The scene at Gillette Stadium on Sunday afternoon was a familiar one. And a good one.And it was exactly what the New England Patriots needed.The final score from Foxborough: Patriots 38 http://www.authenticsnewenglandpatriots.com/cheap-eric-rowe-jersey , Dolphins 7.When I tackled my Week 4 picks before the weekend, I wrote about how the Patriots were in a must-win situation. Following a disappointing 1-2 start to the 2018 season, which included hideous back-to-back defeats at Jacksonville and Detroit, the Pats found themselves trailing the Miami Dolphins by two games in the AFC East.Coincidentally, those two teams were set to clash for their annual meeting in Foxborough. A win for the Dolphins would’ve moved them to a mind-blowing 4-0 start and given them a very firm grip on first place in the division. And it would’ve moved the Patriots to 1-3; the kind of start that hasn’t been common in New England for nearly two decades.Plain and simple, the Patriots couldn’t afford to lose to the Dolphins at home this weekend — something that hasn’t happened since 2008. And the Patriots didn’t disappoint. In fact, they looked exactly like the big, bad Pats that we’re used to seeing. From beginning to end, there wasn’t really a doubt. It was all Patriots, all game long. It was never even really close.Of course, given how the Pats had played in the last two games, I worried about them losing for a third straight week. But in reality, I never really needed to worry about this game. Losing to the Dolphins at home just isn’t something the Patriots do anymore (as mentioned earlier, the last time it happened, Matt Cassel was playing QB). And the Dolphins really aren’t that good of a team, despite the fact that they were 3-0 coming into the game. They overachieved against subpar competition in their first three games. It was only a matter of time before they were exposed.For the Patriots, on the other hand, their 1-2 record coming into the game summed up this team pretty well. They were hurting pretty bad. This banged up defense was essentially a no-show in Detroit. Tom Brady had very few offensive weapons to work with, other than Rob Gronkowski (who isn’t being targeted near as much as he should be). There were holes all over this team.But every single issue that had been an issue in the previous two games was a non-issue on Sunday. Brady was absolutely fantastic: he threw for 274 yards and three touchdowns (we’ll forget about the two picks for right now). Rookie Sony Michel picked up his first career touchdown with 112 rushing yards. James White, Philip Dorsett, and Cordarelle Patterson all made some strides, each catching a touchdown pass.And the newbie Josh Gordon got his foot in the door a little bit with Brady and the offense. Hopefully we’ll see more from him in the coming weeks.And the best news of all: we’re four games into the season, which means Julian Edelman’s suspension is finally lifted. He’ll be on the field at Gillette this coming Thursday night to face the Colts. His return to action has been very long overdue, and his presence should help push this offense to the next level.Even though the Pats played a near-perfect game on Sunday against Miami, it doesn’t mean all of their problems are fixed. They will face some difficult tests in the next few weeks, as the offense-heavy Kansas City Chiefs come to town soon, and then the Pats travel to the Windy City to face the defense-heavy Chicago Bears. Those won’t be easy games to win, and both of those teams will exploit any imperfections the Patriots have.But that’s not to take away from what happened this Sunday. The Patriots proved that they aren’t dead. They can reclaim first place in the AFC East as soon as next week, with a win and a Miami loss. They proved that, until someone takes them down in the playoffs, they are still the team to beat in the AFC.One more thing: I remember texting my buddy for the game, telling him that I really thought the Pats were going to play a good game. He responded by saying, “I think they will win, only because they always do when they are backed into a corner.” He was right. There might be some tough defeats remaining on the schedule for the Pats, but there was no way they were going to lose this home game to the Dolphins.Patriots Fantasy Football Match-ups: Week 3 vs Detroit Lions As an avid fantasy football participant, I plan to start a weekly analysis of the New England Patriots and their current matchup in terms of fantasy football. This is my analysis and estimations of stats heading into week 3. Good luck with all of your match-ups!Quarterbacks I think it is obvious that the Patriots, myself, and just about any other Pats fan who made a prediction about last week vs the Jaguars, had an off day. It happens and for the Patriots Youth Dont'a Hightower Jersey , can almost be expected. It seems like each year, we have 1-2 embarrassing games that jump-starts Patriots nation into panic mode. Fortunately for us, they always bounce back and play like the New England Patriots we know and love. Let’s hope we bounce back in a big way vs the Lions on a national stage on