NBC Sports NFL analyst Rodney Harrison joined Dennis & Callahan on Friday to discuss the Patriots’€™ win over the Jets on Thursday night. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

New England narrowly defeated the Jets, thanks to a blocked field goal by Chris Jones on the final play of the game. The Patriots used a bend-but-don’t-break approach on defense, which Harrison said they shouldn’t have done against the Jets and quarterback Geno Smith.

Said Harrison: “I think it directly applies to what type of team you play. I like that against, say, a Peyton Manning or a Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, a high-scoring offense with potentially a quarterback that can beat you in so many different ways. But when it comes to Geno Smith, one of the worst quarterbacks in the league, I don’€™t agree with that. I still think [Bill Belichick] could become a lot more aggressive, play a lot more man-to-man coverage. And you force him to make those tight throws.”

The Jets ran a solid game plan against the Patriots, running for over 200 yards while not committing a single turnover. They also limited Tom Brady‘€™s time on the field. In the end, though, the Patriots still won.

“[The game plan] didn’t work to perfection because if anybody knows playing against the Patriots, when Tom Brady is halfway on, when you get to the red zone, you have to score touchdowns,” Harrison said. “You can’€™t continue to settle for field goals. I think that’€™s a big mistake. When I look at the Jets, with all that being said, you look at what happens week in and week out, and obviously that wasn’t the case last night in terms of turnovers. But you look at the blown coverages, you look at the mistakes on the defensive side of the ball, you look at the mistakes, period, across the board. And you start to wonder, is it the players’€™ fault or is just the lack of coaching? And this team just seems unprepared each and every week. … I think you have to look at the coaches in this situation, not just the players.”

Harrison said he has personal experience playing on a bad team, as he was part of a 2000 Chargers squad that won just once all season.

“I played on a team that was 1-15 in San Diego, we had the worst offense in the league and we had the No. 1 defense,” Harrison said. “It comes down to this: You play for pride, you play for your family, you play for the fans that still support you. And it’€™s your job. Go out there and just continue to prepare, continue to work hard. It’€™s tough, it’€™s a tough situation, especially when you’€™re the Jets. You look at the game that you played against the Patriots and you say, ‘We should’ve won this game. We had a great opportunity to win that game.’ People don’€™t talk about moral victories. I talk about moral victories because I do believe there’€™s a lot of positives that you can find in negative situations.”

The Patriots will have 10 days off, but when they return they will begin a tough portion of their schedule. The hosts wondered if the defensive issues New England had Thursday night can be corrected over time.

Said Harrison: “You can’€™t have a team able to run over 200 yards rushing on you and physically dominate you on the line of scrimmage. But also, along with that, I look at the defensive line and I don’€™t think Vince Wilfork‘€™s 100 percent. I mean, coming off such a devastating injury, it’€™s going to take time for him to really feel comfortable and get back to being close to 100 percent. I think as time goes on, they will get better.”

Continue Harrison: “I think [Wilfork] will get better. I think as much as Vince takes care of himself, and he’€™s a pro and he’€™s a veteran, the days of him being an All-Pro, he’€™ll probably never get back to the time when he was 28, 29 years old or 27 years old. He’€™s still going to be an effective player. It’€™s just one of those things he’€™s smart, he works extremely hard and he’€™s still tough as nails.”

For the first time this season, the Patriots were without linebacker Jerod Mayo. Although they were without him for most of last year because of a season-ending injury, Harrison said Mayo’€™s absence will not go unnoticed.

“Jerod, he’€™s a quiet, humble guy. But he prepares, works hard, just his work ethic, the consistency in which he plays, the communication. It’€™s almost like having your big brother there. You just have that sense of comfort knowing that you’ve got Vince up front, you’ve got Jerod. … You just need that. When you look around, and you have that brotherhood, you miss having Jerod.”

While many picked the Patriots to win the Super Bowl before the 2014 season began, that is now in question after an inconsistent start. Harrison, though, said it doesn’t matter how things are going during Week 7, but the process going into the postseason is more important.

“I don’€™t look at them as being a team right now ready to win a Super Bowl,” Harrison said. “But I can say that about a bunch of teams. The only team I can probably say that for is the Denver Broncos. But at the same time, you don’€™t have to be ready right now to win a Super Bowl. You’€™re continuing to build, you’€™re trying your best to stay healthy and continue to build cohesion within that team.”

Blog Author: 
Andrew Battifarano

During the first couple of weeks of the season, I waxed poetic about how the NFL is a fickle lover and how trying to predict games was a total crapshoot. I implored you to ignore anyone claiming to know anything about the NFL before delivering my own thoughts. At the time, it was a convenient goof, a way to protect myself in case my picks were terribly inaccurate. But now, after six weeks, my record stands for itself. While others may know nothing about the NFL, I truly have my ear to the grindstone. So, no, don’t listen to other bloggers, analysts or talking heads, instead you should listen to me. S. Barnaby Covers clearly is the smartest man in the room and he drops hot knowledge on a weekly basis. On to the picks!

Falcons +7 at Ravens

I consider myself an expert on the city of Baltimore, and not just because I have seen “The Wire” six times. Rather, one time I took a class dedicated entirely to analyzing the sociological implications and narrative structure of the show. As if that past sentence didn’t already let you know, I graduated from a liberal arts college, so after the class I really felt like if not physically, I, at least intellectually, or even metaphysically, KNEW the city, you know?

I genuinely hate everything about the Ravens organization, but because of my “Wire”-based education, I could never hate the people of Charm City. Especially not when their accent is so damn funny. That incoherent rambling just tickles my fancy. Whenever I hear it, I completely forget about how Ray Lewis probably did his sack dance murdering that guy. So people of Baltimore, THIS PICK IS FOR YOU. Joe Flacco, the elitest quarterback in the league, is going to tear through a a mediocre Falcons team. Old Bey and Mayonnaise sandwiches for every one! Especially to the members of the Natural POH-Lice

Pick: Ravens -7

Bengals +3 at Colts

If this game was decided based on the crude and dimwitted nicknames I gave the starting quarterbacks, I would pick Andy “Red Rocket” Dalton over Andrew “Ugly Quarterback” Luck. “Red Rocket” simultaneously serves as an allusion to a great South Park moment and a subpar hamburger chain. “Ugly Quarterback” merely describes Andrew Luck‘€™s face and the position he plays. Good thing for the Colts, my attempts at humor have no bearing on the football match. The Colts have won four in a row and Ugly Quarterback is putting up insane numbers. T.Y. Hilton is a tiny man who can run like the wind blows. Also, ever since Tom Brady remembered how to play football, the Bungels have forgotten how to defend the pass. The Red Rocket will shrivel up once he sees Ugly Quarterback taking off his helmet to celebrating his fourth touchdown pass.

Pick: Colts -3

Chiefs +4 at Chargers

I feel like the rest of the media has entirely jumped on the San Diego Super Chargers bandwagon, but why hasn’t Vegas? All of the power rankings have the Chargers as a top-five team, yet they only are a four-point favorite at home? Phillip Rivers has eight kids, and you think the Chiefs are going to slow him down? HA! HA, I SAY. Rivers is two times the man Alex Smith is, and four times the lover. Chargers win big, sneaky Eddie Royal fantasy game, book it.

Pick: Chargers -4

49ers +6.5 at Broncos

I actually am making this pick based primarily for football reasons rather than traditional Peyton hate. The Broncos have not dominated teams on the scoreboard this year. Their first two wins were by one touchdown, and last week before the Aqib Talib pick-six, they were only up seven on the Geno Smith-led Jets. (Sidenote, Talib still is my dude.) The 49ers have won three in a row and it looks like their defense has adjusted to early injuries to the roster. The Broncos can’t really run the ball either, so I expect the Niners to deliver a heavy pass rush. I really wish I was getting a half-point, because I think there is a good chance the stupid Peyton Manning still wins the game. God, he is such a touchdown-throwing ninny muggins.

Pick: 49ERS +6.5

Texans +3.5 at Steelers

I can’t decide whether to stick with the Steelers for another week. Two weeks ago, I called for Antonio Brown to be nicknamed “Nino Brown,” and he hasn’t scored a touchdown since. Then last week I picked them to win, and the Browns dropped chocolate all over them. I really should pick against them this week, especially when they are going up against defensive cyborg J.J. Watt, but I really don’t want to get burned if Ben and Nino have a breakout game. Also, I have real problems with Ryan Fitzpatrick‘s beard. He looks like an embittered veteran of the Confederate Army who just hangs around in the 1870s complaining about how “we used to BUILD things in this country.”  JUST DEAL WITH RECONSTRUCTION RYAN FITZPATRICK AND SHAVE YOUR BEARD.

Pick: Steelers -3.5

Last week: 3-1-1

Season: 18-9-3

Blog Author: 
Sam Packard

The Patriots and Jets can’t have a last-second field goal attempt without some controversy.

The Patriots and Jets can’t have a last-second field goal attempt without some controversy.

At the end of Thursday’s game between New England and New York, the Jets lined up for a 58-yard field goal attempt from Nick Folk. The kick was blocked by defensive lineman Chris Jones — who gained a measure of redemption for a penalty he was flagged for last year when he was whistled for a penalty in a similar situation in a Patriots-Jets game. (That opened the door for a late field-goal from Folk to give the Jets an overtime win.)

A video review of the play from Thursday reveals that linebacker Dont’a Hightower approached the line of scrimmage shortly before the snap and attempted to stand just over Jets long snapper Tanner Purdum. According to the rules — specifically, Rule 9-1-3(a) — this is a five-yard penalty. Moments later, an official appeared to ease Hightower out of the area, grabbing his arm and moving him outside of Purdum’s shoulder pads where he would have been penalized.

This has raised the ire of some Jets fans, who believe the Patriots should have been penalized and Folk been given another chance at what would have been a 53-yard field goal. However, a league official told Pro Football Talk Friday morning that the maneuvering by the official in that situation is fairly common.

“It is a standard officiating procedure that occurs regularly,” league spokesman Brian McCarthy said by e-mail.  “€œIn fact, it is on [NFL V.P. of officiating] Dean Blandino’€™s video that went to the teams [Thursday] and will be on the version of it that goes to the media [Friday].”

That was echoed by many of Twitter Friday morning.

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price


[0:01:00] ... terrible speaking of that we are both in on the scrum with Vince Wilfork. Patriots defense -- tackle and defensive captain one of those remaining after the injury to Jerod Bailey was placed on injured reserve ...
[0:07:15] ... more time to do all of that. As they next play the Chicago Bears a week from Sunday here at Gillette Stadium game two of a three game homestand. And that of course ends with game against Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. That's getting ahead of ourselves the patriots have some well deserved time off after a 2725. Win. Over the York jets here ...




FOXBORO — In the end, there were no receptions — or interceptions — from Darrelle Revis Thursday night. Only a win over his old team.

Darrelle Revis tackles Jace Amaro during Thursday's Jets-Patriots game. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Darrelle Revis tackles Jace Amaro during Thursday’s Jets-Patriots game. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

FOXBORO — In the end, there were no receptions — or interceptions — from Darrelle Revis Thursday night. Only a win over his old team.

The cornerback, who may or may not have been involved in the offensive plans for the Patriots leading up to their game with the Jets on Thursday, said that the most important thing about the contest was the fact that New England was able to come away with a 27-25 divisional victory.

“€œThe only thing to focus [on] is us getting this win,” said Revis, who had two tackles and a pass defensed against his old team. “It was a tough game for us, and it came down to the end. Good teams win these tough games like this. We stuck in there as a team and we fought strong.”

Revis, who was a part of the Jets from 2007 through 2012, had a chance to experience the New England-New York rivalry from the other side for the first time. While he acknowledged the fact that it was a “historical rivalry,” he also downplayed the meeting.

“€œIt’€™s been going on for years and years, and it’€™ll probably continue to keep on being a rivalry. You just never know what you’€™re going to get in these types of games, and they’€™re always tough,” he said. “[But] it’€™s just football to me. It doesn’€™t make a difference. An away game is an away game, and a home game is a home game with a rivalry. It doesn’€™t matter where you play, same thing.”

Even though it was his second crack at his old mates — as a member of the Bucs last season, he suffered an 18-17 defeat in his return to MetLife Stadium — he said it wasn’t personal.

“€œNo. A win is a win — I’€™m excited for this team,” he said. “We’€™re 5-2. The main goal for us was to win this game and be first in the conference, and we accomplished that as a team.”

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price
Brandon Browner

Brandon Browner

FOXBORO — After his first action of the 2014 regular season, Brandon Browner sounded like a relieved man.

The veteran, who was suspended for the first four games of the 2014 season but also sat out the last few weeks, said after Thursday’s win over the Jets that it was simply “fun” to get back out on the field again.

“It was fun. It was actually fun,” said Browner, who got the start at cornerback against the Jets in Thursday’s 27-25 win. “I was fortunate to be out there to play. Last week I had an ankle injury, so I’m just happy to be out there playing football.”

Browner was on the field with the starters at the beginning of the game, but appeared to be a little gassed at the first half wore on, and ended up sitting for a significant chunk of the action in the second quarter. He also appeared to play reduced snaps in the second half. After the game, he confessed to being on a snap count, and said he felt “a little rusty.”

“I felt like I could play better,” he said. “In the first half, I felt like I was pretty tired out there. I can only get better from here. We’ll look at the film and critique myself and only get better from here.

“[There were] no surprises, but I was kind of tired out there, you know?” he said. “I’ve got to work on my conditioning.”

Browner was flagged for two penalties on the night, but after the contest, he took issue with both calls.

“To be honest, I have to see it,” he said, “because I don’t think I held him on the first one and I don’t think I pushed him on the second one. He fell down and I’ve got to look at it on film. I’ll probably have a better answer for you after I check it out on film.”

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

Danny Amendola makes one of his big kick returns Thursday night against the Jets. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)FOXBORO -- Get off his case. Danny Amendola deserves a break.



MIKE PETRAGLIA

BIO | ARCHIVE


Shane Vereen had a big night against the Jets, and with Stevan Ridley on the shelf he almost certainly will be asked to do more the rest of the way.</p>
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