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New England Patriots links 10/11/23 - No tanks: Patriots will try to win

Daily news and links for Wednesday.

NFL: New England Patriots at Dallas Cowboys
Throw a few picks today, will ya?
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

I don’t see New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft ever pursuing or condoning a strategy of tanking.

The Colts’ 2011 “Suck for Luck” campaign cost team president Bill Polian, his son GM Chris Polian, and head coach Jim Caldwell their jobs. They got their QB but blew everything up in the process. Then the new GM and head coach proceeded to try and keep their jobs by overspending and ruining the new quarterback, but that’s a story for another day.

It’s understandable why some fans want to scrap the season and start fresh next year — new coach, new GM, new QB, high draft picks — it’s just not as easy as that. Players not only have their pride, but they want to maintain as high a value as they can to make more money. Being on a 1-16 team doesn’t stand out in a good way on a resume. Coaches and front office execs also want to remain hire-able.

Tanking doesn’t do them any favors when it’s time to move on. And it comes back to Mr. Kraft and whether he wants that as part of his legacy. I don’t think he does. Tanking has a whiff of cheating. Deliberately trying to lose games. It was distasteful when the Colts did it, and personally I don’t want to see the Patriots do it either.


  • Game Preview: Patriots at Raiders. Series history, scouting the matchups, tale of the tape.
  • Mike Dussault tackles this week’s Patriots Mailbag: Searching for answers at 1-4.
  • Paul Perillo’s NFL Notes: Time to ‘start over’ but where to begin?
  • Press Conference: Bill O’Brien.
  • Press Conference highlights: Bill O’Brien lays out plan to improve the offense, confirmed that Mac Jones will start vs. Raiders. “We had a good fundamental meeting right here about half an hour ago. We’re ready to go for practice, taking things one day at a time and try to dig ourselves out of it.”
  • Alexandra Francisco notes David Andrews opens up about mental health in conversation with Rob Ninkovich to raise awareness on World Mental Health Day.
  • Patriots Unfiltered: State of the Patriots, biggest takeaways from Sunday’s loss, potential trades. (2 hours)
  • Patriots Hall of Fame Induction VIP Experience sweepstakes: Enter to win two tickets to Bills-Patriots on 10/22. /Is this prize for the winner? ...or for the loser?
  • Community: Devin & Jason McCourty host charitable Casino Night at Gillette Stadium for Sickle Cell. (1 min. video)


  • Matt Geagan gives us some Patriots-Raiders Week 6 news, notes, and fun facts.
  • Michael Hurley dissects how New England got to the bottom of the NFL. It took several years, countless decisions.
  • Andy Hart gives us the latest Pats Stats check-in: Bottoming out on offense?
  • Matt Vautour says it’s better for the team to tank than for Bill Belichick to try to right the ship and start winning games. /Guessing Robert Kraft would never want his team to tank.
  • Michael Hurley notes Bill O’Brien isn’t quite ready to throw in the towel on the Patriots.
  • Mark Daniels explains why Bill O’Brien won’t blame QB Mac Jones for the many issues the Patriots have on offense.
  • 98.5 The Sports Hub guest Mike Reiss shared how he believes things will shake out with the QB situation.
  • Phil Perry explains why the Patriots rolling with Mac Jones as their QB is a risk worth taking.
  • Zack Cox thinks it would be worth a shot for the Patriots to start QB Malik Cunningham.
  • Alex Barth suggests the wide receiver group could look different in Week 6, based on Tuesday’s practice.
  • Karen Guregian highlights her talk with OL coach Adrian Klemm about the issues the team has had with his unit. But he wasn’t giving any new answers: “Working on it.” “Just looking to get better.”
  • Karen Guregian notes LB coach Jerod Mayo admits it’s been tough for his defense to constantly play from behind.
  • Mike Kadlick’s Patriots Mailbag: Who are the top candidates to replace Bill Belichick?
  • Sara Marshall (MusketFire) Patriots 2023 season proves opposing things can be true in a single season.
  • Jason Ounpraseuth relays former Patriots executive Scott Pioli giving his assessment of New England and noted the key absences of two important figures: Ernie Adams and Dante Scarnecchia.
  • Zack Cox says the Patriots’ controversial decision to replace Jakobi Meyers with JuJu Smith-Schuster is looking worse every week.
  • Karen Guregian relays Tom Brady weighing in on how Bill Belichick deals with losing.
  • Pats Procrastination podcast: Clare and Chudders dig into the Saints loss, the state of the Patriots and more. Not all doom-and-gloom. (45 min.)


  • Tyler Sullivan (CBS Sports) Has Bill Belichick the GM cost Bill Belichick the coach his job? Patriots owner faced with fascinating dilemma.
  • Mike McDaniel (SI) Patriots’ Bill O’Brien downplays idea of benching struggling QB Mac Jones.
  • Charean Williams (ProFootballTalk) Tyquan Thornton returns to practice, opening his 21-day window.
  • Adam Schein ( NFL Panic Scale: Patriots hitting rock bottom; can injury-riddled Bills, mistake-prone Ravens get right?
  • Charles McDonald (Yahoo! Sports) Broncos, Vikings and Giants should be sellers this month. Which big-name players could be moved? /Not the Pats?
  • Jimmy Traina (SI) Angry Patriots fans turning on Bill Belichick makes for funny talk radio. /Everyone’s enjoying this.
  • Wyatt Grindley (NFLTR) NFL stat leaders: Week 5.
  • Multiple Contributors (ESPN) Top 2023 NFL rookies: Ranking 10 best 1st-years, young QBs. Christian Gonzalez incl.
  • Michael David Smith (ProFootballTalk) No home-field advantage: Road teams are 41-37 through five weeks
  • Multiple Contributors (ESPN) Inside the NFL turf debate: Injuries, safety measures, problems.
  • NFL Nation (ESPN) NFL field surface intel: Grass vs. turf, owners, problems.