|10.19.10 at 1:08 pm ET|
The Patriots are set to add Ross Ventrone to the practice squad, according to a league source. Ventrone was with New England in camp before being cut once, returning, then cut again shortly before the start of the season. He is a 5-foot-8, 190-pound defensive back who had 42 tackles and four interceptions over the course of his college career with Villanova. A defensive back and special teamer, he could provide some depth at the safety position if the the Patriots do lose Brandon Meriweather to suspension.
|10.19.10 at 12:12 pm ET|
|10.19.10 at 12:02 pm ET|
The Pittsburgh Steelers claim the throne in this week’s edition of the WEEI NFL Power Rankings. Led by Ben Roethlisberger, the Steelers finally can improve their pass game and complement a defense that is allowing just 12 points per game. Moving on up into the top five are Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. After a thrilling overtime win at home against the Ravens, the Patriots proved they can win against the NFL’s best.
Making a big leap to No. 7 are the Philadelphia Eagles. Despite a looming quarterback controversy, the Eagles showed how dynamic their offense can be with either Kevin Kolb or Michael Vick behind center.
Falling out of the top 10 are the Green Bay Packers (No. 11) and Chicago Bears (No. 13). Injuries are piling up over at Lambeau Field and the Bears’ offensive line struggles continue to be a major problem.
Week 7 will feature some exciting NFC matchups that promise to cause some major ripple effects in the rankings. The Vikings are at Green Bay and the Giants are at Dallas.
1. (Last week, 3) 4-1 The Steelers are one of the most complete teams in the NFL right now. Ben Roethlisberger showed some rust in his return but also made some outstanding throws. Now, Pittsburgh has a passing offense to go along with their great run game and defense.
2. (2) 5-1 The Jets will go into their bye week after rattling off a very impressive five-game winning streak. Cornerback Darrelle Revis obviously isn’t healthy and could benefit greatly from the time off. One of the main keys to New York’s success through six games has been the play of a rejuvenated LaDainian Tomlinson. The 31-year-old running back leads a Jets running attack that ranks second in the NFL.
3. (6) 4-1 The Patriots defense was very impressive down the stretch in the fourth quarter and overtime. New England’s D was able to stop the Ravens on their final five drives. Bill Belichick said it was the best game his outside linebackers have played all year. Their win over the Ravens should definitely be a confidence booster going forward.
4. (1) 4-2 The Ravens just finished a tough stretch of games where they played New York, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and New England, all on the road. Now the Ravens can enjoy some games at home and should be able to bounce back from their loss to the Patriots. After the game, Ray Lewis was already looking forward to the next game when they take on the Bills at home saying, “It’s going to be rough on Buffalo.”
5. (5) 4-2 Plagued with injuries, it seems the Colts can overcome anything as long as they have No. 18 under center. Peyton Manning has been playing outstanding as usual. Indy is also able to rush the passer and is able to force mistakes with Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis on the ends.
|10.19.10 at 11:24 am ET|
NFL executive vice president of football operations Ray Anderson, in an appearance on ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike Show, said that the hit by Patriots safety Brandon Meriweather on Baltimore tight end Todd Heap on Sunday was “flagrant” and “egregious,” and that the NFL would consider suspensions for such hits going forward.
“That in our view is something that was fragrant, that was egregious,” said Anderson. “Effective immediately, that’s going to be looked at at a very aggressive level, which would include suspension without pay. … What I would tell you is that if there are flagrant and egregious violations of our current rules, we will be enforcing, effective immediately, discipline at a higher level.”
Anderson said that the NFL will not be instituting any new rules about helmet-to-helmet hits or other shots taken at “defenseless players.” Instead, he said, there will be more rigorous enforcement of Rule 12, Section 2, Article 8 of the NFL Rule Book (for the complete rule, click here), with clarification of officials’ authority to eject players immediately for hits to the head of a defenseless player (including “launching” at a receiver in the act of catching a ball) and with the league issuing punishments “up to and including suspension for a game or multiple games.”
While Anderson made clear that players will be held to a “strict liability” standard for hits to the neck and head of defenseless players going forward, and that hits such as the one delivered by Meriweather against Heap would be subject to immediate discipline, he did not discuss what kind of punishment Meriweather will receive.
|10.19.10 at 1:27 am ET|
Deion Branch spent a good chunk of the day Monday talking to folks about his return to the Patriots, his nine-catch outing against the Ravens and what it all means. Check out the video of him chatting with ESPN’s “First Take” here:
|10.18.10 at 9:21 pm ET|
According to a report from TMZ, former Patriots linebacker Junior Seau told law enforcement that he was not trying to kill himself when he drove his Cadillac Escalade off a cliff in Carlsbad, Calif., on Monday morning.
Seau was arrested on Monday for allegedly assaulting his 25-year-old girlfriend, and claims that when his SUV went off a cliff hours later, it was as a result of him falling asleep behind the wheel. TMZ notes that there was no evidence of Seau, a 12-time Pro Bowl selection, being under the influence of alcohol or drugs, though the former linebacker’s blood was drawn, with results being expected within the next six weeks.
|10.18.10 at 8:07 pm ET|
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