Aaron Rodgers has thrown for 2,957 yards, completed 67 percent of his passes, and has 30 touchdown passes and just three picks this season. (Casey Hayward/Getty Images)

Aaron Rodgers knows he will need to be at his best this Sunday taking on the Patriots. (Casey Hayward/Getty Images)

FOXBORO — Jay Cutler, Peyton Manning, Andrew Luck, Matthew Stafford.

Those are the four quarterbacks the Patriots secondary, led by Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner, has been able to contain in each of the last four games, all Patriots wins. This week they may face their toughest test yet — Aaron Rodgers on his home turf of Lambeau Field.

Rodgers is completing 67 percent of his passes, averaging 284.8 passing yards per game and has 18 touchdowns and no picks in five home games this years, but Rodgers knows keeping that pace will be tough facing Revis and Browner.

“They’€™re a talented duo there,” Rodgers said on a conference call Wednesday. “They both have different skill sets that they use to their advantage. I played against Browner in college and he was a dominant player and then for whatever reason he went up to Canada and came back. He’€™s been a dominant player since he’€™s been back. He’€™s a lockdown defender, uses his size and length really well. Darrelle has been one of the best corners probably since he got into the league. With the years under his belt, it just gives the experience. There’€™s nothing that probably surprises him. He’€™s done a great job of being patient and reading routes. He’€™s got great ball skills. Everything he does is exceptional.”

The two teams come into the game as the two Super Bowl favorites, and both playing their best football of the season. The Packers have won seven of their last eight games, while the Patriots have won seven in a row after a 2-2 start.

Rodgers says he isn’t look at this game any differently and is just concentrating on putting the Packers in the best position come the postseason.

“We don’€™t get up and down more for any other matchup,” Rodgers said. “This is an uncommon opponent, this AFC team. This time of year, you want to win all your games, especially the ones at home when you’€™re in a position to control your own fate here. We can keep on a roll and hopefully get a home playoff game. That’€™s what we’€™re thinking about.”

Over the Patriots’ seven-game win streak they have done a number of different things with their secondary, showing offenses different looks and schemes, depending on the skill set of the particular offense they’re facing that week. Rodgers knows he has to be ready for anything, but put executing themselves first before they worry about anything else.

“The league is about adjustments,” said Rodgers. “You have to be able to make adjustments within a game and at halftime. When you get out there you have to be able to react and trust the things you worked on in practice and [have] done throughout the year. We’€™re going to run our offense and be ready for anything they do and just adjust accordingly once we get out there to some of the stuff they’€™re doing. They’€™re going to have a great plan coming in, they always do. [We’€™re] going to have to try to execute better than they can stop us.”

 

 

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

FOXBORO — The good news for the Patriots was the entire team took part in Wednesday’s walkthrough inside the Dana Farber Fieldhouse — the bad news was they had nine players limited.

Chandler Jones

Chandler Jones

FOXBORO — The good news for the Patriots was the entire team took part in Wednesday’s walkthrough inside the Dana Farber Fieldhouse — the bad news was they had nine players limited.

The biggest takeaway was the presence of Chandler Jones (hip), the first time he has practiced since suffering the hip injury in Week 7’s game against the Jets. Shane Vereen (ankle) was another player limited — it is unclear when he suffered the injury, as nothing was seen during last Sunday’s win over the Lions.

Long-snapper Danny Aiken (concussion) was limited — likely the result of C.J. Mosley bulling into him drawing a personal foul penalty late in the game last Sunday on a field goal attempt. Mosley was fined for the play. Brandon LaFell (shoulder) was also limited after landing awkwardly on his final catch last week.

Tom Brady (ankle) and Julian Edelman (thigh) were full participants.

The Patriots are preparing for Sunday’s game in Green Bay against the Packers.

Here is the complete practice report:

Limited participation

LS Danny Aiken (concussion)
OL Marcus Cannon (hip)
OL Dan Connolly (ankle)
DL Dominique Easley (knee)
DB Nate Ebner (finger)
OL Cameron Fleming (finger/ankle)
DE Chandler Jones (hip)
WR Brandon LaFell (shoulder)
RB Shane Vereen (ankle)

Full participation

QB Tom Brady (ankle)
WR Julian Edelman (thigh)

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable


FOXBORO — Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers can relate on a lot of levels.

Earlier in the season, both were struggling to get their high-powered offenses in gear. Both were warding off speculation that this may not be the year for them after many years that the top of the quarterback roll call.

After a 19-7 loss to the Lions in Detroit, the Packers were in a similar situation to the Patriots when they were rolled by the Chiefs, 41-14, in Kansas City. Rodgers famously told the local ESPN Radio affiliate in Wisconsin, “Five letters here, just for everybody out there in Packer land, R-E-L-A-X. Relax. We’€™re going to be OK.”

