Malcolm MItchell was at Patriots practice again on Thursday. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

Malcolm MItchell was at Patriots practice again on Thursday. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

FOXBORO — Despite having seven players listed as limited on Wednesday, the Patriots had all active roster players present for practice on Thursday.

The only player missing was practice squad defensive tackle Woodrow Hamilton. He also missed yesterday’s session.

Practice squad tight end Glenn Gronkowski was present at practice after missing Wednesday’s.

This is a good sign for the team going into Sunday’s AFC title game. The only real question could be at wide receiver as Malcolm Mitchell was inactive on Sunday so if he’s healthy enough to play, the team will have to decide to have five wide outs active or make he or Michael Floyd inactive.

The second injury report of the week is due out later in the afternoon with game designations on Friday.

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

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

The NFL used to flee from the notion that it condoned gambling. Now it’s one step closer to sending one of its signature franchises to Sin City itself.

According to the Associated Press, the Raiders have filed paperwork to move to Las Vegas.

The NFL used to flee from the notion that it condoned gambling. Now it’s one step closer to sending one of its signature franchises to Sin City itself.

According to the Associated Press, the Raiders have filed paperwork to move to Las Vegas.

Billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson has plans to build a 65,000-seat, $1.9 billion domed stadium in the desert. The move is by no means a done deal — three-fourths of NFL owners must approve a move.

What’s beyond dispute is that the Raiders need a new home, because the Coliseum where they play their current games is a concrete abomination with faulty plumbing and more health code violations than the most disgusting thing you can imagine in your twisted little brains.

The other owners are expected to vote on the proposed move at their annual meetings in March.

Blog Author: 
WEEI

With an endorsement like this, the Patriots can’t lose.

TMZ Sports caught up with Johnny Manziel recently, and the disgraced former NFL quarterback offered his thoughts on who’ll be playing in the Super Bowl.


With an endorsement like this, the Patriots can’t lose.

TMZ Sports caught up with Johnny Manziel recently, and the disgraced former NFL quarterback offered his thoughts on who’ll be playing in the Super Bowl.

“It’s hard to go against the GOAT, Tom Brady,” Manziel said. “I’m a big Kyle Shanahan guy. I’m pulling for Matt Ryan.”

Shanahan is Atlanta’s offensive coordinator, and the presumed next coach of the 49ers. That means Manziel sees a Patriots vs. Falcons Super Bowl.

In the same interview, Manziel said he’s working out five or six times a week, presumably in the hopes of making a comeback.

Blog Author: 
WEEI
Malcolm Butler and Antonio Brown will likely be matched up again Sunday. (Stew Milne/USA Today Sports)

Malcolm Butler and Antonio Brown will likely be matched up again Sunday. (Stew Milne/USA Today Sports)

FOXBORO — Although Malcolm Butler is in his second year as a full-time No. 1 cornerback, he’s developed a bit of a rivalry with Steelers receiver Antonio Brown.

Butler rarely follows individual players around the field, but Brown is different.

According to NFL research, the closest player Butler came to shadowing this year was Brandon Marshall, covering him on seven plays in pass coverage over two game. This is compared to over 26 plays covering Brown.

Brown had seven catches for 106 yards against the Patriots in the earlier meeting this year, which came following a nine-catch, 133-yard performance against New England in Week 1 last year.

On Wednesday, Butler downplayed the individual matchup.

“Just gotta be ready to play,” Butler said Wednesday. “Can’t let anything get to you, just gotta go out there and play football. That’s what I’m going to do. It is what it is.”

Brown and Butler do have a relationship off the field as they shot a Visa commercial together. It will be all business Sunday, though.

“We’re focusing on this game, and it was a great opportunity,” he said. “Visa gave me a great opportunity, but it’s all about this Sunday.”

A huge key for the Patriots will be stopping Brown and Butler will play a huge role in that.

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

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable
Tom Brady has had his share of playoff struggles. (Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports)

Tom Brady has had his share of playoff struggles. (Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports)

Consider this the companion piece to the one we posted earlier this morning that detailed Tom Brady’s five best playoff outings.

5. 1/20/08 vs. Chargers in Foxboro (AFC title game) — 22-for-33, 209 yards, 2 TDs, 3 INTs, 66.4 passer rating in 21-12 win. One of two victories on this list, the Patriots appeared to win this one at times in spite of their quarterback, who threw a second-quarter touchdown pass to Jabar Gaffney and a fourth-quarter touchdown pass to Wes Welker that barely allowed the Patriots to sneak by a surprisingly rugged San Diego team. The sixth-worst passer rating of the postseason for Brady, and one of only three times he’s thrown three picks in a playoff game, he was likely injured at some point, which had an impact on his performance.

4. 1/16/11 vs. Jets in Foxboro (AFC divisional playoff) — 29-for-45, 299 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT, 89.0 passer rating in 28-21 loss. The numbers aren’t bad, especially when stacked against some of his other playoff clunkers (Trademark, Colin Cowherd). But it was five sacks and the fact that the loss came at home to the hated Jets after a 14-2 season that really bring it on home. New York got good pressure from a number of areas and limited the New England offense in just about every facet of the game. The sight of Rex Ryan and the Jets celebrating on the way off the field was pure nightmare fuel all offseason for Patriots fans.

