flow of the game. This won’t be an easy game for either team. It should be low scoring. Playing at home should help the Pats. But all in all, given the high stakes for this game, this is easily a 4-5 case event.

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dp73
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Merry Christmas !!!!!!

Kerthwap
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Kerthwap

Merry Christmas!

Mattsky
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Mattsky

Merry Christmas

dp73
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dp73

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000001091537/article/texans-designate-jj-watt-torn-pec-to-return-off-ir

This could be big boost if he can bounce back close to what he was before getting hurt.

Deadsmack #GottaBelieve
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Deadsmack #GottaBelieve

My Christmas gift to Jason Garrett 🙂
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Lordmadone
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Lordmadone

It’d look like a rave was going on at his house every night.

Deadsmack #GottaBelieve
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Deadsmack #GottaBelieve

Merry Christmas for all of you and your families
Happy Birthday and a big hug for Nate

🙂

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

I hope if you celebrate that you have a joyful Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

And a Happy Birthday to Nate!

dp73
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dp73

” I have a lot of problems with you people”. – Frank Costanza 🙂

rondo723
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rondo723

“Kruger, you couldn’t smooth a silk sheet if you had a hot date with a babe…I lost my train of thought.”

Jonc77
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Jonc77

Its a festivus miracle!!!!!- Cosmo

itsBradyBaby
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itsBradyBaby

YA ALL CAN GO HUG A XMAS .
IT’S MY BDAY IT MATTERS MORE THAN A FAKE HOLIDAY.

Kerthwap
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Kerthwap

Happy glittery consumer holiday of your choice!

MattDog #OnTo2020
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MattDog #OnTo2020

Tonight we celebrate the birth of baby Nate. Cheers!

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

“I’m dreaming of a green Christmas, just like the ones we used to toke….”

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

“BAH HUMBUG!!!!”
– Nate McScrooge

🙂

Deadsmack #GottaBelieve
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Deadsmack #GottaBelieve

Happy Birthday, Nate

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

I hope everyone is having a good holiday season and isn’t suffering from too bad of a Festivus hangover.

We’re on to Christmas Eve………

dp73
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dp73
MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

I’d like to thank Watson and Rogers for having their shittiest games for the FF playoffs. Both cost me the finals. (First World problems….. 🙂 )

MrLucky
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MrLucky

Favorite Pats moments of the decade:
1. Malcolm Butler
2. 28-3
3. Ravens-Pats divisional round (my favorite game ever)
4. Chiefs-Pats AFCCG
5. Gronk’s last catch to seal it against the Rams

… holy shit we are spoiled. 2 decades in a row of ridiculous success and moments that sports fans don’t get in a lifetime.

evaldes101993
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evaldes101993

My favorite pats moment of the decade are the next ones.

hugo #FreeBoney
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hugo #FreeBoney

And that’s JUST the Pats! holy crap

hugo #FreeBoney
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hugo #FreeBoney

The other ones were great sports moments. 28-3 was a religious experience.

MasterAndCommander
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MasterAndCommander

It’s funny how the sports pundits don’t seem to realize that the next decade begins on Jan. 1, 2021. So we still have a year to go.

dp73
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dp73

A great Packers pass rush or an awful Vikings offensive line.

So which is it? 🙂

HunterCenter
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HunterCenter

as with all things in life, the truth is likely somewhere in the middle.

rking88
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rking88

vikings suck

bring
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bring

We have a coach and QB – they have neither

JLStokes
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JLStokes

Their O-Line is horrendous. I know folks want to blame Cousins, but he gets less time than Brady at the Pats worse.

JLStokes
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JLStokes

Vikings O-Line is hot garbage.

JLStokes
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JLStokes

Not sure if anyone has brought this up, but Tom Brady, with his back to his own endzone, threw a pass to N’Keal Harry who was facing press coverage from Tre White.

