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Notes and Observations Week 11: Defense Leads Battered Patriots to Victory Over Bills 20-13

By on November 25, 2015 at 8:36am
James White crosses the goal line for his first NFL touchdown and gave the Patriots the 10-3 lead just before halftime. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) James White crosses the goal line for his first NFL touchdown and gave the Patriots the 10-3 lead just before halftime. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Monday night was far from pretty but the Patriots stand at 10-0 and could officially clinch the AFC East next week. With the offense devastated by injuries, the defense played some of its best football of the season. The offense is clearly dealing with communication and trust issues with all the new pieces being plugged in along the way. For the first time in weeks the offensive line was healthy but ironically it was the worst they’ve looked all year. Tom Brady’s most reliable receiver with zero dropped passes, Danny Amendola, left with an apparent knee injury. After his exit they had three healthy receivers. One was Matthew Slater and another was Chris Harper who has never caught an NFL pass. With all that they still made the plays to win a divisional game in prime time.

– Aside from a few big plays the defense showed again how good they can be. The front seven was holding contain on Tyrod Taylor for the majority of the game. Pressure caused by the pass rush directly led to multiple poorly thrown passes. LeSean McCoy did break the 27-yard touchdown run but was held to just 55 rushing yards other than that. By his standards that’s a relatively calm day. Rob Ninkovich continued his solid campaign by adding another 1.5 sacks and pressuring Taylor throughout. Rotating defensive linemen throughout the game has paid off for the Patriots as each group knows exactly what their job is, and they’re doing it well. Continue reading Notes and Observations Week 11: Defense Leads Battered Patriots to Victory Over Bills 20-13 »

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Tom Brady (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)


* Starters on offense not available – Solder, Wendell, Devlin, Lewis, Edelman, Amendola

* Marcus Cannon should be charged for crimes against humanity – has to be the worst game by an offensive line man in the history of the game

* Why running left – wasn’t working

* Wow Scott Chandler taken down in the flat one on one by a cornerback (even depleted offense – and he can’t break in)

* Could be the worst offensive line in the history of the sport

* James White finally broke a tackle and scored

* Was Gronk sick or something – more commercials than catches

* Amendola injury looked bad / If Dobson was a horse they would have shot him already


* Could Malcom Butler be the best corner in the game right now? Continue reading Connelly’s Top Ten: Patriots Win Despite Cannon’s Assassination Attempt on Brady »

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Fox Sports

The Patriots take on the Bills at Gillette Stadium for a Monday Night Football match up that is sure to have plenty of fireworks. The Patriots have dominated the Bills for the entire Brady-Belichick era with the Pats going 26-3 since 2001. However Buffalo is reinvigorated with new head coach Rex Ryan, a rival to the establishment that is the Patriots in the AFC. The Bills have won their last two games against AFC East opponents and find themselves in the playoff hunt.

They come to New England on a chilly night with the forecast predicting temperatures dropping into the 20’s as the game gets underway. The cold weather is something the Bills have overcome in the past, being a cold weather team like New England, but one thing they have had trouble with is winning on Monday Night Football where they haven’t recorded a victory since 1999, Tom Brady’s senior year at Michigan. Continue reading Patriots and Bills Set To Do Battle on Monday Night Football »

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Patriots star linebacker Jamie Collins has missed the past two games with an undisclosed illness. The illness could also keep Collins out of this Monday night’s game against Buffalo.

Although there have been reports that Collins is over the illness, he has not practiced this week. It has also been reported that the illness prevented Collins from eating and caused him to lose weight. It would make sense for the Patriots to wait until Collins is back to his pre-injury strength before sending him back out on the field.

The Patriots have been using a mix of players including Jonathan Freeny in place of Collins. Freeny has not made any major mistakes but his talent is nowhere near that of Collins and the absence of Collins has made things more difficult for the Patriots. The Giants attacked Freeny on several occasions and showed a vulnerability that the Patriots had. It did not kill them in that game, but going forward the Bills (and possibly Broncos) will try to attack that part of the field is Collins isn’t back.

At this point, all the Patriots can do is hope Collins comes back soon. He is over the illness and working his way back to playing shape. It doesn’t look like he will be back for Monday night, but the following Sunday night in Denver looks like a reasonable target.

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Edelman catches pass, tackled by Jasper Brinkley

In the Sunday afternoon thriller at Metlife Stadium where the New York Giants hosted the New England Patriots, fans for both teams were on the edge of their seats. The Patriots ultimately defeated the Giants 27-26 on a last second, 54-yard field goal off the foot of Stephen Gostkowski. Tom Brady led the Pats into range by completing a 4th and 10 pass on their way down the field to victory.

