FOXBORO — It figures to be a festive day at Gillette Stadium.

The matchup between the 9-2 Patriots and the 4-7 Rams will feature a 15th anniversary tribute to the first Patriots’ Super Bowl-winning team. Several members of the team will be on the field for a halftime celebration. The reunion is the culmination of a season-long celebration of the 2001 Patriots.

Pete, Price and Curran were all in New Orleans in 2001 for Super Bowl XXXVI so the guys reminisce about the circumstance surrounding the Patriots and Rams in that momentous game.

[0:04:24] ... coach and there's an air to it of resignation that the needed Drew Bledsoe to be signed. To market the new stadium and that was very much a fact of life he was the ornament to ...
[0:05:01] ... they closed down an old decrepit stadium. That had been PM from Monday Night Football because of the behavior of the eight. People. Like each other Rudd a five. The page lit each other run fighter in ...
[0:08:01] ... open. Stabilized. There was also very much an air of entitlement around Drew Bledsoe in 2001. That his teammates had no artists whether it be how. Comfy cozy he was too crafty way. The different kind ...
[0:08:55] ... us. Exactly right. I mean you look at that 2001 pre season Drew Bledsoe pleaded to the third quarter. Of the final pre season game why does he was not playing well. He was on executing ...

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The GAMEDAY program inside Gillette Stadium for Patriots-Rams, commemorating the Super Bowl XXXVI. (Mike Petraglia/

FOXBORO — It figures to be a festive day at Gillette Stadium.

The matchup between the 9-2 Patriots and the 4-7 Rams will feature a 15th anniversary tribute to the first Patriots’ Super Bowl-winning team. Several members of the team will be on the field for a halftime celebration. The reunion is the culmination of a season-long celebration of the 2001 Patriots.

Among those expected on the field are Drew Bledsoe, Ty Law, Lawyer Milloy and Antowain Smith.

As for the game itself, the Patriots will be playing their first game following the season-ending back surgery to Rob Gronkowski.

The Patriots will have the services of Tom Brady, Chris Hogan, Martellus Bennett and Julian Edelman, all of whom were questionable but are expected to play. Alan Branch will be available to play after his four-game suspension for marijuana use was thrown out on Saturday by the league after it was determined that his positive finding came from a earlier test and not his most-recent submission.

For the Rams, they are likely to be without two key pieces. On the defensive line, defensive end Robert Quinn is in concussion protocol and not expected to be cleared for the game. Offensively, wide receiver Tavon Austin is doubtful with a chest injury after not practicing this week.

The weather will be seasonably cold for the first Sunday of December. Temperatures are expected to be in the lower 40s with little wind for the 1 p.m. kickoff with no chance of precipitation.

Chris Price has the full scouting report for the game while Ryan Hannable has 10 fun facts to consider heading into the contest.

With a win, the Patriots will clinch their 14th consecutive season of double-digit wins.

Before the game, it was reported that embattled Rams coach Jeff Fisher was given a two-year contract extension. Earlier in the week, it was Fisher, a 22-year veteran NFL head coach (Titans, Rams) who was chided on social media for not being able to name New England’s active running backs. Fisher, who also caught grief for kicking hall of fame running back Eric Dickerson off the Rams’ sideline, is three losses away from passing Dan Reeves for most losses as an NFL head coach.

The Patriots are playing the Los Angeles Rams for the first time since losing 14-0 in Anaheim on Sept. 13, 1992. Since then, the Patriots have beaten the Rams of St. Louis four times in six meetings, including Super Bowl XXXVI.

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia
Pete, Chris and Tom all talk about how the team has handled Gronk's injury from the joint statement to the video of him walking after surgery. What does it mean for other players and how New England will handle injury situations moving forward?

