NFL 2017-2018 Preseason Schedule

 

By: Will Stevenson

Can you feel it? Just imagine the droughts and sounds of the NFL season. Two-a-days, minicamps, veteran camps, seven on seven drills, torn acl’s, Non-contact injuries, position battles, and most importantly: Expert analysis of guys in shorts.

There are countless things that could irritate a football fan, but actual football isn’t one of them. So between now and the first preseason game, we have months to comb through every team, transaction and predict who will do what when the season rolls around. It will be exciting to see how the top drafted rookie quarterbacks find their footing on teams that made the playoffs last season: Chiefs and Texans. We all know how the preseason goes: Stars play in one or two games for a few series, then the backups. I also have an interest in fringe plays attempting to made rosters within the new safety guidelines for special teams.

So let us take a look at the preseason schedule. The competition will be early as starters make their way off the field after a few possessions, but don’t let that deter you from consuming the whole game. Position battles, overall team health, sheer talent, and a basic understanding of the team’s philosophy will be on display. So it’s not the Pro Bowl, but it’s damn near close for those first few series.

Not need to worry. Football is own it’s way, and it starts with the Hall of Fame Game on August 3rd with the Cowboys and the Cardinals.

 

 

NFL/Hall of Fame Game – AUGUST 3
DAY DATE VISITOR HOME LOCAL ET NAT. TV
Thurs Aug. 3 Dallas Cowboys vs Arizona Cardinals 8:00 PM (ET) 8:00 PM NBC
WEEK 1 – AUGUST 9-13
DAY DATE VISITOR HOME LOCAL ET
Wed Aug. 9 Houston Texans at Carolina Panthers 7:30 PM (ET) 7:30 PM
Thurs Aug. 10 Minnesota Vikings at Buffalo Bills 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 10 Atlanta Falcons at Miami Dolphins 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 10 Washington Redskins at Baltimore Ravens 7:30 PM (ET) 7:30 PM
Thurs Aug. 10 Jacksonville Jaguars at New England Patriots 7:30 PM (ET) 7:30 PM
Thurs Aug. 10 Denver Broncos at Chicago Bears 7:00 PM (CT) 8:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 10 New Orleans Saints at Cleveland Browns 8:00 PM (ET) 8:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 10 Philadelphia Eagles at Green Bay Packers 7:00 PM (CT) 8:00 PM
Friday Aug. 11 Pittsburgh Steelers at New York Giants 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Friday Aug. 11 Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Cincinnati Bengals 7:30 PM (ET) 7:30 PM
Friday Aug. 11 San Francisco 49ers at Kansas City Chiefs 8:00 PM (CT) 9:00 PM
Sat Aug. 12 Tennessee Titans at New York Jets 7:30 PM (ET) 7:30 PM
Sat Aug. 12 Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Rams 6:00 PM (PT) 9:00 PM
Sat Aug. 12 Oakland Raiders at Arizona Cardinals 7:00 PM (MST) 10:00 PM
Sunday Aug. 13 Detroit Lions at Indianapolis Colts 1:30 PM (ET) 1:30 PM
Sunday Aug. 13 Seattle Seahawks at Los Angeles Chargers 5:00 PM (PT) 8:00 PM
WEEK 2 – AUGUST 17-21
DAY DATE VISITOR HOME LOCAL ET NAT. TV
Thurs Aug. 17 Baltimore Ravens at Miami Dolphins 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 17 Buffalo Bills at Philadelphia Eagles 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 17 Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Jacksonville Jaguars 8:00 PM (ET) 8:00 PM ESPN
Friday Aug. 18 Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks 7:00 PM (PT) 10:00 PM
Sat Aug. 19 Carolina Panthers at Tennessee Titans 2:00 PM (CT) 3:00 PM
Sat Aug. 19 Kansas City Chiefs at Cincinnati Bengals 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Sat Aug. 19 Indianapolis Colts at Dallas Cowboys 6:00 PM (CT) 7:00 PM
Sat Aug. 19 New York Jets at Detroit Lions 7:30 PM (ET) 7:30 PM
Sat Aug. 19 Green Bay Packers at Washington Redskins 7:30 PM (ET) 7:30 PM
Sat Aug. 19 New England Patriots at Houston Texans 7:00 PM (CT) 8:00 PM
Sat Aug. 19 Los Angeles Rams at Oakland Raiders 7:00 PM (PT) 10:00 PM
Sat Aug. 19 Denver Broncos at San Francisco 49ers 7:00 PM (PT) 10:00 PM
Sat Aug. 19 Chicago Bears at Arizona Cardinals 7:00 PM (MST) 10:00 PM
Sunday Aug. 20 Atlanta Falcons at Pittsburgh Steelers 4:00 PM (ET) 4:00 PM
Sunday Aug. 20 New Orleans Saints at Los Angeles Chargers 5:00 PM (PT) 8:00 PM
Monday Aug. 21 New York Giants at Cleveland Browns 8:00 PM (ET) 8:00 PM ESPN
WEEK 3 – AUGUST 24-27
DAY DATE VISITOR HOME LOCAL ET NAT. TV
Thurs Aug. 24 Miami Dolphins at Philadelphia Eagles 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 24 Carolina Panthers at Jacksonville Jaguars 7:30 PM (ET) 7:30 PM
Friday Aug. 25 New England Patriots at Detroit Lions 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Friday Aug. 25 Kansas City Chiefs at Seattle Seahawks 5:00 PM (PT) 8:00 PM CBS
Sat Aug. 26 Arizona Cardinals at Atlanta Falcons 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Sat Aug. 26 Buffalo Bills at Baltimore Ravens 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Sat Aug. 26 New York Jets at New York Giants 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Sat Aug. 26 Indianapolis Colts at Pittsburgh Steelers 7:30 PM (ET) 7:30 PM
Sat Aug. 26 Cleveland Browns at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 7:30 PM (ET) 7:30 PM
Sat Aug. 26 Oakland Raiders at Dallas Cowboys 7:00 PM (CT) 8:00 PM
Sat Aug. 26 Los Angeles Chargers at Los Angeles Rams 5:00 PM (PT) 8:00 PM CBS
Sat Aug. 26 Houston Texans at New Orleans Saints 7:00 PM (CT) 8:00 PM
Sat Aug. 26 Green Bay Packers at Denver Broncos 7:00 PM (MT) 9:00 PM
Sunday Aug. 27 Chicago Bears at Tennessee Titans 12:00 PM (CT) 1:00 PM FOX
Sunday Aug. 27 Cincinnati Bengals at Washington Redskins 4:30 PM (ET) 4:30 PM FOX
Sunday Aug. 27 San Francisco 49ers at Minnesota Vikings 7:00 PM (CT) 8:00 PM NBC
WEEK 4 – AUGUST 31
DAY DATE VISITOR HOME LOCAL ET
Thurs Aug. 31 Jacksonville Jaguars at Atlanta Falcons 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 Detroit Lions at Buffalo Bills 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 Los Angeles Rams at Green Bay Packers 6:00 PM (CT) 7:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 Cincinnati Bengals at Indianapolis Colts 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 Philadelphia Eagles at New York Jets 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 Pittsburgh Steelers at Carolina Panthers 7:30 PM (ET) 7:30 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 New York Giants at New England Patriots 7:30 PM (ET) 7:30 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 Washington Redskins at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 7:30 PM (ET) 7:30 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 Cleveland Browns at Chicago Bears 7:00 PM (CT) 8:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 Dallas Cowboys at Houston Texans 7:00 PM (CT) 8:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 Miami Dolphins at Minnesota Vikings 7:00 PM (CT) 8:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 Baltimore Ravens at New Orleans Saints 7:00 PM (CT) 8:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 Tennessee Titans at Kansas City Chiefs 7:30 PM (CT) 8:30 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 Arizona Cardinals at Denver Broncos 7:00 PM (MT) 9:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 Seattle Seahawks at Oakland Raiders 7:00 PM (PT) 10:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 Los Angeles Chargers at San Francisco 49ers 7:00 PM (PT) 10:00 PM

