Patriots

Iron-man Joe Thuney explains how he's able to stay on the field consistently

Iron-man Joe Thuney explains how he's able to stay on the field consistently

Last season, left guard Joe Thuney was the only Patriots player to play 100 percent of the team's offensive snaps. He logged 1,119 reps in the regular season at left guard and continued to play every snap during the team's Super Bowl run.

Even more impressive is the fact that Thuney has played similarly high snap counts during the first two seasons of his career. He tied for first in snaps in 2016 with 1,114 and played 1,134 (good for second behind Shaq Mason) the following year. Clearly, Thuney is durable and does everything he can to stay on the field.

Recently, Thuney opened up about how he's able to stay healthy and log so many snaps in a league where availability is the most important ability.

"I think trying to maintain flexibility, stay on your nutrition, get your body right and just try to stay on top of it through the whole season, whether it be massages or just getting in the training room," Thuney said Thursday, per Andrew Callahan of MassLive.com. "Just trying to keep on top of things so nothing gets out of control."

Clearly, whatever Thuney is doing is working, so he should certainly stick to that regimen moving forward.

Thuney has proven to be a bright spot for the Patriots over the last few years. Because of his durability and his skills, he has established himself as a very solid starting guard and was a crucial part of the team's stellar offensive line play en route to a Super Bowl title. However, he is entering the final year of his rookie contract and will soon need a new deal.

If Thuney has it his way, he wouldn't mind staying in New England.

"I love it here. It’s great. The organization’s been awesome, teammates have been awesome," Thuney said, per Callahan. "So absolutely no complaints from me."

The Patriots already have a starting guard locked up in the aforementioned Mason, as they signed him to a five-year, $45 million contract last offseason. It will be interesting to see if Thuney commands a similar price and whether or not the Patriots will be willing to pay it.

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Where does Patriots' Sony Michel rank among NFL RB1s entering 2019?

Where does Patriots' Sony Michel rank among NFL RB1s entering 2019?

Sony Michel enjoyed a tremendous rookie season for the New England Patriots and played a pivotal role in the team's run to a sixth Super Bowl championship.

The 24-year-old running back ran for 931 yards and six touchdowns in 13 regular season games, but his real value, however, was shown in the playoffs. Michel tallied 336 yards and a rookie postseason record six touchdowns in three games, culminating with 94 yards and the Patriots' only touchdown in their 13-3 win over the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII.

After a stellar first season as a pro, where does Michel rank among the league's RB1s entering the 2019 season? Former NFL running back Maurice Jones-Drew ranked Michel at No. 11 in his rankings on NFL.com. Here's what MJD had to say about the Georgia product:

Michel showed he can be a bell cow during the postseason, with 71 carries for 336 yards and a rookie-record six rushing TDs in three games. He underwent a minor knee procedure in June, but Michel should still be the effective rusher he was in the postseason starting in September. Plus, I think Patriots OC Josh McDaniels will be more creative with the running game now that Rob Gronkowski is no longer on the team.

Jones-Drew put New York Giants rookie sensation Saquon Barkley atop his rankings, with Alvin Kamara of the New Orleans Saints, Le'Veon Bell of the New York Jets, Ezekiel Elliott of the Dallas Cowboys and Christian McCaffrey of the Carolina Panthers rounding out the top five, in that order.

The Patriots offense was carried by its ground game in the last season's playoffs, and we could see more of the same this coming season after New England selected talented Alabama running back Damien Harris in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft. The Pats now have Michel, Harris, Rex Burkhead and James White leading a really impressive group of running backs that should make the team's offense a well-balanced unit next season.

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NFL odds: Three quarterbacks favored over Tom Brady for 2019 MVP

NFL odds: Three quarterbacks favored over Tom Brady for 2019 MVP

Tom Brady opens as one of the favorites to win the 2019 NFL MVP award, but Vegas has three quarterbacks favored over the Patriots QB.

Chiefs quarterback and 2018 NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes unsurprisingly is listed as the favorite heading into the new season at +350. Also ahead of Brady are Eagles QB Carson Wentz (+550) and Colts signal-caller Andrew Luck (+600).

Brady is tied with Chargers QB Philip Rivers at +700 and followed by Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, who opens at +800.

(Odds via Caesars Palace)

Considering the uncertainty at the wide receiver position for the Patriots, it shouldn't come as a surprise that Brady isn't favored to be 2019's MVP. But at +700, there's certainly plenty of value there if you're looking to put some money down before the season.

Brady has won the NFL MVP award three times before in his illustrious career (2007, 2010, 2017).

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