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.

 

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.

Kenny Britt: The Breakout WR?

There is still SO much time between now and the start of the Patriots season (we haven’t even hit training camp yet) but Patriots nation is already scrambling trying to figure out who will be the next man up at wide receiver (nothing new, we do the same thing every year at the running back position). However, this offseason, in particular, hasn’t been great for the WR position; the Pats lost Dola to Miami, Cooks to the Rams, and Edelman has been suspended 4 games for ‘PEDs’ (F*ck Goodell).  So the big question on everyone’s mind is, who will be the man to step up? The Spike Kings pick? Kenny Britt.

I’ll admit, this isn’t just me pulling something out of thin air, this thought came to me at the end of May when I attended the ‘Tedy’s Team’ Football game. Brian Hoyer was the QB for both teams and threw a nice dime down the sidelines, to which someone said to him,

“Wow, that was a great catch, just like Chris Hogan!”

Hoyer’s reply go me thinking as he looked back at the guy and said,

“Yeah that was nice, but I’m a big fan of Britt from Cleveland. He’s fast. Reminded me more of him.”

This had me intrigued as Hoyer has been working with Britt last season during practice. I had to rush home and gather some stats to see how he compares to the rest of the crew.

I think we can all pretty much agree that Chris Hogan becomes the major player to step up with Jules out the first 4 games. Last year he had 34 Rec, 439 yards and 5 touchdowns and has been pretty consistent in crucial moments. It’s a no-brainer that he will start, but will he become the ‘Edelman’ the team needs during the first four games? I’m not sold.

Kenny Britt is the tallest WR on the depth chart standing in at 6ft3 and weighs in around 223lbs making him two inches taller and 10lbs heavier than Hogan for a start. In addition, Britt has the same explosive speed as Hogan, (both logging 4.5 in the 45-yard dash) so on paper, Britt seems the better option.

However here is my take. Brandin Cooks last season had 1082 yards and 7 Touchdowns, which led the Patriots receiving core (Gronk is a TE for you sticklers). In comparison two seasons ago with the Rams, (with Goff/Keenum as QB) Britt had 1002 yards and 5 Touchdowns making him only 80 yards and 2 touchdowns short of Cooks production but without having the GOAT Brady to throw at him. His quiet year last year could easily be a ‘warming up’ period as he gets used to the new playbook.

Also, one thing not to forget out of all this, Britt is a Rutgers Alumn & a former first-round pick. Both traits that make Belichick salivate.


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What about Malcolm Mitchell? Isn’t he meant to be our WR prodigy?

Everybody fell in love with Malcolm two years ago due to his shown potential in such a short amount of time (Mitchell started 6 games, with 401 yards at 4 touchdowns). However, the big question is, can he stay healthy? He seems to be battling a hamstring problem already this year. I believe that the longer he has a nagging injury, the likely it is that Britt takes over the starting role. Hogan is already locked in due to the Edelman suspension so Patriots fans can expect a battle between Britt and Mitchell for the other starting position.

With one year left on his contract before becoming UFA, Britt has to shine in order to earn an extra payday. I believe that the talent is there and Britt can execute however it is still too early to tell what will happenn. My advice though, keep a close eye on Britt. #TrustHoyer

The Spike King – The Road to the Crown.

 

Fans of ‘The Hudson Halftime Report’ will remember an interview we held with Patriots loyal ‘Young Gronk‘ at the beginning of our blog. ‘Young Gronk’ has become a common name amongst the Patriots nation, making local and national news when he spiked a Philly cheese-steak before Superbowl 52 (and then again, when he admitted his loss following the New England defeat). The man behind ‘Young Gronk’ has decided that it is time for his brand to develop and we have the deep pleasure of welcoming our new guest writer for the 2018 season – the newly rebranded ‘Spike King.’

Here is a little more on why ‘Young Gronk’ decided it was time to become ‘The Spike King,’

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The Spike King

Firstly, I would like to thank the ‘Hudson Halftime Report’ for having me team up with them for the 2018 Patriots season, I love writing recaps and getting my thoughts out there for public viewing. It is going to be a really fun year and I’m grateful to have another platform to bring my passion, excitement, and entertainment to you, the fans.

So, we are here to talk about the end of ‘Young Gronk, ‘let’s start at the beginning…

The History of Young Gronk

Nearly five years ago I was going through a transformation in my personal life. I dropped a serious amount of weight, (300lbs to 19lb5) I felt like a completely new person, and during this process, a few of my close friends mentioned I had a look similar toyg2 Gronk. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t see it, but seemed too. One night before a Boston Bruins game, a NESN reporter came up to me for an interview and called me ‘Young Gronk‘. After that night, I ran with the name.