Unfortunately the Pats lost wide receiver Julian Edelman in the first half when it appeared he was rolled up on by Giants Linebacker Jasper Brinkley. Edelman limped off under his own power but tossed his helmet down when getting to the sidelines indicating that the injury may be more than just a tweaked ankle. He did not return to the game and afterwards was diagnosed with a broken foot, specifically a fracture of the fifth metatarsal bone in the mid-foot commonly known as the Jones fracture.

Fans may remember earlier this year when Dez Bryant suffered a similar injury, it does require surgery which Edelman underwent on Monday. Bryant was able to come back five weeks after going under the knife. Another Pro Bowl receiver, Julio Jones had the same injury and it took him a bit longer to recover. Like most foot problems if not given the proper time to heal they can lead to continued pain and possibly even recurrent fracture, but if anyone is likely to press getting back on the field it would be Julian Edelman. Not only is Edelman as tough as a bag of hammers, repeatedly taking big shots going over the middle and as a return man, but he is also a fierce competitor who wears his emotions on his sleeve. Continue reading Julian Edelman Breaks Foot, Return This Season Questionable »

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Stephen Gostkowski stands tall among fallen Giants after kicking the game winning 54-yard field goal. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

There is nothing quite like a good old fashioned nail biter to get the blood pumping on a Sunday afternoon in November. The Giants have been the one team to have the Patriots figured out. For most of the game on Sunday it appeared like it was going to be more of the same. We were going to be subjected from a perfect performance from Eli Manning, while Tom Brady looked as mortal as he has all season. Luckily for the Patriots and their fans they were the recipient of the lucky break at the right time.

– No doubt about the fact that Danny Amendola was the savior of that game. His punt return sparked some much needed life into a team that was dragging. I, like everyone else I imagine, have zero idea what Duron Harmon was trying to accomplish. Amendola walks into the end zone if Harmon stays far, far away from him. On the last drive he was right where he had to be to haul in a laser of a pass to keep the drive going on 4th and 10. His awareness produced the necessary yardage on his catch setting up Stephen Gostkowski for the game winner. If Amendola goes down right where he catches that pass there’s a real chance Gostkowski doesn’t make that kick.  Continue reading Notes and Observations Week 10: Gostkowski’s Game-Winning Field Goal Sends Patriots Past Giants 27-26 »

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New England Patriots' Rob Gronkowski (87) scores a touchdown in front of New York Giants' Jayron Hosley (28) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday Nov. 15, 2015, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

The Patriots did something they have not done since the last week of the 2007 regular season on Sunday. They beat the Giants. The teams fought back and forth with many big plays and the Patriots won 27-26. Stephen Gostkowski kicked a field with six seconds left from 54 yards out to win the game.

The game began with a long Patriots touchdown drive capped off by a Scott Chandler touchdown catch. The Giants answered right back with an 87 yard touchdown catch by Odell Beckham on their second offensive play. The teams fought back and forth throughout the second and third quarters with the Giants taking a lead into the fourth.

Tom Brady hit Rob Gronkowski on a 76 yard touchdown to give the Patriots the lead 24-23. After forcing a punt, the Patriots drove down the field highlighted by a 50 yard catch by Brandon LaFell. With the ball at the two yard line, LeGarrette Blount ran into the end zone for a touchdown but the score was called back due to a holding penalty by David Andrews. Despite the penalty, the Patriots were still in position to increase their lead. However, the drive came to a stunning end when Brady threw an interception  at the goal line.

The Giants then drove nearly the entire length of the field and appeared to take the lead on another Beckham touchdown catch, but the play was overturned. The Giants settled for a field goal and a 26-24 lead with less than two minutes to go.

The Patriots took the field needing to get into field goal range for a a chance to win the game. After three straight incompletions, the Patriots faced a fourth and ten. On one of the biggest plays of the day, Brady hit Danny Amendola for a first down. The Patriots got the ball into Giants territory and set up Gostkowski for the game winner. In a truly memorable affair, the Patriots left New Jersey with a one point.

They also may have left with a significant injury. Julian Edelman left the game after the first play of the second quarter. His ankle got rolled up on and he went back to the locker room. He did not  return and the team hasn’t provided any further details. The Patriots offense had significant trouble moving the ball after Edelman went down for much of the game.

If he is out for a significant amount of time, it will be a huge blow to a New England offense that has already suffered a rash of injuries. He is their best wide receiver and is one player who Brady always turns to in difficult situations. He is a third down machine with a knack for making big catches and moving the chains. He also rarely drops a pass, even when taking a big hit.

In retrospect, the Patriots got a huge road win but may have suffered a serious loss as well. The next few days are crucial for Edelman, as much about the severity of his injury will be known by the middle of the week. The Patriots face Buffalo next Monday night and that is followed by a match-up with the vaunted Denver defense. If Edelman can’t play, he will be immediately missed.

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