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The Patriots are set to host the Dolphins this Thursday night and one match-up that could come into focus is the Patriots’ offensive line vs the Dolphins defensive line. The Dolphins don’t have the same talent across the board as the Jets, but they have two elite players in Cameron Wake and Ndamukong Suh. Suh is an excellent interior lineman when he has his head in the game and will be a handful for the Patriots interior offensive line. However, it is Wake who could end up being more of a problem for New England.

Wake already has six sacks this season and the Patriots are hurting at offensive tackle. If Marcus Cannon cannot play, then the starting tackle opposite Sebastian Vollmer will be Cameron Fleming. Miami will likely try to match-up Wake with Fleming as much as possible making this battle of the “Cams” important to the outcome of the game. When teams have beaten a Patriots offense in the last 15 years they have generally done three things” get pressure up the middle, have a good edge rusher, and cover well. Miami is not great in coverage but definitely checks off the other two boxes. If the Patriots line gets beat off the ball consistently, then Tom Brady will not have adequate time to defeat the Dolphins coverage. The battle around the edge is especially important because Brady struggled in the first half against the Cowboys this season and excellent edge rusher Greg Hardy.

Wake is a superior player to Fleming, but Fleming held his own last week against the Jets. The Patriots will also try to help Fleming out by chipping Wake off the edge with running backs and tight ends. Even so, there will be instances where the young tackle has to block Wake one on one. Wake has shown that when he gets going, he can have a monster game. His four first half sacks against the Titans changed how Tennessee played that game and he could do the same to the Patriots.

Miami could move Wake around and have him face off with Vollmer, but the better match-up for them is Fleming. If Marcus Cannon plays he will not be 100% and signs are pointing to the possibility of him sitting out. There is a strong possibility that Fleming will once again be forced into the starting role.  If that is the case, the match-up between the two “Cams” could decide the game.

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Glenn Ordway

You may have heard that WEEI host Glenn Ordway collapsed while at the Patriots’ tailgate event at Gillette Stadium on Sunday.

It turns out the Big O collapsed due to a bleeding ulcer. Continue reading Where is Glenn Ordway? — Update on his Health »

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Patriots special teams ace and captain spoke out Monday about Thursday night NFL games and how they affect teams. The veteran expressed concern about player safety and injuries.

“I can’t sit here as the player rep of this team and say that I’m a huge fan of it. Obviously it puts our players in a bind. But I understand why it’s being done. I understand that we want to make this game available to our fans as often as possible. But you talk about player safety and health, and it’s hard for us to understand how that is catering toward our players’ safety and health.”

The comments are significant for two reasons. First, the Patriots host the Dolphins this Thursday night at Gillette Stadium in a divisional game. Slater is not the first player to express discontent with playing on only three days rest. Slater was also asked if his teammates felt this way and he said he believes they do.

This is also significant because Slater is the team’s union rep, an important position in the lockerroom. Any concerns players have can be relayed to their union rep who can then broach those topics at union meetings. If there is enough agreement  with a topic, it can become a point of emphasis when negotiating collective bargaining agreements.

Just because players are unhappy with playing on Thursdays does not mean there will be a lockout when the current agreement runs out in 2020, but this topic will likely come up in negotiations and could be a divisive issue. Player safety is a supposed important point for the league, but that can be hard to believe as players play two games in a five day span.

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Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski celebrate after Gronk went uncovered and untouched to score the go ahead touchdown. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Of all the AFC East opponents the Jets have been the one to consistently play the Patriots close. With a revamped defense and new head coach Todd Bowles, there were people who thought this was the year they overtake the Patriots in the East. Once again they played competitive football throughout the game and kept it interesting for four quarters. Then right at the very end they decided to show everyone why the Jets are still the Jets.

– Tom Brady led the Patriots to yet another fourth quarter comeback in his incredible career. In the fourth quarter alone he went 14-17 for 150 yards and two touchdowns. Going against the number one ranked defense in the league, and the best secondary in the league, he shredded them for 355 yards. What’s even more impressive is that the Patriots didn’t even try to pretend like they wanted to run the ball. The whole world knew they were passing on the best secondary in the league and they still couldn’t stop him. That’s why he’s the greatest quarterback of all time. Even when the other team knows exactly what Brady is going to do he still does it and makes it look easy. Continue reading Notes and Observations, Week 7: Brady Nearly Perfect in 4th Quarter; Patriots Beat Jets 30-23 »

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1. Patriots:


* You know Gisele was getting ready with – “He can’t catch it too!”

* Think Ben Roethlisberger will file a complaint with the league after the Patriots forced TWO penalties by shifting on DEFENSE

* I love Revis seeking out Brady at the end – dude you’re a loser – take your money and screw!

* Another backdoor cover against the Patriots

* How important is a quarterback and coach – Jets have more talent on both lines, backfield, receivers, secondary and lost

* Sideline reporter Evan Washburn was in danger of wedgies throughout the game

* How can the sideline official mis- mark balls by over a yard twice – both having to be overturned

* the bootleg pass is virtually indefensible (as well as the halfback pass)

* What’s the story with Jets getting away with two huge pick plays

* Brady 22-6 versus Jets – yikes


* Amendola’s third best game as a Patriot (8 for 86 with TD) Continue reading Connelly’s Top Ten: Brady Leads Despite Drops »

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Flip Saunders

Longtime NBA head coach Flip Saunders, the current coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves, has died. He was 60 years old.

Saunders died of cancer. He announced over the summer that he was being treated for Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Continue reading Timberwolves Head Coach Flip Saunders Dies »


Johnny Cueto (Tony Dejak/Associated Press)

Earlier in the week we proposed a similar question regarding David Price, in wondering whether the Red Sox should consider a serious run at a major free agent in their search for an Ace for the starting rotation. Johnny Cueto is a very, very similar player to Price, and will most likely cost just almost as much to sign, in both years and dollars. The Red Sox, as a major market team, have the capability to acquire either player off of the free agent market, but there is merit in wondering if they actually should take the plunge. Free agent megadeals almost never work out for the signing team, so there is legitimate reason to speculate on the wisdom of making a splash just for the sake of spending to capacity. A deeper look into the situation reveals that the Red Sox should probably look elsewhere to find their Ace.

As stated above, Cueto is a very similar pitcher to Price, and that is why he will get paid at the top of the market this offseason. Cueto is only 29 years old, has averaged about 178 innings per season in the Major Leagues, and has a 3.30 career ERA, with only 2.60 BB/9, and a .236 Average Against for his career. So we can agree, solid marks all around. He has been good, he has been relatively durable, and he limits walks. This sounds like a solid pitcher that would be worth a decent investment in, especially since Cueto’s numbers are slightly worse than Price’s and would therefore mean a cheaper contract in signing him. And to be sure, Cueto would easily be an upgrade over any starter the Red Sox currently possess.

Continue reading Should the Red Sox Want Johnny Cueto? »

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