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Archive for October, 2012

Patriots Fourth And Two: Patriots vs. Rams Preview

In this episode we first looked back at the Patriots 29-26 overtime victory against the Jets. Later on we previewed the upcoming game against the Rams. Please do take a listen.

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Steve Nelson On Patriots Fourth And Two

In this special episode of Patriots Fourth And Two, we had the privilege of interviewing Patriots Hall Of Famer Steve Nelson.

We discussed several subjects, which included his time as a player, and also his thoughts on this current Patriots team. Please do take a listen.

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My Five Keys To Victory For The Patriots Against The Jets

The Patriots are coming off of a disappointing 24-23 away loss against the Seattle Seahawks. They are looking to bounce back at home on Sunday against the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium. Here’s a preview with my five keys to the game that I hope will lead to a Patriots victory.

WHERE TO WATCH: The game will be shown live Sunday on WBZ-TV at 4:25 PM EST. You can also listen to the game on 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston.

GAME NOTES: The Jets are coming off of a convincing 35-9 home victory against the Colts. The visitors are now 3-3, and even with the Patriots in the AFC East.

On defense, even without Darrelle Revis, the Jets are still very strong in pass defense, as they are only giving up 209.3 yards per game, and are sixth in the NFL. However, they have been terrible in rush defense, as they are giving up 150.5 yards per game, and are currently 28th in the NFL in this category.

The real strength of this defense has to be the linebackers, and David Harris I feel is one of the best in the game. In the secondary, a player that has really stepped up has to be cornerback Antonio Cromartie, and he already has three interceptions this season.

On offense, this unit is really struggling, and it starts with their leader. Quarterback Mark Sanchez is currently at 49% for pass completions which is horrible, and his pocket presence has been poor this season.

In the running game, Shonn Greene has not progressed to become an elite running back, and only has a 3.5 yards per carry average. He will need to have a better average against the Patriots if he expects the Jets to win.

The Patriots have not been able to finish off a few opponents this season, and they will need to against a Jets team that might be a little down, but will be ready to play. I see the Patriots winning this game, but it might be harder than many fans think.

Here are my ‚Äúfive keys‚ÄĚ which I believe could play a role in a potential victory for the Pats.

1. The Patriots need to run early and often in this game. With the Jets being 28th in the NFL against the run, this is a no brainer. I would take the approach the Patriots offense had against the Broncos, and run it until the Jets can prove they can stop it. I expect Stevan Ridley to have a huge game.

2. The Patriots need to feature the “hurry up offense” in this game. Apparently there has already been some chatter from a Jets player complaining about this style of offense for the Patriots. If one player is discussing it publicly, it tells me that it could be on more of the players minds.

This offense can set the tempo, and get this unit moving at a nice pace, and it also can tire out a defense. I say you feature it often as I have a feeling it will help the Patriots control the game.

3. Wes Welker needs to be featured in the passing game. Without  Revis, you could see Cromartie lined up on Welker, and this could be a mismatch. Cromartie does seem to struggle against the quicker receivers. Even if the Jets put Kyle Wilson on Welker, he should have the ability to get open often in this game, and move the chains.

4. The Patriots need to take away Jets tight end Dustin Keller in the passing game. As I have stated week after week, the tight end is the security blanket for many quarterbacks. Keller I feel is one of the best, and is back after being injured in the beginning of the season.

In the past, Sanchez has gone a great deal to Keller to move the chains. The Patriots did a great job against him last year, and will need to do it again on Sunday.

5. Chandler Jones has to be a disruptive force on the defensive line for the Patriots. As stated earlier, Sanchez has very bad pocket presence, and can get happy feet. If Jones can put pressure on the quarterback, it could lead to mistakes in the passing game for the Jets.

Last season, Andre Carter had a great game against the Jets, and really got after Sanchez. If Jones can do the same, it could go a long way in helping a struggling secondary.

Now, I know that many might think this could be a rout for the Patriots. I just don’t see it that way, as both teams know each other so well, and I expect the Jets to bring their best.

With that said, I see the Patriots getting a late touchdown in a game that could be very tight. I am predicting a 24-17 Patriots victory against the Jets.

What are your predictions? Feel free to post them in the comments section below.

Also, please feel free to listen to a preview of the upcoming game from the radio show Patriots Fourth And Two.

Listen to internet radio with PatriotsFourthAndTwo on Blog Talk Radio

Patriots Fourth And Two: Patriots vs. Jets Preview

In this episode we looked back at the Patriots 24-23 loss to the Seahawks. We also looked forward to the upcoming game against the Jets.

We were also joined by two guests as Erik Frenz of The Bleacher Report came on at the beginning of the show, and Jeff Capellini who covers the Jets for WFAN.com was on as a guest halfway through the episode. Please take a listen.

