What We Have Learned From the Patriots After Week One Going Forward In 2018

Anybody who is a fan of the NFL understands you cannot tell how a team will fare after just one game. This past Sunday the Patriots enjoyed their first win of the season with a 27-20 win over the improved Houston Texans. In this post, we will cover three areas on why the Patriots are still a favourite to return to the Super Bowl going forward in 2018.

 

What We Have Learned from the Patriots After Week One Going Forward In 2018

Balanced Attack     Like any Patriots team under Bill Belichick we witnessed a well_ balanced attack in Sunday’s win. Offensively Tom Brady passed for 277 yards On the ground the team rushed for 122 yards for a grand total of 389 yards combined for the day.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Contributing in the effort were Rex Burkhead, James White, and James Devlin In the receiving department, Rob Gronkowski had  7 catches for 168 yards.  Also in the mix was wideout Phillip Dorsett 7 catches for 61 yards. Dorsett had his best day as a Patriot.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Improved Defense  During the course of the game the Patriots put enormous pressure on quarterback Deshaun Watson. Defensively the team had three sacks. Led by Lawrence Guy, Adam Butler and newcomer Danny Shelton.                                                                                                                                                                                      In the defensive backfield area cornerback, Stephon Gilmore was credited with one interception and free agent cornerback JC Jackson had an impressive professional debut by not getting beat on any of Deshaun Watson’s throwing attempts to his side.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Superior Coaching   Despite the offseason loss of defensive coordinator Matt Patricia to Detroit the clubs coaching is still the best in the business. New Defensive  Coordinator Brian Flores had the defense well prepared in Sunday’s win. Offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia has a challenge ahead of him due to the loss of Nate Solder. Newly acquired Trent Brown from San Francisco has made an impression. With the loss of number one pick, Isaiah Wynn  the Patriots will meet the challenge

Remaining Games Ahead in 2018    As far as the rest of the games for 2018 the Patriots have their work cut out for the Outside of their division The club faces Chicago, Green Bay, Minnesota, Tennessee, Pittsburgh and Kansas City.  Not to mention a week two rematch with Jacksonville. If the Patriots hope to reach the Super Bowl, then Tom Brady needs dependable protection all season. Also, the team needs Rob Gronkowski healthy for all sixteen games and the playoffs

Why The Red Sox Bullpen Will Determine Their Post Season Success

With three weeks left in the 2018 Major League Baseball season, pitching will decide the outcome of the Red Sox success. The starting pitching has been spectacular. But it will be the bullpen that will determine the Red Sox success In this post, we will review three reasons why the bullpen will be a key factor.

Why The Red Sox Bullpen Will determine Their Post Season success

Depth In The Pitching department

Considering the pitching has been spectacular, they have also been getting quality starts from their fourth and fifth starters. Both Brian Johnson and Hector Velazquez have pitched respectably in the absence of Eduardo Rodriguez.

It’s depth like this that have contributed to the teams best season ever. If the club can continue to get valuable performances from their back _end, then the pressure will help the pitching as the club heads into September.

A  healthy Chris Sale

Chris Sale has been on the Disabled list since August 3rd with shoulder inflammation. Recently Sale has been throwing on the sidelines and is expected to return in September

Sale 12-3  had pitched superbly before going on the disabled list. Since then the club has been getting valuable contributions from Nathan Eovaldi, Brian Johnson and Hector Velazquez.

Getting contributions like this that has propelled the team to the best record in franchise history.  Righthander Nathan Eovaldi acquired at the trade deadline, has provided a considerable boost for manager Alex Cora.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           E

Exceptional Closer

Along with having a deep bullpen the organization has one of the best closers in the game in Craig Kimbrel. Kimbrel 4-1 37 saves is one of the teams most valuable players.

A club that has a Craig Kimbrel has an advantage. If the Red Sox expect to win in the post_ season, then Kimbrel will be a key factor.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         The Stretch Run                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The season of 2018 has been a historic one to say the least. The club is on it’s to a 110 win season, With new additions JD Martinez the post season will be very exciting.

Three Of The NHL’s Most Improved Teams Heading Into The 2018/19 Campaign

With the Major League Baseball season, almost three quarters over NHL training camps are a month away. With the offseason activity completed, it’s time for hockey fans to focus on the upcoming season. In this post, we will break down three of hockey’s most improved teams

Three Of The NHL’s Most Improved Teams Heading Into the 2018/19 Campaign

Carolina Hurricanes Out of all the teams in the NHL the Hurricanes were the busiest. Beginning with a five _player trade with Calgary the Hurricanes said goodbye to Noah Hanifan.

