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Patriots News 10-23, Players To Watch, AFC East Notes

Steve Balestrieri
Steve Balestrieri on Twitter
2 months ago at 5:00 am ET
Posted Under: Patriots News

Patriots News 10-23, Players To Watch, AFC East NotesBob Breidenbach / USA TODAY NETWORK

Good morning, but unfortunately, it isn’t a game day; here are this week’s Patriots news and AFC East notes. Today is a good day to kick back and watch some other games while we all wait for the Patriots and Bears to meet on Monday Night Football. 

Did You Know? When playing the Bears in Super Bowl XX, Irving Fryar scored the only touchdown for the Patriots. The Bears shellacked the Patriots 46-10.

Did You Know? Pt 2: The Bears traded Doug Flutie to the Patriots in 1987. In 1988, the two teams met, and Flutie, despite only completing 6-18 passes, had four of those completions go for touchdowns (Irving Fryar, Stanley Morgan, and Lin Dawson with 2) in the Patriots’ 30-7 rout of the Bears. 

Three Bears QBs (Mike Tomczak, Jim McMahon, and Jim Harbaugh) combined for just 7-24 passing, for only 74 yards with 0 TDs and 1 INT. 

Kyle Brandt of Good Morning Football on the NFL Network had a poignant piece on Thursday’s show. He spoke about how Ukraine had a league of American football before the invasion. After the Russians invaded, the players joined the army and have been defending their country. 

Someone got them in touch with NFL 360, and Brandt has been corresponding with them for months despite being in harm’s way, they wanted football videos and highlights, as their love of the game transcended the brutality going on in Ukraine. 

One of the players that Brandt would video chat with, Danylo Boguslawski, a fullback on the Lumberjacks, was recently killed in the fighting in Kherson. He shared one of the videos he made with Boguslawski. Here is the entire clip; check it out it is well worth the time. :

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Sad, frustrated and angry to bring this update from my guys fighting in Ukraine 🇺🇦<br><br>Danylo Boguslawski will not be forgotten. <a href=”https://t.co/bpNW8c1DMZ”>pic.twitter.com/bpNW8c1DMZ</a></p>&mdash; Kyle Brandt (@KyleBrandt) <a href=”https://twitter.com/KyleBrandt/status/1583077753024573442?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>October 20, 2022</a></blockquote> <script async src=”https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>

Patriots Players to Watch Against Chicago: 

The Patriots and Bears meet tomorrow night on MNF, and the biggest question for the Patriots is who will be under center at QB. Mac Jones has been trending toward being back for the team exactly a month after being hurt against Baltimore. 

But the way the defense has been playing may not matter, as the Bears’ offense has been struggling badly, and I expect that Belichick will throw some wrinkles at Justin Fields that he hasn’t seen before.

So, here are our Patriots players to watch on MNF..

Rhamondre Stevenson — Tomorrow night will be RHHHAAAmondre time. The Browns made a concerted effort to stop Stevenson, but he still managed 76 yards and two TDs. Facing a Bears defense that has been leaky against the run, I expect the Patriots to lean on him heavily; and fully expect him to deliver.  

Tyquan Thornton — I was right last week, thinking that the Patriots would try to get their rookie WR right into the mix (4 catches, three runs in 40 snaps). I would expect a similar workload for Thornton, who showcased his speed on his TD run last week. 

What will that look like? If the running game produces as I expect, it will open up play-action passing for New England, and it would be a good time to utilize his speed. But the team will have to be aware of where Eddie Jackson is. He’s Cleveland’s ball-hawking safety. 

Zappe Hour Or Mac Attack — The Patriots haven’t said who will be the starter tomorrow night (as of midnight Friday night with this writing), but either one should be able to beat the Bears as long as they don’t turn the ball over, get hit with a ton of penalties, and run the ball the way they are capable of.  

I’m looking for the team to use more play-action passing this week and simplify things against the Bears’ zone defense to make it more QB friendly, regardless of who is under center. 

Matthew Judon/Deatrich Wise — The Patriots face yet another team with a dynamic running game with Khalil Herbert and David Montgomery. The team will look to shore things up as they’ve done the past two weeks against Detroit and Cleveland and force Justin Fields to beat them with his arm. However, with Lawrence Guy still out and Christian Barmore with a knee injury, the DL will bear watching this week.

Judon and Deatrich Wise have been excellent at getting after the opposing QBs combining for 11 sacks this year. Judon has six and Wise five, which has already tied his career high. Going against the leaky Bears’ pass protection, this should be a week where they get to assert their will and positively influence the game. 

Kevin Harris/Pierre Strong — The Patriots’ two rookie running backs wet their beaks a little bit last week. Depending on the game situation, they may see more game snaps as the team gets them some valuable game experience. 

Quick Hitters For the Patriots and the NFL:  

Bill Belichick: The Patriots’ head coach can pass George Halas for second all-time in coaching wins with a victory over the Bears tomorrow night. With a Patriots win, Belichick would now have 325 victories passing Halas with 324. And he will do it against Papa Bear’s Chicago team. 

Christian McCaffrey: The 49ers made a big move in trading for the former Panthers’ running back. And they gave up a boatload of picks to do so. With the attitude that they are in the “win-now” window, the Niners gave up a 2023 2nd-round pick, a 3rd-round pick, as well as 4th in the draft. Carolina will also get a 5th-round pick in 2024.

McCaffrey has been injured a lot in his career, so it is a gamble for SF, but they believe that he can put them over the top. Just two weeks ago, McCaffrey rushed for 54 yards and a touchdown and caught seven passes for 50 yards. He’s expected to be moved all over the field in a variety of roles, creating matchup nightmares for defensive coordinators. 

