Patriots

Patriots defense should be excited about its next five opposing QBs

Patriots defense should be excited about its next five opposing QBs

The Patriots defense had no problem shutting down Ben Roethlisberger in Week 1, and that dominance very well could continue over the next several weeks.

In its next five games, New England is set to face off against quarterbacks who combined for an abysmal 85.2 passer rating in 2018. Jets QB Sam Darnold will miss Week 3 due to mono, which means his backup Trevor Siemian gets the starting nod after not playing a snap throughout the '18 campaign.

Week 2: Ryan Fitzpatrick, 100.4 rating  (Dolphins)
Week 3: Trevor Siemian, DNP (Jets)
Week 4: Josh Allen, 67.9 (Bills)
Week 5: Case Keenum, 81.2 (Redskins)
Week 6: Eli Manning, 92.4 (Giants)

Might as well just mark the Patriots down as 6-0, right?

Let's not get carried away. We've witnessed far too many "what just happened?" losses in Miami to suggest a victory on Sunday is a sure thing. The Jets and Bills both boast above-average defenses as well.

Still, this Patriots defense has the potential to be one of the best units New England has seen over the last several years. Bill Belichick's teams always take their schedules a week at a time, but it's difficult not to look ahead and think about the appeal of these next five matchups.

UPDATE (Sept. 17, 10:50 a.m. ET): We're resurfacing this list, which includes a couple notable updates: Luke Falk now is starting in place of injured Jets QB Trevor Siemian, while Daniel Jones is taking over for Manning in New York.

Here's a look at the Patriots' opposing QBs from Week 3 to Week 7:

Week 3: Luke Falk (Jets)
Week 4: Josh Allen (Bills)
Week 5: Case Keenum (Redskins)
Week 6: Daniel Jones (Giants)
Week 7: Luke Falk or Sam Darnold

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Patriots-Bengals Preview from Tom E. Curran: No cinch in Cincy

tom-brady-new-england-patriots-vs-bengals-2013.jpg
AP Images

Patriots-Bengals Preview from Tom E. Curran: No cinch in Cincy

Here we have two teams at opposite ends of the food chain. The 10-3 Patriots and the 1-12 Bengals. Unfortunately, they have one thing in common. Neither one scores much. The Bengals high for the season is 23 points and that was in Week 4. They’ve only scored more than 20 points twice. 

The Patriots have scored fewer than three offensive touchdowns in five out of six games and the lone game they scored three – in Houston – two came in the very late stages after falling behind 21-3. So this game has the potential to look like a Patriots-Bengals from the not-so-distant past. Not the “On to Cincinnati” game people remember from 2014, but the ugly slog in the rain a year earlier when the Patriots lost 13-6 at Cincy. 

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So many elements are the same now for the Patriots offense – limited talent at wideout and a lack of protection up front. 

Because of the Patriots' offensive struggles, what seemed for months like a simple walkover has the potential to be uncomfortably competitive.

 

 

Let the Terrell Suggs speculation begin: Ravens reunion? Patriots pickup?

Let the Terrell Suggs speculation begin: Ravens reunion? Patriots pickup?

Could the Patriots be seeing a familiar, old rival in the playoffs? Or could they be seeing him on their own defense for their playoff run?

The Arizona Cardinals released longtime Pats nemesis Terrell Suggs, 37, on Friday and he'll be on waivers until Monday. While the Patriots, at 10-3, are far down on the waiver list to claim him, the former Pro Bowl linebacker's old team, the Baltimore Ravens, with the NFL's best record at 12-2, are last in line, so a potential reunion appears to be a long shot.

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If he goes unclaimed, he'll be a free agent, calling to mind two years ago when the Pats snapped up pass rusher James Harrison, then 39, after Harrison passed through waivers following his release from the Steelers. 

While it's not the Patriots defense, but an offense that hasn't scored more than 20 points in a game since Halloween, that could use a boost this season, the idea of the guy who once refused to say Tom Brady's name (he'd call him "the pretty boy up north") surfacing in New England was too good to resist for a couple of ex-players: