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#pounditMonday, October 3, 2022

Articles tagged: New England Patriots

Mac Jones went all-out with Christmas gifts for Patriots O-line

Mac Jones looks on during a game

Mac Jones is in the first year of his rookie contract and making far less money than many of his teammates and peers. But that didn’t stop the New England Patriots quarterback from showing his offensive linemen this holiday season just how much he appreciates them.

Patriots guard Ted Karras told reporters on Friday that the team’s offensive line got a “big haul” from Jones on Christmas Eve. Karras didn’t go into detail, but he said Jones surprised his protectors with a “myriad of items, each one cooler than the next.”

“It’s one of the best efforts (I’ve seen) — especially from a rookie — to show appreciation and wish us a merry Christmas,” Karras said. “I’m very thankful to him and very glad to be his teammate this Christmas season.”

We’ve seen some awesome gifts from quarterbacks to their teammates over the years. The gifts always go a long way, and it obviously didn’t take Jones long to realize that.

Photo: Nov 18, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) during a timeout against the Atlanta Falcons in the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Randy Moss, Tom Brady had secret meeting year before teaming up

Randy Moss

Tom Brady’s documentary series “Man in the Arena” has given fans a behind-the-scenes look at some of the most memorable moments in NFL history. The episode that aired on ESPN+ on Tuesday night covered the New England Patriots’ heartbreaking 2007 season, and in it was an awesome story about Randy Moss.

Moss was traded from the then-Oakland Raiders to the Patriots for a fourth-round pick during the 2007 NFL Draft. Moss was a disgruntled wide receiver at the time, and many thought he was past his prime. He went on to set records in New England, and we now have a better idea of just how much he wanted to play with Brady.

According to the documentary, Moss snuck into the Patriots’ team hotel in 2006 to meet with Brady and tell the quarterback how much he wanted to play with him. The following offseason, Bill Belichick asked Brady how he would feel about the Patriots trading for Moss. Brady recalled his reaction.

Moss had 1,493 receiving yards and 23 touchdown catches in his first season in New England. The 23 touchdown receptions stands as the record for the most in a single season. We know how much Brady enjoyed playing with Moss, as he even took heat at one point for the way he expressed it on social media.

Moss was 30 at the time of the trade and had a reputation for being difficult to manage. The Patriots ended up trading him to the Tennessee Titans in 2010. Brady has spoken openly about how much it bothers him that the Patriots fell short of a perfect season in 2007. The fact that Moss never won a Super Bowl makes the loss in Super Bowl XLI even more painful for Brady.

Watch: Bill Belichick delivered epic quote in locker room after beating Bills

Bill Belichick smiles in the locker room

Bill Belichick led the New England Patriots to what was clearly one of the proudest wins of his career on Monday night, and the coach delivered the perfect quote in the locker room after the game.

The Patriots were all high-fives and hugs following their 14-10 win over the Buffalo Bills. The game was played in freezing temperatures with winds that gusted up to 50 mph, and Belichick’s team looked better prepared than the opposition. Belichick summed that up with a simple declaration: “That’s why we practice in this s—!”

Belichick has always stressed the importance of practicing outside. He feels that is the only way to prepare his team for any type of weather they might have to face on game day. He spoke about practicing in all of the elements days before the Bills game.

The Patriots threw the ball just three times on Monday night. Bills head coach Sean McDermott may have been in no mood to talk about the tremendous coaching job Belichick did, but New England’s gameplan was a masterclass in adapting to the elements and executing. You can understand why the 69-year-old coach seemed so proud.

Did Bill Belichick hint at Patriots’ gameplan with face mask?

Bill Belichick sports a Navy face covering

Bill Belichick implemented a very simple and specific gameplan to help the New England Patriots beat the Buffalo Bills on Monday night. Those who saw what the coach was wearing on his face before the game may have known it was coming.

