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The latest Episode Of The Patriots Fourth And Two Podcast

In this episode, we looked back at the last two games for the Patriots. We also talked about the upcoming playoffs for the Patriots.

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Six Takeaways From The Patriots 41-7 Victory Against The Ravens

Here are my six takeaways from this latest Patriots game. I generally want this to be a balanced post, but in this game there are more positives than negatives so you will see that reflected in this article.

The Positives

1.The offensive line stepped up in the running game, and also protecting quarterback Tom Brady in the passing game. The Patriots ran the ball for 142 yards, and the offensive line opened up great lanes for the running backs throughout the  game.

Going into the game, with an offensive line missing a few starters, there was a good reason to be concerned. However, they gave Brady plenty of time to find the open receiver. This unit deserves a good amount of credit in this game.

2. Rookies Logan Ryan and Jamie Collins step up on defense. With the defense dealing with several injuries before the game, and during it, these two players did their jobs very well.

Ryan did a very nice job at cornerback, as he had two interceptions, and deflected a fourth down pass away. His progression is continuing to show itself throughout the season.

Collins was often seen covering tight end Dennis Pitta, and did a very nice job in this game. I have been hearing for several years that the Patriots need a coverage linebacker. I think Collins is that player.

3. Running back  LeGarrette Blount does his best Corey Dillon impression in this game. Blount continues to impress me from game to game. In this game he ran for 76 yards, with a 4.8 yards per carry, and two touchdowns.

It was brought to my attention by a friend that he reminded him of Dillon late in the game, and I have to agree with that. With Blount, the Patriots have a closer.

 4. The Patriots rush defense steps up in this game. Now, I know the Ravens are not having a good year running the ball, but you have to give some credit to the defense for limiting them on the ground in this game.

Running backs ran for only 82 yards on 23 yards per carry. You can criticize the defense when they get gashed against the run, but you should praise them when they get the job done. Against the Ravens, the defense stepped up stopping the run.

The Negatives

1. The Patriots suffered more injuries in this game. During the game, running back Shane Vereen went out with a reported groin injury. Cornerback Devin McCourty left the game with a reported head injury. The positive is that the players that replaced them stepped up. The negative is that we will have to monitor their status moving forward.

2. I question the offensive play-calling early in the second half. The Patriots ran the ball more than they passed in this game which is unusual. However, I wished that offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels called more running plays in the third quarter.

I get that they were trying to get that touchdown to put the game out of reach, but you could have done that with running the ball. The Ravens could not really stop the Patriots on the ground.

Overall this was a dominating performance for the Patriots, and they beat a team that desperately needed the victory. I am hearing excuses on the radio and on TV for how bad the Ravens played. Well, the Patriots made the Ravens look that bad, and that is the bottom line in this game.

It Is Time To Appreciate Now The Brady Years

No one wants to talk about it, but the years of the Patriots always being in the hunt for the Super Bowl probably have a limited amount of years left. It could be a few more or it could be five more. As long as Tom Brady is the quarterback, the Patriots will be in the mix. However, I think it is time to appreciate now the Brady years.

Regardless of what happens this Sunday or into the play-offs, we have witnessed an incredible run of football from the Patriots. Brady says he wants to play into his forties so we have an idea of how long the run could last.

If the Patriots never win another Super Bowl, or even make it to the big game again, this has been a monumental time not only in Patriots history, but also in professional sports. All dynasties do come to an end, and this one will as well. Yes, I am still calling it a dynasty because it represents an entire period of time that began in 2001 and still goes on.

The Patriots have won three Super Bowls, lost two of them, and made it to the AFC Championship Game twice. Just think about all that has been achieved since 2001 for just a minute.

We are fortunate to have seen this in our lifetime, and may never see a stretch like this from any other professional sports team in Boston.

I am honestly content with the Patriots never winning another Super Bowl ring. I have been lucky enough to experience seeing my team which I have followed for over 40 years win multiple championships.

Obviously I would like to see another Championship, but I can deal with it not happening. I think it is time to take a step back, and appreciate what we have witnessed and continue to see.

