Author Archives: Ian Logue

Ian Logue

About Ian Logue

Ian Logue is a Seacoast native and owner and senior writer for PatsFans.com, an independent media site covering the New England Patriots and has been running this site in one form or another since 1997.

6 Thoughts Following the Patriots Win Over the Jets

Ian Logue
October 22, 2019 at 10:58 am ET

The Patriots improved to 7-0 after embarrassing the Jets in front of their own crowd and the world Monday night, demoralizing a New York team that had been riding fairly high coming into the game after beating the Cowboys the week before.

With Jets quarterback Sam Darnold back under center, New York seemed to be poised to turn things around and potentially give New England their first loss of the season.  Unfortunately for Darnold, the result was quite the opposite and here are some thoughts on the Patriots’ seventh win of the season.

1) It’s hard not to wonder how we’ll someday look back on this defense given the performance they’ve put forth so far through the first seven weeks of the season.  As Patriots fans, most people look back on the days of Ty Law, Willie McGinest and Tedy Bruschi as the glory days of this group, but the 2019 version has been far more dominant than anyone could have ever expected.

Monday night was certainly a terrific example of how good they could be after they forced six Jets turnovers, including 4 interceptions by Darnold.  It started right away after Devin McCourty nabbed the first, picking the Jets signal-caller off on just his second snap of the contest and setting the tone for the rest of the night.  The turnover gives McCourty an NFL best 5 on the season and it was a good job by the safety who made a nice play on the football.

They kept Darnold off balance all night and came at him from all angles, putting him under constant duress and forcing quite a few errant throws.  Darnold, who was mic’d up for the game, was spotted on the sideline saying, “I’m seeing ghosts” and that quote would come back to haunt him for the rest of the evening as New England refused to take the foot off the gas the entire night.

The Patriots made Darnold miserable Monday night.

It didn’t get any better and he finished having completed just 11-of-32 (34%) for 86-yards for the game.  New England’s defense held New York to just 2-of-11 on third down, with Darnold completing a paltry 3-of-10 (30%) for 27 yards and three interceptions.

The interception total is just ridiculous.  Last night’s game gives New England 18 on the year, nearly double that of the next closest team, which is Pittsburgh with 8. They’ve also defended 50 passes, well ahead of the next closest team, which is the Buffalo Bills with 36.

As Mike Reiss pointed out last night, according to ESPN Stats and Info, it’s the second-highest interception total through the first seven games in the last 30 seasons.  The only team with more is the Packers, who had 20 during their Super Bowl season in 1996 (unfortunately, most of us remember who they beat to win it).

The critics will point to the competition this group has faced so far, but good teams are supposed to beat up on inferior clubs and the Patriots did more than beat up the Jets, they absolutely annihilated them.  This is a group who collectively right now is playing so well as a unit and they didn’t back down all night.  In fact, despite the lopsided score, this game even had a strange feel as if it was still much tighter than the scoreboard showed given the fact they never let up and were playing just as hard in the fourth quarter as they were when the game started.

Needless to say, while it’s hard to believe, we’re witnessing history each week.  With 9 games stil left to go, this unit definitely appears poised to potentially write themselves further into the NFL record books and at the rate they’re going, it should be fun to see how it plays out.

2) With the Patriots without Josh Gordon Monday night, it was Jakobi Meyers who stepped up and had another solid outing.  Brady was 5-of-5 targeting him, with their chemistry starting on the first drive of the night after the Patriots faced a 3rd-and-7 at midfield.  Meyers hauled in a 9-yard pass to extend the drive, but then made a further impact on the ensuing 3rd-and-10 play where he made a key block to allow Julian Edelman to pick up 14-yards.

Both of those moments were big as it helped extend the drive and set up the eventual 3-yard touchdown run by Sony Michel.

It was good to see and Brady clearly appears to be finally getting some confidence throwing to him.  He also went to him on early downs, connecting on 3-of-3 targets for 34-yards on second down, including a 23-yard reception early in the second quarter that helped put them near the goal line to take advantage of a Darnold strip-sack.  That play eventually led to another Michel touchdown.

Overall, games like these could pay dividends down the road and with the addition of receiver Mohamed Sanu, who the Patriots acquired from Atlanta on Tuesday, this is a group that could suddenly become even more dangerous if Meyers can continue to grow into the speedy threat he already appears he can be.


Michel rushed for 3 touchdowns on Monday night.

3) It was another tough night for Sony Michel, who despite his 3 touchdowns had to, once again, battle for nearly every yard.

It’s no secret that the Patriots are still trying to work things out up front on the offensive line and as a result, things aren’t coming easy for the second-year running back.  He carried 19 times for 42-yards Monday night, averaging a mere 2.2 yards per carry.  The frustrating part of last night is the fact that he failed to gain a yard 9 times, including 3 for a loss and 6 for no gain.

