Patriots Success In 2020 Hinges Solely On The Defense

With the 2020 NFL season kicking off Sunday, The Patriot’s success hinges solely on the defense. With a new quarterback in Cam Newton, the team’s defense will be the key to their success., Last season, for example, the defense led the league in interceptions 23 and blocked punts 6. In this post, we will review three reasons the defense will be a major role in the organization’s outcome.

Patriots Success IN 2020 Hinges Solely On  The Defense                                                                                                                                                               

League High In Opt _Outs  For starters, the Patriots had a league_ high of eight opt_ outs. Team captain Donta Hightower is the most notable member to sit out the season.  After Hightower, the next player is Patrick Chung. Chung is a vital contributor to the third downs. Other missing pieces are Duron Harmon and Elandon Roberts.

Head coach Bill Belichick installing youth movement on defense. Josh Uche, Anfernee Jennings, and Chase Winovich, and Jonathan Simon will lead the linebacking unit.

As for pass coverage, that remains the team’s strongest area.  Third_Year man JC Jackson has emerged as one of the leagues best. Stephon Gilmore is the best shut down back in the game.

Difficulty In Stopping the Run, The Patriot’s biggest challenge last year was stopping the run. Lamar Jackson of the Ravens had a field day mid_ way through the season last year.                

 Tennessee’s Derrick Henry ran for 183 yards in the wild card game.  If the Patriots have any hope of postseason dreams, they have to stop the run _heavy teams.                         

 

Front Seven Needs To Step It Up With the loss of Donta Hightower, the team will have to rely on the front seven. Adam Butler, Dieatrich Wise, and Lawrence Guy need to apply pressure. Newly signed Beau Allen has yet to step on the field.

Conclusion   The landscape has changed without Tom Brady. The Patriots have the game’s best head coach in Bill Belichick. With a thin receiving group,  Cam Newton has his challenges.  Look for a strong running game, especially from Cam Newton. My prediction is the Patriots will go 7-10 with Cam Newton calling the signals.

Chaim Bloom Begins His Restructuring Process OF The Red Sox

The Red Sox officially entered the midseason trade market. Friday the team sent Pitchers Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree to the Phillies for Nicki Pivetta and Connor Seabold. The RedSox get a  mid_rotaion starter in Pivetta and a future starter in Seabold. In this post, we will evaluate three possible trade chips the Red Sox have to work with.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Chaim Bloom Begins His Restructuring  Process Of The Red Sox                                                                                                                                                                            

   Brandon Workman/Heath Hembree   Since his rookie season in 2013, Brandon Workman has been a workhorse for the organization. He enjoyed his best season in 2019 posting a 10-1  and a 1.88 ERA and 16 saves. Ditto for Heath Hembree. Hembree was acquired from San Fransisco in 2014 for Jake Peavy. In seven seasons Hembree pitched in 251 career games for Boston. This season, he posted a 2-0 record and 2 saves.

The Phillies have the worst bullpen in baseball. In getting Workman and Hembree the staff will be that much better. Workman is a free agent after 2020, while Hembree is one after the 2023 season.

 

Jackie Bradley, Andrew Benintendi, Kevin Pillar  There is a good possibility that one of the three will be traded. Andrew Benintendi is on the 10 days DL. He is off to his worst start a major leaguer. Before his injury, he was batting 103/314OBP/128 SLG.  In two seasons, his production has regressed.  Currently, Benintendi is in the middle, of a two_year contract.

A second option for the team is Jackie Bradley. He started off the year hot but since is in a moderate slump. He still wins games with his glove and is fun to watch. Career _wise, Bradley is 236BA/317OBP/406 SLG.

Another player to keep an eye on is Kevin Pillar. In the offseason Pillar signed an one_year deal.  He is a free agent after the season. At 31 years old he would bring you the most value in a trade.    He is one of the best defensive outfielders in baseball.

This is where it gets tricky. Martinez is in the middle of a long_term deal. He has the option of opting in or staying. As of now, he is one of the team’s hottest hitters. His home run swing is coming back. Look for Martinez to remain with the team.

Conclusion; The organization is off to the worst start in years. Look for Chaim Bloom to move anyone in order to be more competitive.

be competitive.