[0:00:31] ... One more picture like back you're courteous the end of the loyalist Teddy Bruschi right here each effort Chris price obvious target your articles on there at best pitch it provided by Pittsburgh guys would be ...
[0:01:31] ... a high level and I think that happened last year on the offensive line there are a lot of players. We're really banged up and playing things by the end of the year when we pilloried ...
[0:03:11] ... camp this week obvious that pissed me off. It happens on the phone network all the talk about what your guys thoughts on that plus obviously a whole lot more. Crocodile directions though this bit about 2001. And all part of NFL Sunday it would be Shepard topics aren't. And Chris prices are best jet jet provided by read Spurrier back after this a Sports ...

The awesome Field Yates joins Pete, Price and Curran on NFL Sunday. Before previewing the Pats and Rams, Field discusses breaking the news that Alan Branch won his appeal and will not actually be suspended for 4 games due to the NFL's drug policy. Then he moves on to Jeff Fisher and how he is able to keep his job after so many failures. Field talks about the effectiveness of Todd Gurley, Gronk's injury and if Martellus Bennett will be able to fill the void.

[0:03:48] ... the beginning of the years spent four games I'm not talking about Rob Ninkovich. The effort expended to put the other guy quote unquote away. You know I think about I don't know if you guys ...
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[0:07:49] ... patriots they don't like that our preparation. And that's interesting too because Jeff Fisher is serving other masters. Right well he'll Belichick is focused on football in the scouting in the game planning and preparation Jeff Fisher is focused on. The franchise building the relationship building in LA his relationship with the league office doing their beatings he's done throughout the years when European competition committee or otherwise. The course has just open their kickers in this week. And I wrote this earlier field he is in many ways the anti Belichick in that Belichick is a renegade coach. Who is going to do things football wise the way he sees fit and Jeff Fisher has somehow insinuated himself in to. 345 park avenue and so that he is. Really. He's untouchable. Propped up in this very ...
[0:10:53] ... The preacher should be handled the team as long break and keep Tom Brady you know a few feet away from a number 99. Martin to look at all aren't the best player on defense. And ...

Pete and Chris are live in Foxborough to preview the Pats and Rams today. They kick things off discussing the injury to Rob Gronkowski and what it means going forward for his career, his status with the Patriots and how the Patriots will cope with the loss.

[0:01:53] ... when when you think about the rails and Eric Dickerson him in Jeff Fisher calling the patriots back field Bradenton and Armenian. A truck outside is that last night Red Bull by the way actually carried ...
[0:03:16] ... gloom for the most 40. And take into consideration. Up to destroy Jeff Fisher teams last year's when they played a rookie quarterback. Back at fox. Noise in the days yeah. Games. Rookie quarterbacks for. So ...
[0:11:41] ... love it's it's it's great for and he's adapting quickly much like Rodney Harrison did. Yeah and the x.s auto stuff that he does I think when we get a chance to do some of that ...
[0:20:09] ... and I think that he needs to agree. 39 and settlement. And Willie McGinest. All of these players went Ellis Guerrero reshape their bodies by a mile to my next question you have a guy who's ...

According to our friend Sarah Wroblewski of Fox 25, it should be clear and cool for Sunday’s contest between the Patriots and Rams in Foxboro.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price
November 20, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; New England Patriots running back Dion Lewis (33) during the second quarter against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium. The Patriots defeated the 49ers 30-17. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Dion Lewis has hit the ground running in his return to the NFL this season. (Kyle Terada/USA Today Sports)

FOXBORO — Dion Lewis is ready to show everybody he’s back for real.

In two games back, the running back who led the 2015 Patriots in yards from scrimmage before his ACL tear on Nov. 8, 2015, has eased his way back into the rhythm of the Patriots offense. Now with Rob Gronkowski out for the season following back surgery, it’s Lewis who might be called upon to finally get up to speed and pick up some of the slack.

Against San Francisco, he played 21 offensive snaps. Last week against the Jets, he played 23. Against the Niners, he carried the ball five times for 23 yards. In the passing game, he was targeted five times, caught three passes for 26 yards.

Last week, he carried the ball six times for 24 yards. He was targeted by Tom Brady seven times, catching four passes for 34 yards. Perhaps most telling is how Lewis has been used in the red zone. Inside the 20, he ran three times. He’s been targeted in the passing game in the red zone once each against San Francisco and the Jets.

