Tag Archives: Pete Carroll

Four Monday Patriots Thoughts: Esiason Handled Brady Situation Poorly

Ian Logue
June 10, 2019 at 7:35 am ET

With the Patriots coming off of a productive week of practice and just a couple of sessions left before the countdown to training camp begins, here are some thoughts as we kick off this week.

1) One of the more frustrating topics of discussions last week was former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason opting to publicly go after Tom Brady for Brady’s reported decision to pursue the trademark for “Tom Terrific”, which drew the ire of the retired quarterback.

Esiason, for the most part, has always had nothing but positive comments for Brady both on television and in his weekly interviews on WEEI. But Esiason went off the rails last week, attacking Brady after his strong feelings against the idea of trademarking that term apparently stemmed from the fact he credited his childhood hero, Mets pitcher Tom Seaver, as being the player who, in his mind, is the one worthy of that moniker since that’s how Mets fans referred to Seaver during his career.

Needless to say, the idea of Brady trademarking the nickname got Esiason all fired up, with the generally level-headed former player making some ridiculous comments to WFAN last week.

“When you’ve got so much goddamned money, you can do whatever you want, and this is now what Tom Brady wants to take — “Tom Terrific” as his nickname,” said Esiason via WFAN. “Maybe in New England they call him that, I guess. But you know what? We’ve been calling Tom Seaver “Tom Terrific” forever, for as long as I can remember, for 50 years. That’s who Tom Terrific has always been.”

Esiason wasn’t done there, chastising Brady further.

“I am disgusted,” continued Esiason. “And I’m really surprised, and I’m really — I don’t know, it just feels sleazy to me, you know?”

While Esiason’s home market is now New York, it’s surprising that if he truly felt that way, it seems like it would have made more sense for him to at least do the right thing and reach out privately to Brady for more context, which would have been the smarter move. Instead, Esiason made assumptions and disparaged Brady publicly, which simply wasn’t the right move and was certainly disappointing.

Brady was asked about the situation this week, but explained that the decision was really over the fact he didn’t like the nickname, which he’s heard used when some have referred to him. Unfortunately, it got blown way out of proportion and he was disappointed with what it turned into.

“It’s unfortunate,” said Brady, referring to the overall backlash over the situation. “I was actually trying to do something because I didn’t like the nickname and I wanted to make sure no one used it because some people wanted to use it.”

“I was trying to keep people from using it and then it got spun around to something different than what it was. Good lesson learned and try to do things a little different in the future.”

Seems simple enough. Unfortunately, Esiason’s comments may have potentially damaged any relationship the two may have had for stupid reasons. Brady said it’s a lesson learned. Hopefully, Esiason learned one as well.


Hightower has been a clutch performer in the postseason.

2) One of the things that stood out from Thursday night’s presentation of the Super Bowl rings to the players were Bill Belichick’s comments about Dont’a Hightower, where Mike Reiss said that Belichick referred to the veteran as “Mr. February”, stemming from the big performances the linebacker always seems to come up with during each of the team’s Super Bowl victories.

So far this offseason, things seem to be going well for Hightower, who has dealt with his fair share of injuries during his career. However, it appears the work he’s doing is paying off as he’s been focused on getting his body healthy, having lost weight along with spending time working on his flexibility. According to Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald, that time has also been spent with offensive lineman Shaq Mason, with the two training in Tennessee as Hightower continues working toward trying to make sure he’s able to stay on the field in 2019.

“Things haven’t changed. I’m just trying to stay lean. That’s what I focused on last year, trying to stay healthy a majority of the year,” said Hightower. “I just want to stay on top of that, and keep going that route. I don’t want to change anything, because I want to stay on the field.”

One of Hightower’s strengths has been his ability to get after the quarterback, most notably, in the playoffs. He came up big against the Rams, finishing with two sacks and three total quarterback hits against Jared Goff during their most recent championship run. Whether or not he’ll see more of that type of role now that Trey Flowers is gone remains to be seen but Hightower said he’s ready to do whatever Belichick needs him to this season and he’s hopeful all this work will pay dividends.

“Whatever Bill wants me to do, wherever he wants me to play, that’s where I’ll be,” said Hightower, “but again, my body feels a lot better. My knees are a lot better. The yoga helps with my core, strengthens my quads, all my limbs have more flexibility. If all that ties together (with getting to the quarterback), I’m down for it. But I feel good. I just want to stay on top of it.”


Edelman has come a long way as a player since being drafted in 2009. (USA TODAY Images)

3) The initial reports coming out of minicamp seem to point to good things for rookie receiver N’Keal Harry, which is certainly a positive. But one of the even more interesting aspects of this story is the involvement of Julian Edelman, who reportedly spent some time working with the rookie on the finer points of playing in New England’s offense.

According to Reiss, Edelman spent some time during the recent sessions talking to the rookie following a route he ran, which the next time around saw Harry do it a little differently and more precise, leading to praise from quarterback Tom Brady.

It’s amazing when you think back to where Edelman started to where he is now, having evolved into one of the best players at his position in a league where he’s generally not even mentioned among the top receivers in the NFL. The latter fact is the one that likely continues to motivate him and here he is, helping another up-and-coming player who will hopefully help him get another opportunity at a championship next February.

Reiss noted in his Sunday column that one of Edelman’s own mentors was former Patriot Fred Taylor, who spent a lot of time with him in his early years. The two would spend car rides together talking and developed a good relationship.

“I saw a lot of myself in him. Julian was so hard on himself, and when the coaches were hard on him, he would get down. Way down,” Taylor told Reiss. “Going to New England can be tough for rookies, with [Bill Belichick’s] coaching style, but I would say, ‘You don’t know how good you got it. You all have to appreciate this.’ Julian thought Coach was being a hardass, and tough on him. But that’s because he saw something in Julian. Some people don’t recognize that until it’s too late, but fortunately for Julian, he figured it out.”