The Boston sports media in general is extremely negative, and I am not going to accept their view of the Patriots. My view is of a dynasty that will continue until Brady retires.

Matt Chatham On The Latest Episode Of Patriots Fourth And Two

In this episode, we first looked back at the Patriots victory against the Browns. Later on, we previewed the upcoming game for the Patriots against the Dolphins.

We also played an interview done earlier with former Patriots player Matt Chatham, who currently writes for the Boston Herald, can be heard on WEEI, and be seen on NESN.

In this episode, we first looked back at the Patriots victory against the Browns. Later on, we previewed the upcoming game for the Patriots against the Dolphins.

We also played an interview done earlier with former Patriots player Matt Chatham, who currently writes for the Boston Herald, can be heard on WEEI, and be seen on NESN.

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Despite Loss of Gronkowski, This Season Is Far From Over

I have seen many things in my years of watching Patriots football, but seeing an impact player like Rob Gronkowski continue to have significant injures over his short career with the Patriots is new to me.  Here are my thoughts on this latest injury though my eyes.

With the Patriots once again playing a very poor first half of football, I really had no doubt they would come back in this game as the second half began. However, this miraculous comeback by the Patriots was overshadowed, because aspirations of fourth Super Bowl trophy were downgraded significantly when Gronkowski got injured.

My first thought after the hit by T J Ward was that if we saw the cart, the season for Gronkowski was over. When he was taken off on the cart, my next thought then was the Patriots cannot overcome this injury to win a Super Bowl.

It won’t be easy, but despite losing tight end Rob Gronkowski New England still has a shot heading into the postseason.
(USA TODAY Images)

Now, Adam Schefter is reporting that Gronkowski has torn his ACL and MCL which means his season is over. So, do I stop watching the Patriots because of this injury? The answer to that question is absolutely not as I am a Patriots fan, and will enjoy the rest of the season coming up.

The journey to win a Super Bowl is a hard one, and injuries can change your chances. However, the 2001 Patriots showed us that anything is possible if you play together as a “team”.

The Patriots offense will not be the same without Gronkowski. The opposing defense generally has a game-plan to stop Gronkowski which opens up opportunities for other players. Well, the job of offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels just got much tougher, and he needs to figure out a way for the offense to adapt and change once again.

We saw this movie last season without Gronkowski in the play-offs, and it was not pretty. However, that loss to the Ravens had much more to do with the loss of Aqib Talib to an injury in the first half than missing Gronkowski, but he was a factor.

Right now, the Patriots have dealt with a significant amount of injuries all season, and the task seems large as we head towards the play-offs. So, can the Patriots overcome the injury to Gronkowski and win a Super Bowl?

Well, their chances got much tougher, but when you have Brady and Belichick, you always have a fighting chance. Also, the desire to win from this team is huge, and the victory yesterday was just one of several games this season that saw the Patriots find a way to win.

When you play as a team and never give up, you do give yourself a chance to win. In other seasons, I would tell you that there would be no chance for that fourth ring, but the competition in the AFC, and the league is down.

I have already seen the Patriots beat the Broncos, and with or without Gronkowski, I still think the Patriots have a chance to get to MetLife Stadium, and win the big game. I know how much more difficult it will be, but based on the victories this season, this Patriots team is up for a fight.

In a season of bad injuries, the latest one to Gronkowski is devastating, but did it end their quest for a fourth Lombardi Trophy? Many think so, and I have a serious doubt on the quest, but do not count them out just yet, because they have plenty of football left to play, and there is always a chance to see a team defy the odds like the 2001 Patriots did to win the organization their first ring playing together as a team.

Five Things To Look For: Pats vs. Browns

The Patriots are back in action Sunday to face the Browns. Here are Five Things for you to look for in this match-up.

1. Can the Patriots get off to a fast start? The team has struggled for a few weeks now in the first half, and opponents have gotten up on them early.

I do think it is important to play from ahead in this game, because when you are playing a team that is 4-8, you need to give them no hope, and the best way to do that is score early.

I would be in favor of the “hurry up” offense early to set a good tempo that could lead to points. A fast start by the Patriots could really do damage to a Browns team that has struggled this season.

