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#pounditSunday, January 23, 2022

New England Patriots

Patriots screwed out of turnover on terrible sack call against Chiefs

Patriots Chiefs turnover sack

The New England Patriots were screwed out of a turnover during their game on Monday night against the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Chiefs had the ball with a 3rd-and-4 at their 42 in the second quarter against the Patriots. Chase Winovich wrapped up Patrick Mahomes for a sack, and the Kansas City quarterback threw the ball in desperation. Shilique Calhoun caught the ball for what should have been an interception or fumble recovery, but that wasn’t the outcome the referees decided on.

Instead, the officials blew the whistle as Mahomes was being tackled. The referees later said that they ruled it a sack because Mahomes was in the grasp. That means they stopped the play to avoid Mahomes getting hit any more. That decision wiped out what should have been an interception for the Patriots.

Bill Belichick was not eligible to challenge the turnover because the play was considered to have stopped before then.

Instead of New England having the ball in Kansas City territory, the Chiefs got a chance to punt on fourth down, causing a big change in field position. KC’s punt went into the end zone. The Patriots got the ball at the 35 thanks to an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

New England later drove down the field, but they lost an opportunity for points when Brian Hoyer took a sack to end the half. The veteran quarterback should have thrown the ball away to give New England a chance to tie the game at six.

Patriots, Seahawks deliver another classic game and great finish

Patriots Seahawks Cam newton

The New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks combined to give fans yet another fantastic game.

The Seahawks prevailed over the Patriots on “Sunday Night Football” in Seattle 35-30. They won the game with a defensive stop on a Cam Newton rush attempt near the goal line as time expired.

The ending was reminiscent of the Patriots’ 28-24 win over the Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX, which came down to a goal-line situation. Just when Seattle looked poised to win the game, they attempted a pass at the goal line that was intercepted by Malcolm Butler in the end zone to preserve the New England win.

This time around, the Patriots had the choice to make and put the ball in the hands of Newton. He had 47 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns and was successful all game on the quarterback power run. This time, the Seahawks stuffed him for a loss as he rushed to his left.

Newton played a really nice game otherwise. He was 30/44 for 397 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. He got the team in position to win the game with a great 2-minute drill. New England got the ball at their 19 down by five with 1:42 left. They moved it 79 yards but fell short.

Newton’s primary weapon was Julian Edelman, who had 8 catches for 179 yards.

Cam’s counterpart, Russell Wilson, was spectacular for Seattle. He passed for 288 yards and five touchdowns and overcame a pick-six on Seattle’s opening possession. His touchdowns went to five different receivers. Safety acquisition Jamal Adams led the Seahawks’ defense with 10 tackles, a sack, and two quarterback hits.

Any time these teams want to meet for a game, fans will happily accept it. The only thing missing was the presence of James White, who is dealing with a family tragedy.

Aqib Talib shares great story of Bill Belichick trying to bring him out of retirement

Aqib Talib

Aqib Talib is calling it a career, but he considered returning to his old stomping grounds beforehand.

The veteran cornerback announced his retirement on Wednesday after a 12-year NFL career. As part of his video announcement, Talib revealed that he almost re-signed with the New England Patriots to play one more season. He says Patriots head coach Bill Belichick tried to recruit him.

“My guy, my big homie Bill Belichick called my phone, man, told me that he had the role of a lifetime for me,” said Talib. “He really wanted me to come in and strap tight ends … I was halfway out the door. I got flights. I started finding apartments.

“But then I kinda start going through that schedule [of the Patriots],” Talib continued. “I kinda see [George] Kittle, [Travis] Kelce, [Darren] Waller. So usually when I get in this position, I’m going to a new team, my thoughts are all positive … This time, I looked at this f—ing schedule and I said, ‘Can I even strap these damn tight ends?’ I said, ‘Aw s—,’ it’s over with. Once I said that, once that negative thought crossed my mind, I was like, man, my heart, my competitive edge, like I ain’t really in it like that no more.”

With that type of schedule, it’s no wonder Belichick wanted Talib’s help.

The 34-year-old Talib played for New England for two seasons from 2012 to 2013. He reunited with some of his old Patriots coaches, including Brian Flores, on the Miami Dolphins last season but did not actually play because he was on injured reserve.

Talib finishes his NFL career with five Pro Bowl appearances, two All-Pro selections, and a Super Bowl ring. He also walks away from the game as one of its more entertaining personalities of recent years.

