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Patriots Fan

The 2014 New England Patriots posted by Patriots Fan

The Patriots remain one of the best teams in the league. Last year, it finished with a 12-4 record and the franchise hopes that it can compete in the Super Bowl this time around. The Patriots will have to get more from quarterback Tom Brady, who showed signs of slowing down last year.

While Brady threw 25 touchdowns and 4,343 yards last year, he had a completion percentage of 60.5 percent and a less than ideal YPA of 6.9. At 36, Brady will be needing his supporting cast to improve their play if they want a fourth Super Bowl.

Unfortunately, one of their best players, tight end Rob Gronkowski has been injury prone the past few years. Last season he tore his ACL and while he says he’s in shape now it is still doubtful that he’ll be in 100 percent condition.

Last year, the team signed Danny Amendola with the belief he’ll be a better player than Wes Welker but he disappointed with just 54 receptions. Julian Edelman proved to be a better option with 105 receptions. Look for Brady to continue searching for him, as well as second-year pro Aaron Dobson.

For the Patriots to advance further in the offseason, they should protect Brady better. Brady endured 40 sacks last season, the most he’s had in years.

In terms of defense, the Patriots hope their new acquisitions would immediately contribute. Darrelle Revis was signed to a $12 million deal. It makes sense as Revis is still at the top of his game and the deal is just a year-long.   Dominique Easley was selected in the first round and will be a disruptive interior past rusher to help out the defense.

Continue reading "The 2014 New England Patriots"

Patriots Fan

Here Are Three Tips for Being a Sharp Sports Bettor from Bankroll to Winning posted by Patriots Fan

With the coming NFL season next month there will be bettors who are gearing up to win big this season. There are many points to consider when it comes to being a good sports bettor. It is important to know what works because nobody wants to lose. So with this in mind, let us take a look at what makes for successful sports betting.

Here are three main tips from Rich Allen's betting systems for being a sharp sports bettor. The first is to manage the bankroll, second is don't place bets based on emotion and last is don't bet parlays.

Let's look at how to manage your bankroll. Face the facts that this should be number one since no money means no winning. That seems like a no brainer, but surely there is more meat to this idea than realized. It feels great to win and winners get bored easily. It is a fact that the more excited a winner gets, the more they want to risk. Keeping up this line of logic will quickly put an end to the bettor's bankroll. With careful money management you can limit your bankroll and come out ahead. It is about discipline and using good sense.

Placing bets based on emotion is a great way to guarantee a loss. While it is true that people win, regardless of emotions, it is true that emotions play in poor decision making. It is important to keep ones cool when placing bets. When emotions come into play the blood pressure tends to rise and body heat also tends to increase. It is hard to think clearly in this with the pressure cooker mentality. This is why it makes more sense to use logic and leave emotions to the wayside while betting. When the game is over and the money is counted, that is the time to let out a whoop.

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Joe Anello

Free Agency 2013: Two Weeks Later posted by Joe Anello

Okay everyone, it’s been long enough since my last check-in that a slew of impactful transactions have taken place in NFL free agency. So without further adieu, let’s go around the league!

(Here are my takes on the moves from day one and days two and three of free agency.)


WR Greg Jennings signs a 5-year $47.5 million deal ($18M gtd.) with the Minnesota Vikings

This move was almost a necessity for the Vikings AND Jennings. Minnesota was in dire straits at the receiver position after they traded away Percy Harvin to the Seahawks. Jennings wasn’t getting any more money than the Packers offered him, so he oddly walked away from that deal and signed with the division rival. He’ll be THE focal point in Minnesota at the receiver position. Maybe this eases Adrian Peterson’s rage over the trading of Harvin. Maybe.

LT Jake Long signs a 4-year, $36 million deal ($16M gtd.) with the St. Louis Rams

Shabam. And the real domino in the tackle game falls. Long’s extended physical delayed this deal from getting done sooner, but he’s now a Ram. If he’s legitimately healthy and returns to form, the Rams aren’t going to miss that money in the slightest. So what does this mean for incumbent LT and former second-round pick Roger Saffold? Uh… it means he’s on his way to the right side. Or to a trade. Once Long was signed, it set a real benchmark for other tackles on the market, as we’ll see later.

Continue reading "Free Agency 2013: Two Weeks Later"

Joe Anello

Free Agency 2013: Days Two and Three posted by Joe Anello

Welcome back everyone! I would have posted this last night but the lack of sleep Monday night really caught up with me. Now I’m back and ready to pick apart the transactions of days two and three of NFL free agency. Let’s get that money man!

OG Gosder Cherilus signs a 5-year, $34 million deal with Indianapolis Colts.
Additional signings: OG Donald Thomas (4 years, $14 million), LB Erik Walden (4 years, $16 million), S LaRon Landry (4 years, $24 million)

This is a group of Colt signings that I didn’t discuss in the day one recap because I was exhausted and there were too many to address. Cherilus was overpaid, but I get it. Thomas’ deal is tolerable and revamps the interior of their line. I don’t feel confident that Walden’s contract will prove to be money well spent. Still, signing Landry as well gives Chuck Pagano a play-making safety in his secondary. The Colts are spending, but not as crazily as the Dolphins.

WR Wes Welker signs a 2-year, $12 million deal with the Denver Broncos

Okay, I have a LOT to say about this deal. I took to Twitter to express my thoughts shortly after the news broke, but I felt utterly hindered by the 140-character limit. I was really upset by the news that New England only offered Welker $10 million (including incentives). He’s only been one of the hardest workers on your team for the past six seasons and this is how he gets rewarded? EFF YOU PATS.

Welker’s caught 100 balls in his entire run with the Pats and hasn’t shown signs of slowing down. So imagine my surprise when I heard the Broncos only had to pay him $12 million… for two years!  If he, in this odd-as-hell receiver market, shouldn’t get more than $6M a year, I obviously don’t know football.

Continue reading "Free Agency 2013: Days Two and Three"

Joe Anello

The Final Drive: 2013 Conference Championships posted by Joe Anello

Conference Championship Sunday left two teams in sheer jubilation while two other squads will be left at home for the Super Bowl. Let’s take a look at how two road teams pulled out the win in The Final Drive!

(13-4-1) San Francisco 49ers 28

(14-4) Atlanta Falcons 24

The first quarter of this game looked almost exactly the same as the Falcons’ last game, with a 10-0 lead at the end of the first quarter. San Francisco mounted a whopping -2 yards on offense in the opening frame, stifled by a Falcon defense that had a surprisingly decent pass rush in the quarter.

Julio Jones came out ready to play for keeps, racking up over 100 yards in the first quarter. He was held relatively in check for the rest of the game, totaling “only” 182 yards. Matt Ryan seemed to be able to expose the Niner secondary all day, especially safety Dashon Goldson, who was torched by Jones on his first score. A second crazy catch by Jones to start the second quarter made the score 17-0 in favor of Atlanta. Luckily the Niner offense figured it out eventually, getting two touchdowns in the second period to make the game competitive again. But after the Falcons drove right back down in the two minute drill to pull away at 24-14, I was left to wonder: where was that vaunted Niner defense everyone kept telling me about? I think they forgot that this was an elimination game. Someone must have told them at halftime, because San Fran’s defense came out and utterly shut down the dirty birds.

As their Niner defense tightened, recovering a fumbled snap to Ryan, Colin Kaepernick and the offense thrived. Kaep continued to make key passes from inside the pocket. The read-option plays became deadly, especially at the goal line, where Frank Gore scored two rushing touchdowns. The Niners went up 28-24 in the middle of the fourth quarter and never looked back.

Continue reading "The Final Drive: 2013 Conference Championships"

Joe Anello

The Opening Drive: 2013 Conference Championships posted by Joe Anello

Okay everybody, Conference Championship Sunday is here and I could not be any more excited. Aside from the drama that is surrounding each of these fantastic games (you know, because whoever wins plays in that little Super Bowl), I’m also 3-5 on my picks going into the day, meaning the only way I get above .500 for the postseason is if I get everything right from here on out. No pressure. There’s been some movement on these lines (San Fran got a lot of juice and is now a four point favorite. Baltimore saw some action while the line was at 9 points, whittling it down to 7.5), so as an FYI I’m picking against the spread as the odds are currently, not where they began. Let’s stop prattling on and get into The Opening Drive!

*As always, lines pulled from 


(12-4-1) San Francisco 49ers at

(14-3) Atlanta Falcons

3:00 PM ET, FOX

You’re going to be hard-pressed to find any unit in this game that favors the Falcons. The Niner offensive line is playing the best of any unit still in the playoffs, as they’ve been utterly dominating defensive fronts at the line of scrimmage. There’s a reason Colin Kaepernick ran utterly untouched against the Packers. Even as he gets a bit older, Frank Gore is the best running back in this game. Michael Crabtree has been stepping up as of late, looking at times like the number one receiver he was always supposed to be. Randy Moss is a somewhat credible threat on the outside, but this team really suffers from the loss of Mario Manningham. But Kaepernick might be able to reproduce a similar performance from last week with the benefit of a dome and faster turf. Without a fully healthy John Abraham (ankle), are the Falcons

Continue reading "The Opening Drive: 2013 Conference Championships"

Joe Anello

The Final Drive: 2013 Divisional Round posted by Joe Anello

The 2013 Divisional Round is completed! The best weekend in football lived up to the hype, with crazy finishes (double overtimes) and historic performances. Let’s not put off this any longer. It’s time for The Final Drive!

(12-6) Baltimore Ravens 38

(13-4) Denver Broncos 35

After the Ravens were forced to punt on their opening possession, this game got crazy… fast. Trindon Holliday took that punt return back 90 yards for the first score. A 59-yard pass to a streaking Torrey Smith (who was torching Champ Bailey deep most of the day) from Joe Flacco tied the game up. On Denver’s ensuing drive, a pass from Peyton Manning tipped off the hands of Eric Decker into the arms of Corey Graham, who boomeranged it to make the score 14-7 Ravens. Manning took the ball right back and marched his team 74 yards in 11 plays, ending with a pinpoint pass to old friend Brandon Stokley on the side of the endzone. 14-14. Were you still breathing at this point? A score from both teams in the second quarter kept the game tied at 21 going into halftime. And the drama did not subside in the start of a crazy NFL weekend.

Denver Head Coach John Fox will (and should) catch a lot of flak for not even attempting to try to get in field goal range with two timeouts and 20-plus seconds left on the clock. (As we would see later in the weekend, that’s not an impossible feat to accomplish.) Fox got extremely conservative in the offensive play-calling, leaning on the run too often when he had one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time on the field. (Though doesn’t Peyton have full authority to change those calls at the line? Hm.) Not going for a third down conversion late in the fourth allowed the Ravens to get the ball back with just enough time to make something happen. And they certainly did.

Continue reading "The Final Drive: 2013 Divisional Round"

Joe Anello

The Opening Drive: 2013 Divisional Round posted by Joe Anello

Alright everyone, it’s my favorite football weekend of the entire season! At this point we have the eight best teams left in the hunt for the Lombardi Trophy, including the two greatest QB’s of our era in the AFC and a crazy Saturday night rematch in the NFC. I have stumbled out of the gates with my picks, currently standing at 1-3 after the wild card round. I owe that to every favorite covering last week and my apparently desperate need to pick against almost all of them. This week shall be different! I hope. Let’s get to The Opening Drive of the Divisional Round! (As always, point spreads are obtained from


(11-6) Baltimore Ravens at

(13-3) Denver Broncos

4:30 PM ET, CBS

This is the first of two AFC rematches that were completely one-sided in the first go-rounds. The Broncos slapped around the Ravens 34-17 in week 15, part of their 11-game winning streak to end the regular season and claim the one seed. In that game, Peyton Manning had very pedestrian numbers, but was bolstered by ground game that featured 45 carries, the most of any Manning team in his career. Their 163 yards pounded a then-short-staffed Raven defense. This game will be different, in that Baltimore is much healthier now. Ray Lewis is back, as is linebacker Danel Ellerbee. Still, the Raven corners are average at best, so they’re not going to be able to contain Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker on the outside.