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My Five Keys To Victory For The Patriots Against The Seahawks

The Patriots are coming off of a convincing 31-21 home victory against the Denver Broncos. They are looking to continue some momentum this season as they are away this Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks at Century Link Field. Here’s a preview with my five keys to the game that I hope will lead to a Patriots victory.

WHERE TO WATCH: The game will be shown live Sunday on WBZ-TV at 4:05 PM EST. You can also listen to the game on 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston.

GAME NOTES: The Seahawks are coming off of a 16-12 road victory against the Carolina Panthers. The home team is 3-2, and has been improving as the season has progressed.

On defense, this season statistically Seattle has one of the best defenses in the NFL, as they are second in the league holding opponents to 14 points per per game. They are also limiting teams to 258.6 yards per game, which is first in the NFL right now. This defense should be a huge challenge to the Patriots high powered offense.

The defensive line is excellent and has two players that can really get after the quarterback. Defensive end Chris Clemons already this season has 5.5 sacks, and also another intimidating defensive end is rookie Bruce Irvin has 4.5 sacks this season.

The secondary is led by two excellent cornerbacks, and they are Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman. These players are tall and physical which could pose a few problems to the Patriots wide receivers.

On offense, this unit is a work in progress, and is led by rookie quarterback Russell Wilson. He does have a very good receiver to throw to on the outside, and that is Sidney Rice.

The biggest threat offensively for the Seahawks has to be running back Marshawn Lynch. The Seattle running back already has 508 yards this season, and does have the ability to take it to the house. The Patriots defense needs to contain Lynch on Sunday.

Any road game has its challenges and going to Seattle has a few. The crowd noise is immense, and they do have a very tough defense. However, the Seahawks offense I feel will have a tough time scoring points, and that is why I think the Patriots will return home to New England with a victory.

Here are my ‚Äúfive keys‚ÄĚ which I believe could play a role in a potential victory for the Pats.

1. The Patriots need to run the ball on offense to set up the play action in the passing game. The Seahawks defense is third in the NFL in rush defense as they are only giving up 66.6 yards per game.

However, for me it is not really about the yardage for the Patriots against this defense. Running the ball with a decent amount of carries should open up the play action passing game, and that is where the Patriots could be really dangerous. It might be tough to run on Seattle, but for me it is necessary to try often, as it could help to open up the rest of the offense.

2. The Patriots offense needs to take advantage of the middle of the field in the passing game. The Seahawks have tall cornerbacks that should take away the “outside of the numbers” passing game.

That is fine because the Patriots should be able to work the middle of the field with Wes Welker and Rob Gronkowski. I question the ability of Seattle’s linebackers and secondary to cover “in between” the numbers.

3. The defensive line need to push the pocket back and get their hands up. Wilson is a shorter quarterback who is under six feet tall. If players like Vince Wilfork can get a push on the offensive line, it could make it difficult for Wilson to actually see his receivers, and properly get the ball out.

4. The Patriots need to take away Seahawks tight end Zach Miller in the passing game. As in several games this season, the tight end is the security blanket for the quarterback. If the Patriots secondary can take away Miller, Wilson might really be in trouble converting third downs, and moving the chains.

5. The Patriots need to limit running back Marshawn Lynch. The Seahawks running back is one of the best in the game right now. He is a power back that if he get through a hole, could have some long runs. The defense needs to force him to go sideways towards the outside and make the tackle.

Now, I do respect the defense of the Seahawks as they do provide some challenges for the Patriots offense. However, over the course of the game, I can see the Patriots wearing down this unit.

I also think the Patriots defense will have a big game against an inferior offense. If the Patriots can contain Lynch in the running game, and Miller in the passing game, the Seahawks should really struggle to score points.

With that said, I see the Patriots pulling away in the second half with a comfortable win. I am predicting a 28-17 victory for the Patriots against the Seahawks.

What are your predictions? Feel free to post them in the comments section below.

Also, please feel free to listen to a preview of the upcoming game from the radio show Patriots Fourth And Two.

Listen to internet radio with PatriotsFourthAndTwo on Blog Talk Radio

Patriots Fourth And Two: Patriots vs. Seahawks Preview

In this episode we first looked back at the Patriots 31-21 victory against the Denver Broncos. In the second half of the show, we previewed the upcoming game against the Seattle Seahawks. Please do take a listen.

Listen to internet radio with PatriotsFourthAndTwo on Blog Talk Radio

My Five Keys To Victory For The Patriots Against The Broncos

The Patriots are coming off of a dominating 52-28  away victory against the Buffalo Bills. They are looking to build some momentum this season as they are home this Sunday against the Denver Broncos at Gillette Stadium. Here’s a preview with my five keys to the game that I hope will lead to a Patriots victory.

WHERE TO WATCH: The game will be shown live Sunday on WBZ-TV at 4:25 PM EST. You can also listen to the game on 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston.