SUPER PREDICTION

BY LAWRENCE EDWARDS

Here we are just three days away from Super Bowl LI with the New England Patriots taking on the Atlanta Falcons. This matchup should be one of the better Super Bowls we’ve seen in a while. The Falcons and Patriots rank #1 and #3, respectively, on offense coming into this game and #1 and #2 in passing yards per game. On the flip side New England ranks #4 in total defense and #4 against the run and they boasted the leagues #1 scoring defense for much of this season. The defensive side of the ball is where Atlanta comes up short. Their best defender is second year man Vic Beasley who has had an outstanding season for Atlanta, finishing with a league leading 15.5 sacks but Atlanta is vulnerable to the run.

HOW NEW ENGLAND WINS:

The Patriots best chance of winning this game is to lean on the bulldozing Legarrette Blount. Tom Brady does have an assembly of play makers in Marttellus Bennett, Chris Hogan, Dion Lewis and Julian Edleman, but Blount should be the X-factor to get Tom Brady his 5th ring. The Atlanta Falcons offense is potent and deadly and if not held in check they can put the game out of reach in a hurry. Matt Ryan is playing like a man possessed and seems like he is on a mission to not let anything stand in his way. The Patriots can limit his damage and time on the field by using Blount to pound the rock early and often to keep the clock churning and Matt Ryan on the sideline as long as possible. If they do successfully run the ball to keep Matt off the field then the Pats will have to score TD’s and not settle for field goals, they can’t make it easy for Matt and that offense, controlling the clock and scoring will put pressure on the Atlanta offense to put up points and could force mistakes and slow down their offense. The Patriots defense has been praised all year but the test they face this Sunday is unlike any other they have face all season. The Falcons have many weapons that can sting you if you dedicate too much attention to one so keeping everything if front of them and playing a relatively mistake free game is key for the Patriots defense, they can’t afford to get called for holding penalties and PI all game trying to cover Julio and company. Pound the ball down their throats, keep Matt and the offense on the sideline… However, that’s easier said than done

HOW ATLANTA WINS:

For years Matt Ryan was criticized and frowned upon for being just another average QB who gets to the playoffs but with little success after that. Fast forward to the 2016 season and this Matt Ryan looks like a completely new man. He had an MVP worthy season and his best season, by a mile, as a pro in 2016. He finished with career bests; completion percentage: 69%, passing yards: 4,944, average yards per attempt: 9.26 TD’s: 38, INT: 7, and QBR: 83.1 and he has to thank the fact that he has a plethora of weapons around him. The Falcons can come out of this game victorious if they just continue to play the way they have been playing, and that’s getting everyone involved. Julio Jones is still the man on that Atlanta offense but the difference now is, if you focus all your attention on taking Julio out the game (which is almost impossible) then Taylor Gabriel, Mohammed Sanu, Devonta Freeman, and Tevin Coleman will make you pay for that mistake. Atlanta’s offense, I’m sure, gives opposing defensive coordinators nightmares and keeps them awake at night. There are just too many play makers on that offense to game plan against. In this game the Falcons defense will have to step up and get off the field, they cannot let the Patriots control the clock and keep this offense on the sideline. Vic Beasley must make life hell for Tom Brady but first they need to keep the running game in check and not give up big gains on the ground. Atlanta can use the same approach to control the clock because Brady can and will sling it, if he is forced into a shootout with Atlanta but ATL’s offense might be too potent to keep up with. The Falcons have not one but two running backs who are deadly dual threats coming out of the backfield, what success they don’t find running the ball they can find catching short passes and turning them into big time plays. The Falcons will have tough test going up against the leagues #1 scoring defense and 4th ranked running defense but New England hasn’t faced an offense like this all season so something has to give.