Celtics Need To Control The Boards If They Want To Reach The Finals

Since returning from the Pandemic, the Celtics defense has been questionable. Despite a blow out win over Brooklyn and a win over Toronto, the team has struggled in the bubble. If the team gets to the finals,it will be won by defense and rebounding. In this post, we will examine three reasons why the Celtics Need to Control The Boards if they want to reach the finals.                        Celtics Need To Control The Boards If they Want To  Reach The Finals                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Defensive Struggles  Since returning from the pandemic layoff, the defense has been questionable at best. Overall, the club ranks fourth out of all the bubble teams. Before the pandemic, the Celtics were one of the best defensive teams in the league                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               With a 3-2 bubble record, the team struggled severely against Maimi and Milwaukee. The Bucks are much better on the boards than the Celtics. In my opinion, Miami and Milwaukee are the two teams to watch out for.                                                                                                                                                                                                              Better Physically than Last Year.  As a team, the Celtics are much better physically this year than last. Center Robert Williams is earning more minutes. The signing of Enes Kantor has been significant. Rookie Grant Williams has been improving each game. Marcus Smart, Daniel Theis is two of the toughest players in the game. Free _agent Kemba Walker is healthy and is averaging 3.9 boards a game.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   For the past couple of years, rebounding has hurt the Celtics in the postseason.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Depth Issues  Outside of the starting five, the Celtics will need contributions from the bench. Semi Ojeleye, Javonte Green, Grant Williams, and Brad Wannamaker need to carry the starters. Center Robert Williams continues to impress, controlling the boards.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          As any NBA fan knows the defense needs to set the tone. With a 47-23 record, the Celtics are healthy. It’s been twelve years since a banner was raised.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Remaining Games   At 47-23 the Celtics are coming together. Sunday the team beat Orlando in overtime. Gordon Hayward his offensive contributions. Rebounding and defense will be the deciding factors in the next couple of weeks.

Weighing In On The Patriots Opting Out Issues

It has been a trying 2020 offseason for the Patriots. The team is dealing with a slew of opting _out issues. Coved 19 is jeopardizing the upcoming season. Leading the way on the opt _out lists are Dont’a Hightower, Marcus Cannon, Brandon Bolden, Patrick Chung, and Danny Vitale. Hightower is the quarterback of the defense. If anymore opt_ out head coach Bill Belichick will have a problem on his hands. In this post, we will weigh in on the Patriots opt_out issues.

Weighing In On The Patriots Team Opting Out Issues                                                       

 Conspiracy Theorist Experts Taking Over  Events like opting_out promote conspiracy theories. Especially when they surround the Patriots. Bill Belichick is not the most popular person. With, Tom Brading signing with Tampa Bay this only sparks conspiracy The Patriots have been a victim of Spygate and Deflategate. Opting_out  from playing only makes it worse. With training camp underway, the next couple of weeks should be interesting. This makes suitable conversation for the local talk shows and podcasts.

Key Players Opting Out The Patriots defense will be seriously a Dante Hightower has been the leader for several years. Patrick Chung is a valuable cog in the defensive backfield. Without either, the Patriots will have to trade or sign an available free agent. Starting a rookie means growing pains and defeats.

The Team  Awarded Extra Cap Space  Before training camp, the club was awarded extra cap space.  The team came to terms on the Antonio Brown contract, and Aron Hernandez estate.

Instead of being under 1,000,000 dollars, the club has an additional  7.5 million dollars in cap space. Some names to keep an eye on are  James Harrison defensive tackle and edge rusher, Jedaveon Clowney.  Clowney would provide leadership left by Hightower. I personally like defensive tackle, James Harrison. Only 31 years old he’s a versatile run stopper.  He has recently played for the Jets and Lions.

Looking Ahead Depending on the pandemic the NFL season could be at stake. Players are opting_out  to protect their families. The Patriots have been one of the hardest _hit teams.  With the loss of Tom Brady and others, it could be a long season for Patriots fans.                                                                                                                                                                                               

Revolution Return From Pandemic Break With A Quest For The Playoffs

The  New England Revolution returned from the pandemic break in hope of earning a playoff spot. Sunday, the team advanced to the knockout round with a 0-0 tie with Toronto. In this post, we will evaluate three reasons why the Revolution has a chance at the playoffs.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Revolution Return From The Pandemic Break, With A Quest For The Playoffs                                                                                                                       

Advance To The Knockout Round  Sunday the Revolution earned a 0-0 tie with Toronto. This means the Revolution advance to the knockout round. Also, Sunday’s effort was the last outing in games with group C

The Revolution is currently tied with Toronto. Each team has five points. Saturday the Revolution will face Philadelphia as the playoff hunt continues.                                                                                                                                                                                   

Superior Goaltending  Goalkeeper Matt Turner continues to be excellent. In four games this year, Turner is 1-1-2  and a GAA of 7. Reserve goalkeepers Brad Knighton and Jeff Caldwell have yet to see action this season.

