|10.12.14 at 6:24 pm ET|
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Stevan Ridley will have an MRI on his right knee Monday to determine the severity of the injury he sustained in the third quarter of Sunday’s win over the Patriots, according to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald.
Ridley was spotted with a large brace on the right knee and a walking cane as he left Ralph Wilson Stadium Sunday.
Ridley was injured when he was tackled for a two-yard loss and fell awkwardly to the field turf. Ridley attempted to test it as he walked on the sideline but had to make his way to the locker room shortly thereafter.
He was fitted for the brace in the locker room and Bill Belichick said there was no update on Ridley immediately after the game.
Ridley will have an MRI tomorrow to determine the severity of the knee injury, per source. Possibly the ACL, but severity/damage not known.
‘ Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) October 12, 2014
Source says on Ridley, "We'll know more tomorrow." Obviously it wasn't good
— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) October 12, 2014
|10.12.14 at 4:22 pm ET|
While Sunday’s 37-22 win over the Bills was hugely encouraging for Bill Belichick‘s team, there was a dark side in the midst of the Patriots’ victory. Three key players — Jerod Mayo, Stevan Ridley and Dan Connolly — suffered significant injuries.
Connolly left the game with a head ailment, while both Mayo and Ridley were sidelined due to knee injuries. (To read more on the setbacks, click here.)
All three injuries could prove to be long-term issues for the Patriots. So, which one could be the most damaging for the Pats?
There were, however, also plenty of good things coming out of the win.
|10.12.14 at 4:21 pm ET|
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — The Patriots held on down the stretch to knock off the Bills Sunday, 37-22, despite a flood of injuries on both sides of the ball.
New England lost linebacker Jerod Mayo, running back Stevan Ridley and offensive lineman Dan Connolly over the course of the afternoon, but still managed to eke out the victory against a young and aggressive Buffalo team that proved to be a thorn in its side all afternoon.
Quarterback Tom Brady ended up going 27-for-37 for 361 yards, with four touchdowns. Brandon LaFell had four catches for 97 yards and a touchdowns and Rob Gronkowski had seven catches for 94 yards. The biggest throw of the day was a 56-yard pass play from Brady to LaFell that gave New England a 15-point lead with just under three minutes left.
Here’s what we learned about the Patriots on Sunday:
Rob Gronkowski looks like he’s all the way back.
The big tight end took a savage beating against the Bills, working as a blocker and doing what he could in the running game. He also served as one of Brady’s primary pass catchers on the afternoon. He was knocked around so much that he was forced to the sidelines in the middle of the third quarter, but returned soon after and finished the game while the Bills defenders continued to take shots at his knees. (He had a big 17-yard pickup on third down late in the game to help secure the win.) If Gronkowski isn’t all the way back after Sunday’s performance, he’s pretty close.
The defense was able to make plays when it counted.
The Patriots weren’t perfect on the defensive side of the ball, particularly when it came to trying to slow down Scott Chandler, but they were able to do well rising to the challenge at several key points. Chandler Jones had a big strip-sack to help stem a Buffalo momentum swing in the early going, while Devin McCourty forced a fumble right before the end of the first half, which led to a 53-yard field goal right before the end of the half. Jamie Collins had a pick, while Rob Ninkovich and Deontae Skinner added sacks as well. (Ninkovich ended with three sacks.) Not a perfect afternoon for the defense, but as a group, they did more than enough in many key moments to lift New England.
Injuries are starting to mount.
The Patriots lost linebacker Jerod Mayo with a knee injury in the first half — it’s not known how severe the injury is at this point, but he was carted off, which certainly suggests that it could be a long-term issue for New England. He was quickly followed by offensive lineman Dan Connolly, who went down with a head injury later in the second quarter and didn’t return. Connolly, who has been the team’s most consistent blocker, was lost for the rest of the way. And in the second half, Stevan Ridley went down with a knee injury, and limped to the locker room, not to return.
Stephen Gostkowski isn’t perfect.
The kicker missed his first field-goal attempt of the season, a 36-yarder at the end of the first quarter. (It was his first miss since the end of the 2013 season, and snapped a streak of 21 straight field goals made for the Memphis product. But he was clean the rest of the way, adding three other field goals, including a 53-yarder at the end of the first half. Despite the miss, a good afternoon for Gostkowski, who remains one of the more accurate kickers in the league. (It was, however, a rough start for the special teamers — Julian Edelman was crushed on his first punt return attempt. Meanwhile, long snapper Danny Aiken took a penalty on Gostkowski’s first field goal attempt, pushing the Patriots back five yards and leading to a miss on a 31-yard field goal attempt.)
Darrelle Revis continues his strong play in man coverage.
Last week, Revis was able to render Cincy wide receiver A.J. Green a nonfactor, and on Sunday against the Bills, he was able to effectively take Sammy Watkins out of the game. There appeared to be some zone and some soft man, but more often than not, he waited until Buffalo broke the huddle and looked immediately for Watkins, and managed to get his hands on him at the line of scrimmage. He didn’t allow a catch in the first half, with Watkins’ first reception coming midway through the third quarter, a 20-yard reception that came at the end of what appeared to be a broken play. There were more than a few breakdowns on defense for New England, but Revis was more than up to the task.
The offensive line is a major issue.
The Patriots didn’t have center Bryan Stork (concussion) coming into the game, and lost guard Dan Connolly (head) in the first half. Their loss was compounded by an occasionally horrific performance by the New England offensive line, particularly toward the end of the first half. Brady was under pressure throughout much of the first half, and rarely had time to get comfortable in the pocket. He did get nice protection down the stretch, but the constant shuffling up front remains a long-term concern with this team.
Scott Chandler continues to be an absolute thorn in their side.