2. Can quarterback Tom Brady spread the ball around to his receivers? In seasons past, when Brady has just found the open receiver, the offense has been tough to stop. Last week, in the second half, Brady spread the ball around to several receivers, and the offense carved up the Texans.

Defenses key on Rob Gronkowski, which could lead to opportunities for other players, and we saw that last week against the Texans. On the touchdown reception to Shane Vereen, the Texans had three players covering Gronkowski. The more receivers Brady gets involved on Sunday, I think the better they will be on offense.

3. Can the Patriots get after the quarterback on defense? Right now it is unclear who will be the Browns quarterback, but regardless there is an opportunity to set the tone, and possibly force turnovers in this game. One of the best ways to cause turnovers is putting pressure on the quarterback.

4. Can the Patriots defense contain wide receiver Josh Gordon? Right now Gordon leads the Browns with 64 receptions, with 1249 yards, and seven touchdown receptions.

I am hopeful that cornerback Aqib Talib is healthy enough to cover Gordon one on one. You might want to regardless give him help to cover Gordon, as he might be one the player that can hurt you on the Browns offense.

5. Can the Patriots stop the run in this game on defense? I think this is very important for not just this game, as the Pats defense is really struggling to stop the run. Also, a great way for a team to stay in the game is to run the ball, and control the clock.

The Patriots are currently 31st in the NFL in rush defense, but the Browns are 28th in rush offense so something has to give. This game is a perfect opportunity to see if the Patriots can improve their abilities to stop the run.

If you just go by the records, this game should be a mismatch, but you still have to win the game on the field. I am expecting the Patriots to start fast, and take care of business on Sunday. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Patriots win this game by three touchdowns.

If you are looking for more of an extensive preview of this game, please take a listen below to Patriots Fourth And Two.

Greg Bedard On The Latest Episode Of The Patriots Fourth And Two Podcast

In this episode, we started the show by looking back at the Patriots victory against the Texans. Later on, we previewed the upcoming game for the Patriots against the Browns.

In between these segments, we had a great interview with Greg Bedard who is now a Staff Writer for The Monday Morning Quarterback With Peter King.  This is an interview you are going to want to listen to, as Greg shares his thoughts on the Patriots and the rest of the NFL.

Six Takeaways From The Patriots 34-31 Victory Against The Texans

Each week I am going to look back, and give you six takeaways I got from watching the Patriots game. I want this to be a balanced post so I am going to give you an equal share of the positive and the negative takeaways in this match-up for the Pats.

The Positives

1. Julian Edelman continues to make catch after catch for the Patriots offense. I know I mentioned him last week, but Edelman made some huge receptions yesterday, and scary to say reminded me of Wes Welker.

Edelman ended the day with nine receptions for 101 yards against the Texans. He now has 70 receptions for the season, and continues to prove me wrong.

2. Tom Brady had an elite quarterback performance against the Texans. I always believed that the Patriots offense would get back into gear, once a few players returned from injuries.

Well, now you are seeing an offense that is really getting into shape, and Brady looks like a future Hall Of Fame quarterback once again. He ended the game throwing for 371 yards, and two touchdowns. He was on his game especially in the second half.

3.  Special Teams makes a big impact in this game. The kick-off returns this season have been horrible, but in this game, they made a difference. Josh Boyce had a total of 149 in six returns, and his longest went for 41 yards.

Stephen Gostkowski missed one field goal, but hit two clutch 53 yard field goals in this game. His last field goal was the difference in the game. Special teams overall stepped up against the Texans.

Stephen Gostkowski hits two field goals against the Texans.
(USA TODAY Images)


The Negatives

1. Linebacker Dont’a Hightower continues to be a problem on defense for the Patriots. Unfortunately, it is now two weeks in a row that he has been in the negative category, and his lack of play is affecting both the run and pass defense.

I don’t know why we did not see more of Dane Fletcher in this game as he only had 12 snaps. Hightower was in on 49 snaps, and he is not worthy of that much playing time right now.