As part of the five_ player deal, the club received defensemen Dougie Hamilton and winger Michael Ferland. Also, the team signed free agent defensemen Calvin De Haan. de Haan is noted for his tough style of play that Carolina lacked last year. As for the goaltending, the club signed Petr Mrazek from Philadelphia. Mrazek will provide depth provide depth for the disappointing Scott Darling.

Overall, the Team finished 23rd in  Goals Against Average With the addition, of Hamilton, DeHaan the Hurricanes defense should be improved. Also, goaltender Petr Mrazek provides depth to back up Scott Darling. If the club sticks to its game plan Head coach Rod Brind’ Amour’s team has a chance at the playoffs.

Arizona Coyotes Head coach RickTocchets Coyotes suffered a disappointing 29-41 season last year.   With the Coyotes finishing at the bottom in every category the organization had a hectic offseason.

The first major move was sending Max Domi to Montreal all for center Alex Galchenyuk. In Galchenyuk, the club gets a proven scorer. Scoring 19 goals and 32 assists last season he also has played in 418 postseason games.

In other moves, the team acquired winger Michael Grabner from the Devils. Grabner is an excellent skater who brings a physical presence.  Also competing for a roster spot is center Brad Richardson from Vancouver Vinnie Hinostroza from Chicago and right winger Nick Cousins from the Flyers. All players should provide depth to a weak offensive team.

As for the goaltending department, Antti Raanta had an impressive season compiling a 21-17-6 for a 224 Goals Against Average   Backup Darcy Kuemper provides relief. Kuemper was 12-7-5 with a 252 Goals Against. With new faces and strong goaltending, the Coyotes could well be the surprise of the west this year.

Toronto Maple Leafs Out of all the teams in hockey, the most exciting to follow were the Leafs. The Leafs landed the biggest fish of all in winger John Tavares. Tavares agreed to an eight _year deal .In Tavares, the team gets one of the most prolific players in the NHL. Tavares along with Mitch Marner, Auston Matthews and center Nazee Kadir the Maple Leafs are a threat to win the East. Plus free agent Tyler Ennis. Veterans James van Riemsdyk and Tyler Bozak found new homes.  With the signing of Tavares Toronto becomes a favourite to win the East. The only catch with so much offense the Leafs finished 13th in GAA. Goaltender Frederik Andersen fell apart in the playoffs.  If Toronto can play quality two_ way hockey and give Andersen the protection he needs the Maple Leafs should go deep in the playoffs.

Why Ian Kinsler Is An Upgrade For The Red Sox

Now that the Major League trade deadline has passed Red Sox fans should be happy, as the club traded for veteran infielder Ian Kinsler. The organization obtained Kinsler for two minor league prospects.

. In Kinsler, the club gets a quality replacement for the injured Dustin Pedroia. In this post, we will examine three areas why the Red Sox needed offense over relief pitching.

Why Ian Kinsler Is An Upgrade For The Red Sox

Upgrade Defensively
  Since the injury to Dustin Pedroia, the team has been shuffling Eduardo Nunez and Brock Holt at second.  In Kinsler, the club is getting a thirteen_ year veteran. Kinsler who has a career batting average of 272 has 247 home runs and 871 runs batted in.. Defensively he has a 981 fielding percentage over a span of 8400 chances. Playing in1,719 games Kinsler is still a quality everyday player.

 Compared to Pedroia the two are similar in their style of play. Kinsler was a seventeenth round pick in 2002 while Pedroia was drafted by Boston the following year. With Pedroia out with a knee injury, the Red Sox are getting a player who the fans will hopefully appreciate like they did Pedroia.  All factors considered Kinsler is a  quality upgrade over substitutes Brock Holt and Eduardo Nunez.

   Strong Bullpen

  General Manager Dave Dombrowski did not add any new arms to assist the bullpen. The club has been getting substantial contributions from All _Star closer Craig Kimbrel.


  In addition to Kimbrell Boston has been getting valuable contributions from Matt Barnes3-3-3.57, Heath Hembree 4-1 3.65, Joe Kelly 3-0 1.57, Ryan Brasier, and Tyler Thornburg.

                                                                                                                                                                            Stretch Run

 Since opening day 2018 General Manager Dave Dombrowski has been very proactive in improving the team’s roster. The club acquired veteran first baseman Steve Pearce from Toronto. Late last week the team traded for Ray’s pitcher righthander Nathan Eovaldi. In Eovaldi’s first start he shutout the Tigers on 82 pitches.

 With the best record in baseball at 75-34, Boston needs to get dependable pitching from its starters. With Chris Sale and Eduardo Rodriguez on rehab, every start is crucial. If the team hopes to achieve success in the postseason, then it all comes down to the pitching.

