FOXBORO — Jerod Mayo returned to full participation in practice Thursday after being away Wednesday due to the birth of his third child.

FOXBORO — Jerod Mayo returned to full participation in practice Thursday after being away Wednesday due to the birth of his third child.

Safety and special teams player Don Jones returned Thursday after nursing a hamstring issue that caused him to miss Wednesday. Jones was one of 10 Patriots listed as limited. That list also included tight end Rob Gronkowski (knee), linebacker Jamie Collins (thigh) and offensive lineman Ryan Wendell.

For the Raiders, linebacker Sio Moore (ankle) and receiver Rod Streater (hip) missed their second straight day of practice. Running back Maurice Jones-Drew (hand), corner Carlos Rogers (knee) and defensive lineman Justin Tuck (illness) all returned after missing Wednesday.

Here’s the complete report:

S Don Jones (hamstring)
DE Michael Buchanan (ankle)
LB Jamie Collins (thigh)
OL Dan Connolly (knee)
CB Alfonzo Dennard (shoulder)
WR Julian Edelman (back)
TE Rob Gronkowski (knee)
DT Sealver Siliga (hand)
RB Shane Vereen (shoulder)
OL Ryan Wendell (knee)

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia’s Patriots writer Chris Price previews the Week 3 match-up between the Patriots and Oakland Raiders. Find out the keys to the game as well as Chris’ prediction.

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FOXBORO — Darrelle Revis has “much respect”€ for Oakland’€™s veteran defensive back Charles Woodson, but isn’€™t sure he wants to spend 17 years in the league.

Darrelle Revis has a ton of respect for Oakland defensive back Charles Woodson. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Darrelle Revis has a ton of respect for Oakland defensive back Charles Woodson. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

FOXBORO — Darrelle Revis has ‘€œmuch respect’€ for Oakland’€™s veteran defensive back Charles Woodson, but isn’€™t sure he wants to spend 17 years in the league.

‘€œI’€™m still in year eight right now,’€ Revis said with a laugh after practice on Thursday. ‘€œI’€™m a big fan of him too. Watched him at Michigan and looked up to him. He’€™s ‘€¦ hopefully, he’€™s a future Hall of Famer. The guy has played great ball in the league, and [is] still making plays. Bill [Belichick] put up some plays and he’€™s still making them, in year 17. I tip my hat off to him. I have much respect for him.’€

Revis won’€™t have to worry too much about Woodson — that’€™s more for quarterback Tom Brady. Instead, his focus is going to be the Oakland passing game, led by rookie quarterback Derek Carr. On Thursday, the veteran crier talked about the challenges that come with facing a rookie signal-caller for the first time.

‘€œThe material that we have, you just have to rely on that and go from there,’€ Revis said of Carr. ‘€œWe’€™re doing the best we can with game planning against that offense, and we have to stick to the material we have and go from there.’€

‘€œHe’€™s running their offense. He can throw every route.’€

Of course, Revis has been known to bait a young quarterback into a bad throw from time to time. Could that be the case again on Sunday?

‘€œI can’€™t give you all of that,’€ he said with a laugh. ‘€œLike I said, we’€™re going to do what we think is best to make sure we’€™re successful in the game plan. We’€™re still going through it. We have another day tomorrow to finish up red zone. So far, it’€™s been going good with the game plan and we just have to go through some more film study and figure out come Sunday where our best matchups are the best game plan on defense.

‘€œTheir receiver corps, they have [Denarius] Moore, who’€™s very fast. I’€™ve played against him in the past. Him, you have to watch him at all times on the deep routes. [Rod] Streeter — we don’€™t know, but we’€™ll figure that out. Then you’€™ve got James Jones, the savvy vet. We feel like we give them a lot of respect, their receiving corps. We’€™re just looking forward to the matchup and covering those guys. Like we said, there’€™s not a lot of material on Carr. We just have to focus on what we know about Jones, Moore and Streeter.’€

In the end, while the Patriots figure to be favored heading into this one, Revis knows this sets up to be a classic trap game.