I was just as shocked as you.

bring
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bring

BB calling the Miami game a playoff game makes sense – if they win, they get a bye, which = a playoff win since they move on to 2nd rd. Get it?

rking88
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rking88

if I’m the vikings… maybe i think about trying to block Z’Darius Smith from here on out… might be a good idea

rking88
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rking88

boy, aaron is gonna need a second bus for all the people he’ll throw under it after this game

PatriotPrideBoy
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PatriotPrideBoy

He’d throw them under an aircraft carrier if he could.

hugo #FreeBoney
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hugo #FreeBoney

leave it to the guy named Geronimo to jump on the ball

PatriotPrideBoy
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PatriotPrideBoy

God does have a sense of humor after all

SamiG
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SamiG

Well Brady’s Td:int ratio will live another year

hugo #FreeBoney
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hugo #FreeBoney

why go to the trick play if its 4 down territory?

hugo #FreeBoney
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hugo #FreeBoney

Charles “Peanut” Tillman – inventor of the fumble

hugo #FreeBoney
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hugo #FreeBoney

Has the AFC/NFC gap been this big at any time in recent history?

PatriotPrideBoy
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PatriotPrideBoy

2011

rking88
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rking88

Joe T: “does he have full control?”

Ball: *literally bouncing around on the ground under the player*

i hope ESPN decides to give up on the Mcfarland-tessitore experience after this season…

rking88
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rking88

nothing better than getting home from work, turning on the tv, and watching rodgers throw an absolutely terrible INT… a christmas miracle

Jonc77
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Jonc77

he is in decline

rking88
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rking88

impossible! i thought only tom brady was falling (has fallen) off a cliff!

Jonc77
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Jonc77

yep they sure are praying Tom has gone off the Cliff. Like I have said a million times give Tom some time and he will be the same old Tom

rking88
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rking88

couldnt agree more. he looked just fine on Saturday

MattDog #OnTo2020
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MattDog #OnTo2020

You should not be able to do the skol clap unless you are Icelandic…because you suck at it, Minnesota.

MattDog #OnTo2020
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MattDog #OnTo2020

The Bruins are beating the Capitals 4-0…where is the Dingo bro?????

dp73
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dp73
rondo723
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That end-around play action they used a couple times with Burkhead is ridiculous. Once to set up a screen, another to get him free on a wheel route. To sell it, Brady has his back completely turned and actually takes a second to watch the sweeping player before turning around and finding Burkhead. Crazy execution.

NewEnglandBlight
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NewEnglandBlight

Brady has me fooled on a couple of the PA plays.. was really impressive.

MattDog #OnTo2020
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MattDog #OnTo2020

Yeah, I was yelling thinking he was going to get killed but all part of the act. Good job!

NewEnglandBlight
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NewEnglandBlight

Didn’t realize JG failed a steroid test as well..

Can’t blame that on addiction.

NewEnglandBlight
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NewEnglandBlight

Although, I wouldn’t be entirely surprised if it was an honest mistake or bad analysis. seems like a lot of players pop a potentially false positive for PEDs. Easy test to fail imo.

NewEnglandBlight
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NewEnglandBlight

Or… maybe he used a masking agent for THC, and that’s what ‘tainted’ the sample and made him pop for PED’s..

Hmm, I’m curious about the analyses now..

dp73
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dp73

It should be a good game tonight with Green Bay and Minnesota playing.

rking88
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rking88

I think its funny how the NFL is talking about extending the regular season, possibly shortening the preseason, and yet every year the patriots keep making the pre-season longer, and shortening the regular season.

Is it cheating? How is it fair that the pats don’t start their season until week 16 and when everyone else has to play games in september, october, and november?

Opinion Slayer
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Opinion Slayer

Stephen A’s trolling of the cowboys really is hilarious.

Lordmadone
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Lordmadone

Aaron Schatz

@FO_ASchatz

Two teams are tied for playing the easiest schedule of opposing offenses (average DVOA: -4.9%).

The team with the best defense (New England) and the team with the worst defense (Miami).

Hardest schedule of opposing offenses: Chicago.

Lordmadone
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Lordmadone

That contrasts very interestingly… Miami and the Pats.

Lordmadone
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Lordmadone

https://twitter.com/BradSchepise/status/1208509479693799425

ooooh the exchange here is juicy..some Bills observer tried to imply the Pats were cheating.. LaAdrian Waddle(yes that former Pat’s player who is on the Bills IR) chimed in and schooled them.

Lordmadone
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Lordmadone

Ian Rapoport

@RapSheet

#Steelers QB Mason Rudolph, who had a left shoulder injury yesterday, is out multiple weeks, source says. Even if Pittsburgh gets into the playoffs, Rudolph is not expected to be available. It’s the going forward.

Lordmadone
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Lordmadone

Adam Schefter
@AdamSchefter
·
48m
Seahawks’ RB Chris Carson has a fractured hip and is out for the season.

