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Patriot Problems: What Has Caused Poor Start to 2014 and What Can be Done to Fix It

By on October 1, 2014 at 9:30am
bleacher report The Patriots have Struggled in 2014. Some of their problems have been years in the making while others have been a surprise. They do have time to correct things however. Photo Courtesy of Bleacher Report

The New England Patriots are sitting at 2-2 following a blowout, 41-14 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday night. The Chiefs were able to do anything they wanted against the Patriots throughout the game on both sides of the ball and they made the Patriots look like a cellar dweller instead of a perennial contender. Despite having two wins thus far, the Patriots have not looked good on both sides of the ball for an entire game to open the season. There are many causes for this, some with short term fixes and others with more long term questions. The three issues of focus that have come to mind are personnel, coaching, and fundamental play on the field.

Personnel

The hallmark of the Patriots the past 14 years has been the ability to draft well, spend frugally, and cut bait with veteran players just as they were about to decline. Despite this reputation, the Patriots front office has been inconsistent for nearly eight years now, far removed from the 2000-2005 days when seemingly ever personnel move worked. Continue reading Patriot Problems: What Has Caused Poor Start to 2014 and What Can be Done to Fix It »

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Cardinals vs Bengals: Week 4's prediction for the Super Bowl

For most teams, the NFL season is already a fourth of the way done. The Raiders have a new coach. Seattle has already suffered a rough upset. Injuries are continuing to be an issue across the league. All the domestic violence in the news has led to stars being cut or banned and multiple press conferences where everyone refuses to answer questions. The league doesn’t now how to send good teams to London. New England looks almost useless after trading away Logan Mankins (which is about more than missing one player). With various kinds of turmoil going around already, this is a great year to unseat perennial favorites, so let’s look at what would happen if the playoffs started as of Tuesday, September 30: Continue reading If the Playoffs Started Today – NFL Week 4 »

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A dejected Tom Brady sits on the bench as the Patriots were embarrassed by the Chiefs on Monday Night. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

That was the ugliest game in the Tom Brady, Bill Belichick era of the New  England Patriots. It’s safe to say everyone is feeling better about that 16-9 win last week after witnessing the primetime beatdown in Kansas City. The offense was nonexistent and the defense had no answer for whatever the Chiefs decided to throw at them. The Patriots already had a ton of questions going into the game on Monday night. All that game did was put all of those pre-existing concerns under the microscope of Monday Night Football.

- As everyone has seen all season, this offensive line is a huge problem. Tom Brady has a few good years left and so far all indications are he will be spending this year running away from defenders. They decided to switch things up last night and allow two rookies to start. Bryan Stork got the start at center while Cameron Flemming started at right guard. The starting line is irrelevant because by the time all was said and done Marcus Cannon subbed in for Sebastian Vollmer and Nate Solder on two separate occasions. That tells you all you need to know about the offensive lines performance last night. Clearly they are still unsure what their best combination is, but so far none of the options they have been trotting out there have done the job. At this point in the season it’s tough to find anything in free agency and few teams would be willing to trade away starting caliber offensive lineman during the season. The Patriots are one of those teams. Continue reading Notes and Observations Week 4: Chiefs Embarrass Patriots in 41-14 Blowout »

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Patriots, Chiefs

PATRIOTS STARE DOWN THE GUN OF A 9-7 SEASON

1. MISC

* Patriots need toughness and now (fullback Sherman went for Hightower’s knee – that should have been a fight!) – Browner better show up this week and starting throwing haymakers in practice

* Blue Hoodie

* Patriots falling all over the place – change your spikes and compete!

* Edelman the only fighter on that team: Fought to make the tackle on interception, fought for the fumble in the end zone, amazing down field block on a Lafell screen

2. OFFENSE

* If you did the Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument test on Josh McDaniel you would find that he has no creativity or imagination

* No hurry up?

* Yet another half shutout under McDaniels

* Three and out yet again on the first drive (remember when Ramon Martinez struggled in the first inning so they simulated an inning in the bullpen – try something) Continue reading Connelly’s Top Ten: The End for Tom Brady and the Patriots? »

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Get your free money!

I was out of commission this past Sunday, but I saved my lone and best bet of the week for last. Tonight, the New England Patriots will be traveling to play at a hostile environment against the Kansas City Chiefs, and I believe the Pats at -3 are a steal. I believe this line should be New England -6, so this betting spot should be taken advantage of by the betting world, (especially in the New England area).

The Pats have looked sluggish through the majority of the season other, with week two being an exception. New England only beat the lonely Oakland Raiders 16-9 last week at Gillette Stadium, but I think that poor performance is just what the doctor ordered for the Pats.

There is no way that Bill Belichick will allow his team to have another lackluster performance after what they displayed against the Raiders. New England will be paying attention to detail, (especially on the offensive side), as I believe tonight’s game is the most difficult test they have faced the first four weeks of the season. There have also been stories about tonight’s game being the loudest Chiefs home game in their franchises history. It is always tough to win a game at Kansas City, but New England will lean on their stingy defense, as they have all season. The Pats have had to lean on their defense, as the offense has been pitiful to put it nicely. The New England defense is the reason why they have a 2-1 record. The Pats defense has struggled in stopping the run, and the Chiefs will most likely have their most dangerous weapon back in running back Jamaal Charles, which on the surface looks like it could be problematic for New England. I believe the Patriots will do as good job in limiting Charles production and leaving the game into Alex Smith’s hands. I think Tom Brady will take advantage of a depleted Chiefs defense, and will turn red zone drives into touchdowns rather than field goals. The New England offense is going to propel them to a 30-21 victory tonight.

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When he was drafted in the fourth round of the 2014 draft, Bryan Stork had the distinction of being the highest interior offensive lineman drafted by the Patriots since they took Logan Mankins in the first round in 2005. A Rimington Trophy winner as college football’s top center, he was considered to be a potential starting center for the Patriots. His offseason and training camp were derailed by injuries and has not begun to see meaningful action until the past two weeks. It may however, be time for the Patriots to make him a starter.

Continue reading Why It’s Time for the Patriots to Start Bryan Stork »

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Vince Wilfork, Sealver Siliga

When the Patriots face the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday night, they will face one of the most potent rush offenses in the NFL. In a Monday night game on the road it will be important for the Patriots to set the physical tone on both sides of the ball. Despite the Chiefs being 1-2, they have one of the best home field advantages in the NFL and the New England defense will need to contain the Kansas City running game to keep the Chiefs out of rhythm and off balance.

The Chiefs have All-Pro running back Jamaal Charles at the top of the depth chart, but he was sidelined last week with a high ankle sprain and may miss this Monday’s game as well. What did the Chiefs do in Charles absence last week? They rushed for 174 yards and scored two touchdowns on the ground. They also averaged 4.1 yards per carry. Continue reading Patriots Run Defense Will Face One of the Season’s Biggest Tests in Week Four »

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