Taylor’s comments sparked a reminder of Edelman’s attitude when it came to that sort of tough treatment, which stems from a mention in the book “Relentless”, authored by Edelman and NBC Sports Boston’s Tom Curran, which gave a really great glimpse into the receiver’s life. But one area that stood out was Edelman talking about the fact he preferred people being straight with him, especially if he wasn’t doing things correctly.

“You need to be called out and told the hard truths. You need to be shown the consequences of what will happen if you screw up,” explained Edleman. “You need people who won’t say, “Everything’s OK…” when it really isn’t. My father pointed out the bad more than the good. And Coach Belichick spends a lot more time telling us what we need to further improve on instead of patting us on the ass for something we’re supposed to be doing anyway. You have to have thick skin in this world.”

It’s a good mentality to have and it’s great to seeing him having a positive influence on someone like Harry, who they likely have high expectations for. It’s a little early to read too much into it, but let’s just hope Harry is filing away this information and will build on it by the time training camp begins.


Brady once promised he’d take advantage of any opportunity prior to becoming a starter.

4) I stumbled upon an interesting article by Jaclyn Galvin and Sam Gordon over at PrimeTimeSportsTalk.com, with the two having caught up with former Patriots quarterback Michael Bishop.

For anyone who doesn’t recognize that name, Bishop was a former New England quarterback and a 7th round draft pick selected by then Patriots head coach Pete Carroll, who took the Kansas State standout with the 227th overall pick in 1999.

Belichick inherited Bishop when he took over in 2000 following Carroll’s firing after an 8-8 finish in 1999. Brady was selected in the 6th round that year during Belichick’s first NFL Draft as Patriots head coach, joining Bishop behind then-starter Drew Bledsoe.

The two apparently developed a good relationship, with Bishop saying that they each talked about how they expected the other to make the most of an opportunity if it ever came.

“We made a promise to each other, he said to me ‘If you get an opportunity, don’t give it back,'” Bishop said. “I said the same thing if he gets an opportunity to play don’t give it back and his opportunity came up.”

Off the field, the two apparently spent a lot of time together, talking about their goals and what they hoped to accomplish.

“From the time I was [in New England], me and Brady used to hangout. We used go to this place called ‘The Rack,’ and I got some stories I can’t tell you,” Bishop said. “But from actually being around Brady, at the time [Drew] Bledsoe was the starter and I finally got moved up to backup, me and Brady spent a lot time before practice and after practice, we shared a lot of stories and goals we both had.”

Bishop didn’t get to see Brady’s ascension first-hand. He was cut in training camp the following season in 2001, with Brady moving ahead of him on the depth chart behind Bledsoe, while free agent quarterback Damon Huard held the other spot.

Obviously the rest is history, but it’s interesting to learn that Bishop and Brady were as friendly as they were. Kudos to Galvin and Gordon for providing a nice walk down memory lane and the rest of the piece is definitely worth checking out, as it has some other terrific bits of information as well.

New England Patriots News, 4-14, AFC East Notes

Steve Balestrieri
April 14, 2019 at 5:00 am ET

Good morning, here is your Sunday Patriots news 04-14 and AFC East Notes.

It is looking like it is going to be another soggy Boston Marathon this year, we’d like to wish all of the competitors the best of luck tomorrow.


As we stated last week we have begun our draft profiles on players that we feel would fit the team, our first on tight ends can be seen here:  And our follow-up post on possible wide receiver fits can be seen here: Our draft profiles on defensive tackles is here:

ICYMI: Our second Mock Draft 2.0 attempt at building the 2019 Patriots roster is in the books. You can recap it here: I believe we all expect the Patriots to be very active in this one, possibly packing some picks for a trade or perhaps moving around the board as they are very used to doing. Mock Draft 3.0 will be coming out early this week.

Derek Havens and I have been doing a special podcast highlighting the upcoming NFL Draft in addition to the regular one we do with host Russ Goldman. This week, we’re planning on having ESPN NFL Insider Field Yates with us to discuss the draft, what the Patriots may do, especially in the early rounds and about the NFL in general. Please do check that out around mid-week.

Last week did a draft mailbag podcast which can be listened to here:

Quick Hitters:

Tom Brady was on his Instagram account beginning his offseason work at his home. The interesting thing about that was he was still picking confetti from the Super Bowl out of his helmet. Speaking of which, he can no longer wear his old one and must wear the newer version which he tried a few times last year.

Chris Hogan signed a one-year deal with the Panthers. Hogan had quite a few memorable moments and catches in his three years in New England, helping the team get to three Super Bowls and winning two. But his leaving this spring is not a surprise, it seemed like a long shot for him to return.

Pat Chung has signed a one-year extension according to NFL.com, locking up the Patriots safety thru the 2021 season. Ian Rapoport was the first to report the news. Chung broke his arm in the Super Bowl but is expected to be fully healthy by training camp

Tim Tebow was in Pawtucket playing the Paw Sox for the Mets minor league affiliate and was asked about his brief time with Tom Brady. Tebow gave a long answer, gushing over the qualities of Brady as both a QB and a teammate. Then apologizing for giving an answer that was too long.  Tebow was and is always a class act.

RIP Forrest Gregg the longtime Packer great offensive lineman who passed away at age 85 this week. Gregg set a record (since broken) of playing in 188 straight games and later became the head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, and Green Bay Packers. Vince Lombardi called Gregg, “the greatest player I ever coached.”

The Patriots were supposedly interested in making a trade for NY Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepherd, but for the second year in a row, the Giants when they found out there was interest in their player (OBJ last year), gave the player a fat extension. In Shepherd’s case a 4-year, $41 million dollar extension.

Seferian-Jenkins Is Excited to Play in New England:

With the signing of TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins this week, it was a move we immediately pegged as a win but then turned around and stated that he probably would not be a #1 tight end here. And we’ll double down on that. The move was for the veterans’ minimum salary with just a $50,000 signing bonus and incentive bonuses totaling only another $40,000. That is peanuts; so the outlay of cash and risk for the team is very minimal.

