|11.13.14 at 3:33 pm ET|
FOXBORO — It figures to be strength-against-strength on Sunday night when the Patriots secondary squares off against Indy receiver T.Y. Hilton.
Hilton, who has 56 catches on 84 targets for 937 yards and three touchdowns this year, has made his bones as one of the best big play receivers in the league this season. The 5-foot-10, 183-pounder out of Florida International averages 16.7 yards per catch (sixth-best in the league). His 15 catches for 20-plus yards is third in the NFL, and his four catches of 40-plus yards is tied for fifth.
On the other side of the ball, the Patriots have been one of the best teams in the NFL at limiting the deep ball this season. New England is the only team left in the league that has allowed only one pass play of 40-yards or more. When it comes to allowing pass plays of 20 or more yards, the Patriots are 12th-best in the NFL in that department.
“He’s very fast and very explosive — he makes big plays,” cornerback Darrelle Revis said of Hilton on Thursday. “I think he’s the No. 1 receiver at making big plays. He’s very fast.”
While the Patriots have mixed up coverages over the course of the season, Hilton told Indy-area reporters this week he’s looking forward to the challenge of facing Revis on Sunday. But at the same time, he’s come to expect the unexpected when facing New England.
“You know [Bill] Belichick always has that scheme,” Hilton said.
“They’re going to give you chances,” Hilton said, “but when those chances come, you have to take advantage.”
Sunday will mark Hilton’s third career game against the Patriots. In a 2012 regular-season meeting, he had six catches on nine targets for 100 yards and a pair of touchdowns. In last year’s AFC divisional playoffs, Hilton had four catches on six targets for 103 yards.
“They were trying to not let me wreck the game,” said Hilton of last year’s playoff contest. “They were trying to keep everything in front of me.”
|11.13.14 at 3:21 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Pete Morelli has been assigned to work the Sunday night game between the Patriots and Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium, according to FootballZebras.com. Sunday will mark the second Patriots game of the season for Morelli, a veteran official who also served as the lead referee for the Raiders-Patriots game at Gillette on Sept, 21.
Here’s a look at who has worked as the lead official for each New England game this year, and the corresponding penalties for each game, not counting the flags that were offset or declined.
Sept. 7 at Miami: Walt Anderson — 9 penalties, 100 yards (Dolphins — 4 penalties, 26 yards)
Sept. 14 at Minnesota: Tony Corrente — 15 penalties, 163 yards (Vikings — 7 penalties, 58 yards)
Sept. 21 vs. Oakland: Pete Morelli — 6 penalties, 59 yards (Raiders — 6 penalties, 49 yards)
Sept. 29 at Kansas City: John Parry — 3 penalties, 30 yards (Chiefs — 4 penalties, 35 yards)
Oct. 5 vs. Cincinnati: Jerome Boger — 12 penalties, 114 yards (Bengals — 4 penalties, 37 yards)
Oct. 12 at Buffalo: Walt Coleman — 9 penalties, 60 yards (Bills — 8 penalties, 107 yards)
Oct. 16 vs. Jets: Bill Leavy — 9 penalties, 64 yards (Jets — 7 penalties, 70 yards)
Oct. 23 vs. Bears: Brad Allen — 7 penalties, 38 yards (Bears — 5 penalties, 41 yards)
Nov. 2 vs. Denver: Walt Anderson — 9 penalties, 71 yards (Broncos — 10 penalties, 72 yards)
Nov. 16 at Indy: Pete Morelli
|11.13.14 at 2:04 pm ET|
If you thought a few years without Peyton Manning has changed the Colts’ fan base thoughts of the Patriots, you were wrong. The Colts fans still have a strong dislike for the Patriots after they have won four straight games, including last year’s playoff game over their former division-rival.
