Coming off a hard-fought victory over the Kansas City Chiefs http://www.newenglandpatriotsteamonline.com/ryan-allen-jersey
, the New England Patriots need a quick turnaround as another big challenge awaits: the NFC North-leading Chicago Bears, who not only bring a 3-2 record to the table but also own top-10 units on both sides of the football. Safe to say, that this will be an interesting road contest for the Patriots.Let’s analyze it by taking a look at some of the advanced stats heading into the game (courtesy of SB Nation’s Bill Connelly; for his methodology please click here).Patriots offense vs Bears defenseNormal down and distance in the open fieldThe Patriots offense continues to improve its open field statistics and despite a bad start to the year, now ranks among the top-10 in three of the categories. On Sunday, though, a big challenge awaits in a Bears defense that has found plenty of success between its own 10 and the opposing 30: New England and Chicago are matched up evenly from a statistic perspective. That being said, the Patriots’ numbers over the last three games look much improved when compared to their first three – so one could give the edge to Tom Brady and company.Backed Up Situations Near the Goal LineNew England’s success rate while being backed up inside its own 10-yard line continues to be rather average with an interception in week one still hurting the turnover rate. The Bears, on the other hand, have also not been world beaters when having their opponent pinned deep in its own territory.Red ZoneThe Patriots continue to be one of the NFL’s better red zone teams, even though their success inside the 10-yard line has taken a slight hit when compared to last week’s advanced stats. This week, New England’s offense will face a defense that ranks well in exactly that part of the field – so now would be the right time to show some improvements from the Patriots’ perspective. Maybe Rob Gronkowski Authentic Jonathan Jones Jersey
, who has only received one target inside the opponent’s 20-yard line, will help.Third DownsWhile their third-and-medium success rate is below average, the Patriots have one of the best overall third down offenses in football. Being able to extend drives has been a key for the team as of late – just watch the last two drives against Kansas City – and it will now try to do the same versus a defense that has been quite productive in this area as well. Talk about a classic battle of strength versus strength.Blitz SituationsNew England’s offense and Chicago’s defense are both faring relatively well in blitz situations – obvious passing downs specified as first-and-18 or more, second-and-14 or more, and third-and-3 or more – with the noticeable outlier being big plays: the Patriots have failed to produce them when playing behind the sticks, while the Bears have failed to stop them in the same kind of situations.Patriots defense vs Bears offenseNormal down and distance in the open fieldNew England’s defensive inconsistency is reflected in the open field statistics. Luckily, it still matches up well against second-year quarterback Mitchell Trubisky and the Bears. The only stat clearly working in the home team’s favor is third down success rate: New England has struggled getting off the field on third downs between their own 30 and the opponent’s 10, while the Bears have had no issues converting in such situations.Backed Up Situations Near the Goal LineNew England’s defense and Chicago’s offense match up rather evenly when it comes to backed-up situations: both teams have had some success in this area of the field – inside the offense’s own 10-yard line – which could make for an interesting battle if situations like these come along.Red ZoneThe Patriots like to use a bend-don’t-break approach when it comes to defense, which is built on strong red zone performances. This year, however, the team has had its fair share of struggles in this part of the field – although it has shown some improvement last week against the Chiefs. Now Womens Rex Burkhead Jersey
, the unit will face another one of the NFL’s better red zone offenses and being up to the task once again will be one of the keys to the game.Third DownsWhile the red area statistics clearly favor Chicago, the two teams are matched up rather evenly when it comes to third down situations: both units have their ups and downs depending on the situation. One would clearly favor the Bears, though: third-and-short. New England has been atrocious in stopping opponents with less than one yard to go.Blitz SituationsEven though the Bears have an explosive set of offensive weapons in Taylor Gabriel, Allen Robinson II and Tarik Cohen, the team has struggled when playing from behind the sticks. Getting Chicago in such situations would be big for the Patriots therefore, despite them having their own problems as well. However, this matchup still favors New England from a statistical perspective.If the advanced statistics are an indication, the Patriots and Bears are in for what could be a close game of strength versus strength (New England’s offense versus Chicago’s defense), and weakness versus weakness (New England’s defense versus Chicago’s offense). For the visitors, the following questions will need to be answered to decide both battles in their favor:Can the Patriots improve in the red zone on both sides of the ball?Can the Patriots defense force Chicago to play from behind the sticks?Can the Patriots win on third down?If New England is able to accomplish most of those things, it could very well sway the outcome in its favor.2018 Patriots roster cuts: New England releases linebacker Marquis Flowers Authentic Danny Shelton Jersey
, safety A.J. Moore With the NFL’s cutdown deadline coming closer, the New England Patriots continue making moves to cut down their roster. Their latest transactions involve two defenders, who have both been released, according to reports by NESN’s Doug Kyed and the Boston Herald’s Karen Guregian, respectively:Releasing Moore is no surprise from the Patriots’ perspective: even though New England moved on from safety Jordan Richards yesterday and is thin behind the top trio at the position, the undrafted rookie never did enough to earn a roster spot, especially with Jason McCourty getting additional playing time at the safety position as of late.Flowers’ release was also expected. After a solid 2017 season, he failed to create any momentum during training camp and the preseason and saw Nicholas Grigsby overtake him on the depth chart. Unlike Moore, Flowers will not be able to join New England’s practice squad.