The trade actually helps the Patriots in that New England holds two draft picks from the Panthers, a 3rd rounder from a draft day deal, and a 6th rounder from the Stephon Gilmore trade. With the Panthers in total rebuild mode and trading their best offensive player, the Panthers’ draft stock and hence New England’s will rise. 

Robert Kraft: The Patriots owner sent a signed football to McKenzie Quinn, who became the first girl to score a touchdown in Brockton High’s 125-year history. CBSnews.com posted a piece where Kraft recognized the significance of her scoring. 

Quinn entered the game in the second half of Brockton’s 50-7 win over Dartmouth. She rushed for a 4-yard TD in her first varsity game. 

Kraft signed a football that read: “To the Mighty Quinn, A pat on the back to you and all who contributed to your historic TD! We love to see that you are having a ball pursuing your passions. Continued success. The Patriots are rooting for you! ‘We are all Patriots.”

Bucky Brooks: Brooks, who writes for NFL.com, penned an interesting piece this week stating that the NFL world, including Sean McVay, had a belly laugh at Cole Strange’s expense when the Patriots selected him in the first round of this year’s NFL Draft but Strange and the Patriots appear to be having the last laugh. 

“ According to PFF, Strange — who hasn’t committed a single penalty in Year 1 — has allowed eight total pressures in six games, with just two in the last three. 

“By eliminating penetration in the middle of the line, the Patriots quarterbacks — most recently Bailey Zappe, who’s 2-0 as a starter while Jones recovers from an ankle injury — are able to throw from the center of the pocket without obstruction. 

“Moreover, they are able to neutralize the penetration that forces immobile quarterbacks to flee the pocket into the hands of more athletic pass rushers on the outside.”

Patriots 4th & 2 Podcast: If you haven’t checked out our PatsFans.com podcast, “Patriots 4th & 2”, in a bit, please check it out. Russ, Derek, and I looked at the Browns game last week and how the team matches up with the Bears; be sure to check it out. 

Russ Francis/Chuck Fairbanks: The former Patriot tight end and head coach both should be in the Patriots team Hall of Fame, and the fact that especially Francis isn’t is an absolute travesty. Francis and the Raiders’ Dave Casper changed the game with how teams used the tight end position…this will be on our Sunday posts until it happens.

Week7 Game Predictions:

The slate of games for Week 7 and my predictions are straight up for this week.
Buffalo, Philadelphia, Minnesota, and the LA Rams are on a bye week this week.

Arizona over New Orleans  1-0
Tampa Bay over Carolina
Cincinnati over Atlanta
Dallas over Detroit
NY Giants over Jacksonville
Tennessee over Indianapolis
Baltimore over Cleveland
Green Bay over Washington
NY Jets over Denver
Las Vegas over Houston
LA Chargers over Seattle
Kansas City over San Francisco

Sunday Night Football:
Miami over Pittsburgh

Monday Night Football:
New England over Chicago

Last Week:          8—6

This Season:     53—40—1
Last Season:   182—88—1

2020 Season:   169—86—1

2019 Season:   162—93—1

Eastbound and Down AFC East Notes:

Miami Celebrating 50th Anniversary of Unbeaten Team: The Dolphins will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Miami’s 1972 perfect season during Sunday night’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Members of the 1972 Dolphins team will be honored, while the team will wear throwback uniforms that will include a commemorative patch.

The patch and the jerseys can be seen here: <blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Coming soon 👀 <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/FinsUp?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#FinsUp</a> <a href=”https://t.co/fFliM7T59G”>pic.twitter.com/fFliM7T59G</a></p>&mdash; Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) <a href=”https://twitter.com/MiamiDolphins/status/1582739087236034560?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>October 19, 2022</a></blockquote> <script async src=”https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>

Jets WR Elijah Moore Requests To Be Traded: 

New York Jets disgruntled wide receiver Elijah Moore, getting more and more frustrated with his lack of usage in the Jets’ passing game, has requested a trade, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported on Thursday morning.

This came about after Moore wasn’t targeted in the Jets’ win over Green Bay.

Rapoport added that the Jets have no plans to trade Moore.

After the game, Moore posted on Twitter, “If I say what I really wanna say … I’ll be the selfish guy … we winning.” 

“Grateful! Huge blessing! All I ever wanted. [Bitter] sweet for me em but I’ll be solid. So I’ll just stay quiet. Just know I don’t understand either,” he added.  

______________

“Yeah, we’re fortunate we have pretty good depth at our safeties. We’ve been able to utilize really all of those guys and they’ve all been productive for us. They all are versatile. A.P. [Adrian Phillips], Kyle [Dugger], Pep [Jabrill Peppers], and then of course Devin [McCourty]. 

“They all can do multiple things. Kyle [Dugger] as we know is one of our most physical players. Runs well, tough, smart kid. He’s been good in coverage. Has a lot of range. He gives us a lot of speed in the back end. That’s always good to have. He’s a pretty good tackler, but I mean Devin, A.P, Pep, they all have been good. 

It gives us a way to matchup, I’d say more on our terms, how we want to do it. The times we’ve played more safeties against receivers. The time’s we’ve played more corners against receivers. We’ve been able to play some three-safety defenses against regular people, against bigger people. Some of those formations like Cleveland gave us. It’s good to have that kind of flexibility. He’s a big part of it.”

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick asked how the development of S Kyle Dugger, and his ability to play multiple positions.

_______________

“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 and Streamyard as Russ Goldman, Derek Havens, and myself from PatsFans.com discuss the latest Patriots news and game analysis.


Posted Under: Patriots News
Tags: Bill Belichick Buffalo Bills Damien Harris Deatrich Wise Devin McCourty Jakobi Meyers Kendrick Bourne Matthew Judon Miami Dolphins New England Patriots New York Jets Patriots Patriots edge rushers Rhamondre Stevenson Tyquan Thornton

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