Patriots

Stephen Neal to be inducted to Wrestling Hall of Fame

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Stephen Neal to be inducted to Wrestling Hall of Fame

Former Patriot Stephen Neal wasn't always just a professional football player. Before his days with the Pats he was a competitive wrestler for California State University, Bakerfield winning NCAA titles in 1998 and 1999. Neal also won the 1999 World Championships in Ankara, Turkey. Neal then went on to have a successful career with the New England Patriots, winning three Superbowl rings.

The National Wrestling Hall of Fame will formally induct its class of 2012 on Saturday in Stillwater, Okla. Neal will be honored as a distinguished member along with Fred Fozzard, Greg Strobel, and the late Chris Taylor.

Logan Ryan's Rob Gronkowski tribute reminds us of loaded 2014 Patriots team

Logan Ryan's Rob Gronkowski tribute reminds us of loaded 2014 Patriots team

The New England Patriots have had some absolutely loaded teams in the Tom Brady and Bill Belichick era, and the 2014 squad that won Super Bowl XLIX over the Seattle Seahawks might be the best of the last decade. 

Tennessee Titans defensive back Logan Ryan paid tribute Monday to one of his former New England Patriots teammates, Rob Gronkowski. The veteran tight end announced his retirement Sunday on Instagram. Gronkowski and Ryan spent four seasons as teammates in New England and won two Super Bowl titles.

Check out Ryan's Instagram photo and message in the post below:

Ryan's photo and caption serve as a good reminder of how stacked the Patriots' roster was during the 2014 campaign. 

The offense featured Tom Brady, Julian Edelman, Gronkowski and a really good offensive line. The defense had even more talent, led by Vince Wilfork, Chandler Jones, Dont'a Hightower, Devin McCourty, Patrick Chung, Darrelle Revis and Ryan. Undrafted rookie cornerback Malcolm Butler also made a pretty important play that season.

Debating which Patriots team was the most talented will be a fun conversation when the dynasty finally ends, and there's no question the Super Bowl-winning 2014 roster is right near, or at the top of the list.

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Patriots 2019 schedule: Analyzing best matchups for Week 1 opener

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USA TODAY Sports

Patriots 2019 schedule: Analyzing best matchups for Week 1 opener

The New England Patriots will not open the 2019 NFL season despite being the defending Super Bowl champions. Instead, they will begin their championship defense in the prestifious "Sunday Night Football" window on NBC.

The league is mixing up its scheduling patterns for Week 1 next season, opting to not have the defending champs play in the Thursday night season opener. The Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers, a fitting matchup for the NFL's 100th anniversary celebration throughout 2019, will play in that Thursday night slot.

So, who will the Patriots play in Week 1? We won't know the opponent until the full schedule unveiling in April, but we do know it's going to be  one of eight opponents: the Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, New York Jets,  Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Dallas Cowboys ,New York Giants or Kansas City Chiefs.

Click for a ranking of the best possible Week 1 matchups>>>

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