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

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.

Patriots Draft Analysis

The past 3 days have been FILLED with sports news thanks to the NBA playoffs and the annual NFL draft. However, this time it’s Bill Belichick crazy draft antics that get priority over ‘Scary Terrys’ Celtics run.

The New England Bulldogs

The Pats had two first round picks and which they used to select Offensive Tackle ‘Isaiah Wynn’ (23rd overall) and Running Back ‘Sony Michel’ (31st overall). Going into the draft The Patriots needed to fill multiple holes, (drafting the future GOAT) and two of them could potentially be filled with these picks. Isaiah Wynn will replace Brady’s blindside after the departure of the stud, Nate Solder and after picking up Georgias best tackle what do you do? You pick up their best Running Back. Here at The Hudson Halftime Report, we believe Michel is the second coming of Alvin Kamara, who as you know is the current reigning ‘offensive rookie of the year.

Michel and Wynn have both shown great attitude and leadership on an off the field, which could have potentially increased their draft stock with New England. They also have a huge amount of chemistry, with Michel totalling huge yards whilst running behind Wynn, this could be due to them being roommates for the last few years. These picks were obvious needed replacements for Lewis and Solder and The Georgia stars will be joining former teammates David Andrews (Starting center) and Malcolm Mitchell (2nd-year receiver).

Heir to the Throne

Many fans and critics thought the Patriots were going to select Lamar Jackson after meeting with him on multiple occasions. However when Jackson was still on the board at pick 31, Bill passed on the mobile-QB. Once Jackson passed by, the Hudson brothers thought Kyle Laulleta (Richmond) was a sure-fire lock for the Patriots, however once again another round passed without a QB.

Instead of the analyst picks, Bill selected Danny Etling (LSU) who dropped to 219th overall. After Googling this guy, and figuring out who the hell he is, we can safely say that Etling is not ready to start in the NFL, but looking at his tape shows a potentially bright future. Etling has a 120.9 passer rating when throwing deep which is 4th overall compared the rest of the Qbs in the Draft. Etling’s accuracy still needs work but with a year or two behind the GOAT, there is a chance he develops into a starter in the NFL, and potentially more. Let’s be honest at least it isn’t Hoyer.

Bill Has a Type…

Small, good-looking, white, wide receivers (that should be the Patriots slogan).

Braxton Berrios (standing at just 5,8″ and weighing 184 pounds) is a slot receiver who sounds just like a clone of Danny Amendola and a prototype Brady target. The Miami prospect was drafted 210th overall which in my opinion was a steal for one of Miami’s leading receivers and team captain.

What else does Bill like? Versatility. Another feature that will have attracted Bill is that Berrios is lethal when returning kicks/punts, a position that’s been fumble-worthy for the Patriots after since Edelman stopped fielding kicks. (Does anyone else get PTSD remembering Cyrus Jones fielding kicks?) Braxton joins a very deep receiver depth chart, but hey a small, white dude always will find a spot on the roster; get ready to see this guy used often.

The Pats also added some big defensive players in the late-round that should help lighten the load for Donte Hightower who is coming of injury this season.

The Patriots were very active in the NFL draft with more trade downs than picks but filled much-needed positions and are finally beginning to take shape for the upcoming season. It will be nice to see some old faces returning from injury also, providing an automatic lift to the roster. We can expect Belichick to make some more moves before the regular season starts, and we will keep you up to date with all our thoughts and analysis on future moves.

Is Odell Moving On?

Recently we’ve heard that the Giants are ready to shop Odell Beckham Jr. who is arguably one of the best wide receivers in the league. The former 2014 offensive rookie of the year has been un-coverable in his played 47 games totalling 313 receptions, 4424 receiving yards and 38 touchdowns. He has also been invited to the Pro Bowl 3x. If Odell truly does leave the Giants, where will he go? My guess the Cleveland Browns... and here’s why.

The Biggest Reason…Jarvis Landry

There is no question that Landry and Odell are best friends. The 2 former LSU Tigers both played next to each other and formed one of the NFL’s greatest bromances challenging Amendola and Edelman. The Browns are really stacking up at the wide receiver position, not only with Landry but also with Josh ‘flash’ Gordon, a truly All-Star cast if Odell opted to join. There is also no doubt in the field general, as we all know Tyrod Taylor can throw a ball. Landry also wants Odell on his time and hasn’t been quiet about it at all.

Friendship comes before winning but with Odell maybe the Browns and Landry can have both.

The Browns Have The Goods

The Giants will be wanting at least a first-round pick for Odell and a high draft pick at that, sorry Patriots fans (we can dream). The Browns own the 1st and 4th overall pick in the 2018 draft and while many thought the Browns were going to take a Quarterback and Saqoun Barkley from Penn State, the Browns recently acquired Running Back stud Carlos Hyde, who admittedly has had a rough start to his NFL career (rushing for 2729 yards and 21 touchdowns in 655 carries.) Despite his latest numbers, Hyde had a really strong career at Ohio State and I’m sure that can be turned around, especially when splitting carries with speedster Duke Johnson.

If the Browns do decide to pursue Beckham they would still be able to get their quarterback in either Rosen or Darnold no matter if they pick 1st or 4th, whilst on the other side of the trade, the Giants could fill a lot of holes with a top round pick in the draft.

The Browns are on their way to becoming a challenging team again (I hope) and Odell wants to win, a point he had made clear with his sideline antics. It is beginning to look like the Browns having a winning season isn’t just a children’s fairytale story anymore, and with a seemingly never-ending cap space, adding another stud into the mix has ever seemed easier. If Odell does leave this season, I believe he’s going to Cleveland and maybe, just maybe, we should start fearing the Browns (that sounds weird to say.)

According to multiple sources, the Giants have been contacted by the Browns, the Packers, the Lions and the Rams in the last 24hrs, which team would you least/most like to see Beckham go to? Let us know below.

Grading the AFC East offseason…So far

Miami Dolphins

Biggest move: Signing of Josh Sitton

Juice says goodbye to the beaches of Miami and hello to the winless Browns

Above Average, but still not good.

The Fins have made a lot of preseason moves, some very controversial, losing and signing in players in much-needed positions. Last year Miami placed 29thin rushing averaging only 86.8 yards per game. Miami lost key offensive linemen including 3-time Pro-Bowler Pouncey and versatile tackle and guard Bushrod. However, with the $7million the Phins saved with these moves, Miami traded for center Daniel Kilgore and veteran guard Josh Sitton.

The Dolphins brought in a couple of sturdy receivers in Albert Wilson and Danny Amendola who combined for 1213 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns in the 2017 regular season both playing from the 3rd string or lower on the depth chart. However, the Phins also lost one of their most consistent players in Jarvis ‘juice’ Landry when they traded him to the Browns for a 4th round pick in 2018and a7th in 2019 (which in my opinion is way too low a price for him.)

Miami still has a Quarterback problem to sort out even after the signing of Brock Osweiler, with the (already low) productivity of Tannehill being in question after his injury. The Dolphins have the 11th overall pick in the draft and could look to sort their problem with the Oklahoma Sooners Heisman winner Baker Mayfield who has shown interest in playing with the Phins on social media. Overall the Dolphins have had a confusing offseason with some very good moves and some more questionable ones. They still have some holes to fill such as Running back and Quarterback but strengthened key needs for the future season. However, that doesn’t make up for the loss of key players so my overall grade so far is…

Fraser’s Grade: C+
Liam’s Grade: C-

New England Patriots

Biggest move: Loss of Nate Solder

Edelman’s looking for a new roommate as New England say goodbye to Danny

 Waiting for the next undersize, white, Superbowl hero.

The 5x Super Bowl champions have had crazy offseason, as usual. The departure of Pro Bowl and Super Bowl 49 hero Malcolm Butler and shifty running back Dion Lewis to the Tennessee Titans will cause a bit of a sting around the Patriot nation and bring a question to those areas for the future season. However, New England also brought in players to fill holes in much-needed positions even though they only ranked 25thoverall in cap space with $15 million and many unrestricted free agents to resign.

The Biggest loss for the Patriots is the loss Nate Solder who been protecting Brady for 6 years with very little injuries along the way. The former All-Pro left New England to play for the struggling New York Giants and left the G.O.A.Ts blindside protection to experienced left tackle LaAdrian Waddle, who just signed a 1-year extension with the organisation. With the help of legendary offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia Waddle had a productive last season when Solder was injured but will not be able to bring what Solder does to the locker room.

The Patriots filled some holes on defence with the signings of big defensive end Adrian Clayborn and twin brother of Devin, Jason McCourty. The Patriots defence finished 29th overall with the 3rd worst pass defence and 13th worst run defence. McCourty in his last season with the Winless Browns had 14 pass deflections and 3 interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown. His added athleticism and chemistry with his brother should bolster the Patriots pass defence and Clayborn will provide a much-needed improvement to the struggling D-line, partnering with newly acquired former First-rounder Danny Shelton and rising star linebacker Marquis Flowers, who I believe will become a solid, Pro Bowl worthy linebacker next season.

The Patriots offseason is fully underway and the mental genius of Belichick is paying off once again. With the draft coming up New England should look to add another Left Tackle to add to the depth chart rotation and possibly add another late-round Wide Receiver to make up for the recent departure of Danny Amendola and remove some of the strain from Edelman who is returning from an ACL injury this season.

