The Patriots offseason goals

What a crazy season especially for the Patriots, the apparent end of their dynasty to then go on and win the Super Bowl is just typical Patriots. But even I won’t deny the Patriots struggled at times and are going to have to make some off season moves to get to Miami on February. The Patriots go into free agency with $12 million in cap space after the signing of Michael Bennett.

Wide Receiver depth

With the suspension of Julian Edelman the loss of Josh Gordon halfway through the season and the injury prone Gronkowski at times Brady struggled to move the ball through the air. Hogan and Dorsett struggled to provide separation and it looked like Brady just didn’t trust them. My favourite fit for the Patriots right now would be Cole Beasley. Cole is a Patriots type of receiver standing at only 5 foot 8 and 180 pounds Cole gets open thanks to his superb route running and is fantastic in the slot he had 65 receptions for only 672 yards and 3 touchdowns. Cole is no superstar but should fit right into the Patriots system alongside Edelman

Re-Signing Vital players

The Patriots have a scarily long list of players that are free agents. But for me there is 3 vital players we need to keep. While I would’ve loved to keep Trent Brown and Trey Flowers I cant justify paying them the money that they want. The three players are Cordarrelle Patterson, Jason McCourty and Jonathan Jones. Cordarrelle as we know was explosive last season and on both offence and special teams. He’s got the versatility that Bill loves and can use so unbelievably well. Jason McCourty had a tough start to the season playing under Eric Rowe but by the end of the season was a guaranteed starter and solid number 2 cornerback that makes big plays as we know thanks to Super Bowl 53. And finally Jonathan Jones, one of the Patriots most underrated player Jordan made some big plays this year on defence including a one handed interception against the Bears. But he’s also a fantastic special teams player than can make fantastic open field tackles. For me he’s a great player for the future because he can play both special teams and defence well and is only 25

Signing a solid back up quarterback

This was one of my concerns last season and even though Brady showed us he’s still (somehow) got it but we all know that Brian Hoyer is no long pole Foles and isn’t going to win us a Super Bowl. Danny Etling has finished his 1 year of practice squad but sadly I do not know how his progress is. For me there is only really 2 options in a limited quarterback free agency and one of them isn’t even a free agent. The first player is Tyrod Taylor, I am a big fan of Tyrod who showed a lot of bright spots in Buffalo (who knew that was possible) but struggled to out play Baker Mayfield in Cleveland, Tyrod is a great veteran but I would be hesitant because his mobility and bad short accuracy doesn’t fit into the Patriots system. The other viable option that isn’t in this years draft is Josh Rosen who after a year has struggled to find his place in Arizona and there is now talks of the Cardinals drafting Kyler Murray first overall. Rosen who was drafted 10th overall in last years draft threw for 2278 yards and 11 touchdowns but 14 interceptions. The Patriots could trade their first round pick to acquire Rosen if the Cardinals draft Murray and he could sit under Brady for 3 to 4 years.

Patriots season prediction

Who Will the Patriots Beat on the Chase for the #1 Seed

        Ah yes, October is finally here. It has to be the best month of the year for us Patriots fans. We are able to get out of the September slump and on with the rest of the season. After going 2-2 to start the season after losing to the best pass defense in football in Jacksonville and a coach that knew every play the Patriots were going to run in Detroit. 

        I have the Patriots beating the Colts this Thursday, I like Belichick’s ability to out gameplan a rookie head coach in Frank Reich on a short week. Tom Brady will be more in-sync with his receiving corps as Julian Edelman is returning from suspension and there is more time to practice with Josh Gordon. My final score prediction is 31-20.

        The following week we play the Chiefs on Sunday Night Football. I have the Patriots winning this game in a shootout. If he has one this season, this will be the breakout game for Josh Gordon. The Chiefs have been winning though the gunslinging of Patrick Mahomes and that high powered Chiefs offense. I feel like with the extra few days coming off a short week the Patriots offense with explode and be able to match the Chiefs blow for blow and eventually winning the game 42-38.

