|11.20.10 at 9:39 pm ET|
Here are five things worth keeping an eye out for in Sunday’s Patriots-Colts matchup:
New England’s tackles. With Sebastian Vollmer at left tackle in last season’s Patriots-Colts matchup, New England was able to keep sack machine Dwight Freeney at bay in last year’s matchup because of Vollmer’s pure size and strength. (On the other side, Robert Mathis had his way with Nick Kaczur.) On Sunday, Vollmer will be at right tackle and veteran Matt Light is back at his left tackle position. While Light ‘ who has traditionally struggled against speed rushers like Freeney ‘ has had a better than average season (his only below average game came against the Chargers), he might need help from Rob Gronkowski or Alge Crumpler if New England wants to hold Freeney sackless again on Sunday.
Aaron Hernandez. The rookie came into last week’s game against the Steelers as the team leader in receiving yards, but struggled to see the field. He was targeted twice, and did not catch a ball, the first time in his brief NFL career he did not catch a pass. The rookie insisted that it was just part of the game plan, but it will be interesting to see if he suffers the same fate Sunday against the Colts.
Brandon Tate. After a hot start, the kick returner has cooled off considerable over the last few weeks. (Over the last four weeks, the Patriots have averaged an NFL-low 12.3 yards per kickoff return and they are now 18th for the season with a 22.4 average.) Part of that can be attributed to the fact that more teams ‘ like Cleveland ‘ were making a point to kick away from him. But it seems
The Indianapolis run defense. It seems the Colts are always lousy when it comes to stopping the run, and this year is no exception. In 2010, Indianapolis is 29th in the league in rushing yards allowed with 1,199. It also has yielded a staggering 5.0 yards per carry (the highest rate in the NFL), including 5.5 yards per carry on first down. If New England is able to get up on them in the second half and is trying to milk the clock, look for the Patriots to try and run the ball as much as possible.
The Patriots have done an extraordinary job taking care of the football this season. Nuggetpalooza tells us that New England is the only NFL team with five ‘turnover-free’ games in 2010. This after they had only two such games last season. In addition, the Patriots are tied for second in the AFC (with the Jets and Colts) in turnover differential with plus-six. And Brady has gone 147 straight passes without being intercepted.
|11.20.10 at 7:08 pm ET|
The Colts on Saturday evening announced the following players are out for Sunday’s game against the Patriots: running backs Joseph Addai and Mike Hart; as well as linebackers Gary Bracket and Clint Session and cornerback Justin Tryon. All five did not practice on Friday, so it’s not a dramatic surprise, but Addai (neck) and Hart (ankle) have provided much of ground attack for Indianapolis, while veteran linebackers like Bracket (toe) and Session (elbow) are also a major part of the Colts’ defense.
|11.19.10 at 4:55 pm ET|
The Colts – already short Dallas Clark – list three of their offensive weapons as questionable for Sunday’s game in Foxboro against the Patriots. Defensive ends Robert Mathis and Dwight Freeney – who received rest days earlier in the week – were removed from the official report. There was no players listed as getting rest on Friday’s injury report.
Colts injury report Friday:
Did Not Practice
DB Bob Sanders (biceps) OUT
LB Gary Bracket (toe) Questionable
RB Mike Hart (ankle) Questionable
LB Clint Session (elbow) Questionable
DB Justin Tryon (foot) Questionable
RB Joseph Addai (neck) Questionable
CB Aaron Francisco (rib) Questionable
DB Kelvin Hayden (neck) Questionable
WR Austin Collie (concussion) Questionable
WR Blair White (shoulder) Questionable
WR Reggie Wayne (knee) Questionable
TE Brody Eldridge (rib) Questionable
|11.19.10 at 4:30 pm ET|
FOXBORO ‘ Quarterback Tom Brady was again limited at practice on Friday while wide receiver Brandon Tate and offensive lineman Rich Ohrnberger were out with the flu. Safety Jarrad Page returned to practice for the first time since Oct. 22, the Friday before injuring his calf against San Diego.
|11.19.10 at 4:20 pm ET|
Ward went over the middle late in the first quarter and was hit low by Patrick Chung. Sanders came in for support on the tackle and collided with Ward, colliding with the wide receiver’s helmet. Ward went to the sideline with a concussion and did not return, snapping his streak of consecutive games with a catch at 186.
