Troy Brown checked in on Uno Sports Tonight to take stock of the Patriots now that they're at the midway point of the season.
First, the offense.
The numbers are great -- the Pats are averaging a league-best 441 yards per game and 32.8 points per game. But is the offense as good as the numbers say?
"Yeah they can move the ball, yes they can be productive," Brown said. "We haven't seen them against the very best competition in the NFL, but do they perform very well when the game is on the line? So far those stats say they are not the best in the NFL."
So there's some work to do there. OK. What about the defense. We know the numbers there aren't as great. They're allowing 370 yards per game (23rd in the league) and 21.3 points per game (t-12th).
Troy had some words of advice for the secondary in order to try to bump those up a little bit.
"They play a lot of different coverages, but the thing I dont like about the way the Patriots do it is they're just too passive," he said. "They let guys off the line free, they're not physical, they're not aggressive."
Tell us how you really feel, Troy! (Actually . . . he does. Just watch the video at the top of the screen to hear the rest.)
Tom Brady and David Ortiz have shared the spotlight in this region for more than a decade now as the faces of their respective franchises. They have a unique perspective on what it takes to the longevity that eludes most other athletes, and they know what it's like to be among the most recognizable faces in this part of the country.
There seems to be a certain level of mutual respect between the two local stars, something that Ortiz made quite clear in an interview with SI.com. Asked about Brady and Deflategate, the Red Sox slugger pulled no punches.
"I think it’s stupid, to be honest with you," Ortiz said. "Put it this way: You’re talking about the one player that everybody wants to watch play. We’re not just talking about any player. We’re talking about Tom Brady. If I turn on the TV on Sunday to watch a Patriots game and I know that Tom Brady is not playing, I would turn off the TV. I don’t want to watch that game."
Brady's four-game suspension was upheld by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals earlier this offseason, but the quarterback and the NFLPA recently filed a petition to request a rehearing. The Patriots organization submitted an amicus brief to the court last week that criticized the NFL's process and supported Brady's request to have his case heard once again.
As good as things have gone for the Red Sox so far in 2016, their 2017 prospects took a bit of a blow over the weekend.
Sam Travis -- one of the organization's top prospects, and someone who opened a lot of eyes with an impressive spring-training showing this year -- suffered a torn ACL on Sunday while playing for the Pawtucket Red Sox and will be lost for the rest of the season. He was hurt while playing first base, collapsing as he chased down an opposition baserunner during a rundown play. He had to be helped off the field, and the extent of the injury was announced on Monday.
With David Ortiz retiring at the end of this season and Hanley Ramirez expected to replace him as the full-time designated hitter, the door was open for Travis to become the Red Sox' first baseman next year. Playing at Triple-A for the first time, the 22-year-old Travis -- honored by the Red Sox as their Minor League Offensive Player of the the Year in 2015 -- was hitting .272/.332/.434 with 10 doubles, 6 home runs and 29 RBI in 47 games.
Now, however, it's almost a complete certainty Travis won't be able to start next season in Boston. And depending on what the Red Sox do in the offseason to replace Ortiz, such as a signing a free agent to a multiyear contract, Travis' path upward in the Sox organization may become less wide open . . . if not blocked.
The one thing we know from last summer’s NHL Draft: Anything can happen. See how the first round looks in Joe Haggerty's latest mock draft.
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