        October 21st, the Patriots play the Bears in Chicago. I have the Patriots winning this Game in an ugly defensive battle. Belichick will do his part in stopping Trubisky and the gimicky Chicago offense designed by Matt Nagy. The Patriots offensive line will have a hard time keeping Brady upright and it will eventually come down to Brady leading a game winning drive with the Patriots edging out the Bears 17-14.

        October 29th, the Patriots face off against the Bills in Buffalo on Monday night football. Belichick is going to take away the run game and force Bills quarterback Josh Allen to throw the football in tight windows like he did with Ryan Tannehill last Sunday. Allen is going to struggle tremendously and Tom Brady is going to pick apart the Buffalo defense. The Patriots are going to win this one comfortably, 35-10.

        November 4th, the Packers come to town on Sunday Night Football. This is the game both teams have circled on the calendar. Rodgers versus Brady, the main debate since Peyton Manning has retired of who is the best quarterback in pro football. It will be back and forth game as both defenses play well. Brady will lead a game winning drive in the fourth quarter and Rodgers will not be able to complete the hail mary. Patriots win 24-20 securing Brady as the best quarterback in the NFL.

        November 11th, the Patriots travel down to Nashville and the Patriots dominate this game. The Titans offense will not be able to stay on the field with Mariota at quarterback and their defense will not be able to keep Tom Brady off of it. The Patriots win this one in a blowout fashion 31-14.

        Coming off of a bye week the Patriots will face the Jets on November 25th. The Jets are going to try to put up a fight with rookie quarterback Sam Darnold leading the charge. Belichick is 17-5 versus rookie quarterbacks although I believe this rookie is a different breed. This game is going to be closer than most people will predict, but the Patriots will edge out the Jets 27-21. 

        December 2nd the Patriots play the loaded Minnesota Vikings at Gillette. This is the game where the Patriots win streak comes to a screeching halt.  Brady will make a few mistakes early throwing into that secondary and the Patriots don’t find a way to get back. Vikings win 30-17.

December 9th, the Patriots go down to hot Miami where they always seem to struggle late in the season. This game will be different though, the Patriots seem to have this team all figured out and if the defense remains healthy the Patriots are going to have a field day and beat Miami 31-10.

December 16th, the Pats battle Pittsburg in a meaningless game due to the dysfunction around the Steelers organization. Big Ben will play a subpar game while Brady and Dorsett link up for 2 touchdowns. The Patriots will win this one easily 35-14.

For the last two games of the season the Patriots face the Bills and Jets. I feel like these games the Patriots will coast and win both of them with a mixture of starters and backups as they prepare for the playoffs.

These are my own predictions if you want to make a comment or suggestion message me on Instagram @hrl_2003

Is Josh Gordon the Patriots answer at Wr? Or not…

When most people think Josh Gordon they think one thing, Steven A. Smith saying stay off the weeeeeed.

Josh Gordon like many people has faced the woes of addiction head on with multiple suspensions for substance abuse violations. This is an all time talent willing to sacrifice everything for alcohol or pot.

Bill Belichick is a no nonsense head coach that expects the very best out of all of his players. James Harrison the future hall of fame defensive end has even stated in the past he has seen Tom Brady sprint to meetings in fear of being late. This level of excellence has resulted in five super bowl rings for Belichick and the Patriots organization.

Gordon does not appear to be your prototypical Patriots player, the whole reason he got traded is because he came in late with a hurt hamstring from shooting an advertisement. One of the things that separate the Patriots from other teams is their willingness to test out players that have a history of issues. For example, they claimed Mike Floyd off of waivers two years ago after a DUI bust cost him his spot in Arizona. He did not stick around long but he was a key contributor in the week 17 win over the Miami Dolphins that year.

Gordon is much better Mike Floyd though, he is one of the most talented players in the entire league. In 2014 in only his second season Gordon in 14 games led the league in yards at over 1600, WITH THE BROWNS! This is a player with much more upside than any 5th round pick the Patriots could have gotten. He is probably the most talented receiver the patriots have had since Randy Moss in 2007. Randy at that point was getting past his prime, Gordon is only 27 and he has really only played  2 good seasons of NFL football.