In two Turner has played in 48 straight games. Since he signed as a free agent in 2019 his overall record is 16-15 16. If the Revolution hope to make a statement Turner is a key factor for the Revolution.

 

Well balanced  In order to advance past the knockout round, the offense needs to crank it up. Gustavo Bou is the team’s leading striker with 22 shots. Eight have been on goal. To his credit, he has one goal.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Along with Gustavo Bou, the club gets significant performances from Diego Fagundez, Teal Bunbury, and Adam Buksa. Defensively Andrew Farrell and Scott Caldwell continue to be on of the leagues best.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Looking Ahead If the players stay safe and healthy, the remainder of the season will be interesting.  Head coach Bruce Arena continues to put an exciting team on the field. The team MVP is Matt Turner. However, he can’t do it alone. The scoring continues to be an issue. Defensively the team is one of the leagues best. If they can put it together, a playoff spot is a strong possibility.

Why The 2020 Celtics Have An Outside Chance To Win Their 18th NBA Title

As the NBA season is about to resume, there are several issues facing the Celtics chances of winning their 18th title. Kemba Walker’s knee seems to have healed and is ready to go. The Celtics will play eight games to finish the season. If all goes well, the Celtics may reach the finals. In this post, we will review three reasons why this year’s team has an outside chance to win their 18th NBA title.

Why The 2020 Celtics Have An Outside Chance To Win Their 18th NBA Title 

Overall Health Of The Team Is Good   Since the league shut down in mid_March the health of the team is excellent. Kemba Walker’s knees are healed. Jayson Tatum is ready to take his career to the next level. If Brad Stevens can guide his team cautiously the Celtics could be interesting down the stretch.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Also, the organization needs to keep everyone healthy. If the league makes the season, the club that stays the healthiest is the team that could win it.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Team Is Shooting Better As we have seen in the past, the team that wins in  the postseason, is the team that shoots better from the field. For example, this year the club is shooting 363% as a group. The league average is 357%.                                                                                                                                                                                         Depth wise, the Celtics have been getting excellent production from guards Javonte Green, Carson Edwards, and Brad Wannamaker. Marcus Smart has improved tremendously in his outside shooting. Gordon Hayward was playing like Gordon Hayward before the pandemic.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      One Of The Best Defensive Teams In The League  In 2019/20 the Celtics ranked near the top defensively. Guard Marcus Smarts is one of the games best. His physical style of play has helped Boston win a lot of close games.                                                                                                                                                                                    If the Celtics expect to beat Milwaukee, Indiana, or Miami playing tough and physical will be one strategy they have to apply.  Center Robert Williams is maturing and brings muscle to the frontcourt. Center Enes Kanter is one of the team’s most popular players. Overall, the team was one of the leagues best defensive rebounding units.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Surviving The Pandemic With the league set to resume July 30th the overall safety of the players is goal number one. This will be a day to day season. If multiple players and teams start testing positive then expect the season to close.

Why Jarrett Stidham Will Succeed As A Patriots Starter

As football fans wait out the pandemic, people are anxious to see quarterback Jarrett Stidham in action. Stidham has the arduous task of replacing the great Tom Brady. One thing is for certain, Jarrett Stidham will face many growing pains as a first_year quarterback. In this post, we will examine three reasons why Jarrett Stidham will survive as the Patriots starting quarterback.

 Why Jarrett Stidham Will Succeed As  A Patriots Starter

Came From A Great College Program  In 2019 the Patriots selected Jarrett Stidham in the fourth round out of Auburn. Stidham played two years under Auburn head coach, Gus Malzahn. While at Auburn, Stidham finished with 25 games under his belt. In that span of time, he threw 18 touchdown passes and threw for over 3,000 yards in  2017/18. Prior to Auburn, he played the 2015 season at Baylor. Both programs are highly regarded by NFL coaches.

Since joining the Patriots he has three NFL games to his credit. Much of his time was spent as Tom Brady’s understudy. He is also facing stiff competition from reserve Brian Hoyer. Many people expect Stidham to play the whole season as a starter.