Lordmadone
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Lordmadone

Ian Rapoport
@RapSheet
·
3h
Marshawn Lynch and the #Seahawks
are open to a reunion, and Lynch has told people he plans to travel to Seattle today to discuss it, sources tell me, @MikeGarafolo
and @TomPelissero
. #BeastMode could be back in Seattle.

Lordmadone
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Lordmadone

A 33yr old RB with very little tread left on his tires coming back to football this late in the season? What could go wrong?

NewEnglandBlight
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NewEnglandBlight

See; Steven Jackson

hugo #FreeBoney
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hugo #FreeBoney

Probably less than what could go wrong by giving Travis Homer 15 carries a night. Which is the alternative. The Seahawks are really painted into a corner right now.

Lordmadone
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Lordmadone

I’d say spin the wheels on Turbin and keep it moving.

dp73
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dp73

Xavier Turner is on the PS. This a a huge injury for Seattle.

dp73
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dp73

Now Pete wants to give Lynch the ball 🙂

NewEnglandBlight
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NewEnglandBlight

I think Belichick is going to slam Jamie Collins during film study, he is taking horrible angles and seems to run past the QB on blitzes. He’s seems to be regressing back to the point before he was traded.

Lordmadone
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Lordmadone

Agreed. I was all aboard the hype train for the guy but he has hit a major dry spell and had some tackling issues lately. I bet he will still find a nice payout somewhere but he won’t be getting world breaker money.

dp73
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dp73

A play or two here and there maybe. Overall I think he has been good all year long. I don’t know what the Patriots would do without him.He was in a four way tie for the most tackles Saturday.

Lordmadone
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Lordmadone

He hasn’t had a sack since 10/27, only one turnover since then, and one QB hit. I don’t know how else he might be showing up on film but as far as pop stats, he isn’t making any splashy plays and I see him missing tackles more often than anybody. In the beginning of the year he was damn near unstoppable it seemed. From late October until now, he’s been good to mediocre at best.

dp73
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dp73

Sacks aren’t everything. Yes, he missed one big tackle against the Bengals but IMO you are overstating him missing tackles.I don’t agree that he is mediocre at best. If so should BB bench him?

NewEnglandBlight
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NewEnglandBlight

I’m no expert, but Collins looks to be out of position more often than not. I don’t think he listens to anyone.. that qb sneak by Josh Allen was successful because Collins ran into the pile and let the QB run around the edge.. his issues are mental mistakes— not physical.

hugo #FreeBoney
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hugo #FreeBoney

I don’t think anyone did anything wrong on that sneak. Collins is playing inside and filling a gap there.
Allen is a phenomenal athlete for a QB and the Bills made a play. You need to stop a team like that in other downs and distances.

dp73
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dp73

Allen only completed 50% of his pass but made some good throws when he had to. Witness the last drive. Allen and Beasley came up big but the Pats defense came up bigger.

NewEnglandBlight
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NewEnglandBlight

I mean, there was no gap there. It was already filled by the DTs..

Lordmadone
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Lordmadone

DP, I think you are gravely misinterpreting and/or overlooking the several points I made. I didn’t just speak on sacks alone. I also didn’t say he has been mediocre at best.

dp73
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dp73

You did include “he’s been good to mediocre at best.”
I don’t agree with that range. I don’t think that he has been close to mediocre.

I could not find how many hurries he has had but I think he has been decent.

Lordmadone
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Lordmadone

Yes..I included a range. I didn’t say he is “mediocre at best” which is what you claimed I said. He has had a lot of ups and downs compared to the beginning of the season where he was on fire. I can’t honestly remember the last time he made a play to stand out very heavily in a good way but like I said, I haven’t looked at the film. Overall he is still a GOOD LB but he has tapered off.

NewEnglandBlight
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NewEnglandBlight

I don’t disagree with you DP— and you see the games from a different angle than I do. You might be seeing the things I am missing on tv. Still he looks to be making multiple mistakes per game.

