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New England Patriots links 5/14/21 - Pats’ 2021 identity: Power run over pass, bully defense, underdogs

Daily news and links for Friday

New England Patriots Vs. Houston Texans at NRG Stadium
Damien Harris powers for extra yards
Photo by Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images



  • Andrew Callahan explains why he believes the Patriots’ identity will be tested early in the regular season. “All of the Pats’ moves point to power; a plan to overwhelm opponents at the point of attack and bully their way back into contention. The Patriots believe they can rebuild around Cam Newton, the most prolific rushing quarterback of all time. Time will tell. Perhaps quickly.”
  • Michael Hurley sniffs out the real reason Buccaneers-Patriots so early in the year. It seems the NFL thinks the Patriots will be bad again in 2021.
  • Sam Panayotovich looks at the NFL odds: Patriots could be underdogs more than favorites in 2021.
  • Evan Lazar lays out why adapting the offense to fit Mac Jones won’t be an issue for the Patriots. “Although there are some notable differences between the Patriots and Alabama offenses, the learning curve shouldn’t be too steep for Jones.”
  • Marcus Kwesi O’Mard highlights analysts from Football Outsiders who identified Jakobi Meyers and N’Keal Harry as Patriots who need to raise their game at receiver.
  • Doug Kyed notes All-Pro Gunner Olszewski has three simple goals for this offseason: Bigger, faster, stronger.
  • Zack Cox highlights Gunner Olszewski revealing his favorite Julian Edelman lessons: ‘Two words: piss and vinegar.’
  • Mark Daniels reports free agent veteran CB Dre Kirkpatrick visits the Patriots. Pats lack depth behind Stephon Gilmore and J.C. Jackson at outside cornerback specifically.
  • Andy Hart reports the Patriots hosted 2 former Bengals on free agent visits: CB Dre Kirkpatrick and G Alex Redmond.
  • Bill Burt offers 10 quick game-by-game thoughts on Pats 2021 schedule.
  • Andrew Callahan analyzes the Patriots 2021 schedule: A favorable start, no soft spots and Bills showdowns in December could decide the AFC East.
  • Bill Burt opines on the NFL’s Game of the century: Bill vs. Tom. Sunday night, Oct. 3, the whole world will be watching this dynamic matchup.
  • Bill Speros writes about the five months of the Brady/Belichick hype machine ready to ramp up.
  • Sean T. McGuire relays Pat McAfee’s theory that the NFL is setting Tom Brady up to lose by giving New England a much easier lead up to the Week 4 clash than the Buccaneers. /Wut?
  • Ian Logue (PatsFans) Patriots News and NFL Notes: 5 Things to know. 3) It’s funny to see the difference with Brady when it comes to how much more he’s shown his personality with the Buccaneers. /I think it’s simpler: The Tampa press isn’t negatively dissecting his every word, body language, inferred tone, and/or what his hairstyle means every single time he speaks.
  • Justin Leger relays the results after simulating the Patriots season with Cam Newton and Mac Jones at QB.
  • Andy Hart takes a look back at some departed HOF athletes’ first games back in Boston.
  • Doug Kyed addresses his Patriots Mailbag: Could position switch be coming for starting defender The Patriots will need a free safety soon.
  • Sean T. McGuire highlights Julian Edelman sharing details about his knee injury that forced him into retirement.
  • Patriots Talk podcast: Tom Curran talks with Chad Pennington about how he thinks the Patriots should handle the development of Mac Jones.Phil Perry joins to give a game-by-game breakdown of the Patriots’ 2021 schedule. (43 min. video)
  • Locked On Patriots podcast: Mike D’Abate and Doug discuss the Pats’ schedule, the chances of seeing Mac Jones take over at QB in 2021, and what makes Tom Brady ‘cheugy?’ (50 min.)


  • Albert Breer (SI) GamePlan: How TV network desires and the NFL’s 18th week affected the 2021 schedule; Plus, notes on international games, rookie quarterbacks, upcoming offseason milestones and more.
  • Albert Breer (SI) Mailbag: Will the Raiders be in on Aaron Rodgers? What would the Broncos offer? Plus, when will Mac Jones and Justin Fields play, will Julio Jones be moved and let’s pump the breaks on Tim Tebow just a bit.
  • Charles Robinson (Yahoo! Sports) Tom Brady’s return to New England is already on pace to set a record NFL ticket price: Anywhere from $1,400 to $1,500 for the worst seats in the house.
  • Kaelen Jones (The Ringer) The votes of confidence teams gave their vets in the NFL draft.
  • Chris Trapasso (CBS Sports) Five NFL veterans on chopping block after draft.
  • Cody Benjamin (CBS Sports) 2021 NFL schedule winners and losers. Patriots helped: They don’t rest until a Week 14 bye, but seven of their first nine are against non-playoff teams from 2020.
  • Jared Dubin (CBS Sports) 2021 NFL schedule: Best game each week.
  • Jared Dubin (CBS Sports) Projecting games with biggest playoff implications in NFL’s first 17-game season.
  • Jeff Kerr (CBS Sports) NFL has a unique flex schedule resulting in 10 teams that don’t have a scheduled day, time for Week 15. Patriots at Colts included.
  • NFL Research ( Scheduling oddities: 13 quirks stemming from 2021 NFL slate.
  • NFL Research ( Overreactions to the 2021 NFL schedule: Tom Brady can finally complete his career résumé; More.
  • Jordan Dajani (CBS Sports) Week 1 picks, odds, spread for every game. Patriots (-2) 27-21 over Dolphins.
  • Jenna Laine (ESPN) Tom Brady Sr. says he’s ‘salivating’ over Tampa Bay-New England Week 4 matchup.