New England Patriots: Jimmy Garoppolo now in driver’s seat of career

It was hard not to look at Saturday’s trade between the Indianapolis Colts and New England Patriots and be somewhat intrigued by it. The Colts sent Dorsett to the Patriots in exchange for quarterback Jacoby Brissett.

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In hindsight, it was a good trade for both teams. The Colts need another quarterback on the roster as depth at the position is thin. Starter Andrew Luck is recovering from shoulder surgery that took place in January. As a result, Scott Tolzein will be the Week 1 starter.

In addition, there is no guarantee as to how Luck will perform once he returns. There may be some hiccups along the way as he tries to readjust to the pace of a game in the NFL.

Aside from all of that, what this trade told me most is that a decision on what to do with Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is coming soon. He (at least on the depth chart) is next in line at the quarterback position after Tom Brady. By trading away Brissett, to me that meant the Patriots believe that Jimmy is the clear-cut No. 2 quarterback and maybe more, depending on how long Brady wants to stay in New England.

Skill-wise, it was easy to choose the No. 2 starter, however the Brissett trade eliminated all practical chances competition for the second starter. As a result, I believe Garoppolo’s future as a quarterback is coming into focus. As a Patriot, he has only gotten chances in garbage time or during Brady’s suspension at the beginning of the season last year.

Say what you want about him being a system quarterback or that he is the product of the Patriots’ system, but the fact of the matter is he played well during Brady’s suspension. Throwing for 502 yards and four touchdowns, he put the rest of the league on notice.

Garoppolo has made it no secret that he wants to play, and I do not blame him. Brady is on a tear right now and shows no signs of slowing down. New England needs to make a decision on what to do with him and soon. Brissett is gone, and now the Patriots need to decide what to do with their other young quarterback.  If anything is certain about this situation, it is that it will not be an easy one.

Chiefs vs. Patriots: Preview, score prediction and more

The prognostication is done with on a macro level. It’s time for football to be played in the NFL and mean something. On Thursday night, as has become tradition, the Kansas City Chiefs will travel to Foxborough, MA to take on the defending Super Bowl champions, the New England Patriots.

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Many people would say that this could be a potential AFC Championship preview. I’m not so much convinced that’s the case, on the part of the Chiefs at least. For the Patriots, however, they enter the 2017 NFL season as the heavy favorites to repeat as champs. Of course, having a stacked roster on paper only means so much. You have to put it all into practice.

That’s what the Chiefs and Pats will both attempt to do on Thursday night at Gillette Stadium. Let’s take a look at a quick rundown of the game with keys to victory before then making a prediction for the outcome of this season-opening contest.

Keys to Victory

Though many expect the Patriots offense to be their biggest weapon this season, I think getting out to a hot start for this group is going to be pivotal. For starters, they’ll be up against a Chiefs defense that is quite formidable. What’s more, though, this is a Patriots team that I believe will have to get their feet under them.

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Losing Julian Edelman doesn’t seem that big of a deal on paper. After adding Brandin Cooks and then Phillip Dorsett, that’s a huge help to eventually lessen the effects of losing Edelman. But in the immediate aftermath — which this still is — the offense might struggle. Edelman is such a safety valve for Tom Brady that they may have hiccups right away. Avoiding those as much as possible will be key in this game.

For the Chiefs, the offense is also key. The Patriots defense wasn’t their best unit by any stretch a year ago. But they obviously improved this offseason by adding Stephon Gilmore. Even then, there are still some holes. That’s where ripping off big plays is going to be critical.

In losing running back Spencer Ware to injury after cutting Jeremy Maclin earlier in the offseason, this Chiefs offense is likely to look much different than last year. Specifically, we’re going to see even more of Travis Kelce and way more of Tyreek Hill. As such they are going to need to gash the Patriots when they have the ball to develop some sort of consistency.

Odds

Point Spread: New England -8.5
Moneyline: New England -450, Kansas City +350
Over/Under: 48.5

Odds from Bet365 via Sportsbook Review

Prediction

As much as I’m hesitant to believe in the Patriots offense being at full force against a good Kansas City defense, I don’t think it matters. Put simply, I’m more worried about the Chiefs offense than I am anything about the Patriots. That should result in what is ultimately a comfortable victory for New England to start a quest for what many believe could be 16-0.