“I think people are looking at it and trying to make it into [Andrew] Luck vs. [Tom] Brady, but here guys, the hatred for the Patriots has never gone away,” said Derek Schultz of WNDE on with Middays with MFB on Thursday. “I think in New England it is one of those things where it was more Brady vs. [Peyton] Manning than it was Pats vs. Colts, here it has always been not only anti-Brady, but anti-Patriots. You can’t go around this town and say the word Patriots without people scoundering and hissing at you. They are 10 times what the Knicks were 20 years ago with Reggie Miller vs. Knicks heyday and that is how big the rivalry is here. This still here locally is the biggest game of the year since this has turned into an annual matchup, and since the Colts don’t have a relevant division rival in the AFC South, this is public enemy number one.”
Following seeing those remarks about Colts fans, who do Patriots fans hate the most? Is it the division-rival Jets? The Broncos for their recent dominance? Do fans still have something against the Colts, or do fans still think back to the two Super Bowl losses?
What team do Patriots fans hate the most?
- Jets (57%, 522 Votes)
- Giants (20%, 184 Votes)
- Broncos (17%, 159 Votes)
- Other (5%, 43 Votes)
- Colts (2%, 14 Votes)
Total Voters: 922
|11.13.14 at 1:48 pm ET|
|11.13.14 at 12:10 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Dominique Easley returned to Patriots practice on Thursday inside the Dana-Farber Fieldhouse, according to reports. Easley had missed Tuesday and Wednesday’s practices due to a knee issue. His return Thursday is a good sign that he could be ready to suit up when the Patriots take on the Colts Sunday night at Lucas Oil Stadium. Thursday’s workout was in sweats and shells.
Easley was seen working with trainers at the last practice before the Patriots’ bye week last Wednesday, and has been listed on the injury report for most of the season with a knee injury. There were a pair of crutches by his locker on Tuesday but he was seen walking with no limp through the locker room during media availability.
The only player absent Thursday was Chandler Jones, who has missed the last month since injuring his hip against the Jets on Oct. 16.
Thursday marked the second straight day the Patriots practiced in the bubble as they try to simulate game conditions for Sunday night on the fast track indoors.
After missing Tuesday’s practice with strep throat (per Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald), Brandon LaFell was again on hand at practice Thursday for a second straight day.
For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.
|11.13.14 at 8:30 am ET|
With the first wave of voting complete, three members of the Patriots lead Pro Bowl voting at their respective positions.
Rob Gronkowski leads voting among tight ends with 166,066 votes, while kicker Stephen Gostkowski (67,814 votes) and special teamer Matthew Slater (36,679 votes) are also currently leading their groupings.
As for quarterback Tom Brady, he’s fourth among quarterbacks with 254,807, behind only Peyton Manning (359,598), Andrew Luck (284,575), Aaron Rodgers (280,394). He’s fifth overall, as he’s just nudged out by running back DeMarco Murray (263,097).
Despite the fact that Brady is near the top of the voting totals, don’t expect him to make it, even if the Patriots are able to play. The quarterback has been voted to the Pro Bowl in 2001, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, but the last time he actually went to the Pro Bowl was 2004.
The Pro Bowl will be played on Jan. 25 in Arizona the week before the Super Bowl.
For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.
|11.13.14 at 6:00 am ET|
But when it comes to Brady looking at Edelman’s college highlights from Kent State from when he was a quarterback, the 37-year-old Brady doesn’t have any time for that.
“I tell him probably three times a day,” Edelman said. “I try to get him to sit and look on my phone at the highlight film, but he usually doesn’t have time for my little videos. He’s a busy guy I guess. That’s what happens when you’re married with three kids and being a quarterback.”
Edelman was Kent State’s quarterback for three seasons, passing for just under 5,000 yards, but also was a very good runner — rushing for 2,483 yards and 22 touchdowns.
Brady has made a few plays with feet this season — saying on multiple occasions it is something he’s worked on — and while it may not be what the quarterback is known for, he’s been able to get the job done when he’s had to.
“If he gets to get around and scramble and get his eyes down field it’s always kind of cool because that’s how explosion plays happen,” Edelman said. “TB, he’s been working hard on all that stuff, but hopefully he just stays right where he has to and doesn’t get out there too much.”
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