It’s been a difficult year for Michel, who coming into the game had 100 carries on the season, which isn’t far off from the 91 he had heading into week 7 in 2018.  But he certainly had better luck breaking through the line last season.  He had 15 carries last year through six games where he didn’t pick up a yard after he was dropped for a loss 7 times and ran for no gain on 8 others.

This season, that total was at 24 heading into last night, with 10 negative carries and 14 where he was stopped for no gain.

It’s not that hard to figure out knowing how injuries have caused shifts in the line-up compared to last season and it’s a further reminder of just how good David Andrews was in providing that middle push to open things up, as well as the effect the absence of James Develin is having.

It was interesting to see the Patriots experiment with several players last night to try and address the issue, with Elandon Roberts and James Ferentz as two players who saw action at fullback against the Jets and both did a decent job with their first opportunities.

Give Michel credit, as he’s remained pretty even-keeled so far this season and is still managing to have a productive year.  But we’ll have to see how things play out in the coming weeks as unfortunately, this quietly still remains an area to keep an eye on.

It wasn’t Brady’s best game, but he was certainly the better QB Monday night.

4) Tom Brady may have not had his best game last night but he was on point in the first quarter after completing 13-of-17 (76%) for 118-yards and a touchdown as New England pulled ahead of the Jets while building an early 17-0 lead.

Two of his best throws of the night came on their third possession where he threw a perfect back-shoulder strike to Brandon Bolden for 26-yards, which helped set up another flawless 26-yard scoring strike to Phillip Dorsett, which Brady dropped in perfectly in the back of the end zone where only Dorsett could come down with it.

The early down success was key as Brady was 11-of-15 (73%) for 57 yards on first down, along with 15-of-20 (75%) on second down.  That kept them out of long-yardage situations as they only faced 3rd-and-9 or longer on just 6 of their 16 third-down attempts.  That allowed them to continue moving the football and sustain drives, holding the football for over 38-minutes and giving their defense plenty of time to recharge and make Darnold’s life miserable.

But after the game Brady was happy but still appeared frustrated as he likely knows the offense remains a work in progress.  Hopefully, Tuesday’s addition of Sanu will start making things a little easier.

5) One player who managed to stay off of everyone’s radar Monday night was Mike Nugent, who quietly had a good game.

Nugent was a perfect 4-for-4 on extra points Monday night, as well as hitting a 34-yard field goal.  Each kick was straight and never in doubt, which is a stark contrast to his first outing where he was erratic and didn’t look anywhere near close to comfortable out there.

It’s a good sign as with the colder months coming, the kicking game tends to be a key part of the offense given how scoring tends to drop as the elements become more difficult for offenses to operate in.  Seeing Nugent settle in was a pleasant surprise and the fact he was able to go out there and get it done should have most fans feeling a little better since the Patriots will still need to soldier on without Stephen Gostkowski, who is lost for the rest of the season.

6) We’ll end on this note, which saw one of the most hilarious sequences in Bill Belichick’s tenure happen last night and it was pretty funny to watch how it all unfolded.

With just over 10-minutes to go in the game and leading 33-0, the Patriots saw their offense stall at the Jets’ 33yd line.  With the punt team on the field and facing 4th-and-2, the Patriots took a delay of game penalty, likely looking to give punter Jake Bailey a little more room to work with to pin the Jets in deep yet again.

Adam Gase declined the penalty, which seemed to amuse Belichick.  It then appeared Belichick ordered Brandon Bolden to commit a false start penalty, hoping to again move them back.  But Gase, again, declined the penalty.

From there, cameras caught Belichick smile, knowing he was still out-thinking Gase even at this point in the football game.  It was an absolutely terrific sequence and certainly will likely go down as a moment that will be mentioned years from now once he walks away.  Fortunately, all of us got to watch it happen in real-time.

https://twitter.com/espn/status/1186477725328072704

It was all-in-all a great night and the Patriots will now return home to get to work as they’ll next face the Cleveland Browns at Gillette Stadium this weekend.

5 Thoughts Following the Patriots Win Over Washington

Ian Logue
October 7, 2019 at 11:39 am ET

With New England improving to 5-0 on the season, here are some thoughts coming off their win over Washington:

1) Sunday’s game in Washington saw another solid performance for New England’s defense, although they’ll leave this one with a reminder that not everything was perfect.

They made one key miscue on Washington’s second possession of the game after Redskins receiver Steven Sims ran around the right end and slipped into a group of defenders and got away from the normally sure-handed Devin McCourty. McCourty wasn’t able to wrap him up and Sims pulled away, accelerating up the sideline and away from the Patriots’ defense for a 65-yard touchdown.