Seferian-Jenkins could….could step into a #1 role for the Patriots, but they don’t obviously think that is so or they would’ve enticed him earlier with more money. It will be interesting to see how he works out with the team in the spring. And if he can stay healthy and on the field.

A best-case scenario for the team would be for them to get one of the top TEs in the draft (which is still a big need) and have Seferian-Jenkins step into the #2 role as a complementary receiver.

Jenkins took to social media posting a picture of the original Pat the Patriot (he immediately got high marks from here) and thanked the Patriots and stated “I am ready to go to work.” And why wouldn’t he be? Look at the QBs he’s played with and he’s never been on a playoff team.

Belichick Praises Caserio, Scouting Dept. Ahead of the Draft:

Bill Belichick held a pre-draft press conference at Gillette on Weds. and opened with nearly a 7-minute statement praising the work of Nick Caserio, the Pats Director of Player Personnel.

With a big turnover in the coaching staff, Belichick said that there was less scouting of college prospects by the coaching staff than in previous years. But he raved about the job that Caserio and the Director of College Scouting Monte Ossenfort and Pro player Scouting Dave Zigler have done. With the absence of so many coaches, Zigler and his staff jumped in to help with the process.

“So it gives us a tremendous opportunity for him to connect with the coaches and understand the schematics of what’s going on with the coaching side of it, and to try to integrate and correlate the players we’re evaluating on all different levels,” Belichick said of Caserio.

Belichick added that the goal, as always is to come away “as good a predictor as possible as to how the player will fit in and perform on our team, and in our system, (emphasis mine),  in New England regardless of what the league value is for the player. It’s really what the player can do for us is what the final evaluation goal we’re trying to achieve.”

Patriots and Titans Will Hold Joint Practices This Summer:

The Patriots always try to conduct joint practices during training camp and this season will be no exception. Prior to their Week 2 preseason game against the Tennessee Titans, the two teams will conduct joint practices against one another at the Titans’ facility.

“Sure, we are going to practice against the Patriots,” Vrabel said on Friday.

“They’re going to come down here, and it’ll be great for our fans to come out here and see a lot of great players, the team that won the Super Bowl last year. And they’ll be able to watch those practices and see our work and see how we compete against each other and try to improve.”

That immediately set off a lot of good-natured trash talking between old friends and former Patriot Logan Ryan, Devin McCourty, and Pat Chung. Ryan said he was going to play one snap at WR to burn the McCourty Twins. He tweeted, “Easy money, he getting old.”  Which immediately got a response from Devin where he answered, “Which one? I guess it don’t matter, I don’t like you vs anyone!” Chung jumped in with “I mean damn, Let’s do it!…LOL.”

The two teams will meet there in Nashville during the week of August 12. If fans are looking for a nice vacation trip…Nashville is nice any time of the year.

Seahawks and Patriots Trading for #21 Pick in the Draft?

The Seattle Seahawks are expected to be trading back from the #21 pick in the upcoming 2019 NFL Draft. And depending upon how the board plays out, the Patriots with a plethora of draft picks could be in a prime position to move up if one of the tight ends they covet are there or perhaps one of the premier edge guys like Clelin Ferrell.

Seattle has only four picks in the upcoming draft, (1st, 3rd, 4th, and 5th Rounds) so creating a few more would seem to be the order of the day for Pete Carroll. According to the Draft Value Chart, Seattle’s pick at #21 is worth an even 800 points. So to give them adequate compensation, the Patriots could package their first round pick at #32 (590 points) and #73 (225 points) to give Seattle a slight perceived edge or you could delve really deep and package #32, and some of the Patriots mid-to-later round picks for the Seahawks #21 and one of their mid-round picks.

Of course, they won’t be alone. Everyone knows that Seattle may be looking to trade back and that means the Seahawks brass will be looking for the best deal for them. That’s what makes this time of year so interesting.

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Speaking of the draft, I was talking about Boston College OL Chris Lindstrom to a high school coach that coached against him in school last week and he remembered how impressive the former Shepherd Hill OL was back then. “They ran those tight formations (Double Wing) and watching him pull out and road grade thru the defenses was impressive,” he said.  “Back then he was about 270 (pounds) and he was still one of the faster players on the field. You could tell he was going to a really special player.”

We say that because don’t go to sleep on a player like Lindstrom. He played right tackle for the Eagles, but projects to be an interior OL at the next level. But he has the versatility to maybe do both.

Eastbound and Down AFC East Notes:

Bills Looking For A Big Draft to Upgrade Offensive Weapons:

The Buffalo Bills were very active in free agency and signed six offensive linemen as well as two wide receivers during the early going of free agency. Don’t expect the Bills to stop there. Buffalo has 10 picks in the upcoming draft and they have the flexibility to move around the draft to search for the weapons to surround 2nd year QB Josh Allen with the talent he needs to succeed.

The Bills OLwas a mess in 2018 and they signed three guards, two tackles and one excellent center to help protect their franchise QB. They also added WRs John Brown, Cole Beasley and TE Tyler Kroft to the mix.

But now they are poised to make some noise in the draft. With the #9 pick in the draft, ESPN’s Mel Kiper has them taking Iowa T.J. Hockenson and then adding Arizona State WR N’Keal Harry with their 40th pick. The Bills just had the other Iowa TE Noah Fant in for a visit.  Offensive Coordinator Brian Daboll doesn’t need to see Alabama TE Irv Smith up close for a visit, he coached him with the Tide.

The Bills also signed FA DE/OLB Eli Harold this week. Harold played two seasons for the 49ers and last year with Detroit where he had eight tackles, four sacks and a pass deflected in 13 games for the Lions.

