Tim Wright

Tim Wright

FOXBORO — With the Patriots trailing 13-7 with 6:39 left in the third quarter Sunday against the Jets, and only totaling 61 yards of total offense on their first seven drives, they needed a spark, something to ignite the offense.

The team went to a no-huddle offense on their eighth drive of the game with Shane Vereen at running back, Rob Gronkowski and Tim Wright at tight end and Brandon LaFell and Danny Amendola as wide receivers. The change up worked as the Patriots gained some momentum by going 81 yards in 13 plays before settling for a 24-yard Stephen Gostkowski field goal, cutting the Jets lead to 13-10.

Even though the Patriots didn’t record a touchdown, the change of pace gained the offense some much needed momentum.

“I guess it did. Guys got into a rhythm,” Wright said on Monday. “We’€™ve got great players in the locker room, great players that can step in and get the job done. I guess once they got the confidence going, it got going well for us.”

On the following Jets possession, Jamie Collins picked off Geno Smith and then the Patriots continued to utilize the up-tempo offense on their eight play, 38-yard drive capped off by a Jonas Gray 1-yard touchdown run less than two minutes into the fourth quarter, which put the Patriots on top, 17-13.

On the two scoring drives in the second half where they primary went no-huddle, the Patriots totaled 119 yards. This is compared to the other nine drives in the game where they totaled only 112.

“Sometimes there are different advantages that you may be able to gain based on personnel, what we have in the game, what they have in the game, how easy or difficult it may be to communicate at that point in the game, or if it’€™s a home game or a road game ‘€“ that certainly affects that, to be able to go at that pace,” offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels said on Monday’s conference call referring to the Gray’s touchdown drive. “And sometimes you do it just to try to kick-start something if you’€™re having trouble sustaining drives or putting too many plays together. It’€™s obviously something we have done well in the past at times, and I think it did help us and our guys did a good job executing on that series.

“We actually did it in a few more series than the one in particular you’€™re referring to there — I think it was the second drive of the third quarter — I thought our guys did a good job of executing and communicating what we were trying to do quickly and playing as fast as we could.”

Wright played a major role in those two drives as after by our count getting just six snaps in the first half, he had 30 in the second half.

“It just changes the look for us,” Wright said of the no-huddle offense. “Like I said, we’€™re a very diverse offense. We’€™ve got things that we can fall on, so that’€™s what we did, and it came up big for us.”

With the win, the Patriots clinched a first-round bye and with a win over the Bills on Sunday, or with a Bengals win over the Broncos Monday night, they can clinch the No. 1 overall seed in the AFC. Wright and the team are solely focused on getting a win Sunday against Buffalo.

“€œ[They’€™re a] great team,” said Wright. “They’€™ve been playing well the second half of the year. We’€™ve really got to get going on them early, and it’€™s going to be a great week of preparation for us.”

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

The Patriots announced Monday the possibility of Sunday’s game being flexed to a later time because of the NFL’s flex scheduling.

The Patriots announced Monday the possibility of Sunday’s game being flexed to a later time because of the NFL’s flex scheduling.

If Denver beats Cincinnati on Monday night, Sunday’s Patriots-Bills game at Gillette Stadium would be moved to 4:25 p.m.. This is because Denver plays at 4:25 p.m. and the two games would have playoff implications. With a win the Patriots would clinch the No. 1 seed in the AFC, but if the Patriots were to lose and Denver were to win, Denver would earn the No. 1 seed.

If Cincinnati wins Monday night, the Patriots would clinch the No. 1 seed in the AFC and Sunday’s Patriots-Bills game would remain a 1 p.m. game, as it would not have any playoff implications.

The Patriots are currently 12-3 and Denver 11-3, but because the Patriots beat the Broncos earlier in the year, they hold the tiebreaker.

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

The Patriots announced Monday the possibility of Sunday’s game being flexed to a later time because of the NFL’s flex scheduling.

If Denver beats Cincinnati on Monday night, Sunday’s Patriots-Bills game at Gillette Stadium would be moved to 4:25 p.m.. This is because Denver plays at 4:25 p.m. and the two games would have playoff implications. With a win the Patriots would clinch the No. 1 seed in the AFC, but if the Patriots were to lose and Denver were to beat Oakland, Denver would earn the No. 1 seed.

If Cincinnati wins Monday night, the Patriots would clinch the No. 1 seed in the AFC and Sunday’s Patriots-Bills game would remain a 1 p.m. game, as it would not have any playoff implications.

The Patriots are currently 12-3 and Denver 11-3, but because the Patriots beat the Broncos earlier in the year, they hold the tiebreaker.

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable
With Julian Edelman inactive, the Patriots offense relied heavily on Danny Amendola to fill that role. Amendola had 8 catches on 11 targets for 63 yards and had a good day in the return game as well. He spoke about being ready to play at all times.