That play was the longest play allowed by New England’s defense so far this season, eclipsing Pittsburgh wide receiver James Washington’s 45-yard reception back in Week 1 and Buffalo running back Frank Gore’s 41-yard run last week.

But after that, they settled down and played well, shutting Washington down the rest of the way. Overall, they made quarterback Colt McCoy completely miserable, sacking him 6 times. He was also picked off by veteran Jason McCourty.

The turnover gives them an NFL-best 11 interceptions on the season, well ahead of the next closest team, the Packers, who have 7. The sack total puts them at 24 on the year, still tops in the league ahead of the Panthers, who have 20.

They’re also the only NFL team to average single digits for points allowed, averaging 6.8 through five games. That’s nearly half the amount allowed by the next closest teams in that category, with the Bears (13.8), Bills (14.0) and Vikings (14.6) as the next three among the league-leaders.

But the stat that stands out the most is the fact that through five games, quarterbacks have 0 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. They’ve also held teams to an astonishing 8/63 (12%.7) on third down.

It remains one of the most impressive starts we’ve ever seen but one that continues to be downplayed among most experts who argue the level of competition has yet to prove they’re as good as they appear. That’s probably fine with this group, who remain under the radar as they’ve been a key part of helping the Patriots remain as the lone undefeated team in the AFC.


Nugent was shaky in his Patriots’ debut.

2) With Stephen Gostkowski out for the remainder of the season, Sunday’s game was a reminder that things will likely be interesting at the kicker position for the remainder of the season.

Newcomer Mike Nugent missed his first attempt with the team, hooking an extra point attempt wide right following Julian Edelman’s touchdown on New England’s second offensive possession. That clearly didn’t instill much confidence with Bill Belichick, who opted to leave the offense on the field facing 4th-and-1 from Washington’s 22-yard line early in the second quarter. Instead of a field goal attempt, the offense went with an interesting play as Brady moved over and leaned out left, pointing to his helmet as if he was calling out an audible and they made a direct snap to James White, who was dropped for a 2-yard loss.

Nugent would later hit his first field goal attempt after their next drive stalled at the Redskins’ 19-yard line, connecting on a 37-yard kick that fluttered through the uprights and put New England ahead at 9-7 early in the second quarter. He added another from 23-yards out after the Patriots marched down to Washington’s 5-yard line at the end of the first half.

But his final kick of the day was a little shaky, as Nugent doinked the extra point off the upright after Brady connected with Ryan Izzo from 10-yards out for a touchdown.

Overall, it wasn’t terrible for a player who likely had some butterflies heading into his Patriots debut. His biggest drawback is the fact that he’s not a guy who can be counted on to hit a 50+ field goal with the game on the line and according to reports, he was a little erratic from beyond 45-yards in pregame Sunday. However, one of Belichick’s areas of expertise is in special teams, so it’s not out of the realm of possibility that he’ll be someone who will get the most out of Nugent.

For now, hopefully Nugent can settle in because it won’t be long before these games start getting a little tougher and each kick will matter a little more. But so far, it appears like it might be an interesting ride.


Edelman gutted out a strong performance.

3) Despite the 33-points they put up on Sunday, New England’s offense struggled in the passing game as Phillip Dorsett went down with an injury early in the contest, while Edelman gutted out Sunday in pain. Josh Gordon was hit hard every time nearly every time he touched the football, making for a long afternoon for a group that had to fight for every last yard.

Even with their personnel issues, New England found a way, scoring 33 unanswered points after Washington had taken the early 7-0 lead on Sims’ touchdown. They leaned on their ground game, with Sony Michel having his best rushing performance of the season, rushing for 91-yards on 16 carries (5.7 avg), including a touchdown. He also had a carry for 25-yards, the first 20+ yard run for the offense this season and the longest run so far for the Patriots in 2019. The previous high was 15-yards, which was also by Michel last week in Buffalo.

Edelman led all receivers with 8 receptions for 110-yards, including a 31-yard reception in the third quarter that helped set up the knockout blow for the Patriots after Michel took it in from 14-yards out on the next play.

Another pleasant surprise on Sunday was the performance of Ryan Izzo, who played a part in the Patriots getting a little bit of production out of the tight end position as Brady hit him twice for 39-yards, including a 29-yard touchdown. He and Brady appeared to have good chemistry and Izzo showed some pretty good athleticism, sneaking behind the Redskins defense and ending up all alone as Brady fired him the football for the touchdown.

On the injury front, Dorsett, who left the game early with a hamstring injury, will likely remain a player to keep an eye on as the Patriots don’t currently have much margin for error. But even at 5-0, Brady and company remain a work in progress but took a few small steps forward during Sunday’s win.


Michel was a dual threat in the passing game Sunday.

4) It was good to see Michel involved in the passing game and he looked pretty fluid when Brady targeted him on Sunday.

