— STEVE BURTON (@STEVEBURTONWBZ) January 18, 2019
The Patriots beat down of the Los Angeles Chargers last week was something else to watch. The Patriots remain undefeated at home for this season but on the road, it’s another story. The team has been 3-5 on the road (all 5 losses are by non-playoff teams as well). Additionally, the Pats are only 3-4 in playoffs while on the road under Belichick. Not only is this worrying but it indicates the team has been uncoordinated in away games. Arrowhead Stadium is effectively the worst environment one can walk into.
Arrowhead is arguably the loudest stadium in the NFL, and throwing the Pats off will be a very likely possibility. However, the team is aware of this and embraces the challenge of a rematch from Week 6. The Pats won 43-40 at Gillette during the regular season but the advantage the Pats had is now gone. Not only will Bill Belichick need to think hard on how to confront this seemingly unstoppable Chiefs’ offense, they will need to bring A+ coaching that they showed last week.
Can Belichick Handle the Pressure?
"Everybody’s counting on you to do your job."
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) January 18, 2019
It’s tough to understand but the playoffs are the time where the pressure is at it’s highest. Lose one game, and it’s all over. Done. Belichick knows this feeling all too well, it’s the reason why he always approaches each game differently and remains focused. In many ways, being nervous is a natural part of the playoffs.
However, Belichick has been here before. He has seen the highs and lows. And to suggest he has no way to stop Kansas City is ludicrous. If last week’s game against the Chargers proved anything, it’s that talent doesn’t matter. One of Belichick’s greatest quotes still holds value here: “Players win games, coaches lose games.” Coaching is what the Patriots are best known for. Josh McDaniels, Brian Flores, Dante Scarnecchia, Joe Judge, Ivan Fears or Josh Boyer it doesn’t matter where you look, every coach could arguably be considered a head coach in their own right (McDaniels was a previous coach, and Flores is now being considered for the head coach vacancy in Miami)
But at the end of the day, it’s always Belichick. He runs the show and ultimately it’s up to him to figure out some way to contain the most explosive offense in the NFL this year. Like he did in Super Bowl LI against the Atlanta Falcons, who came in with the #1 scoring offense. Or the time the Patriots faced the St. Louis Rams a.k.a The Greatest Show on Turf, in Super Bowl 36. Or the time Belichick was the DC for the New York Giants and had to beat the Buffalo Bills and their K-Gun Offense in Super Bowl 25. It doesn’t matter what offense a team has, Belichick WILL find a way. He has done it many a time.
Embracing The Underdog
After Tom Brady told @tracywolfson in a post-game interview on CBS that "everybody thinks we suck and can't win any games", the underdog theme resonated throughout parts of the Patriots locker room as players looked ahead to the AFC Championship Game. https://t.co/nVpL8onc5w
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) January 13, 2019
Tom Brady has had a down year, or at least for his own standards. He is 41 years old. Well Brady has been listening to the media downplaying his performances this year and how he is on the decline. But Brady embraces the thought of being looked down on. Because it makes victory that much sweeter.
Throughout the last five years, Brady has been seen as an old man trying to play a young man’s game. It’s ironic that the stadium where the narrative originated will be where Brady and the Patriots play for the AFC Championship. In 2014, Brady had quite possibly one of the worst games of his entire career. In Kansas City, in week 4, the Patriots played the Chiefs and the stadium was the highest recorded game in the NFL history. It threw the Pats off, and it resulted in a 41-13 thrashing by the Chiefs. Brady was 14-23 passing, 159 yards, a TD and 2 INTS. It was so bad that they put Jimmy Garoppolo in to see what he could do (which was get a TD).
The reality is, that game caused the media to run with the narrative that Brady’s time was over. And it couldn’t have been any further from the truth. Brady and the Patriots would win the Super Bowl in 2014 against the Seattle Seahawks led by Russell Wilson and the Legion of Boom defense. The facts: when you doubt the Patriots and think they are out, they fool you and make you pay for it.
Chiefs Are Without Kareem Hunt
ESPN Report Confirms Kareem Hunt's Accuser Called Him N*gger & Struck Him During Altercation at Hotel; Incident Starts When Hunt Became Concern When He Found Out The Women Were Underage Drinking (Video) https://t.co/H1RuX2dZXA pic.twitter.com/cL6w72K555
— Robert Littal (@BSO) December 7, 2018
For those who forgot, on November 30th, 2018, Chiefs Running Back Kareem Hunt, was caught on camera having an altercation with several women at a hotel from back in February. This resulted in Hunt being placed on the Commissioner’s exempt list and was subsequently released by the team.