The Packers won their next four games, put up 50 points in back-to-back wins over Bears and Eagles and are considered the hottest team in the NFC. As for the Patriots, they of course haven’t lost since.

Both teams have red-hot quarterbacks. Rodgers has 30 touchdowns and just three interceptions this season. Brady has thrown 20 touchdowns while getting intercepted just twice in that span. And on Wednesday, Brady admitted that he’s followed Rodgers’ career very closely.

“I’€™ve known Aaron for a long time,” Brady said. “We always enjoy seeing each other, and that’€™s what both of us love to do is talk football. I’€™m always trying to learn from him.”

What are those conversations like? What do the two No. 12s talk about?

“Football. There’€™s a lot to talk about,” Brady said. “I don’€™t know if there are so many specifics other than I’€™m probably trying to get into his brain a little bit and he’€™s trying to get into mine. I think there are a lot of things that they do offensively that are really good.

“Everyone does things differently on offense. Everyone’€™s goal is to score points. You look at another team’€™s style and how they do it and you just want to understand how they’€™re doing it and see if you can learn something and maybe implement it into what your team does. They’€™re pretty spectacular at what they do. They’€™ve got a great team, great offense. He is obviously one of the best players to ever play the position, so there is a lot to learn from.”

Brady was asked if he could see similarities with how he and Rodgers have handled the early-season struggles to emerge with great seasons.

“Yeah, I think you just have to have confidence in what you’€™re doing,” he said. “What we went through, we went through, and hopefully we’€™ve moved past that and we’€™re at a different point now. Like I said, you never want to ride the ups and downs of the season.

“There are going to be ups, and there are going to be downs, and there are going to be long nights, there are going to be sleepless nights, and you’€™ve just got to stay true to what you’€™re doing and believe in the guys you play with, rely on your preparation to give you confidence going into the game, and then you’€™ve got to go out there and you’€™ve got to do it. That’€™s what we get paid for ‘€“ to go out there and run around and make a bunch of good plays and ones that are going to help your team win. Anybody could run around and help your team lose. That’€™s not why they pay us.”

Brady was reminded that Rodgers has a remarkable 30-3 touchdowns-to-interceptions ratio this season.

“Yeah, it’€™s phenomenal. It’€™s hard to match that,” Brady said.

Brady was working on a new look Wednesday, wearing a hoodie that was cut off at the shoulders.

“Thanks. I stole this from [Brandon] LaFell,” Brady said.

Told that it’s a better look when you cut it off at the elbow, Brady, showing that Rodgers sense of humor and timing, didn’t miss a beat.

“I know. When you’€™ve got guns like this, you’€™ve got to show these things off,” Brady said. “I’€™ve been working hard on these things.”

He did not, however, do the Rodgers “Champion Belt” double-check move.

Here are more takeaways from Brady’s press conference Wednesday:

Q: You and Aaron Rodgers are the top two quarterbacks all-time in touchdown-interception ratio. Are those the two most important elements?

TB: It depends. I don’€™t think there are any certainties you can look at [with] statistics. I do think not throwing interceptions and not turning the ball over is hugely important to the success of the team. How many touchdowns you throw, I think that’€™s [overrated]. If you’€™ve got 50 touchdown passes, obviously you’€™re scoring a lot of points, which is a great thing and that’€™s obviously going to help your team win. And if you had 60 touchdowns or 70 touchdowns or 80 touchdowns, and 40 were rushing and 40 were passing, it would be the same if you had 80 [passing touchdowns]. They all count the same. To score points, you need a lot of consistent effort over the course of the game. If you’€™re throwing it or running it in, it’€™s not a big difference in terms of the score at all, obviously.

But turnovers limit your scoring. That’€™s the problem with turnovers. You can’€™t score if you’€™re turning it over. It’€™s like a punt. If you go out and you punt 12 times, you’€™re not scoring points. That’€™s not good. So, when you turn the ball over and throw interceptions, you’€™re giving the other team more opportunities and your team less opportunities. Not that they’€™re going to take advantage of it every single time, but the odds are they’€™re going to take advantage of it more than they’€™re not, especially a team like this, where you turn it over, they have the highest percentage of scores after you turn the ball over than any team in the league. That’€™s a big reason why they’€™re getting ahead at home because they get ahead of you, you start to press, you turn it over, they convert into more touchdowns, and it just piles on. You’€™ve got to keep the game close and keep it competitive, and I think Aaron has done a great job in his career of not turning the ball over. He’€™s got all the ability in the world.