The quarterback targeted Michel three times Sunday, connecting on each pass for a total of 32-yards. That was key because it was obvious Washington was keying on the run with Michel on the field and it caught them off guard.

Michel ran well after getting off to a slow start. He carried just 4 times in the first half for 10-yards (2.5 avg). However, he exploded in the second half, carrying 12 times for 81-yards as the Patriots hammered Washington and ultimately put the game away.

But his success in the passing game was big and if he continues getting back to where he was running the football, that could come into play down the road for this team. If Sunday is a sign of things to come, it should be a fun dynamic to keep an eye on moving forward.


Brady was stellar in the second half Sunday.

5) Sunday’s performance by Tom Brady was a little rough but given everything he was dealing with, he fought through it and finished with a pretty good afternoon.

After starting out 12-of-16 (75%) for 154-yards and a touchdown in the first quarter, the Redskins made his life tough in the second quarter and held him to just 7-of-15 (47%) throwing the football, including his second red zone interception in as many weeks. That play stung because it came after they were in terrific field position, thanks to a forced fumble by Jonathan Jones that Jamie Collins recovered and took down to the Washington 16-yard line.

With the Patriots leading 9-7, that was a key missed opportunity that fortunately didn’t come back to haunt them. The good news is, Brady went out and had a flawless second half, completing 9-of-11 (82%) for 142-yards and two touchdowns.

Overall, he finished 28-of-42 (67%) for 348-yards along with three touchdowns and his interception before giving way to Jarett Stidham late in the contest.

When you take into account that they accomplished everything they did on Sunday with a depleted receiver group, it’s impressive to say the least. Anytime a team struggles yet still puts up 33 points, it’s a reminder that they’ll become even more dangerous down the road.

At the end of the day, the critics can say what they want but the best teams always find a way to win. For now, that’s the difference in the conference after after the Chiefs couldn’t find a way to do the same against Indianapolis Sunday night.

New England will now come home and prepare for a quick turnaround when they face the Giants Thursday night at Gillette Stadium.

Patriots Put Kicker Gostkowski On IR

Ian Logue
October 2, 2019 at 2:45 pm ET

It’s been a tough start to the season for Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski, who started out last Sunday’s game with another extra point miss during the team’s win over the Bills.

However, it appears they’ll be without him following news by the Boston Globe’s Jim McBride on Wednesday that the veteran will be placed on injured reserve heading into Sunday’s game against Washington.

Gostkowski had made just 11-of-15 extra point attempts so far this season, which had been a frustrating topic of discussion during New England’s first four games. The one miss in Buffalo loomed large, as it was the first time this season where one point could have been the difference against a Bills team that made New England earn every one they put on the scoreboard.

However, oddly enough, Gostkowski had hit 7 of his 8 field goal attempts this season, hitting a perfect 6/6 from 20-39yds, with his one miss coming on a 48-yard attempt in Miami in Week 2.

His loss is certainly a little tougher than many may think as it now leaves the Patriots looking for a replacement. According to reports, they worked out a couple of players, but it now remains quite a big question mark heading into this weekend.

Patriots Dominance Against Opposing QBs Is Staggering So Far

Ian Logue
at 9:56 am ET

How good have the Patriots been against opposing quarterbacks this season compared to 2018?

The results are pretty staggering so far.

Through four games this season there has been a significant difference between the success of opposing quarterbacks this year compared to this year.

Looking back at the first four games of 2018, opposing quarterbacks had completed 88-of-140 (62.9%) for 949-yards along with 8 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. This season? 79-of-152 (52%) for 840-yards, 0 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

2018 Thru 4 Games

2019 Thru 4 Games

Down in the red zone, the numbers are just as ridiculous. In 2018 over the same span, opposing quarterbacks had completed 10/21 (47.6%) with 5 touchdowns and zero interceptions. This season when teams have managed to get into scoring territory, quarterbacks are just 2-of-6 for 9-yards with zero touchdowns and one interception.

The other number that stands out is the fact at this time last season, the defense had managed 6 sacks through four games. However, this season, they’ve already put up 18 sacks, including 5 last Sunday against the Buffalo Bills. That puts them on pace for 72, which is unlikely but the fact they’re off to this start in itself is pretty impressive.

Needless to say, they’ve certainly exceeded expectations so far. Considering that Bill Belichick’s defenses tend to improve as the season progresses, it should be interesting to see if they’re able to somehow be even more dominant by the end of the year.

5 Thoughts on the Patriots Win Over the Bills

Ian Logue
September 30, 2019 at 10:52 am ET

Sunday’s game against the Bills went down as one of the toughest ones for the Patriots so far this season, with New England hanging on for a 16-10 road win to improve to 4-0 on the season.

Here are some thoughts coming off the vicotry:

1 ) With Stephen Gostkowski continuing to struggle, Sunday was really the first time his difficulties were magnified as the Patriots found themselves in a tight game that could have turned out badly had their defense not held on.

