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Monday, November 18, 2019

Articles tagged: New England Patriots

Eagles TE Dallas Goedert credited with touchdown catch after review

The Philadelphia Eagles almost had a touchdown literally stripped from their hands in the first half of their game against the New England Patriots on Sunday, but the call on the field was overturned.

On 3rd-and-goal early in the second quarter, Carson Wentz completed a pass over the middle to tight end Dallas Goedert, and the ball was ripped away by Patriots cornerback Jonathan Jones in the end zone. Officials ruled it an interception and said Jones gained possession before Goedert completed the process of the catch. Here’s the play:

Everything about that looked like a touchdown. Goedert caught the ball and took two steps before his knee hit the ground in the end zone. At that point, the play was over and the result was a touchdown. As soon as a player breaks the plane with possession of the ball the play is dead, and the fact that Goedert got a knee down before the ball was stripped only helped his case.

We have seen plays in the past where a seemingly obvious touchdown gets overturned, and the NFL has tried — and failed in some instances — to correct that. This is an instance where the officials got it right upon review.

Rob Gronkowski sends Patriots fans into frenzy by teasing ‘big announcement’

Rob Gronkowski

Rob Gronkowski has yet to give any indication that he plans to play football in 2019, but the Pro Bowl tight end continues to keep fans on edge.

Gronkowski shared a video on social media over the weekend teasing a “big announcement” that he can’t wait to deliver to fans on Tuesday morning. Gronk said it is going to be “fun” and “wild.”

Of course, nothing would be more “fun” and “wild” for New England Patriots fans than Gronk announcing he is rejoining the team for the stretch run. Further adding to the speculation is that Gronkowski has until Nov. 30 to decide if he wants to return from the reserve/retired list.

The last time Gronkowski teased a similar announcement was when he revealed he has partnered with a CBD company, so fans should keep that in mind. He knows people are going to assume any big announcement relates to his football career, and he’s smart for using that to his advantage for marketing.

If you want to know what the chances are of Gronkowski making a comeback this year, you probably have to look no further than the recent comments Tom Brady made when asked about him.

Bill Belichick ‘not sure’ if Patriots will attend Colin Kaepernick workout

Bill Belichick

Bill Belichick is essentially in charge of all roster decisions in addition to being the head coach with the New England Patriots, but he claims he does not know if the team will get a closer look at Colin Kaepernick when the NFL hosts a workout for the free agent quarterback on Saturday.

Like many other coaches, Belichick was asked on Wednesday about Kaepernick’s workout. He said he is “not sure” if any representatives from the Patriots will be present and that director of player personnel Nick Caserio would know better than him.

Belichick is one of the most informed and prepared coaches in NFL history, so he would certainly have a say in whether or not the Patriots scout a player. Since most teams spend Saturday preparing to face their Sunday opponent, he and the key members of his coaching staff are not going to travel to Atlanta to watch Kaepernick throw passes. The same is likely true for any other team that isn’t on a bye this week.

This is precisely the reason many believe the NFL is simply holding the Kaepernick workout for show. They basically dumped the plan in his lap and told him to take it or leave it, which doesn’t sound like a genuine effort to get him signed.

We already know of one surprise team that may have interest in Kaepernick, but ultimately the odds remain stacked against him finding work. Any team that wanted to get a closer look at the 32-year-old would have set up a private workout by now.

Pete Carroll takes swipe at Patriots over their strict culture

Pete Carroll

Bill Belichick has established a culture of winning since he took over as the head coach of the Patriots in 2000, and with that comes a level of accountability. Some view that as New England being a place where players can’t have fun, and Pete Carroll alluded to that on Monday.

Tight end Jacob Hollister — a former Patriot — caught two touchdown passes in Seattle’s overtime win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday. When discussing Hollister’s big day and if he has noticed anything about players who come to him after having spent time in New England, Carroll appeared to take a swipe at Belichick.

The implication is that playing for the Seahawks is a lot more laid back, which is probably true. While Belichick’s reputation for being hard-nosed is probably a bit overblown, Carroll is one of the biggest players’ coaches in the NFL. Some players might feel a lot less pressure playing in Seattle than they would in New England.

That being said, the personality we see from Belichick in the media is not the one he has behind the scenes with his players. Very few players who have played for the Patriots in the past two decades have had negative things to say about their time there, and it’s mostly guys on the outside who are critical of the culture. Carroll may pride himself on fostering a more lax environment than Belichick, but The Hoodie has won six Super Bowls in New England. Most players would prefer that over “having fun” and winning one.

