New England Patriots > Patriots Blog > 2020 NFL Season

New England Patriots News 11-15, AFC East Notes

Steve Balestrieri
3 weeks ago at 5:00 am ET
Posted Under: 2020 NFL Season

New England Patriots News 11-15, AFC East NotesTroy Taormina - USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, here is your Sunday Patriots news 11-15 and AFC East notes this week. 

Game Day/Night… The Patriots have a very big test as they return home and face a very good Baltimore Ravens team on Sunday Night Football. 

Be sure to check out our new NFL news by team feature: https://www.patsfans.com/nfl/

Just click on the team link to find out the latest news for each team in the league.

 Quick Hitters For the Pats, and the NFL: 

Michael Onwenu: The Patriots rookie 6th round offensive lineman draft pick from Michigan, wasn’t a highly touted draft pick but has impressed the coaching staff from Day 1. Zack Cox of NESN reported that before the team even began practicing, Onwenu was impressing the coaches with his work ethic. 

“When we were doing the Zoom meetings all offseason and we were able to work remotely, here’s a rookie that I would get a text message (from) at 10:30 at night, and he’s asking me something,” OL coach Carmen Bricillo recalled. “I kinda would smile and show it to my wife, because it was something that clearly I knew he was looking at film at 10:30. We got in the Zoom meeting the next morning, and that was going to be the first question we were going to answer. So it’s a testament to how hard he works, and it is what you’ve got to do. In this business, the more you can do.”

Nick Folk: The Patriots kicker was the AFC STs Player of the Week after booting a 51-yard FG as time expired in the win over the Jets. Folk was limited all week with a back injury and that fact alone really impressed fellow ST’s captain Matthew Slater. 

“Anyone who’s had any type of back issues knows that that’s not fun,” Slater said. “So he showed a tremendous amount of toughness, mental toughness, physical toughness, and professionalism last week, but he’s done that the entirety of the time that he’s been here. So I appreciate him, appreciate what he did last week. We’re fortunate to have a guy like that here and I think all of us can look to him and learn about what it looks like to be a professional football player because he certainly embodies all those things.”

Did You Know?… On this day in 2015, the Patriots beat the New York Giants 27-26 on a Stephen Gostkowski 54-yard field goal with one second left in the game. Tom Brady threw for 334 yards and two touchdowns to Scott Chandler for 1 yard and Rob Gronkowski for 76. That win would improve the Patriots to 9-0 on the season 

Gillette Stadium: With COVID-19 numbers spiking again, the Patriots announced that no fans will be allowed in any home game for the remainder of the season. The team was informed that Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker signed an executive order prohibiting large-capacity venues from opening to the public will remain in force for the remainder of the 2020 NFL season and the pro soccer season.

The Patriots and Kraft Sports Entertainment were putting together plans that would allow them to safely host a reduced number of fans that would comply with the guidelines issued by the CDC, the National Football League and Major League Soccer. But Baker and the coronavirus numbers spiking ended that from happening.

4th & 2 Podcast – If you haven’t checked out our PatsFans.com podcast, “Patriots 4th & 2” in a bit, please check it out. Derek and I recorded a podcast on Friday talking about the Jets win as well as the upcoming game against the Ravens. 

Russ Francis/ Chuck Fairbanks: The former Patriot tight end and head coach both should be in the Patriots team Hall of Fame…this will be on our Sunday posts until it happens.

Ford, Moncrief, And Harry Are Possible Contributors This Week: 

While Jakobi Meyers had a big week with 169 receiving yards against the Jets on Monday night, they’ll need more production from the other receivers if they want to beat the Ravens tonight. And it will be interesting to see if N’Keal Harry is cleared to come back from a concussion and if Isaiah Ford, who the Patriots traded for at the deadline along with the recently signed Donte Moncrief will be active. All three (if active) could have a role in beefing up the WR roster depth in facing the Ravens defense. 

Ford was a guy who had some good success against the Patriots last year, has good size at 6’2, 201 is a versatile player who can play in the slot or outside. Last year in Miami, he played in a very similar system that former Patriots WR Coach Chad O’Shea installed as the offensive coordinator. 

“I think that’s a good point that he was with Chad last year,” Belichick said. “He can recall a lot of the terminology that they had. It’s not exactly the same, but it’s certainly close. It’s not like starting all over again. We have a chance to work with him. We’ve talked, but hopefully, he’ll be able to pick things up in a timely way and we’ll see if we can get him ready.”

Moncrief, was a 3rd round pick for the Colts in 2014, is still only 27-years old, and has caught 204 passes for 2,561 yards and 21 touchdowns in his career. Moncrief is another player with good size at 6’2, 215.

Getting Harry back would be a boost for the depth as well. He’s missed the past two games with a concussion after taking a big hit in the SF game. With Julian Edelman on IR, the depth at WR has been pretty thin. Things could be conceivably looking up a bit this week. Facing a Ravens team that I think will blitz Cam Newton a lot this week and try to cover down on the check down, means that the other receivers will have to pick up the slack.

Adrian Phillips Has Been a Terrific Addition to the Defense:

When the Patriots signed safety Adrian Phillips this spring, they thought he’d be a great depth piece with Devin McCourty and Pat Chung. But then COVID-19 happened and Chung opted out. Phillips, it turned out hasn’t played as much at safety as thought. They’ve made him an undersized linebacker. 

At just 5’11, 200 pounds, he’s taking on offensive linemen that outweigh him at times by 150 pounds. But he wouldn’t have it any other way. Phillips spoke with the Providence Journal’s Mark Daniels this week and had this to say. 