After missing the extra point on New England’s first-quarter touchdown, the Patriots found themselves in a dogfight late in this one as points suddenly were at a premium and the one point New England was lacking left the Bills with an opportunity to take the lead late.  Buffalo started their final drive of the game from their own 14-yard line, driving down to the Patriots 39-yard line before Kyle Van Noy put a hit on Bills quarterback Matt Barkley, which led to an errant throw and the game-clinching interception by Jamie Collins.

Fortunately, their defense carried the day and both New England’s offense and Gostkowski were let off the hook.  Had the Bills managed to go down and score and hit the extra point at the end of regulation, it would have potentially been a tough division loss that would have put the Patriots at 3-1 heading into next week’s game down in Washington.

Make no mistake, Gostkowski has gotten the benefit of the doubt from Bill Belichick, who is clearly willing to allow him to weather whatever it is causing his current erratic performance.  But as we now start heading into Week 5 and into the second quarter of the season, this is the time Gostkowski needs to start settling in as we start moving into October.  Hopefully, Sunday marks the end of his struggles.


Sunday’s game was tough for Brady and the offense.

2) Sunday was one of the more frustrating performances we’ve seen from Tom Brady and the offense in recent memory, with the veteran struggling to get anything going against a Bills defense that was nothing short of relentless.

Brady finished Sunday’s game 18-of-39 for 150-yards along with a gut-wrenching red-zone interception, which completely turned the momentum of this game as the Patriots had an opportunity to completely change the tone of this one.

The play in question came late in the second quarter after New England managed to string together the longest drive of the day by either team, marching 76-yards on 16 plays while holding the ball for more than 8-minutes.

After battling their way down to the Bills’ 2-yard line, Brady was flushed out of the pocket and forced to roll out to his right, firing a pass to Julian Edelman who was coming across toward the corner of the end zone.  The problem was, he didn’t see safety Micah Hyde, who had dropped off his man and broke on the football and snatched it out of the air for the interception.

That was a critical mistake by Brady, as it negated an opportunity to put them up 20-0 and instead allowed the Bills to take advantage of the turnover and take the football the other way for a field goal.  Suddenly, New England’s lead was just 13-3 and given how much they had struggled prior to that point, this one certainly felt like a game that wouldn’t be easy.

The Bills made Brady’s life difficult, breaking through the offensive line all afternoon and never allowed him to get into much of a rhythm.  In the fourth quarter when it mattered most, the Bills held Brady to just 3-of-8 (38%) for 13-yards throwing the football and it was really New England’s defense who, once again, carried the day.  The Patriots converted just 5-of-18 on third down Sunday, with Brady completing a mere 8-of-16 throwing the football including his interception.

Fortunately, the outcome turned out in their favor and New England survived a rare off day by New England’s signal-caller.  But give the Bills credit.  This group is tough defensively and they’ll likely be another tough out when they meet again on December 22nd.  With Buffalo still at 3-1, depending on how their journey goes from here, the rematch at Gillette Stadium may have a little more meaning next time compared to recent seasons.


New England’s defense was terrific on Sunday.

3) New England’s defense managed another impressive outing on Sunday, pressuring Bills QB Josh Allen all afternoon while holding Buffalo to just 2-of-13 (15%) on third down.  But the biggest story of the day was all the plays they made in key moments, with this group coming up with four big interceptions along with five sacks.

The turnovers started on the Bills’ first possession, with Devin McCourty coming up with his fourth interception in as many games.  That play was probably the most impressive one yet for McCourty, who leaped into the air in front of John Brown and took the ball away before returning it 19-yards to midfield.

New England’s offense took full advantage, scoring a touchdown off the turnover, which ended up being their only offensive touchdown of the day.

J.C. Jackson also got into the action, picking off two passes of his own, the second of which led to a field goal by Stephen Gostkowski, which put the Patriots up 16-10 with just under a minute left in the third quarter.

The final turnover of the day came courtesy of Jamie Collins, who took advantage of an errant throw by Matt Barkley, who was in the game after Allen was knocked out earlier in the contest. On the play, Barkley was hit as he released the football by Kyle Van Noy and his pass landed in the hands of Collins for the interception. That play was the knockout blow, as the Patriots offense ran out the clock and New England walked away with the victory.


Michel had to fight for every yard on Sunday.

4) Sunday saw a slight improvement in the ground game, although it was still a tough outing.  Sony Michel got the lion’s share of the carries, carrying 17 times for 63-yards while averaging 3.7 yards per carry.  That was a big improvement over last week after he finished with 9 carries for just 11-yards against the Jets.