Matt Ryan is determined to get the monkey off his back this season and find post season bliss but Tom Brady has been here before and will his all to get his 5th and stop Ryan from getting his first. However, I think New England’s defense finally sees an offense that is just too much for them to match up with forcing Brady into a shootout in Houston. And if that’s the case, then I see Matt Ryan and Atlanta winning this game by no more than a TD in a high scoring game, with at least 65 points combined between the two teams.

Final Prediction: Ranking the 25 best logos in the history of the NFL | For The Win 30  Pics Photos - Atlanta Falcons Logo 35

Divisional Round Predictions

By Billy Clemmons 

I made this my first game because on paper it’s a total mismatch. I really give Houston little or no chance to beat the mighty Patriots playing at home, even though though the  Texans come in with the leagues best defense. The quarterback position for the Texans has been a big disappointment this year and I expect no more from the Texans than to just show up and go home. I could be wrong my prediction is Patriots 34 Texans 17

Now this is a game to get excited about. The Chiefs have been playing great football for most of the year and they are at home. Alex Smith has had a good season but the Chiefs are lead by defense. The Pittsburgh Steelers were the team we all thought would challenge the Patriots for this years “team to beat” but after Big Ben went down with an injury people began having doubts. Fortunately for Steelers fans they picked it back up and are a very dangerous team capable of beating anyone. With the three B’s I’m taking the Steelers I could be wrong but my prediction is Steelers 27 Chiefs 20

So we know Matt Ryan hasn’t really done well in playoffs past but I think this year they break the trend. The defense isn’t that great but they have a few up and coming stars I believe that could be the difference this year.

Seattle has been losing players over the years. The defense is still well respected and plays well but at times just isn’t what it used to be. The Seahawks have struggled offensively this year with the offensive line and the run game. Russell and the defense will still make this a competitive game but in the end the Falcons have to much fire power. I could be wrong but my prediction: Atlanta 31 Seattle 24

The Cowboys, as we all know, have been led this season by two rookies to the best record in the NFL with a bend but don’t break defense that has surprised even the fans this year. To me this is the hardest game to predict since they have already beaten the Packers this year. With a Packers team and a red hot Aaron Rodgers I expect this to be another high scoring game. I think these teams match up well and the outcome could very well come down to the last play of the game. I could be wrong my prediction: Cowboys 34 Packers 31

 

Well Hello Playoffs!: Wild Card Weekend

BY LAWRENCE EDWARDS

Week 17 ended in great fashion with an exciting finish with the Green Bay Packers taking on the Detroit Lions in the Motor City. The end of that game would determine who gets a home game against the Giants and who has to travel to Seattle to face the Seahawks and their 12th man. The Packers defeated the Lions last night 31-24 off of 4 Aaron Rodgers passing TD’s. That set the stage for a Giants @ Green Bay and Detroit @ Seattle NFC wild card weekend. This years playoffs should be very exciting as we have a few new faces to the party. The Raiders, Dolphins, Giants, Cowboys and Texans all missed the playoffs last season with everyone except the Cowboys and Detroit missing multiple years straight.

raiders-texans-mexico-juego-boletos-nfl

We kick things off this Saturday with Oakland traveling to Houston to take on the Texans and. The Oakland Raiders have had an outstanding regular season full of joy they haven’t experienced in over a decade, but it came at detrimental price. An MVP candidate before the injury, Derek Carr was playing some great football for the silver and black before breaking his fibula last week against the Colts. The Raiders have an OK backup QB in Matt McGloin but I’m sure losing Carr hit all the way to the soul. However, there is a silver lining for the Raiders this week, at least they don’t have to face a QB who could make it hard for the backup QB to keep up with scoring. Oakland’s defense will try to take advantage of the below average QB play from the Texans. Tom Savage is better than Brock and clearly more accurate but he isn’t a QB that would strike fear in you. Even with McGloin under center the Raiders have the better more proven QB heading into this game and if Tom Savage can’t get the job done I’m sure they have nothing to fear if Brock enters the game. Oakland will need to take advantage of a beatable opponent to at least advance to the divisional round. It won’t be easy however, they take on a Houston defense that ranks 2nd against the pass and 1st overall in total defense.

