FOXBORO — In a contest that was remarkably similar to their narrow escape against the Browns last year, the Patriots hung on down the stretch against the Raiders Sunday, coming away with a 16-9 win in their home opener at Gillette Stadium.

FOXBORO — In a contest that was remarkably similar to their narrow escape against the Browns last year, the Patriots hung on down the stretch against the Raiders Sunday, coming away with a 16-9 win in their home opener at Gillette Stadium.

The Patriots jumped to a 10-3 halftime lead, but couldn’t shake a pesky Raiders team, who hung around throughout the afternoon but escaped when Vince Wilfork picked off a Derek Carr pass with less than a minute to go to in the New England red zone, ending the late Oakland threat.

Tom Brady was 24-for-36 for 234 yards and one touchdown. Stevan Ridley had 19 carries for 54 yards, while Julian Edelman had 10 catches for 84 yards. On the other side of the ball for Oakland, Carr was 21-for-34 for 174 yards with one interception.

Here are 10 things we learned about the Patriots Sunday afternoon:

It was a mildly underwhelming performance for Brady.

A strange afternoon for the quarterback, who was 3-for-5 for 0 yards after one quarter. The quarterback was able to lead a steady, consistent drive in the second quarter, when the Patriots assembled a 15-play sequence — their longest of the season to this point — and cashed in when Brady found Rob Gronkowski on a 6-yard touchdown pass to give the Patriots a 7-3 lead. But he was uneven at best the rest of the afternoon, missing a few throws (including a wide open Gronkowski on a pass play in the second quarter) and leaving some plays on the field as a result.

He didn’t appear to get much help from his offensive line.

It’s tough to quantify successful offensive line play — especially without benefit of the all-22 — but it appeared the Patriots struggled up front for a sizable chunk of the afternoon. That could have been one of the reasons why New England shuffled up its offensive line early in the fourth quarter, moving Dan Connolly from center to right guard, inserting rookie Bryan Stork at center and benching Jordan Devey. One other thing that appeared to help in the second half was the sight of Brady going to noticeably quicker throws in an attempt to get the ball out as fast as possible. (He also showed some improved pocket awareness, particularly on a 12-yard pass play to Brandon LaFell on a fourth-quarter drive that helped keep a play alive.) In the end, Brady was sacked twice.

Stevan Ridley is still doing well when it comes to hanging on to the ball.

The running back, who came into the contest with a streak of 98 straight touches without a fumble (including last season, the 2013 postseason and the first two games of the year), kept that string alive with 20 touches on the day (19 carries, one catch) to stretch his streak to 118.

Rob Gronkowski continues to ramp back up to 100 percent

The Patriots tight end increased his overall participation level Sunday against the Raiders, ending up with 43 snaps against the Raiders (not including kneeldowns). He finished the game with three catches for 44 yards and a touchdown, his second of the day and the only one of the game. (The biggest gain of the afternoon came when Brady found Gronkowski over the middle on a 22-yard connection.)

Julian Edelman is still — far and away — the No. 1 option in the passing game.

The former college quarterback had another impressive day, and was maybe the most consistent offensive skill position player on the field. Edelman was able to consistently move the chains. He had 10 catches on 13 targets, marking his fourth career game with 10-plus receptions. Through three games, Edelman has caught 22 of the 28 passes that were sent in his direction. (If you including preseason, that number swells to 32 for 38.) In terms of the rest of the offensive targets, Danny Amendola had no catches (on one target), Brandon LaFell had four catches (eight targets) for 46 yards and Kenbrell Thompkins had one catch (one target) for 16 yards.

Matthew Slater might have been one of the best players on the roster Sunday.

Slater did a terrific job on punt coverage in the first half, popping TJ Carrie when the Oakland return man failed to signal for a fair catch on a first-quarter punt. He added a nifty 26-yard kick return late in the third quarter. Other special teams standouts on the day include Stephen Gostkowski, who connected on three field goals (from 21, 20 and 36 yards).

They moved Darrelle Revis around.