Why The Patriots Defense Is Super Bowl Material

Now that Super Bowl 52 is in the record books it’s time to open another chapter for the New England Patriots. The Patriots are coming off a stunning loss at the hands of the Philadelphia Eagles. Of course, the story of the game was backup quarterback Nick Foles. Foles took over late in the season after an injury to starter Carson Wentz. Foles put the critics behind him and led the underrated Eagles to a 41-33 victory. Not to mention throwing for 373 yards and compiling a 97.5 % passing rating. But through everything Patriots, fans have reason to be optimistic for the upcoming 2018 season. In this post, we will review three areas why the Patriots defense is Super Bowl material.                                                                                                                                                                                Why The Patriots Defense Is Super Bowl Material

Improved Front Seven                                                                                                                        Anyone who is a fan of Bill Belichick knows how much he thrives on depth and versatility. Despite not playing Malcolm Butler in The Super Bowl he retooled the defense in the offseason.                                                                                                             Previous Patriot defenses have a reputation for their strong front seven. The first order of business was to improve the pass rush which was non_ existent in the Super Bowl.  Free agent defensive end Adrian Clayborn was signed from Atlanta. Clayborn Clayborn a seven_ year veteran has started 81 career games. The former 1st round draft pick by Tampa will provide depth and pass rushing skills                                                                                                                                              In addition to  Clayborn the team signed defensive tackle Danny Shelton from Cleveland. Shelton a three_ year veteran has played in 46 career games totaling 71 career tackles. If Clayborn and Shelton can stay healthy, then they should be a vast improvement in stopping the oppositions running game.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Improved Pass Coverage                                                                                                                       In 2017 the club gave up a total of 4400 yards passing. In the Super Bowl, Foles had a career day throwing for 373 yards To shore up the defensive backfield Belichick drafted cornerback Duke Dawson out of Florida. Dawson who has a reputation of being an exceptional cover man and should provide depth when the team goes to dime coverage.                                                                           Also joining the backfield is former Brown Jason McCourty. McCourty, the younger brother of safety Devin, brings eight years experience to the organization. Overall, McCourty has played in 122 career games with 16 interceptions and one touchdown.                                                                                                  With the addition of his brother Devin and Stephon Gilmore, the backfield should be much more dangerous in pass coverage.

Fresh Outlook                                                                                                                                              With a new defensive coordinator in Brian Flores, the Patriots have reasons to be optimistic this year. Even though the team lost one of the best defensive minds in the game in Matt Patricia, the Patriots defense should be better with the acquisitions of Shelton and Clayborn on the line. Also, keep in mind 2016 3rd round pick Derek Rivers. Rivers was one of the teams four picks in the deflate_ gate scandal. Rivers who is a pass rushing specialist out of Youngstown State. Rivers suffered a season_ ending knee injury during pre_ season last summer. If he can recuperate from surgery, look for him to compete for a starting position as an edge rusher.,

Three Trade Scenarios For The Red Sox As Trade Deadline Approaches

The beauty of being a sports fan is following the trade deadline of each major sport. Primarily the trade deadline means that teams in the hunt can gain a player otherwise known as a rental. In this post, we will review three areas which hopefully the Red Sox will address on July 31st.

Three Trade Scenarios For the red sox as the Trade Deadline  Approaches

Move On From Jackie Bradley Jr

As it stands now Bradley is hitting a subpar 200 with 6 home runs and 25 runs batted in.  Make no mistake about it that he is one of the best center fielders in the game. But at the same time, he fails to deliver clutch base hits when needed. Despite the club having the best record in baseball, they will have to get key base hits from the bottom of the order if they expect to keep pace with the Yankees in the AL East..

With the organization lacking prospects Bradley is one chip with marketable trade value. One club who is in need desperately of outfielders is the Marlins. The Marlins are in dead last in the National League East  Two players who could be available are relievers Kyle Barraclough and Drew Stenkenrider.  Barraclough is ranked eighth among relievers with a 6-2 record and a 1.17 ERA, and 8 saves Stenkenrider is 3-1 with a 2.14 ERA, and 1 save.                                         ,

If Bradley continues his weak hitting the club may have no choice but to use Andrew Benintendi as the center and JD Martinez as the everyday left fielder and Mookie Betts in right field.

Help From Within

The first option that General Manager Dave Dombrowski will explore is help from within. Last season, for instance, the team acquired reliever Addison Reed from the Mets.  As it turns out the  Red Sox are in the same position this season.