Dolphins To Pass on Early QBs in the Draft? Quite Possible:

The Miami Dolphins and new head coach Brian Flores have a lot of holes to fill in the 2019 roster. After the jettisoning of Ryan Tannehill and the signing of journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick, most experts believe the Dolphins may reach early for the next potential franchise QB at #13 in the draft. Not so fast…

If someone they like is still around at #13 could Miami pounce on them, but with big holes to fill at DE, the offensive line, running back and corner, they Dolphins may wait to select a QB they can develop in the middle rounds.

Fans may scream given Fitzpatrick’s track record as a starter, but with Brian Flores coming from the Belichick regime, they may be looking at the long-term best solution first rather than trying to fit a square peg in a round hole, which is how they ended up in this predicament.

Jets Ink Montgomery, Maybe the End of the Line for Powell:

The New York Jets signed RB/WR/KR Ty Montgomery this week to back up Le’Veon Bell. The former Ravens player was also reportedly being courted by the Miami Dolphins. A talented kick returner, Montgomery was cut by Green Bay after an ill-advised return at the end of a game with the Rams. Montgomery was told to take a knee and returned it out of the end zone and then fumbled.

He was dealt to the Ravens where in six games he rushed for 83 yards on 15 carries, with no touchdowns. He also caught 10 passes for 65 yards. He began his career as a WR and switched to RB with the Packers. It is expected that head coach Adam Gase will try to find a niche role for him behind Bell.

But that news is probably the end of Bilal Powell’s time as a New York Jet. He suffered a neck injury last season but was thought to be able to continue his career fully. In his eight seasons with the Jets, the 30-year old Powell rushed for 3,446 yards and 15 touchdowns, while catching 204 for 1,567 yards and five touchdowns. He was never the Jets #1 running back but led them in scrimmage yards in both 2013 and 2016.

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We’ve all seen those commercials “Want to Get Away?” When someone does something silly or just plain dumb… How about the editorial staff on Sportsnaut? This week they published a piece on “NFL stars about to fade in 2019” and who leads off the list? Danny Amendola. Okay you say, that could happen, but what? Danny Amendola of the New England Patriots.

“This veteran receiver will likely see an uptick in targets next season now that Rob Gronkowski has retired. In no way does this mean the 33-year-old Amendola is going to be as efficient as we’ve seen in the past.” Ouch. Ummm Amendola hasn’t been with the Patriots since 2017, having spent the 2018 season with Miami and now with Detroit.

The facts checker took the day off it seems. Want to get away? …

“Is it time for the Draft yet? 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 blog talk radio as Russ Goldman, Derek Havens and myself from PatsFans.com discuss the latest Patriots news and game analysis.

Podcast: Do The Patriots Have A Scheme Problem And Not a Talent Issue on Defense?

Russ Goldman
November 17, 2016 at 7:35 am ET

In this episode we talked again to Lee Schecther who is a writer for PatsFans.com and Bleacher Report. Lee was on to discuss his very interesting article entitled “The Patriots Have a “Scheme” Problem, Not a Talent Issue on Defense.” Co-hosting this episode was Steve Balestrieri.

During this episode, Lee and Steve shared their views on what went wrong on Sunday for the Patriots defense, which included a discussion on the defensive breakdowns and blown coverages during this game. I invite you to listen to our view on what went wrong on Sunday defensively for the Pats.

Carroll on Gillette Stadium Crowd “It’s not a great place”

Robert Alvarez
November 15, 2016 at 8:28 pm ET

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll has gotten used to his ears ringing over his last seven seasons at CenturyLink field as its repuation as loudest stadium in the NFL continues to grow.

Which is why following his teams upset victory over the Patriots on Sunday Carroll took time to comment on how quiet the Gillette Stadium crowd had been throughout the game despite it being a close contest right down to the final play.

Speaking during his weekly appearance on the “Brock and Salk Show” on ESPN radio in Seattle, Carroll remarked;

“It’s not a great place…They weren’t nuts. It’s because they’re so used to winning. There was a time when they kicked their last field goal to go ahead, and it was like a round of applause for the nice effort and stuff. Gosh, our guys would be going berserk. We’re so hungry for it.”

Since quarterback Tom Brady took over for Drew Bledsoe in Foxboro Stadium’s final season the Patriots are an incredible 98-16 at home during the regular season, but 2016 will mark the first time since 2012 the Patriots lose at least two games in Foxboro.  Since 2012 the Patriots are 31-6 at home including playoffs.

From 1997-1999 Pete Carroll coached the Patriots to a 27-21 regular season record but to just one playoff win, Sunday was his first appearance back in New England since his firing.

For many in Patriot Nation, football social media tended to agree with Carroll’s sentiments rather than offended, with many noting the teams ticket rising ticket prices with the wins forcing many die hard fans to stay home while creating a “wine and cheese” crowd in attendance. There was even a past discussion about it in the PatsFans forum back in 2011.

reactions

(courtesy ESPN.com)

According to the financial website Bankrate.com, the Patriots have the second highest average ticket prices in the NFL at $122, just a dollar behind the New York Giants highest rate at MetLife stadium. Compare that to the cheapest tickets in the NFL in Jacksonville for an average $57.65.

Gillette Stadium is also at an architectural sound disadvange to a place like CenturyLink, the stadium has a far more open air design whereas the CenturyLink seating is compacted and curls inward trapping noise alot more effectively.

Its not the first time Gillette Stadium’s crowds have been discussed publicly, on two occasions quarterback Tom Brady referenced the lack of noise, stating in 2014 “Our stadium has been very loud at times and we’ve got sometimes a great crowd, sometimes we don’t have a great crowd. Sometimes it’s not as loud as it may be for other teams, but the better we play, the louder it will be so we’re going to focus on trying to play better. ”

In 2011 before the season opener, Brady famously told fans to “Start Drinking Early.”

So while the Patriots may not have a Guiness World Record breaking, earthquake creating fanbase, Carroll did make sure to credit the fair share of heckling directed his way, namely at his now infamous Super Bowl coaching blunder.