Seattle Seahawks vs Detriot Lions: How to Stream MNF

The Lions took the L to the Packers last night so they get to go face Seattle in Seattle, yikes! But not so fast, like we have seen all season the Seahawks aren’t exactly that team that strikes fear into their opponents like they used to do. First season without future hall of famer Marshawn Lynch in the backfield saw Russ struggle to run the ball like he usually does and somewhat saw the offense sputter at times and the defense has shown they can be beaten and give up points. This should be a great game here, The Lions offense can score with the best of them and they have plenty weapons to hurt Seattle, one of them being a former Seahawk, Golden Tate. I expect Seattle to do what they do best at home in the playoffs but I would not count out Detroit who could still be in the game in the 4th quarter. I do believe this game can go either way, a blowout win by Seattle, or a nail biter, whoever has the last possession type of game (which I am leaning closer to thinking will happen) Because the way Seattle has been playing up and down all season I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw an upset on Saturday night, a huge upset.

Report: Dolphins RB Jay Ajayi Needed X-Rays Following Loss To Patriots ...

The Dolphins have shown everyone around the league why it is an outstanding idea to have a backup QB who can play just like or better than your starter. Tannehill was lost for the season with a knee injury after what has been a successful year for Miami. Matt Moore has been around the league for a long time and he has been with the Dolphins for the past 4 seasons. He was signed by Dallas in 2007 as an undrafted FA before spending 4 seasons with Carolina. Out of anyone currently in the playoffs – except for Dallas of course – The Dolphins may have the best backup QB situation in the playoffs. Your starter goes out and your backup comes in the Jets game to relieve you and throws 4 TDs. Then he goes to Buffalo and throws for 2 more in that W and threw another 2 TD’s with an overall solid performance yesterday against a very good New England defense. It’s a good sigh when your backup can play the final 3 games against division opponents and go 2-1 in that stretch. That being said, this game against Pittsburgh will be a great one and closer than anyone thinks. Remember the last time these two teams played? Jay Ajayi does, he killed Pittsburgh’s defense with 204 rushing yards. If the Dolphins want to pull off this upset against the Steelers, they will need Jay Ajayi to get going early and open things up for Matt Moore and the passing game and they will have a shot, however they also have to try and slow down Bell and AB because I’m sure the Steelers didn’t forget week 5 either and they will be looking for redemption.

Preview: Packers vs. Giants – PACKERS NOTES

Wild Card weekend will conclude with the Giants taking on the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau. Everyone is saying “You don’t want to see Aaron Rodgers and the Pack in the playoffs” or “You don’t want to see the Giants defense in the playoffs” Well this week Aaron Rodgers gets to see the Giants defense and the Giants defense gets to see Aaron Rodgers, who prevails? This should be a great game, the Giants and Eli Manning are certainly no strangers to going into the “Frozen Tundra” in the post season and coming out victorious, they did it twice, once against Brett Favre and once against Bad Man Aaron and both lead to Superbowl wins, however for how great the defense has been the offense has been, well, meh… The Giants are the fist team since the 94 Chicago Bears to get at least 10 wins and in the post without one single 30 point game. If the Giants want to win then the defense will have to set the tone early and the Eli and the O will have to reward them by putting up points whenever they have the chance. Unlike other QB’s, if you don’t score enough and let Aaron Rodgers hang around long enough, he will do what he does best and find a way to rip the carpet right out from under your feet, this will make for a good game, playoff games between these two lately have been fun to watch.

 

 

I seriously think you should jump on this wave!

By Lawrence Edwards

OK, before I get started let me tell you that this isn’t a fad that will quickly fade out, nor is it a get rich quick scheme. It’s simple, I am not forcing you or trying to persuade you to do anything. I just want to share with you something that I know sports enthusiasts every where will enjoy and offer you the opportunity to be apart of something or get ahead of everyone else on a trend that is about to take the world by storm. From Football to Cricket we have something every sports will fall in love with. You have two options: Affiliate or Player. I will go in to great detail about both and most importantly the coming of a game changing sports app by United Games that is going to absolutely blow your mind!

