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Patriots Best Weapon is… A Running Back?

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As the days get colder, snowier, and more miserable I’ve never felt older. Sore, tired, creaky. Just getting out of bed each day is a sad combination of pain and a miracle.  With all that said, I’m younger than Tom Brady. He’s been a pro for most of my adult life.

So as we grow older, we need our shortcuts. We’ve been around long enough to know how to cut corners and still get by. I guess in sports, this can be a  kind of safety blanket.

For 2 years now I’ve been convinced that James White is that safety blanket for Brady. By the eye test the offense runs smoother when White is on the field. Maybe it’s because he’s used during the 2-minute offense, or maybe because he’s on the field when Brady spreads it out.

To me it really seems that White is the best choice when you don’t want to seem predicable.  But what do the numbers say?

So I did what nerds do, I made a spreadsheet. I included the top 4 in touches. And they’re also 4 of the top 5 in total yards, with Dorsett 3rd over Burkhead.

In this spreadsheet I listed some relevant stats. Snaps, rush attempts, targets, reception, catch %, rush yards, rec yards, total yards, rushing first downs, receiving first downs, total first downs, rushing TDs, receiving TDs, total TDs.

I then ranked them in how many categories they came in 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th.

Not very scientific but here’s what I see. Edelman is the clear leader in receiving stats, and Sony in rushing. No surprises there. But White came in 2nd in 9 categories. Edelman is 1st in 8, but that’s because he’s the only receiver on the list. But both him and Jules have 10 categories in either 1st or 2nd. It’s nice to have a great receiver but to quote a great commercial “Why not both?”.

The thing that makes White more valuable is the cornucopia of looks he can give you and the diverse ways he can contribute. I’m not gonna lie. I expected White to have more first down. And Burkhead has much higher averages than I expected.

Last year with Gronk on the roster, the Pats had the luxury to pick and choose moments with White on the field, but with no Gronk, White’s role should be elevated. Gronk is historically a tough matchup for defenses, but now that he’s gone White leaves the hardest matchup for defenses.

Brady is well known for his work ethic. He works harder than anyone else. Not to mention TB12 and his newer methods. But as we get older we need to “work smarter not harder” if we want to last. And while it’s not rocket science, having White on the field more is the smart way to go. Besides all the looks and mismatches he can give, just having that safety blanket Brady can dump off to should keep him on his feet more.

Alright, time for me to ice up.

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Sports

Two Game Home Stand: Buffalo Comes To Town

New York Islanders v Boston Bruins

Our Boston Bruins (13-3-5) return home after defeating the New Jersey Devils 5-3 last Tuesday night to face Jack Eichel and the Buffalo Sabres (10-8-3). Seeing how we have home ice it should be an easy game, Right? The Sabres are a team we shouldn’t be sleeping on for multiple reasons and why they have a good chance of making a run for playoff contention down the road:

1.) We share the same division! While the Boston Bruins are #1 in the Atlantic with 31 Pts, Buffalo is not to far behind with 23. Its important to maintain the lead we have, and play intelligently.

2.) Jack Eichel is dangerous! We all know this, we have seen him play, the highlights, the stats. We know what he can do. But aside from Eichel they (Buffalo Sabres) have other players such as Jeff Skinner, Sam Reinhart, and Ex- Bruins player Colin Miller who have potential to put up points.

3.) With Patrice Bergeron possibly returning to the line up tonight what does that mean for David Krejci who has been stepping up and playing the same line with David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand? With Bergeron’s absence, and Krejci really filling in a big pair of shoes it goes to show that the talent we have on the Boston Bruins travels through all four lines. I have confidence in any line we put out there on the ice, and they will give it all they got. No doubt about it.

Tonight’s game is 7:00PM at the TD Garden- As always feel free to chime in while you’re watching the game. Lets get some talking going on, weather if its over priced beer, or simply stats. 