Final Score: Kansas City Chiefs: 17, New England Patriots: 30

Chiefs vs. Patriots live stream: Watch Week 1 online

NFL Week 1 of the 2017 season is finally here. As is the annual tradition, things will get kicked off with a Thursday Night Football showdown as the defending champion hosts the opening game. Last season was a rematch as the Carolina Panthers were defeated for a second-time in a row by the Denver Broncos — who had knocked them off in Super Bowl 50.

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This time it will be the New England Patriots, fresh off the biggest fourth-quarter comeback in Super Bowl history, hosting the Kansas City Chiefs. These two teams came close to battling for the AFC title, but the No. 2 seeded Chiefs saw their 12-4 season come to an end at the hands of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

They now try to get their seasons off to another great start, but there is some drama surrounding them. After losing in the post season they decided it was time to improve at quarterback and they made a big move for Patrick Mahomes out of Texas Tech. He still is on the bench as they continue to roll with Alex Smith. It will be interesting to see how the veteran looks with a young gun lurking over his shoulder.

New England enters on the heels of a 25-point come back, which ended up being the first ever game to go to overtime in Super Bowl history. They look to defend their fifth championship, but have to do so without their top wide receiver as Julian Edelman tore his ACL in the preseason.

Details for Thursday’s game are below

Date: Thursday, Sept. 7
Start Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
Location:  Foxborough, MA
Stadium: Gillette Stadium
TV Info: NBC
Live Stream: NFL Sunday Ticket, FuboTV, NFL Game Pass for replays

Tune in and watch two teams that should be playing well into January. The Pats and the Chiefs will kick off Week 1 with high aspirations for their 2017 season.

Chiefs vs. Patriots: Preview, score prediction and more

The prognostication is done with on a macro level. It’s time for football to be played in the NFL and mean something. On Thursday night, as has become tradition, the Kansas City Chiefs will travel to Foxborough, MA to take on the defending Super Bowl champions, the New England Patriots.

Many people would say that this could be a potential AFC Championship preview. I’m not so much convinced that’s the case, on the part of the Chiefs at least. For the Patriots, however, they enter the 2017 NFL season as the heavy favorites to repeat as champs. Of course, having a stacked roster on paper only means so much. You have to put it all into practice.

That’s what the Chiefs and Pats will both attempt to do on Thursday night at Gillette Stadium. Let’s take a look at a quick rundown of the game with keys to victory before then making a prediction for the outcome of this season-opening contest.

Keys to Victory

Though many expect the Patriots offense to be their biggest weapon this season, I think getting out to a hot start for this group is going to be pivotal. For starters, they’ll be up against a Chiefs defense that is quite formidable. What’s more, though, this is a Patriots team that I believe will have to get their feet under them.

 

Losing Julian Edelman doesn’t seem that big of a deal on paper. After adding Brandin Cooks and then Phillip Dorsett, that’s a huge help to eventually lessen the effects of losing Edelman. But in the immediate aftermath — which this still is — the offense might struggle. Edelman is such a safety valve for Tom Brady that they may have hiccups right away. Avoiding those as much as possible will be key in this game.

For the Chiefs, the offense is also key. The Patriots defense wasn’t their best unit by any stretch a year ago. But they obviously improved this offseason by adding Stephon Gilmore. Even then, there are still some holes. That’s where ripping off big plays is going to be critical.

In losing running back Spencer Ware to injury after cutting Jeremy Maclin earlier in the offseason, this Chiefs offense is likely to look much different than last year. Specifically, we’re going to see even more of Travis Kelce and way more of Tyreek Hill. As such they are going to need to gash the Patriots when they have the ball to develop some sort of consistency.

Odds

Point Spread: New England -8.5
Moneyline: New England -450, Kansas City +350
Over/Under: 48.5

Odds from Bet365 via Sportsbook Review

Prediction

As much as I’m hesitant to believe in the Patriots offense being at full force against a good Kansas City defense, I don’t think it matters. Put simply, I’m more worried about the Chiefs offense than I am anything about the Patriots. That should result in what is ultimately a comfortable victory for New England to start a quest for what many believe could be 16-0.