Now what we are talking about here is an app that will let you enjoy your favorite sport interactively while watching the game. This app is going to bring a new dynamic way of playing of enjoying sports. It’s not just going to focus on the major sports but every sport.  The point is to get everyone to enjoy sports better, not just the people who have time for drafts and 4 different fantasy leagues or the ones who are good at selecting the right combination of players in order to enjoy the experience.

Now, as I previously mentioned you have two options to join this wave, either as a player or an affiliate. If you want to just be one of the first to enjoy the experience of this game changing app then sign up as a player for free. You will be a pre-registered player and once the app launches within the next 5 weeks you can begin enjoying your interactive sports experience and start earning some rewards and points. I don’t know about you but once I started playing fantasy football and basketball, the game became THAT much more interesting to me. I began to pay attention to things that I didn’t before. This interactive app will award every real sports fan the same experience but much better – did I mention that some of EA Sports former developers are building this thing? – Get ahead of the trend, this app is coming and it’s going to change the way we enjoy sports forever and it will be the first of it’s kind, share it with your neighbors, share it with your family, if they love sports, chances are they will love this!

Now if you are interested in becoming an affiliate of United Games and getting the opportunity to not only get ahead of the trend but earn some money while doing it, then this the route you want to go. Now let me tell you this isn’t a pyramid scheme or something wild like that, if you don’t want to be an affiliate then you don’t have to. We aren’t trying to recruit people for money, we are just offering an opportunity to earn some income based off of people just playing the game. Now when this was brought to me a few weeks ago I had my initial negative thoughts. I was told that I can become an affiliate for free, feel it out see if I like it and if I do I would have to pay a one time fee of $30 to stay an affiliate and $9.99 a month to maintain my affiliate site and if I don’t just simply cancel no harm done. Now I’m no easy person to convince to join things, so I did my own research before I agreed to sign up for anything. Now I hate selling things, I’m terrible at it, so the fact I didn’t have to sell a product and it was an app – I’m a huge tech junkie – helped me decide to really read up on it. So I did my research and found that this app could really be something special and I don’t have to pay my fee until the app launches in 4-5 weeks at the time of this writing. I figured, what can I lose? I can jump on board playing a new fantasy app and maybe earn some money while doing it. Every time you share the app and someone signs up, whether as an affiliate or a player, and starts buying or earning tokens, you get a piece of the pie, NICE! Another selling point for me was the fact that in order for you to earn income you have to fill out tax form 1099. That right there let me know it was legit. Now United Games is offering this opportunity only up until the app launches in 5 weeks. Once it goes live, the affiliate opportunity will be no longer offered. You will only be able to download and use the app.

Whether you sign up to be a player or an affiliate I can assure you that this app is going to change your sporta experience. The point of this blog is to get the word out that a Giant is coming and to offer, what I believe to be a grand opportunity to be apart of the next big thing. If you like what you heard here today feel free to drop a comment, email me (lawrence.edwards115@gmail.com) or if you got here through my Facebook link, just shoot me a DM and I will happily send you a link to be an affiliate or a free player so you will be all set to go when the app launches. Once you click the link there will be more information for you to read through to get an even better understanding. You’re going to love this!

Here is a one page info sheet you can look at to get more information. Feel free to contact me with questions.

 

Here’s A Story, About A Man Named… Jimmy? New England Patriots 2016 Training Camp

By Will Stevenson

 

Football is back, Tom Brady is back under center, and all is well with the world. Training camp began with the usual suspects: Julian Edelman (foot), Danny Amendola (knee/ankle),Dion Lewis (knee), Sebastian Vollmer, Tre’ Jackson (knee) and Clay Harbor being placed on the PUP list (Physically Unable to Perform list). Without the usual targets on the field for practice, Tom Brady was crisp and chipper as usual. Brady was efficient with his passing to his receivers against an impressive lineup on defense that included Malcolm Butler, Jamie Collins, Jabaal Sheard, Rob Ninkovich,Devin McCourty and others. More impressive than his work on the field was his work off the field when Tom Brady was available to the press. Brady didn’t say much that would shock the world, or fans, he gave the usual “working hard/great to be with the guys/cheering for the guys” speech to the press. Tom Brady’s predictable accuracy and knowledge of the offense isn’t something that would surprise Patriots fans, but the simple fact that Brady will not be available for Preseason games or practices isn’t encouraging, for he will be coming in with not much practice time with the starters when he returns for Week 5.