3. 1/22/12 vs. Ravens in Foxboro (AFC title game) — 22-for-36, 239 yards, 0 TDs, 2 INTs, 57.5 passer rating in 23-20 win. After the game, Brady said he “sucked pretty bad today,” and I don’t think anyone disagreed with him, despite the outcome. The Patriots did just enough to survive this one against a pesky Baltimore team, including a late pass breakup/drop in the end zone on a play meant for Lee Evans that was defender by Sterling Moore. A missed 32-yard field-goal attempt at the buzzer from Billy Cundiff prevented overtime, allowing the Patriots to advance to the Super Bowl. But it was not one of Brady’s better days.

2. 1/14/06 vs. Broncos in Denver (AFC divisional playoff) — 20-for-36, 341 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs, 74.0 passer rating in 27-13 loss. This was the first playoff defeat of Tom Brady’s career, and it came on a night where the Patriots simply appeared to run out of gas. New England was within 10-6 late in the third quarter, but Brady was picked off by Champ Bailey in the end zone, and he ran it back 100 yards to set up Denver with the score that would eventually be the backbreaker.

1. 1/10/10 vs. Ravens in Foxboro (AFC wild card game) — 23-for-42, 154 yards, 2 TDs, 3 INTs, 54.7 passer rating in 33-14 loss. What’s the opposite of the gold standard? This one is in the bottom five in pretty much every postseason offensive category for Brady, including completion percentage, yards and overall passer rating. The less said about this one, the better.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price
Tom Brady has put up some amazing postseason performances over the course of his career. (Elsa/Getty Images)

Tom Brady has put up some amazing postseason performances over the course of his career. (Elsa/Getty Images)

When Tom Brady steps on the field for Sunday’s AFC title game, he’ll have an impressive body of postseason work. With 32 playoff games over the course of his career, he’s had a few that stand head-and-shoulders above the rest. Here are our pick for his five best postseason performances.

5. 1/19/02 vs. Raiders in Foxboro (AFC divisional playoffs) — 32-for-52, 312 yards, 0 TDs, 1 INT, 70.4 passer rating in a 16-13 overtime win. His playoff debut. Everyone knows about Adam Vinatieri’s two big kicks and the tuck rule and all that, but Brady throwing for 300-plus yards in a snowstorm is something worth remembering. Strange to recall he didn’t throw for a touchdown that night, but ran for one, one of only two times in his postseason career that happened.

4. 2/3/02 vs. Rams in New Orleans (Super Bowl XXXVI) — 16-for-27, 145 yards, 1 TD, 86.2 passer rating in a 20-17 win. The numbers are nowhere near as impressive as some of the others on this list, but we’re going to include it here in our top five for a few reasons, not the least of which was the final drive to get the Patriots into field goal range. For the youngster, it was the stuff of legend.

3. 1/12/08 vs. Jaguars in Foxboro (AFC divisional playoffs) — 26-for-28, 262 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTs, 141.4 passer rating in a 31-20 win. This might be the most underrated performance of Brady’s career, regular season or postseason. The quarterback was positively surgical that night against Jacksonville; of the two incompletes, one was a dropped ball. Afterward, Jacksonville defensive back Reggie Nelson sniffed: “Anyone can go 26-for-28 in a dropdown game.” The very definition of a sore loser.

2. 1/14/12 vs. Broncos in Foxboro (AFC divisional playoffs) — 26-for-34, 363 yards, 6 TDs, 1 INT, 137.6 passer rating in a 45-10 win. One of the more underrated performances of his career, Brady and Rob Gronkowski (10 catches, 145 yards, 3 TDs) were at the peak of their powers in this one. When it comes to his playoff stats, this game represented a career-high for touchdown passes, and was second-best when it came to passer rating, passing yards and completion percentage.

1. 2/1/15 vs. Seahawks in Arizona (Super Bowl XLIX) — 37-for-50, 328 yards, 4 TDs, 2 INTs, 101 passer rating in a 28-24 win. Given the stakes, the opponent and the way it all finished, this one ranks at the top of the list for any Brady performance, regular season or postseason.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

FOXBORO — Michael Floyd has been a member of the Patriots for about a month, but even he would admit he’s still learning things about the offense.

Michael Floyd is still catching up with the Patriots offense. (Reinhold Matay/USA Today Sports)

Michael Floyd is still catching up with the Patriots offense. (Reinhold Matay/USA Today Sports)

FOXBORO — Michael Floyd has been a member of the Patriots for about a month, but even he would admit he’s still learning things about the offense.

The Patriots offense is one of the most complex in all of the NFL and Tom Brady is one of the most demanding quarterbacks in the NFL. Playing in two regular season games and one playoff game, Floyd is still asking questions to his teammates.

“I’ve only been here a month, so I think that’s every single day that I’ve got to keep my head in the playbook and ask questions. That’s what I do every single day,” Floyd said. “There’s nothing wrong about asking questions, and they see that I’m the new guy here, and for the most part, they all have answers.”

Floyd had one catch on Christmas Eve against the Jets, but really came on strong in the season finale against the Dolphins. He had three catches for 36 yards and a touchdown, as well as delivering a huge block leading to another touchdown.

Against the Texans last Saturday, Floyd appeared a little off, especially in his breaks on routes. Brady targeted him on one of his interceptions where he led him a little too far, perhaps thinking he would have been there if he cut differently.

“I think the whole offense, especially the skill guys and the quarterbacks, have helped me fit in very well,” Floyd said. “That’s also doing the extra work of going through the playbook. Tom [Brady] likes things a certain way, so me being the new guy — or any of us — we make sure that we do it that way.”

Floyd isn’t nervous at all for Sunday’s AFC title game, as he just played in a championship game last year with Arizona.

“I was in the NFC championship last year. It’s just a big game. It’s the game before the big one,” Floyd said. “But this is the most important one, and all of our attention is on the Steelers.”

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable