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What pundits were saying about Patriots on Sunday

10.27.13 at 11:54 pm ET
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Here’s a quick rundown of what some NFL analysts were saying about the Patriots before and after Sunday’s game against the Dolphins.

LaDainian Tomlinson on NFL Network, following the game: ‘€œYou know a team is good when they have to [play a certain way] and they can do it. They had to run the football, because they couldn’€™t throw the football today and they got it done. Just an all-around performance by this Patriots team. I continue to be impressed by the coaching staff, the job they are doing. [It is] just unbelievable to watch them win games.’€

Michael Irvin on NFL Network, before the game, on Tom Brady and the Patriots offense: ‘€œWe know that Tom Brady and what he does works; we really don’€™t have that understanding for everybody else. One thing I’€™ve always said and I’€™ve always lived by as a receiver: it is never my quarterback’€™s fault. I don’€™t want to put it on my quarterback because I don’€™t want him hesitating in the next throw. Don’€™t worry about it, that’€™s on me. Certainly in this situation, it’€™s more on the receivers than it is on Tom Brady to get this right.’€

Tom Jackson on ESPN, before the game, on whether or not he’s concerned about Brady and the Patriots offense: ‘€œYeah, I’€™m concerned. You look at the bigger picture. Number one, he’€™s a first-ballot Hall of Famer, multiple Super Bowl winner. Any conversation about best quarterback ever, Tom Brady is going to be included. So we preface things by saying that. I don’€™t know of any elite quarterback who is more affected by getting hit than is Tom Brady. He is on pace right now to be sacked 46 times this year and if that happens, they will not end up playing in New Jersey for a Super Bowl. It cannot happen.’€

Mike Ditka on ESPN, before the game, on the Patriots offense: ‘€œHow do you get better protection? Get a running game, use some play-action. That will help you a little bit. That’€™s one thing they have to do. These young receivers aren’€™t the problem. Their offensive line protection is the biggest problem right now.’€

Keyshawn Johnson on ESPN, before the game, on the Patriots offense: ‘€œWhen you look at Tom Brady and the way he’€™s playing and you go back to those three championships ‘€“ he’€™s not playing any different than those three championships. The difference is, he’€™s a little older, he’€™s, you know, he’€™s more mature. But it’€™s the personnel. He doesn’€™t have the right personnel.’€

Cris Carter on ESPN, before the game, on Brady and the Patriots offense: ‘€œIf you go to Tom Brady today, Tom Brady’€™s going to tell you though, it’€™s me guys. Alright. I need to be better at doing my job. Alright. He’€™s going to take that onus. He’€™s not going to put it on the offensive line. But the real problem is the wide receivers. Okay. You cannot hide from having young wide receivers. Wide receiver is one of the tougher positions to transfer from college into the pros.’€

Report: Dolphins’ Mike Pouncey served grand jury subpoena in connection to Aaron Hernandez case

10.27.13 at 8:31 pm ET
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The Massachusetts State Police served Dolphins center Mike Pouncey with a grand jury subpoena after Sunday’s game against the Patriots, according to Sports Illustrated. The report says the subpoena is connected to the investigation of Aaron Hernandez, whom Pouncey has been friends with since they were teammates at the University of Florida.

Agencies from multiple states are looking into Hernandez’ involvement in interstate gun trafficking, according to the report. The extent of Pouncey’s involvement is unknown, but the report says police are focusing on multiple transactions between him and Hernandez.

According to the report, two state police officers handed Pouncey the subpoena in the hallway between the visitors locker room and the team bus less than an hour after Sunday’s game. A Dolphins spokesman said the organization had no comment, while a Patriots official told SI that owner Robert Kraft was not made aware that police would be serving Pouncey a subpoena.

Hernandez was indicted by a grand jury in September and pled not guilty to six charges, including first-degree murder.

Pouncey’s twin brother, Maurkice, plays for the Steelers and also roomed with Hernandez at Florida. SI reports that a Steelers spokesman declined to answer any questions about whether Maurkice has been contacted by police.

Read More: Aaron Hernandez, Mike Pouncey,

Quick Hits: Mike Petraglia, Chris Price break down Patriots’ win over Dolphins

10.27.13 at 6:25 pm ET
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Read More: Chris Price, Miami Dolphins, Mike Petraglia, New England Patriots

Tom Brady on badly swollen right hand: ‘It’s perfect’

10.27.13 at 6:08 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Tom Brady is having none of the talk and speculation that his right hand is in bad shape.

Despite a first half that saw him pass for just 25 yards, throw an interception on the first throw and register a 16.7 quarterback rating, Brady said he is doing just fine.

“It’€™s perfect,” Brady said.

It’€™s not bothering him at all?

“Absolutely not,” Brady retorted.

Told that it looks pretty swollen from TV shots (see inset photo), Brady dismissed the analysis.

“I didn’€™t know [how] anyone knows what the back of my right hand looks like, but it looks fine to me and it feels good. I’€™ll be out there next week; you don’€™t have to worry about that,” Brady said.

Brad had a better second half, including a 14-yard TD pass to Aaron Dobson. He finished 13-of-22 for 116 yards and a quarterback rating of 69.5.