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Patriots DE Chandler Jones created a lot of pressure on Geno Smith, as he's done since he was in college. Chandler spoke about priding himself on the pressure he can created all by his lonesome. He also spoke about how the team is focused on Buffalo, and not looking too far to the playoffs.

[0:02:14] ... Michael person. I started. That trend. Jenna were talking earlier about out Troy brown and set on not a post game show on Comcast that he thought that I'm pass rush. Tactics that you guys use ...
[0:03:49] ... it seemed that Regina we have an exchange. There's two in the AFC east. And there are you know that's who we have to be. In it and that's where I'm not be given team we ...
[0:04:20] ... but specialties been huge blaze though just Amendola. They'll punt return obviously Vince Wilfork block but it just seems like every week. If things uncle special team shows up. Yes and and you know coach called ...
[0:07:27] ... lo. Direct and I had. It's in our banks fear fear this Janet Jones brought to us by NFL mobile flies want to TV and Internet exclusively. From Verizon. ...






Nate Solder. (Marc Piscotty/Getty Images)

Nate Solder. (Marc Piscotty/Getty Images)

One of the immediate takeaways from Sunday’s game was the priority the Patriots put on rotating their offensive linemen in tackle eligible formations. Left tackle Nate Solder covered Marcus Cannon in the first half and even switched over to the right side to cover Sebastian Vollmer on occasion.

On Monday, offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels was asked when and how he decides when to use an extra offensive lineman as a tight end.

“Each week is a little different based on the matchups,” McDaniels said. “The Jets have a very good front, big guys on the edge plenty of the time, so you just look at what you can do to put your personnel in position to be successful so that you can run effective plays on offense. We’€™ve used different guys, obviously, throughout the course of the season.

“[Cameron] Fleming has done it. [Josh] Kline has done it. Obviously, Nate [Solder], Marcus [Cannon] has done it at times as well. We felt good about all our tackles that we put in the game, so when Marcus is in there, we have confidence in him, so when Nate goes to the tight end position and Marcus comes in at tackle, we feel like we’€™ve got good players at a lot of spots. Part of the game plan was to go ahead and do some of that yesterday. We had some mixed results, but some production from it as well.”

When running tackles in and out of the game, the no-huddle and hurry-up offensive formations take a back seat. But in the second half, McDaniels turned more up tempo with a good deal of success.

After the game, Tom Brady was asked why the team doesn’t use hurry-up more often throughout a game when they appear to have so much success with it.

“That’€™s a good question. I think there are definitely times we do a good job of it,” Brady said. “I don’€™t know. That’€™s a good question. We do it at different times and sometimes it works. I don’€™t know.”

McDaniels was asked about the continuity factor along the offensive line and how much that impacts his play and formation calls, especially when one look is clearly more productive.

“Continuity is definitely important up front,” McDaniels said. “If we felt like the best thing to do is just to stay with status quo the entire game, then we will do that, which we have done that many times in the past. Again, yesterday, there is usually a specific purpose for what you’€™re doing. You’€™re not trying to do it just to do it.”

McDaniels made a point Monday to emphasize that the tackle-eligible formations are not simply a way of getting game reps in for their multitude of offensive lineman.

“We’€™re not in the business of rotating people just to put them in the game. So, we’€™re trying to create some advantages for ourselves, and at the same time feel like we’€™ve got people who are very competitive in their roles out there on the field at all times. If it’€™s not working, obviously you don’€™t want to do too much of it. If it can give you some advantage and some production, then it’€™s worth considering each week.”

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

Aaron Hernandez appeared in Bristol County Superior Court in Fall River on Monday in one of the final hearings before his trial next month in the killing of Odin Lloyd, and prosecutors said the trial is expected to last 6

Aaron Hernandez appeared in Bristol County Superior Court in Fall River on Monday in one of the final hearings before his trial next month in the killing of Odin Lloyd, and prosecutors said the trial is expected to last 6-10 weeks and include the testimony of about 45 witnesses.

Hernandez, who pleaded not guilty to Lloyd’s 2013 murder as well as the shooting deaths of two men in Boston in 2012, has one more pre-trial hearing scheduled on Jan. 6, three days before jury selection begins.

Hernandez’s fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins, had a hearing in the same courtroom earlier. She pleaded not guilty to lying before a grand jury that was seeking evidence about Hernandez’s role in the murder.

Hernandez’s attorney, Michael Fee, requested the right to question potential jurors during the selection process in court, but the judge denied it.

Blog Author: 
Jerry Spar

The film confirmed for Bill Belichick what he thought during Sunday’s game against the Jets. The offense wasn’t very good.

But Belichick didn’t single out any particular area, like the offensive line. The Patriots head coach, instead, chose to put everyone in the same boat.