Continue reading "The Opening Drive: 2013 Divisional Round"

Patriots Fan

Your Chances of Winning with New England Patriots on NFL Football Betting posted by Patriots Fan

Betting in America has always been a risky past-time as previously if you were interested in NFL football betting, you would need to find a bookie, make a visit in person, place the bet with hard cash, and pray that you will get your money if you win. Now all this is unnecessary, as online sportsbooks accept your bets with various payment options, and winnings are settled promptly online. Secondly, these betting websites provide more locations for placing wagers, thus improving your chances of finding a better line. This not only minimizes risks but also increases your chances of winning over the long term. Once you start exploring the numerous possibilities and advantages of online betting, you will be surprised at how much you can win within a short period.

Coming back to NFL football wagers, the New England Patriots seem to be a promising team. The team’s offense was already legendary and it seems it has got better for the season with Brandon Lloyd, who is an excellent receiver. This great catch for the Patriots did not cost much, as Lloyd signed a three-year contract for only 12 million dollars, which is quite below his value in the market. However, it is a good career move for Lloyd, as he is teaming up with Josh McDaniels, the best coordinator for offense.

Another impressive player, Tom Brady, is now at the top of his game and is playing quite well this year. This excellent quarterback, together with Aaron Hernandez, Wes Welker, and Rob Gronkowski can be quite formidable for any NFL team to handle. New England Patriots also landed Donte Stallworth and Jabar Gaffney, who might replace Deion Branch, as he lacks the burst. Gaffney has quite an impressive record in the last year with five touchdowns, and catching 68 balls in 947 yards - it may be worth placing a bet on him catching a few balls one game even.

Continue reading "Your Chances of Winning with New ..."

Joe Anello

The Opening Drive: Week 15, 2012 posted by Joe Anello

I gotta say, week 15 of the NFL season is here and it is absolutely stacked. Almost all of the early games on Sunday have playoff implications, which ensures the excitement starts early! Let’s go through the most intriguing match-ups of the weekend!

(8-5) New York Giants at

(11-2) Atlanta Falcons

Woof. This is not a bad game at all. The Super Bowl Champs head south to face a Falcons team that just gave up an odd game to the Newton-led Panthers. It’s going to be interesting how much the Giants flip their proverbial switch for this one, seeing as how they’ll very likely meet in the playoffs. (But the G-Men still have to get there.) If the Falcons are going to be taken seriously, Sunday would be a good way to start.

(7-6) Washington Redskins at

(5-8) Cleveland Browns

Word broke early Saturday that RG3 will not start in this game, meaning Kirk Cousins will be taking the reins against a stout Brown defense. This is definitely the best candidate for the “Trap of the Week.” I’ll give the ‘Skins’ coaching staff a lot of credit for the way this team has played thus far, because they’re certainly maximizing their talent. But without a dynamic QB like Griffin, this Washington offense might not have enough explosiveness to put up many points.

Continue reading "The Opening Drive: Week 15, 2012"

New England Patriots News

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Patriots block last second Nick Folk field goal, hold on for 27-25 win over Jets (NBC on Yahoo S