The tight end — a low-rent version of Rob Gronkowski — always had good success against the Patriots. He came into the game with a ton of career-bests against New England, including games (7), catches (21), yards (259) and touchdowns (4). On Sunday, he was an absolute Patriots-killer, with a ton of big catches. Four of his first five catches came on third down, and all of them were converted for first downs. He finished as the first Bills tight end with over 100 yards since Pete Metzelaars did it in 1992
The Patriots now have the inside edge in the AFC East.
New England emerged with the win, which moves the Patriots to 4-2 and a full game up on the second-place Bills. Buffalo, which had viewed this contest as a potential statement game against a vulnerable New England team, fell to 3-3.
|10.12.14 at 3:57 pm ET|
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — After losing Jerod Mayo in the first half to a right knee injury, the Patriots lost a valuable skill player to another right knee injury in the second half.
Stevan Ridley was tackled for a two-yard loss at the Buffalo 29 by Stephon Gilmore. Ridley landed awkwardly and appeared at first to injure his right ankle on TV replays. But after getting attention on the field for several minutes, he limped to the sideline and had his knee examined. He made it to the sidelines under his own power and tried walking on it on the sidelines.
But after further evaluation, he was escorted down to the Patriots locker room and ruled out with a knee injury.
Ridley’s injury came one play after Rob Gronkowski landed awkwardly on pass from Tom Brady. Gronkowski had the protective sleeve on his left arm removed but re-entered the game after Ridley left the game and appeared not to be seriously injured.
As Ridley’s injury was awas being announced, the Patriots also confirmed that starting left guard Dan Connolly would not return after suffering a head injury in the first half.
|10.12.14 at 2:38 pm ET|
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — The Patriots and Bills have played two quarters at Ralph Wilson Stadium, and New England holds a 13-7 lead. Here are a few quick notes:
– Tom Brady is 12-for-20 for 91 yards and a touchdown. Rob Gronkowski had three catches for 26 yards, while Stevan Ridley had six carries for 13 yards. Meanwhile, Kyle Orton is 9-for-15 for 85 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
– The Patriots lost linebacker Jerod Mayo midway through the second quarter after he suffered an injury at the end of a running play, a sequence where it appeared he suffered a knee injury. (It was later announced he would not return.) Mayo, who missed a sizable portion of last season with a pectoral injury, was injured enough where he had to be carted off. New England, which is already thin at linebacker, had to mix and match the rest of the first half with the likes of defensive back Tavon Wilson, Deontae Skinner and Chris White taking snaps in his place.
– In addition, New England also lost offensive lineman Dan Connolly, who went down late in the first half with a head injury. His return is questionable, and it caused the Patriots to shuffle things up again on the offensive line with zero success — Brady was sacked two times in the first half.
– On the same drive where Mayo went down, the Bills were able to string together their first touchdown drive of afternoon, a crisp sequence that ended with a 7-yard pass from Orton to Robert Woods over the middle that tied the score at seven late in the first half.
– The Patriots have utilized Darrelle Revis mostly in man coverage against the Buffalo’s Sammy Watkins. There has appeared to be some zone and some soft man, but more often than not, he’s waited until Buffalo has broken the huddle and started to look for Watkins, and has gotten his hands on his at the line of scrimmage.
– For the Patriots, the defensive play of the afternoon came with just over two minutes left in the half when Chandler Jones was able to get nice pressure off the edge and sack Orton deep in Buffalo territory. The Patriots were able to convert it into three points when Stephen Gostkowski connected on a 42-yarder with just under two minutes to go to make it 10-7 and end the first half.
– Second biggest play came on Buffalo’s second series when Orton was picked off by New England linebacker Jamie Collins on a ball meant for Marquise Goodwin. A poorly thrown ball, the Patriots were able to turn that around with a five-play drive that ended on a 1-yard pass play from Brady to Tim Wright with just over 13 minutes left in the first half.
– It was a rough start for the special teamers — Julian Edelman was crushed on his first punt return attempt. Meanwhile, long snapper Danny Aiken took a penalty on Gostkowski’s first field goal attempt, pushing the Patriots back five yards and leading to a miss on a 31-yard field goal attempt. It was the first miss of the year for Gostkowski, and broke a streak of 21 straight field goals made for the New England kicker.
– Edelman didn’t have the best start. There was the bungled return, as well as a false start penalty (his first of the year) and the fact that he slipped on a first-quarter route where he was wide open. He rebounded nicely in the second quarter, catching a couple of passes from Brady and drawing a key PI call early in the second that set up the Patriots first touchdown of the day, the pass play from Brady to Tim Wright. (On the first scoring drive, Edelman accounts for 60 yards, with 29 of them coming on the penalty and 21 in catches, as well as a 10-yard run.)
– The Patriots tacked on another three points at the end of the half on 53-yard Gostkowski field goal at the end of the half to make it 13-7. The three points were a gift as Devin McCourty forced a fumble by C.J. Spiller at the Bills’ 41 with six seconds left.
|10.12.14 at 2:10 pm ET|
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — The injury bug has bitten Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo again.
With just over six minutes left in the second quarter of Sunday’s game in Buffalo, the Patriots inside linebacker and captain made a tackle on Bills running back Boobie Dixon. During the tackle, Mayo’s right knee appeared to buckle.
Mayo went to the ground and couldn’t get up. His teammates circled around Mayo and went to one knee in prayer. A cart came onto the field at midfield and drove Mayo off the field, with the Patriots team doctor trailing. The Patriots later announced Mayo would not return.
Mayo missed half of the 2013 season with a torn pectoral muscle, which required offseason surgery. In other injury news, starting left guard Dan Connolly was forced to leave with a head injury and was replaced by Jordan Devey.
|10.12.14 at 12:12 pm ET|
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