Playing For One Of The Greatest Coaches In NFL History   Stidham has another advantage that most young quarterbacks don’t. Playing under Bill Belichick will only make him better. The best example is Tom Brady. Brady was a no _name  out of Michigan. Then in early 2000 starter, Drew Bledsoe got hurt and Brady never looked back.

Over the years, Belichick has been a shrewd judge of talent. He has drafted greats like Tom Brady, Tedy Bruschi, Vince Wilfork, and Matt Light. Now it’s Stidham’s turn to see if he belongs with the greats.

 Much Improved Offensive Line  One issue Tom Brady had was protection. Last season, center Dave Andrews was injured with a lung infection. In the offseason, Andrews was cleared to play. With a healthy Isaiah Wynn, New England should have a  much improved offensive line in 2020.

In the 2020 draft, Belichick selected three offensive linemen. If Joe Thuney can get his contract extended  Stidham should have significant protection in 2020. Also, joining the mix, are two new tight ends. Joining the mix are Devin Asiasi of UCLA and Dalton Keene of Virginia Tech. Asiasi was the best blocking tight end in the draft.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Looking Ahead With Bill Belichick and his superior staff, Jarrett Stidham will succeed  within time.

Grading The Red Sox 2020 Draft Class

Last week the MLB held the yearly draft process. The Red Sox selected four prospects. First _year GM Chaim Bloom selected two high school prospects as well as two talented college prospects. The Red Sox were penalized a pick, due to their participation cheating in the 2018 World Series. In this post, we will review each prospect.

Grading The Red Sox 2020 Draft Class                                                     

                                                                                                                                                                                                         Nick Yorke The 17th selection in the draft. Nick Yorke was well ahead of himself as a hitter. The second baseman for Arch Bishop Mitty High School in California is remarkably plate disciplined. He has a short compact swing and makes excellent contact.

As a fielder, he has excellent hands and quick feet. Recruited by Arizona, he may sign with the organization this summer. General Manager Chaim Bloom was impressed with his maturity.                                                                                       

                                                                                                                                                                              BlazeJordan  One of the youngest players in the draft, Jordan is noted for his power.  In four years at Desoto high school, Jordan Finished with 19 home runs,98 rbi’s, and an impressive 440 batting average.                                                                                                       

As a third baseman, he was one of the best fielders in the state. with the certainty of MLB look for Jordan to attend college at Mississippi State.      

                                                                                                                                                                                   Shane  Drohan With the 148th pick, the Red Sox selected Shane Drohan of Florida State University. If all goes well, Drohan will be a third or fourth starter. He possesses three pitches a fastball, slider, and changeup. Noted for his athletic skills, Drohan is also a dominant fielding pitcher.   

In four years at FSU Drohan pitched 22 appearances striking out 72  batters and finishing with a 4.98 ERA.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Jeremy Wu Yelland, This player was selected with the organization’s 4th pick.  Noted for his versatility Wu Yelland contributed both as a starter and reliever for the University of Hawaii. The Red Sox see Wu Yelland as a long reliever.                                                                                                                                                                                                                    He also spent some time in the Cape Cod League for the Chatham Angels.  In 2019 Wu Yelland finished the campaign with a 2-1 record and a 3.15 ERA. He also struck out 26 batters.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The Future With MLB at a standstill, these draft picks may not see any action at all this summer. General Manager Chaim Bloom did a significant job in drafting needs. Look for the two high school players to attend college. Overall, the Red Sox get a B- for this year’s draft class.

   Grading The 2020 Red Sox Draft Class

Three Reasons Why The Patriots Will Return To The Playoffs In 2020

With Hall Of Fame quarterback, Tom Brady departed, its time for the Patriot’s to reboot.The organization had a robust offseason.  joining Brady, were Kyle Van Noy, Elandon, Roberts, Ted Karras, Jamie Collins, and Duron Harmon. All played vital roles in the Patriot’s last two Super Bowl victories. In this post, we will examine three reasons the Patriots will make the

Three Reasons The Patriots Will Return To The Playoffs In 2020

Fresh New Faces  Head coach Bill Belichick is rebuilding, starting with Jarrett Stidham. Stidham is in his second season as a Patriot Stidham has shown great poise and accuracy in his short tenure. His offseason workouts are going well as Stidham practices with the receivers.