All eyes were mostly focused on Jimmy Garopollo as he was accompanied by Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Dobson and James WhiteGaroppolo had a tough time finding receivers and openings with his teammates on offense. He connected on a long pass with Rob Gronkowski on the first play, but it was pretty much stagnant after that long flow. With this being the first week of training camp, Patriots fans need not to worry as Garoppolo will get plenty of work with the first teamers. Once Edelman and Amendola return, things will become like clockwork. Afterwards Garoppolo handled the press as good as any Patriot quarterback would, with stock quarterback talk and not much detailed analysis.

All in all, Patriots fans want to see growth and continuity with Garoppolo and the first team offense. They want no more injuries, and for guys on the injured list to return to field. We are a long way away from Week 1, but now is the time to work out the kinks with new arrivals and find out who all will fill out the 53 man roster.

“Been There, Done That”: Death, Taxes and The New England Patriots. The 2016 New England Patriots Season Preview

By Will Stevenson

Last year’s record: 12-4

Key Returns: Bill Belichick, Tom Brady, Julian Edelman, Dion Lewis and Rob Gronkowski.

Key Loss: Chandler Jones.

2016 Season Prediction: 12-4, 1st place in the AFC East.

Every offseason the same things are said and same questions are asked about the Patriots:

1. Why won’t they sign a big-time cornerback?

2. Why won’t they sign a big-time receiver?

3. They signed who at defensive tackle?

4. I don’t know who they drafted at linebacker, but he’s probably good.

5. Tom Brady is in decline.

6. Who are these no-name running backs?

For the Patriots last year, it was the usual constant: Tom Brady throwing to people you don’t know. Rob Gronkowski is a monster. Running backs you’ve never heard of are making noise. No-name defensive players are making plays and injuries to good players you didn’t really know. After another AFC East championship (coupled with the AFC Championship game loss to the eventual Super Bowl Champion Denver Broncos), the 2016 season brings some uncertainty for the New England Patriots.

Hey guys, my name is Jimmy!

Tom Brady is now suspended for the first four games of the season and backup Jimmy Garoppolo is now the starting quarterback until Week 5, maybe. We have seen this movie before in which Tom Brady has gone down and the backup quarterback had to perform. The Patriots went 11-5 in 2009 but they missed the playoffs (and the division title) as Matt Cassel went on to make money with the Kansas City Chiefs. The Patriots hope to stay consistent with Garoppolo at quarterback until Brady returns. The Patriots have perfected the short passing game over the years and with the receiving corps they have, Garoppolo will be in perfect position to run this offense. More than putting points on the board, Garoppolo needs to be accurate on throws and move the chains. With the weapons around him, the Patriots should be able to weather the storm until Brady’s return. With the New York Jets, Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins all making improvements this off-season, the Patriots will once again face a division that is tired of seeing them win every single year. Can they do anything about it?

See Gronk Spike

For 2016, the Patriots fan base is hoping for a receiving core that is healthy. Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola and Rob Gronkowski have all been sidelined by injuries the past few seasons, so fans are hoping 2016 brings a bid of health to them all. The Patriots signed Martellus Bennett this offseason, adding to their love of the two-tight end formations for their passing, running and play action. Rob Gronkowski is healthy for the start of training camp and will be a welcomed security blanket for Garoppolo as he makes his way as the quarterback until Brady’s suspension is over. Julian Edelman will still be playing the Wes Welker-type role as he runs every route from every position possible. Fans are hoping Danny Amendola can stay healthy and consistent as the back-end of the receiving corp is young and has a lot of no-names.

