New England Patriots on Paper - First draft "Big Board" for 2015

The New England Patriots are in an offseason position that they rarely find themselves in, that of shedding salaries in the short term to be able to get better and stay competitive in the long term.The main salary that needs to be addressed or dropped altogether is that of shutdown corner Darrelle Revis, who is every bit as good as his $25 million cap number suggests that he is,...
Via Foxborough Free Press
8 days ago  |  Discuss

Patriots in uncharted territory with Revis negotiations

It's the silly season once again.How long before we start hearing Patriots' fans pining for the Larry Fitzgerald's and Calvin Johnson's of the football world? It really doesn't matter, though, as the Patriots could stand pat on their team from 2014 and still dominate the AFC East.Of course, that isn't going to happen because attrition and salary cap dollars are what makes the NFL...
Via Foxborough Free Press
13 days ago  |  Discuss

Patriots' Butler The Hero In Classic Super Bowl Victory

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven...
Via Foxborough Free Press
25 days ago  |  Discuss

Prelude To A Title - Part 7: Revis Is Patriots' 12th Man

"The real value of having a shutdown corner like Revis on the field is that it allows the defense to run with a single high safety that will shade to the corner opposite Revis in support of the direction that the ball will probably be going, which would allow the Patriots to run with four corners in a nickle without sacrificing run support. Obviously, none of the Patriots' corners...
Via Foxborough Free Press
26 days ago  |  Discuss

Prelude To A Title - Part 6: Patriots' Offensive Diversity Too Much, Even For Seahawks

"Within the scope of the Ehrhardt-Perkins scheme that Belichick employs, balance is so crucial that to tip the scales to one focus on the offense - in essence, to put all of your eggs in one basket - makes the offense easier to defend, particularly when facing an elite, attacking defense that can take away what you do best. So the best way to attack an entity like that is to...
Via Foxborough Free Press
26 days ago  |  Discuss

Prelude To A Title - Part 5: Blount Where He Belongs, Ready For Shot At The Title

"Pittsburgh had a golden opportunity to feature the heftiest, most powerful running attack in the NFL with both Bell and Blount, but once the season started and Bell became the "Bell Cow", it was just a matter of time before the lack of playing time for Blount became a problem - and it came to a head on Monday night when Blount received no carries, on top of getting just two...
Via Foxborough Free Press
28 days ago  |  Discuss

Prelude To A Title - Part 4: Patriots Should Test Sherman And Thomas Early

Under normal circumstances, Richard Sherman is best left alone.But these are less than normal circumstances, as the Seattle Seahawks are going into the Super Bowl with their best cover corner on the mend with torn ligaments in his left elbow - so the New England Patriots would be crazy to not go after him early and often.Especially along with back shoulder throws along the sideline...
Via Foxborough Free Press
29 days ago  |  Discuss

Grumpy Old Men - New England Patriots Style...

The friendship between Brady (L), the Krafts and Bill Belichick have made them "My Family" Bob Kraft said MondayImagine if you will, a movie filmed in heaven......Burgess Meredith sitting in the owner's booth at Gillette Stadium, speaking randomly to any number of celebrities whom he had invited to watch his New England Patriots play - down of the field is Walter Matthau stalking...
Via Foxborough Free Press
January 27, 2015  |  Discuss

Prelude To A Title - Part 3: Gap Discipline Key To Patriots Limiting Seahawks' Options On Offense

Patriots' defenders Arrington (25), Chung (23) and Collins are keys to stopping Seattle's read option offenseThe Seattle Seahawks rank dead last in number of passing attempts in NFL during the 2014 season - but when you have the type of ground game that the Seahawks' possess, there is really no need to air it out.  Besides, to say that the Seahawks are undermanned at the pass catching...
Via Foxborough Free Press
January 26, 2015  |  Discuss

Prelude To A Title - Part 2: Winner Of Super Bowl Will Be The Best When It Counts The Most

"Great teams aren't great all the time; they're just great when they have to be."Legendary NFL Films narrator John Facenda coined that phrase over thirty years ago, but he may as well have been talking about both of the entrants of Super Bowl 49.For those who don't know of Facenda or are too young to even have an inkling as to who he is, his voice could only be described as deep...
Via Foxborough Free Press
January 24, 2015  |  Discuss

Roger Goodell Steps In It Again

It's poop again.In the movie Billy Madison, there is a scene in which Billy, played by Adam Sandler, and two of his friends scoop up some rouge dog crap off of the sidewalk and slide it into a paper bag, then Billy sneaks up onto Old Man Clemens' front porch, lights the bag on fire, rings the doorbell and runs like a bastard.From the cover of a large shrub they wait for the old man...
Via Foxborough Free Press
January 24, 2015  |  Discuss

Prelude To A Title - Part 1: Patriots' Running Game Could Resemble "Student Body Left"

"Blount is a glider who slips through holes and who is most dangerous once on the second level, where his low center of gravity and sheer mass makes him akin to a bumper in a pinball machine, defensive backs and linebackers bouncing off of him like a pinball...while Gray is pure power, a one cut downhill bruiser that picks up nearly half of his yardage after contact. Combine...
Via Foxborough Free Press
January 23, 2015  |  Discuss

Letting Air Out of Footballs Cheats Patriots' Fans and Players, Not Just Colts

Let's get one thing straight: Letting air out of the footballs did not make the difference in a 45-7 blowout of the Indianapolis Colts by the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game last Sunday.In fact, Colts' tight end Dwayne Allen is quoted as saying "They could have been using soap balls and it wouldn't have made a difference.  Simply a better team.", while many national...
Via Foxborough Free Press
January 21, 2015  |  Discuss