Read More: Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, nfl, Tom Brady

Snap Judgments: After sloppy first half, Patriots roar back to post win over Dolphins

10.27.13 at 4:08 pm ET
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FOXBORO — The Patriots mounted a furious second-half rally, overcoming a 14-point halftime deficit and posting a 27-17 win over the Dolphins Sunday afternoon at Gillette Stadium.

After having major issues over the first two quarters — a stretch where Miami jumped out to a 17-3 lead — the Patriots scored a pair of touchdowns in the third quarter in less than two minutes to tie the game. That momentum swing continued into the fourth quarter, as New England moved to 6-2 on the season and put some distance between itself and the Dolphins. Miami suffered its’ fourth straight loss on the year, dropping to 3-4 with the defeat.

Tom Brady went 13-for-22 for 116 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Stevan Ridley had 14 carries for 79 yards and a touchdown and Aaron Dobson had four catches for 60 yards. Meanwhile, Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill ended up going 22-for-42 for 192 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.

Here are a few quick notes:

WHAT WENT RIGHT

‘€¢ After a completely flat first half in which the Patriots managed just one field goal and Brady was an abysmal 6-for-8 for 25 yards, New England found its footing midway through the third quarter when it scored two touchdowns in 1:46 to turn a 14-point deficit into a 17-17 game. First, the Patriots took advantage of a Caleb Sturgis missed field-goal attempt from 46 yards out, turning it into a five-play, 64-yard drive that included a 23-yard pass down the middle to Rob Gronkowski and a 14-yard touchdown pass to Dobson. (It was New England’s first third-quarter touchdown of the season.) The second one came after a strip sack of Tannehill by defensive back Logan Ryan gave the Patriots the ball at the Miami 13. Three plays later, Brandon Bolden punched it in from two yards out to tie the game with 6:46 left in the third. Read the rest of this entry »

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Sebastian Vollmer suffers gruesome leg injury, out of game

10.27.13 at 2:24 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Patriots starting right tackle Sebastian Vollmer suffered a gruesome right leg injury in the second quarter of Sunday’s game against the Dolphins.

During a Stevan Ridley run play to the right, Vollmer had his legs rolled up on by a pile and he immediately went to the ground screaming and yelling.

He was face down before Patriots medical staff raced on the field to tend to him. Vollmer slammed his right hand to the turf and had his right leg placed in an air cast before being carted off the field.

The Patriots announced it as a right leg injury and he would not return.

Marcus Cannon came on to replace Vollmer at right tackle for the rest of the game.

For the Dolphins, wide receiver Brandon Gibson, who caught the first touchdown of the day from Ryan Tannehill, left in the first quarter with a right knee injury. Albert Breer of the NFL Network reported that a season-ending ACL tear is feared.

Read More: leg injury, New England Patriots, nfl, Sebastian Vollmer

Halftime analysis: Dolphins 17, Patriots 3

10.27.13 at 2:23 pm ET
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FOXBORO — There are two quarters in the books here at Gillette Stadium, and the Patriots are getting stomped by the Dolphins, 17-3. Here are a few quick notes from the first half.

‘€¢ In many ways, it was one of the worst halves of football the Patriots have played this season. New England failed to get much of anything going on offense (Tom Brady was 6-for-8 for 25 yards and an interception), while the defense — which was on the field for an extended stretch as a result — yielded 17 first-half points. And the Patriots lost another starter, as right tackle Sebastian Vollmer went down with what appeared to be a serious right leg injury in the second quarter and didn’t return.

‘€¢ The Patriots struggled offensively throughout the first half — Brady was picked off on his first pass attempt of the game, a quick shot to tight end Rob Gronkowski. New England couldn’t string together any sort of offensive consistency throughout the early going — the Patriots were scoreless in the first quarter, and didn’t cross midfield until there were just over six minutes left in the second quarter. New England got on the board following a 13-play, 64-yard drive (21 of which came on a questionable pass interference call) that ended when Stephen Gostkowski banged home a 34-yard field goal with 3:43 left in the first half to make it 14-3.

‘€¢ One interesting offensive personnel note: Stevan Ridley didn’t play for the entire first quarter — he made his first appearance midway through the second quarter.

‘€¢ Miami wasn’t all that interested in taking deep shots down the field, which likely makes sense because of the state of its depleted offensive line. Instead, the Dolphins focused on short and intermediate stuff, content to pick up yards here and there, eventually getting on the board with an 11-play, 40-yard drive following the Brady interception and culminating with a 4-yard pass from Ryan Tannehill to Brandon Gibson with 6:32 left in the first quarter. On the series, it appeared Marquice Cole was utilized as the corner on Gibson — ahead of Logan Ryan, who got a sizable amount of reps last week against the Jets — and struggled at times in coverage.

‘€¢ The Dolphins followed that up with another first-half scoring drive that ended with another Tannehill touchdown pass — this one to Daniel Thomas — that put the capper on a 10-play, 58-yard drive that consumed 4:31. (They added a field goal before the end of the first half when Caleb Sturgis connected on a 52-yarder with 30 seconds left in the second quarter to make it 17-3.) Miami was again content to take gradual chunks of yards against a New England defense that looks like it’s really missing linebacker Jerod Mayo, defensive tackle Vince Wilfork and cornerback Aqib Talib.

‘€¢ The Patriots continue to suffer serious injury issues, as Vollmer went down with what appeared to be a serious right knee or leg injury with just over seven minutes left in the second quarter. He was carted off, and replaced at right tackle by Marcus Cannon.

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