One prospect to keep an eye on is southpaw Bobby Poyner. During spring training he earned a spot in the bullpen after gaining manager Alex Cora’s trust in spring training. Poyner has been up and down since the beginning of the season Since being sent to Triple _a Pawtucket he has pitched well  Two other possibilities may be left _hander Ty Buttrey and Travis Lakin: Lakin is 1-2 with a 2.73 ERA at Portland while Buttrey with a 2.11 ERA at Pawtucket.

Starting Pitching

Most teams at the trade deadline would like to shore up their pitching. Clubs like the Yankees, Cubs and Indians will be active.  Teams with the deep farm systems are usually the clubs who are the most successful at the deadline.   Look for the Yankees to be one of the busiest in a couple of weeks as they are rich with Major League ready prospects.

Despite the Red Sox posting the best record in baseball, there is always a need for an additional starter. Two pitchers who may be available are  Matt Harvey of the Reds and James Shields of the White Sox. Shields is in the last year of a four_year contract and would be a  perfect fit considering his experience.                                                                                                                                                                                      As for Matt Harvey, the longtime Met was released in May, and since being claimed by the Reds he has gone 4-3 with a 3.80 ERA. If Harvey can stay healthy and regain his old form he may turn out to be the best deal on the market.

Why The Celtics Should Not Pursue LeBron James Or Kawhi Leonard

With, the 2018 NBA Draft just hours away rumours are thriving around Causeway St. in Boston Since the Celtics went down in defeat in the Eastern Conference Finals against Cleveland the rumour mill is in full swing. In this post, we will cover three reasons why the team should stay pat at pick number27.

Why The Celtics Should Not Pursue LeBron James Or Kawhi Leonard

Brad Stevens Has Full Control                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Unlike the Cavaliers or a LeBron dream team the coach runs the Celtics. In five years Stevens has guided the club from a lottery team to a Finals contender. The squad has averaged 50 plus wins for three years in a row. Last season, for instance, the Celtics were without star players Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving. The result was a 55 win team and a trip to the Eastern Conference finals for the second year in a row.

This year’s Cavaliers club was mostly dysfunctional all season and was accused of quitting against the Warriors. For LeBron, this means the superstar is looking for his third new home. For the Stevens led Celtics the club can either stay at 27 or move up to acquire more assets.

Rumors Of Kawhi Leonard Coming To Boston

If General Manager Danny Ainge signs Kawhi Leonard the club will be getting one of the top five players in the NBA. Leonard who was Indiana’s number one pick in 2011 would give the Green a great two _way_ game.

 

In order to acquire  Leonard, from San Antonio the Celtics would have to break up the team’s nucleus of young players. At this point, it would not seem logical to give up Marcus Smart or Jaylen Brown plus others. With Gordon Hayward almost at 100% along with Kyrie Irving healthy getting Leonard is basically a fabrication.

Only Getting Better

Fora team that lost in the Conference finals two year’s in a row the team is only getting better. Not only will Hayward and Irving almost be fully healthy Ainge will most likely stay at number 27. With rumours of LeBron leaving Cleveland a healthy Celtics team can only get better in 2019. Unless LeBron signs with Philadelphia the Celtics should be a strong contender to with the Eastern Conference.                               _                                                  .

Why The Bruins Need To Move On From David Krejci

Now that the 2017/18 NHL season is officially over its time for NHL organizations to begin a new quest for the Stanley Cup. As for the Bruins General Manager, Don Sweeney he needs to make decisions on such players as Rick Nash, David Krejci, Nick Holden and others. In this post, we will review three reasons why the Bruins should move on from David Krejci.

Why The Bruins Should Move On From David Krejci
Lack Of ScorIng In The Playoffs
  In all fairness to David Krejci when he’s healthy he is one of the best centers in the NHL, However in the playoffs, the past two years his post season production has been nonexistent. All factors considered
iKrejci has 32 goals 52 assists for a total of 87 career playoff points.
In 2018 Krejci played in 12 playoff games3 goals and 7 assists for 10 points. Against Tampa Bay, he played in 2 games totalling 2 points. Considering Boston’s top line had 53 points in the playoffs the club lacked a balanced scoring attack from all four lines. The previous year against Ottawa Krejci played in only 3 games for a total of zero points.
If you take into account Sweeney went out and acquired Rick Nash in March the scoring was still anemic. Nash, for instance, played in only 11 regular season games scoring 3 goals and 3 assists for 6 points.  In the playoffs, he played in 12 games netting 3 goals and 2 assists.  When the trade was first announced Bruins fans were elated. Many felt with Nash’s size and puck handling skills that he would be the perfect linemate for Krejci.

