Patriots

Is post-Patriots hangover a real thing?

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Is post-Patriots hangover a real thing?

Somebody – I think it was Mike Florio, but the names, faces and words just speed by like snowflakes in a blizzard at this point – opined recently about a "post-Patriots hangover." That teams playing the Patriots tend to struggle in the game immediately following.

Seemed plausible. Teams pour a lot into their games against the Patriots in terms of preparation and there’s normally a heightened level of interest and intensity. That teams could have a hard time refocusing and putting the Patriots behind them sounded like a real possibility.

Does it bear out?

Not exactly. But a little. This season, teams are 2-4 in games played the week after facing the Patriots. The Cowboys had a bye after losing 30-6 to the Pats so I took them out of the mix. Had I included them, the record would be 2-5.

The Patriots last three opponents prior to Sunday – Indianapolis, the Jets and Miami – all got knocked off pretty handily in their next game. Indy lost to the Saints, 27-21; the Jets lost to Oakland 34-20 and Miami lost to the Bills on Sunday 33-17.

The two teams to pull down post-Patriots wins this season did so against teams in utter disarray. The Steelers beat the Niners in Week 2, 43-18. The Bills beat Miami in Week 3, 41-14. Jacksonville, which lost to Indy by just a field goal, is an outlier that seemed to perform pretty well (relative to its normal showings) in its post-Patriots meeting.

In 2014, teams were 6-6-1 in the week immediately following a game against New England.

The results if you want ‘em: Miami lost 29-10 at Buffalo; Minnesota lost 20-9 at New Orleans; Oakland lost 38-14 to Miami; KC lost 22-17 to SF; Cincy tied Carolina 37-37; Buffalo beat Minny 17-16; Jets lost to Buffalo 43-23; Chicago had a bye; Denver beat Oakland 41-17; Detroit beat Chicago 34-17; Green Bay beat Atlanta 43-37; San Diego lost to Denver 22-10; Miami beat Minnesota 37-35; Jets beat Miami 37-24.

Ultimately, this doesn’t prove anything conclusively. But if I’m gonna sit here and go through all the games, you better be damn sure I’m going to do a post on it.

Patriots Talk Podcast: Youth - that means draft success - will have to fuel Pats' reboot

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NBC Sports Boston Illustration

Patriots Talk Podcast: Youth - that means draft success - will have to fuel Pats' reboot

It's simple, really. If the Patriots are going to avoid staying home again after the Wild Card Round of the playoffs next season and seasons to come, they've got to get younger.

And to get younger, they've got to be more successful in the draft.

In the latest edition of Tom Curran's Patriots Talk Podcast, Curran and Phil Perry focus on the last time New England was sent home this early in the playoffs a decade ago and if there can be lessons learned from that roster reboot in 2010. 

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The biggest issue confronting the Pats this time around is their age, which averages 31.6 years old (a 42-year-old quarterback skews that a little, of course). By comparison, the Super Bowl 54 opponents, the Kansas City Chiefs (26.8) and the San Francisco 49ers (26.6) are considerably younger.

Click here to listen and subscribe to Tom Curran's Patriots Talk Podcast: 

The age factor is why, as Perry pointed out, "the pressure is on for them to hit not only in this 2020 draft, where they do have 12 picks, they have no second-round pick, but 12 shots at the dartboard. Last year, they had 10 [picks] and nine guys are still with the team.

"It's clear they have told themselves, 'We need to get younger. We need to start hitting here if we want to sustain this success.' The draft is the lifeblood of any team."

The 2018 team and its victory in the Super Bowl over the Rams last February worked to hide some of those flaws from recent low-yield draft classes.

"They had a great quarterback when they needed him. They had a Hall of Fame quarterback when they needed him. The defense looked tremendous we know how that story played out," Perry said. 

What kind of draft yield are we talking about to fuel the next generation of Patriots' success?

Curran goes on to rattle off the names from 2008-2012 drafts (Mayo, Slater, Edelman, Vollmer, Butler, Chung, Gronkowski, McCourty) that fueled the second half of the Pats dynasty.

"I have upwards of 30 names from 2008 to 2012 who were contributing players to the Patriots. I'm not even talking a little contributing, but massive contributing...," Curran said.  

There's also a discussion of how the uncertainty surrounding Tom Brady will impact the 2020 draft strategy. Listen and subscribe to Tom Curran's Patriots Talk Podcast on the NBC Sports Boston podcast network.

 

That 617 Life Podcast: Patriots' ties to a Pats-less Super Bowl

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NBC Sports Boston Illustration

That 617 Life Podcast: Patriots' ties to a Pats-less Super Bowl

The Patriots may have been missing from the NFL's Championship Sunday, but that didn't stop them from being mentioned and having their former personnel play prominent roles in the AFC and NFC Championship Games.

Whether it was former Pats linebacker Mike Vrabel coaching the Tennessee Titans against the Kansas City Chiefs or former New England quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo helping the San Francisco 49ers beat the Green Bay Packers to reach Super Bowl 54, the Patriots continue to be a talked-about team. 

On the latest edition of the "That 617 Life" podcast, Leroy Irvin, Shanda Foster and Cerrone Battle discussed how the Pats still loomed over the games on Sunday.

"You can not say anything bad about the Patriots because we are always constantly producing talent," Foster said. "I think this is the perfect testament to Bill Belichick."

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Battle said it speaks to the dominance of the Patriots the past two decades that connections to their former players and staff are now all over the league.

"That's what happens when you win," Battle said. "When you win, everybody wants a piece. They want your waterboy. Look at the new head coach of the Giants [Joe Judge, the former Patriots special teams and receivers coach]?... When you're good for 20 years eventually you're going to have your roots all over the league. After years and years of success, I'm not shocked by it."

Irvin and Foster said instead of lamenting a rare NFL Final Four without New England, Pats fans should be grateful.

"I wish Patriot Nation would grow up," Irvin said. "By that I mean I'm tired of seeing on social media people just crying and complaining, 'Oh it's boring without the Patriots.' We've had almost two decades of excellence. We're not there. Get over it."

Said Foster, "I was grateful more than anything. Filled with gratitude. We may never see a run like this again."

In his "Hot Takes and Cold Cuts" segment, Battle says those crowning the Super Bowl 54 opponents as the next dynasties might want to pump the brakes a little. 

"First thing I heard [after the games] is, 'Kansas City they're gonna be around for years and San Francisco they're gonna be around for a long time. They're gonna be contenders forever,' " Battle said. "That was the story all day. 'What is anybody gonna do about these teams next year?' What are they gonna do next year? Not even worry about them. Why? Because this is the Not For Long League. The NFL. Every year, the teams that were hot the year before are never guaranteed to be hot the year after that. Unless you're the Patriots."

The crew also gives their reactions to the new Aaron Hernandez Netflix documentary. It's all in this week's "That 617 Life" podcast on the NBC Sports Boston Podcast network. Click here to listen and subscribe.