10:56 AM EST, Tue December 18, 2018
26 mins ago
New England Patriots links 12/18/18 - Players remain optimistic, ‘We will fix this’

New England Patriots links 12/18/18 - Players remain optimistic, ‘We will fix this’

Daily news & links for Tuesday TEAM TALK Erik Scalavino breaks down the Pats-Steelers film: Penalties were a bane of New England’s existence at Heinz Field Sunday. Paul Perillo tells us who won the matchups Sunday: Steelers defense turns back Pats. John Rooke’s View from Above: The real problem, is us. Conference Call transcript: Bill Belichick. Press Pass: Chris Hogan (2.31 min. video) WEEI Patriots Monday: Tom Brady (11.28 min.) - James White (6.32 min.) - Trey Flowers (11.01 min.) - Bill Belichick (16.08 min.) LOCAL LINKS Mike Reiss tries to figure out what’s at the heart...
2 hours ago
J.C. Jackson’s rookie season holds up well when compared to Malcolm Butler’s

J.C. Jackson’s rookie season holds up well when compared to Malcolm Butler’s

Can the current Patriots cornerback find similar success like the former Patriots cornerback? Over the years, the New England Patriots have had plenty of success with undrafted free agents. No fewer than nine players on the current 53-man roster — including starting center David Andrews and special teams standout Brandon King — did not hear their names called on draft day but were subsequently signed by the Patriots. Before them, contributors like Adam Vinatieri, Matt Chatham and Randall Gay also joined the team this way. The gold standard when it comes to undrafted rookie success,...
3 hours ago
What to make of the Patriots’ recent penalty issues

What to make of the Patriots’ recent penalty issues

New England was flagged 15 times on Sunday. One of the New England Patriots’ biggest issues against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday were negative plays. Not only did the team turn the football over and give up almost 7.0 yards per (non-kneel down) rushing attempt, but it also continuously set itself back via penalties. On the day, the Patriots were flagged 15 times — 14 of those penalties were accepted by the Steelers and resulted in a combined loss of 106 yards. In a game as close as Sunday’s this is a problem. What also is a problem that nine of New England’s infractions were...
4 hours ago
The best and worst plays from the Patriots’ 17-10 loss in Pittsburgh

The best and worst plays from the Patriots’ 17-10 loss in Pittsburgh

Let’s take a look at some of the game’s biggest plays. The New England Patriots’ 17-10 defeat against the Pittsburgh Steelers saw plenty of big plays by both teams — with the home team ultimately making more of them to prevail in the end. But which plays were the biggest from the Patriots’ perspective? Let’s take a look at the changes in win probability to find out (percentages via NumberFire). 5 best Patriots plays Q4: 3-8-PIT 13 (9:28) T.Brady pass short middle to R.Gronkowski to PIT 5 for 8 yards. Win probability: +13.94% Down 14-10 midway through the fourth quarter, the...
5 hours ago
Playoff picture: Odds still favor the Patriots to get a first-round bye

Playoff picture: Odds still favor the Patriots to get a first-round bye

New England still has better chances at earning a top-two seed than other teams. Thanks to their 17-10 loss against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the New England Patriots dropped from the second down to the third seed in the AFC’s playoff race. Now, with only two games left in the regular season, the reigning conference champions face a realistic chance that they will have to play on wild card weekend for the first time since the 2009 season: 1. Kansas City Chiefs (11-3) 2. Houston Texans (10-4) 3. New England Patriots (9-5) 4. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-5-1) 5. Los Angeles Chargers (11-3) 6....
14 hours ago
Week 15 Monday Night Football Saints at Panthers: Patriots rooting guide and open thread

Week 15 Monday Night Football Saints at Panthers: Patriots rooting guide and open thread

Use this as the open thread for discussion. The (11-2) New Orleans Saints are on the road to face the (6-7) Carolina Panthers for Monday Night Football. Kick off is at 8:15 PM ET on ESPN. The New England Patriots want the Saints to win because if both teams are eliminated from the playoffs in the same round, the Patriots want to have a worse record and better draft pick. Use this as the open thread for discussion.
16 hours ago
“It’s a lot different”: Bill Belichick won’t compare 2018 and 2009 Patriots

“It’s a lot different”: Bill Belichick won’t compare 2018 and 2009 Patriots

New England’s head coach feels confident in his team. Death, taxes, and the New England Patriots earning a first-round postseason bye: between 2010 and 2017, few bets in pro football were as safe as the Patriots being among the top two teams in the AFC and consistently having one of the best records in the NFL. 2018 — at least 15 weeks in — is different in this regard. After losing yesterday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Patriots will finish the regular season no better than 11-5. While this might still be enough to earn the team a first-round bye after all, it is a...
21 hours ago
Patriots vs Steelers snap counts: New England’s defense went all-in against the pass

Patriots vs Steelers snap counts: New England’s defense went all-in against the pass

Notes on the Patriots’ snap count numbers from their loss against the Steelers. For the first time since 2009, the New England Patriots will finish a regular season with more than four losses: the team dropped its fifth game of the year yesterday against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Let’s take a look at some of the snap count numbers from the team’s 17-10 defeat to get an impression of how the Patriots used their personnel. The Patriots used their entire secondary depth Pittsburgh’s offense has one of the most potent passing attacks in all of football, and the Patriots invested a lot to...
22 hours ago
How can the Patriots’ historically bad run defense be fixed?

