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Pats starting to make things mildly interesting in the AFC East...though if they lose this Thursday to the Rams, they're pretty much done.  They're a loss away from irrelevance.

Should they manage to beat the Rams (it helps a little that the Pats are already in LA), their next games are against the Bills, Dolphins, and Jets.  If they run the table (that would mean finishing the season on a 8-1 surge), they should squeak in, though it'll be as a lower-seed WC at best.  If the Bills win tonight, that will give them 9 wins.  Can't see them finishing 9-7 on the season.  They probably win at least 11 games.

The guess here is that the Pats will do no better than a split over these next four.  I think they lose to the Rams, beat the Jets, and find a way to win against either the Bills or Dolphins (but not both).  I'm thinking they beat the Dolphins mostly because Tua's never faced a BB defense before.  He usually chews rookies up and spits them out (or young QBs unfamiliar with his schemes).  But I don't kid myself...I don't see them finishing any better than 8-8, they'll be in third in the East, and they won't be going to the playoffs...and even if they did, they're far too flawed to make any impact.  I give BB for somehow finding a way to keep his team from falling to pieces (they looked like a 5 or 6 win team at 2-5), but the QB is not good and there's just way too many holes.

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Wow Miami going all out for Van Noy. 4 years 51 million!

Regardless of how this Dolphin season turns out, you can’t say it hasn’t been entertaining and fun. My team is currently on the other end of that spectrum...lots to figure out this offseason.  I’

I really hope you guys beat the Chargers this week. I want Herbert to finally have a bad game so Burrow can stay right there with him in the OROY race lol

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In what has been a season of nails in the coffin for the Pats, the final one came last night.  Season over (they actually hung around longer than I expected them to).  For at least the next 2-3 seasons, the AFC East belongs to the Dolphins and the Bills...must be fun for those fanbases, who have seen a hell of a lot of losing for the past several years.  The big question of course is do their young QBs both play well AND stay healthy in the years to come?  Obviously won't have the answer to that one for quite some time, but both teams are on a nice track.

For some reason BB stubbornly wants to stick with Cam...makes no sense.  Even if BB doesn't believe in Stidham (it's obvious that he doesn't), what the hell does he have to lose by giving him three games in what is now essentially pure garbage-time for the Patriots?  Cam has thrown for 273 yards...IN THE PAST THREE GAMES COMBINED.  Yes, the TE and WR situation is a complete fvcking mess, but Cam's accuracy has been non-existent most games.  I know BB is a "We're here to try to win every game" kind of coach, but does this version of Cam Newton give his team THAT much more of a shot to win than Jarrett Stidham?  And with the team effectively out of the playoff race (unless they both run the table and get a ton of help, which isn't going to happen), is somehow trying to squeeze nine wins out of a vastly flawed team a great strategy to employ?  Makes no sense. 

Really hope BB doesn't go the Lou route, and now try to Band-Aid and duct tape a roster that is no longer worthy of that.  Bills and Dolphins look like they're going to be competitive for a while...there's no shame in blowing this up and taking a step back for 2-3 years.  Sure as hell beats hoping to get 9-10 wins out of mediocre teams, possibly getting a low WC berth, and then quickly getting exposed and bounced right out.  Sometimes, getting the detonator out is simply the right move (even if there's no guarantees that you'll pick the right young players to build another successful nucleus).      

Edited by Colorado Rockies 1976
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I’m not saying this is in any way part of BB’s thinking (although I do think he’s mindful of anything historical) but the Patriots would tie the Cowboys for most consecutive winning seasons if they go 9-7 this year fwiw.

Truth be told I don’t think it matters who his QB is when your best healthy receiver is Jacobi Meyers and they have no TE worth anything. Without Edelman they actually have worse WR/TE passcatchers than the Jets which I didn’t think was possible. They do have a good running game, the D it’s hard to judge since an inordinate number of guys opted out.

Edited by NJDevs4978
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10 minutes ago, NJDevs4978 said:

I’m not saying this is in any way part of BB’s thinking (although I do think he’s mindful of anything historical) but the Patriots would tie the Cowboys for most consecutive winning seasons if they go 9-7 this year fwiw.

Truth be told I don’t think it matters who his QB is when your best healthy receiver is Jacobi Meyers and they have no TE worth anything. Without Edelman they actually have worse WR/TE passcatchers than the Jets which I didn’t think was possible. They do have a good running game, the D it’s hard to judge since an inordinate number of guys opted out.