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Sports

Bruins Look To Get Back On Track

Bruins Devils Hockey

Boston Bruins (12-3-5) travel to face the New Jersey Devils (7-8-4). While the Bruins are going through some struggles and trying to get all their players healthy, New Jersey hopes to get the winning streak rolling with two in a row thus far.

With Tuukka Rask in the net tonight, lets hope he can pull of a great performance like he did on October 12th against the Devils with a perfect 0.00 GAA allowing no goals. Not to mention goals from Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, and Joakim Nordstrom to get the win 3-0.

Major key for tonight’s game, and a pattern we have all been seeing is giving up third period goals. I cant even stress enough on how that is our biggest killer. That’s the main reason right now the Boston Bruins are losing as much as they are, is because of late goals. On top of allowing the late goals the need to tighten up and play more conservative when the time comes. 

On top of the Bruins playing the Devils tonight, that’s just the beginning of a long week the Bruins face. With a game on Thursday at TD Garden against the Buffalo Sabres (10-7-3) and another game Saturday against the Minnesota Wild (7-11-2). Look out for some fatigue in the players, because its going to get busy. 

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Sports

The One Who Got Away: Mookie Betts

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Some may say, “We dont need Mookie, we can trade up to acquire someone who has more time or some who can play equally as good.” That might be true and in a managers point of view could make for a blockbuster trade. But what about what the fans, people who goto Fenway to go see that “one” player feel? To me Mookie Betts will always be a Red Sox.

When I see Mookie Betts, the player that I could compare him to is Red Sox great Manny Ramirez. Sure Manny will be Manny but you compare the numbers Mookie fits right in the shoes and I understand players will come and go but you hate to see some of them leave.

What I am hoping for and what I’m sure the Red Sox Nation hope for is that this off season, President Chaim Bloom can dig us out of the hole Ex- President Dave Dombrowski got us into and make the moves necessary to make the Mookie Betts trade worth while along with other moves.

Along with losing Mookie Betts, and talks about possibly losing Jackie Bradley Jr., and Brock Holt already looking to leave how are we going to get that “All Star” outfield we are accustomed to? Who is able to fill in those key spots? Not to mention restructuring our bull pen? With this off season we can only hope and pray that Chaim Bloom is our man and is able to make the deals to get our beloved Red Sox back on track to winning another World Series.

During this off season be sure to keep track with our stories and feel free to discuss and talk about it with us in depth.

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Sports

Pats Make Statement With A Win In Philly, Defense Leads The Way

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The Pats rolled into Philly this afternoon fresh off a bye week and 2 weeks removed from the waxing they received at the hands of Lamar Jackson and the Ravens. I don’t know about you guys but I was nervous as hell about this week! Although the Eagles are only 5-4, they’re defense has gotten healthier as evidence by the way they handled the Patriots’ offense.

The Pats did manage to put together a couple of nice drives including a 10 play 84-yard drive ending with Jules hitting Dorsett to start the 2nd half. It was encouraging to see them move the ball, sustain 10+ play drives and hit pay dirt. Overall though, we’re still seeing the offense struggle. They don’t look good at all. We’re spoiled here in Boston because we’re used to our teams being the best of the best. Maybe this is what regular teams look like but to me, its not good enough. The offensive line can’t Brady time to find an open guy and on those rare occasions when he had time to go through his reads, Philly’s secondary had things sewn up tight. Is it a lack of talent at receiver position? Does Tom not trust the guys he has to throw those 50/50 balls? That’s a different topic for a different post. 

This is post is about the defense. Make no mistake about it, this W is all about the D. After they got down 10-0 they settled in and started bringing the heat we’re used to seeing from them this season. Wentz was running for his life most of the time and when he did get the ball downfield the secondary had receivers suffocated. Hightower and the boys racked up 5 sacks, 1 fumble recovery and shut the Eagles’ offense down for the remainder of the game. What better way to bounce back from a whoopin’ than to turn up on the road against a tough opponent and dominate the the last 35 minutes of the game.