New England Patriots defensive tackle Chris Jones blocked an attempted game-winning 58-yard field goal attempt from  Nick Folk  as time expired as the Patriots held on for a 27-25 victory over the New York Jets on Thursday night. In easily the most competitive Thursday night contest of the season so far, the lead changed hands five times with neither team holding a lead of more than eight points all night. Chris Ivory  scored on a 1-yard touchdown run with 8:58 left in the third quarter to give the Jets a 19-17 lead over New England. Stephen Gostkowski  hit a 36-yard field goal to put New England back on top, 20-19, four minutes later and  Tom Brady  connected with  Danny Amendola  for a 19-yard touchdown pass with 7:49 left to play to give the Patriots a 27-19 lead. The Jets responded with a 12-play, 86-yard scoring drive capped by a 10-yard touchdown pass from  Geno Smith  to  Jeff Cumberland  with 2:31 left to play. However, a two-point conversion attempt was unsuccessful as Smith was unable to connect with tight end  Jace Amaro . New York forced a three-and-out and a New England punt that gave them the ball back with 1:06 left to play. Smith completed a pair of checkdowns to  Chris Johnson , then found  David Nelson  and  Jeremy Kerley  for 11 and 13 yards, respectively, as the Jets crossed midfield and into possible field goal range. One more 5-yard pass to Ivory set up the game-winning try with five seconds lefts to play, but Jones managed to knock the kick down to preserve the victory for New England. Ultimately, the Jets squandered too many touchdown opportunities after moving the ball into Patriots territory. New York settled for two field goals from inside the New England 10-yard line and two more from inside the 30. The Jets possessed the ball for nearly 41 minutes and managed to keep Brady and the Patriots offense off the field for the majority of the night. Ivory rushed for 107 yards on 21 carries and Chris Johnson added 61 yards on 13 attempts as the Jets found success in the running game. Smith was also efficient with 226 yards and a touchdown on the night. But the inability to convert those lengthy drives into touchdowns proved to be the downfall. Brady completed 20 of 37 passes for 261 yards and three touchdowns on the night for the Patriots. - Pro Football Talk, NBC Sports [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

With win over Jets, Patriots continue taking advantage of opponents' stupidity (NBC on Yahoo S

Rex Ryan was flummoxed. That’s been a default setting for him in recent years, but on Thursday night he had a right. The Jets' running game rolled up 218 yards on 43 carries. They had the ball for almost 41 minutes. They never turned it over. They went 9-for-16 on third down. They forced five Patriots punts. They lost. They are 1-6. Rex is toast. But if they are toast, what exactly are the Patriots after getting taken over Geno Smith’s knee in a 27-25 win? Well, they’re a lot of things. A little unsettled in the middle of their defense. An okay team profiting from the dopiness of their opponents for the second time in five days. And 5-2. There will be a lot of, “If it was anybody but the Jets, the Patriots would have lost playing that way . . . ”chatter for the next few days. Maybe. But that undersells the dopiness that’s epidemic around the league. Not enough teams are capable of making smart teams like the Patriots pay. Some are. The best -- Denver, Seattle, San Francisco and Philly, to name a few -- would have run the Pats out of the gym last night. Because those teams probably wouldn’t have blown a coverage on the game’s fourth play. Or lost track of Danny Amendola on a third-and-goal from the 19. Or settled for four field goals. And they would have taken advantage of the Patriots' nine penalties, New England's inability to stop the run, or set the edges of its defense. But most teams don’t. Hell, it was four days ago that the Bills were handing the Patriots 13 second-quarter points on a pick and two fumbles. If you’re the Patriots, just wait around. The dumb will come. The best teams -- the ones the Patriots will play after you’ve taken down your Christmas decorations -- won’t burp it up like the Jets. “I love the way we ran the football,”said Ryan. “Anytime we’ve run 43 times, we would probably win, too. You know, that was great, we were able to control the game. We fought, but we made enough mistakes on defense to cost us the win, obviously.”It was the Patriots' first game without Jerod Mayo. Did that explain your success, Rex? “It had nothing to do with the Patriots defense and without Mayo or anybody else -- Nick Buoniconti,”Rex raved. “We were able to run the football today and that was because of the type of people we have, not the ones that they don’t have.”And they weren’t able to win because of the people they have and the ones the Patriots do. The bigger guns are coming though. This harsh stretch of four games in 18 days is over for the Patriots, but now the competition goes up a notch in terms of talent and -- one supposes -- intelligence. It’s the Bears, Broncos, Colts, Lions, Packers and Chargers coming up. That’s a combined record of 24-11, with only the Bears at .500. The Patriots have things to work on. Bill Belichick rolled through a few, disputing at first that the run defense was the glaring issue. “I think probably the bigger problem we had was third down,”he said. “We had our chances to get off the field on third down. That would eliminate a lot of those [running] plays. And we have to play the run better, too. We didn’t make them punt until the fourth quarter [third quarter], whenever it was, it was late. “Luckily we played well in the red area, kept them out of the end zone and kept the points down,”he said. “But didn’t do a good enough job in the running game, didn’t do a good enough job on run force, didn’t do a good enough job on third down, obviously. And we had some three-and-outs offensively that kept us from keeping the ball, keeping momentum. We just weren’t consistent enough in any phase of the game. [We] didn’t cover kickoffs well . . . We had some breakdowns and we can’t afford them, can’t afford them.”One of the Patriots’biggest issues was keeping contain on Geno Smith. The only other quarterback they faced in their first five games that scared them with his legs was Ryan Tannehill. He didn’t hurt them, but the defense was similarly gashed against the Dolphins because the Pats devoted so much to worrying about Tannehill’s running. Smith did hurt them. “The guy is talented as far as scrambling ability,”said Rob Ninkovich. “We knew that. He’s quick, he’s athletic, and he can get out of the pocket, which, as a defensive end, that’s a hard part to deal with when you’re trying to get pressure on a quarterback that can either get up in the pocket or run out of the back of the pocket, and you’ve got a 310-pound guy in front of you that’s trying to hold on to you. There were definitely some times he got out, which you don’t want to have as a defensive end.”As for Chris Ivory, who ran for 107 yards on 21 carries, Ninkovich shrugged, “The guy’s a big, strong, tough back to bring down. We don’t make excuses here. Give them the credit. They played well. They had a good game plan. They were able to control the game a little bit by holding on to the ball, slow methodical drive with the running game and throwing some passes in there. Again, we’ve just got to work better on those little things and enjoy the win.”Vince Wilfork, who played close to 70 plays against the Bills and followed that up with a busy night again Thursday, has been unfazed by the bad stuff all year. This is no crisis, he said. “Things are fixable, but to be a good defense you got to be able to do those things constantly,”he warned. “I think we’ve made improvements, but we knew this team wanted to run the football and they ran the ball basically the whole game. You run the ball 30 or 40 times, you are going to have a little success, but at the same time there was probably some four-yarders, five-yarders, but we tackled for loss so it was some give and take. I’m very stingy when it comes down to the rush defense. That’s the one thing that I’m disappointed in [the run defense]. We will fix it, we always do and hopefully we can get this thing rolling consistently.”The opposing IQ will be rising after this short break. The Patriots will be smart to start boning up. -- Tom E. Curran, [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