Final Score: Kansas City Chiefs: 17, New England Patriots: 30

Chiefs vs. Patriots live stream: Watch Week 1 online

NFL Week 1 of the 2017 season is finally here. As is the annual tradition, things will get kicked off with a Thursday Night Football showdown as the defending champion hosts the opening game. Last season was a rematch as the Carolina Panthers were defeated for a second-time in a row by the Denver Broncos — who had knocked them off in Super Bowl 50.

This time it will be the New England Patriots, fresh off the biggest fourth-quarter comeback in Super Bowl history, hosting the Kansas City Chiefs. These two teams came close to battling for the AFC title, but the No. 2 seeded Chiefs saw their 12-4 season come to an end at the hands of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

 

They now try to get their seasons off to another great start, but there is some drama surrounding them. After losing in the post season they decided it was time to improve at quarterback and they made a big move for Patrick Mahomes out of Texas Tech. He still is on the bench as they continue to roll with Alex Smith. It will be interesting to see how the veteran looks with a young gun lurking over his shoulder.

New England enters on the heels of a 25-point come back, which ended up being the first ever game to go to overtime in Super Bowl history. They look to defend their fifth championship, but have to do so without their top wide receiver as Julian Edelman tore his ACL in the preseason.

Details for Thursday’s game are below

Date: Thursday, Sept. 7
Start Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
Location:  Foxborough, MA
Stadium: Gillette Stadium
TV Info: NBC
Live Stream: NFL Sunday Ticket, FuboTV, NFL Game Pass for replays

Tune in and watch two teams that should be playing well into January. The Pats and the Chiefs will kick off Week 1 with high aspirations for their 2017 season.

Patriots vs. Chiefs: Start Time, TV Channel, Live Stream Info For Opener

After winning the last game of the 2016 season, the New England Patriots will host the first contest of the 2017 NFL season. Kicking off Week 1 and the defense of their fifth Super Bowl championship, Tom Brady and Co. are scheduled to face the Kansas City Chiefs Thursday night.

Chiefs vs Patriots Live
Chiefs vs Patriots Live

The NFL’s season opener starts at 8:30 p.m. EDT at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. NBC will have the TV coverage, and fans can watch a free live stream of the game with NBC Sports Live Extra.

Even though the game is on Thursday, it’s technically part of NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” schedule. “Thursday Night Football” for the 2017 season officially begins next week when the Cincinnati Bengals play the Houston Texans.

New England will be back on the field playing meaningful football for the first time since Super Bowl LI in February. The Patriots completed the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history by defeating the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 in overtime, overcoming what had previously been a 28-3 deficit.

With Brady and Bill Belichick back for yet another season, New England is a heavy favorite to repeat. The team has made it to the AFC Championship Game in six straight years, winning 13 of the last 14 AFC East titles. The Patriots haven’t had a losing record since 2000.

Kansas City was almost the biggest threat to New England a year ago. Going 12-4 and finishing atop the AFC West, the Chiefs had a first-round bye in last season’s playoffs. However, the team came up short in the postseason, losing at home to the Pittsburgh Steelers in their first playoff game.

While the Patriots are the class of a weak division, the Chiefs are back to defend their crown in what might be the NFL’s best division. The AFC West had three winning teams in 2016, and the fourth-place Los Angeles Chargers are expected to be much improved.

The Chiefs are usually among the best teams in the league, putting together four straight winning seasons since Andy Reid took over as head coach in 2013.

“They have playmakers,” Brady said of Kansas City’s Defense at Monday’s press conference. “Derrick Johnson is one of the best linebackers in the league. He does so many things for that defense. You can tell it really hurts them when he’s not out there. And Eric Berry is a big-time playmaker. Marcus Peters – more interceptions than anybody since he came in the league. [Justin] Houston and [Dee] Ford, I mean, they strip sack the quarterback. So, they’re very explosive and really force the ball out of your hands quick because they get a good rush and then their playmakers in the secondary have eyes on the quarterback and they’re trying to make plays, too.”

Depending on how the season goes, the Patriots might not find themselves as the underdog in any game this year. They are heavy favorites Thursday night, giving the Chiefs nine points with the over/under set at 48.5, via OddsShark. The betting line has steadily climbed all week, despite the preseason injury to Julian Edelman that ended the wide receiver’s year.

New England might end up being the biggest favorite in Week 1 when the season’s first Sunday slate of games finally arrives.

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