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Wednesday, 04 October 2017 10:58

Patriots Progress Report – First Quarter

If this first quarter of the season is any indication, 2017 is going to be one hell of an up-and-down roller coaster ride for fans of the New England Patriots.

Considering that there were serious conversations about New England’s chances of running the table before the season started, it’s tough not be disappointed with a 2-2 start. Yes, there have been a number of injury issues that have contributed to these early struggles, but still – sitting at .500 after four games is not where anyone expected this team to be.

That’s not to say that the season’s first month has been all bad. There have been plenty of things to be excited about. And hey – up and down, round and round, it’s still the Patriots.

And now, the Progress Report.

Published in Sports
Wednesday, 03 May 2017 10:24

The newest New England Patriots

Looking at New England’s 2017 NFL Draft

Published in Sports
Tuesday, 02 December 2014 21:12

Patriots Progress Report 2014 Third Quarter

All things considered, the past four games couldn't have worked out much better for the New England Patriots.

The Pats went 3-1 in the 2014 NFL season's third quarter, with only this past Sunday's 26-21 loss to the Green Bay Packers marring an otherwise scintillating month that featured victories over the Denver Broncos, the Indianapolis Colts and the Detroit Lions. Dominant victories at that not one of those three teams finished within three touchdowns of the Patriots.

Published in Report Card
Tuesday, 31 December 2013 00:36

Patriots Progress Report Fourth Quarter (2013)

The months-long grind of the NFL regular season has come to an end. And the New England Patriots have closed it out with yet another strong month. By winning three of their last four, the Patriots once again took the AFC East division title; they also ensured themselves the second seed in the playoffs, guaranteeing at least one home game this postseason.

It wasn't always pretty they led off the season's final quarter with a squeaked-out victory over the relatively hapless Cleveland Brownsa victory in which they benefited greatly from some generosity on the part of the officials. They followed that up with a narrow defeat at the hands of division rival Miami. However, New England was strong down the home stretch, with a blowout win over the Ravens followed by a two-touchdown victory over the Buffalo Bills in the final game of the regular season.

Published in Report Card
Wednesday, 01 May 2013 10:18

Patriots 2013 Draft Review

New England focuses on depth in weak draft

The New England Patriots draft strategy in recent years has involved a lot of wheeling and dealing. Coach Bill Belichick seems to take particular delight in trading down and accumulating more and more future assets. While it certainly makes sense as a long-term strategy, in the short term it can feel a bit frustrating. We want to see the team take shots at top-level players, rather than being content with quantity over quality.

However, in a draft such as this one a draft that is viewed as a relatively weak one at the top the strategy of accumulating value makes a lot of sense. So it should have come as no surprise that New England traded out of the first round; they got a handful of picks from the Minnesota Vikings and fleshed out a draft in which they initially only had a few picks.

Published in Sports
Wednesday, 02 January 2013 15:26

Patriots Progress Report Fourth Quarter

After 17 weeks, the 2012 NFL regular season has finally come to an end. The New England Patriots have once more made their way into the postseason, riding a 12-4 record to the 2-seed in the AFC and a first round bye.

The Patriots finished out the year by winning three of their last four, their only loss coming at the hands of the playoff-bound 49ers. While their win over the Jaguars was lackluster, they looked great in demolishing the Texans and shutting out Miami in the season's last game. The team looks to be in solid shape heading toward the Super Bowl.

Published in Report Card
Wednesday, 05 December 2012 13:58

Patriots Progress Report Third Quarter

What a difference a month makes.

Over the past four games, the New England Patriots have played at an incredibly high level. An argument could be made, in fact, that they have been the best team in football over the past four games. The offense has been as high-octane as ever, while the defense has made a significant turnaround. Add to that some high-quality special teams play and it's no wonder that the Pats have won their last four.

Published in Report Card
Thursday, 01 November 2012 10:31

Patriots Progress Report Second Quarter

We've reached the halfway point of the 2012 NFL season, and the Patriots are once again in their accustomed place atop the AFC East. While their 5-3 record might not be quite what fans were hoping for at this stage of the season, those three losses have come by a total of four points. The team has looked much stronger especially on the offensive side since starting the season at 2-2.

Considering the sad state of the division, it seems unlikely that New England will face much of a challenge to their lead over the second half of the season. Never say never, obviously this team certainly has the potential to become incredibly frustrating to fans. But considering where the Jets, Bills and Dolphins are in terms of talent and tenacity, Pats fans can probably rest easy.

Published in Sports
Thursday, 01 November 2012 10:17

So long, mystique

It's 11 years ago. A young Tom Brady is in his first few games leading the New England Patriots as their starting quarterback. The games are constantly close, the offense is just good enough to get by, but the defense is the real strength of the team. They lead the squad all the way through to a victory over the St. Louis 'Best Show on Turf' Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI.

For the next few years this would be a continuing trend. The offense slowly got better and the defense slightly regressed, but still good enough to win games. To win BIG games. Two more Super Bowls. Then something happened. When the going got tough, the Pats got going back to the team bus, because they just lost a close game. Acting like 12-year-olds watching 'The Exorcist' for the first time and needing a change of shorts when it was all said and done.

Published in The Sports Edge
Wednesday, 17 October 2012 13:46

Football nation

A few weeks ago, the great Bob Ryan of the Boston Globe posited that his city, one of the last holdouts, was now officially a football town. For 140 years, the 'Hub of the Universe' had reserved the deepest of its sports love for the game of baseball, from the National League's powerhouse Braves of the late 1800s through the Americans and Pilgrims, the forerunners of the Red Sox. Generations of fans who followed the likes of Ruth and Speaker, Williams and Pesky, Yaz and Tony C., Fisk and Lynn and even Manny and Pedro had held a stranglehold on the market that even three Patriots Super Bowl wins couldn't wrest away. Then came September of 2011, followed by what we may someday refer to as 'the Valentine year.' And just like that, the Sox (and baseball in general) were relegated to second fiddle status.

Published in The Sports Edge
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