But one thing that stood out is the fact that the offensive line’s struggles remain an issue, with Michel being dropped for a loss or no gain on 4 of his 17 carries.  Coming into Sunday’s game he had been dropped for no gain or a loss on 9 carries through the first three weeks.

To compound the issue, they tried to keep Buffalo off balance but Brady connected on just 6-of-15 (40%) for 34-yards throwing the football on second down, setting the Bills up to come after Brady on third down as the Patriots found themselves in 3rd-or-8 or longer on 11 of their 18 third down attempts.  That made for a tough afternoon as the offense had to fight for every last yard and they were fortunate that the defense came up with a stellar effort.

With all the injuries they’ve been dealing with up front, Sunday’s contest was one of the more frustrating reminders that they still have their work cut out for them.


Slater scored his first career special teams TD Sunday.

5) Special teams were a crucial part of Sunday’s win and veteran Matthew Slater certainly came up big in this one.

Following New England’s touchdown, the Bills had a punt blocked by Jackson, who dove in cleanly and got his hand on the football as it left Corey Bojorquez’ foot.  Slater swooped in and scooped up the football, returning it 11-yards into the end zone for the touchdown.

It was a huge play, with Slater celebrating his first career special teams touchdown in style, falling to his knees and raising his fists in the air as his teammates rushed over to celebrate with him.

His touchdown ended up being the game-winning play, which was massive given that they wouldn’t reach the end zone for the rest of the afternoon.

Another player who was big in this game was punter Jake Bailey, who played a critical role in helping the Patriots win the battle of field position as New England consistently found itself deep in its own territory.  But Bailey flipped things around repeatedly. He punted the football 9 times on Sunday, averaging 48.1 yards per punt.  That was big because for the most part, save for the turnovers, Buffalo didn’t really have good field position for most of this game and Bailey was a huge reason why that was the case.

Fortunately, the Patriots played the more complete game in this one and Bill Belichick was clearly pleased after the game with their special teams effort. However, the Bills were the first big test of the year and it’s obvious they still have some work ahead of them to get to where they need to be offensively.

For now, the Patriots will get back to work as they prepare to take on Washington on the road next Sunday at 1pm.

5 Thoughts on the Patriots Win Over the Jets

Ian Logue
September 23, 2019 at 8:44 am ET

The Patriots came up with a big win on Sunday, improving to 3-0 on the season thanks to another solid defensive effort during their victory over the Jets at Gillette Stadium.

Here are some thoughts on the win.

1) New defensive coach Jerod Mayo has been terrific during three games and it’s clear that his addition to the staff has been a perfect fit. The players in his group have seemed to really respond to the former linebacker and it’s something that can’t be overlooked. Every single one of them collectively is playing with some high energy, swarming to the football and they’ve just been relentless through three games. It certainly seems like Mayo deserves some of the credit, especially when you take a look on the sidelines and see him interacting with the players.

Sunday saw New England’s defense completely shut the Jets down, holding them to 0-for-12 on third down along with 0-for-1 on fourth down while also holding them to just 105 total net yards. The Jets actually finished the game with just 6 first downs, 4 passing, 2 via penalty and zero rushing first downs.

They didn’t allow an offensive touchdown for a third-straight week and for the most part, they even kept the Jets from really crossing midfield for most of the game. Granted, the most recent two victories have come against both the Dolphins and Jets, two teams that will likely finish in the bottom part of not only the AFC East, but likely the league as well. However, good teams are supposed to beat up on inferior teams and the Patriots showed no mercy on Sunday. Save for the pick-six by rookie quarterback Jarrett Stidham and the muffed punt by Gunner Olszewski that the Jets recovered in the end zone, New York never really put together any serious scoring threats.

What’s even more crazy is the fact they’re not even playing their best football yet and should only get better as the season progresses. If that’s the case, one can only imagine how much better they could be by the end of the year.

2) It was another frustrating outing for kicker Stephen Gostkowski, who had a tough start at the beginning of this one after missing an extra point on the team’s first touchdown.

That would be his only miscue of the afternoon, as he would hit his remaining kicks. Gostkowski admitted after the game that he’s just trying to get his “rhythm and timing” back and calls his issues a “work in progress”. For those who only see the missed kick on the surface, one thing to keep in mind is the fact that it’s also likely a matter of still getting comfortable with new holder Jake Bailey, who took over for the departed Ryan Allen.

After his initial miss, Gostkowski hit his next three extra points along with his lone field goal attempt, a 37-yarder. There are some calling for the team to make a change but given the state of kickers around the league, along with considering the context of the transition he’s dealing with, it’s still a little premature.

With plenty of football still yet to play, Gostkowski remains a player who deserves the benefit of the doubt. Hopefully, he’ll be able to settle in over the coming weeks as the Patriots appear poised for another run.


Meyers has quietly been a nice addition to the offense.