As many of you know, my platform is social media however prior to the 2017 season I wasn’t pushing myself at all. Although my Instagram and Twitter had the ‘Young Gronk’ username, I was never active and used most of my energy on Snapchat; which meant that only those close to me saw my antics, (although my content was featured on the ‘national’ Snapchat story multiple times. I saw Snapchat as my way to work on my style, my confidence and a way to figure out what works and what doesn’t. I was running with the ‘Young Gronk’ persona but I wasn’t pushing it to its full potential; that all changed on December 17th, 2017 during a New England vs Pittsburgh game.

The Instagram Conversion

The Bud lights were flowing and I was feeling it. I’d posted myself on Snapchat multiple times during the game and had been featured on the NFL Story twice when I was shushing the Pittsburgh crowd after the final score; that night ‘Young Gronk’ was viewed by over 1.5million Snapchat users. This moment started a reaction. When the Patriots got the ‘W’ in Pittsburgh I decided to make a quick reaction video on Instagram, which got 65k views overnight despite my account only having 300 followers at the time.

I knew then I was onto something and that it was time to push forward. Fast forward to the NFL Playoffs, I was ready to make some videos. I started by calling out the Titans in a quick video; we got an easy win and moved onto Jacksonville. This time I decided to call out the fan base and get some excitement going, which brought in a ton of buzz and chatter, however when the Eagles won the NFC title match I was ready to go one step bigger.

I drove down to Philly, filmed a ton of videos, and released them one-by-one during the week leading up to the Super Bowl, culminating in my famous ‘Cheesesteak Spike’ video. FullSizeRenderIt was a fun week and win or lose, I knew I had something that could be built on in seasons to come. It was also a pretty amazing feeling when the ‘Cheesesteak Spike’ went viral (Barstool/NBC Sports Philly) and it gave me the confidence to keep pushing myself even further. To entertain you, the fans. Actually, through the entire playoffs, I gained a whole new wave of support. Meeting all sorts of new people to talk with is the best part of my journey and it makes me so thankful for all the support you all have given me, which is why I take the time to write back to anyone out there that gets in touch.

I then went on to start the #GronkSpikeChallenge which I mentioned in my first interview with the Hudson Halftime Report, that can be read here.

The End of Young Gronk

Behind the scenes, I kept pushing for something bigger and better (and still to this day, however, I can’t officially announce anything just yet because its still being finalized). but I came to the realization that if I wanted to keep on moving forward I would have to drop the ‘Young Gronk’ name. ‘Young Gronk’ has gotten me this far, it fits a character, it fits me personally but unfortunately, we live in a world of business, trademarks and copyrights. Brian Babs, the face behind ‘Young Gronk’ has new opportunities on the horizon and it’s something I would never want to give up on in order to continue using a name. The Gronkowski family built their name through hard work and dedication, and is it fair for some jabroni from Boston to use the ‘Gronk’ name to possibly profit of it? No, it’s just not right. Although it’s not easy to let go. I’ve been building this brand for a few years now and to be told its time to end it is a tough thing to hear. However, through talking with some of my closest supporters and asking their thoughts, I realised that everyone is 100% on board with me as a person, not just as the ‘Young Gronk’ brand.

The Spike King is Born

If you look back through this history, spiking has been as integral to my success as the Gronk similarities. I spiked a cheesesteak in Philly, it went viral. I spiked a football to help raise awareness for Best Buddies, it went viral. I even spiked Clam Chowder, Baked Beans, and a Cooked Lobster to atone for my sins in Philly. Spiking is what I seem to do best!

Do I hope the ‘Young Gronk’ name makes a return? Absolutely. I hope that respecting the Gronkowski Family name can possibly open the door up to talk with them about a future collaboration but for the now, its time to continue pushing on with the ideas and plans at hand. A few things are brewing and I absolutely cannot wait for them to finally go out there for the world to see.

Again, I thank you, the fan, for supporting me through the process. Lets make 2018 the best season ever!

Young Gronk The Spike King.

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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

Performance Enhancing Edelman…?

Patriots fans had the excitement of seeing Edelman tearing up OTAs last week – a promising sign of his recovery and the return of Bradys go-to receiver. However, that excitement may be short-lived as reports surfaced today that Edelman will be facing a 4-game ban as a result of ‘supposedly testing positive for PEDs’

If this report is true and Edelman does not win his appeal he will miss the first four games of the Patriots 2018 season. The Patriots schedule shows that they will host the Texans in the season opener before going on the road to Jacksonville in a rematch of last season’s AFC Championship. In Week 3 the Patriots will once again be on the road against their former coach’s Lions and in Week 4 will return home to Gilette to host the Dolphins.

Edelman has already been reported as appealing this suspension and Patriots fans can only hope that this situation is similar to when Adrian Peterson tore his ACL and was wrongfully accused on PEDs. During the medical process of an ACL repair, multiple steroid shots are given throughout, which is what showed up on Peterson’s screening, making it seem like he had used PEDs. However on appeal, and the second review the suspension was dropped and Peterson was exonerated; a fate that Patriots fan hope Julian will also incur.

We will keep you updated as the story develops.