Look, in the grand scheme, I think all three QBs currently on the Pats' roster won't be back next season...maybe Stidham somehow returns as the #3 guy, but I get the feeling that BB is as down on him as he can be.  Like I've said about Cam, that was a "What the hell why not?" shot that came about for a low cost (and the Pats had cap issues), so I understood rolling the dice at the time and taking the one-year flyer.  I'm just to the point where it feels like this dry well has been pumped about as much as it can be...sure, Stidham is not likely to come in and suddenly tear it up over the season's final three games, and he could wind up being even WORSE than Cam (and of course I've noted that BB doesn't seem to have any faith in Stidham at all), but I just don't get why the guy can't even get a few games to get a look.  Why not?  The organization certainly doesn't owe Cam anything...it's not like it's Brady getting benched here for a nobody.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Pats done.

Cam should be too.  Just give Stidham the final two games.  He’s not-Cam, which is good enough for me.

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1 hour ago, MadDog2020 said:

It was a pleasure being the team that nailed the coffin shut. 😜

Will be interesting to see if both the Bills and the Dolphins can put together multi-year runs now.

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23 minutes ago, Colorado Rockies 1976 said:

Will be interesting to see if both the Bills and the Dolphins can put together multi-year runs now.

I hope the Fins go on a multi-year run of course, but certainly not the Bills lol (they look really good though, unfortunately). The bummer of the weekend was seeing Buffalo win their first division title in 25 years. I loathe the Bills, and I reveled in the fact they hadn’t won a division in decades. But the Jets! 🤣 Lmfao, the Jets. Absolutely hilarious. 

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16 hours ago, MadDog2020 said:

I hope the Fins go on a multi-year run of course, but certainly not the Bills lol (they look really good though, unfortunately). The bummer of the weekend was seeing Buffalo win their first division title in 25 years. I loathe the Bills, and I reveled in the fact they hadn’t won a division in decades. But the Jets! 🤣 Lmfao, the Jets. Absolutely hilarious. 

Touched on the Jets in the Jets thread, but to sum up, people forget that players often aren't interested in tanking, for many reasons (looking for jobs the following year, etc).  And most players simply give a damn, and have some level of pride.

I've already mentioned this, but I really really REALLY hope next season isn't another Band-Aid kind of year for the Pats.  Some rumblings that they might go after Stafford as their QB in 2021.  It still feels like this thing needs to torn down (especially on offense) and built back up.  

Some will say that Brady's getting the last laugh right now (and I'm happy as hell for him, and rooting for him and Gronk to make some playoff noise), but it's pretty obvious that TB and BB needed to go their separate ways, after sticking together as long as was humanly possible.  A lot of individuals in their situation wouldn't have coexisted as stubbornly as they were able to.  They got the absolute most of their time together.

So curious to see how the Pats approach this offseason.  Like I've said, I just find it very difficult to imagine much more being squeezed out of this group.  No slow fades please.  Suck it up for a couple of 3-13 to 6-10 seasons, hopefully hit on those picks (BB has not done well on that front in recent years, and it's finally coming back to bite them), and maybe in 2023, you've got the beginnings of a team that can be competitive and relevant again.  

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10 hours ago, NJDevs4978 said:

What the hell happened to the Steelers? 

Never really believed in them...I was quite surprised to see them get off to an 11-0 start.  Feels like things are simply evening out for them.  

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Everyone that was bagging on the Jets for a tank move two weeks ago needs to start looking Jacksonville's way with their QB merry-go-round bs.  Minshew goes 22-29 with no picks last week and they go back to Glennon for no apparent reason other than the fact they've been playing Minshew (clearly their best QB) in their tougher games when they were going to lose anyway and only play Glennon/Luton in games they could win?!  

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2 hours ago, NJDevs4978 said:

Everyone that was bagging on the Jets for a tank move two weeks ago needs to start looking Jacksonville's way with their QB merry-go-round bs.  Minshew goes 22-29 with no picks last week and they go back to Glennon for no apparent reason other than the fact they've been playing Minshew (clearly their best QB) in their tougher games when they were going to lose anyway and only play Glennon/Luton in games they could win?!  

All the more reason to implement a lottery system...

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3 hours ago, Colorado Rockies 1976 said:

All the more reason to implement a lottery system...

Exactly.  Teams shouldn't be put into the position where losing has an inherent benefit or where every move goes under the microscope for hidden agendas.  It's one thing to lose when you have a 25% chance or whatever to win the lottery, nobody is or should be tanking for lotto balls.  Hell too many fans want to straight tank even in lottery systems anyway.

Their best offensive player by a mile James Robinson also laying out tomorrow although that was more expected being injury-related ostensibly.  I do want to see all the media and the fans who were roasting the Jets two weeks ago when Gregg Williams short-circuited rip the Jags with the same indignance.

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38 minutes ago, NJDevs4978 said:

Exactly.  Teams shouldn't be put into the position where losing has an inherent benefit or where every move goes under the microscope for hidden agendas.  It's one thing to lose when you have a 25% chance or whatever to win the lottery, nobody is or should be tanking for lotto balls.  Hell too many fans want to straight tank even in lottery systems anyway.