Belichick wore a face mask featuring the Navy athletics logo prior to his team’s 14-10 win.

Navy is known for its triple option offense. The Midshipmen rarely throw the ball. Some wondered if Belichick was hinting that he was going to take a similar approach against Buffalo, but that probably was not the case.

Belichick is a huge supporter of Navy football, and Saturday is the big Army-Navy showdown. His father was an assistant coach at Navy, and Belichick spent a lot of time around the program at a young age. He often wears Navy apparel the week of the rivalry game. It just so happens that he got to rep Navy on a night where there were blizzard-like conditions and throwing the ball was almost impossible.

We knew passing would be at a premium because of the weather in Buffalo, but no one expected Mac Jones to attempt just three passes all night. Belichick’s approach was yet another reminder of how hard he prepares for everything, even if the coach on the other side didn’t want to give him credit.

Peyton Manning got shut down by Patriots over Mac Jones interview

Mac Jones looks on during a game

The New England Patriots run a notoriously tight ship. So tight, in fact, that not even Peyton Manning can get any interview he wants.

Manning said on Monday night’s alternate “Monday Night Football” broadcast that he had spoken to Bills quarterback Josh Allen in the leadup to the game. He tried to do the same with Patriots quarterback Mac Jones, but was apparently shut down by the organization’s PR staff.

“I tried to talk with Mac Jones,” Manning said. “He was very respectful. He said, ‘Peyton, I wanna do it. But can you call our PR director, Stacey [James]? Because he kind of has to oversee all things.’ I said, ‘No problem.’ I called Stacey. He was very professional. I said, ‘Stacey, I’m talking to coach Belichick. Can I talk to Mac Jones?’

“I appreciate how they’re handling Mac Jones. They are trying to protect him, give him as few off-the-field distractions as possible, let him concentrate on playing football. So yes, I did get denied. It was the first quarterback I haven’t talked to. But I appreciate it.”

Manning said the Indianapolis Colts had taken a similar approach with him while he was a rookie, and made clear that there were no hard feelings over New England’s stance.

It certainly sounds like something the Patriots would do, though not out of malice. This is an organization coached by a guy who started a “no days off” chant at a Super Bowl victory parade. They will want Jones focused, especially ahead of a big divisional game. That means no Manning interviews.

Photo: Nov 18, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) during a timeout against the Atlanta Falcons in the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Video: High winds lead to incredible opening kickoff on ‘MNF’

Bills kickoff wind

Monday’s game between the New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills is going to be a wild ride. That was easy to see just from the opening kickoff.

Both the Patriots and Bills were forced to play in brutal conditions Monday, with the city of Buffalo under a wind advisory. Gusts were forecast to approach 50 MPH during the game.

It certainly looked it on the opening kickoff, which kicker Tyler Bass casually dispatched into the stands behind the end zone with almost no extra effort.

This was a pretty solid taste of how ridiculous things were in Buffalo. Both passing games were mostly taken away because the wind was wreaking havoc on anything in the air. One can only imagine how New England’s quarterback must feel.

Bill Belichick had been shrugging off the forecast for this game, but it’s pretty easy to see why so many people expected the weather to be an issue.

Patriots LB thinks NFL targeted him with ‘random’ drug test

Kyle Van Noy at the Super Bowl

Many NFL players have openly said that they do not think the league’s drug testing program is truly random, and New England Patriots linebacker Kyle Van Noy is the latest to subscribe to that theory.

Van Noy had his biggest game of the season in Thursday night’s 25-0 win over the Atlanta Falcons. The veteran had two sacks and an interception, which he returned 35 yards for a touchdown. Van Noy was then drug tested on Friday morning, and he didn’t think there was anything random about it.

The NFL has always maintained that its performance-enhancing drug tests are completely random. Many players have their suspicions, however. Myles Garrett has been tested multiple times this year, and he thinks it has something to do with what he wears during games. Heck, even a kicker cracked a joke after he was drug tested following a career game.