How can the Patriots’ historically bad run defense be fixed?

New England has failed to stop the run each of the last three weeks. The New England Patriots had plenty of problems against the Pittsburgh Steelers yesterday, ranging from the offense failing to get into any sort of rhythm to the team shooting itself in the foot with penalties. One of the major issues during their 17-10 loss, however, was a familiar one that has plagued the Patriots during each of their last three games: the defense’s inability to stop the opposing running game. On Sunday, Pittsburgh became the latest team to dominate New England on the ground. Despite missing James...
23 hours ago
Patriots vs. Steelers: Fan Notes from the Game

Patriots vs. Steelers: Fan Notes from the Game

Notes, musings, and observations from the New England Patriots’ 17-10 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Man, that was...something. I can’t remember the last time the Patriots lost two in a row twice in the same season, but here we find ourselves. As the most inconsistent Patriots team of the Brady/Belichick era drops another game, loses the inside track on a playoff bye, and more or less stinks up the joint against a banged up and vulnerable Steelers team, it’s kind of tough to be too upset. There’s just no teeth to this team, and there hasn’t been all year. At no point yesterday...
Dec 17, 2018
New England Patriots links 12/17/18 - Patriots play like a team playing the Patriots in December

New England Patriots links 12/17/18 - Patriots play like a team playing the Patriots in December

Daily news and links for Monday TEAM TALK Post Game Notes: Patriots at Steelers: Brady becomes fourth player to reach 70,000 passing yards. Gamebook: Full Patriots-Steelers stats. Erik Scalavino posts his observations from the press box at Heinz Field: Belief remains as road woes continue. Paul Perillo shares his random thoughts from the Week 15 loss: Offense comes up short in Pittsburgh Andy Hart’s Stock Watch: Run defense, penalties among failures in Pittsburgh. Don Banks Snap Judgments: Musings, observations and the occasional insight as we take stock of a complicating Week 15...
Dec 17, 2018
The Steelers really stuck it to the Patriots

The Steelers really stuck it to the Patriots

The Patriots needed a win on Sunday to maintain the No. 2 seed in the AFC, and the Steelers just flat out denied them. It’s been nearly two decades of being owned by them, but the Steelers finally jammed a knife right into the Patriots’ hearts. If Steelers fans were looking for revenge following last year’s meeting between these two teams — when the Patriots won at Heinz Field after a Pittsburgh touchdown was controversially overturned — they sure did get it on Sunday. The final score? Steelers 17, Patriots 10. Though the score was fairly close, it was pretty evident which team...
Dec 17, 2018
Playoff picture: Loss against Steelers drops Patriots to the third seed

Playoff picture: Loss against Steelers drops Patriots to the third seed

As things stand right now, the Patriots have to play on wild card weekend. The New England Patriots’ eight-year streak of earning a first-round playoff bye is in jeopardy. After the team lost 17-10 against the Pittsburgh Steelers yesterday, it now dropped to 9-5 and the third seed in the AFC’s playoff race. This means that as things stand with two more games left in the regular season, the Patriots would have to play on wild card weekend and host the number six-seeded team. Let’s take a look at how the conference’s current playoff seeding looks like: 1. Kansas City Chiefs (11-3) 2....
Dec 17, 2018
3 winners and 7 losers from the Patriots’ 17-10 loss against the Steelers

3 winners and 7 losers from the Patriots’ 17-10 loss against the Steelers

Without the benefit of a film review, a quick-hit look at who stood out on Sunday. One week after losing in heart-breaking fashion, the New England Patriots again were beaten in a close road game on Sunday. This week, the Pittsburgh Steelers were the team to defeat the reigning AFC champions by winning 17-10. Let’s take a look at those players that stood out during the contest — for better or for worse. Loser: The offensive line Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was just sacked once all game long, but the blockers in front of him still had a rough outing. The group was oftentimes...
Dec 17, 2018
Quick-hit thoughts on the Patriots’ loss in Pittsburgh: Is Tom Brady done?

Quick-hit thoughts on the Patriots’ loss in Pittsburgh: Is Tom Brady done?

Could the GOAT be on his last legs? Is New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady done? The simple answer to the question is “No, Tom Brady is not done.” However, the better question may be, “Is Tom Brady still Tom Brady?” I think the answer to that question is a pretty resounding no. That might seem like a stretch for some of you, but the indications have been there all year long. Let’s think back, how many times have you been truly impressed with the way he played in a game? “He’s still the GOAT,” we’d say, but the play on the field didn’t reflect that recently. He...