The Patriots had only 3 receivers active in the last game and it limited our production versus the Jaguars. If Gordon can come and produce what he produced for the Browns once he was out of suspension around 70 yards a game and the ability to make tough contested catches, that will bring the Patriots offense to a whole new level especially once we get Edelman back. He could be the piece that puts us over the top by being able to take the top off of opposing defenses. Think like a six foot three inch Brandin Cooks that can highpoint the ball.

The very real downside is this, Gordon has a history of being an unreliable person off the field. If he is not sober and shows up the meetings late than I guarantee that the Patriots will cut him. The Patriots have no problems with taking risks on the players and failing. I am sure Belichick would rather trade for a problemed known quality player with high upside than draft Chad Jackson.

Gordon is a hell of a football player. If he can come through and produce in the Patriots system long term than he can be one of the greatest of all time. If he flakes out like he has in the past than that is still a 5th round pick worth losing.

Stay tuned for more weekly posts by senior writer Hunter Langley.

PATRIOTS NATION AND HATERS REMAIN CALM

Yes, the patriots lost in week 2… and week 3. The Brady led Patriots lost to the Bortles led Jags and the Stafford led Lions – Hard to believe I know… or is it?

The Patriots never open a season well in fact they’re pretty horrendous. Since 2014 they’re 0-3 which includes that infamous blowout against Kansas City that we found out Brady was ‘done’. This is no coincidence because in the Patriots this is apple picking season this is when Bill decides who needs to leave and what needs to change

This is not to take away from our dreadful performance and the Jaguars fantastic performance. The biggest letdown for the patriots was our defence… again. But if I were to single anyone out it would be Eric Rowe who had to be benched during the game. Rowe kept being beat by wide receiver Keenan Cole who had 7 receptions or 116 yards and a touchdown which includes his crazy ass circus catch. Once Rowe was Benched Cole was almost shut out. We could maybe see Jason McCourty take his spot or one of the rookies in Keoin Crossen and JC Jackson who shone in pre season.

Now one of the most over used reasons that the Patriots are having a bad start is of course “Brady is washed up” and my answer to that is don’t you guys ever learn. Brady never has the biggest stat line because of the way the Patriots play but that doesn’t make him washed up. Brady is the smartest and safe quarterback in the league, while missing his starting right tackle Marcus Cannon he was under a lot of fire from ‘Sacksonville’ and took a lot of shots. Now we can’t deny that Brady is 41 and needs to protect himself so he didn’t make his best throws on Sunday but that does not make him washed up, he just understands that being healthy for a whole season is more important than winning one game.

Now this last point might be a little petty and silly but Brady and the Patriots played in 98 degrees Fahrenheit. Brady has only played 4 other games in above 90 degrees and has a record of 1-3. The Jacksonville Jags will have trained in this type of heat all week long and throughout their career in Jacksonville so will be used to it. Just be ready for winter Brady

There are other factors into losing the games these are just some of the main. For example our Wide receiver depth was very thin ( Not now thanks to Joshy Gordon), also some injuries to key defensive players in Chung and Flowers made an impact especially in the pass rush. But it was good to see Sony Michel on the field while many think it was a bad performance he looked quick and agile up against a difficult defence. Patriots fans don’t panic we’ll be back in the playoffs in January as usual

Are the Celtics the Team To Beat?

The Boston Celtics have been a Championship based team since their formation in 1946. Since 1946, the Celtics have been able to win a, League leading, 17 championships. The Celtics have not won a championship in a decade, but have shown glimpses of a very promising future. The Celticelticscs, not only are known for their championship success, but they are also known for making blockbuster moves.

