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Archive for November, 2012

Patriots Fourth And Two: Patriots vs. Dolphins Preview

In this episode, we looked back at the Patriots 49-19 victory against the Jets on Thanksgiving Night. Later on, we previewed the upcoming game against the Dolphins.

We were also joined at the top of the show by Erik Frenz who is the AFC East Lead Blogger for The Bleacher Report. Please take a listen.

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Patriots Fourth And Two: Patriots vs. Jets Thanksgiving Night Preview

In this episode, we first looked back at the Patriots 59-24 victory against the Colts at Gillette Stadium. Later on in the episode, we previewed the Thanksgiving Night match-up against the Jets.

We were also joined at the top of the show by Shalise Manza Young, who is the Patriots beat writer for the Boston Globe. Later on in the show we played an interview recorded yesterday with Asmir Begovic, who is a goalkeeper for Stoke City in the Barclays Premier League in England. Asmir is a Patriots fan, and we talked Pats with him.  Please do take a listen.

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My Five Keys To Victory For The Patriots Against The Colts

The Patriots are coming off of a very close 37-31 home victory against the Buffalo Bills. They will be looking for a much better performance this Sunday against Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts at Gillette Stadium.

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 Colts are coming off of a convincing 27-10 away victory against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The visitors are now 6-3, and are actually looking to get into the playoffs.

On defense, this Colts unit is pretty average, but they do have some players that Patriots fans know very well that can get after Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. The Colts defense is a work in progress, but that doesn’t mean it will be a walk in the park for the Patriots.

Robert Mathis already has six sacks, and Dwight Freeney has two so far this season. They are hands down the two players to watch for on the Colts defense, and the Patriots offensive line needs to know where they are at all times.

On offense, this unit is led by a rookie quarterback who I feel is going to be great someday, and that is Andrew Luck. He already has shown the poise of  a veteran, and really knows how to read defenses. He also can extend plays similar to Ben Roethlisburger, and ironically runs the Steelers offense that offensive coordinator Bruce Arians uses. This player is special, and is only going to get better.

The Colts still have wide receiver Reggie Wayne, who is playing at a high level. Wayne already has 69 receptions for 931 yards, and is still a serious threat every time he catches the ball.

The Colts do have an average running game, and are currently 14th in the NFL averaging 109.4 yards per game. However, the main threat on offense for the Colts will be through the air.

The Patriots played poorly last Sunday, and they will need to play much better, if they expect to beat an opponent who is on the rise. However, this is a game that I do expect the Patriots to bounce back in all facets of the game.

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

1. The Patriots defense needs to find ways to put constant pressure on Andrew Luck. The best way to describe the Patriots pass rush has to be the word “inconsistent”.

Against a quarterback like Luck, the Patriots defense cannot just sit back, and let him survey the field until he finds an open receiver. I feel the Patriots need to blitz, if they are not able to get constant pressure with their front four, on the Colts quarterback.

2. The Patriots defense cannot let Andrew Luck get outside of the pocket. Again, the Patriots defense should treat this quarterback as you would Roethlisburger, and make sure he does not get outside to extend plays with his arm or running with the ball.

3.The Patriots secondary needs to contain Reggie Wayne, and make him a non-factor in this game. The Patriots earlier in the season, did a great job of taking out Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald. They will need to do the same against Wayne, and I hope he is double-teamed with a cornerback, and a safety over the top.

4. The Patriots need to run as often as possible against the Colts. This was a key last week, and I feel is very important once again. The Colts are currently 22nd in the NFL in rush defense giving up 120.3 yards per game. I do expect Stevan Ridley to be featured in this game.

5.  Offensive tackles Nate Solder and Sebastian Vollmer must contain the Colts pass rush. Like I mentioned earlier, the Colts still have Freeney and Mathis. It will be up to the Patriots tackles to keeping them quiet on Sunday.

Now, I was completely wrong in my prediction for the last game. However, the Colts defense should be able to be exposed on Sunday, and I expect the Patriots defense to bounce back when they face Andrew Luck. I am predicting once again a 31-17 Patriots victory.