2.The run defense was poor against the Texans. The Patriots gave up 121 yards on the ground, and this is just unacceptable against a team who was missing Arian Foster. On top of that, running back Ben Tate had three touchdowns, and really gashed the Patriots defense.

3. Cornerback Kyle Arrington struggled on the outside against the Texans. On one catch for DeAndre Hopkins, it seemed like he gave up on the play. Arrington is a great slot corner, but when he is on the outside he is a liability.

In concluding, once again this was a game of two halves, as at the end of the first half we saw the Patriots trailing by ten points. We are seeing too much of this lately by the Patriots, and needs to stop moving forward.

However, once again we saw the Patriots play a great second half, and find a way to win. No matter what I criticize, the bottom line is the Patriots won this game. It is a good sign that they win these close games, because it should prepare them well for what to expect in the playoffs.

Patriots Fourth And Two Podcast – Pats vs. Texans Preview

In this episode, we first looked back extensively at the Patriots 34-31 victory against the Broncos. Later on in the show, we previewed the upcoming game for the Pats against the Texans.

Six Takeaways from the Patriots 34-31 Victory Against The Broncos

Each week I am going to look back, and give you six takeaways I got from watching the Patriots game. I want this to be a balanced post so I am going to give you an equal share of the positive and the negative takeaways in this match-up for the Pats.

The Positives

1. Aqib Talib continues to show his value as the number one cornerback for the Patriots. The job for Talib on Sunday was to shut down Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas.

Well, this was a battle for Talib, and overall he really did his job well. He limited Thomas to four receptions for 41 total yards. Thomas did score a touchdown, but these two players were fighting down the field often, and overall I would have to give the victory of this battle to Talib.

The Patriots have a much better defense when he plays, and he sure showed his value on Sunday. This defense has not had this great of a cornerback since Ty Law, and that is high praise.

2. Linebackers Dane Fletcher, and Jamie Collins make important contributions in this game. With the poor play of linebacker of Dont’a Hightower in this game, it was nice to see two players step up when the Patriots desperately needed it.

Fletcher had seven total tackles, and forced a fumble in the second half, which was a help in the Patriots second half comeback. Collins had a total of ten tackles, and for a rookie that is impressive in an important AFC match-up. The next man up mentality certainly applies to Collins and Fletcher.

3.  Julian Edelman stands out on offense and in special teams. In a season that the Patriots offense was dealing with injuries early, Edelman has stepped up, and has been an impact player at times on offense, and on special teams.

In this game, he had nine receptions for 110 yards, and two touchdowns. On top of that, he had an additional 39 total yards on three punt returns. Edelman has proven me wrong, as there is no question his value to the Patriots has been pretty high this season.

The Negatives

1. Linebacker Dont’a Hightower was a disappointment in this game. Hightower was beat by tight end Jacob Tamme in the first half, on his touchdown reception, and overall was a non-factor in this game. He ended the game with three total tackles, and apparently was replaced in the second half. I expect more from a player that was drafted in the first round.

2. Running back Stevan Ridley continues to fumble the ball. For all the good that Ridley can offer the Patriots on offense, his fumbling diminishes tremendously his impact.

The Patriots were driving in their first possession, and his fumble led to a touchdown, and totally changed the momentum of the game early. I honestly do not know what his future will be with the Patriots the rest of the season.

3. The turnovers destroyed anything positive the Patriots did early in this game. The Patriots defense got off the field against the Broncos on their opening drive, and that was followed by a promising drive by the Patriots offense.

The positive early beginning for the Pats was wiped out by three turnovers that all came very quickly. They were very fortunate that they found a way to come back in the second half, because in the majority of games, a team does not recover from that type of deficit, that was caused mostly from the turnovers.

In concluding, this was a tale of two halves of football. I have to give credit to Denver, because they seized the opportunity in the first half, and put themselves in a great position to win a game.

However, for the Patriots to fight back in the second half, shows some serious character that might be a great indicator of things to come in the near future. The Patriots got lucky in OT with the punt, but that shouldn’t diminish what they accomplished to get to that point of the game. This was a well earned victory for the New England Patriots.