Sunday Night Football. Both Tom Brady and Matthew Stafford have very limited amount of playing time against the opposing team. Brady has only played the Lions twice over the past 10 years, Stafford just once. Looking more closely to 2018, the Lions defense have faced both Sam Darnold and Jimmy Garoppolo, which both posted a QB rating of 116.8 and 118.4, respectively. While I rather not discuss what happened to the Patriots defense last week, it has to be said they did not play up to expectations. It also seems that Patrick Chung and Trey Flowers are not going play this week due to concussions, which could definitely be favorable to Stafford. I believe we will see a back and forth shootout with the Patriots edging out the Lions to get the win. Both QBs can be started on your fantasy football team. Final Prediction: Tom Brady: 322 yards, 3 touchdownsMatthew Stafford: 298 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception Tight Ends Hind sight is always 20-20, so to look back and say “Yep, not surprised Gronkowski had a bad game” is a given. Looking ahead, I feel like this one stat says everything you need to know about the Lions defense. “Lions 17, Jets 48” Yes, I know, this was week 1 and every team adjusts, but these are the New York Jets!!! If Gronk doesn’t come out and post a decent stat line, I will be very, very surprised. Start Gronk like always, but do not touch any Lions tight ends. On an additional note, I believe once Josh Gordon starts to get more playing time, Gronk will be the biggest benefactor since Gordon will probably draw more safety help, leaving slower linebackers on Gronk. It should be a fun situation to watch pan out. Final Prediction:Rob Gronkowski: 5 receptions, 56 yards, 1 touchdown Running Backs Here we go, let the headaches begin! As a fantasy football owner, this is the situation we all dread. Who to play at running back for the Patriots? Last week, James White lead the RBs in receiving targets at 8 (also was team high for the second week in a row), Sony Michel lead the RBs in rushes at 10 attempts, and Burkhead was smack dab in the middle with 6 rush attempts and no passing targets. ARRGGGHH! My best advice going into this week is really looking at your team and assessing your needs. I would honestly avoid all Patriots running back if YOU ARE NOT in a PPR league. If you are, I believe James White and Sony Michel are playable flex options. Burkhead has the possibility to see more carries this week, especially since we shouldn’t be playing from behind like week, but I still consider him a risk. As for the Lions, they are in a very similar situation between the rookie Kerryon Johnson, Theo Riddick, and LeGarrette Blount, in which I feel exactly the same. If you are in a PPR league Youth Joe Thuney Jersey , I feel comfortable starting Johnson or Riddick at the flex but stay away from Blount. He is a touchdown dependent player. Final Predictions: James White: 27 rushing yards, 5 receptions, 41 receiving yards Sony Michel: 45 rushing yards, 5 receptions, 49 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown Rex Burkhead: 52 rushing yards Kerryon Johnson: 51 rushing yards, 3 receptions, 25 receiving yardsTheo Riddick: 10 rushing yards, 5 receptions, 50 receiving yards Wide Receivers Here we go. (Part 2) This part is a little more interesting with the recent acquisition of Josh Gordon. Classic “High risk, high reward” type situation here, where if he does play this week, his snaps are probably going be limited. However, when he does get into the game, hopefully the play calling will be in his favor, which are stretching the field, big play threat. With the Patriots definitely hurting at the WR position, I think they will push Gordon to play as much as possible. Hogan is a touchdown dependent player moving forward, and Dorsett is a volume player until Julian Edelman comes back. I would consider all these guys as flex players but wouldn’t rely on them to be consistent. As far the Lions WRs go, Golden Tate and Marvin Jones are start-able WR2’s and Kenny Golladay has emerged as a WR2/flex player. He has posted an impressive 13 receptions, 203 yards, and 1 TD in the first 2 games of the regular season. Might want to check if this guy is still on waivers! Final Prediction:Chris Hogan: 3 receptions, 55 yards, 1 receiving touchdownPhillip Dorsett: 5 receptions, 68 yardsJosh Gordon: 1 reception, 37 yards Golden Tate: 5 receptions, 73 yards Marvin Jones: 6 receptions, 81 yardsKenny Golladay: 4 receptions, 53 yards, 1 receiving touchdown Defense Yikes, last week was鈥?yikes. I’ll give my props to Blake Bortles, who once again shined against the Patriots defense, even without Leonard Fournette. However, the Patriots are great at making adjustment and I believe they will have a bounce back week. You can go ahead and start the Patriots defense, but do not expect a huge game. Stafford can be INT heavy at times, so hopefully we can catch him at his worse. If you are waiver wire hunting for a defense, Seattle could be a good call, they are playing Dallas at home. Good luck!
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