Hunt really messed up by hurting these women (they were both underage) but that’s a separate matter. Right now, the Chiefs don’t have Hunt anymore. Instead, former undrafted free agent and Miami Dolphin, Damien Williams is the starter. While Williams is a definite downgrade from Hunt, he is has been productive for the Chiefs.
Hunt was a dynamic playmaker who could change the course of the game, while Williams is a good ground-and-pound type of player. He versatile in both the running and passing game, but he doesn’t have the presence or athleticism that Hunt had. It’s similar to James Conner replacing LeVeon Bell this season for the Steelers. While one if still very productive in the other’s place, it’s mainly because of the offensive line.
Without Hunt, the Patriots will likely focus on shutting down the run game as fast as possible. It’s easier said than done as the Chief’s offensive line has been Top 10 this season. With QB Patrick Mahomes, he makes it easier to protect with having great pocket awareness and mobility to move the ball. But Williams should be someone whom the Patriots are more familiar with so it should provide some good insight.
Can An Upset Be Possible?
On January 20, sky-watchers across the Americas will see the moon turn a rusty shade of red during a total lunar eclipse—also known as a super blood wolf moon https://t.co/lo9cWOagLx
— National Geographic (@NatGeo) January 18, 2019
This game will be played under a Super Blood Wolf Moon (essentially a massive lunar eclipse) on Sunday night during the game. If that’s not some kind of omen then I don’t know what is. But even if it spells bad karma, the Patriots still have a job to do. The Chiefs this year are the team to beat. MVP Patrick Mahomes will be the hardest to cover, especially his connection with receiver Tyreek Hill and TE Travis Kelce. But if anybody can figure out a way to come out a winner, it’s the Pats.
Nobody will give the team any credit because of the terrible record on the road. But it’s why teams play to win games. So they can get home field advantage in the playoffs. The Patriots have to makeup for it by playing the hardest in Kansas City. While it’s tough to give an accurate prediction, the thought here is that the Patriots, if they come into Arrowhead, pull out a strong start and score within the first half, they can compete. The stadium will be absolutely blasting with noise, which will mess up communication. But it’s likely they will expect this and the only way to silence the noise, score on their secondary. The Chiefs lead the league in sacks this season but also have one of the worst secondaries this season (that could change with safety Eric Berry making his return in this game).
The only for the Patriots to have a chance is to establish a strong presence. The team has the best defense going into this week but that will mean little if they can’t get after Mahomes before he escapes the pocket. The plan should be to take away each of Mahomes weapons so it forces him to rely purely on himself. A first year starter having to carry his whole team on his shoulders in an championship game? in cold climate will no doubt yield favorable results.
I will stick with the Patriots purely because I don’t bet against Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. The only thing that has done is burn people (and whoever bet on the Chargers last week). Either way, the Patriots should cover the spread (-3 in favor of the Chiefs) and Patriots should win in a close shoot out game, 30-28. The team was doubted by many against a far more talented Chargers team, who beat the Chiefs at home in December. Trying to think the PAts don’t have a chance now is just being foolish.
The AFC Championship game will be airing on Sunday, Jan. 20th on CBS at 6:40 PM.
Patriots Talk: Steelers Are Opponent for Season Opener
Looking forward to seeing many of you along the way… pic.twitter.com/2gcOAgWfKt— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) April 18, 2019
The Patriots 2019 season schedule was released just yesterday, along with all NFL teams. (for further info, see our article on the 2019 schedule) Like most expected, the schedule appears to be pretty standard for the most part. The only exception is that the Super Bowl champions will be facing their long-heated rival; The Pittsburgh Steelers.
The reason why this game is so important is because of the significance between both teams. The Pittsbugh Steelers for the last decade have been the sole team to have six Super Bowl Championships…until the Patriots won their sixth ring this year. And to unveil their sixth banner, in front of their hated rivals, who now have to share their title ‘of most rings for an NFL team’, on Sunday Night Football, at the start of the season, is the definition of “must watch television.”
Let’s not pretend Roger Goodell is bewildering idiot, because he is far from it. While this game will be entertaining, it’s not a coincidence why this game is happening on prime time TV. On top of this, it’s the NFL’s 100th anniversary since it’s creation. The timing and just sheer tension, is a definite markdown on your calendars. The NFL wants to make money, and this for sure, will be one of those games.
