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New England Patriots links 10/04/23 - The replacements: Who steps up, how Pats adjust

Daily news and links for Thursday.

New England Patriots v Dallas Cowboys
Mac Jones hands off to Ezekiel Elliott
Photo by Sam Hodde/Getty Images

The Replacements movie quotes:

“- Shane Falco: Why me?-

Jimmy McGinty: I look at you and I see two men: the man you are, and the man you ought to be. Someday those two will meet. Should make for a hell of a football player.”


“- Jimmy McGinty: You know what separates the winners from the losers?

- Shane Falco: The score.

- Jimmy McGinty: No, getting back on the horse after getting kicked in the teeth.”


Shane Falco: “You’re playing and you think everything is going fine. Then one thing goes wrong. And then another. And another. You try to fight back, but the harder you fight, the deeper you sink. Until you can’t move... you can’t breathe... because you’re in over your head. Like quicksand.”


Reporter: “What will [the team] need to get back into this ball game?”

-Jimmy McGinty: Heart. [asked to clarify] Gotta have heart. [taps chest] Miles and miles of heart.”



  • Karen Guregian says Mac Jones needs to come up big vs Saints to make anyone forget what happened in Dallas.
  • Dakota Randall writes in defense of Mac Jones amid another rough week.
  • Darren Hartwell highlights Rob Gronkowski on what it would take for Mac Jones to lose his job. “...when you make mistakes that are brought up throughout the week, Coach Belichick gets really frustrated with you.”
  • Doug Kyed looks at how the Patriots plan to replace Matthew Judon with in-house options.
  • Sean T. McGuire notes Keion White won’t be bringing the same kind of energy as Matthew Judon, and he knows it.
  • Doug Kyed tells us what the Patriots can expect from J.C. Jackson. ‘The hope is Jackson will fully recover his ability to change direction and match routes as he continues the rehab on his knee. And that he’ll be more focused with the Patriots like he was from 2018-21.’
  • Keagan Stiefel mentions how if J.C. Jackson suits up for the Pats, he will be the 29th player to have at least two separate stints with New England as an active game-day player since 2000. Full list here.
  • Chris Mason notes the Patriots listed a dozen players on their first injury report of the week, including Rhamondre Stevenson (thigh).
  • Chris Mason reports Trey Flowers (PUP), Cody Davis (PUP) and Riley Reiff (IR) were all back from reserve lists, but have not yet been added to the active roster. The Patriots now have 21 days to activate the returnees. Neither Jack Jones (hamstring) nor Tyquan Thornton (shoulder) were ready to go for the first practice of the week.
  • Matt Dolloff reports Christian Gonzalez is likely to have his promising rookie season cut short.
  • Lauren Campbell relays Devin McCourty explaining why believes that if Belichick can shift his mindset a little bit from defense to offense, it might help get the team back on track.
  • Ian Logue (PatsFans) Patriots Notebook: A homecoming for J.C. Jackson, all eyes on Mac; more.
  • Patriots Fourth and Two podcast: The media obsession to bring down Bill Belichick and Mac Jones. (21 min.)


  • Cody Benjamin (CBS Sports) Trade grades: Chargers ship disgruntled J.C. Jackson back to Patriots as New England battles ravaged secondary. Patriots: B+, Chargers: D. Is Jackson worth his big-money deal right now? Absolutely not. Is he a safe bet to revert closer to his peak form back in the confines of Bill Belichick’s New England defense? Absolutely yes. With Christian Gonzalez sidelined for the rest of the year, this is the definition of a low-risk, high-reward quick fix. Jackson gives the Pats an experienced cover man who knows and thrived in the system, and they’re hardly losing draft capital to welcome him back.
  • Josh Alper (ProFootballTalk) Report: Chargers will pay majority of J.C. Jackson’s 2023 salary.
  • Charles Robinson (Yahoo! Sports) Would the Patriots really push Bill Belichick out? There’s no playbook for breaking up with a legend.
  • Nora Princiotti (The Ringer) The Patriots have hit rock bottom, and there’s no easy way back up.
  • Josh Alper (ProFootballTalk) Matthew Judon had bicep surgery; Rhamondre Stevenson limited in practice.
  • Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) Mac Jones rattles off buzz words and catch phrases to explain his plan for improving
  • Grant Gordon ( Bill Belichick on Saints DE Cam Jordan: ‘One of the players I have the most respect for in the league’.
  • Matt Harmon (Yahoo! Sports) One stat to know for all 32 NFL teams in Week 5. Patriots: Patriots rank 31st in rate of drives to end in a score and 29th in rushing EPA.
  • David Carr ( Offensive player rankings, Week 5: Ten players I want to see more involved moving forward.
  • Steven Ruiz (The Ringer) Updated QB rankings. Mac Jones 20th.
  • Matt Verderame (SI) NFL Quarterback rankings Week 5. Mac Jones 26th (-4)
  • Maurice Jones-Drew ( RB Index, Week 5: Top 15 running backs at the quarter mark.
  • John Breech (CBS Sports) NFL Week 5 picks. Patriots win 23-20.
  • Pete Prisco (CBS Sports) Week 5 NFL picks. Pats win 21-17.