Last season, the Celtics would land big names like Gordon Hayward, and Kyrie Irving, and draft Jayson Tatum. The Celtics looked unstoppable on paper but the injury bug held them back. During the opening minutes of the season opener, Gordon Hayward was taken out on a stretcher with gruesome, fractured ankle. That ankle injury, despite possible return rumors, would sadly keep Hayward out for the season. The season goes on looking pretty good for Boston. Winning games, Game winners, until it all pretty much went down hill late in the season. Kyrie addressed soreness in his knee from a former injury a few years back. Kyrie got the surgery and was estimated to be back before playoffs. Weeks past and Kyrie still felt uncomfortable. Irving thought it would be best to get another surgery to fix his knee. That (Very smart) decision just so happen to shut him down for the remainder of the season, including playoffs. The Celtics were able to cope with the injury bug as bench players like Rozier and Smart stepped up, the Celtics would go on to shock the world and were just 9 points away from a finals appearance. The Celtics would lose to the Cavaliers in seven games in the Eastern Conference finals.

Now, I am sitting here typing this article with many predictions with this upcoming Celtics team. Last season was a one for the books, but what will it take to go further than the Eastern Conference Finals?

The Celtics are most likely the team to beat in the east. Although the Raptors acquired superstar Kawhi Leonard, I still do not see the Raptors making it past Boston. Here is why: For the past three years, the Toronto Raptors have been the top three seeded teams in the Eastern Conference. Twice, LeBron James and the Cavaliers have cleanly swept the Raptors. Yes, LeBron is out west, and that might help to everyone’s advantage in the East, but Toronto just has not figured out their playoff plans. You have to earn the wins in the regular season, Toronto does that just well, but it always seems to shut down after the regular season. The Raptors destroyed their team chemistry between Kyle Lowry and Demar Derozan. That combo might have had the best team chemistry in the game, and with Derozan exiting due to a blockbuster trade, it’s not there anymore. Don’t forget Toronto lost their “Coach of the Year” Dwayne Casey to the Pistons. Another down for the Raptors, In my Opinion, was the acquisition of Greg Monroe. Maybe the biggest reason the Celtics did not offer Monroe to a deal was the fact that he was just too slow for the Celtics style of play. The Celtics are a fast break team, and Monroe just was not fit in that role. Monroe also lacks shooting, he has a very weak ability to stretch the floor, and that could possibly hurt Toronto.

The Philadelphia 76’ers are closing in on a potential Conference finals run, and could be the team that’s most threatening to the Boston Celtics. The Sixers have been one of the most impressive teams in basketball these past couple of seasons. Although from going 28-54 in 2017, the Sixers and their young talent shot up to a top three seeded team in 2018. The Sixers have been injected with the injury bug since the start of the process. With Joel Embiid playing and Ben Simmons finally playing his first season, winning rookie of the year, they seem to finally get things going. Last season, the Injury prone Celtics were able to defeat the healthy 76’ers 4-1 in the semi-finals. We will all be able to see this classic rivalry opening night in the Garden!

Although the Celtics have a roster that can seriously compete. Will Kyrie and Gordon coming back potentially put a dent into the team chemistry? With the two stars being out late in the season and the whole playoffs, the Celtics young bench players were able to step up huge, and create such a memorable run. The with Rozier and Baynes filling in the starting lineup late in the season, the Celtics were nearly unstoppable with Smart and Morris coming off the bench down the stretch. It will surely be an interesting season for the Celtics, as they will look to come out on top, and represent the Eastern Conference in the 2019 NBA finals! The best part of it all if you’re a Celtics fan is that this is only the beginning!

Until Next Time, I am Justin Lowe.

@celticsrising

Patriots v Redskins preview

FOOTBALL IS BACK. The Patriots pre-season kicks off on Thursday against the Washington Redskins. Although the pre-season means nothing statistically there is a lot to watch for as our Patriots take the field once again.

Who to watch

The quarterbacks- It has been rumoured that Bill isn’t happy about his quarterback situation, (Brady excluded). In this game we will look at how both Quarterbacks are playing, plays bill will call and play time for each our out back ups – because we believe we could see a switch up before the regular season kicks off.

