Patriots

Patriots' AFC Championship Game hosting hopes dashed by Colts' stinker

Patriots' AFC Championship Game hosting hopes dashed by Colts' stinker

Perhaps it was wishful thinking.

There was a scenario in which the New England Patriots (or the Los Angeles Chargers) could have hosted the AFC Championship Game next Sunday. But that scenario counted on the Indianapolis Colts showing up in Kansas City against the Chiefs on Saturday.

Spoiler: They didn't.

The No. 6 seed Colts fell 31-13 to No. 1 seed Kansas City in their AFC Divisional Round matchup Saturday, ensuring the winner of Patriots-Chargers on Sunday will have to visit Arrowhead Stadium next weekend in the Chiefs' first home AFC Championship Game in franchise history.

Indy entered with designs of an upset, having won 10 of its last 11 games and upsetting the No. 3 seed Houston Texans in the AFC Wild Card round.

Instead, quarterback Andrew Luck and the Colts' offense went MIA, failing to score a touchdown until the fourth quarter. Luck completed just 19 of 36 passes for 203 yards and one touchdown for a 78.8 passer rating.

Indy's loss certainly doesn't help New England's chances of reaching Super Bowl LIII; the Patriots are just 2-3 in road AFC Championship Games under Bill Belichick and haven't won such a game since the 2004 season.

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NFL draft prospect WR Hunter Renfrow had a dream about Tom Brady

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NFL draft prospect WR Hunter Renfrow had a dream about Tom Brady

While there are a seemingly limitless number of factors that impact what teams prospective NFL players will land on, from a battery of tests at the combine, to interviews, to the whim of the draft, wide receiver Hunter Renfrow may have found a different way.

Renfrow, a 5'10" receiver from Clemson, reported having a dream that he was drafted by the Patriots, and was meeting with quarterback Tom Brady.

Renfrow explained to Scott Keepfer of The Greenville News:

"I would love to be a Patriot. Whoever gets me, that would be awesome," Renfrow said. "I had a dream I was a Patriot last night. It was the weirdest thing. I went to sleep and ... I was having a meeting with Tom Brady."

Renfrow's dreams may well prove prophetic. 

The receiver has been pegged by many as someone the Patriots would be interested in. While Renfrow is not expected to be drafted high, if at all, he has several characteristics that fit the bill of receivers that the Patriots tend to be interested in.

Renfrow played slot receiver at Clemson, and at 5'10," has a clear resemblance to the prototypical Patriots receiver: short, fast, and able to get open quickly.

Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, Chris Hogan,  Chris Harper, Austin Collie, among others, fill out the laundry list of Patriots past and present who fit the mold of Renfrow.

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Report: Contract details for Patriots' Maurice Harris, Terrence Brooks

Report: Contract details for Patriots' Maurice Harris, Terrence Brooks

Surprise, surprise: The New England Patriots are spending carefully in free agency.

Rather than dole out significant cash to one or two players, the Patriots' strategy to date has been to sign a handful of depth pieces at relatively low cost. On Tuesday morning, we got a look at the contract details of two such players.

First up: wide receiver Maurice Harris, who can earn up to $1 million this season, per ESPN's Mike Reiss.

According to Spotrac, Harris' $720,000 base salary in 2019 makes him the second-lowest-paid Patriots wide receiver, ahead of Damoun Patterson and just behind fellow newcomer Bruce Ellington, who carries a $895,000 base salary.

That contract suggests the 26-year-old Harris may have to compete for a roster spot during the preseason, especially if New England trades for a receiver of higher value.

New Patriots safety and expected special teams contributor Terrence Brooks, meanwhile, has the chance to earn a maximum of $4 million total a two-year contract, per The Boston Globe's Ben Volin.

Head coach Bill Belichick clearly values special teams, so it's not surprising the Patriots are willing to shell out north of $1 million guaranteed to two potential core special teamers in Brooks and running back Brandon Bolden.

New England's work isn't done on the special teams front, as it currently doesn't have a kicker or punter with Stephen Gostkowski and Ryan Allen still unsigned in free agency.

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