Week 1 vs. Houston--Redemption

RedOctober3829

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The end to last year sucked but it's time to start writing a new story for 2018. I'm cautiously optimistic about the defense this year. There should be an improved pass rush and improvements in the secondary simply due to health. Hopefully, Gilmore steps up from the start of the season and becomes the shutdown corner he can be and that a healthy Rowe/JC Jackson and the new guys add a coverage ability that wasn't there at the biggest game of the season. The defensive line should be improved with the addition of a run stopper like Danny Shelton and pass rusher Adrian Clayborn. I'm hoping Flowers is ready to go. The linebackers have questions but I've liked what I've seen out of Bentley and Van Noy in the preseason. I'm just hoping that Hightower was easing his way back in because he looked much slower than he has been. Just hope that all these injuries haven't taken a toll on him and that his decline is starting.

Offensively, I'm just thankful I still get to watch the best to ever to do it do his craft. With the question marks at receiver, Tom will have more on his shoulders to gain chemistry with everyone and make things work. I think the offensive line, if healthy, can be the biggest strength of the unit outside of Brady. The Patriots may have the best interior OL in the league currently with the trio of Thuney/Andrews/Mason given Travis Frederick's issues in Dallas. Andrews is highly underrated IMO and Thuney gets too much crap for the level of performance he puts on tape. It's also exciting to think about what can be done with the stable of backs. Both Rex Burkhead and Sony Michel were FULL participants today in practice. Each player brings a unique skillset that can be utilized. The big boy at TE is going to have his best season yet. I'm intrigued to see what wrinkles McDaniels throws into the game plans to utilize Patterson. Can Dorsett step up to provide another reliable target after being in the system for a calendar year? It was always tough to expect much from him last year but should be all ready to go this year.

There's certainly question marks abound with this team but Week 1 is time for positivity. Houston is a very good team and provides a extreme test for where the Pats are at to start the year. I'd rather have these type of teams like Houston and Jacksonville to start the year than bad teams. It tells you exactly what the flaws are. I'm jacked to get this season going.
 

Ale Xander

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By the hand of the Almighty [BB], we forward in this generation triumphantly.

 

Super Nomario

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Very curious how they do against Watson. He carved them up last year. They have not been effective against mobile QBs in recent seasons, and they face a bunch this year.
 

Super Nomario

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That's the biggest issue this week. In practice, they've had Keion Crossen mimicking Watson in D-line drills as they attempted to keep him inside the pocket.
Keeping him in the pocket is great, but IMO part of the problem in the past has been that they're so focused on keeping the QB in the pocket that they've applied zero pressure and he's carved them up. Watson's longest run was 7 yards last year but he threw for 300 yards on 33 attempts.
 

RedOctober3829

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Keeping him in the pocket is great, but IMO part of the problem in the past has been that they're so focused on keeping the QB in the pocket that they've applied zero pressure and he's carved them up. Watson's longest run was 7 yards last year but he threw for 300 yards on 33 attempts.
They need to get a pass rush on the inside in order for the ends to surround him. When there's no pressure up the middle, as you know, QB's can just stand back there and pick defenses apart.
 

BigSoxFan

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Hope Michel is active but I'm not against giving him one more week to get ready. We really need him to be a playmaker this year.
 

mwonow

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I think Michel (knee) is going to be a weekly entry this year.

Hopefully, it's like Brady (shoulder) was a few years ago, and not a serious constraint
 

normstalls

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Anybody know what or how ESPN did their strength of schedule ranking in their 'Mega Preview'?
It has Pats at 32. I am not sure if that means easiest or hardest and I am not sure if I trust ESPN at all anyways.... but I was curious.


http://www.espn.com/espn/feature/story/_/id/24444906/2018-mega-nfl-preview-projecting-1-32-teams-rankings-predictions-breakouts-fantasy-stars#


Comparison sake, here is another ranking with the Pats more or less in the middle.
https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/2018-nfl-strength-of-schedule-texans-have-it-easiest-packers-face-roughest-ride/
 

Kliq

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My understanding is the Pats have a difficult schedule but is buoyed by the AFC East teams. In addition to the playoff teams; they have a few contests against teams that likely could have made the playoffs last season if it wasn’t for injuries; such as Green Bay and Indy.
 

tims4wins

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Barnwell does one based on last year's pythag, which at least is a little more accurate. Not sure if he publishes the full list though.
 

RedOctober3829

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NYC gets screwed again with the archaic blackout rules. Giants are on at 1 so CBS is running Chiefs-Chargers in NYC late. No 1 pm game.

01-CBS-V2.png

Houston-NE: Red
KC-LAC late: Purple
Pit-Cle: Green
Buf-Bal: Yellow
Cin-Ind: Brown
 

Jed Zeppelin

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Is Sunday Ticket free this week? Otherwise it’s open house shopping time.
On a similar note—what is the best way to listen to an out of town game on one's mobile device? I will...*gulp*...be attending a different game.
 

DaveRoberts'Shoes

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I’m on call thia weekend so I’m starting gameday by fixing a hip fracture but I’ll be out of here by 10:30 at the latest and we should be cruising into Gillette right before kickoff. Less than ideal, but I’ll make it work
 

Mystic Merlin

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Not feeling super confident about this one. Watson is a marvelous player, and the Houston front - which has given the Pats problems at times - is formidable.

This game might require a key two minute drill, and/ or may be a shootout. Not sure I am confident (yet) that we have the secondary targets at receiver that you need to win in either of those scenarios. I mean, Gronk, Burkhead, White, and Hogan can’t catch 35 passes between them.

For that matter, I gotta say that I’m skeptical that Hogan can consistently win against Joseph or Johnson.
 

Ale Xander

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I'm almost thinking White and Burkhead need to combine for 15/180 (in the air) for them to win tonight.
 

BigSoxFan

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I’m sick of the city of Houston. Pats better show up although, like many others, I’m not overly confident. Maybe the defense will surprise us. Or something.
 

RoyHobbs

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Pg. 35 of "Win it For"
I've been feeling all week this could be like the 2012 home opener. They were flat in that game.

Glad they're back and can't wait to see what Patterson is able to do.

Edit - "home" opener
 

IdiotKicker

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Perfect day for football. I haven’t been that excited about this season, probably because of the Pats drama, NFL generally being shitty about most things, and also the fact that my Celtics infatuation seems to make everything else less important eight now. But just the weather has me fired up for this game now for some reason. Let’s party.
 

Mystic Merlin

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Rivers inactive? It’s not like they’re 5 deep at DE, does this mean they’re only dressing Flowers, Clayborn, and Wise in terms of guys who profile at DE?

I suppose Hightower could get some play as a rusher, but do we really want Van Noy spying?

Might be a big nickel game with Chung as a spy/lurker.
 

NJ_Sox_Fan

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Hopkins will torch them at least twice but Brady gets it done with Gronk, White and Hogan. Pats are scoring 35+
 

SeoulSoxFan

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Besides Brady's ability to make soup out of sludge, I'm counting on the front-seven to control this game.

And hoping Watson's ACL has a couple of more weeks to get in game shape.

LET'S GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!