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Tuesday, 03 December 2019 13:56

Patriots Progress Report - Third Quarter 2019

Safe to say that the New England Patriots team of the past four weeks isn’t quite the dominant force it was over the season’s first half. 2-2 isn’t the worst thing in the world – especially if it puts you at double-digit wins – but there’s no disputing that the Pats have come back to the pack.

Much of the onus for that regression has to be laid on the offense – the team has struggled to score and things seem just a bit … off. The defense has largely maintained its high level of performance, though they did show glimpses of what this team might look like if that D struggles.

Still, New England remains comfortable atop the AFC East, with a two-game cushion over Buffalo. This stretch did see them cede their spot as overall top seed in the conference, however. Regardless, this is a playoff team, even if their general performance this last month wasn’t quite up to par.

Let’s look at the month that was, shall we?

On to the Progress Report.

Published in Sports
Tuesday, 29 October 2019 10:43

Patriots Progress Report 2019 – Halftime

What do you even say at this point?

The Patriots somehow managed to dominate the competition even more thoroughly in the season’s second quarter. The last four games have seen New England ruthlessly dispatch every team they faced, never winning a game by fewer than two touchdowns and often winning by more than three.

This team is 8-0 and has yet to really break a sweat. There’s no question that the schedule gets more difficult from here on in – you’d think that there would have to be some regression eventually, particularly on the defensive side. And yet … will there? We’ve never seen anything quite like it.

And if the Pats should fall back to Earth a little going forward, well – we’ll always have the first half.

On to the Progress Report.

Published in Sports

Ho hum – another year, another undefeated start.

Someday, the New England Patriots are not going to be watch-settingly excellent every season. Someday, fans of the team will be left to wonder whether their beloved squad will have what it takes to make it to the postseason. Someday, the regular season outcome will be in doubt.

Today is not that day.

Tom Brady and company have once again started the season by winning their first four games. This initial quarter of the season could not have gone any better, with a trio of dominant performances followed by a hard-fought victory against a Buffalo team that is going to be considerably better than anyone really expected (on the defensive side, especially).

In basic terms, the fundamental goal in football is to score as many points as you can while giving up as few as you can. Simple. And after four games, there’s not one team in the NFL that can say they’re better at those two things together than the Patriots. As good? Maybe. But better? Not a chance.

Welcome back to the Progress Report.

Published in Sports
Wednesday, 05 December 2018 15:13

Patriots Progress Report 2018 - Third Quarter

No one who has been a fan of the New England Patriots for any length of time would view this incarnation of the team as a particularly exceptional one. And yet … they’re 9-3 with an AFC playoff spot well in hand.

This last quarter of the season hasn’t been all that impressive, but the Pats still won three of four games. Sure, the competition wasn’t necessarily top-tier; they beat the Packers, the Jets and the Vikings while losing to the Titans of all teams. It wasn’t exciting football – all four games were won by multiple scores.

But hey – wins are wins.

This team might not be the powerhouse squad to which fans have grown accustomed over the years, but nine wins put New England in the mix for a first-round playoff bye; they even have the edge in potential tiebreakers for the top seed. The ongoing run of excellence continues.

On to the Progress Report.

Published in Sports

It’s safe to say that the second quarter of the Patriots season was a heck of a lot better than the first quarter. After a rough start to the season, New England has cruised to victory in each of the last four games.

They haven’t all been easy. And a couple of them have been quite a bit closer than fans might like. There has been an uncomfortable amount of doing just enough to win – one-score victories over the Chiefs and the Bears left us sweating it out until the end.

But in the end, a win is a win. And four wins is four wins.

The offense definitely picked up steam and the defense held up its end of the bargain (albeit just barely at times). It’s the sort of strong stretch of play against some good teams that instills confidence in the team’s viability going forward.

The .500 team from the first quarter is gone. This is the New England Patriots squad we expected to see – one that appears poised to march to yet another AFC East title and a deep postseason run.

On to the Progress Report.

Published in Sports
Wednesday, 03 October 2018 12:26

Patriots Progress Report 2018 – First Quarter

It seems like just yesterday that the Patriots were utterly failing to stop the Philadelphia Eagles offense in the Super Bowl. And yet here we are, already a quarter of the way through the new season.

It has been a rocky road for the Pats thus far – and that’s putting it in far gentler terms than some of the team’s more hardcore supporters might. It hasn’t been an outright dreadful start, but considering the expectations, 2-2 isn’t exactly great.

New England has only looked really good once so far, and that was against a suspect Miami team. They were OK at best against the Texans and worse than that against the Jags. And of course, they were awful against the Lions.

Add it all up and it starts to look like maybe this season won’t be the cakewalk to the playoffs that many of us anticipated. Still, what’s done is done – let’s look back at how we got here.

And now, ladies and gentlemen - the Progress Report.

Published in Sports

There’s no question that the New England Patriots finished out the 2017 regular season strong.

The final four weeks saw the Pats put up a 3-1 record – including winning their final three in a row. It was more than enough to put them at the top of their division. Not only did they win the East, but they’re the top seed in the AFC, currently looking forward to a first-round playoff bye.

In the season’s final four games, New England found their way to victory even when certain parts of the team weren’t necessarily performing at an optimal level. This is a squad that never really put it all together in the final month, yet here they are, a championship favorite.

Even with an uneven performance in recent weeks, the Patriots still look poised to make some noise. Let’s look back at how they got here. After all, this feature is about what has been, not what is yet to come.

On to the Progress Report.

Published in Sports
Wednesday, 06 December 2017 11:49

Patriots Progress Report 2017 - Third Quarter

It seems safe to say that the New England Patriots are currently firing on all cylinders.

The Pats have looked dominant in winning their last four games – a stretch that runs their overall streak to eight straight. Sure, their opponents haven’t been great teams, but wins are wins.

It looks as though New England has things figured out on both sides of the ball. The struggles of the season’s first month are little more than a fading memory at this point – this team looks very much like the squad that had pundits drooling in the preseason.

Will they be able to keep it up against a higher echelon of competition? That remains to be seen. But right now, we’re talking about what has been, rather than what will be.

And what has been is four wins. Another great month.

On to the Progress Report.

Published in Sports
Wednesday, 01 November 2017 12:04

Patriots Progress Report 2017 – Second Quarter

The second month of the NFL season has been awfully kind to the New England Patriots.

The Pats had some struggles in the first few games of the season, managing just a 2-2 record to go with an inconsistent offense and a defense that bordered on the abysmal. These last four games, however, have been a success – particularly when it comes to that most important statistic: wins.

Published in Sports
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
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