However, Patriots running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis was fined $5,000 for a chop block and Lamarr Woodley was fined $12,500 for his late hit on Tom Brady in the second half – which was flagged 15 yards for unnecessary roughness on a touchdown pass to Rob Gronkowski in the third quarter.
|11.19.10 at 3:50 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Running back Fred Taylor may or may not return this weekend against Indianapolis but he does think he knows a thing or two about attacking the Colts.
Before he came to New England, Taylor was in Jacksonville, where he saw the Colts twice a year as an AFC South division rival.
“We were a team that was built to try and be physical, smash-mouth style of offense and run the ball,” Taylor said Friday. “And quite frankly, we weren’t going to get [to gameday] and try to change. So, it wasn’t necessarily keep the ball away from Peyton but it was just get out there and try to grind it to them.
“They’re a team that’s been built over the years, smaller team, built with speed, and you just want to take advantage of that,” Taylor said. “And our style was just to try and run right at them.”
There was no better example of that than on Dec. 10, 2006 when the Colts started 9-0 and were 10-2 heading into Jacksonville. The Jaguars laid a 44-17 hurting on the Colts that day. Taylor ran for 131 yards on nine carries, including a 76-yard run. And Taylor wasn’t even the leading rusher that day for Jacksonville. Maurice Jones-Drew had the breakout game of his career when he ran for 166 yards on 15 carries and a 48-yard TD scamper.
“You go out there and you play the game with the teams that are out there,” Taylor said. “And I understand rivalries quite well. I played that team tons and tons when I was down with Jacksonville. You’ve got to love playing a team who’s always on top. And the competition that they bring is amazing.
“We’ll see how it goes. I’m just going to sit back and [treat] my knees and say a little prayer hopefully it can sway coach to want to take a shot with me for Sunday. I’ll be patient and see. Whatever is best for the team, I’m all about that.”
“Of course I do, of course I do,” Taylor replied when asked if he feels ready to return, if activated Sunday. “I haven’t played in a while, got that itch and would definitely love to be back out there. I’m going to keep improving.”
“It’s his decision and he knows what’s best for the team going forward,” Taylor said. “Whatever that is I have to live with it and just be ready for it. I had a very solid week of practice, a lot better than last week, continuing to improve and we’ll see how it goes.”
|11.19.10 at 1:17 pm ET|
Upon first glance, the purported leaked proposal from Nike to, ahem, re-design the uniform for all NFL teams will be met with some intense reaction by most fans who like the uniforms just the way they are.
Come to find out – according Darren Rovell of CNBC on his twitter page – that it was all a big hoax. NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy also confirmed the false reports of uniform changes on his twitter page.
Nike didn’t release NOR design the Patriots look to the right, according to Rovell. One hint that they were bogus: Look closely and you’ll see the “Flying Elvis” logo is reversed.
Good thing. Unless you’re a fan of the Cincinnati Bengals and their hideous stripes down the pant legs, you probably would be wondering what Nike was thinking when they put these artistic sketches to a football uniform.
But it does make you wonder.
As the world saw from examples across college football (like the Oregon Ducks and Virginia Tech), some of Phil Knight’s ideas are indeed very serious and being implemented. And in October, Nike did pry the uniform rights to the NFL away from Reebok starting in 2012.
News of the new uniform look across the NFL leaded out this week and sent shock waves across the sports fashion world and inspired all types of opinions from fashionistas.
For a more complete sneak peak, check out the Baltimore Ravens site that published the “best” and the “worst” of Nike’s re-designs.
As for the Tom Brady mock up to the right, he’s been criticized for his “Justin Bieber” hair all season. Could even he make this uniform look good?
The Patriots uniform – as proposed here – ranks No. 1 in worst new look. Pretty bad when you look worse than the Bengals. No shock either that Nike did practically nothing with the Browns. After all, what can you do with their uniform?
Other questions abound. What would Gisele think? Was Gisele even consulted for the new look? Could anyone cover the Patriots’ receivers when they’re laughing so hard running down the field?
What do you think of this modernistic look?
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