|09.25.15 at 11:56 am ET|
FOXBORO — Looking from the outside in, Dion Lewis has had a tremendous start to his first season in New England.
The running back has been the team’s first option out of the backfield in the first two games and has totaled 109 yards on 22 carries with a touchdown, but has been even better out of the backfield catching 10 passes for 149 yards.
For Lewis personally, he’s not thinking about the good plays, he’s thinking more about his two fumbles.
His fumble in Week 1 wasn’t an issue as Rob Gronkowski was able to recover the loose ball, but last week against the Bills they recovered and the play shifted momentum towards the Bills side.
Lewis said it hasn’t shaken his confidence, but knows he needs to be better.
“I wouldn’t say that,” he said on Wednesday. “I just have to do a better job and work, work, work to try and get it fixed. I am going to get it fixed.”
“Yeah, it’s all fixable things,” Lewis added. “It’s not things I can’t control. I just have to do a better job when the ball is in my hands.”
|09.25.15 at 10:56 am ET|
It’s time to take a look at some starts and sits for Week 3. As I always say, I do my best to avoid the really obvious choices, and if you need ranking advice on a player not listed here, you can hit Rotobahn for my full Week 3 positional rankings. I will be updating all of the rankings Saturday as more injury information becomes available, so check back if you have a player with a questionable tag.
Jim Hackett and I will be back Sunday morning from 8-9 a.m. on 93.7 with the Week 3 edition of the Fantasy Football Hour. Tune in if you haven’t already. And, if you still need lineup advice on Sunday morning, feel free to attend our Week 3 chat at 11 a.m. right here on WEEI.com. There will be a link to the chat on the home page, usually an hour or two ahead of time, so get those questions in early!
If you are a daily fantasy player, look for my Week 3 DraftKings article, which will be posted tomorrow.
The 49ers are not a soft defense, but it’s a home game for Arizona and the offense is really on a roll. Michael Floyd will add an element now that he’s nearing full health, and they have a ground game with or without Andre Ellington. Palmer’s looking like a very solid weekly option and he’s very playable this week against the 49ers.
Marcus Mariota, Titans vs. Colts
The Colts look vulnerable through the air, and that’s not the only way Mariota can score fantasy points. I expect him to start running more as he gets more comfortable. The rookie has six touchdown passes and no picks through two games. He’s got plenty of upside this Sunday.
Nick Foles, Rams vs. Steelers
Foles is not an exciting option for sure, but I like his chances of posting a solid stat line against the Steelers, who have been thrown on in both games this year. He might be able to help you if you’re in a jam in a deep league or 2QB format. I also like the game script here. The Steelers get Le’Veon Bell back, and they are going to put up a lot of points. That should force the Rams to throw the ball rather than play conservatively.
|09.25.15 at 10:37 am ET|
FOXBORO — Sometimes if you look hard enough into the insight provided by Bill Belichick, you can find some very interesting perspective and insight on what he’s really thinking.
For years, Belichick insisted that he wanted a more competitive extra point because the percentage of the try was above 99 percent.
While that was true, it turns out there is another very good reason Belichick favored moving the extra point back. On Friday, while answering a pure Xs and Os question about evaluating kickoff coverage when Stephen Gostkowski boots kickoffs through the end zone, Belichick went on a tangent that went into the competitive aspect of the 33-yard extra point.
Belichick explained that on kickoffs, teams can disguise their true intention on a kick return when they know there’s like no chance of a return, as is the case when the kick sails through the end zone.
“It used to be that way on the PATs, honestly. You’re seeing a little bit less of that. You see the PAT rush because you couldn’t block them so teams would sometimes put two or three guys on one guy and try to run over somebody to get a good hit on them or something,” Belichick said. “And now, when you have to actually block a [PAT like a] field goal, now you get into something where you’re really feel like you might have a chance to block it and the rush is a little bit different.
“The fact now that all of those kicks are a little more competitive, you’re seeing more of whatever the team is trying to do to rush it, you’re seeing more of a rush than one or two or three guys just deciding that, ‘we’re not really going to get this so let me just tee off and smash this guy because he’s been blocking me all day so let me go ahead just smash this guy while he’s sitting there.’
“I don’t really think that’s what the game’s about but it’s kind of taken that out of it and made it more of a competitive play rather than that type of play.”
No one has to remind Belichick what happened in November 2012, during a 59-24 blowout of the Colts at Gillette Stadium. Sergio Brown was on the field as Gostkowski kicked the final extra point of the day. It was on that play that Rob Gronkowski, playing on the edge of the PAT protection team, initially injured his left forearm, protecting the side that Brown was on. He injured it again in a playoff win over the Texans and missed the AFC championship, a loss to the Ravens at Gillette Stadium.
On the PAT against the Colts, Gronkowski lifted left arm to throw a block at Brown, who came charging off the right side. Belichick did praise Brown at length Friday, a player he coached from 2010-11.
|09.25.15 at 8:00 am ET|
WEEI.com’s Christopher Price previews the Week 3 matchup between the Patriots and Jaguars. Find out the keys to the game as well as Chris’ prediction.
|09.24.15 at 11:48 pm ET|
Join Chris Price of WEEI.com to break down all things Patriots and the NFL on Friday at noon.
|09.24.15 at 4:34 pm ET|
The last time the two scrapped — late in last season’s Patriots-Colts contest — it was toward the end of a contentious battle that saw Brown yapping at the big tight end for most of the game. In the heat of the moment, Gronkowski drove Brown off the field and into a camera well with a nasty block, and later told reporters that he had to throw Brown “out of the club.”
Brown already had a history with Gronkowski, as the former Indy defensive back (who also had a cup of coffee with the Patriots) was the guy Gronkowski was blocking when he broke his arm in 2012.
But that’s all old news. Brown, who is now with Jacksonville, will be coming to Foxboro as a member of the Jags on Sunday.
“Emotions were flying high that day,” Gronkowski recalled before Thursday’s practice with a smile. “I’ve got nothing but respect for Sergio. He’s a great player. We’ve just got to go out there and worry about the Jaguars as a whole.
“He’s a good player. I have respect for how he prepares for the game, how hard he works, and for him as a player. It’s not just about Sergio Brown, though, it’s about the defense as a whole, too.”
Gronkowski said he enjoys a little on-field trash talk.
“It can be fun — depending on how the games going, what part of the game it is, what quarter, what’s the score and all that. It’s always part of the game,” he said. “The emotions always come flying high with the game when it comes down on Sunday. All the hitting, all the competing out there on the field, but sometimes I do like the yapping. Sometimes I give it, sometimes I get it, so it’s just all part of the game.”
For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.
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|09.24.15 at 4:32 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Ryan Wendell remains the only player out of practice for the Patriots.
The veteran interior offensive lineman, who missed his second straight game Sunday against the Bills, again was missing from practice on Thursday as the Patriots began their on-field prep for the Jaguars this week at Gillette Stadium.
Wendell was limited last Wednesday and Thursday with an illness before not participating at all on Friday. He was spotted in the locker room at his locker after Friday’s practice and again this week.
Wendell missed most of camp rehabbing from offseason shoulder surgery before being taken off PUP on Aug. 25 and playing most of the preseason finale against the Giants. That game led to some speculation that he might be ready to play in the season opener against Pittsburgh. But he was inactive and did not play.
Dominique Easley (hip), who also missed the game against the Bills, was one of three players limited Wednesday. Dont’a Hightower and Logan Ryan (both with shoulder issues) were also limited Wednesday. Rookie Trey Flowers, nursing a nagging knee injury, fully participated in practice on Wednesday.
For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.
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