National Puzzle day has come and gone and the Patriots suprisingly failed to take advantage of the last second trade offered to the league to celebrate the day. Word was that they were in talks with multiple teams and had David Rolle, their homegrown Superstar defensive tackle, on the block. Presumably this deal would have been intended to introduce their rookie Jakhari DeCarvalo to the starting lineup. The 21yo would have had plenty of help with SS Trysten Hill next to him and XFs Josh Allen and Clelin Ferrell holding down the defensive end spots. We hear there were talks of adding a wr as well as potentially a deal involving an elite offensive lineman. It could be argued that either could have helped an offense that has become suprisingly stagnant with both the reigning OPOY/HB of the year Tony Pollard and slot receiver Will Culver out on long term injuries. Ultimately, we are excited to hear that after the failed trade talks (which we hear would have ended Blake Martinez's time in New England as well) it seems that Coach January did not hesistate to sign both Martinez and Rolle to long term deals. Does this spell an offseason exit for DeCarvalo or will he stay on to be developed and play as a top tier support player? One thing is for sure The #GreatwallofNE is officially in full effect and will remain fully intact for multiple seasons. We have seen a perennial bottom defense in yards allowed and sacks make huge strides this year. Currently tied for 4th in the league with 34 sacks (Ferrell-12, Allen-8, Hill-6, etc). This has helped the defense reach 4th in the league in total yards allowed, 5th in passing yards, and 6th in rushing yards. If they can get some more production out of the slumping offense soon there could be a way to recover from the disappointing 3-3 start.
Well, another off-season has come and gone after another lack-luster performance from our beloved Patriots. While it was widely accepted that the schedule was likely the most difficult one seen in New England in nearly a decade there are no excuses for the 5-11 finish last season after a slightly promising 7-9 finish the year before. With this much quality on the field there is no reason we shouldn't be winning games. This seems to be solely on the shoulders of Coach January. With that said lets look at what moves were made to hopefully improve our chances of winning over the last few seasons of CNFL's Madden 20 cycle. Perhaps the most stunning move was the exodus of Zeke Elliott. Coach fought for years to get him here then after only one season saw fit to send him to Detroit for arguably a top 3 pass rusher in the lg. This move is a bit odd considering the depth already existing on our defensive line and the fact that we also shipped Terron Sanders, a legitimate power rushing defensive end in his own right, along with Zeke to get that deal done. I suppose January assumes that having two elite pass rushing defensive ends along with Trysten Hill and David Rolle anchoring down the two tackle positions can impact the historically dreadful defensive play that we have all grown accustomed to seeing on the field in Foxboro. Also, after a breakout year for Tony Pollard who brought home both OPOY and HB of the year awards last season, perhaps Zeke was not viewed as being as valuable as another legitimate defender, we just worry that maybe our defensive line wasn't the right place to focus those efforts. After losing Leighton Vander Esch and Raekwon McMillan to trades over the last two sesons and watching Blake Martinez age before our eyes, we worry that the concept of stacking young quick linebackers may be the fall of the organization. One positive note for our beloved Patriots is that we do have a much more favorable schedule this season than last and after an impressive performance in our season opener against the star studded Cleveland Browns our defense does appear to be stepping things up at least a little early in the year. Another drubbing of our division rival Dolphins and we find ourselves sitting at 2-0 for only the second time under January's regime. The Jets this week should be a good barometer of what this new look team's future can be and maybe, just maybe we can go into our week 4 bye week with an untarnished 3-0 record. Is this the year we finally find ourselves fighting for a playoff spot, or at least with something to play for other than our pride after the trade deadline? Who knows. It is still definitely too early to tell and we have all certainly been let down by a promising start by January and this team before. With that said, perhaps this team has a better chance than any of those before it. Keep your eyes on the Pats for the time being, they have the roster to make a run, will January continue to be their achilles heel?!?
Another disappointing season for the New England Patriots after finishing 7-9 in their most recent campaign. Not all is lost however, as our roster has rapidly improved and our offense has shown signs of once again being an elite powerhouse with the acquisition of some serious firepower with Haskins, Cooks, and Thomas joining the already in place solid offensive line and lightning fast Pollard in the backfield. In fact, Haskins has broken the single season passing record in his first season in Foxborough with a staggering 5815yds and 51tds on the year. Having three solid targets to get the ball to led to a triplicate of 1000yd receivers of Cooks, Thomas, and Hall. Rumors were that Hall may be on his way out the door this offseason after falling to the slot position on the depth chart, however, during his exit interview he has claimed he is 100% committed to his role here and we are now hearing from the front office that they have no intention of shopping him moving forward.
The defensive side of the ball however has seen its ups and downs. A couple of acquisitions have helped our D get faster and more explosive, alas it would seem these changes haven’t helped the defensive production quite like the offensive side’s new additions have, and we will once again finish in the bottom three in the lg in both points and yards given up. We are hearing there will be a considerable focus on the defensive line this offseason as management attempts to plant some roots for the defense to build upon.
One thing is for sure, this team is a mediocre defense away from playoff contention and an above average defense away from becoming ‘the greatest show on turf’ v2. Keep your eyes on this team’s offseason moves, they are always aggressive in trades/draft and so far that has helped much more than it has hurt. There does have to be a point where NE decides enough is enough though and just begins to focus on the wealth of talent they have already acquired. Still, I wouldn’t put it past them to make at least one offseason splash this year. After all, they wouldn’t be the New England Patriots if their names weren’t in the headlines for one reason or another.