James Harrison is supposedly in talks with New England about re-signing for the 2018 season, and this is a move I would like to see happen. I also would like to see another young quarterback on the roster, because there is no way Hoyer is the future of New England. Bill has supposedly shown interest in Kyle Lauletta from the University of Richmond, so a combination of him and another young gun (Maybe Manziel?) could provide a good competition for second string.

Frasers Grade: B+
Liam’s Grade: B-

New York Jets

Biggest move: Trade up to 3rd overall pick via Colts

Old man McCowan ain’t no Tom Brady

Wait… the Jets done good?

The Jets had a surprisingly good season by their records last year, finishing with a record of 5-11, obviously, in terms of competing teams, this is not a ‘good’ season however many critics were predicting a 0-16 season. I knew what Josh McCown could do though, I always believed in him.

Although Josh had a productive season throwing for an impressive 2926 yards and 18 touchdowns through 14 games, McCowan is not getting any younger and will be 39 this Independence Day. The Jets seem to be looking to re-build and McCowan is not ageing like Brady, so his future in the league is always in jeopardy; the Jets seem to have acknowledged this and made moves in the upcoming draft. The trade to 3rd overall pick is smart as it gives the Jets lots of prospects at quarterback; selections including the controversial Baker Mayfield and USC leader Sam Darnold. Although in the mix, I don’t believe they will get a shot at drafting Josh Rosen who if doesn’t go first pick to the Browns, surely goes second pick to the Giants.

The Jets also signed former All-Pro rookie Teddy Bridgewater who is coming of a near career-ending ACL injury. I like Teddy B and the stats show that he was a good Quarterback throwing for 3231 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2015 (the year before he got hurt). I have a soft spot for the guy but it will be a tough road back to the top and the Jets may still have to look elsewhere for their franchise Qb.

The Jets are rebuilding well but I don’t see them doing anything spectacular this season but give it a season or two and we might see playoff contenders that make the AFC East competitive. If they keep Todd Bowles I don’t doubt they’ll go far.

Frasers Grade: B-
Liam’s Grade: C+

Buffalo Bills

Biggest Move: Trading of Tyrod Taylor

The Buffalo Bills are the new Cleveland Browns

This years 0-16 team, the Cleveland Browns Buffalo Bills

The Buffalo Bills have been very quiet this offseason, most media news from the team has been filled with rookie receiver Zay Jones’s criminal activity rather than trade moves. However, one of the major moves from the Bills is moving on from Tyrod Taylor.

The Bills GM has never seemed to like Tyrod, benching him at multiple points over the past 2 seasons even though Tyrod had thrown for 5822 yards and 31 touchdowns in just 30 games. During these seasons Tyrod also used his athleticism to get out the pocket rushing for 1007 yards and 10 touchdowns. Although maybe not franchise quarterback numbers, it shows that Tyrod is highly productive under centre. The Browns have gotten themselves a quarterback that their inevitable First Round pick rookie can sit under for a year, learning the ropes without the weight of the Cleveland QB curse on his shoulders. Whilst on the other side, the Bills have to put their hopes in either Nathan ‘pick’ Peterman, who will not be able to run a race let alone a struggling offence for a year, or A.J McCarron, the untested, unproven ex-Bengal. The Bill will surely make moves in the draft for a QB however even if they do select a future QB with the 12th Overall pick, the absence of any experienced Qb on the roster to mentor them should send warning signals to Bills fans everywhere.

The only positive thing the Bills seem to have done this offseason is bolstering their defensive line with the addition of Star Lotulelei and Trent Murphy. The Bills placed 29th in rush defence last year so these additions should help fill a huge need. However, although they sorted their defensive troubles up front, the Bills also traded cornerback E.J Gaines to the Browns (who seem to be on an AFC east yard sale) so they will need to pick up another slot cornerback (and if you’re playing the Pats twice a year you need a good one) in the draft or later in free agency.

The Bills offseason, in my opinion, has been woeful so far. They have excellent wide receivers but no solid quarterback to throw to them and have one of the best running backs in the league in LeSean ‘shady’ McCoy but also lost their starting left tackle. The whole organisation seem to be going two steps forward four steps back, taking tips from the Browns it seems. General manager Brandon Beane said “we are very low on money” so the Bills are going to need to perform a miracle in this year’s draft to even dream of making back to the playoffs or even posting a winning season in 2018.

Frasers Grade: F
Liam’s Grade: D-

Stay tuned for your favourite teams’ division that will be coming soon! What would you rate the teams mentioned so far? let us know below!