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. Colts Preview

In this episode we will first looked back at the Patriots 37-31 victory against the Buffalo Bills at Gillette Stadium.

Later on in the show, we previewed the upcoming game for the Patriots against Andrew Luck and the Colts.

We also had two special guests join us during the show. Greg Bedard from the Boston Globe talked to us at the top of the show, and later on in the episode, we had a discussion with Michael Carlson who presents in the UK, Sunday Night Football for Channel Four, the Wembley game and the Super Bowl for the BBC, and college football for Eurosport.

Please do take a listen to this episode.

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My Five Keys To Victory For The Patriots Against The Bills

The Patriots are coming off of a dominating 45-7 away victory against the St. Louis Rams in London England. They are looking to start strong in the second half of the season on Sunday against the Buffalo Bills 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 1:00 PM EST. You can also listen to the game on 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston.

GAME NOTES: The Bills are coming off of a 21-9 away loss against theTexans. The visitors are now 3-5, and are at the bottom of AFC East.

On defense, this Bills unit has struggled all season, and is 31st in the NFL giving up over 31 points per game. They will need to give up less if they expect to beat the Patriots.

Defensive Ends Mark Anderson and Mario Williams have both been disappointments. If there is a player to watch for Buffalo, it would be rookie cornerback Stephon Gilmore who shows serious promise.

On offense, the running game is still very strong with C.J. Spiller leading the way with 562 yards, and a 7.2 yards per carry average. The Patriots will have to really contain this dangerous running back.

The real issue with the Bills is at quarterback with Ryan Fitzpatrick, who is very inconsistent, and does have a strong tendency to make a few mistakes a game that hurt his team. He is a gunslinger like Brett Favre, but this mentality can backfire on the Bills.

The Patriots ended the first half of the season positively with a victory, and have an opponent on Sunday that they should handle pretty well. However, they cannot take this team lightly, and will have to play well in all facets of the game.

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 stop the run and make the Bills one dimensional. The Bills are averaging 140.8 yards per game running the ball, and have the ability to control the clock with this part of their offense.

The Patriots rush defense has been excellent, and is 8th in the NFL only giving up 88.6 yards per game. If the Patriots can neutralize the running game, it could force the ball in the hands of Fitzpatrick which could be a recipe for success for the Patriots.

2. The Patriots need to take away tight end Scott Chandler. The Patriots defense, last time these teams played, did a poor job of covering this player. Patrick Chung had a bad game, and whoever has to cover Chandler, needs to do a better job this time.

3.The Patriots should blitz frequently against Ryan Fitzpatrick. In the last game against the Rams, the Patriots did blitz more than they have during the season, and it was pretty affective.

Fitzpatrick is a mistake waiting to happen, and does force the ball. If you can get after him, he could make that costly mistake. The Patriots have not gotten consistent pressure with their defensive line, so I am hoping we see several blitzes from the linebackers in this game.

4. The Patriots need to run as often as possible against the Bills. This defense of the Bills has not improved at all at stopping the run since the Patriots ran wild on them several weeks ago. They are currently 31st in the NFL at rush defense, and I would expect Patriots running back Stevan Ridley to have a huge game. 

5. Quarterback Tom Brady needs to take advantage of the middle of the field with Rob Gronkowski. As we saw in the last game for the Patriots, if the Patriots run well, it should open up the middle of the field for Gronkowski. He is a match-up nightmare for the Bills, and honestly I would go to him even if he is covered. Gronkowski should be geared up as usual to play his hometown team.

Now, normally I would be cautious regarding playing an AFC East rival, but in the case of the Bills who have not played well, I am expecting a comfortable Patriots victory. I am predicting a 31-17 victory for the Patriots against the Bills.

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. Bills Preview

In this episode, we previewed the upcoming game for the Patriots against the Buffalo Bills. We will also discussed our mid-season ratings for the Patriots. Please do take a listen.