‘€œI know a lot of guys on that team, so I’€™m really looking forward to it,’€ Revis said of Oakland. ‘€œThe Raiders always come to play. We just have to be ready for what they’€™re going to bring. They’€™re 0-2 right now, and I’€™m sure they’€™re searching for a win coming off 0-2. We know they’€™ll be ready — we just have to be focused and make sure we don’€™t let one slip away at home.’€

For more Patriots news, check out

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

FOXBORO — Pete Morelli will work as the lead referee for Sunday’s game between the Patriots and Raiders, according to our pals at

This will mark Morelli’s first New England game of the season, and his third in the last year-plus. His last Patriots game came when he worked last year’s divisional playoff between New England and Indianapolis at Gillette Stadium. He also worked the Patriots-Texans at Houston on Dec. 1, 2013.

Here’s a look at who has worked as referees for New England’s games to this point in the season:

Sept. 7 at Miami: Walt Anderson
Sept. 14 at Minnesota: Tony Corrente
Sept. 21 vs. Oakland: Pete Morelli

For more on Morelli’s work as an official, check out his page at Pro Football Reference. And for a complete look at this week’s officiating assignments, check out Football Zebras.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price
MFB talks to Sal Cappaccio of WGR in Buffalo, Ryan Ruocco of ESPN NY, and Omar Kelly of the South Florida Sun Sentinel

[0:14:55] ... cells go around the AFC east. Once more to bend the Maloney Christian Fauria and and a 37 WEI. Which take away from those three cities. About -- Buffalo Bills get a belts in -- some. ...
[0:20:05] ... senator -- he's also if you wanted to. Tightly -- the public Rodney Harrison at night on our money. And that's his job to talk about the repeated it's that. It is your job to analyze ...
[0:21:10] ... And what I asked him about keeping -- active or inactive. And Adrian Peterson active or inactive when he was onus on Tuesday it does that not fundamentally affect the saints vikings game. Right but a lot I don't know where they recruit at -- -- any and all over and play well. He has like three saw all quiet about the game in the feature it's the big question what hey what are your thoughts on Adrian Peterson. And he said I wanna talk about six elevenths are doing okay this affects football so how will it affect football they ...
[0:22:12] ... just know what's talking about this they got -- Although it's under Tony Dungy -- -- -- Tony Dungy well we got to wait to get all the facts we don't really know what's go that we don't. Tony we got ...

From 95.7 The Game, Greg Papa breaks down the struggling Raiders and discusses Charles Woodson's comments that the team sucks

[0:01:58] ... from 95 set in the game play by play voice of the Oakland Raiders to advance Christian four in the Maloney here. Amid there's gonna be in Boston OK so I'm looking at the numbers on ...
[0:04:04] ... an -- actually harassment problem -- what they've actually brought it -- Carlos Rogers. Tractor -- MacBook Pro -- and shot it very different ball. Wondering -- Are -- little. Culture shock not played well at ...
[0:06:00] ... great pop up from 957 game play by play voice of the Oakland Raiders -- rosy picture hostages say got to be pretty happy about your chances with a lot of this game. What is -- ...

FOXBORO — There was a certain amount of rich irony when Bill Belichick spoke this week about what he sees as the continued greatness of 37-year-old defensive back Charles Woodson.

“Woodson really doesn’€™t look like a 17-year veteran, I’€™ll tell you that,” Belichick began. “He makes plays all over the field ‘€“ very aggressive, fast, instinctive, strong tackler, tough. Just couldn’€™t say enough about how impressed I’€™ve been watching him on film. The Raiders have real good team speed. They’€™re a big, physical team. We have a lot to get ready for in terms of their scheme and personnel.

“I think Coach [Dennis] Allen has done a good job there defensively with emphasizing the turnovers. They caused a lot of fumbles last year. I think it was the fourth-most in the league or something like that. They do a good job of turning the ball over.”

Of course, it’s the one turnover that Woodson thought he caused on Jan. 19, 2002 that will haunt him and the Raiders forever. Charles Woodson came on a corner blitz and sacked his former Michigan teammate in the snow of old Foxboro Stadium. Woodson stripped the ball from Tom Brady and Raiders linebacker Greg Biekert recovered. With 1:43 left in the fourth and the Raiders leading, 13-10, in the AFC divisional playoff game, all hope appeared lost for the Patriots.