“I think Dion has gotten better progressively each practice, each week,” Bill Belichick said. “Based on watching him practice for a couple weeks before we activated him, we felt comfortable playing him, and that’s part of his game, obviously, is his quickness, his change of direction, his acceleration. I think all of those things were evident. I think they’ve gotten better, but I think they were all evident when he returned to practice after the original – I’d say the initial break-in period.”

Lewis jokes about his 5-foot-8 stature and his ability to take the hits in the NFL game.

“I wouldn’t say survival. I would say survival for them,” Lewis joked this week. “Nah, I don’t mind getting hit but I’m not going to let somebody get me. If I can avoid getting hit, I’m definitely going to try and do that. I try to use my lower center of gravity to my advantage.”

Ironically, it wasn’t a hit that ended his 2015 season. He made a cut back to the inside on a run to the right edge against the Redskins in the first half. His left knee gave and he went down. A year later, he’s ready to finally pick up where he left off.

“If I didn’t think I was ready to go, I wouldn’t play in the game,” Lewis said. “If I didn’t think I can make anybody miss, I wouldn’t play in a game because that’s what I do and that’s how I protect myself so just a lot of hard work,” Lewis said. “Just happy to be back out there with my teammates. It was a tough road. But it made me, it didn’t break me. I stayed positive, kept working and knew that what I had to do was going to be tough but everybody can’t do it. If it was easy, everybody would do it and everybody can’t do it. I like to think of myself as a competitor and I like to go out there and try to make things happen and try to be the best player and person I can be.

“I feel good. I’m getting better every week, getting back in my rhythm. The past two weeks I’ve felt pretty good and trying to build on that. A little bit but I feel good when I’m out there so I just got to get used to playing football again. That’s pretty much the biggest part of it.”

Several times, the Patriots have also gone with a two-back look of Lewis and James White.

“It’s just a different look, gives the defense something to worry,” Lewis said. “Just trying to get matchups. We work great together.”

Against the Rams, Lewis will be facing someone on the other side of the line with whom he’s very familiar. Defensive tackle Aaron Donald was a freshman at Pitt when Lewis was a senior. Now Donald is considered one of the very best defensive linemen in the NFL.

“He’s an explosive player. He works really hard and we’re going to have to focus on him,” Lewis said. “He’s a great player. He was a freshman. Very explosive, very powerful, very quick. Not even that big, really, but he’s one of the best linemen in the league.”



Lewis admitted that it was difficult watching his teammates.

“Yeah, it’s tough watching, rooting for these guys every week as much as I can,” Lewis said. “It just made me want to work harder so I could get out there and help the team win. I just try to make the defender make the first move and I just react off what he does. Just stay patient and force his hand and then just react off what he does.”

Any other secrets to conditioning for Lewis?

“I’ve got a couple of secrets,” Lewis said. “Nah, I can’t tell you that. It won’t be a secret anymore.”

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

The Patriots officially ended all doubt when it came to Rob Gronkowski on Saturday, placing him on injured reserve and officially ending his 2016 season.

The tight end, who suffered a back injury, finishes his year with 25 receptions for 540 yards with three touchdowns.

Rob Gronkowski

Rob Gronkowski

The Patriots officially ended all doubt when it came to Rob Gronkowski on Saturday, placing him on injured reserve and officially ending his 2016 season.

The tight end, who suffered a back injury, finishes his year with 25 receptions for 540 yards with three touchdowns.

To take his spot on the roster, the Patriots activated running back D.J. Foster. The 23-year-old Foster was released from the 53-man roster on Nov. 28, 2016 and signed to the practice squad on Nov. 20. The 6-foot, 195-pounder, was originally signed by the Patriots as a rookie free agent out of Arizona State on May 6 and made the 53-man roster out of training camp. He played in three games and accrued 24 yards rushing on seven attempts for a 3.4 average and caught one pass for two yards.

For more Patriots news, check out

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price