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

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.

Interview with the Patriots 7th Round Pick – Keion Crossen

Over the next few weeks, The Hudson Halftime Report is running a series on NFL rookies that we believe will thrive in the NFL environment. The first of these rookies is Keion Crossen, OTAs standout and the Patriots 243rd overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft who agreed to do an exclusive interview with us.

1: First off, Thank you so much for agreeing to interview with us, I can imagine life is a little crazy right now. Congratulations on being drafted by our Patriots, can you tell us a little about what it felt like when you heard your name called?

‘The moment I heard my name called I instantly thought of it as a blessing. It was such a humbling experience and I am forever grateful to be on such an amazing team such as the Patriots

2: You are from Western Carolina, which is a relatively small school, what lessons did you learn there that would translate to the NFL?

‘Western is a smaller school compared to other D1 schools, but I appreciate the opportunity to have attended Western and even more grateful to be around such a hardworking group of players. Attributes I would bring [from Western] is a willingness to learn, to work hard and to do whatever the coaches ask.’

3: You were drafted in the 7th round but reports have detailed that you are already turning heads at OTAs, what drives you on a daily basis to be the best you can be?

‘I’m not sure about any reports, however, I am working hard at being a great understudy, learning from all the vets and doing whatever I am asked to do for the bettering of the team.’

4: We here at the Hudson Halftime Report are massive fans of you, and any player attempting to better our home team is a star in our books. Can you reflect on any moment in your life that shaped who you are today? Who were some of the key people in making you, you?

‘Thanks. Any moment that God has put in my life has shaped me to be the man I am today. There is no specific person, but God deserves the credit for allowing me to be the person he wants me to be.’

5: Okay, let’s talk Patriots. How is it training with the New England Patriots? Is there a massive amount of pressure from day one? Or do you already feel part of the culture? How is the Atmosphere? What makes Keion Crossen different to other Cornerbacks on the roster?

‘I’m out here presently learning, working hard and doing my best to do what is best for the team. Also, [As for how I am different] I’m not into comparison – I’m here to do my job, learn from the vets and get better as a football player.’ 

6: What NFL player do you look up to at your position?

‘All corners in the NFL are good players, so there’s not a specific one I truly look up too, but I do look to learn and grow to be a well-rounded player.’

7: On a scale from one to ten, how excited are you about having the opportunity to pick off Tom Brady in practice? I mean, surely it’s got to be pretty high on your list of things-to-do haha!

‘I am honoured to be on a team with such great players as Tom Brady and others, but as I have stated before I am here to do my job, learn from the vets and make the best out of the opportunity.’

8: Once again Keion thank you so much for agreeing to do this interview, it’s been an absolute pleasure to work with you. We here at Hudson Halftime Report wish you every success for the future and we are looking forward to seeing you at Gillette sometime soon, (save us a seat). Is there anything you want to say before signing off today, any last comments for your fans in the UK?

‘Thanks for having me on it’s my pleasure. Also, follow me on Twitter @keioncrossen and Instagram @Keion_Crossen

Throughout the interview, Keion seemed more focussed on ‘doing his job’ and ‘bettering the team’ than bigging himself up – an attitude that is much needed at the Cornerback position in New England currently. We look forward to hearing more about his progress and will be rooting for him come September.

The Basics of Drafting in Fantasy Football

Don’t reach for the receivers

The first round can either make or break your season, so making the right choice is crucial. Therefore, my biggest piece of advice is to draft positionally with a focus on Running Backs. Although many analysts place wide receivers (such as Julio Jones and Antonio Brown) as locks in the first round, we at the Hudson Halftime Report do not agree.

Last season, Julio Jones averaged 7 points per game which for some people seems like a respectable number. However, that average was distorted due to JJ having a huge 38 point game mid-season. Without that monster game, he only averaged 5 points a game which in my opinion is not first round worthy. Additionally, Jones is nowhere near being a young receiver anymore, and with the addition of some off-season pickups, his production levels are yet to be seen. Lastly, blaming 2017’s average solely on JJ would be wrong, as Matt Ryan had a dreadful year. Just remember when you draft a Wr, you are also ghost drafting their Qb – make sure it’s a good one.

Don’t just look at the player

… look at the whole team.

So we have decided that Running Backs are the place to go in the first round, however, when looking to draft a running back look at how the offensive line ranked last year because it doesn’t matter how good the runner is, if they have no time to build up speed (unless your Dion Lewis).  Additionally, if you do decide to go Wr, remember to Look at the Quarterback, remember for a receiver to catch a ball – some dude gotta throw it well – an example this year? The Browns traded for Jarvis Landry, and although Landry is an unbelievable player, Cleveland’s quarterbacks don’t exactly have a good track record, leaving Landry’s production an enigma…

Look at the Players’ Off-Field Performance

A fantasy football player is also a real-life human being who can make real-life mistakes and decisions which can affect their fantasy scores. Whilst Leveon Bell is clearly the best Running Back in the NFL and a very productive fantasy football player, Leveon has missed the start of most seasons due to smoking ‘illegal substances’ and has also said that he won’t play under this year’s franchise tag.  So while Bell is fantastic he might not be as productive as he can be because of his off-field shenanigans. However, if you have the 4th or lower pick in your draft and he is still there Snap. Him. Up. because we all know this guy can eat.

Also, if you are finding year-long fantasy too stressful (I mean injuries crippled my season last year) give Weekly Fantasy a try! FanDuel provides the best, most interactive Weekly Fantasy Football service and also give you the ability to earn some cash while playing. win-freaking-win.

Who are your Top 5 picks for this year’s upcoming Fantasy Football Draft?

The Squirrel is back!

Define Julian Edelman in one word – Fighter.

Although most of the headlines surrounding the Patriots OTAs were covering the lack of attendance by Brady & Gronk, the only worthwhile headline for Patriots fans was that Julian Edelman is once again playing football (Fangirl Moment… Breath… okay).

Week three of the 2017 preseason was a dark dark day for Patriots fans when their beloved squirrel went down with a season-ending ACL injury. The Patriots seemed to recover but no doubt missed him in the Superbowl. How much was Edelman missed though? Let’s take a look at the statistics.

  1. Since 2009 Bradys win percentage with Edelman is 81.8% and (not counting last season) his win percentage without Edelman drops significantly to only 68.4%.
  2. In Bradys nine games when Edelman was healthy Brady threw for 338.1 yards per game, 24 touchdowns and 3 interceptions by completing 67.8% of his passes. However, when Edelman went down with an injury, Brady threw for 246.7 yards per game, 12 touchdowns and 4 interceptions by completing 59.4 percent of his passes in the seven games that followed.
  3. In Edelman’s last six playoff games he has topped over 100 yards in four of them!
  4. Edelman is third in NFL history for receptions in playoff games (89) sitting behind only Reggie Wayne and Jerry Rice

Needless to say, our undersized wide receiver is not finished yet, and although Berrios seems to fit the position well we can expect another year at least out of our little guy!

Welcome Back, Jules!