Brady and Woodson were best of friends at the University of Michigan. They were separated by just two locker stalls. Brady even threw to Woodson a little while the two were with the Wolverines. This Sunday will mark the sixth time the two have met in the NFL but Brady says the two have never discussed the way their first encounter ended.

“I don’€™t think we’€™ve ever talked about that, but I remember it very well, and I’€™m sure he does, too,” Brady said Wednesday. “He was making plays back then, and he’€™s still making plays the same way. He’€™s got long arms, a really strong tackler. He’€™s been a ball hawk his entire career.”

Woodson has talked about it in the past, including last January on the NFL Network as the Patriots and Brady were getting ready to take on the Broncos in the AFC championship.

“Let’s just get this out of the way,” Woodson said. “If they make the correct call — which they did at first, then they overturned it — this (10)-game playoff streak that Tom Brady has? It never happened. Tom Brady owes me his house. I’m the reason why he’s married to who he’s married to. I’m a reason for a lot of that. Everything. Because they overturned that call.

“Tom. C’mon now. Fess up. It was a fumble. It’s still a fumble.”

Well, Brady wasn’t willing to offer up one of his manses but he did give Woodson this glowing review this week as he prepares to take on the 0-2 Raiders.

“He looks phenomenal to me,” Brady said. “I’€™ve known him for a long time. I’€™ve practiced against Charles when I was in college. We’€™ve known each other for 20 years. I have a lot of respect for him as a player, as a person, as a friend, and he looks phenomenal back there. He’€™s a big playmaker for that defense, and he gets his hands on a lot of balls ‘€“ not only in the pass game but in the run game. He’€™s trying to strip the ball out on every play. He’€™s a great tackler. He’€™s got great anticipation. He’€™s someone that I really have to know where he’€™s at on every play.”

Brady’s only loss to Woodson came that next season, when the Patriots were beaten on a Sunday night in Oakland, 27-20. That night, Woodson had four tackles and forced a David Givens fumble. Brady was 18-of-30 that night for 172 yards, one of only five games in his career where he’s thrown for fewer than 175 yards while attempting at least 30 passes. Lifetime, Brady is 5-1 against Woodson, including a 35-0 shutout against Woodson’s Packers in 2006. Woodson has 21 tackles in those six games but just three passes defended, as Brady has stayed away from his old friend.

Brady also reminded everyone that this is the same Charles Woodson who won the Heisman in 1997 and was a pretty good receiver in his own right.

But it was his defense that stood out in college and still does to this day. The defensive back received 282 more Heisman points than runner-up Peyton Manning and remains the only primarily defensive player to win the honor. Woodson is also the last player to win the Heisman Trophy that is not a running back or quarterback. Woodson, with Brady on the sidelines behind Brian Griese, led Michigan to an undefeated season and a share of the national championship that same season. Brady did get a chance to throw to him at Michigan but on a very limited basis.

“Yeah, I did. I didn’€™t get a lot of those reps,” Brady said. “I wasn’€™t in there much when he was there. They didn’€™t give me chances to throw the ball to him. I was kind of with all the backup guys at that time. When I did, he was probably our best receiver when he was there. Whenever we need a big play we put him in, and he always seemed to make it, so that’€™s why he won the Heisman.”

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

While every other blogger pretends to know what’€™s going on in the NFL, I am going in the exact opposite direction.

Dog memeThat piping-hot sports take might not do much for my credibility, but isn’€™t the honesty refreshing? The Internets is full of people desperate to prove that they are smarter than everyone else, but not me, I am proud of my mediocrity. I learned that lesson a long time ago from a close friend of mine. No NFL insider, let alone blogger, could have predicted that the Seahawks would lose to the Chargers or that the Saints would open the season 0-2. Instead of droning on about the elite-ness of Richard Sherman, or the struggles of the Saints pass rush, I am going to chalk up those anomalies to the fact that the NFL, especially early in the season, makes zero sense. Thus my picks will not be based on trends, facts or stats, rather the classic combination of Miller High Life and braggadocio. The title of this weekly blog really should be ‘€œWhose Line is it Anyway?’€ Because in the end, everything is made up and the points don’€™t matter. With that being said, onto the picks.

