|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?
|11.19.10 at 12:19 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Wide receiver and kick returner Brandon Tate was not spotted at Patriots practice on Friday as the team worked out on the upper grass fields in preparation for the Indianapolis Colts this Sunday at Gillette Stadium.
Tate emerged as one of the team’s leading weapons when he returned two kickoffs for touchdowns this season. He opened the second half of the season opener against the Bengals with a 97-yard kickoff return for a TD and then followed that up with a 103-yard kick-off return against the Miami Dolphins on Monday night, Oct. 4 for a score.
Tate became the first Patriots player to return two kicks for a touchdown in a season since Kevin Faulk in 2002. The team record is three by Raymond Clayborn in 1977.
Also missing at Friday practice were cornerback Jonathan Wilhite (hip), offensive lineman Rich Ohrnberger and defensive lineman Myron Pryor (back). Safety Jarrad Page (calf) returned for the first time since injuring himself during the San Diego game on Oct. 24.
The team worked out in sweats and shells on the upper grass fields behind Gillette Stadium.
|11.19.10 at 11:22 am ET|
ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show Friday morning, and he discussed how little coverage the Patriots game has received as compared to the past, attributing this to other headlines in the league.
“I don’t think that we have buzz, no,” began Schefter, “And I think it’s gotten upstaged by a number of other factors in the league. I think the explosion of Michael Vick has drawn so much attention, and controversy surrounding Donovan McNabb has drawn so much attention, and it seems like we live in a world as you guys all know and you make your living probably doing this, we live in a world where controversy sells better than interesting.
“And intriguing as this matchup is,” continued Schefter, “we are talking about two of the great franchises in sports, and you’re talking about two of the great quarterbacks in the history in the game, and you’re talking about a lot of intriguing elements and aspects to this whole thing. The fact of the matter is, I mean you guys are from Boston, last night I’m sitting here talking about, thinking about what we’re going to talk [about] on SportsCenter this morning. I haven’t talked about the Patriots and Colts once all week.”
Following are the highlights from the interview, including Schefter’s thoughts on Vick, McNabb, and potential Super Bowl contenders this season. To listen to the interview, visit the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
Do you still look at the Colts as a Super Bowl contender?
I look at them as a team that as long as they have that quarterback they have a chance. They’re not as good, I don’t think, as some of the other Colts teams we’ve seen in recent years, but that’s probably just due to injury as much as anything else. I still think I wouldn’t want to play a playoff against that team. I just wouldn’t.
Would you consider them among the top 10 teams or so — like the Jets, Patriots, Saints, Giants and Eagles — that have a legitimate shot at winning this thing?
Let me say this right now. If Indianapolis played the Jets tomorrow, who would you pick in that game? I’d pick the Colts. I would. So, to me, it’s a situation where again I just come back to the quarterback again. They are not the typical powerhouse they’ve been. But that’s the situation to me. I just think that you can’t underestimate them.
|11.19.10 at 9:11 am ET|
Another Sunday for the Patriots, another marquee game, this time at home against the Colts. Sure, Indy is banged up, but as long as number 18 is under center for the Horseshoes, it’s a ballgame. Can’t wait… again.
Because I am not a fan of the current “passer ratings” used by the NFL (mainly because of it’s complexity), I have begun using one from the New York Times that I have slightly modified. Basically, it takes the average yards per pass play (including sacks) compared to the league average and adjusts it up based on touchdown percentage and down based on interception percentage. Simple as that. So when I mention that this team or that team has the best or worst “overall passing game (or defense)”, it’s based on this rating (which is generally expressed as a positive or negative number)… at least for now. I hope you like it.
* – Two great quarterbacks, but contrasting styles for sure: Here are the teams with the most pass attempts more than 10 yards downfield in 2010:
130 – Colts
121 – Broncos
119 – Chargers
And here are the teams with the fewest such attempts:
73 – Patriots
73 – Jaguars
74 – Rams
* – This ain’t like Peyton: Over the Colts’ last three games, Manning has completed only 12-of-43 passes over 10 yards downfield (28 percent). In their three games before that? 24-for-47 (51 percent). He’s completed fewer than 60 percent of his passes to wide receivers in each of the last three games. First such three game streak for the Colts since 2007.
* – The Patriots completed seven passes on throws more than 10 yards downfield last weekend. They only had six such completions in their previous three games combined.
* – The Patriots (41.3 percent) and the Colts (41.0 percent) rank second and third in the NFL in scoring efficiency. Of course, what else is new? Last season, the Patriots were fourth (41.0% percent) and the Colts were seventh (37.9 percent).
In 2008, the Pats ranked first (44.8 percent even without Brady) while the Colts were fifth (40.7 percent).
* – The Colts are the only team that has scored 17 or more points in every game this season.
* – New England (6) and Indianapolis (3) have combined to score nine “return” touchdowns this season. However, they’ve only ALLOWED one between them (New England, 1).
* – After scoring a touchdown on their first possession of the first AND second halfs last Sunday, New England now has 56 “first possession” points (combined opening possessions of first and second halfs). That’s the most in the NFL.
* – The Patriots now lead the league at converting 3rd-and-short (five yards or less), having moved the chains at a 64.4 percent clip. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the Pats are last at stopping third downs overall (47.5 percent) and 31st at stopping 3rd-and-10 or more (32.3 percent). Only the Jets are worse (36.2 percent).
* – The Colts have lost just 63 yards on sacks this season, the fewest in the NFL. Last Sunday, the Patriots sacked Ben Roethlisberger for 38 yards in losses, just their second time over 30 yards in their last 24 road games. They averaged 13.2 sack yards over that 24 game stretch.
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|11.18.10 at 5:07 pm ET|
An amazing collection of all the highlights from the Patriots-Colts rivalry since 2003. Worth watching at least twice.
|11.18.10 at 4:36 pm ET|
FOXBORO ‘ The Colts, who had nine players miss Wednesday’s practice because of injury, saw those numbers dip slightly on Thursday, as a handful of players ‘ like Dwight Freeney and Reggie Wayne ‘ practiced for the first time all week on Thursday. Here’s their complete injury report for Thursday:
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