Lordmadone
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Lordmadone

Howdy folks! Happy Hannukah, Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa! Great game on Saturday. Almost a complete game from all phases from start to finish. There was some hiccups but if the offense can execute like it did on any other defense then people should be very uneasy about playing the Patriots either again or at all. The Patriot’s secondary health needs to get better though because Jackson got exposed big time by Beasley. That is not really a dude Jackson is fit for. The fact that Folk kicked a CLEAN 51 yard FG boosts my confidence so much now for the… Read more »

Zoocore #WeMissYouBoney
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Zoocore #WeMissYouBoney

Merry Christmas, assholes. Just think how long all of us have been here and witnessed history together. I’ve learned so much about the game from every one of you. Bless you all!

Btw, we are winning another Super Bowl. See you guys on the other side.

Opinion Slayer
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Opinion Slayer

Saturday’s game was Brady’s best performance all year! He got good protection and the run game was on point and lo a behold he completes 79% of his passes, weird how that works! The patriots figured out something against Buffalo, I can’t put my finger on it yet but they did, the switch is about to happen. We need more from Sanu and Harry. Burkhead is a two headed monster that Brady needs to continue to feed. This team left over 10 points on the board against a great defense. Miami will be the last primer before NE transforms into… Read more »

SamiG
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SamiG

Tremendous performance. I thought it would be very ugly. Maybe this is the galvanizing moment like we saw last year. We’ll see…

Opinion Slayer
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Opinion Slayer

They MUST execute in the red area period. If they can do that, watch out.

jdlboot14
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jdlboot14

Edelman needs 15 yards, 1 TD, 8 receptions to tie all his career highs. Incredible year he’s had with all the injuries, and being the #1 target… and could have his career best year – at least in yardage. We’ll see about the other 2 categories.

bring
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bring

You gotta love all the attention the Ravens and Chiefs are getting – keep it coming – every little bit helps.

MattDog #OnTo2020
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MattDog #OnTo2020

Re-watching the highlights, Burkhead was a beast (except for the fumble). We’re going to need him to keep that up in the playoffs because he is a huge weapon when healthy.

Kerthwap
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Kerthwap

So much depends on the blocking as well. Those screens are useless when the big guys aren’t out in front clearing away bodies.

hugo #FreeBoney
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hugo #FreeBoney

White doesn’t break tackles. But I think part of his success is that he has some preternatural feel for how to change speeds and angle himself to set up his blockers. If you could somehow give Burkhead or Michel or whoever the exact same screen blocking, on the same plays, I bet you’d find you don’t get the same yards.

jdlboot14
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jdlboot14

I’ve been saying this for a month. Burkhead is the most complete back of the 3. My only bone to pick with White is that he can’t break tackles. He subscribes to the Deion Branch school of thought. Sony has been much better these last 2 weeks with pushing for every extra foot, but not as shifty or as good as receiver as Rex. Reliability is Rex’s issue – let’s hope he can last 4 more games.

bring
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bring

Dallas needs a good coach but what good coach would want to be micro-managed by Jerry? He is the problem.

dp73
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dp73

“Look, this is very simple now. Miami is a playoff game. If we beat Miami, then we get a bye. If we don’t, then we’ll be playing the next week. So, it’s a playoff game,” Belichick told players, as shown on NFL Network and Patriots.com.-BB

Does it sound like Bill Belichick is going to rest players because it’s only Miami?

bring
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bring

Who said he’s going to rest players?

Kerthwap
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Kerthwap

I have a crap memory, but a few folks here suggested we should sit Edelman for the game, and let him get healthy.

dp73
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dp73

Very often on this site. Some wanted Edelman rested against the Bills.

bring
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bring

He can rest during the bye.

Kerthwap
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Kerthwap

Bill has a lot of respect for the sport, he has a lot of respect for every single player on the team. He’s stated previously, and I’m paraphrasing a lot here “if a player is healthy enough to play, then we play them. Resting one player for fear of injury puts other players at risk, and I’m not going to do that.”

dp73
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dp73

Fire Jason Garrett now or wait until the final game?

Kerthwap
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Kerthwap

Fire him early and often. But, I don’t like the Cowboys in general, so I’m fine if they keep him.

dp73
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dp73

https://weei.radio.com/blogs/ryan-hannable/how-did-sunday-s-nfl-games-impact-patriots-playoff-seeding

“Since nothing has been clinched yet, the Patriots will need to treat this like a normal week, but do not be surprised if some of the starters (Julian Edelman, Tom Brady) get pulled earlier than usual if the team has a good sized lead against the Dolphins.”

Brady wasn’t pull early in the Bengals game and several others. The track record for doing so has been poor.