Chargers +2.5 at Bills

The Bills may have won their first two games, but they are still the Bills. I have watched the Bills suck for too long to be impressed by a two-game winning streak. The last time the Bills made the playoffs I was 9 years old and the Music City Miracle only struck me as mildly hilarious. At that age, I didn’€™t have the wherewithal to properly appreciate how typically Bills-ian that loss was. But with maturity and experience, I’€™ve come to the obvious realization that the Bills will never be good. This year will be no different. Also, as a card-carrying member of the #FreeRivers fan club, you better believe I am picking the Chargers. Plus, this gives me the excuse to play this all day Sunday.

Pick: Chargers +2.5

Ravens -1.5 at Browns

I really hate the phrase ‘€œGod hates Cleveland,’€ because it implies that God actually cares about the sports future of the 45th-largest city in the United States. The suggestion that a divine power was some how responsible for The Drive, The Fumble or Jose Mesa is patently absurd. So no, God doesn’€™t hate Cleveland, but I sure do. Cleveland has nothing going for it and is easily the worst of the Rust Belt cities. It is just as crime-ridden and plagued by deindustrialization as Detroit, yet has none of the charm. When Drew Carey and James A. Garfield are your most notable residents, you know you are dealing with a bunk city. Heck even Gary, Indiana, produced the Jackson 5.

As for actual football reasons to pick against the Browns: The Ravens have a good run defense, are 22-8 all-time against Cleveland, and have wily vet and pass-catching machine Steve Smith Sr. Don’€™t be surprised if this game is won by a Justin Tucker field goal in the final moments.

Pick: Ravens -1.5

Broncos +5 at Seahawks

I really have no idea what is going to happen in this game. I can’€™t even rely on irrational hatred because I don’€™t like either of these teams. You may ask then, Sam, if you have no insight, why pick this game? Because it’€™s the most interesting game of the week and I might as well have a rooting interest. For the Broncos, this game is an opportunity for revenge after last year’€™s Super Bowl embarrassment. For the Seahawks, it’€™s the opportunity to re-establish themselves as the league’€™s best team. Now, I don’€™t like the fact that the most valuable member of the Seahawks always will be the architect who designed CenturyLink Field to be a cacophonous false-start-producing sound dungeon. That has never sat well with me. But I have to take Seattle’s home-field advantage into consideration. Also, throughout last week, the ‘€œNothing beats that new car smell’€ line from Peyton Manning‘€™s new Nationwide ad was stuck in my head. To borrow a line from Drew Magary and a tune from Nationwide: ‘€œPeyton is a haughty douche.’€

Pick: Seahawks -5

Steelers + 3.5 at Panthers

This line baffles me. I don’€™t see why anyone watching the first two weeks of football would think the Steelers are a good football team. How are the Panthers, with a healthy Cam Newton and one of the best defenses in the NFL, only favored by 3.5 points at home! It’€™s absolutely mind-bottling. My mind is in a bottle. I don’€™t think the ultimate Steelers homer Tim Benz could even talk himself into picking Pittsburgh this week. I would be shocked if Greg Olsen doesn’€™t have two touchdown receptions. This is a horrendous waste of a Sunday night game. Only a big game from the legendary Jason Avant could make this one entertaining.

Pick: Panthers -3.5

Bears -3 at Jets

The Bears have Alshon Jeffery, Brandon Marshall and Martellus Bennet. The Jets barely have a secondary. Sexy Rexy was so desperate to find something resembling a talented football player on the field last week that he rushed Dee Milliner back from a high ankle sprain. The result: Jordy Nelson had a 209-yard receiving game! Classic case of one team rising to the occasion well in crunch time and the other playing undisciplined trash football. Last week, Chicago erased a 13-point deficit, scoring three TDs in the fourth quarter. The Jets gave up an 18-point lead, gaining only 100 yards in the second half. I didn’€™t even have to mention the whole timeout debacle to justify this pick, but it’s more fun now that I did.

Pick: Bears -3

Last Week: 2-3-0
Season: 5-4-1

Blog Author: 
Sam Packard