Now lets be real for a second.. Remember all of those years of the Pats winning shootouts 37-30? Yea, those days are gone. Well, at least for this season anyway. THIS is the way the 2019-2020 New England Patriots have to win football games. In a lot of ways, its more impressive that they won like this. If you’re a Patriots fan, you should actually be excited that they can win these low scoring games, on the road against a good team. The talk after the first 8 games was that the Pats haven’t played a real team yet and when they finally did, in the Ravens, they got beat like they owed John Harbaugh money. They needed this to quiet the naysayers, even if it’s only for a week, who credit their record to their easy schedule. Don’t celebrate too long though because it doesn’t get any easier from here. Buckle up Pats fans.

We’re on to Dallas.

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Sports

Week 11: New England Patriots (8-1) V.s. Philadelphia Eagles (5-4)

New England

Week 11 is underway! Key notes for todays game: After suffering their first loss of the season to the Baltimore Ravens how will the Patriots bounce back? With the Eagles down on RB’s, will playing the air affect their outcome with this years Patriots defense? So many key factors affect todays game but overall I think we are in for a good one.

Patriots Offense: Expect to see Tom Brady target Mohamed Sanu some more but never rule out Julian Edelman or some small yardage running plays. Patriots Defense: With Patrick Chung still ruled out, have no fear! Kyle Van Noy has been doing more and more each week!

Eagles Offense: Carson Wentz to me is a respectable quarterback, and is reliable. However, look for him to throw the ball some but even with Jordan Howard ruled out, resigned Jay Ajayi will run the ball. Eagles Defense: With the pass defense struggling since week one you can also imagine how much damage Tom Brady can do in the air with what arsenal he has. 

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Sports

Boston Bruins Facing Multiple Injuries

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With the Boston Bruins (12-3-4) leading their division, can they hold the top of the league while facing multiple injuries? According to Bruce Cassidy in a pre game press conference earlier today Patrice Bergeron will sit out tonight’s game versus the Washington Capitals along with other players such as Brett Ritchie, Torey Krug, Jake DeBrusk, John Moore, and David Backes. So how will our Bruins do with a handful of top players out of tonight’s lineup against the Washing Capitals (14-3-4)?

With the players mentioned out for the night the Boston Bruins had to make some moves and pull a few players from Providence such as Paul Carey. With a star player out like Patrice Bergeron, Torey Krug, and David Backes will the talent pulled up from Providence be able to hold up and keep up? I sure hope so… Notable moves tonight also include Tuukka Rask on the bench, and Jaroslav Halak playing in the net.

Line 1 will consist of Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak, and David Krejci as well. If you’re watching the game tonight enjoy and as always Let’s Go Bruins. 

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Sports

Pasta, Its What’s For Dinner!

Toronto Maple Leafs v Boston Bruins – Game Seven

You heard of Boston Bruin greats such as Bobby Orr, Cam Neely, Johnny Buyck, Phil Esposito, just to name a few. But with stars such as David Pastrnak, will he be able to fill those shoes of such great legends? I think so… This season alone with 16 Goals in just 18 games leads the NHL and is also not too far away from being a leader in points.

With David Pastrnak being the hero for the Boston Bruins this season thus far who knows how far the five year Bruin can go. What gives Pastrnak an upper hand in the game is sharing the same line with players like Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron, two hockey players who know the game better than most. Sure, he (Pastrnak) has five years under his belt but I feel as if the true Pastrnak is beginning to shine. That is one hockey player you do not want to sleep on, and you can take that to the bank.

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Sports

With Hayward Out, JT Is The Key To a Successful West Coast Trip

Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics, Forward

 Just as he was getting rolling, Gordon Hayward suffered another, while not as severe, injury that will keep him out at least 6 weeks. He was off to a scorching start averaging 19 points 7 rebounds and 4 assists while shooting 55.5% from the floor and 43% from 3 point range. Dude was ballin’.

So with this challenging west coast trip coming up, starting tonight in Golden State, who is the key to a successful trip? We all know Kemba is gonna be Kemba. Halfway through the 4th quarter of every game you look up and say “wait, Kemba has 25 points?”. Jaylen Brown, since that opening night let down, has been stuffing the stat sheet and earning that $100M. That leaves Tatum. Inevitably there are going to be nights when the other guys are off and they’re going to need Tatum to step his game up. 

He’s been averaging 19 points per game but the problem isn’t is point problem. The problem is his efficiency. While he is shooting respectable 42% from 3-point range, he’s shooting 39% from inside the arc. For a guy with his talent, that’s way too low. So many times this season Jayson dribbles the shot clock down, makes a few moves then jacks up a contested shot that has no real chance of going in. What I want to see out of him is better shot choices. With Hayward being out and a tough stretch of games coming up, the C’s are going to need Tatum to play aggressive but efficient basketball. I’ll give him credit, though. Against the Mavs and Wizards he took a couple of ill-advised shots but overall he was aggressive, didn’t settle for the quick 3 and most importantly, he took it to the rack more often than not. That’s what they need. 

The stretch of games coming up include the upstart Suns, Kawhi and the Clippers and the Nuggets. All tough teams that play great defense. A bad shot most likely results in the end of the possession because they’re all much bigger and better rebounding teams than the C’s. We all know the type of talent Tatum has and on this trip its time for him to show it. Now’s the time JT. Now’s the time.

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Ravens Peck Away As Patriots Get Their First Loss Of The Season

New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman, goes airborne after a hit as Baltimore Ravens safety Earl Thomas III (29), cornerback Marlon Humphrey (44) and linebacker Josh Bynes (57) look on during the first half of Sunday nights game, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

The Pats undefeated season came to screeching stop last night as they were unable to stop Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, who pecked through the Pats defense like swiss cheese. 

Baltimore came roaring out at the start of the game scoring 17 points before New England got any points on the board early in the second quarter. The Pats then chipped away at the scoreboard and got within arms reach to end the first half with a score of 17-13 Baltimore. 

The second half was then full of fumbles, penalties and even a rainbow interception from Brady as the Pats got an opportunity to take the lead early in the third quarter…But, with a 70-yard fumble return by Marlon Humphrey and a 5-yard touchdown pass by from Jackson to Nick Boyle early in the fourth quarter the score was only 30-20 Baltimore. 

With being down only 10, Brady and the boys just couldn’t do anything to keep putting points on the board as he threw for an interception with 12:47 left in the game, and went 30 for 46 for 285 yards. 

Jackson then led a 9 ½ minute dancing journey down the field to end with his thrust into the endzone at the 1-yard line. 

Jackson ran for 61 yards and two touchdowns and went 17 for 23 for 163 yards and a score. Mark Ingram ran for 115 yards and piled up 210 yards on the ground. 

New England’s defense came into Baltimore only allowing 7.6 points per game and forced 25 turnovers for a plus-17 differential. The reigning World Champs picked up two fumbles, but they also gave up two turnovers themselves along with a pricey penalty that resulted in Baltimore’s first touchdown. 

The uncharacteristic Pats were penalized seven times for 48 yards. 😳

Baltimore’s defense played a huge role in taking down the champs as Patrick Onwuasor stripped the ball from “Squirrel Man” Julian Edelman in the third quarter as Humphrey snagged the ball and ran it back for a touchdown. Brady did answer back with a touchdown of his own to make the score 24-20, but that’s as close the Pats would get to nipping at the Ravens. 

Baltimore went on to rack up 13 extra points to make the final score 37-20 and put an end to the Patriots perfect winning record.

As the Pats look to put this game in the past, they head back on the road to Philadelphia for week 11 with a fully rested squad coming fresh off their bye week.

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