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New England Patriots News 10/30, AFC East Notes

Steve Balestrieri
Steve Balestrieri on Twitter
5 years ago at 5:00 am ET
Posted Under: NFL Commentary

Good morning, here are Sunday’s Patriots news 10-30, and AFC East Notes for this week.

One of the more interesting facts of the week: Since the 2014 season, Tom Brady is 11-0 in October starts with 33 touchdowns and 1 interception. His passer rating is 124.3. His 47 wins in the month of October is the most of any QB in NFL history. That certainly bodes well for today’s game.

While the Bills shut out the Patriots 16-0 in their meeting a month ago, the Patriots QB that day was Jacoby Brissett. Should the Patriots be encouraged by the return of Tom Brady for this matchup? Absolutely. Since taking over the starting duties in 2001, Brady is 25-3 against the Bills with one of those losses, a 16-9 regular season finale where many of the starters sat and Brady only played the first half.

Martellus Bennett missed Friday’s practice as the ankle issue he’s been dealing with has probably acted up again. He’s questionable for today’s game and will bear watching as he’s a key contributor on offense.

Dion Lewis Returns, Activation Imminent?
The Patriots got a great bit of news this week as running back Dion Lewis returned to practice on Thursday and started the clock ticking on his activation. The Patriots have 21 days to either activate him to the 53-man roster or place him on IR.

With Lewis present at practice on both Thursday and Friday, it is a very positive step for the shifty, elusive RB that tore his ACL last season. If the team decides to take the entire 21 days, it would just three days before facing the 49ers in Santa Clara. He’d miss the Buffalo game, the bye week and the SNF game against Seattle.

However, with an open spot on the 53-man roster now, the Patriots could activate him now and just keep him inactive until such a time that they deem him ready for football action. The good part is with James White playing so well, there isn’t any rush to bring him back until he’s ready.

My bet for activation (written on Friday, 10/28), this week? DT Anthony Johnson. With the continued injuries on the interior DL, the quick Johnson may get activated…again from the practice squad for this week’s game.

Van Noy Happy to Be Here…and Wanted:
The Patriots made an interesting trade this week with the Lions, shipping a 6th round draft choice for the former 2nd round draft pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, in addition, the Lions’ 7th round pick in 2017.

His reaction to joining the Patriots? One of shock. “I was shocked,” Van Noy said. “I respect everybody with the Detroit Lions… I’m just grateful for the opportunity to come here and get it going.”

Considered a good pass rusher when coming out of college, the 6’3, 243 -pound Van Noy hasn’t had many opportunities to show that side of his game with the Lions. They mainly used him as a strong-side (SAM) linebacker.

How he’ll fit with the Patriots and where they plan on using him is still unknown. He’s had just the three days of practice this week. He has some versatility and could line up as a linebacker or as a defensive end. Van Noy will wear number 53 for the Patriots and it isn’t known if he’ll suit up this week.

” I’m here now,” he added. “Whatever they have me and want my weight to be at, and whatever they ask me to do, I’m going to do it because I want to win and be part of this team. … They want me here, and I’m happy to be wanted.”

Blount Off to a Great Start But Cares Only About Winning:
Patriots running back LaGarrette Blount is off to a very good start in 2016, with143 carries for 566 yards and a career-best and tied for the league-high with eight touchdowns.

Blount and the Patriots have to be thrilled, given the big 6’0, 250 pounds running back finished the 2015 season on IR with a hip injury. No one was sure how, if at all he could bounce back from his injury. But he’s over to a fantastic start in 2016 on pace for nearly 1300 yards which would be a third more than his career best 1007 yards with the Buccaneers.

So how is Blount handling his success this season? By keeping his own personal goals in check and focusing on the team goals first.

“I’m just excited to be winning football games, just to have fun, just to come out here with my guys,” Blount said to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald. “Because of the way the season ended last year, obviously, I love being out here with them. It’s all fun. Winning is a bonus.”

Who Do You Like This Week:
Was 10-4-1 picking last week’s slate which brings me to 60-45-1 on the year. So, who do you like today?

I am going with for the games on tap today Jax from TNF (picked last Sunday, what was I thinking?), Cinn, KC, AZ, Oak, Seattle, Detroit, NE, NYJ, Den, GB, Dallas and Minn on Monday Night Football

Early pick for Thursday Night Football, (Atlanta over TB).

Eastbound and Down, AFC East Notes:

NFL.com Writer Calls Bills Sweep in “Bold Predictions:
Every week on NFL.com they have a Bold Predictions piece that is sometimes bold, sometimes ludicrous and nearly always entertaining. This week Jeremy Bergman wrote:

 Dynasties don’t die slow deaths; they crumble quickly at the hands of a hated foe. Call me an optimist, but Buffalo’s second 2016 win over the Patriots this Sunday will be the beginning of the end for Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. Forget the quarterback’s stats since returning from suspension — 1,004 yards, no picks in three games. Forget that New England hasn’t been swept by a divisional opponent since 2001. Rex Ryan historically gives New England fits; he led the Jets to two wins in three games over the Pats in 2010. Of course, he also provides laughers; the one loss that year was a 45-3 beating in prime time (and oh, the Butt Fumble Game). We’re never sure which Rex team will show up when he faces off against Belichick, his white whale, but after his Bills squad soundly beat a competitive Pats team in Foxborough, albeit sans Brady, Rex should be smelling blood. Anchored by a laser-focused performance from Ryan’s overachieving linebacking corps, Buffalo contains LeGarrette Blount, jams the tight-end duo and holds Brady to a season-low completion percentage in an 18-15 victory. Down with tyrants! Viva Bills Mafia!

While that prediction is sure to gain traction in Western NY, but he left a few out a few tidbits. While Rex historically “gives New England fits”, since the 2010 playoff game where he has staked his reputation, Belichick has won 9 of the last 11.

The only wins Rex has since the 2010 playoff game is the 2013 OT game where the ridiculous “pushing” penalty was enforced for the first…and only time and this season’s shutout of 3rd string QB Jacoby Brissett.

Dolphins Not Surprised at Foster’s Retirement:
Eighth year running back Arian Foster had enough with injuries that have derailed his career. The latest being a groin and hamstring injury that limited him to just 5-yards on three carries in the win over the Buffalo Bills. He walked away from the game in mid-season and retired on Monday.

Foster texted coach Adam Gase at 5:30 Monday morning after a frustrating Sunday where he just can’t perform like he’s used to. Gase said he’d hope he was wrong when he heard the phone ring, “But he did a lot of good things in a short period of time for us. I know the injuries were really frustrating for him.”

His teammates were supportive of him, with Jarvis Landry stating, “He felt it was time. He can walk away from the game healthy and that’s what I want for anyone.” The Dolphins players stated that they will miss his leadership, especially with the younger backs like Jay Ajayi, Kenyan Drake, and Damien Williams.

Jets Revis, “My Body is Breaking Down”:
Darrelle Revis has been on an island for the majority of his 10-year NFL career. Now the 31-year old cornerback for the Jets is admitting that the constant contact and physical toll of playing corner in a very competitive league are catching up with him.

“My body’s breaking down,” Revis told the NY media this week.

“Yeah, I am. I mean, not in a bad way. I can still play,” Revis said. “It’s just, I’m breaking down. I’m 31. How many corners are 31 right now in the league? The league’s getting younger.”

While Revis may sound like he’s hanging it up, his play recently has taken an upswing. And if next season he feels he can’t compete any longer as an elite cornerback, then the gets would probably get themselves a darned good free safety.

But for now, he’s hurting and it will be interesting to see how the next few weeks turn out. Revis admitted that he gained weight this offseason after having offseason wrist surgery. Following two really bad weeks to start the season, he’s turned it around.

Follow me on Twitter @SteveB7SFG or email me at [email protected]

Listen to our Patriots 4th and 2 podcasts on blog talk radio as the writers Russ Goldman, Derek Havens and I from PatsFans.com discuss the latest Patriots news Wednesdays at 12 noon.


Posted Under: NFL Commentary
Tags: 2016 NFL Season 2016 Patriots Roster 2016 Patriots season 53 Man Roster Projection Bill Belichick Buffalo Bills Chris Hogan Danny Amendola DeflateGate Dion Lewis Dont'a Hightower Jabaal Sheard Julian Edelman LaGarrette Blount Miami Dolphins New England Patriots New York Jets NFL Patriots Patriots edge rushers Rob Gronkowski Tom Brady


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