“There was a lot of, ‘Thanks for throwing it.’ That kind of stuff, all that kind of garbage,” Carroll said. “They were just being themselves. It was great. It was classic.”

Patriots – Seahawks Key Matchups, Who Has the Razor’s Edge?

Steve Balestrieri
November 11, 2016 at 6:00 am ET

The New England Patriots return home to take on the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday Night Football. This will be a rematch of sorts of the 2014 Super Bowl. The game has big implications for both teams in their individual conferences and although it is only Week 10, those are already coming into play.

The game will be televised by NBC and can be seen locally on WHDH Channel 7 in Boston. Al Michaels will handle play-by-play duties with Cris Collinsworth as the color analyst. Michele Tafoya will work the sidelines. The game will also be aired on the Patriots flagship radio station 98.5 The Sports Hub with Bob Socci and Scott Zolak on the call, produced by Marc Cappello.

The Patriots (7-1) came off their bye week in good shape leading the AFC with the best record and allowing the second least average amount of points in the NFL. Tom Brady is as sharp as a razor right now and Julian Edelman and Martellus Bennett used the bye week to get healthy. Dion Lewis can be activated at any time now and will be another big boost to the offense.

The Seahawks (5-2-1) beat the Buffalo Bills 31-25 on Monday Night Football. Russell Wilson had a fantastic first half leading four touchdown drives and the defense made a key stop at crunch time in the final moments of the game to seal it away.

We here at PatsFans.com are continuing our “Razor’s Edge” column in 2016 to give some quick analysis on some of the key matchups of the game and what you can look for in how the game plays out.

Series History:
The Patriots and Seahawks meet for the 18th time on Sunday. The Patriots have a slim 9-8 advantage all-time against Seattle although the Seahawks hold the edge (5-4) in games played in New England.

The last time these two teams met was arguably one of the best Super Bowls ever played. Tom Brady led the Patriots back from a 10-point, 4th quarter deficit to take a 28-24 lead with just a couple of minutes to go. Russell Wilson then took the Hawks to the Patriots one-yard line with under a minute to go. But Malcolm Butler intercepted Wilson’s pass in the end zone to seal away the victory.

Here is a look at some of the key matchups and who holds the Razor’s Edge.

First up is the Patriots offense:

Seahawks at Patriots: In-Depth Team Stats, Odds and More

John Morgan
November 10, 2016 at 12:00 am ET

Super Bowl 49 was arguably the most exciting and memorable championship game in the history of the National Football League. On Sunday NFL fans will be treated to a rematch of that epic event as the Seattle Seahawks travel to Foxboro to take on the New England Patriots. Currently these two clubs are favorites to represent their respective conferences at NRG Stadium in Houston on February 5 for Super Bowl 51.

 

 

Who: 5-2-1 Seattle Seahawks (1st in NFC West, 2nd in NFC) at 7-1 New England Patriots (1st in AFC East, 1st in AFC).

What: 2016 NFL Week Ten Game of the Week.

When: Sunday November 13 at 8:30 pm ET on NBC.

Where: Gillette Stadium, Foxborough MA; FieldTurf surface.

Weather: 10% chance of precipitation. Clear skies with a daytime high of 48° and overnight low of 30°. Winds at 5-10 mph; game time temperature in the mid to high thirties. Keep in mind that this is New England, so the forecast could very well change between now and kickoff.

Coaches: Pete Carroll is in his 11th year as an NFL head coach. Carroll is 98-69-1 in the regular season, and 9-6 in 15 playoff games. Now in his seventh year with Seattle, Petey is 65-38-1 (.630) with the Seahawks, plus 8-4 in the playoffs. Carroll’s teams have won two conference championships and one Super Bowl; his clubs have made it to the playoffs in seven of his ten years as head coach.

Bill Belichick is now in his 22nd year as an NFL head coach, with a 230-114 (.669) regular season record. BB also has 14 playoff appearances, including the last seven in a row. Belichick is 23-10 in the playoffs (22-9, .710 with the Patriots) with four Lombardi trophies and six conference championships. The Hoodie also has two Super Bowl rings as defensive coordinator for the Giants.

Odds: In the early advanced look-ahead lines published on Tuesday November 1 the Patriots were listed as 7½ point favorites. Those odds remained the same after Seattle’s victory over Buffalo on Monday night. As of Tuesday the over/under is 49. Heading into Week Ten the Patriots were listed as favorites at +200 (2:1) to win the Super Bowl. Next up are two NFC teams. The Seahawks and Dallas Cowboys are both dropped from +1000 (10:1) to +800 (8:1) to win it all after their week nine victories.

Head-to-Head Series Record: Including the Super Bowl victory, the Patriots lead the all-time series 9-8. The two teams have met three times in the regular season since Bill Belichick became head coach of the Patriots. The Pats won 30-20 in the last game at Foxboro in 2004. In December of 2008 the Patriots won 24-21 when Sammy Morris vaulted in to the end zone on 4th and one with 2:44 left to play. In the U mad bro game of 2012 the Seahawks came from behind for a 24-23 home victory. Carroll has a 2-2 career record versus the Patriots, splitting two games in 1994 when he was with the Jets. Belichick is 4-2 against Seattle, including two games when he was with the Browns.

 

Here is a look at how the two teams compare statistically; the numbers reflect an average per game (or per play), rather than aggregate totals. Per-game and per-play stats are used rather than gross totals because that makes the rankings more meaningful, and because they provide a better context in regards to what to expect in any given game. Numbers in green indicate a top-ten ranking while underlined green is top-five; red indicates a bottom-ten ranking and underlined red is bottom-five.

As you can see below this is a classic NFL great offense versus great defense matchup.

