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New England Patriots links 10/09/20 - Pats nipped by COVID/NFL wringers, still in good shape for game

Daily news and links for Friday

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New England Patriots Vs. Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium
Damien Harris leaves ‘em in the dust
Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images



  • Luke Ervin (PatsBuzz) Broncos vs. Patriots: Three players to watch and the most intriguing matchups. Patriots O-line containing Bradley Chubb and Shelby Harris
  • Thomas Murphy (DiehardBostonSportsFans) Monster keys to Patriots-Broncos. 2. Confuse, confound and confuddle: Be it Lock or Rypien – Rypien or Lock, hell wake up Peyton if you want, I expect to see some elaborate Blitz packages come sunday afternoon.
  • Doug Kyed looks at how the secondary matches up with Denver’s receiving corps, without Stephon Gilmore.
  • David Latham (LastWordOnSports) Brian Hoyer or Jarrett Stidham for New England? The case for both.
  • Alex Barth writes in defense of Brian Hoyer...
  • Thomas Carannante (MusketFire) Damien Harris already proving he’s going to steal Sony Michel’s job.
  • Zack Cox reports the Patriots shuffled their practice squad Thursday, re-signing TE/FB Paul Quessenberry.
  • Zack Cox talks about how Cam Newton can still participate while he’s on the COVID-19 list.
  • Jerry Trotta (MusketFire) Now is the perfect time to sign Cam Newton to a contract extension.
  • Hayden Bird highlights Chase Winovich’s eccentric and insightful thoughts on the Patriots’ ‘weird’ week.
  • Mike Reiss shares how Patriots players and coaches (Josh McDaniels has asthma) are confronting the reality of positive COVID-19 tests.
  • Mike Reiss highlights Bill Belichick on how for him, the health and safety of his team come first.
  • Logan Mullen NFL Rumors: Patriots’ latest round of COVID-19 tests return no positive results.
  • Ryan Hannable says the Patriots reportedly have multiple players as ‘close/high risk’ contacts with Stephon Gilmore. /As an aside, Gilmore has been asymptomatic.
  • Michael Hurley shows a photo of the Patriots crammed into the visitors’ locker room at Arrowhead Stadium and the report that New England’s request for larger locker room space (to abide by COVID-19 protocals) was denied by the NFL. /This is just schizo-level behavior by the league.
  • Karen Guregian hears from Rodney Harrison on why he was upset with the NFL’s handling of the Pats-Chiefs game.
  • Thomas Carannante (MusketFire) NFL moving Patriots-Broncos game to Monday night feels horribly wrong.
  • Sean T. McGuire notes Broncos DE Shelby Harris isn’t happy with the rescheduled game “why are we getting punished when we did nothing wrong.” /Boo-F’n-hoo.
  • DJ Bean power ranks all 32 starting QBs entering Week 5. No. 29, Whoever is starting for the Patriots (disregard if Cam Newton starts). 30. Brett Rypien, Broncos.
  • Michael Hurley recaps Tom Brady’s performance last night, ending with a spectacular blunder.
  • Jesse Pantuosco is outraged that Tom Brady won’t shake Nick Foles’ hand. /Ever hear of a certain virus going around? He’d jump on Brady if he did shake Foles’ hand because it would have violated league protocols.
  • Michael Hurley isn’t shocked to see Roger Goodell’s league resembling a rudderless ship, and makes his Week 5 picks. “I don’t care if Steve Belichick starts at quarterback and Brian Belichick starts at tackle. The Patriots aren’t losing to that Broncos team.”
  • Eric Wilbur passes along what NFL experts are predicting for Monday’s Patriots-Broncos game
  • Jim Pignatiello posts the MassLive sports staff Week 5 NFL Picks, point spreads, betting lines for every game. All five pick the Patriots.


  • Jeff Legwold (ESPN) Sunday’s Broncos-Patriots game moved to Monday at 5.
  • Albert Breer (SI) Friday Game Plan: Why the league is upset with the Titans and why teams are mad at the league office; Plus, why is everyone so bad at defense this year, where do the Texans go from here, power rankings and Tom Brady in prime time.

How can the league be preachy when it forced New England to travel and play the same day they flew, then travel back with so many potentially infected people? And to travel when Air COVID (a second plane carrying Newton’s close contacts) was necessary? And where is the evidence that the league’s priority is anything other than making sure the television networks get as much of their inventory as possible?

  • Michael David Smith (ProFootballTalk) Patriots have no new positive tests.
  • Terez Paylor (Yahoo! Sports) Things I Noticed: Why this leaping pass-rush move has taken NFL by storm.
  • Cynthia Frelund ( Super Bowl contenders or pretenders? Classifying NFL’s eight division leaders.
  • Nate Davis (USA Today) NFL’s 20 biggest surprises at quarter-mark: Rookies thriving, free agents floundering.
  • Cole Jacobson ( NFL Research awards at the quarter mark: Top QB, rookie, more. Patriots OL runner-up as ‘Best unit’.
  • Jeff Kerr (CBS Sports) Week 5 schedule changes: What to know for all four teams who have had games rescheduled
  • Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) Saturday night games won’t be an option for NFL until December.
  • Shalise Manza Young (Yahoo! Sports) It doesn’t get more cold and cruel in NFL than Tyrod Taylor’s demotion as Chargers’ starting QB.
  • Dan Graziano (ESPN) The latest on the NFL’s coronavirus problem, from extra byes to bubbles to the Titans’ troubles.
  • Jonathan Jones (CBS Sports) Insider notebook: Schedule changes NFL should make now to save the season, plus MVP and Week 5 picks. Patriots win.


  • Mark Kiszla (Denver Post) Life ain’t fair to the Broncos. Tough injuries. Bad schedule changes. Coach Vic Fangio vows: “I’m not going to let anything emotionally hijack me.”
  • Kyle Newman (Denver Post) Broncos leaning heavily on rookie class via baptism-by-fire for cornerback Michael Ojemudia, center Lloyd Cushenberry and others.
  • Ryan O’Halloran (Denver Post) Broncos Briefs: First win out of the way, defense’s focus turns toward takeaways.
  • Ben Swanson (DenverBroncos) Mile High Morning: Von Miller remaining hopeful for return to action before end of 2020 season.
  • Jim Saccomano (DenverBroncos) Way Back When: Remembering classic clashes between Belichick and Shanahan.