10 biggest disappointments of NFL Week 9

Baker Mayfield

We’re officially more than halfway through the NFL season, and it’s becoming quite clear who has a chance to compete in the playoffs and who doesn’t. As the stakes get higher, the disappointments get more extreme, and there was no shortage of letdowns on Sunday, including quarterbacks playing for their jobs and a high-flying offense finding itself completely grounded.

Here are ten big disappointments from NFL Week 9.

Cleveland Browns

The Browns were gifted a matchup with untested quarterback Brandon Allen, who took the reins of an offense that had struggled all season. Cleveland still couldn’t win. They outgained the Broncos, didn’t turn the ball over, and still lost thanks to, once again, some brutal red zone offense. This has been an issue for a while now and is still not fixed. Every week, the Browns seem to find a different way to lose despite all their talent. It’s the mark of a bad football team.

Mitchell Trubisky, QB, Bears

Trubisky’s hold on the starting job has to be tenuous at best by now. He completed just 10-of-21 passes on Sunday, and failed to complete anything beyond the line of scrimmage in the first half. That half was historically bad, in part due to scheme but mostly because of Trubisky’s limitations as a quarterback. It’s not clear how much better Chase Daniel would be for this offense, but he couldn’t possibly be any worse than what Trubisky is doing for the Bears right now.

Adam Vinatieri, K, Colts

Vinatieri looked to have recovered from a major early-season swoon that sparked retirement consideration. The warning signs resurfaced a week ago, when he missed a field goal and an extra point. That was generally forgiven when he made two field goals from over 50 yards, including a game-winner. No such luck Sunday. The laces were in when Vinatieri badly hooked a 43-yard try that would have put Indianapolis ahead with 1:11 left, and he missed an extra point as well. It’s hard to see the Colts running a legend like Vinatieri out of town, but one has to wonder if they’ll ask him to consider his future this week.

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Ravens TE Nick Boyle may have unintentionally given Patriots bulletin-board material

Bill Belichick

The New England Patriots are masters at taking almost anything their opponent says and turning it into motivational material, and Baltimore Ravens tight end Nick Boyle may have done them a favor heading into Sunday night’s big matchup.

There has been a lot of talk about the 2019 Patriots having one of the best defenses in NFL history, and the numbers through the first half of the season support that. They’re allowing an absolutely absurd 7.6 points per game, but Boyle noted on Wednesday that they haven’t really faced a challenge like the one the Ravens will present.

That’s true, and Boyle’s remarks were almost certainly not meant to sound malicious or light a fire under the Patriots. Even Bill Belichick said this week that Lamar Jackson is going to present a big “problem” for his defense, and Pro Bowl defensive back Devin McCourty said he agrees with Boyle.

New England has faced the following quarterbacks so far: Ben Roethlisberger, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Josh Rosen, Luke Falk, Josh Allen, Matt Barkley, Colt McCoy, Daniel Jones, Sam Darnold and Baker Mayfield. That isn’t exactly a lineup of Pro Bowlers, but their defense has been beyond impressive — its been downright spectacular.

In many ways, Sunday will be the first true test for the latest version of Belichick’s defense. That said, no one is going to be surprised if the Patriots completely shut down Jackson and continue their recent trend. Regardless of what happens, you can bet your life they will be turning Boyle’s seemingly innocent assessment into bulletin board material.

Report: Patriots have significant interest in Tyler Eifert trade

Tyler Eifert

The New England Patriots are still searching for ways to bolster their offense ahead of Tuesday’s trade deadline, and one player they have been repeatedly linked to is Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert.

The Patriots are among the teams that have shown the most interest in Eifert leading up to the deadline, Jeff Howe of The Athletic reports. However, the Bengals would have to lower their asking price in order for a deal to happen.

Eifert has finally looked healthy this season, but staying on the field has been a major problem for him throughout his career. The 29-year-old played in just 14 games total from 2016 through 2018 due to numerous significant injuries, which is probably the main reason teams are hesitant to give the Bengals a high draft pick for him.

That said, the Patriots have had a major void at the tight end position since Rob Gronkowski retired. There has been talk of them also pursuing another Bengals player in trade talks, but Eifert would likely come cheaper and could be a natural fit in their offense.