 

New England Patriots Offense versus Seattle Seahawks Defense

Scoring per Game: Patriots 27.1 (6th); Seahawks 16.8 (3rd)

Yardage per Game: Patriots 380 (7th); Seahawks 333 (9th)

First Downs per Game: Patriots 21.1 (14th); Seahawks 20.4 (15th)

Yards per Play: Patriots 6.0 (5th); Seahawks 4.9 (4th)

Yards per Drive: Patriots 35.1 (8th); Seahawks 29.0 (7th)

Points per Drive: Patriots 2.56 (4th); Seahawks 1.36 (3rd)

Drive Success Rate: Patriots .744 (6th); Seahawks .655 (5th)

Points per Play: Patriots .429 (3rd); Seahawks .248 (1st)

Touchdowns per Game: Patriots 3.2 (1st); Seahawks 1.6 (1st)

Red Zone Touchdowns per Game: Patriots 2.2 (8th); Seahawks 1.2 (2nd)

Red Zone TD Percentage: Patriots 66.7% (6th); Seahawks 43.5% (2nd)

Plays per Game: Patriots 63.2 (21st); Seahawks 67.6 (29th)

Third Down Conversions per Game: Patriots 6.38 (3rd); Seahawks 6.38 (29th)

Third Down Conversion Percentage: Patriots 47.2% (4th); Seahawks 42.9% (26th)

Punts per Score: Patriots 0.9 (11th); Seahawks 1.5 (4th)

Punts per Game: Patriots 4.38 (8th); Seahawks 5.00 (9th)

Rushing Yards: Patriots 116.4 (8th); Seahawks 98.8 (12th)

Yards per Carry: Patriots 3.88 (26th); Seahawks 3.53 (5th)

Passing Yards: Patriots 264 (9th); Seahawks 234 (10th)

Gross Yards per Pass Attempt: Patriots 8.90 (2nd); Seahawks 7.02 (14th)

Net Yards per Pass Attempt: Patriots 8.48 (2nd); Seahawks 6.45 (11th)

Completion Percentage: Patriots 69.9% (1st); Seahawks 62.4% (11th)

Passer Rating: Patriots 118.8 (2nd); Seahawks 81.6 (6th)

TD Passes/Picks: Patriots  Patriots +16 (2nd), 16/0; Seahawks  Patriots +0 (5th), 6/6

Complete Passes per Game: Patriots 21.8 (23rd); Seahawks 22.6 (14th)

Incomplete Passes per Game: Patriots 9.4 (1st); Seahawks 13.6 (11th)

Quarterback Sacks per Game: Patriots 2.13 (11th); Seahawks 3.38 (1st)

Sack Yardage Lost per Game: Patriots 13.0 (12th); Seahawks 20.6 (2nd)

 

Seattle Seahawks Offense versus New England Patriots Defense

Scoring: Seahawks 20.3 (23rd); Patriots 16.5 (2nd)

Yardage: Seahawks 332 (26th); Patriots 354 (15th)

First Downs: Seahawks 18.0 (29th); Patriots 20.8 (20th)

Yards per Play: Seahawks 5.5 (16th); Patriots 5.4 (12th)

Yards per Drive: Seahawks 29.0 (26th); Patriots 32.5 (16th)

Points per Drive: Seahawks 1.62 (26th); Patriots 1.53 (6th)

Drive Success Rate: Seahawks .654 (27th); Patriots .700 (14th)

Points per Play: Seahawks .336 (19th); Patriots .252 (3rd)

Touchdowns per Game: Seahawks 2.1 (24th); Patriots 1.9 (5th)

Red Zone Touchdowns per Game: Seahawks 1.8 (15th); Patriots 1.6 (12th)

Red Zone TD Percentage: Seahawks 56.0% (16th); Patriots 59.1% (22nd)

Plays per Game: Seahawks 60.2 (29th); Patriots 65.5 (21st)

Third Down Conversions per Game: Seahawks 4.50 (26th); Patriots 5.38 (21st)

Third Down Conversion Percentage: Seahawks 36.4% (24th); Patriots 40.6% (20th)

Punts per Offensive Score: Seahawks 1.3 (20th); Patriots 1.5 (6th)

Punts per Game: Seahawks 5.00 (17th); Patriots 4.50 (19th)

Rushing Yards: Seahawks 75.4 (30th); Patriots 101.6 (15th)

Yards per Carry: Seahawks 3.21 (30th); Patriots 4.15 (16th)

Passing Yards: Seahawks 257 (13th); Patriots 253 (18th)

Gross Yards per Pass Attempt: Seahawks 7.92 (5th); Patriots 6.67 (7th)

Net Yards per Pass Attempt: Seahawks 7.39; Patriots 6.15

Completion Percentage: Seahawks 66.9% (7th); Patriots 62.5% (14th)

Passer Rating: Seahawks 95.9 (11th); Patriots 84.9 (10th)

TD Passes/Picks: Seahawks +5 (20th), 8/3; Patriots -4 (12th), 9/5

Complete Passes per Game: Seahawks 23.2 (17th); Patriots 24.6 (25th)

Incomplete Passes per Game: Seahawks 11.5 (5th); Patriots 14.8 (5th)

Quarterback Sacks per Game: Seahawks 2.00 (9th); Patriots 1.63 (28th)

Sack Yardage Lost: Seahawks 18.5 (27th); Patriots 10.3 (27th)

 

Turnovers

Turnover Differential: Patriots +0.38 per game, 8th (+3 total); Seahawks +0.25 per game, 12th (+2 total)

Patriot Giveaways: 0.75 per game, 3rd (6 total); Seahawk Takeaways: 1.00 per game, 23rd (8 total)

Seahawk Giveaways: 0.75 per game, 3rd (6 total); Patriot Takeaways: 1.13 per game, 20th (9 total)

 

Penalties

Penalties per Game: Patriots 6.5 (11th); Seahawks 8.1 (26th)

Penalty Yards per Game: Patriots 61.9 (17th); Seahawks 71.9 (27th)

Opponent Penalties per Game: Patriots 7.1 (17th); Seahawks 6.4 (24th)

