Brandon Browner

Brandon Browner

Patriots coach Bill Belichick praised the work of cornerback Brandon Browner on Monday, saying that after a four-game suspension to start the season, the veteran has “worked very hard,” and that’s paid off over the last week-plus.

“We saw that all through training camp and all through the spring and through training camp. He’€™s got good instincts and knows the defense,” Belichick said of Browner. “We ask him to do a lot of different things. Yesterday he was outside, he also came in, was on [Martellus] Bennett in coverage in certain situations. [He] did a real good job of tackling. I think there were a few tackles there on Forte, the big third down stop; he’€™s a good run-force player.”

After his first game of the year earlier this month against the Jets, Browner was very upfront about the fact that he needed to work on his conditioning. But on Sunday against the Bears, he played 56 of a possible 69 snaps, and did well, finishing with three tackles, a tackle for loss and a pass defensed.

“He does a good job in all the situations. I think his on the field work ethic has never been a question,” added Belichick. “He just, unfortunately, missed a little bit of time there at the beginning of the year, but he’€™s worked very hard and the hard work is paying off. The more he’€™s played the better, just like anybody else — the better the techniques are and the better your timing, confidence, reaction time and so forth. That’€™s just been a byproduct of both practice and in-game opportunities.”

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price
Patriots WR Julian Edelman has seen less and less targets during the last few games. But acknowledged that the offense is playing well and is confidence that his targets will improve. He also realized the importance of this Sunday's game against Denver, but stressed that his focus is NOT on Peyton Manning, but the Denver defense.

Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman made his weekly appearance on Middays with MFB on Monday, one day after Sunday’s rout of the Bears. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

While Edelman was the standout through the first few weeks — without much support from the rest of receiving corps — Tom Brady has been spreading out the passes the last couple of weeks. Rob Gronkowski and Brandon LaFell combined to make 20 catches for 173 yards and four touchdowns Sunday.

“You’re getting production out of a lot of guys,” Edelman said. “[Jonas Gray] came up again and had a big game. Timmy [Wright] comes in and has his touchdown. Gronk, Shane [Vereen] having some big plays. The more you have a lot more guys doing things, we’re building up for the backstretch.”

Added Edelman: “[LaFell is] playing lights out. He’s making plays and scoring touchdowns. It’s great for the offense.”

Meanwhile, Edelman’s production has declined. He had just one reception Sunday. He said it isn’t a matter of defenses adjusting to him.

“I think it’s more just: One week it’s this guy, the next week it’s that guy,” he said. “Hopefully it comes back.”

Added Edelman: “The offense has been doing well. You don’t want to do anything differently to disrupt that. I’m sure I’ll be getting targets my way or something like that. It’s the flows of the game. You’re going to be hot sometimes, and sometimes you’re going to be playing a different role. As long as the team’s winning, that’s all it’s about.”

Next up for the Patriots is a game against the AFC-leading Broncos.

“I’ve played in a few of these now, so you’re kind of used to it,” Edelman said, adding: “It’s a conference game. There’s some meaning behind this game, because the winner can put themselves a foot forward in the standings. Its Denver, they’re a good team. They’ve obviously been on TV a bunch. You’ve got Peyton Manning. But I don’t necessarily play against Peyton Manning. I play against the defense.”

Sunday will feature a matchup of Edelman against former teammate Aqib Talib, now a member of the Broncos defensive secondary.

“It’s going to be fun, because I loved Talib when he was here,” Edelman said. “We got along real well. I thought he was a great teammate and I enjoyed playing with him. So it’s going to be fun. I also know T.J. Ward a little bit. We train in the offseason together. It will be fun to go out there and play against premier competition.”

For more Patriots news, visit the team page at

Blog Author: 
Jerry Spar
Lamarr Houston

Lamarr Houston

The NFL is a dangerous game, apparently even when celebrating.

Late in Sunday’€™s game against the Patriots, Bears defensive end Lamarr Houston was proud of his sack of backup quarterback Jimmy Garappolo. Despite his team being down by 20-plus points, Houston jumped in the air after he brought the quarterback to the ground.

As he came back down to earth, Houston’€™s knee gave out. He immediately fell to the ground and grabbed his right knee. Houston was helped by the training staff and was carted off the field. Bears coach Marc Trestman said he was “disappointed” for his defensive end.

Houston will go for an MRI on Monday to see if he has any tear in his knee. If the injury does end his season, it will be the second time in 2014 that a celebration went awry.

Lions linebacker Stephen Tulloch tore his ACL earlier this year after he celebrated a tackle. Tulloch’€™s injury will force him to miss the rest of the season.

Blog Author: 
Andrew Battifarano

So happy for my love!!! Go Pats!!! 51 points!!! 👏👏👏👏👏

A photo posted by Gisele Bündchen (@giseleofficial) on

FOXBORO — After her hubby put forth one of the most efficient and precise performances of any quarterback in NFL history, Gisele couldn’t help but show some love.

In the players parking lot after the Patriots’ 51-23 win over the Bears at Gillette Stadium, Gisele Bundchen posed for a picture with husband Tom Brady. She even wore an old-school “Pat Patriot” ski cap, presumably worn during the game played in chilly, blustery conditions in Foxboro.

“So happy for my love!!! Go Pats!!! 51 points!!!” is what Gisele posted on her official Instagram page. It was liked by over 185,000 of her 3.1 million followers.