GAME NOTES: The Broncos are coming off of an impressive 37-6 home victory against the Oakland Raiders. The visitors are 2-2, and have been improving it seems from game to game.

On defense, the defensive line is solid, and is lead by defensive end Elvis Dumervil, who has the ability to be a game changer, and already has 2.5 sacks this season. Patriots offensive tackle Nate Solder will have his hands full on Sunday containing this player.

Another player to watch in this game is outside linebacker Vonn Miller, who already has three sacks. He can bring the pressure from the left side of the defense.

The secondary is still led by cornerback Champ Bailey, who is still one of the best in all of football at his position. I would advise Patriots quarterback Tom Brady to avoid throwing anywhere near this player.

On offense, this unit is led by quarterback Peyton Manning, who is still one of the best ever. He is only getting better each game he plays, and still such a threat to hurt you offensively every time he is on the field. His completion percentage rate is at 64 per cent, which tells me he is still extremely effective.

In the running game, Willis McGahee is still a very dangerous back, as he is averaging 4.7 yards per carry. The Patriots front seven will have to contain this running back.

In the passing game, the Broncos have two accomplished wide receivers, and they are Eric Decker and Damaryius Thomas. However, the Patriots also need to be concerned with tight end Jacob Tamme, who can be a dangerous weapon for Manning as well.

This is an important game for the Patriots at this stage of the season, and I do see them getting the victory eventually, but it certainly will not be easy. Whenever you face Manning, you know it is going to be a difficult game until the end.

Here are my ‚Äúfive keys‚ÄĚ which I believe could play a role in a potential victory for the Pats.

1. The Patriots Offensive Tackles will have to do an exceptional job in pass protection. This was a key last week, and it certainly deserves to be one this week as well. The Patriots tackles are facing two exceptional pass rushers in Miller and Dumervil.

Nate Solder and Sebastian Vollmer both did an excellent job against the Bills last week. Brady will need some time to throw the ball, and the tackles will have to do their job again well on Sunday.

2. The Patriots offensively need to pick their spots with the running game. The Broncos are 9th in the NFL in defensive rushing yards with only giving up 87.5 yards per game.

I think the Patriots need to find the right situations to run the ball against an accomplished defense. If the Broncos use sub packages a great deal in this game, it could be a good time to run. Also, I think running the ball often in the second half of the game could be a huge plus to wearing down this defense.

3. Defensive Tackle Vince Wilfork needs to win his match-up with center Dan Koppen. I am a fan of the former Patriots center, but there is a reason he was cut by the Patriots, and I think you will see that on Sunday. Wilfork should know his opponent very well, and if he can bring pressure up the middle, it could affect Manning’s comfort level in the pocket.

4. The Patriots secondary needs to disguise coverages and be very aggressive in this game. You have to at least try to make things a little difficult on Manning, as he tries to figure out what coverage the Patriots are in.

Also, I feel the Patriots need to be aggressive with the Broncos receivers at the line, and try to throw off the timing of the receivers.  Also, Manning completes a ton of passes on crossing routes. I feel the Patriots need to flood the middle of the field with defenders, and attempt to take away these routes.

5. Tavon Wilson needs to step up at Safety. Patriots safety Steve Gregory is ruled out of this game with an injury. Wilson will probably be asked to play even more of a role at safety in this game.

Wilson has played a decent amount this season at both safety, and actually at linebacker in certain situations in sub packages. In general, the play of the Patriots safeties has been shaky at best, and Wilson needs to be solid in knowing where he is on the field at all times, and just doing his job. The safeties are the last line of defense generally, and Wilson needs to be a rock at the back.

Now, I respect Manning a great deal, and I expect him to make his plays in this game. The Patriots secondary will be tested to see how much they can slow down the Broncos offense.

However, I feel the Patriots have a distinct advantage when they are on offense in this game. Brady carved up the Broncos defense twice last season, and I see him doing it once again. The Broncos do have a new defensive coordinator in Jack Del Rio, but Brady dominated his defenses when he was head coach with the Jaguars.

I think this game will be about which offense is better, and I would give a check mark to the Patriots. However, as mentioned it won’t be easy, and that is why I am predicting a 31-28 victory for the Patriots.

What are your predictions? Feel free to post them in the comments section below.

Also, please feel free to listen to a preview of the upcoming game from the radio show Patriots Fourth And Two.

Listen to internet radio with PatriotsFourthAndTwo on Blog Talk Radio

Patriots Fourth And Two: Patriots vs. Broncos Preview Show

In this episode, we first looked back at the Patriots 52-28 victory against the Bills. The second half of the show we previewed the upcoming game against Peyton Manning and the Broncos.

We also played an interview we did earlier with former Patriots player Matt Chatham. We asked him several questions which included his time with the Patriots, and also his thoughts on these two games.

Please do take a listen to the latest episode of Patriots Fourth And Two.

Listen to internet radio with PatriotsFourthAndTwo on Blog Talk Radio