Opponent Penalty Yards per Game: Patriots 57.5 (22nd); Seahawks 56.1 (23rd)

 

Football Outsiders Statistics and Rankings

Team Efficiency: Total Weighted DVOA: Patriots 20.2% (4th); Seahawks 18.8% (6th)

Team Efficiency: Offense DVOA: Patriots 19.2% (3rd); Seahawks -3.3% (18th)

Team Efficiency: Defense DVOA: Patriots 2.1% (19th); Seahawks -21.7% (3rd)

Special Teams DVOA: Patriots 2.4% (7th); Seahawks 0.7% (12th)

 

This game will be a very difficult task for the Patriots. The Seattle Seahawks still possess a formidable defense on all three levels. Coming off a bye the Pats do have the advantage of being both healthy and well rested, as well as having extra time to prepare for their opponent. Conversely Seattle not only has to overcome the challenge of traveling across three time zones, they also have to do so on a short week after playing Monday night. The Seahawks will have extra motivation of looking for revenge for their Super Bowl loss, but that extra adrenaline won’t be enough. I’ll take Bill Belichick and Tom Brady at home with extra preparation time over the Legion of Doom defense.

Early Prediction: Patriots 27, Seahawks 17

 

Patriots 2016 Opponents, 5 First Impressions of Seattle

Steve Balestrieri
November 8, 2016 at 7:43 am ET

Seahawks Need Wilson and Graham to Be Healthy

The Patriots return home this week for a primetime matchup against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday Night Football. This week’s game rekindles the 2014 Super Bowl rivals as they enter the second half of the season. It also could be a preview of a possible February matchup between two of the more talented NFL teams.

The Patriots (7-1), are just getting off their bye week. It came smack in the middle of the season and finds the Patriots on a four-game winning streak and in good shape health wise. The have a three-game lead in the division over Miami, four games on the Bills in the loss column and five on the Jets.

The Seahawks (5-2-1) defeated the Bills on Monday Night Football 31-25. The biggest issue with Seattle has been inconsistency and much of that has to do with their health. Seattle has been banged up physically on both sides of the ball. The defense hasn’t been as stout and the offense has struggled to run the ball.

Here are our Five First Impressions of the Seahawks:

No Beast Mode in the Running Game: The Seahawks running game has been mired in neutral for much of this season. Seattle is averaging only 82.1 yards per game entering their MNF game with Buffalo, and added just 33 yards on 12 attempts.

Christine Michael was ineffective against the Bills and had just one yard on five carries. He was replaced in the third quarter by rookie running back C.J. Prosise. The big, (6’1, 220-pound) rookie may see some extended looks this week as they search for a spark in the running game. But the two backs combined for just 10 yards on eight carries. They’ll need more from these two moving forward.

They miss RB Thomas Rawls who has been injured and isn’t expected back until November 20. Of course, the most dangerous runner may end up being the elusive and talented Wilson. When he’s healthy he can make plays with his feet and pressure the defense.

Wilson and Graham are a Potent Duo: The Seahawks got a healthy Jimmy Graham back this season and he’s heating up. Monday night against the Bills, Graham caught 8 passes for 103 yards and two touchdowns. That is his third 100-yard game of the season, which is two more than he had in 2014 and 2015 combined. Both of his scores were of the incredible variety, one-handed grabs (17 and 18 yards), in the end zone. He’ll provide a very tough matchup for the Patriots defense.

Wilson is probably healthier than he’s been all season and on Monday night, it showed. Coach Pete Carroll stated earlier that with Wilson rounding back into the form that they’d allow Wilson to open things up more offensively.

He was the key in the 28-point first half, running for a three-yard score, his first of the year and completing 14 of 17 passes for 229 yards and a pair of touchdowns to Graham. His passer rating for the first half was a near perfect 158.0. He finished with good numbers, 20-26 for 282 yards and two touchdowns for a passer rating of 137. The Patriots are aware of how difficult he is to defend when he’s able to move around and break containment. That will be a primary focus this week.

Seattle’s Defensive Dominance Continues: Granted the Seahawks defense is a bit banged up right now with the absence of Michael Bennett and Kam Chancellor, but this unit has been the gold standard for the past several years.

Since 2012, Seattle is head and shoulders above everyone else in the most important defensive metric….points allowed. The Hawks defense has allowed just 15.6 points per game and is far ahead of their closest competitor, the Patriots at 19.8. The NFL average is 22.9 points per game.

They’re fantastic at generating turnovers and since 2012 are second in the league with a +51 in the turnover ratio department. The Patriots are the top team with a +56 margin. The next closest team? The Cardinals at +27.

Seattle has been the top team the past several years in pass yards allowed and have the second highest QB pressure percentage. And they do so without having to blitz much. The Seahawks blitz on just 25 percent of opponents drop backs, but when they do, they’re very effective. Seattle gets pressure on 38.7 percent of their blitzes, tops in the NFL.

Seattle Getting Healthier for Second Half Push: The Seahawks have been a banged-up unit this season. We mentioned above how Wilson is just starting to round into form after suffering from a couple of different injuries. But he isn’t the only one who is getting healthy.

Chancellor, the Seahawks starting safety and emotional fireplug has missed four games with a groin injury but is expected back this week against the Pats. There’s no doubt that they missed his veteran presence as well as his physicality in the secondary.

Rawls is expected back in the Hawks November 20 game against the Eagles and Bennett and tight end Luke Wilson are expected to return to practice this week. Their availability for the Pats is still up in the air, however.

Tyler Lockett who got hurt in the Rams game back in Week 2, seems fully healthy for the first time since. He was a big factor against Buffalo, notching a 13-yard end around, a 43-yard kickoff, a 22-yard punt return, and a 17-yard reception.

Sherman Front and Center for Two Critical Plays: Not surprisingly, whenever the Seahawks play, CB Richard Sherman always plays a critical role for the Seahawks. He has against the Patriots in the past and no doubt will again this week. Last night at home against the Bills, he was involved in two plays that drew the ire of many people during the action.