Listen to internet radio with PatriotsFourthAndTwo on Blog Talk Radio

My Trip To London See The Patriots Play The Rams At Wembley Stadium

On October 28th, I had the pleasure of seeing the Patriots play the Rams in London England. This was a very special trip that was just not about the Patriots victory, as it was also about the people I met, and the overall experience I had in London.

I have always been fascinated with England, and when the opportunity came up to go to see the Patriots play in London, I did everything I could to make it a reality. Luckily, a few months before the game, I was able to make plans for this very special trip that turned out to be much more than I could have hoped for.

It started right from Logan Airport, as I walked on to a plane the Thursday night before the game filled with Patriots fans going to the game. It was great to see how many fans were making this trip as well.

Now, the hospitality I received on this trip again started from the very beginning which was Friday morning.¬†Jamie MacRae who is a member of UKPatriots, which is a huge fan club for the team, met me at the airport to make sure I got to my hotel in one piece. I can’t tell you how nice it was to see a friend at the airport to go with me on the tube which is a huge subway system in London.

On Friday Night, I met up with many members of UKPatriots at a Sports Bar And Grill in London for an event. I have met many of these members here in Massachusetts, but it was nice to see them again in their part of the world.

What is so great about this fan club is the passion and knowledge they all have for the New England Patriots. I can tell you that these fans know as much about the team as I do, and it was just nice to talk about their experiences of following the Patriots.

At this event, I also had the opportunity to talk to Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com. He actually filled me in regarding Ras-I Dowling being put on injured reserve by the team, and that Aaron Hernandez did not make the flight. Mike was in high demand as many members wanted to talk football with him.

This was a special night as even though I was in England, I felt right at home talking Patriots. If you get a chance please do check out the website UKPatriots.com to interact with Pats fans across the pond.

Saturday was my day to see the soccer club I follow in England which is Fulham play in a match. I traveled outside of London to see my club play, and that was very special as well.

However, on Saturday during my soccer trip, I was surrounded by reminders of the Patriots. I saw Patriots gear on the streets of London, and also everywhere I went on the Tube.

I even had the opportunity to talk to a few Patriots fans on a train coming back to London. These Pats fans came all the way from Sweden to see the game.

This all leads to Sunday, and the Patriots game at Wembley Stadium. I was looking forward to this game a great deal, but what happened next made this trip even more memorable.

I was asked by my friend Amelia Harris Lindsay, who is a sports presenter for BBC News and BBC World, if I would like to be interviewed before and after the game. I obviously agreed, and it was so much fun to be a part of their coverage.

We first filmed a cut-in before the game just outside of Wembley Stadium. She asked me a few players to watch for in this game, and also my prediction which was 31-21 Patriots.

During the game, I got to watch the majority of it from the BBC Hospitality Box at Wembley Stadium which just happened to be looking at the 50 yard line. I couldn’t have asked for a better view of this game.

After the Patriots huge victory, we went down to the field at Wembley as Tom Brady and the coaching staff were coming off the field. We did our other cut-in which was talking about the result of the game.

To end my visit to Wembley, I was able to have access to the Patriots Press Conference. I got to hear questions given to coach Bill Belichick, Tom Brady, and Devin McCourty.

Going to London would have been special on its own, but being able to experience a Patriots game the way I was able to, is something I will never forget. I want to thank Jamie MacRae,¬†and the rest of the fan club UKPatriots for making my trip so enjoyable. I also want to give a huge thank you to Amelia Harris Lindsay, and the crew from the BBC that were a part of my day at Wembley Stadium. I can’t thank you all enough for letting me be a part of your coverage.

In closing, it is not every day I get a chance to go to another country to see the Patriots play. This trip became extraordinary because of the people I met and shared it with.

 

 

 

Patriots Fourth And Two: Patriots vs. Rams Recap

In this episode we talked about the Patriots 45-7 victory against the St. Louis Rams in London England. We also talked about the Patriots trade for cornerback Aqib Talib.

We started the show talking about my trip to London to see this game. Please do take a listen to this very interesting episode.

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