3) Antonio Brown’s departure may end up being a blessing in disguise since his absence Sunday allowed more playing time for Jakobi Meyers, who overall played pretty well.

Meyers caught two passes for 38-yards and ended up being a nice compliment for a group that saw Julian Edelman go down in the second quarter with an apparent chest injury. We learned later on after the game that Edelman actually suffered a rib injury and x-rays were negative, which was good news. Fortunately, having a speedy receiver like Meyers in the line-up kept the pressure on the Jets defense and he delivered.

The biggest question with Brown likely would have been his future beyond this year, with Meyers likely having been a player who might have suffered had Brown stayed with the team for the entire season. There’s no question that Brown’s athleticism and ability would have been a solid addition to the offense, but Meyers has shown enough early on where he could be a player who might prove valuable down the road in key moments behind guys like Edelman and Josh Gordon.

Needless to say, while losing Brown hurt them from a football standpoint, the bright side is his departure could end up making Meyers a better player by the end of the season. If that comes to fruition, that should be terrific news for an offense that has already scored 30+ points through three games.


Michel scored another touchdown on Sunday. (USA TODAY Images)

4) One of the biggest topics of discussion that will likely come up this week will be Sunday’s performance of Sony Michel, who had a difficult time getting any positive yards against the Jets. Michel carried 9 times for just 11-yards and scored a touchdown, but averaged a mere 1.2 yards-per-carry. However, one of the biggest things that stood out was the fact his production had more to do with the struggles with New England’s offensive line, which had difficulty all afternoon creating any holes for him to run through.

Injuries have obviously been the problem, with the team fairly banged up and going with newcomer Marshall Newhouse at left tackle, while Marcus Cannon gutted out Sunday’s game. Ted Karras also got the start at center.

The group did a serviceable job but it’s safe to say that it’s going to be a bit of a work in progress as they continue trying to deal with those issues. While Michel struggled, he was still part of the success Tom Brady had in the play-action part of their offense as they still did a good job of keeping New York off balance.

One would expect Michel’s production to improve as the offensive line settles in but it’s safe to say that there will be some criticizing the rookie this week. After a season with a pretty dominant group, it will be interesting to see how he adapts as the Patriots continue working out the kinks up front.

5) If Jarrett Stidham has any hope of being the long-term answer behind Tom Brady, Sunday’s game was a reminder that he obviously has his work cut out for him.

Stidham entered the game with just over eight minutes left to play with the team up 30-7 and things didn’t exactly go as planned. He completed a pass to Dorsett for 11-yards, but was dropped for a 7-yard sack on the next play and then two plays later was picked off after overthrowing Brandon Bolden and the ball landed right in Jamal Adams’ hands, who took off 61-yards the other way for the touchdown.

That saw Bill Belichick yank Stidham out of the game and reinsert Brady, who finished the contest.

It’s safe to say that will go down as a “teaching moment” for the rookie, who squandered what will likely be one of his few moments to see playing time this season. They say you can’t succeed until you suffer some adversity. Hopefully, this will be a moment he’ll look back at as a turning point in his development that will keep him from making a mistake like that down the road.

The Patriots will now spend this week getting ready for a trip to Buffalo as they’ll battle the unbeaten Bills next Sunday.

Brown Goes Off, Takes Shots at Patriots Owner Robert Kraft on Twitter

Ian Logue
September 22, 2019 at 11:39 am ET

Following his release from the Patriots, Antonio Brown tried to do the right thing and remain classy on his way out of town.

Sunday morning, all of that went out the window and it appears he’s ready to let everyone know what he really thinks.

Brown fired off a series of Tweets Sunday unloading on everyone, with the NFL, Ben Roethlisberger and even Patriots owner Robert Kraft in his crosshairs.

The receiver even went so far as to say he’s done with the NFL, voicing his frustration about the money likely being withheld from him due to what’s unfolded both in Oakland and here in New England so far this season.

But the biggest surprise was the shot he took at Kraft, with Brown Tweeting, “Kraft got caught in the parlor,” referring to the story over the offseason surrounding the owner’s alleged visit to a Florida massage parlor, “AB speculations fired different strokes different folks clearly”.

https://twitter.com/AB84/status/1175764859176312838

Here are the rest of the Tweets:

https://twitter.com/AB84/status/1175768716648374272

Brown’s attitude was different on Friday, with the veteran wideout saying the right things following his release, including Tweets where he twice thanked the team for the opportunity.

What a difference a couple of days makes.

Brown Only Has Himself to Blame for his Ruined Patriots Opportunity

Ian Logue
September 21, 2019 at 11:49 am ET

They say for some people, they’re their own worst enemy and that certainly appears to be the case for now-former Patriots receiver Antonio Brown.