During the Bills’ final play on offense, Sherman flattened Bills receiver Walt Powell in the end zone. Deadspin tweeted a picture of it out and ask “Wonder why this guy wasn’t open?” But looking at the play again on the tape, once QB Tyrod Taylor scrambles out of the pocket, that play was legal, so long as the ball wasn’t in the air. Sherman did the smart move and didn’t allow the receiver to get open.

He took a page out of Tom Brady’s book and quickly tweeted to Deadspin to “check the rule book.” And he was right.

He was also in the center of a bizarre sequence at the end of the first half. The Bills lined up for a field goal. Sherman, attempting to block it, rushed offside. He dove at the ball and took out Bills kicker Dan Carpenter as he skidded down on the field.

In retrospect, he should have been flagged twice, for the offside and the roughing the kicker penalty which would have set the Bills up for a very makeable kick at the end of the half. The officials compounded the problem with a serious screw up of not resetting the game clock after a spike which cost Buffalo five yards. Rex Ryan was justifiably furious after the game. One thing is for certain, Seattle is always the home of some crazy plays either at the end of halves or the game.

Sherman defended his actions after the game, stating, “I went straight for the ball. I didn’t go for the kicker. I slid for the ball,” Sherman said. “He should not have kicked it. Maybe he wanted to. I went for the ball. That’s where I went. So, if the ball gets tipped on the play, the rule is if it’s tipped there’s no flag.”

Check back with us later in the week as we’ll break down the key matchups for the game right here on PatsFans.com.

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

Listen to our Patriots 4th and 2 podcasts on blog talk radio as the writers Russ Goldman, Derek Havens and I from PatsFans.com discuss the latest Patriots news Wednesdays at 12 noon.

Patriot Pride – By Troy Brown, Mike Reiss: Required Reading for NE Fans

Steve Balestrieri
October 31, 2015 at 9:04 am ET

Troy Brown Patriot Pride

For anyone who watched the Patriots transform themselves from a perennial doormat to an NFL juggernaut, “Patriot Pride, My Life in the New England Dynasty” by Troy Brown and Mike Reiss is a must read. Also included is a foreward by Patriots QB and Brown’s teammate Tom Brady.

Brown’s early life is chronicled in Blacksville, South Carolina where his humble beginnings shaped him and prepared him for a future NFL career that lasted 15 seasons with the New England Patriots.

Brown is a shining example of a smaller player from a modest upbringing that can beat the odds and be a giant in the game played by physically much bigger men.  Brown was an 8th round draft pick (they don’t have those anymore), from Marshall so today he would be considered an undrafted free agent.

His phone call from Bill Parcells was brief and typically Parcells, after welcoming him to the Patriots, Parcells said, “Thanks Troy, you just save me a lot of money.” At the time UDFAs signed for considerably more than Brown’s $15,000 would so it was Parcells way of challenging him. More of that would come later.

When arriving in New England in 1993, the Patriots were far from the powerful model franchise that they are today. They were nearly always at the bottom and had just hired the Super Bowl champion coach Parcells to try to turn the moribund franchise around.

Brown had an immediate rapport with Parcells and he saw how by publicly rebuking players, it was a way he had of challenging them, to bring out their best. Parcells’ words to Brown were, “Troy, you’ll never be a starting receiver in this league,” Parcells said. “Just a role player is the ceiling for you…Maybe a fourth or fifth receiver is the best you can do.”

Brown went thru his trials and tribulations and survived being cut by Parcells to being brought back and gradually working his way not only on the roster but earning a bigger and bigger slice of playing time along the way. He and backup quarterback and now Patriots announcer Scott Zolak would hone their skills by running the scout team offense. They would frequently go off script and make plays.

The scout team would have plays diagrammed to go to a certain place on every down. But instead of throwing into double and triple coverage, Zolak and Brown would improvise and Brown was productive and he opened eyes on the coaching staff.

After the 1996 Super Bowl, which Brown missed with an injury, Parcells left for the Jets. Pete Carroll came to New England and the culture change was evident. Brown never felt comfortable or confident in Carroll and the team foundered. Three years later Bill Belichick arrived and everything changed.

Brown had his best season in 2001 leading the NFL in punt returns and catching 101 passes for 1199 yards and five touchdowns. Under Tom Brady, the team overcame a rocky 0-2 start to beat a heavily favored Pittsburgh team in the AFC Championship game where Brown returned a punt 55 yards for a touchdown.

The Steelers were so cocky that they hung a Pittsburgh conference champion t-shirt in the Patriots locker room. From there the Patriots stunned the NFL by upsetting the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI.

Brown recalls being shocked that the team during a third Super Bowl run in 2004 asked him to play defense when injuries decimated the secondary. That selfless act and the fact that he played very well in the role, epitomizes the Patriots under Bill Belichick. Everyone puts personal goals behind team goals and no one showcased that more than Brown.

As his career in the NFL was winding down, Brown knew it was time to retire when his body told him the time was right. Working out at Marshall in the off-season, he knew it was time and informed the Patriots he was retiring.

Brown parlayed his playing career into a broadcasting one, he’s now a regular on Comcast Sports New England with their Patriots coverage and was elected to the Patriots Hall of Fame in 2012.

Reiss weaves a great factual bio on one of the Patriots most beloved players on the Super Bowl winning teams. This book is a perfect gift for the Patriot fan and will one of those works that is always referred to as a ready reference to not only Troy Brown’s career but those three Super Bowl winning teams from 2001, 2003-04.

It is an easy, entertaining read and one that you can’t put down. You can order it on-line thru Amazon.com or find it in your own bookseller everywhere.

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

Listen to our Patriots 4th and 2 podcast on blog talk radio as the writers Russ Goldman, Derek Havens and I from PatsFans.com discuss the latest Patriots news Wednesdays at 12 noon.