Good morning, here are Sunday’s Patriots news notes and what’s happening around the division:
Injuries Piling Up, Depth To Be Tested This Week: The Patriots injury report continues to grow, especially along the offensive line and with the Jets today and the Dolphins on Thursday, the depth will be tested.
Having already lost left tackle Nate Solder to IR after Dallas, the team moved swing tackle Marcus Cannon to Solder’s spot and promoted Cameron Fleming from the practice squad. But Cannon injured his toe on the first offensive series in Indy and Fleming was put in at right tackle. RT Sebastian Vollmer then slid over to Solder’s spot on the left side.
If it sounds confusing…imagine what it is like for the coaching staff. So today Vollmer and Fleming will start at tackle, Cannon has already been ruled out, so in essence the $64,000 question is….who is the swing tackle in case one of them go down? One logical choice could be TE Michael Williams who has played tackle and tight end.
There are other options including practice squad members Chris Barker and Blaine Clausell. Josh Kline did play some tackle in college but with Shaq Mason doubtful with a knee injury at guard…the options become fewer.
Jabaal Sheard has already been ruled out and Dont’a Hightower is questionable. Both would have been big boosts for the rushing game defensive front. Special team ace Matthew Slater probably won’t play today and that will also hurt the coverage units.
One thing is for certain, the coaching staff will be happy once the Miami game is in the books and some of these players will get 10 days to heal up.
Will Brady Continue To Dominate #1 Defenses Today?; If not for the state of flux that currently exists in the offensive line, the confidence would have to be high that Brady would get the better of the Jets #1 defense on Sunday. With the game at home in Foxboro where the Patriots win-loss record is phenomenal, and getting Brandon LaFell back, off of PUP today are great signs.
Bucky Brooks from NFL.com earlier this week posted an intriguing bit of information that bears repeating. When facing the team that is the #1 scoring defense or is #1 in total defense in Week 7 or later to include the post season, Brady’s nearly infallible.
His record is 6-0, he’s completing 66.7 percent of his throws, also averaging 293.7 yards per game with 13 touchdowns and only 5 interceptions. Brady’s passer rating against the #1 defenses of the NFL during this timeframe is a stellar 98.1.
This speaks volumes of the detailed and tireless preparation that both he and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels conduct on a week-to-week basis. Studying strengths, weaknesses and tendencies coupled with Brady’s uncanny ability to quickly recognize the defense on his pre-snap reads makes the Patriots offense tough to stop.
Even this week with a depleted offensive line, against an excellent Jets defense, I wouldn’t bet against #12 today.
Game within a Game Today: Another of the more intriguing matchups today will be how the third quarter transpires. This will once again pit the unstoppable force, the New England offense against the immovable object, the Jets defense.
The Jets have allowed zero third quarter points in their five games thus far in 2015. The Patriots lead the league in scoring in third quarter points with 51 thru their first five games .
Something will have to give one way or another, but it speaks well to the staffs of each organization that they’ve been able to make the necessary adjustments to have been so successful right after halftime.
Hometeam Discount-gate? No Joke: File this one under the Tin-Foil hat category. Since when is taking a hometeam discount cheating? When your name is Tom Brady and you play for the Patriots of course. Hardly a day goes by without someone posting a piece on the internet accusing the Patriots of some kind of nefarious behavior.
Most of these just tend to get ignored and the vast majority of them aren’t worthy of your two minutes or less that it would take to scan through them. But one caught our eye this week because one well-known NY writer was promoting it on Twitter.
Apparently someone believes that Brady, by signing a contract far below his market value and therefore allowing Bob Kraft the cap room to sign more and better complimentary players is akin to cheating the salary cap.
The justification for this was an obscure line from Greg Bedard from SI where he stated a while back that he wouldn’t be surprised if “Brady owned a piece of the Patriots” one day. So this writer has decided that Brady has made a back door deal with Kraft to play for less money in return for a piece of the team when he finally decides to retire.
Talk about a stretch…apparently one plus one equals seventeen. Remember the good old days when taking a hometeam discount made you a team player? You set such a bad example Mr. Brady! …tsk, tsk.
East Bound and Down…Notes Around the AFC East:
Dolphins Look To End Losing Skid vs Houston: The Miami Dolphins, flush from success under new coach Dan Campbell will look to win their second game in a row and also do something they’ve never done, and that is beat the Houston Texans.
The Dolphins have lost all seven meetings against the Texans since their first meeting back in 2003. And now they’re looking to put that streak behind them as well as get win #2 for Campbell.
Dolphins edge rusher Cameron Wake told the Miami Herald, “I think this franchise is due, period… What do they say? The bridesmaid and not the bride? Always one step away from being where we’re supposed to be.” Miami lost their last meeting in 2012 which happened to be the debut for now fired coach Joe Philbin and quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Tannehill threw three second quarter picks which led to a Texans 30-10 win.
The Dolphins will play the Texans at Sun Life Stadium today and are hoping that they don’t tie the franchise record of having eight straight losses against an opponent. That has happened twice in the Dolphins’ history and both times against the Jets.
Bills Jaguars Game in London to be streamed digitally: The game this morning between the Buffalo Bills and the Jacksonville Jaguars in London will be a first.
The NFL has teamed with Yahoo to stream the first NFL game digitally free around the world. While this is great news for the league, Yahoo and the fans who are either stuck in a cubicle at work or are away from a television, but what about the fans who enjoy sitting at home on a Sunday and want to watch it on a big screen television?
Well first things first, to get the game online, all one has to do is type in the address of nflstream.yahoo.com. The game is scheduled to kickoff at 9:30 a.m. ET.
If you’re looking for supported apps to watch the game, these are recommended:
– Yahoo Fantasy Sports
– Yahoo Screen
Most computers and laptops have an easy connection that will allow viewers to watch the game via their computer to a large screen television. Which begs the question….why not just do both? Hopefully it works out with no glitches.
Posted Under: Patriots Commentary
Tags: 2015 NFL Season Bill Belichick Brandon LaFell Buffalo Bills Chandler Jones Danny Amendola DeflateGate Gillette Stadium Indianapolis Colts Jabaal Sheard Jacksonville Jaguars Joe Philbin Julian Edelman LaGarrette Blount Malcolm Butler Miami Dolphins New England Patriots New York Jets NFL Patriots Patriots edge rushers Rob Gronkowski Rob Ninkovich Ryan Tannehill Streaming NFL game Tom Brady Yahoo Sports