Their best offensive player by a mile James Robinson also laying out tomorrow although that was more expected being injury-related ostensibly.  I do want to see all the media and the fans who were roasting the Jets two weeks ago when Gregg Williams short-circuited rip the Jags with the same indignance.

If the Jags send an all-out blitz on 3rd and forever with 18 seconds left and a 4-point lead tomorrow, they’ll be hearing from me. 

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Good lord Miami's falling out of trees and landing on its feet.  They really should stop this QB nonsense though.  If the idea is to win then play Fitz all the way.  If the idea is to develop Tua a la Eli's first half season then you gotta stick with him through the good and the bad.

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1 hour ago, NJDevs4978 said:

Good lord Miami's falling out of trees and landing on its feet.  They really should stop this QB nonsense though.  If the idea is to win then play Fitz all the way.  If the idea is to develop Tua a la Eli's first half season then you gotta stick with him through the good and the bad.

Flores doesn’t care about perception, that’s one thing he’s made clear. And he’s already said Tua is starting next week. 

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44 minutes ago, MadDog2020 said:

I can’t believe we pulled that one out last night. Crazy game.

Regardless of how this Dolphin season turns out, you can’t say it hasn’t been entertaining and fun.

My team is currently on the other end of that spectrum...lots to figure out this offseason.  I’m still in favor of an extended rebuild.  Just not sure if BB will be willing to go that route.

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33 minutes ago, Colorado Rockies 1976 said:
1 hour ago, MadDog2020 said:

 

Regardless of how this Dolphin season turns out, you can’t say it hasn’t been entertaining and fun.

No doubt. Playoffs or not, the organization has taken a big step forward this year. Flores looks like a real coach, and Tua, while he has had his struggles, looks like a real QB. Get him some weapons this off-season and let’s go. As far as your Pats- an extended rebuild would be the best bet I think. Just don’t know if Belichick has the patience for it.

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Tua was expected to have some first-year struggles...but all in all you’ve gotta be happy with what you’ve seen so far.

Yeah re:  BB that’s my concern...that due to his age and simply being so used to competing for the big prize, that he’s going to try to Band-Aid and duct tape the Pats into remaining relevant.  Problem is you need a QB to even begin to entertain that thought.  Like I posted previously, some rumors that they might go after Stafford, and he would represent an upgrade over what they have now...but I think that gets you into 9-10 win territory at best, with a roster that will still be flawed.

I don’t know if BB has yet accepted that a very special player and a true all-time great is no longer there to make things work, no matter what.  I don’t think BB truly understands how much Brady impacted that team.  The day was coming when they were going to lose him/have to move on regardless (no one dreamed he would be a productive player all the way through his Age 42 season as a Patriot), but like everyone else, I think BB got so used to success that he thinks that he’ll find a way to smoke and mirror his way to more strong seasons.  I don’t see it, given the current roster.  

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16 minutes ago, Colorado Rockies 1976 said:

Tua was expected to have some first-year struggles...but all in all you’ve gotta be happy with what you’ve seen so far.

For sure. Having no preseason did the kid no favors either. His issue is he’s hesitant to sling it if a guy isn’t wide open (and our WR’s and TE’s struggle with separation). Tua is smart and avoids turnovers, and he was so used to his WR’s at Alabama getting 8 yards of separation, that the difference between ‘college open’ and ‘NFL open’ is still something he’s having difficulty with. Once he figures that out and becomes more confident, the sky is the limit. 

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1 hour ago, MadDog2020 said:

For sure. Having no preseason did the kid no favors either. His issue is he’s hesitant to sling it if a guy isn’t wide open (and our WR’s and TE’s struggle with separation). Tua is smart and avoids turnovers, and he was so used to his WR’s at Alabama getting 8 yards of separation, that the difference between ‘college open’ and ‘NFL open’ is still something he’s having difficulty with. Once he figures that out and becomes more confident, the sky is the limit. 

Yeah, already two good young QBs in the AFC East now.  If Darnold gets a proper coach, maybe he can be saved too.  They Jets could still even wind up with Lawrence with some much-needed luck.

Funny that it’s the Pats that may need 2-3 seasons to figure out their future QB.  But as we both know so well...the next “right” guy isn’t always the guy who follows a departing great.  And sometimes, even when it’s a guy who feels right (like Luck with the Colts or Cory with the Devils), it doesn’t always go according to plan, for any number of reasons.  All you can truly do is appreciate having had an all-time great at all, and look back on that time fondly...and settle in for what could be many many years of never having a guy who ever approaches such insane success.  

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