09/22/2009 - 12:15am
Through the first two games of the season, the Patriots offense has had trouble finishing what it has started.
For most of the season's eight quarters, New England has been able to move the ball up and down the field fairly easily. In the first half of the season-opener against the Bills, the Patriots had 217 net yards. On Sunday against the Jets, it was much the same story — the Patriots gained 197 net yards in the first half alone.
09/21/2009 - 1:37am
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The last time Tom Brady walked out of Giants Stadium a loser, it was Sept. 11, 2000, and he was a rookie sitting behind Drew Bledsoe (and John Friesz and Michael Bishop) who watched Vinny Testaverde and Wayne Chrebet lead the Jets over the Patriots, 20-19. In that game, the Jets were able to beat New England because of what one local columnist called “endless pressure” on Bledsoe.
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
09/19/2009 - 1:38pm
If you’re a Patriots fan, it’s almost impossible to get nostalgic about the Meadowlands.
Even the most hard core of Red Sox fans could appreciate the history and the backdrop that old Yankee Stadium provided for some of the great battles between the Sox and Yankees. Likewise for Bruins fans and the Montreal Forum. You could even get a Celtics fan to work up some fine memories of the Fabulous Forum in Los Angeles.
09/17/2009 - 10:20pm
Different uniforms, same defense.
The Patriots will be facing a stern test with the all-new Jets defense on Sunday, but when it comes to putting together an offensive game plan, there’s no need to start from scratch. Instead, they just need to call up some film of the great Baltimore defenses of the last few years.
09/16/2009 - 7:22pm
FOXBORO — Jerod Mayo is the leader of the new school, the acknowledged chief of a younger generation of Patriots linebackers.
Over the course of the 2008 season and into the offseason, Mayo took the rest of the young linebackers, including Pierre Woods and Gary Guyton, under his wing. They were an inseparable group, developing an easy chemistry with each other that was expected to carry into their second full season together. In training camp, Mayo talked up his comrades, saying he was “trying to get all my guys on the same page”
09/15/2009 - 9:32pm
The calendar says mid-September, but as far as the Jets are concerned, it’s looking more like the first weekend of February.
Jets defensive tackle Kris Jenkins racheted up the pregame intensity level for this week’s New England-New York matchup by saying the Jets are approaching this week “like it’s the Super Bowl.”
09/15/2009 - 2:52am
FOXBORO — There was 5:32 left in the fourth quarter Monday night and the Patriots were down 24-13 to Buffalo when Tom Brady stepped into the huddle.
“We’re going to win this game,” the quarterback told his teammates.
Brady speaks from experience. Entering Monday night, he had 28 previous games where he had led the Patriots to a win after a fourth-quarter deficit or a tie. Year off or no, why would this time be anything different? Same as it ever was.
09/14/2009 - 12:34am
Based on six-plus weeks of training camp and preseason, we can say with some certainty that we’ve learned a few truths about the 2009 Patriots even before they’ve kicked off the regular season.
09/13/2009 - 10:42pm
While much has been written and said about the dynamic turnover of the Patriots defense this offseason, no position has undergone greater change than the secondary.
Three of the four players who started at defensive back for the Patriots in the 2008 opener — cornerbacks Ellis Hobbs and Deltha O’Neal and safety Rodney Harrison — have either been traded, been released or retired. The only holdover is safety James Sanders.
09/13/2009 - 9:54pm
It’s the opener for everyone, which means that whether you are getting set to play your first game in the NFL — like Pat Chung, Ron Brace or any one of the other Patriots rookies who made the 53-man roster — or starting your 35th season in the league — like Bill Belichick — there are going to be some nerves.
“Yeah,” Belichick said when asked if he still got nervous before an opener. “I think everybody’s got the butterflies on opening day. Certainly, the coaches do.”
09/10/2009 - 11:26pm
The letter has been delivered.
According to multiple reports Thursday night, the Raiders officially have sent disgruntled defensive lineman Richard Seymour the much-discussed “five-day letter,” which gives Seymour five days to report to Oakland to take his physical.
09/10/2009 - 1:17pm
FOXBOROUGH -- Michael Matthews is probably going to do a little redecorating.
The former Giants’ tight end -- who won a title with New York in Super Bowl XLII -- has what he calls a “Super Bowl shrine” at his house. In that collection of mementos is a picture of him from that game delivering a block to Patriots’ outside linebacker Adalius Thomas.
“Now, I’m probably going to take that picture down because I’m a Patriot,” Matthews said with a sheepish grin Thursday.
09/09/2009 - 10:03pm
FOXBOROUGH -- Terrell Owens never disappoints.
On a conference call with Boston-area media Wednesday afternoon, the Bills’ new receiver took a playful jab at the Patriots and “Spygate,” joked that he wasn’t a fan of Buffalo’s new no-huddle offense and wondered if New England went out and acquired veteran cornerback Shawn Spring specifically to “check me.”
09/09/2009 - 6:53pm
FOXBOROUGH -- Logan Mankins can recall the moment like it was yesterday.
The Patriots’ rookie left guard stepped out onto the field at Gillette Stadium for his first regular-season game in the NFL on Sept. 8, 2005. He wasn’t cowed by the noise, the fireworks or the fact the game was a Thursday night opener broadcast to a national television audience.
09/08/2009 - 10:33pm
More details about Sunday’s trade of Richard Seymour to Oakland started to come to light Tuesday -- particularly the timeline of events that ended with the five-time Pro Bowl defensive lineman becoming the property of the Raiders.
Speaking Monday afternoon on WEEI’s “Big Show,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Oakland initiated the trade talks last month about the same time the two teams pulled off the deal that brought defensive end/outside linebacker Derrick Burgess from the Raiders to New England.
09/07/2009 - 10:21pm
Holiday or no, the Patriots continued their roster-tweaking Monday, cutting veteran wide receiver Greg Lewis, signing rookie defensive back Bret Lockett and officially adding seven players to their practice squad.
The biggest move was the release of Lewis. Acquired by the Patriots on March 5 along with a seventh-round pick from Philadelphia for a fifth-round pick in the 2009 draft, it was expected he would be in the mix for the No. 3 receiver position if he could come close to replicating his career-best numbers from 2005: 48 receptions for 561 yards.
09/07/2009 - 12:13am
The news came on a quiet Sunday morning of Labor Day weekend, complete with multiple exclamation points: Richard Seymour traded! Five-time Pro Bowler shipped to Raiders! Patriots losing respected leader!
But after a second or two of reflection, the first response was an obvious one: Should we really be all that surprised?
09/04/2009 - 1:43am
FOXBOROUGH -- If Benjamin Watson is released Saturday after five seasons with the Patriots, he sounds like a man who has made peace with his situation.
Speaking slowly and carefully in the wake of Thursday’s 38-27 preseason win over the Giants at Gillette Stadium, the veteran tight end said he’s allowed himself to think about the fact that he might not be a part of the roster when the final cuts are announced.
09/02/2009 - 8:29pm
FOXBOROUGH -- Before the final Patriots’ preseason game at Gillette Stadium a few years ago, the captains were at midfield before the game for the coin toss joking with each other about how little they were going to play. Linebacker Tedy Bruschi flashed the opposing captains the bottoms of his shoes -- no cleats.
09/01/2009 - 10:46pm
FOXBOROUGH -- They weren’t a bunch of lasers, but Patriots quarterback Tom Brady threw a series of easy passes during the start of practice yesterday, four days after his right shoulder was squashed under the weight of Washington’s 350-pound defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth.
09/01/2009 - 9:41pm
FOXBOROUGH -- They have done everything that’s been asked of them, and it still may not be enough.
Players like wide receiver Terrence Nunn and running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis have played well throughout training camp. They have shown coachability, desire and no small measure of talent. And when called upon in game action throughout the first three games of the preseason, they have played well.
08/31/2009 - 10:18pm
FOXBOROUGH -- When he arrived in 1996, pro football in New England wasn’t much more than metal bleachers and dirt parking lots, tiny locker rooms and cold showers. Patriots Place was a gleam in Robert Kraft’s eye, and while the thought of New England playing host to a football dynasty wasn’t laughable, it was a bit of a stretch.
08/30/2009 - 7:28pm
FOXBOROUGH -- The locker now belongs to Roderick Rogers.
It’s no different than the 80 or so other lockers in the Patriots’ locker room -- it’s got the same sharp look, the same compartments for all the valuables, the same spot for the nameplate at the top. The difference, as they say in real estate, is location, location, location. And Rogers, whether he knows it or not, has an important location.
08/27/2009 - 10:12pm
This is it. Friday night in Washington is the third preseason game of the year for the Patriots -- traditionally, it’s the preseason game where the starters play the most. It’s the last chance to see a reasonable facsimile of New England’s starting offense and defense in game action before Opening Night against Buffalo Sept. 14.
All week in Foxborough, it’s felt less like preseason and more like a regular-season week. There’s less big picture stuff and more film work, game-planning and situational football.
08/26/2009 - 8:38pm
FOXBOROUGH -- It’s a simple, three-word phrase that is the overarching theme to everything that Patriots coach Bill Belichick preaches: Do your job.
But when it comes to rookies, the philosophy doesn’t always take the first time around. And when a first-year player doesn’t do his job, he’ll oftentimes try and make up for an error by trying to do his job … as well as the job of a teammate on the following play in an attempt to try and impress the coaches. And that rarely ends well.