Patriots

Mostly silent night for Patriots backup quarterback Brian Hoyer vs Titans

Mostly silent night for Patriots backup quarterback Brian Hoyer vs Titans

NASHVILLE – Statistically, the night for Brian Hoyer was fine – 6 for 8 for 55 yards during four series of work.

But this outing looked little like last week’s dissection of the Lions in which Hoyer went 12 for 14 for 147 with two touchdown throws.

The veteran backup was picked on his second attempt of the game, a not-very-speedy throw intended for second-year wideout Braxton Berrios. Berrios did seem to round off his route and fade upfield as he was crossing, giving Logan Ryan an easy shot to undercut it. Either way, a pick’s a pick.

But Hoyer was also working with very few regulars. Among the five offensive linemen in front of Hoyer, only Isaiah Wynn figures to be a starter on the offensive line and Hoyer took some punishment as a result. He also escaped punishment on one play when Dan Skipper was badly beaten off the line at right tackle and Hoyer had to haul ass to the sidelines or risk a smushing.

Hoyer took a hard sack for a loss of 8 in the second quarter and had another sack wiped out by a defensive hold.

Also, there was no Maurice Harris, N’Keal Harry, Matt Lacosse or Phillip Dorsett at his disposal as they were last week. He did, however, have Jakobi Meyers who Hoyer found for his longest completion, a 16-yarder.

So the competition between Hoyer and Jarrett Stidham will continue for the right to back up Tom Brady in 2019. On this night, Hoyer mostly trod water.

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How Chase Winovich's late grandmother played a role in his performance on Sunday

How Chase Winovich's late grandmother played a role in his performance on Sunday

Chase Winovich had the best game of his young NFL career on Sunday afternoon.

The New England Patriots' third-round draft pick out of Michigan was a force to be reckoned with against the Miami Dolphins. He was one of the team's most productive pass rushers and finished the day with 1.5 sacks and 2 QB hits in limited action.

Winovich's sack was the first of his career and it was a special moment for him, especially because of something that he saw on the field just before the sack as he explained to reporters after the game.

That certainly is a touching story. And perhaps seeing the butterfly on the field did give Winovich the extra motivation that he needed to break into the backfield and put a hit on Ryan Fitzpatrick.

This also wasn't the first time that Winovich has presented an anecdote about his grandmother during his time with the Patriots. During the preseason, he spoke of how his grandmother used to offer him $5 and a chocolate bar if he played hard and didn't get hurt during his high school game. He joked that was part of what drives his relentless motor. 

It is unclear if the grandmother from that story is the same one from the butterfly story.

The Patriots will be happy with Winovich's performance no matter what. He certainly has looked good as a part of the Patriots' suffocating defense and should only continue to improve as he gets further into his first season.

Tom Curran's takeaways from Patriots big win over Dolphins>>>

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NFL odds: Here's latest betting line for an undefeated 16-0 Patriots season

NFL odds: Here's latest betting line for an undefeated 16-0 Patriots season

Do you think the New England Patriots will have an undefeated 16-0 regular season? Well, oddsmakers in Las Vegas think there's enough of a possibility to take bets on it.

The Patriots improved to 2-0 on Sunday with an impressive 43-0 win against the Miami Dolphins on the road. Both sides of the ball played exceptionally well for the Patriots, but the defense, in particular, was on another level. Bill Belichick's defense tallied seven sacks and four interceptions, while also dominating on third downs (Miami was 2-for-15). 

What are the odds the Patriots go 16-0? Here are the latest betting lines from the Westgate Superbook in Las Vegas.

Several statistical models and studies came to the conclusion before the regular season that the Patriots had the second-easiest schedule. Their toughest stretch begins in Week 9, and if they pass that unscathed, 16-0 then becomes a very real possibility.

Week 9: at Baltimore Ravens
Week 10: Bye
Week 11: at Philadelphia Eagles
Week 12: vs. Dallas Cowboys
Week 13: at Houston Texans
Week 14: vs. Kansas City Chiefs

The last three games for the Patriots are at the Cincinnati Bengals and home for the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins, in that order. Those three games obviously are all very winnable.

The Patriots became the first and only team to go undefeated in a 16-game schedule back in 2007, but they ultimately fell short overall with a heartbreaking Super Bowl XLII loss to the New York Giants. This year's Patriots team is absolutely loaded on both sides of the ball, especially after elite wide receiver Antonio Brown signed with the team earlier this week and played well in his debut Sunday. The defense, which hasn't allowed a touchdown since last season's AFC Championship Game, likely is better than the 2007 unit.

The smart money is betting against an undefeated Patriots season, but on the flip side, it's one of the few accomplishments the franchise hasn't attained over this two-decade run of excellence. So, they do have some motivation to chase it if they want.

Click for the best/worst from Patriots' win over Dolphins>>>

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