If Stidham does not impress in preseason Belichick may turn to reserve  Brian Hoyer. Hoyer is in his third stint as a Patriot. Whoever wins the job, Patriots fans will be in for culture, shock without Tom Brady.

Healthy Offensive Line During the offseason, the team received grateful news regarding center David Andrews. Andrews was injured all of 2019 due to lung infection. With a healthy Andrews, the line should see a significant improvement in 2020.

In the draft Belichick rebuilt his line by drafting guard Michel Onwenu, Michigan tackle Justin Herron Tackle Wake Forrest, and center Dustin Woodard of Memphis.

With two mid _round picks, Belichick replaced Rob Gronkowski with UCLA’S Devin Asiasi and Virginia Tech’s Dalton Keene. Keene brings flexibility as both a fullback and tight end. As for Asiasi specializes in blocking skills. This is what Rob Gronkowski specialized in for years.

Flexible Defense The Patriots had one of the best defenses in the NFL in 2019. With the departures of Kyle Van Noy,  Elandon Roberts, Jamie Collins, and Duron Harmon, the Patriots added more speed in the defense.

The Patriots have to do a better job in stopping the run. Heavy teams like Baltimore and Tennessee. Derrick Henry had a career day running for 183 yards in the wild card game in 2019.

New England added defensive tackle Beau Allen Linebacker Brandon Copeland and safety Adrian Phillips. All three can drop back in cover and stop the run. Number one pick Kyle Duggar of Lenoir Rhyne. Duggar’s strengths are kickoff returns and his superb tackling skills.  These skills are what Belichick relishes.

2020 Projection   Grooming Jarrett Stidham will take time. But one thing he has going in his favor is the great coaching of Bill Belichick. With a balanced running game in Sony Michel. Rex Burkhead and James White it should be an interesting campaign will take time for Stidham to get to know N’keal . Jacobi Meyers, Julian Edelman, and Mohamed Sanu. If the team can stay healthy my projection is 10-7.

Life In The Post Brady Era

Reality is starting to settle in for Patriots fans. The man who led them to six Super Bowls is now a Tampa Bay Buccaneer. The Jarrett Stidham era has begun. In this post, we will examine three areas of how life will be different without Tom Brady.                                                                                                                       Life In The Post Brady Era                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Belichicks Faith  Jarrett Stidham  No one is a better judge of talent than Bill Belichick. Over the year’s Belichick has drafted Richard Seymour, Tedy Bruschi, Logan Mankins, Matt Light, Rob Gronkowski, Devin McCourty, and now Jarrett Stidham.                                                                                                                                In 2019, the Patriots selected Stidham in the 4th round. After a brief career at Baylor, he transferred to LSU and put up colossal numbers. Scouts raved about his potent arm. some scouts projected Stidham as a starting quarterback in the NFL. Head coach Bill Belichick raves about his work ethic and accuracy.                                                                                                                                            Whether Stidham begins the season remains to be seen. As in insurance policy the team resigned Brian Hoyer in the of season. In 2019, the Patriots released Hoyer, who was claimed by Indianapolis.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Two New Tight Ends  The Patriots came out of this year’s draft, with two new tight ends. The Patriots selected Devin Asiasi of UCLA and Dalton Keens of Virginia Tech. Both are known for their blocking skills. Keene is a tireless worker. He can also play in the backfield as an extra receiver. Both Keene and Asiasi will join Matt Lacosse and Ryan Izzo in the tight ends department.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  In the offseason Hall of Fame Tight end, Rob Gronkowski joined Tampa Bay. How Belichick and Josh McDaniels coach up should be interesting. Whatever the outcome is  Patriots nation will never forget Gronk                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Restructured Offensive LIne  Life without Brady will be hard to adapt to. If Jarrett Stidham is going to be successful, he will have sufficient protection. This year’s draft class also two additional linemen. Offensive guard Michael Onwenu of Michigan. Onweanu’s strengths are his versatility. during his first two years at Michigan, Onwenu played both the offensive side and defensive side.                                                                                                                                                                 With the sixth pick the team selected tackle Justin Herron of Wake Forest. At 6″5″ 305 pounds, Herron is projected as more of a guard than a tackle. His strengths are his length and footwork. His weaknesses are his run blocking. Both Herron and Onwenu will be work in progress

 

The Future                                                                                                                                       Replacing Tom Brady will take time. Fans will have to get used to the post_ Brady era. One thing is for sure the team is still coached by one of the best in NFL history in Bill Belichick.