The embattled, if you can really even call him that, receiver saw his tenure with the Patriots come to an end on Friday afternoon after new allegations came out, causing the team to decide to cut ties with him. A pattern of behavior was beginning to emerge and while nothing had yet been proven in court, the evidence appeared to be enough that the Patriots didn’t want to be a part of that journey.

The timing of the allegations against Brown, which began the moment he came to New England, were a topic of discussion that left many people questioning the validity of the accusations. After reportedly being caught off guard to begin with when this all started, the Patriots still clearly felt that it was worth at least trying to give him the benefit of the doubt based on whatever additional information they were given.

But Friday’s revelation was hard to ignore regarding the text messages allegedly sent by Brown, which coupled with the evidence against him, put him in enough of a light where it was clear there was more to this than many initially thought. While Brown made them better from a football standpoint, New England suddenly found themselves having to make a tough decision to cut ties with him and they wasted no time in doing so.

Bill Belichick said little Friday during his press conference but what he did say spoke volumes.

“I know there are questions about Antonio,” said Belichick to start the press conference. “We take all the situations with our team very seriously and there are some things that we are looking into.”

He said a lot by saying very little, revealing that they were bothered by the situation, which was telling. Rather than completely dismissing it and moving on to the Jets (he did later walk off the podium after the Brown questions persisted), it was obvious they may have believed there was more to the story than maybe had been aware of.

Not long after, the news came out that they had let him go.

Reports following the release indicated that both owner Robert Kraft and Belichick were united in the decision, which also tells you that internally the information they had gathered left them confident enough that parting with Brown was the right decision.

What’s crazy is the fact that prior to Friday’s report, Brown appeared as though he might make it through all of this from a football standpoint. Despite his allegedly disturbing pattern of behavior, it looked like the way the process had started to play out may have allowed him the opportunity to survive the season.

Unfortunately, rather than focus on football while letting things play out on their own through his legal team, Brown instead appeared to have taken things to the next level and reportedly sent some alarming texts to one of the accusers. While many will argue the severity of the words contained in those texts, it doesn’t change the fact that the mentality and intent behind them were troublesome enough where the Patriots couldn’t simply just look the other way.

As a result, that marked the end of Brown’s time with the Patriots and it will probably go down as a massive missed opportunity for a player who already looked completely different in this offense compared to when he was in Pittsburgh. Brown’s four receptions against Miami along with his touchdown were likely just a glimpse of what he was probably capable of. It’s just too bad that his decisions off the field ended his season before it ever got started.

Needless to say, when Brown looks back at this time he’ll hopefully realize he’s only got himself to blame. As for the Patriots, they didn’t need him to begin with and they’ll take the field Sunday against the Jets and then simply get ready for their next opponent, just like any other season.

Unfortunately for Brown and his impending legal troubles, he’s simply now on his own.

Patriots End Brown’s Tenure Amid New Allegations, Release Veteran WR

Ian Logue
September 20, 2019 at 5:10 pm ET

The Patriots may not have known about Antonio Brown’s troubles when they first brought him in, but after learning about new allegations against the receiver Friday, they apparently decided enough was enough.

According to published reports, the Patriots parted ways with Brown Friday afternoon, amid multiple allegations against the former Steelers wideout, with the latest report involving Brown allegedly harassing one of the women in question via text.

At that point, it appears the information the Patriots received was enough to make them decide to cut ties with Brown, who appeared in last week’s contest down in Miami where he caught 4 passes for 56-yards including a touchdown.

The Patriots released a statement, which included, “We appreciate the hard work of many people over the past 11 days, but we feel that it is best to move in a different direction at this time.”

Brown thanked the team in a social media post:

For now, the train here in New England moves on while Brown deals with whatever else may still be yet to come for the embattled receiver.

As for the Patriots, they’re on to the Jets.

Bolden, Meyers Among Today’s Inactives for the Patriots

Ian Logue
September 15, 2019 at 11:40 am ET

The Patriots just released their inactive list for today’s game against the Dolphins, which features a few notable names among those not playing this afternoon.

Here’s the full list:

CB Joejuan Williams
DL Deatrich Wise
RB Brandon Bolden
RB Damien Harris
WR Jakobi Meyers
OL Jermaine Eluemunor
OT Marcus Cannon

As for the Dolphins, their inactives are as follows:

WR Albert Wilson
S Reshad Jones
RB Myles Gaskin
OL Chris Reed
OT Isaiah Prince
OL Bryan Witzmann
LB Trent Harris

Meanwhile, wide receiver Antonio Brown is expected to make his debut this afternoon, with several reports indicating that he may see significant playing time.

As expected, it’s another hot one down in Miami, with the temperature already approaching 90-degrees with the normal Florida humidity, likely making the conditions for this one a little challenging. We’ll see how they handle it as New England looks to improve to 2-0 this afternoon.

Kickoff for this afternoon’s contest is at 1:00pm.