Morning Sports Update
Judon thinks that players started freelancing “instead of just playing within the defensive scheme.”
Tonight, the Bruins host the Hurricanes at 7 p.m.
Tomorrow at 7:30 p.m., the Celtics play the Nuggets at TD Garden.
In the Olympics, the United States added several more gold medals, including Nathan Chen in figure skating and Chloe Kim in snowboarding halfpipe.
Matthew Judon discussed the Patriots’ end-of-season struggles: Speaking during an interview with 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Felger & Mazz” from Super Bowl media row on Wednesday, Patriots outside linebacker Matthew Judon was asked about the team’s late season struggles on defense.
Despite playing like one of the NFL’s best defense for part of the season, New England fell apart down the stretch, losing four of its final five games (including the lopsided 30-point loss to the Bills in the playoffs).
Judon acknowledged that the blame fell squarely on the players’ shoulders, as no major injuries could be pointed towards as an excuse.
“I don’t know, honestly,” said Judon. “We kind of just played some good teams, and we weren’t playing our best ball. And you can’t do that at the end of the season. It’s really no excuse. I wish I could be like, ‘Well, this person got hurt,’ but it wasn’t that. It wasn’t that.”
He theorized that when players stopped trying to play collectively, it cost the group as a whole.
“It was just we weren’t playing good football, and I think after like two games, then everybody tried to start making a play,” Judon explained. “Like, ‘I’m going to be the player that do this, I’m going to be the player that do that,’ instead of just playing within the defensive scheme and stuff like that. And I kind of think that’s kind of what happened.”
The Patriots now face an offseason of uncertainty, as changes will inevitably come to the defense. Several players, including defensive leaders Dont’a Hightower and Devin McCourty, are free agents.
Trivia: The Patriots have been to 11 Super Bowls, most in NFL history. Three teams are tied for second in appearances with eight. Name those three teams.
(Answer at the bottom).
Hint: Two AFC, one NFC
More from Boston.com:
The Bruins’ tribute to Tuukka Rask:
On this day: In 2002, the Revolution selected two of the club’s most successful players in one MLS SuperDraft. With the second overall pick, New England chose Taylor Twellman, who would go on to win league MVP in 2005 and score 101 goals in 174 appearances.
And with the 14th pick, the Revolution drafted Shalrie Joseph. A dominant midfielder, he would be voted into four MLS Best XI teams.
Daily highlight: Justin Schoenefeld’s gold medal-clinching aerial.
Trivia answer: Broncos, Cowboys, Steelers
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