Running back By Committee

Ever since Curtis Martin, (yes, I went there) the Patriots have been able to dig up gems from the running back graveplots while continuing to have an effective running game by Patriots standards. Dion Lewis was having a career year until he was injured in Week 9 of last year and is expected to rebound to add explosiveness to the Patriots backfield. LeGarrette Blount, James White, Donald Brown and Brandon Bolden round out the backfield which usually uses all of their backs for running while also contributing to the short passing game as receivers out of the backfield.

Defensive Front Seven By Committee

One can assume the Patriots defense will be filled injuries, but some way they will just plug in the next guy and continue to make plays. Rob Ninkovich has been a mainstay for the defensive line for the past few years. Every year it seems the Patriots either release or trade away a talented defensive player. This off-season was no exception when they traded Chandler Jones to the Arizona Cardinals.  With Jabaal Sheard, Jamie Collins and Donta’ Hightower heading the front seven, the Patriots are sure to have a consistent unit that will make it easier for Garoppolo and the offense.

Man Up!

After the departure of Darrelle Revis last offseason, Malcolm Butler has owned his place as a top-tier cornerback in this league. With Logan Ryan (has only missed 8 tackles in 178 attempts: courtesy of Pro Football Focus) on the other end, the Patriots will be playing more man coverage this year. Devin McCourty and Patrick Chung round out the safety positions making this Patriots secondary something to be feared in the AFC.

Below is the 2016 schedule for the New England Patriots along with a few predictions of my own.

2016 REGULAR SEASON SCHEDULE
Week Date Opponent Time (ET) Prediction
1 Sun, Sep 11
  • @
  • Ariz.
8:30 PM NBC Loss
2 Sun, Sep 18
  • vs
  • Mia
1:00 PM CBS Win
3 Thu, Sep 22
  • vs
  • Hou
8:25 PM CBS Loss
4 Sun, Oct 2 1:00 PM CBS Win
5 Sun, Oct 9 1:00 PM CBS Win
6 Sun, Oct 16 1:00 PM CBS Win
7 Sun, Oct 23 4:25 PM CBS Win
8 Sun, Oct 30 1:00 PM CBS Loss
9 BYE WEEK
10 Sun, Nov 13 8:30 PM NBC Win
11 Sun, Nov 20
  • @
  • SF
4:25 PM CBS Win
12 Sun, Nov 27
  • @
  • NYJ
8:30 PM NBC Win
13 Sun, Dec 4
  • vs
  • LA
1:00 PM FOX Win
14 Mon, Dec 12 8:30 PM ESPN/WatchESPN Win
15 Sun, Dec 18 4:25 PM CBS Win
16 Sat, Dec 24 1:00 PM CBS Win
17 Sun, Jan 1 1:00 PM CBS Loss

Season Preview Review?

Every year the Bills, Dolphins and Jets plan all off-season on how to take the Patriots down from their reign at the top of the AFC East, and every year they fail, miserably. Coaches and front office regimes have fallen and started over time and time again at the hands of the Patriots. With Tom Brady out for the first four games, it is up to the system of the Patriots to spread their wings and push forward while Brady is away. The Patriots fans and players aren’t worried at all, they’ve been there and done that.

Last Note

For the 2016 season, the fans are looking forward to another 12-4, 13-3, 14-2 season with a deep run in the playoffs and hopefully holding the Lombardi trophy at season’s end. With Tom Brady’s four game suspension, there’s an intrigue in who is Jimmy Garoppolo. What can he do? What if he sets the NFL on fire? Tom Brady took Drew Bledsoe’s job once upon a time. Garoppolo has one job and one job only: Don’t mess it up! With these four games, he is trying out for 31 other teams that may want to trade for him during the season, or next offseason. Matt Cassel made his money in one season with the Patriots. With solid play in Brady’s absence, Jimmy Garoppolo could be the next Matt Flynn or Brock Osweiler to cash in.

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