Prelude To A Title - Part 4: Heavy Rains After Halftime Could Shift Game Plans

The weather forecast for Foxborough on Sunday night is for bleak conditions - especially in the second half - with heavy rain and a sustained wind out of the southeast at 12-15 miles per hour - gusting to 25 mph at times - with temps in the low 40's at kickoff, dropping to the high 30's by the final snap.  It is estimated by the National Weather Service that more than an inch of...
Via Foxborough Free Press
January 18, 2015  |  Discuss

Prelude To A Title - Part 3: Colts' Offense Custom-Built To Challenge Patriots' Defense

The best way to get to Colts' Andrew Luck is with "Hug" Blitzes, with Linebackers like Dont'a Hightower.The evolution of the tight end from the big lumbering end-of-the-line blocker into the even bigger, more athletic downfield threat has changed the way that defenses regard the position, and to what extent defensive coordinators game plan for specific threats.Today's tight ends...
Via Foxborough Free Press
January 17, 2015  |  Discuss

Prelude To A Title - Part 2: Patriots' Offense Ready For Encore Performance Against Colts' Defense

The Patriots' Big Three of Brandon LaFell (19), Julian Edelman (11) and Rob Gronkowski (87) are poised to dominateThe intelligence was there.  Something was amiss with Peyton Manning.It had been evident for the entire second half of the season.  He was pushing the ball more than throwing it, his wobbly knuckleballs devolving into floating ducks.  More and more the Broncos became...
Via Foxborough Free Press
January 15, 2015  |  Discuss

Prelude To A Title - Part 1: Patriots Enter Championship Sunday Fully Loaded...For A Change

Rob Gronkowski is healthy for the title game for the first time in his career.  Is he the X-factor to win it all?What a difference a year makes.Almost a calendar year to the day since dropping an ugly 26-16 decision to the Denver Broncos in the 2013 AFC Championship Game, the New England Patriots enter the 2014 edition of the conference title game almost an entirely different team...
Via Foxborough Free Press
January 14, 2015  |  Discuss

Patriots Onfield Success Tied To Business Philosophy, Deft Personnel Management

"...the only thing that matters is that Kraft's business savvy combined with Belichick's continued coaching excellence and commitment to both Kraft's business philosophy and Fairbanks' "old school" football strategies maintain the successful mantra known universally as The Patriot Way......a model for protracted success in the era of free agency and burgeoning salary cap rules...
Via Foxborough Free Press
January 12, 2015  |  Discuss

Counter-Punching Patriots Eliminate Ravens in Heavyweight Playoff Tilt

Danny Amendola goes airborne for the pylon to score his first of two touchdown receptions.Tom Brady threw the ball low,  and he threw the ball wide.  He threw one that ended up in the hands of an opposing player.Brady was hardly perfect on a chilly evening in Foxborough, Massachusetts, but what separates the sure-fire first-ballot hall of fame quarterback for the New England Patriots...
Via Foxborough Free Press
January 11, 2015  |  Discuss

Patriots ready for street brawl with Ravens

The key to beating the stingy Baltimore defense is to run the ball and achieve balance - a few of these wouldn't hurt...Reputations have a way of following you around - for good or ill.Take the Baltimore Ravens for example.  As a unit, they are still dining off of the Ray Lewis era, the physical and hard-charging teams that laid waste to many a Patriots' fan's championship aspirations...
Via Foxborough Free Press
January 10, 2015  |  Discuss

Covering Tight Ends, Pressuring the Passer Areas of Focus for Patriots' Defense

Browner was not fined for this hit on Green, perhaps lending credence to his physical and proper playGetting flagged for a personal foul against San Diego may have been the best thing that's happen to Brandon Browner this season - and what's good for Browner is certainly good for the New England Patriots.Called for helmet-to-helmet contact with Chargers' tight end Ladarius Green...
Via Foxborough Free Press
December 28, 2014  |  Discuss

Fundamentals Should Be Stressed for Imbalanced Patriots' Offense, Coaching Staff

"The second most fundamental principle in offensive football is to force the opposing defense to defend the entire field, which came into play with the advent of the forward pass.  Many believe that it takes a speedy wide receiver who can take the top off of the defense to force this issue, but the one true way that one can achieve this goal is through balance......another...
Via Foxborough Free Press
December 27, 2014  |  Discuss

Five Patriots who will not play in the 2014 Pro Bowl

Venerable old gunslinger Tom Brady was named to his 10th Pro Bowl on TuesdayTime was, the National Football league's annual All Star game, the AFC-NFC Pro Bowl, was played the week after the Super Bowl.  In Hawaii.Recently, however, the game has been used as a "loser's only" exhibition to fill up the week-long void between Conference Championship weekend and the Super Bowl hype...
Via Foxborough Free Press
December 24, 2014  |  Discuss

Patriots looking at custom-made training opportunity against Bills on Sunday

Brady has had to get the ball out quickly, as lack of a running game and the injury to Dan Connolly has taken their tollThough the NFL season is entering its final weekend, the atmosphere around Foxborough, Massachusetts most definitely has an almost preseason feel to it, for which you just blame the New England Patriots for being so darned good.The Patriots secured the top seed...
Via Foxborough Free Press
December 23, 2014  |  Discuss

Patriots defense continues savage run, bails out offense in 17-16 win over Jets

Chandler Jones and Chris Jones both congratulate Vince Wilfork after he deflected a Nick Folk (2) field goal attemptThe New England Patriots' offense has some problems.  Fortunately for them, their defense causes even more problems for the opposing offense.For the sixth consecutive game, the Patriots' defense held their opponents without a touchdown in the second half, while New...
Via Foxborough Free Press
December 21, 2014  |  Discuss
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Thoughtful and emotive feature articles, conscientious analysis and entertaining game recaps for the New England Patriots of the National Football League
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