Q: What are your thoughts on the Green Bay defense?

TB: They’€™re really good. It’€™s a real good defense, especially at home. They do a great job with turnovers, and they lead the league in turnover margin or turnover differential ‘€“ whatever that is ‘€“ at plus-15 so that’€™s a big point of emphasis. They’€™ve got guys at every position. It’€™s a real complementary team. They’€™re one of the best teams in the league, so it’€™ll be a lot of fun. It’€™s fun getting a chance to go up to Lambeau again, so I know all the guys will be pretty pumped up.

Q: What is it like to play at Lambeau Field?

TB: I’€™ve been there ‘€“ how many times have I been there ‘€“ once in the regular season and I think in the preseason a few times, but it’€™s pretty sweet. Coach [Belichick] was talking a little bit about the history of the Packers. There is like 100,000 people in the entire town and 80,000 seats in the stadium. They’€™ve made quite a few additions over the years to the stadium. It’€™s a great organization. They’€™ve got a very storied history. It should be a fun weekend. It gives us a big test to go up there and try to play a team that’€™s been so dominant at home. We’€™re going to need to try to match their intensity and match their level of execution, but they do a lot of things really well.

Q: Does the early blitz that they seem to put on every team with their offense put pressure on you to execute offensively early in the game?

TB: Absolutely. This is not the team you want to get behind by. You get behind 14-0, and then it’€™s 21-0, then it’€™s 28-0, and before you know it, they’€™ve just got the game so well under control that you have no chance. You’€™ve got to be able to stay close to them. There is nothing other than solid execution that you could point to, and we’€™ve got to figure out the best ways to attack them. They present a lot of challenges. They can rush the passer. They’€™re good in coverage. They’€™ve got a real good secondary [with] great cover players. It’€™s a terrific team, great defense. We’€™re going to need to be sharp.

Q: You mentioned Bill Belichick talked about the Packers and their history. How does that come up and can you expound on what he said?

TB: He’€™s got such a great memory. I think he is always trying to educate us on different things. He’€™s done that for a while. He just kind of gives some young players who are maybe new to the league [insight]. Coach is really a historian, too. He’€™s been involved in NFL football for a long time. I think he really relishes these opportunities, whether it’€™s the Raiders or the Bears or something like this against the Packers, a team that’€™s been around for a long time with so many great teams and players and games over the years. He just gives some players some insight into what this team is all about.

Q: Bill Belichick was asked about similarities between you and Aaron Rodgers, and he said you both wear No. 12.

TB: That’€™s true. That’€™s probably as close as we’€™ll get right there. He’€™s just phenomenal. He’€™s just a great player. I always love watching him play because he does things that a lot of guys in the league can’€™t do, well that nobody can really do except him. For a quarterback, I really know how hard it is to do that, especially on a consistent basis, and he’€™s been as consistent as anybody who has ever played the position, so I’€™ve got a lot of respect for him.

Q: Have we scratched the surface of what we might see from Tim Wright down the road?

TB: Yeah, he’€™s doing a great job for us, and the more that we really give to him the more he understands and takes on. We got him pretty late here in the camp. He didn’€™t have any of the OTAs. He’€™s just done a great job of coming in and understanding what he’€™s been asked to do and try to do a good job with it and go from a totally different system to what we do. I think each week his role has grown. He’€™s been a big factor for us, and hopefully it continues.

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia
We find out what Chris Price was right and wrong about when he made a few predictions before the Lions game. Also, we hear some new ones regarding Sunday's game against the Green Bay Packers.

[0:03:20] ... Chicago is this. Is this any different is it just because it's Aaron Rodgers or should I which I expect him to win by fourteen to seventeen it why would it change at this team. I think your record the best quarterback who he is here to talk to derail you a patriot locker room did you. But here's the great because at that he at that point that these you know I would go to or call it. A possible Super Bowl preview when you look at both these teams where they are at that point he. What you've been able to put together ...
[0:05:13] ... recent years he's also still playing up edged. On sub packages but Julius Peppers is it seems like he's been playing forever is there another guy on that defense of frontal BJ raji is not playing ...
[0:06:26] ... the good. We general possible suitable preview. Is it easier path to Super Bowl would you says it would take its New England Nancy who think it's Green Bay. Or we're going to get that are ...
[0:07:55] ... Who emerges it I go to guy this week the way to Green Bay Packers defense that's up. I think it took him grow right you're noted that terrible boring answer but I think when you look ...






Dominic Raiola thought he’d gotten off scot-free for his cheap shots on Zach Moore.

Not so fast.