Still MaintainsValue

In 2004 the Bruins selected Krejci with their second pick. Krejci who is known for his slick playmaking skills has been a huge disappointment during the teams past two playoff years..At 7,000,000 dollars per year and lack of production in the playoffs, it may be time for the Bruins to explore a suitor for Krejci. With his understanding and playmaking skills, there might still be a market for him. With the teams, the young pipeline of talent on the rise Krejci’s days in Boston could be numbered.

 

Young Talent

Overall, Boston has one of the most talented systems in the NHL. With young players on the horizon, it may be time to pardon ways with  David Krejci.

Why The Bruins Need To Restructure Their Defense For The 2018/19 Season

In, a span of three years, Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney has guided the team back into a serious playoff contender. Since the firing of longtime time coach Claude Julien, the Bruins have started drafting more skilled players. The organization has seemed to change its philosophy from physical to focusing on attributes such as players with more of a skill set.  In this post,  we’ll review three areas why the Bruins need to restructure the defensive department for the upcoming NHL season.

Why The Bruins Need To Restructure Their Defense For The 2018/19 Season

Redefine Chara’s Role;

At, forty years old the team continues to get excellent production from captain Zdeno Chara. But in, the playoffs particularly against Tampa Bay, Chara showed  signs of fatigue. Throughout the course of the season, Chara averaged 23 minutes per game. Not too bad for a  player neither young nor old.  As the  season progressed, Chara has paired with the teams  2016 number one draft pick, Charlie McAvoy. In, McAvoy the organization has one of the top young defensemen in the NHL. After the Tampa Bay series, many fans and media people feel that the club needs to cut down on his playing time and pair him with another partner.

Make A Decision On Adam McQuaid;

Veteran defenseman Adam McQuaid is in his last year of a four_year contract  At 31 years old many fans feel that the organization needs to get quicker on defense. In 2017/18 McQuaid missed several games. Considering his  3,000,000 dollar salary it may be time to think about dealing Mcquaid.

As the team continues to draft more skilful players, they can maintain their status as an elite NHL team. .McQuaid has a history of being injury prone by trading him the club can add another younger defenceman.                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Help In Providence;

Since General Manager Don Sweeney took over three years ago, the club has qualified for the playoffs two_ years in a row.   If the team wants to resume its quest to win another Stanley Cup, then the defense needs continue to get better. Goaltender Tuukka Rask has improved his playoff performance due to resting more during the regular season.

As it stands now, the Bruins have a young group of six or seven defensemen who are legitimate NHL players. Veteran Torey Krug had a spectacular collecting 14 goals and 45 assists for 69 points. Kevan Miller continues to make progress. Young Matt Grzelcyk who split time with Providence is only getting better. Third _year player Brandon Carlo who suffered an injury at the end of the season be ready at the start of training camp.                                                                                                                                                                                                                      In,  Providence, two Bruins who could be prepared for full _time duty are defensemen Jeremy Lauzon and 2015  number one pick Jakub Zboril. Out, of the two Lauzon is the one most likely one to make the squad. As for Zboril,  he needs to continue to work on his game.

Survival Of The Fittest How The Red Sox Compare To The Rest Of The League Going Forward In 2018

It’s another exciting summer of Baseball in Boston. The classic showdown against the Yankees is starting to eat up as the summer of 2018 begins. And wouldn’t you know it despite a first _place standing The Red Sox management drops a bombshell? Friday morning the club announced that they have designated first baseman Hanley Ramirez for assignment. In this post, we’ll review three areas that the Red Sox need to focus in going forward if they hope to reclaim the AL East crown                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Survival Of The Fittest How The Red Sox Compare To The Rest of The League Going Forward In 2018

Strong Bullpen;                                                                                                                                            Comparing the Red Sox bullpen to the rest of the American League teams the club has one of the best in the league, Closer Craig Kimbrel continues to dominate other closers with 14. Along with Joe Kelly, Matt Barnes Heath Hembree and Hector Velazquez have been lights out.                                                            Out of the three divisional teams, the Red Sox have the toughest bullpens with Kimbrel leading the way followed by the Yankees with ten saves, the Indians with nine saves and Houston with 12 saves. As long as Kimbrel is fresh and healthy the club can be a serious contender.                                                                                                 Starting Pitching;

So far in 2018 the Red Sox starting pitching of David Price, Chris Sale and Rick Porcello has been strong. Swingman Drew Pomeranz has been struggling while Eduardo Rodriguez has been splendid.   As for the Yankees, their starting pitching has also been solid led by Luis SeverinoOverall the Yankees are a game behind Boston with a 31-18 and a 3.18Only the Astros team ERA is better with a combined total of 2.39The Indians are 24-24 heading into Memorial Day weekend with a team ERA of 3.99