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New England Patriots links 10/17/23 - Finding what to build on ... or who to trade off

Daily news and links for Tuesday.

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New England Patriots v New York Jets
Kyle Dugger makes a tackle in New Jersey
Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

Today’s links diverge into two directions: Finding something for the offense to build on, or identifying players to trade for draft capital before the October 31 deadline.

The way this team’s luck is going, if the New England Patriots do decide to trade good players away for future picks, the league will step in, launch an investigation and dock the Patriots a first-rounder for intentionally tanking. Roger Goodell: “Yada yada integrity of the game!” Oh! The humanity!

I’m not a fan of Option No. 2, trading away Kendrick Bourne, Kyle Dugger or any other of the team’s solid-performing players. If the Pats take that route I’ll understand why, but season-ticket holders would have every right to be ticked off, and the Krafts will hear about it.

Tanking affects coaching staff as well as players — moving families, and their ability to find new jobs. It isn’t as simple an option as some folks spouting off on social media think. I’ve said it here before, but I just can’t picture them heading down that road. For better or worse, they’ll keep trying to find a way to keep this roster on life support, and maybe some day, to walk again.



  • Mark Daniels says there’s no quick fix coming for the offense. The only solution is to start over next offseason.
  • Marc Bertrand discusses how the Patriots have no building blocks on the offense.
  • Andy Hart says Bill Belichick’s biggest Patriots problem is that he has no answers.
  • Mike Reiss reports that at 1-5, the Patriots’ morale is being tested, but players are focused on improving.
  • Mark Daniels calls Ezekiel Elliott one of the few bright spots for the Patriots this year.
  • Andrew Callahan wonders if Kendrick Bourne will be shipped out.
  • Doug Kyed spotlights Jabrill Peppers making one of the best plays of the season when he annihilated Davante Adams as he was trying to corral a pass. Here’s how Peppers avoided a flag.
  • Andy Hart gives us the snap counts from Sunday: The Patriots wide receiver depth chart is evolving.
  • Karen Guregian issues his Week 6 Report Card: Better in some areas, worse in others.
  • Ian Logue (PatsFans) Five Monday Patriots thoughts after Sunday’s loss against the Raiders. 1) One day later, it’s hard not to feel like Mac Jones showed some improvement on Sunday despite the club’s 21-17 loss.
  • Bob George explains how the Pats played just bad enough to lose in Vegas: The inept Patriots of the last two weeks morphed back into the Week 1-2 Patriots, who can take an opponent to the brink before finally capitulating.
  • Tom E. Curran wants Robert Kraft to stay true to his word from last spring (about how he wasn’t going to tolerate losing), to make a decision on Bill Belichick and to sell at the trade deadline.
  • Ian Logue (PatsFans) Who might replace Mac Jones? A couple of surprising names have emerged.
  • Doug Kyed relays Mac Jones detailing what he saw on the costly last-minute safety.
  • WEEI guest Boomer Esiason took issue Mac Jones’ body language during Sunday’s loss to the Raiders.


  • Charles Robinson (Yahoo! Sports) Mistakes, historic Patriots futility and a smashed tablet: Bill Belichick is coaching his anti-masterpiece.
  • Jarrett Bell (USA Today) As Bill Belichick’s magic fades, the Patriot Way is a far cry from what it used to be.
  • Charean Williams (ProFootballTalk) Mac Jones unconcerned with talk of the Patriots having him on a “short leash.”
  • Michael David Smith (ProFootballTalk) Bill Belichick closing in on all-time NFL record for losses by a head coach.
  • Albert Breer (SI) NFL Week 6 Takeaways: Jets’ and Browns’ defenses take down last undefeated teams. Plus, inside the Jaguars’ two-week London trip, Joe Burrow is alive and well, why the 49ers could hold players out next week and much more.
  • Nate Davis (USA Today) 32 things we learned in Week 6. 13. New England scored their first touchdown in 12 quarters – the equivalent of three games, obviously – so minor sign of life offensively. 13a. But make no mistake, the Pats are dead in the water – now 1-5 for the first time under Bill Belichick, their head coach since 2000.
  • Matt Verderame (SI) NFL Week 6 Recap: Jets, Browns pull off big upsets, Dolphins rally, bengals are back; Bills hang on to beat Giants; Jaguars take over first place in the AFC South; surprising Texans take down Saints.
  • Ben Solak (The Ringer) The Hot Read, Week 6: The undefeateds have fallen - what does it mean for the NFL as a whole? Plus: taking stock of the 5-1 Lions, Lamar Jackson’s impressive day, how Lou Anarumo is carrying the Bengals, awards, and more.
  • Jeffri Chadiha ( The First Read: Five teams that are better than their records; MVP rankings; Week 7’s must-see matchup.
  • Lorenzo Reyes (USA Today) NFL Week 6 winners, losers. Lions look legit, Giants trip themselves up.
  • Jimmy Traina (SI) The Refs were so bad Sunday that even the rules analyst couldn’t defend them; Also: SNL’s NFL spoof; NFL hypocrisy on full display, and more.
  • Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) Officials failed to call Bills for pass interference on untimed down.
  • Steven Ruiz (The Ringer) Where will the NFL’s .500 teams wind up at the end of the season?