Report: NFL could reinstate former Ravens running back Ray Rice within a month (Shutdown Corner%

Former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice could be reinstated by the NFL within a month, reported on Sunday. While Rice remains indefinitely suspended for punching his then-fiancee Janay Palmer in an Atlantic City elevator last February, the league has set a hearing date for the former All-Pro back's appeal, according to's Jason La Canfora . A decision on Rice's future could reportedly come in mid-November. The NFL initially suspended Rice for two games prior to TMZ releasing video of his domestic abuse. Rice's legal team allegedly contends he deserves a suspension no  longer than the new NFL policy of six games for first-time offenders because commissioner Roger Goodell was made aware of what was on the video . The hearing will be conducted by former  U.S. District Court Judge Barbara S. Jones and is expected to be completed before erstwhile FBI director Robert Mueller completes his independent investigation into the incident on behalf of the NFL, according to La Canfora. That creates a potential public relations nightmare for the league, since Rice could join a team before Mueller's report potentially reveals another bombshell. However, it remains unclear whether any team would consider signing Rice prior to the end of the season, even if he is reinstated. La Canfora cites the Indianapolis Colts and New England Patriots as potential destinations, since both teams have had their share of running back problems this season. - - - - - - - Ben Rohrbach is a contributor for Ball Don't Lie and Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @brohrbach [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

How obsessive is Peyton Manning? Even Broncos' keep-away celebration of record-breaking TD was s

Of course Manning prepared the light-hearted celebration after breaking Brett Favre's mark. This is who he is. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

Percy Harvin is Jets' problem now, which presents Russell Wilson new set of issues in Seattle %2

Here's what was was clear in the last Super Bowl: Harvin is always more trouble for defenses than he is for teammates. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

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