Dominic Raiola has no regrets about what happened Sunday against the Patriots. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Dominic Raiola is going to be $10,000 lighter after being fined for a shot at Zach Moore. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Dominic Raiola thought he’d gotten off scot-free for his cheap shots on Zach Moore.

Not so fast.

The NFL announced Wednesday that the Lions offensive lineman would be fined $10,000 for a shot to the back of Moore’s head late in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s 34-9 win over the Patriots, according to this report from MLive.com.

That runs counter to the statements from Raiola about the incident.

‘€œThere’€™s no fine,’€ Raiola initially told reporters. ‘€œIt’€™€™s during the game. I don’€™€™t know about regrets, I don’€™€™t live life with regrets. I didn’€™€™t intentionally try to hurt anybody. I didn’€™€™t try to do anything out of the ordinary.

‘€œSo, just play the game,’€ he added. ‘€œI didn’€™€™t make it a big deal, everybody else did.’€™€

According to NFL spokesman Michael Signora, Raiola violated Rule 12, Section 2, Article 12(c) of the NFL Rule Book which prohibits “striking, swinging at, or clubbing the head, neck, or face of an opponent with the wrist(s), arm(s), elbow(s), or hand(s).”

Moore shrugged off the incident on Monday, but Patriots coach Bill Belichick took a shot at Raiola, saying there was likely some “frustration” on the part of the Detroit center, as he hadn’t beaten the Patriots in his 14-year career.

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

FOXBORO — Although Lions offensive lineman Dominic Raiola reportedly won’t be fined for his actions in last Sunday’s game against the Patriots, one of his teammates is.

According to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, Lions defensive tackle C.J. Mosley was fined $22,000 for his personal foul late in the game when he hit Patriots long-snapper Danny Aiken illegally after a snap on a field goal attempt, taking a personal foul penalty on the play. LeGarrette Blount recorded his second touchdown of the game on the following play.

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

Ed Hochuli will serve as the referee for Sunday’s Patriots-Packers game, according to FootballZebras.com.

Ed Hochuli will serve as the lead official for Sunday's Patriots-Packers game. (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Ed Hochuli will serve as the lead official for Sunday’s Patriots-Packers game. (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Ed Hochuli will serve as the referee for Sunday’s Patriots-Packers game, according to FootballZebras.com.

Hochuli, known for his physique –€” as well as his occasional tendency to overexplain situations on the field — will be working his first New England game of the season. His last Patriots have was the regular-season finale last year against the Bills. Hochuli, who has worked an an NFL official since 1990, has served as the lead referee for two Super Bowls.

Here’€™€™s a look at who has worked as the lead official for each New England game this year, and the corresponding penalties for each game, not counting the flags that were offset or declined.

Sept. 7 at Miami: Walt Anderson ‘€“€” 9 penalties, 100 yards (Dolphins ‘€“€” 4 penalties, 26 yards)
Sept. 14 at Minnesota: Tony Corrente ‘€“€” 15 penalties, 163 yards (Vikings ‘€” 7 penalties, 58 yards)
Sept. 21 vs. Oakland: Pete Morelli ‘€” 6 penalties, 59 yards (Raiders ‘€“€” 6 penalties, 49 yards)
Sept. 29 at Kansas City: John Parry ‘€“€” 3 penalties, 30 yards (Chiefs ‘€“€” 4 penalties, 35 yards)
Oct. 5 vs. Cincinnati: Jerome Boger ‘€” 12 penalties, 114 yards (Bengals ‘€“€” 4 penalties, 37 yards)
Oct. 12 at Buffalo: Walt Coleman ‘€“€” 9 penalties, 60 yards (Bills ‘€“€” 8 penalties, 107 yards)
Oct. 16 vs. Jets: Bill Leavy ‘€“€” 9 penalties, 64 yards (Jets ‘€“€” 7 penalties, 70 yards)
Oct. 23 vs. Bears: Brad Allen ‘€“” 7 penalties, 38 yards (Bears ‘€“€” 5 penalties, 41 yards)
Nov. 2 vs. Denver: Walt Anderson ‘€” 9 penalties, 71 yards (Broncos ‘€“€” 10 penalties, 72 yards)
Nov. 16 at Indy: Pete Morelli ‘€” 5 penalties, 53 yards (Colts ‘€” 4 penalties, 27 yards)
Nov. 23 vs. Lions: Tony Corrente — 11 penalties, 89 yards (Lions — 9 penalties, 54 yards)
Nov. 30 at Packers: Ed Hochuli

For more on Hochuli’€™s work as a referee, check out his page at Pro Football Reference. For more information on this week’€™s assignments, click through to the always reliable Football Zebras. And for more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price