Patriots

Lombardi on Pats: 'You can't just outscore people . . . This isn't the ABA'

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Lombardi on Pats: 'You can't just outscore people . . . This isn't the ABA'

One look at the numbers will tell you that the Patriots aren't a balanced team at the moment. 

They rank first in the NFL in yards per game (423.8) and they're second in points per game (32.3 points). Defensively, no one is allowing more yards per game (456.8) and only the Colts are giving up more points per game (32.0). 

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Former assistant to the Patriots coaching staff Mike Lombardi looks at the two latter figures comes to the conclusion that even with the league's best offense, Bill Belichick's club isn't going very far.

"The Patriots defense, that's not a playoff caliber defense right now," Lombardi said on his GM Street podcast. "That's not a playoff caliber team. You can't outscore people. This isn't the ABA."

Lombardi suggested that Belichick and Matt Patricia simplify things defensively as the cure, though Patriots players said after the game on Sunday that they've already simplified things to a great extent.

"It’s not getting better, and it’s not going to get better anytime soon," Lombardi said. "The Patriots have always had a hard time playing against quarterbacks that move around . . . I thought the Patriots offense would control the ball 34 minutes in the game and keep the Panthers off the field as much as they could. They couldn't control it. Even though they won the time of possession they didn't do it well enough.

"They punted twice a game and it cost them. They only had nine possessions, which is really bad. Typically you get 12 possessions in a game. You can’t go into a game and have everything lay at Tom Brady’s feet. Thirty points should win a game for you. And now they’ve lost two home games because their defense can’t stop anybody."

Lombardi also noted the obvious, which is there wasn't nearly enough resistance provided on multiple Panthers scores.

"They’re not good in the red area, and the one thing you can’t give in the National Football League is give free-access touchdowns," he said. "They don’t give you free houses in Beverly Hills; they shouldn’t give you free access touchdowns. And the Patriots are good at giving free-access touchdowns.

"We’ve seen it every week. We saw it in the opening week against Kansas City. It didn’t happen in New Orleans, but it happens every week. And there’s a huge communication problem. There’s a complete disconnect that I’ve never seen before in my career around Bill Belichick in terms of the back end."

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David Harris retires after 11 seasons with Jets, Patriots

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File Photo

David Harris retires after 11 seasons with Jets, Patriots

David Harris's 11-year run in the NFL has come to an end. 

On Friday, the linebacker announced his retirement from the game of football after spending 10 seasons with the Jets and one with the Patriots. 

The Jets drafted Harris with the 47th pick in the 2007 NFL Draft. In his rookie season, he racked up 5 sacks and 127 total tackles. His breakout rookie season was an clear indication of the solid player he would become over the course of his career. 

Although he neither won a Super Bowl, nor made it to a Pro Bowl, the linebacker served as a focal point on a Rex Ryan defense that appeared in two AFC Championships in 2010 and 2011. 

When he was released in 2017, the 34-year-old made a career choice to sign with the Patriots to compete for a Super Bowl.

He didn't go out a champion, but a trip to the Super Bowl was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for one of the most underrated linebackers of the past decade. 

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What was Odell Beckham Jr. telling Kyrie Irving?

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AP Photo

What was Odell Beckham Jr. telling Kyrie Irving?

Admittedly, the audio is poor but the idea is no less intriguing.

Was Odell Beckham Jr. telling Kyrie Irving at NBA All-Star Weekend that he's trying to go to the Patriots? Or to Boston? Or New England? 

It's 23 seconds into the video below: 

Isaiah Houde of USA TODAY's PatriotsWire interprets it as: "You went to the Celtics and I’m trying to go to New England."

Beckham has had a few Instagram posts about Brady recently, including an exchange of rap lyrics back in December. 

🐐chasin.

A post shared by Odell Beckham Jr (@obj) on

Unless there's a trade between the Patriots and Giants, Beckham, 25, the three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver, won't be free to join Kyrie in New England - or was it Boston? - until the four-year deal he signed in 2014 ends after this season. Oh, and as he enters that 2019 season, Tom Brady will be 42. 

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