“If I didn’t enjoy it, I wouldn’t do it. And basically, that’s me saying if I didn’t enjoy it, I wouldn’t do it any good, and I wouldn’t be out on the field,” Phillips said. “I love going up in there. I have the mentality that even though they’re bigger than me, I bang just as hard as they do. So it doesn’t matter. It’s really like sort of a chess match to me, because they’re bigger, so they’re going try to come maul me off the ball.

“It’s fun to try to find ways to be able to get around that, whether that’s with speed or using my hands or going head-up. It’s fun to watch him and just see my matchups and know how they’re going to try to attack me and just be able to beat it.”

Last week Phillips had the tough task of trying to take on the Jets massive left tackle Mekhi Becton, this week the task doesn’t get any easier. Trying to limit the running of QB Lamar Jackson, he’ll be taking on the huge LT Orlando Brown who measures at 6’8, 355 pounds. Not a great matchup for the Patriots, but Phillips will be there to answer the bell. 

NFL Schedule Week 10, 2020, Who Are Your Winners:

How are you feeling about the games this week? We have a post on our PatsFans Forum where our readers can predict the slate of games for that week. 

Last Week:     11-3

Season Total: 92-40-1

Last Season:  162-93-1

Thursday Night Football – 

Tennessee over Indy 0-1

Sunday: 

Cleveland over Houston
Detroit over Washington
Tampa Bay over Carolina
Philadelphia over NY Giants
Green Bay over Jacksonville
Buffalo over Arizona
Miami over LA Chargers
Las Vegas over Denver
Seattle over LA Rams
Pittsburgh over Cincinnati
New Orleans over SF

Sunday Night Football:

Baltimore over New England

Monday Night Football:

Chicago over Minnesota

***NY Jets, Dallas, Kansas City, Atlanta Bye Week***

Eastbound and Down AFC East Notes:

Bills Mafia, Josh Allen Step Up Huge for Charity:

The Buffalo Bills QB Josh  Allen lost his grandmother last week at the age of 80. When word was learned of her passing, Bills fans began donating to the John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital, which Allen has supported since being drafted by the Bills. 

The Bills Mafia has made over 23,000 donations totaling $483,000 by Friday. When Allen learned of the Bills fans’ generosity, he felt compelled to action himself, donating $17,000 to make the total and even half-million. 

“Unreal. Count me in for $17,000 to make it $500,000 ❤️” Allen posted on Twitter

Dolphins Look To Run Winning Streak to Five With a Win Over Chargers:

The Miami Dolphins have a four-game winning streak on the line and take on the Los Angeles Chargers in Miami today. This will be an intriguing matchup of young quarterbacks as Tua Tagovailoa and Justin Herbert will take center stage for each team. Tua has only made two starts but looked very good a week ago. Herbert, despite the Bolts being 2-6 has been excellent in his rookie season and should do just fine today.   

Miami is in the best shape (record-wise) since the 2014 season. Today we’re looking for Herbert to fight his way to a late 4th quarter lead, as he’s done a few times this year. But the feeling here is Miami and Tua will pull out a close, hard-fought win. Brian Flores is putting together a really good program in South Beach…Five in a row. 

Darnold Learning How Fickle NY Can Be…Jets Media Moving On:

New York Jets QB Sam Darnold is in the midst of a nightmare of a season. The team is 0-9, and nothing is looking positive at this point. He’s suffered a shoulder injury and has missed some time.

He’s been saddled with a stinker of a team that has very little chance of success, although his wide receivers returned last week against the Patriots, he was out with a shoulder injury. But in case he didn’t already know it, Jets fans and media are already moving on talking about his replacement. 

People are openly calling for the team to draft Trevor Lawrence of Clemson in the 2021 NFL Draft. He’s only in his third season, and he was supposed to be the QB that led the Jets for the next decade. Now, poor coaching and awful team building have him with one foot already out the door.

Yes, New York can be a tough fickle place to play in. 

_______________

“Any time you bring a player on to your team, you put him into a role or situation that you think fits him,” Belichick said after a very deliberate pause with an exhale. “Sometimes you have to modify that a little bit as you get to know the player. Then you work with him to try to develop that. He competes with other players at whatever position it is, or whatever role it is.

Ultimately you choose, or we choose, I choose the best player out of that competition. So that’s really the process. I don’t know how else to answer the question. Obviously, each player is different, each player competes with different players, positions are different. So I don’t know if there’s a general answer to that.

The most important thing to me this week is winning games. I’m not going to apologize for our record over the last 20 years. I’ve seen a lot worse.

“Ultimately we try to put the best team on the field that we can to be competitive, and I don’t really see that changing,” he added. “So whoever those players are, or aren’t, that’s the responsibility I feel to the team. It’s that competition plays itself out and better players play, whoever they are.”

Bill Belichick after being asked about the lack of production out of their draft picks since the 2014 season.   

_______________

“So, how was your week?”

Follow me on Twitter @SteveB7SFG or email me at [email protected]

Listen to our Patriots 4th and 2 podcasts on Stitcher as Russ Goldman, Derek Havens, and myself from PatsFans.com discuss the latest Patriots news and game analysis.

 

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Posted Under: 2020 NFL Season
Tags: Bill Belichick Buffalo Bills Cam Newton Devin McCourty James White Josh Allen Julian Edelman Miami Dolphins New England Patriots New York Jets NFL Patriots Rex Burkhead Sam Darnold Stephon Gilmore Tua Tagovailoa
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David
David
20 days ago

The Jets will draft Trevor Lawrence. Their fans will demand it. Darnold will end up on a team not named the New England Patriots. The Jets would fear the PR nightmare if he turned out to be the next great Pats QB.

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