It was interesting to see Revis moved around to multiple spots on the field, working on both the left and the right side against different receivers. At first glance — and this needs to be confirmed with another look at the film — it appeared that he spent a sizable amount of the afternoon working against James Jones, who didn’t do much damage at all over the course of the afternoon. Logan Ryan appeared to struggle in coverage, getting beat a couple of times in man coverage (one particularly egregious error came in the second half against Andre Holmes). One other note, as it relates to the secondary: safety Nate Ebner was on the field for a fair share of the third down situations for the Patriots, and appears to be growing into some sort of role as a third-down specialist, working in place of a linebacker.

The defense played well when it needed to.

Despite the fact that the Raiders controlled the tempo for much of the afternoon — and rookie quarterback Derek Carr was better than advertised — it’s important to note that the New England defense kept the Raiders out of the end zone all afternoon, limiting Oakland to three field goals and helping pick up an occasionally sluggish offense.

The penalty situation was better Sunday, but still not ideal.

The Patriots were flagged for 24 penalties in their first two games — including 15 last week against the Vikings — but things were a little better Sunday against the Raiders. New England was hit with six penalties (not including calls that were declined or offset) and 59 yards worth of calls. (One tough flag came when Brandon LaFell was hit with an offensive pass interference call on a big pass play from Brady to Danny Amendola. It marked the second straight week where a sizable gain from Amendola was called back because of a LaFell penalty.)

They didn’t stay completely healthy.

Defensive lineman Sealver Siliga left with a foot injury in the first half, and did not return. Siliga has struggled since the summer with a hand/wrist problem, and has had issues when it comes to staying on the field. Chris Jones and Dominique Easley appeared to get the bulk of the reps in his place.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

FOXBORO — Two quarters are in the books here at Gillette Stadium, and the Patriots lead 10-3.

Tom Brady is 12-for-17 for 76 yards and a touchdown. In addition, Stevan Ridley had 12 carries for 47 yards, while Julian Edelman had six catches for 47 yards. On the other side of the football, rookie Derek Carr was 13-for-18 for 76 yards.

Here are a couple of quick notes:

– The Patriots were unable to get much of any offensive consistency over the first quarter-plus — at the start of the second quarter, Brady was 3-for-5 for zero yards passing. The play calling was suspect at times — with the Raiders toting the worst run defense in the league into the game, the Patriots came out throwing, but they were still stuck in an offensive rut. New England didn’t break through until late in the second when they put together a 15-play drive — their longest of the season to this point — that went 84 yards and took 6:43. (The highlight likely came on a short 9-yard pass from Brady to Shane Vereen.) It ended with a 6-yard pass from Brady to Rob Gronkowski for the touchdown.

– New England then added to its lead before the end of the half — after forcing an Oakland punt, Brady led the New England offense back down the field. That sequence stalled out in the red zone, and the Patriots had to settle for a 21-yard field goal from Stephen Gostkowski.

– Carr hasn’t looked too ruffled in his first career start against the Patriots. While Oakland’s first drive stalled out, the Raiders maneuvered into New England territory late in the first quarter, and Sebastian Janikowski ended up banging home a 49-yard field goal to make it 3-0 with 4:37 left in the first quarter. While Carr wasn’t particularly impressive, he didn’t appear too overwhelmed by the setting, as he remained mostly poised throughout the first two quarters.

– The Patriots did some defensive shuffling early, as they presented multiple looks up front, rotating big bodies into the mix alongside Vince Wilfork. It was mostly Chris Jones, particularly after Sealver Siliga went into the locker room. Dominique Easley also saw some quality snaps in the early going up front. Rob Ninkovich got his hands on Carr early, forcing an incompletion and flashing good penetration along the way. One other defensive note for the Patriots: it was interesting to see Darrelle Revis moved around to multiple spots on the field, working on both the left and the right side against different receivers.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price
Tom E. calls the boys to give his take on the week 3 home opener in which it should end in a Patriots victory.

