Some news and notes for this morning
1) We now know who the Patriots will face in Week 1 to open the 2021 season, as the league released the list of games for the opening weekend.
The season kicks off on Thursday, September 9th with a battle between the Cowboys and Buccaneers on Thursday Night Football in Tampa Bay.
For New England, they open the season at home against Miami with a 4:25pm start at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, September 12th. That’s certainly a key game for the Patriots, who start off the season with a key Divisional match-up against a Dolphins team that’s expected to be competitive in 2021.
It marks the second-straight year the Patriots have opened the year at home against Miami, with the club winning the 2020 opener 21-11.
Also in that time slot are the Browns and Chiefs, which is a rematch from the Divisional round, although it’s tough to say which game will get national attention.
The Sunday night game features Chicago and the Los Angeles Chargers, while the Monday Night game will see Baltimore travel to Las Vegas to take on the Raiders.
2) For those wondering about Tom Brady’s potential return to New England, that looks to be set for an October match-up.
According to NBC Sports, the game seems to be set to fall during the October 3rd list of games, with the showdown reportedly set for Sunday Night Football.
Barring Brady moving on to another club after this season, given how the rotation of games goes, it’s also likely Brady’s last career game at Gillette Stadium.
There’s certainly been plenty of debate between fans since his departure, with most seemingly split when it comes to their affinity for the long-time Patriots QB. One would have to believe he’ll be mostly greeted warmly when he comes back, but this should definitely one of the most interesting match-ups of the season.
3) Mike Reiss reminded us yesterday that we may not see rookie fifth-round pick Cameron McGrone for at least this season.
The standout from Michigan suffered a torn ACL last November is still recovering, with Bill Belichick saying during his press conference that the focus now is making sure he continues getting back to 100%.
“We’re not really sure what the expectation of availability is for him, but we’re prepared certainly to not have him available this year,” Belichick said. “There are no false expectations here. He should have a good recovery and be a good player; we’ll just have to see what the timing is on that.”
Reiss goes on to highlight the list of players who the Patriots took an injury risk with, including players like Dominique Easley, Rob Gronkowski, Marcus Cannon, Sony Michel and Malcolm Mitchell among a few names who fell into that category.
The Patriots have had limited success when taking those chances, although this year appeared to have more caution than in years past. McGrone was a good player for the Wolverines and given that the club already has Chase Winovich and Josh Uche in their defense, it should be fun to see how McGrone fits in when the time eventually comes, even if it’s 2022.
4) Out in Denver, the discussion continues about whether or not they’ll be able to pry Aaron Rodgers out of Green Bay, but it appears that oddsmakers are already seeing a scenario play out as it pertains to that situation.
According to the Denver Post, oddsmakers are listing Drew Lock at +300 to take the Packers first snap in Week 1 of the 2021 season. He’s reportedly the favorite among 17 other players listed.
The Broncos remain the favorite landing spot for Rodgers to be traded to, improving from +250 last week to +200, according to the sports book, ahead of the Raiders (+900), 49ers (+900) and Dolphins (+1,000).
5) Jeff Howe of The Athletic had a nice article on draft pick Ronnie Perkins, who seems to be a player focused on being an impact player here in New England.
Howe spoke with a variety of coaches who worked with Perkins, including his former high school coach Carl Reed, who believes that he’s going to be a good player in the NFL.
“It’s only the beginning for him,” Reed said. “He’s going to be a really good NFL player. The scary part about it, what people don’t understand with him, he’s so coachable and such a student of the game that playing for a guy like Belichick is going to take his game to enormously high levels. He’s tough enough to take that hard coaching. He studies his stuff. He’s fearless. He’s relentless. I don’t think you can write a better situation for a kid like him getting a chance to play for coach Belichick.”
Oklahoma defensive line coach Calvin Thibodeaux told Howe he also recalled Perkins “tossing dudes” as a three-way player.
As a result, he definitely seems like a player to keep an eye on in the coming months.
Posted Under: Patriots News
Tags: Bill Belichick Gillette Stadium Miami Dolphins New England Patriots Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tom Brady