|09.26.11 at 6:12 pm ET|
‘(It’s a) huge game. One of the best teams in the league and they’ve been a premiere team in the league for a while,’ McClain said. ‘Just another way to measure where we are right now. Just go out and compete against these guys.’
Asked if the Patriots are different from the physical Jets (who the Raiders beat on Sunday), McClain agreed.
‘This is just a finesse team,’ said McClain, who is second on the Raiders with 23 tackles. ‘I mean, Tom Brady‘s a smart guy, has many weapons around him, with his receivers as well as his tight ends. His tight ends are playing great right now.’
|09.26.11 at 5:15 pm ET|
Patriots defensive tackle Vince Wilfork made his weekly appearance on “The Big Show” Monday afternoon and addressed the team’s loss Sunday in Buffalo after leading 21-0.
Wilfork acknowledged the defense has plenty of room for improvement, but also cautioned that it is too early in the season to jump to any conclusions.
“There’s things that we certainly have to get better at, but we have to play more consistently,” Wilfork said. “At times we do have things called where we execute it [well]. It turns out okay. When you don’t execute it, you give up a big play.”
Wilfork also addressed the higher scoring games in the NFL this season. On Sunday, New Orleans beat Houston in a 40-33 shoot-out. Baltimore scored 37 points in its game against St. Louis. Oakland beat the Jets 34-24. Although Wilfork is a defensive player, he said he does not mind the high scores as long as he is on the winning end of it.
“I don’t care if it’s 100-101,” Wilfork said. “As long as we have the 101, we win. Get away with the W. That’s the key.”
|09.26.11 at 2:32 pm ET|
In their first three games of the season, the Patriots have been flagged for 23 penalties and 223 yards (tied for third-most with the Vikings). Here’s a breakdown of the calls that have gone against New England, not including penalties that were declined or offset:
Most penalized players, listed by total flags and with total yardage lost:
Sergio Brown: two penalties (both defensive pass interference), 51 yards
Matt Light: two penalties (both holding), 20 yards
Nate Solder: two penalties (holding and illegal use of hands), 20 yards
Logan Mankins: two penalties (offensive holding and false start), 15 yards
Rob Gronkowski: two penalties (holding and false start), 15 yards
Dan Gronkowski: two penalties (both false starts), 10 yards
Leigh Bodden: two penalties (both defensive holding), 10 yards
Andre Carter: one penalty (roughing the passer), 15 yards
Rob Ninkovich: one penalty (roughing the passer), 15 yards
Kyle Love: one penalty (roughing the passer), 15 yards
James Ihedigbo: one penalty (illegal block above the waist), 10 yards
Devin McCourty: one penalty (illegal block above the waist), 10 yards
Chad Ochocinco: one penalty (illegal formation), five yards
Deion Branch: one penalty (false start), five yards
Brian Waters: one penalty (holding), 5 yards
Vince Wilfork: one penalty (unsportsmanlike conduct), 2 yards
Most penalized by position:
Offensive line: seven penalties for 60 yards
Tight end: four penalties for 35 yards
Safety: three penalties for 61 yards
Cornerback: three penalties for 30 yards
Defensive line: three penalties for 32 yards
Wide receiver two penalties for 10 yards
Linebacker: one penalty for 15 yards
Most frequently called penalties on the Patriots:
Offensive holding: six
False start: five
Defensive holding: two
Illegal block above the waist: two
Defensive pass interference: two
Roughing the passer: three
Illegal formation: one
Illegal use of hands: one
Unsportsmanlike conduct: one
|09.26.11 at 11:29 am ET|
“I just think overall, with the outcome of the game, had we won and not been on the loss side, it wouldn’t be a big deal,” he said. “Me personally, I want to make sure I do a whole lot more to contribute to the game. And I know Tom [Brady] wants to try to get me the football as much as he can. With that being said, I think him and Wes [Welker, who had 16 catches], they were feeling it. They were in their groove. That happens during the course of a game. Trust me, that was a good thing.”
Added Branch: “Tom’s the quarterback. He’s going to try to get everybody the football. So, there’s nobody at fault for him not throwing me the passes.”
Following are more highlights from the conversation. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.
On Chad Ochocinco saying that he’s feeling more comfortable in the offense despite some criticism for Sunday’s outing: “If he said it, that’s Chad. ‘¦ Trust me, Chad, we love having him here. He’s a great player. And he’s doing everything that coach has asked of him. Y’all asked him that, and he said he’s feeling good. That’s a good thing.”