A Heated Rivalry
Last time the Patriots opened with the Steelers was in September 2015. That's when Mike Tomlin complained about having to listen to @scottzolak https://t.co/Htmo0ocmMl during the game. https://t.co/kIAPMTDAIB— Tom E. Curran (@tomecurran) April 17, 2019
It’s not secret that the Patriots and Steelers have history. Since the start of the Belichick and Brady era, the Patriots have dominated the AFC for almost 20 years. The Steelers are the only team that has managed to make multiple Super Bowls within that era alongside the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos (both led by Peyton Manning).
The Patriots started out with no rings before 2001, and the Steelers had four rings from the 70s Steelers who were led by Hall of Fame coach Chuck Noll, QB Terry Bradshaw and the Steel Curtain Defense. Then the Patriots won three rings within 4 years. Then the Steelers won two rings in 2005 and 2008. And for nearly a decade the Steelers were the lone team that had that record. Until this season.
The fact this game is happening on the same night of the Pats sixth Super Bowl banner being unveiled is just rubbing it in the face of the Pittsburgh fanbase. And it’s going to be televised nationally. This game will be an ugly game to see as the Steelers have had a very tough off-season. Losing Antonio Brown in one of the most over dramatic (and pathetic) sabotages that the NFL has possibly seen was bad. Losing Le’Veon Bell in free agency was bad. Then the locker room becoming involved and started throwing blame made things worse.
Bottom line, the Steelers didn’t have a good off-season and Coach Mike Tomlin and Quarterback Ben Roethlisburger looked like incompetent leaders (both on and off-the field). This game is just begging for these teams to beat the crap out of each other. And I honestly, can’t wait. NFL season can’t come soon enough.
The Patriots had lost last year in the regular season, 10-17 to the Steelers. But this year, it will be the season opener, not Week 10. This one will be for the books. The opener will be on Sunday, Sept. 8th at 8:20 PM EST on NBC.
New England Patriots 2019 Schedule Officially Released
New England Patriots 2019 Schedule Officially Released, Season Opener Hosting Pittsburgh Steelers
At 8 pm a gift was presented to all New England Patriots fans.
The official 2019 NFL schedule.
New England will kick off their season on NBC Sunday Night Football against the Pittsburgh Steelers where the Patriots are anticipated to raise their another Super Bowl banner.
Historically the Patriots have hosted the Steelers three other times for the season opener, two of the three times, 2002 and 2015, the Patriots also happened to be the defending Super Bowl Champions.
All in all, New England will have 5 prime time games in the 2019 season with the other four being against the New York Giants, New York Jets, Baltimore Ravens, and the Houston Texans. The 5 games matches the 2018 total for New England.
Following their season opener hosting Pittsburgh the Patriots will jump right into AFC East play with their next three opponents being the Dolphins, Jets, and Bills.
See below for the full 2019 Patriots regular season schedule as well as their preseason slate.
Patriots Announce Signing Of Demaryius Thomas
Patriots Announce Signing Of Demaryius Thomas And Re-signing Of Jonathan Jones
On Tuesday the New England Patriots announced that they had signed free agent wide receiver Demaryius Thomas and re-signed restricted free agent defensive back Jonathan Jones.
The terms of both deals were not announced.
Thomas, now 31-years-old, has played nine NFL seasons with the majority of his career coming with the Denver Broncos from 2010-18 and then last season with the Houston Texans.
The former first round pick has played in 132 career NFL regular season games with 118 starts totaling 688 receptions for 9,930 yards and 62 touchdowns.
In addition he has 10 postseason starts logging 53 receptions for 759 yards and six touchdowns and helped the Denver Bronco’s to their Super Bowl 50 win. The former Bronco had a five years treat he where he logged 1,000 yards or more and he set the Bronco’s single-season yards record with 1,619 receiving yards in 2014.
Peyton Manning’s former weapon started the first 8 games of last season with Denver before being traded to Houston. He was injured in the regular season finale and placed on IR for the playoffs.
As for Jones, he is 25-years-old and has logged three NFL seasons all with the Patriots.
He signed as a rookie free agent out of Auburn back in 2016 and has played in 48 regular season games with 10 starts and has 92 total tackles, 2 1/2 sacks, four interceptions, 16 passes defense, and 18 special teams tackles.
He has also played in seven postseason games with two starts.
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