Odell Beckham Jr. pushes back on Patriots rumors after Cam Newton signing

Odell Beckham Jr

Odell Beckham Jr and Cam Newton have been seen training together this offseason, but the former is shooting down any talk that he might join the latter in New England.

In a number of tweets on Monday, the Cleveland Browns receiver pushed back on rumors linking him to the Patriots after they signed Newton to a one-year deal. Beckham also said that he had “unfinished business” with the Browns.

Newton posted a video earlier this month of Beckham catching passes from him on the campus of UCLA. Beckham remains under contract with the Browns through the 2023 season however.

Still, some believe that Cleveland trading Beckham away is an inevitability. For now though, the three-time Pro Bowler does not appear to be wavering in his commitment to the Browns.

Savvy Patriots may have way to regain lost draft pick

Bill Belichick

The New England Patriots have not only been masters on the football field over the past two decades, but they have also shown dominance in their knowledge and understanding of league rules. In fact, they have taken advantage of one particular type of transaction better than almost any other franchise: compensatory picks. And they are at it again.

The Patriots were officially disciplined by the NFL on Sunday for filming the Cincinnati Bengals’ sideline last December. The team was stripped a third-round draft pick for 2021 and fined $1.1 million.

Losing a third-round pick hurts a franchise, but New England may have an insurance policy.

The Patriots also signed Cam Newton to a 1-year deal on Sunday. If Newton plays well next season and leaves after the year, the team would likely receive a 2022 third-round compensatory draft pick in return.

Of course, New England might not let that happen and could franchise tag Newton or try to sign him long-term, but that compensatory pick would be insurance.

Additionally, the Patriots already are projected to receive three compensatory picks in 2021:

– a 3rd-round pick for the loss of Tom Brady
– a 3rd or 4th-round pick for the loss of Kyle Van Noy
– 4th-round pick for Jamie Collins

So, yes, no team likes losing a draft pick, but if anyone has built their team to avoid seeing the worst effects from such a penalty, it’s New England.

NFL says Tom Brady-Buccaneers schedule quirk is ‘coincidence’

Some were quick to notice an unusual quirk in the 2020 NFL schedule. Tom Brady’s new team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, don’t play at the same time as his old team, the New England Patriots, until Week 15. Conspiracy theorists wondered if that was a subtle move from the NFL that would allow Patriots fans to follow their former quarterback without missing any of their team’s games.

Not so, according to NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy. The scheduling quirk is a total coincidence.

“Putting together the 256-game schedule is very complex — it’s a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma,” McCarthy said, via Mike Reiss of ESPN. “The minimal conflicts here are coincidental.”

McCarthy is probably right. A big reason why this is the case is that both teams have five primetime games. That’s ten weeks in which it is impossible for both teams to play at the same time.

Even if this was intentional, there are reasons that Patriots fans should probably be more concerned about their own team than anything Brady is up to in 2020.

Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski have teamed up yet again! Treat yourself or a friend with this great Tampa Fiesta shirt. You can buy it here.

Twitter reacts to Tom Brady, Patriots getting eliminated from playoffs

Tom Brady

The Tennessee Titans beat the New England Patriots 20-13 at Gillette Stadium on Saturday night to eliminate the Pats from the playoffs. The Patriots gave hints towards the end of the season that they were going downhill. From the inability of the offense to produce to the Week 17 home loss to the Dolphins to blow the first-round bye, many saw this coming.

Still that did not stop people from celebrating the demise of New England. Here’s a look at some of the reactions on Twitter to the Pats’ loss:

On top of the loss, there is speculation that Tom Brady’s career with the Patriots is over. Though there has been talk all season that his could be his final year with the Patriots, we still expect him to return to the team.

Bill Belichick reiterates that football staff had ‘zero’ involvement in filming Bengals

Bill Belichick

Bill Belichick addressed the latest videotaping allegations against the New England Patriots almost immediately after they surfaced on Monday, and his stance on the situation has not changed at all two days later.

Belichick was asked on Wednesday about the NFL’s investigation into his team reportedly videotaping several minutes of the Cincinnati Bengals’ sideline during their game against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, and he remained adamant that neither he nor any member of New England’s football staff had any hand in it.

“The football staff and the coaching staff had nothing to do with what happened,” Belichick said emphatically. “Nothing. We have no involvement in it.”

Belichick said the scout who was being filmed for the team’s “Do Your Job” feature was doing just that, his job. He then stopped addressing the situation and said the team’s statement covered everything.

The Patriots have acknowledged that a videographer working for them illegally filmed the playing field during Sunday’s game in Cleveland, but they say it was simply a matter of him not knowing NFL regulations prohibited it. Belichick immediately distanced himself from the incident as soon as it went public, and one report says the cameraman who was filming the field was doing so right out in the open. The NFL may take that to mean he truly was unaware that he was doing something wrong, though the Patriots could still be disciplined because of their history.

Report: Patriots videographer had never worked road game, didn’t know rules

Bill Belichick

The New England Patriots have accepted responsibility for illegally filming the field during Sunday’s game between the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals, but they maintain that the incident was a misunderstanding and had nothing to do with gathering intel. For many, the answer to what actually went on comes down to one question.

Do you really think they would be that dumb?

The Patriots have said in a statement that a member of their video production crew “unknowingly violated a league policy by filming the field and the sideline from the press box.” Ben Volin of The Boston Globe learned a bit more about the videographer, and a source told him he is a full-time employee of Kraft Sports Productions who had previously never worked at a road game. He is apparently allowed to stand and shoot near the bench area (presumably New England’s bench) during games at Gillette Stadium, and the Patriots claim he simply did not know league rules prohibited him from filming the field from the press box.

Skeptics will tell you that sounds like a typical excuse from an organization that is known for finding loopholes and bending the rules. However, if you believe the Patriots knew they were violating the rules and were trying to spy on the Bengals, you must believe they are also one of the dumbest organizations in the history of sports. The Bengals are reportedly “livid” about the filming, which one source described to Volin as “just bold and reckless.”

In some ways, that makes New England’s explanation more plausible. Another source told Volin that the cameraman made no effort to conceal what he was doing, which serves as evidence that the violation was a result of a misunderstanding and not an attempt to cheat.

“You would not go in wearing a Bruins shirt, put a camera on a tripod in the press box, and hope nobody notices,” the source said.

If you want to say Bill Belichick and the Patriots are arrogant enough to do something like that, there is probably no convincing you otherwise. However, it seems unlikely that Belichick would have responded to the allegations as quickly as he did if the filming was part of a directive from him. Wouldn’t it make more sense to get your ducks in a row before commenting if you have something to hide?

The Patriots maintain that they were filming the field for part of their “Do Your Job” documentary. The production crew in Cleveland was supposedly giving a glimpse into how an advanced scout prepares for an upcoming opponent, so perhaps the videographer thought nothing of shooting the field to capture what it is the scout is looking at.

We understand the Patriots have not earned the benefit of the doubt, and they still could face disciplinary action because of their history. Whatever is on the tape the NFL has examined could also tell us more about the incident, but basic common sense would tell you it is at least possible that Belichick and the Patriots are telling the truth this time. If not, it’s amazing they have managed to win six championships while being so mind-bogglingly reckless.

Report: NFL ‘inclined to believe’ Patriots’ explanation for videotaping Bengals

If the New England Patriots face disciplinary action from the NFL over the latest videotaping allegations against them, it sounds like that will have more to do with their history than the actual violation.

The Patriots have released a statement and explained why they had a video crew filming the field during Sunday’s game between the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals, and Ian Rapoport of NFL Media said he has gotten the sense that the NFL is “inclined to believe” this was not an instance of spying on an opponent to gain an advantage.

While the Patriots say the film crew was recording a segment for their “Do Your Job” documentary series, they acknowledged that the crew — which supposedly included independent contractors — “inappropriately filmed the field from the press box.” They also expressed regret over only getting permission from the Browns to film but not alerting the Bengals ahead of time.

Bill Belichick immediately distanced himself from the allegations on Monday, noting that whatever production was being filmed had absolutely nothing to do with the Patriots’ football operations department. If Belichick had a hand in the filming, it seems unlikely that he would deny it that quickly. That could potentially just make the coach look a lot worse down the line, especially given his and the team’s history.

Some of the reports about what was filmed do not sound good for the Patriots, but they are trying to prevent the situation from getting out of control by addressing it immediately. Even if the NFL believes them, they have already admitted some level of responsibility. Fans will expect some sort of punishment.