On feeling pressured to score 35 points because the defense is allowing a lot of points: “That’s the expectation we have on the offensive side of the ball. There’s no frustration with — I think overall we’re not doing anything. Yesterday was an entire game. We play as a team. We win and lose as a team. Honestly, I think the defense did a great job for us. They got us a couple of turnovers. We’ve got to take advantage of those. We’ve got to play more complementary football. The defense go out and do their thing, we do our thing. I think overall we lost as a team. There’s no ‘this side’ or ‘that side.’ “
|09.26.11 at 10:34 am ET|
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady joined the Dennis & Callahan show Monday morning for his weekly discussion.
Brady threw four interceptions in Sunday’s 34-31 loss to the Bills, matching his total for all of last season.
“As a quarterback, you’re always trying to make good decisions with the ball,” he said. “When you hold the ball, you pretty much hold the fortune of the entire team with you. Sometimes they make a play on a ball and it gets batted. Sometimes you could make a better throw, like yesterday on a few of the throws, and they make you pay for it. Sometimes they catch them, sometimes they don’t. Sometimes the ball just bounces to the ground and sometimes it bounces up in the air. That’s part of playing quarterback.
“You’ve got to be able to rebound and go back out there and keep making good throws. In different ways, we responded yesterday. It was a tough environment. We had control of the game, but we really let it slip away.”
Following is a transcript of the conversation. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
Do you get much sleep after a game like that, or are you able to compartmentalize and put it out of your brain and say, “I’ll think about all that tomorrow”?
I don’t sleep very well after any game. When you lose, and you lose the way that we lost, it’s a tough one to swallow. It was a long flight home, and I’m sure it will be a long week. But we’re the only people that can really do anything about it. We have a long football season ahead. We have a bunch of meaningful games. We’ll figure out what we did wrong and try to do it better moving forward.
|09.25.11 at 6:11 pm ET|
What should’ve been a celebration of the greatest receiving games in team history and a coronation of Tom Brady as the greatest quarterback the game has ever seen in the first three games of an NFL season turned into a nightmare on the slippery slope of the Ralph Wilson Stadium turf Sunday afternoon.
Brady completed his first seven passes and built a 21-point lead in the second quarter on three touchdown passes. He had 222 yards passing in the first half alone. He finished with 387 but at the expense of four interceptions, matching a career-high as the Patriots fell, 34-31 to the Bills.
Brady started off brilliantly, throwing three touchdowns and building a 21-0 lead. His 1,327 yards passing is a new NFL record for the first three games of a season. But Brady, who threw four interceptions in all of his MVP 2010 season, lost his touch late in the second quater and never really regained it.
“We played good football team and made too many mistakes,” Brady said. “It’s tough to overcome as many mistakes as we did, and they made a lot of plays. They have a good team.”
As for the interceptions, Brady tipped his cap to the secondary he was burning in the first half.
“They’re a good coverage team,” he said. “They made some good plays in the pass game, took advantage of some opportunities they got and we fought to the end but it just wasn’t enough.
“They made some good plays on the ball. You don’t expect … some days the ball gets batted up in the air and it goes your way and some days it doesn’t. That’s part of the game. George Wilson made a helluva play on that one interception. That’s the way the ball bounces. That’s football.”
The Wilson interception came as it looked like for all the world the Patriots were going in to make it 31-17. But Wilson finally read the Rob Gronkowski seam route Brady had been using to torch the Bills in the first half.
The Patriots led 21-0 against a team that trailed 21-3 at home last week to the Raiders before winning, 38-35. This week, Brady threw three second-half interceptions to give the Bills life.
“It’s never easy,” Brady said. “They came back last week. I thought we were expecting a four-quarter game. We had our opportunities. We didn’t really take advantage of them like I wish we would’ve. We had too many turnovers, too many penalties, allowed them to get some easy plays there. They took advantage when they needed to.” Read the rest of this entry »
|09.25.11 at 4:36 pm ET|
Following a Patriots’ touchdown to tie the game at 31 with 3:33 remaining, Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski delivered a touchback, giving Buffalo the ball at their own 20. Buffalo quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick got the ball out to its own 49, and then connected with running back Fred Jackson on a sweet pass play over the middle that got the Bills deep into New England territory with 1:43 remaining. A 39-yard gainer, Jackson caught the ball at the Patriots’ 35-yard line and raced downfield past a fleet of New England defenders.
The call was initially ruled as a touchdown, but after a review, the ball was placed at the Patriots one-yard line. After a few kneeldowns from Fitzpatrick, Buffalo kicker Rian Lindell connected on a 28-yarder as time ran out to give the Bills a 34-31 victory. It snapped New England’s 15-game win streak over Buffalo, and kept Buffalo undefeated on the season.