[0:02:25] ... know all the people what you -- Personnel wise. Go to -- Rick Perry it would air JaMarcus Russell you -- perspective overall pick in the -- it's such a disgusting lead or action. And say ...
[0:04:45] ... -- -- Could step up they'll veteran -- you go away. In Greg Jennings and they Cordero had a lot to deal. Double and out of fuel load up. But brutality they -- For now it's ...
[0:11:28] ... All right coming up Red Sox baseball pregame actions Sox in the Baltimore Orioles. After the Red Sox game after the patriots game tuned right here to WEEI it's the real post game shows I said. Steve Fred and butch altogether. Mike thanks below two lucky Davidson our fantasy expert Tom curry and dog also. Christian Fauria as -- well. Don't blame -- Matt Loper back in the studio and thanks all you guys unless in this afternoon. And ...

Before Price heads over to the stadium, the guys discuss their final thoughts and analysis on the list of inactives and what will go down today at 1pm at Gillette Stadium.

[0:00:03] ... from. Gillette Stadium while 45 minutes from right now patriots and the Oakland Raiders will kick off. The patriots home opener here -- -- stadium across the street at Gillette Stadium Christopher price WEEI WEEI. Dot ...
[0:02:06] ... years here she marine basically did as a rookie back in 2011. Stephen Neal has done its there's there's there's been a handful of guys who basically been of their Richard played in the more developed ...
[0:06:42] ... mess up. Whether fifteen last week that were the most ever for Bill Belichick right is sold cut that down giving nine I'll be happy with that shall -- some progress you know five or six ...
[0:09:39] ... YouTube you do that with with certain guys like. Ravi moss when Randy Moss on the field you -- actually were drawn to -- lined up what he's doing there were number of a number of ...

FOXBORO — Shane Vereen (shoulder) and Jamie Collins (thigh) will be part of the game plan for the Patriots but Aaron Dobson will not.

Collins returns to the lineup after sitting out last week with a thigh injury.

Jamie Collins

Jamie Collins

FOXBORO — Shane Vereen (shoulder) and Jamie Collins (thigh) will be part of the game plan for the Patriots but Aaron Dobson will not.

Collins returns to the lineup after sitting out last week with a thigh injury.

This marks the second time Dobson has been inactive this season (he was also inactive in Week 1 in Miami). Kenbrell Thompkins, who sat out last week in Minnesota, is active again.

Also inactive are defensive backs Alfonzo Dennard (shoulder) and Don Jones (hamstring), offensive linemen Josh Kline and Ryan Wendell(knee) and running back James White and defensive lineman Zach Moore. Michael Buchanan, who injured his ankle in the preseason finale against the Giants, is active for the first time this season.

For the Raiders, running back Maurice Jones-Drew has been scratched. Jones-Drew has carried the ball just nine times for 11 yards in two games. One of those carries gained 12 yards, meaning his other eight carries have netted minus-1 yard. The Raiders are next-to-last in rushing in the NFL after two games, averaging just 63 yards. The Raiders offense has been anemic overall, averaging just 261 yards overall in two losses.

Also inactive for the Raiders are QB Matt Schaub, CB Chimdi Chekwa, LB Sio Moore, LB Nick Roach, G Tony Bergstrom and OT Matt McCants.

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia
Fauria calls into MFB to talk about today's game between the Patriots and Raiders at 1pm. He likes the Pats to win big, but warns that the Raiders won't roll over. The schedule is really hurting Oakland though.

[0:00:28] ... does each and every Sunday at this time so everybody from MFB Christian Fauria he's brought to you by. Find NASA money dot com find -- money dot com it's fast easy and free. Christian is ...
[0:03:22] ... don't. So you get it and if I would guys today like Justin Tuck and Maurice Jones-Drew might be going through that same thing in Oakland. All the -- who never won an -- but just ...
[0:03:55] ... up in. -- already eight alt delete in the biomedical -- blocked Dan Marino in the black lab India the wind. You know. But yeah it's frustrating. But I think when you turn thirty. You try ...
[0:12:36] ... like to could exceed make that I'm -- at all really. Even Matt Hasselbeck warm and me go -- line you know it. Gotta make sure that they do you know within that. Christian with a ...

The boys get into the Pats/Raiders match-up and what they're looking for today in what should be an easy win - less penalties, getting the offense going and NO injuries.
Greg, Chris and Steve talk about the Oakland Raiders as a franchise in general and their recent pitfalls. A once storied franchise, they've now become the punchline to a joke.