Mike Gillislie- The former Buffalo Bills running back is going into his second season as a Patriot after a sub par first season. Gillislie missed 9 games last season; never making it back on the field after being labelled as a healthy scratch following a previous injury. The Patriots added veteran running back Jeremy Hill and first round pick Sony Michel – is there a place for this ex-Bills powerhouse? Keep an eye on Gillislies performance and his frequency of carries.

Harvey Langi- Last year we signed Langi as an undrafted free agent from BYU. However, Langi sustained season ending injuries early on in a motor vehicle accident. Now he’s full recovered he’s fighting for his place on the 52 man roster, and I believe he could be a big part of the Patriots this season.

The training camp stand outs

Jacob Hollister- Jacob was another undrafted free agent last year that made it to the 52 man roster. The Tight end was our third string so naturally didn’t get very many snaps. However, this year he’s been lightning at training camp and might just sneak up past Allen to second string. Although he might not play on Friday, Hollister is certainly someone to watch over the rest of preseason.

Deatrich Wise- Wise was drafted in the 4th round last year and had a mediocre 1st season with the patriots, getting only 5 sacks on a struggling defence. However, this year he seems to have a point to prove, and Belichick has noticed. When speaking about Wise and teammate Derick Rivers Bill said,

“Nobody works harder than those two guys, Nobody”

Deatrich will be competing for the starting job this season and therefore may have limited playing time in the first game of pre-season.

The game kicks off at 7:30 (ET) in Gillette stadium. Keep an eye out for our Post game analysis as well

The Edelman Witch Hunt

The verdict arrived; Julian Edelman was found guilty and his suspension was final. The crime? No one actually knows the test results were inconclusive but the suspension was still put forth. Now as Patriots fans, we are used to dealing with some shitty, unclear and pretty ambiguous suspensions;

Ref: ‘Umm.. these balls seem a little deflated’

Goodell: ‘Suspend Brady, it was him, I saw him do it. SUSPEND HIM’

Science: ‘The cold air was 100% a factor for the deflation’

Goodell: ‘Nope. Fake news. It was Brady. SUSPEND HIM.

Sound Familiar? Well, its happened again.

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Here at The Hudson Halftime Report, we aren’t scientists – hell the closest we get to science is watching the Big Bang theory after too many Bud Lights – however, we are pretty freaking good at calling out bull crap; so below is a list of crimes that received a lesser suspension that Edelman, we will let you decide whether they are worse than ‘unidentified substances’ and are worth a larger suspension than they received.

 

Ben_Roethlisberger_2016First, on the list, we have Pittsburgh QB, Ben Roethlisberger, a bitter rival of the New England Patriots. In 2010 Big Ben received a 6-game suspension for ‘accused sexual assault’ which was then reduced by Goodell to a 4-game break.

Remember kids – accidentally taking an unidentified substance is the same a beating up women kids. Crazy.

 

 

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Next, on our list, we have the world worst bell-boy Ray Rice who was suspended in 2014 after a video emerged of him knocking his fiancee out, and dragging her unconscious body from the elevator back to his room. Damn, son.

Rice was suspended two games for this act and was back on the field in no time – not so sure about his fiancee’s recovery time, however.

 
nfl_a_hardy_mb_600x600Last, on our list, is everyone’s favourite psychopath Greg Hardy who was suspended for 10 games in 2014 after hospitalising his girlfriend Nicole Holder. Although we believe that players should be banned from football for acts like this, a 10 game suspension seemed to fit with league protocol at the time and we were reasonably content with the sentence. However, after a couple of weeks, Hardy got bored sitting on the sidelines and asked good old Goodell if he could be reinstated, to which Goodell agreed meaning Hardy only served a 4-week suspension for his crimes.

 

Honestly, the retirement of Goodell may be one of the happiest days of my life and I think I’ll throw a party to which all are invited. We’d love to hear your thoughts on the Edelman suspension and if there are any other ridiculous suspensions you can remember.