If the NFL is basing drug tests off of big performances, Van Noy shouldn’t have been the only Patriot who was asked to provide a sample on Monday. Their entire defense was dominant in a shutout effort.

Photo: Feb 3, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; New England Patriots linebacker Kyle Van Noy (53) against the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Big Super Bowl bet comes in on surprising AFC team

Front of SoFi Stadium

Once upon a time, the New England Patriots were a popular Super Bowl bet. And why wouldn’t they be? The team was a regular in The Big Game, winning six titles from 2001 through 2018. Over that same span, they won the conference championship nine times.

They were a safe bet. Were.

Since then, the Patriots have fallen on harder times. In 2019, they were ousted in the wildcard game and then came the departure of quarterback Tom Brady. In their first season without Brady, New England finished with a record of 7-9 and missed the playoffs.

This season, Bill Belichick’s group started 1-3 and things did not look promising. However, they’ve gone on to win five of their last six games and at 6-4, are just a half-game out of first place in the AFC East.

The sudden resurgence has many — including NBC’s Cris Collinsworth — believing the Patriots are once against Super Bowl contenders.

Accordingly, there are some interesting bets being placed on the Patriots. One such bet came via BetMGM, who saw a $20,000 wager on New England at +2500. The potential payout? A whopping $500,000.

The AFC is the tougher of the two conferences this year, so New England’s path won’t be easy. But the way they’re playing, would you really want to bet against them? At least in one $20,000 case, the answer is “no.”

Nick Saban explains why Mac Jones works so well on Patriots

Mac Jones Superman

It took a few weeks to adjust to the NFL game, but quarterback Mac Jones is now thriving with the New England Patriots. And that does not come as a surprise to his college coach, Alabama’s Nick Saban.

Appearing on ESPN’s NFL Sunday Countdown, Saban explained why the pairing of Jones and Bill Belichick was a match made in heaven.

“It’s not surprising to me that Mac’s doing well,” Saban said. “I think it’s a really good fit with Bill because Mac has the same kind of mindset. He’s a very intelligent guy, he’s very instinctive, he does a great job of preparing for a game and can go out and execute and do what coaches want him to do. So that’s exactly how Bill likes it.”

Through 10 games, Jones has completed 69% of his passes for 2,333 yards, 13 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Perhaps more importantly, he’s led the Patriots to a 6-4 record. They are now just a half game out of first place in the AFC East behind the Buffalo Bills (6-3).

Buying into the “Patriot Way” is difficult for some players, but it’s second nature to Jones. That’s how it was at Alabama and why it works so well in New England.

Cris Collinsworth has ominous Super Bowl prediction

Cris Collinsworth holds a microphone

Cris Collinsworth can already see the stars aligning in one particular way this NFL season.

The veteran NBC sportscaster, who will be on the call for this year’s Super Bowl, shared an ominous prediction to Twitter on Monday.

“I have called 4 Super Bowls, this one will be my 5th,” wrote Collinsworth. The Patriots have been in every one. Just saying…”

The Super Bowl will be aired on NBC this season for the first time in four years. Collinsworth was previously on the call for New England’s Super Bowl wins in 2005 and 2015 as well as their Super Bowl losses in 2012 and 2018.

This year, the Patriots suddenly look good again as winners of their last four straight games. But it would still be a big surprise for them to make it to the Super Bowl with a rookie quarterback in Mac Jones and a roster of largely lesser-known players. The more likely scenario would be for Tom Brady and the defending champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers to make it back to the title game this year. Brady was, of course, in all four of Collinsworth’s previous Super Bowls as well.

In any case, many are probably hoping they don’t have to hear Collinsworth on the call for another New England Super Bowl game this year. After all, he has taken heat before for his pro-Patriots commentary.

Photo: Jan 1, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; NBC Sports broadcaster Cris Collinsworth before the game between the Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports