IR Watch

In week 8 teams have the opportunity to activate 2 players off their injury reserve list. So far, the Patriots have James Devlin, N’keal Harry, Isiah Wynn, Jakob Johnson, Steven Gostkowski, Derek Rivers, Keionta Davis and Brandon King all on IR. There are a few players on this list that the patriots could definitely use but which 2 will they take off?

Image result for Nkeal harry brady

For me the obvious options are N’keal Harry and Isaiah Wynn. While James Devlin is a fantastic player a neck injury can be quite serious and if not fully healed it can be aggravated and he would need to go back on IR.

 

N’keal Harry brings so much to the table in the offense. The Arizona State wide receiver shone in the preseason with some incredibly physical catches downfield, something that the Patriots have been lacking this season with the departure of Gronk. Harry suffered an ankle injury before even getting to play in the regular season so is lacking some serious playing time but after a lot of offseason work with Tommy Terrific, he should quickly file into the Patriots offence and give a much needed downfield threat. For me Harry is almost a lock to come back due to the Patriots top 3 receivers being pretty banged up already. The only way number 15doesn’t comeback is if the Patriots make a trade for another receiver which does seem like a possibility.Image result for Isaiah wynn

The second pick was a lot harder. The Patriots offence has been lacking in much of a run game but there are plenty guys on the IR list that would certainly help that. The main one being offensive lineman Isaiah Wynn. Wynn spent all of last season on IR with a torn achilleas after being drafted 23rd overall in the 2018 draft. The short preview of Wynn we seen this offseason and regular season was nothing short of spectacular, only allowing 1 sack and 1 holding penalty before sustaining the injury. Wynn was replaced by veteran Marshall Newhouse who has struggled allowing 4 sacks 7 QB hits and 2 holding penalties in the short time he has been a part of the Patriots’ line. The Patriots have a hall of fame offensive line coach in Dante Scarnecchia who will be able to move this line forward but that would be helped with the addition of Isaiah Wynn.

 

The Patriots have 2 more games until any of these players can comeback. We know that Harry is healthy enough to comeback, but we are still unsure on Wynn. But unless there are any shock injuries or major roster moves these are my predictions.

Patriots (good) linebacker situation

Image result for ja'whaun bentley patriots

Two years ago if you had told me the patriots were going to have to cut 2 good linebackers I would’ve laughed. During the 2017 season the Patriots linebackers consisted of an injured Dont’a Hightower, Kyle Van Noy (before he was turned into an animal) , Shea McClellan who was a first round flop and Elandon Roberts a guy who no one knew about.

 

Fast forward 2 years and were now looking at a completely different group including now healthy defensive captain Dont’a Hightower, a dominant Kyle Van Noy who next year will be one of the best linebackers, Ex patriot Jamie Collins who is an athletic monster, Michigan rookie Chase Winnovich who works the Patriot way, Ja’Whaun Bentley who last year shone before sadly tearing his ACL and others. The only question is, who gets cut?

Is Hightowers time up as a Patriot?

All Patriots fans love Hightower thanks to his two Superbowl winning moments in 49 and 51. Hightowers biggest advantage is that you can rely on him he doesn’t put up huge sack numbers like Von Miller or make he hits like Jadeveon Clowney, he’s very consistent which I would much prefer but he is also consistently injured. Even though he played 15out of 16 regular season games last year he also has only played 1 full seasonback in 2013. Hightower is a great leader on and off the field and a good linebacker when healthy but he’s only getting older and the injuries are piling up.

The new guys and the young ones

In the last 2 years the Patriots have added 3 new linebackers that have been drawing attention. This includes;  Jamie Collins, who they recently acquired from free agency. Jamie was traded by traded by Bill Belichick to the Cleveland Brownsin 2016for a 3rdround pick despite having a tremendous season. Collins was later cut this offseason after having a disappointing stint with the Ohio based team only mustering 7 sacks and 204 combined tackles, which are not stats you would be expecting from a linebacker that you’re paying 50 million over 4 years to. But after recently being picked up by the Patriots he has a chance to re-invent himself. The second guy is Michigan rookie Chase Winnovich. Chase had a successful career in Ann Arbour but wasn’t the star of the 2ndranked overall NCAA defence. The Patriots picked up Chase in the  3rdroundand the day after he got the call he flew out to Boston to get to work. Winnovich played defensive end in college but due to him only weighing 116kgmade the move to outside linebacker.Chase has something to prove and seems ready to make a name for himself in Foxboro. In 2018 the patriots picked up Ja’Whaun Bentley 143rdoverall. Ja’Whaun was quickly in the headlines during training camp after being praised by Bill and other colleagues being called “smart” and “athletic”. Bentley started in the first game of the season against the Texans and didn’t necessarily blow anyone away but was consistent enough to stay on the field. For me he is the future of New England’s linebacking core and was a steal in last years draft

 

The final cut

We haven’t arrived at mini camp yet but my early predictions for the depth chart looks like this

 

Left outside linebacker- Kyle Van Noy, Jamie Collins

 

Middle linebacker- Dont’a Hightower, Ja’Whaun Bentley

 

Right outside linebacker- Chase Winnovich, John Simon

 

Hightower is expensive but is just too crucial to lose this year with a lot of young guys in the team. The biggest loss would be Elandon Roberts someone who has been key the last two years but in the mix with this talent pool he just won’t make the cut in my eyes. One player to watch is Trent Harris, a linebacker who was drafted out of Miami last year and spent last year on the practise squad. He has turned a few heads during practise but will be fighting for his roster life in this squad.

 

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 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

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

Brady: The Legit G.O.A.T?

While there hasn’t been a huge amount of news this offseason since the trading of our receiving core, one of the main reports circling is the battle of ‘who is better’ between two players; Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers.

Many people have stated throughout the years that A-Rod is the true ‘G.O.A.T’ and that Brady is a system QB who has been blessed with a great management system. However, these are situations that cannot be changed, and therefore are pointless to debate; Brady is a Patriot, Rodgers is a Packer – to really determine the G.O.A.T we must look at the facts.

First of all, G.O.A.T means ‘greatest of ALL TIME meaning that whoever holds this title must be a class above players like Joe Montana, Dan Marino and Peyton Manning; a class which we believe Rodgers just does not make due to his stats, achievements and rings.  Brady, on the other hand, has more accomplishments than all of these players, however, is still debated amongst ‘fans’ as to whether or not he is the greatest of all time… crazy.

ll81vgWStatistics are taken from 2014 post-Bradys 4th win.

What about hardware, the reasons people play; the Super Bowl rings?

Many people argue Rodgers is better than Brady, and the reason for his lack of Superbowl success is due to having ‘fewer weapons than New England’ and in some ways, I agree. I do believe that A-Rod and the Packers may be more successful if the management didn’t resemble that of a rookie fantasy football commissioner but there is no way A-Rod would have more rings than Brady, super team or not. In 2010, when the Packers won the Super Bowl, they had 6 Pro Bowl players on the roster; a team which was obviously primed for success. However, when the Patriots won the 2014 Superbowl, they had only 4 Pro Bowl on the roster, one being Brady and another was a kicker. It seems to me that Brady has had much more success with a lot less weapons than the Packers.

Finally, let’s talk about stats and records. Tom Brady holds many, many records especially in the postseason which include; playoffs wins, Super Bowl wins, Super Bowl MVPs, passing touchdowns, passing yards and many more. Aaron Rodgers’ most impressive stat is most consecutive attempts at home without an interception (288 attempts) which although impressive, does not translate to success in the NFL.

We have no doubt that Aaron Rodgers is a special Quarterback and one that will go down in Packers history. However, the constant ‘fan’ pursuit to crown Rodgers the G.O.A.T is quite frankly ridiculous and one which Patriots Nation has wasted far too much breath defending. Here at the Hudson Halftime Report, we loved debating with Colts and Broncos fans on whether Brady or Manning was the G.O.A.T, because at least there was some actual defence of Manning against Brady – Rodgers, on the other hand, falls short of the throne and will forever be an understudy to the greatness of Tom Brady’s legacy.

Far too early NFL award predictions.

At the end of each season the NFL gives out awards for, Defensive MVP, Offensive MVP, Offensive Rookie of the season and defensive Rookie of the season, comeback player of the season and the much chased after all round MVP. I will look at Offensive and Defensive MVP, Rookie of the year as a general term, Comeback player of the year and MVP

Offensive MVP- Antonio Brown (Steelers)

This is one of the hardest collums to predict but over the last 3 seasons AB has shown that he has what it takes for at least Offensive MVP. Brown had a magnificent season last year and was a strong MVP candidate but an injury in the last few games and an on fire Tom Brady stopped that. That still didn’t stop Brown from having 1533 receiving yards and 9 touchdowns. The only thing stopping Brown from having an MVP season is Big Ben, who has caused a stir in the steelers camp which might hurt Browns production.

Defensive MVP- Chandler Jones

Chandler Jones productivity has went unnoticed the past 2 seasons leading the league in sacks last year. The former Patriot is a consistent injury free player who last years put up 17 sacks and 59 tackles. Jones will be the leader on the Cardinals front four and if their offensive improves with the drafting of Josh Rosen the Cardinals could have a very strong playoff run.

Rookie of the year- Sony Michel

No I’m not biased, well maybe a little. But the Georgia running back will not be a flop. After the departure of Dion Lewis, the 31st overall pick should be in challenge of the 1st spot on the depth chart against James White. With the Patriots strengthening their offensive line Michel should get enough space to run. The only thing that might stop him will be how well Saqoun Barkley can play behind a useless Giants offensive line.

Comeback player of the year- Deshaun Watson

Watson had a fantastic rookie despite starting on the bench and finishing on IR on the depth chart. Watson threw for 1,700 yards and 19 touchdowns in only 7 games. I fully believe that hype around Deshaun is deserved as does Brady who last season said

Heck of a game – keep grinding,’ keep doing what I’m doing. We’ll probably see them again.”

If Watson can recover in time for the start of the season I truly believe he will beat Carson Wentz to this award.

MVP- Todd Gurley

Todd Gurley was electric last season and was a huge reason for the Rams regular season success (if only that correlated with the playoffs) after a sophomore slump in his second year Todd put up 2098 all purpose yards and 19 touchdowns. If Todd Gurley can maintain that consistency I would be shocked if last years offensive MVP doesn’t win all round MVP this year. He certainly wants to help out those that own him on fantasy football

Fantasy owners you’re welcome now leave us alone. Merry Christmas!

These are very early predictions and will probably change but I’d love to hear your thoughts