Brady was 30-of-35 on the day, with five touchdown passes, no interceptions and 354 yards passing. He matched his own NFL record of 85 percent passing (minimum 30 attempts), at least 350 yards and five touchdowns. No other quarterback has accomplished the feat even once.

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

ESPN NFL analyst Tim Hasselbeck joined Dennis & Callahan on Monday to discuss the Patriots’ big win over the Bears and next week’€™s battle against the Broncos.

ESPN NFL analyst Tim Hasselbeck joined Dennis & Callahan on Monday to discuss the Patriots’ big win over the Bears and next week’€™s battle against the Broncos. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

New England’€™s offensive outburst and Brady’€™s 30-for-35 passing performance has given the Patriots a lot of confidence heading into the second half of the season. Next Sunday the Patriots will face off against Peyton Manning‘€™s Broncos, a game that will pose another midseason challenge.

Said Hasselbeck: “It doesn’t need hype. … In terms of the tune-up, with the way [the Patriots] played offensively, just the points they had, they end up with over 50 points in that football game. So now everyone looks at it as if New England has solved all of the offensive woes that they had early in the season. And now it’€™ll be billed as a big shootout between the two star quarterbacks.”

New England’€™s wide receiving corps and Brady’€™s supporting cast during Sunday’€™s win, and over the last few weeks, have stepped up since the early part of the season. The hosts wondered whether it’€™s time to stop talking about the possibility that they are a weak group.

“I don’€™t know if a couple of weeks changes it,” Hasselbeck said. “Now, [Rob] Gronkowski is healthy, I think that all of us would agree, Gronkowski’€™s healthy versus what we saw from Rob Gronkowski after very little work in the preseason and playing about 30 snaps a game at the beginning of the year, versus what we saw yesterday is totally different. Tim Wright, I think we’ve seen very little from Tim Wright. They threw him a touchdown pass down near the goal line, but you probably could’ve taken Jim Dray from the Cleveland Browns and had it sneak out. I don’€™t that that was a matchup that was won necessarily by Tim Wright. Shane Vereen‘€™s a nice player, but he’€™s not Le’€™Veon Bell.

“I still don’€™t look at the supporting cast as this unbelievable group surrounding  a very good quarterback. I see a very good quarterback making a pretty good supporting cast look a lot better than they did earlier in the year.”

In last year’€™s matchup against the Broncos, the Patriots made a late-game comeback to win, thanks in part to a botched Denver punt return at the end of the game. Despite the Broncos possibly being even better this year, Hasselbeck said the Patriots could beat the Broncos again. But a win against the Broncos and Manning comes down to the whole team playing well, not just Brady.

“Yeah, I think it’€™s possible,” Hasselbeck said of the Patriots’€™ chances of winning. “When you get to wins and losses, even though the build-up is going to be all about the quarterbacks, when you get to wins and losses, there are so many other factors. … We can sit here and talk about [Demaryius] Thomas and Gronk and what a matchup problem he’€™s going to be. He looks like he’€™s healthy, full complement of snaps. Well, hey, look at Emmanuel Sanders and what he’€™s meant for this Denver offense. And now there’€™s an element of speed that they didn’t have when Eric Decker was in that role. Ronnie Hillman is running it well, they’€™re better on the offensive line. All of those different things.”

Continued Hasselbeck: “But there’€™s also these other aspects of the game that we often overlook when you end up kind of trying to forecast who wins. And I think that’€™s part of it. In many cases, when you look at Bill Belichick and his history of whether it’€™s special teams play, whether it’€™s a decision much like the regular-season game last year where he used the wind to his advantage. There are things like that I do believe go in the Patriots’€™ favor. And ultimately I think that probably ends up being a determining factor in the game more so than which quarterback throws more touchdown passes.

“New England in New England, I think you have to have some really strong feelings to go against them in that environment,” Hasselbeck continued. “I like New England in New England.”

Following are more highlights from the interview.

On the Russell Wilson controversial situation in Seattle: “It’€™s a bizarre story, it’€™s an absolutely bizarre story. And I think one of the great things about playing football is that you do get guys from all different types of backgrounds. And look, I grew up in Norfolk, Massachusetts, went to Xaverian in Westwood, Massachusetts. My father played in the NFL and I had an outstanding environment to grow up in. Went to Boston College and became friends with guys that had similar upbringings and then had upbringings that were totally different. I worked with a guy now in Damien Woody from Beaverdam, Virginia. Me and Damien don’€™t have a whole lot in common in terms of how we grew up. But he was a teammate of mine at BC, he was an intramural basketball teammate of mine at BC and I guy that I work with now. And we get along great — I love him. That type of thing, that makes football special.”

On Geno Smith and the Jets’€™ continued problems this year: “Geno Smith, he throws eight passes, three of them are intercepted. It was horrendous. What’€™s it like going to work? It’€™s embarrassing. There’€™s really no other way to put it. In terms of how it works for Rex Ryan, in fairness to Rex, and you guys just watched a game where he prepared a team to play probably play over their heads in terms of their performance against New England. The guy is a good coach, he really is. There’€™s things he does as a head coach that I think you can argue with, but you need a quarterback, plain and simple.”

Blog Author: 
Andrew Battifarano
Tom Brady discussed his dominating performance over the Bears.

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[0:13:08] ... game specific questions from yesterday's second quarter before the right one yard touchdown pass that a third to 22 you scrambled. Rob made a great catch and gets to the one. Were you aware of how ...

Coming off his best game of the season, Tom Brady made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show Monday morning to discuss Sunday’s rout of the Bears and preview next Sunday’s showdown against the Broncos.