|11.12.10 at 6:36 pm ET|
NFL.com and NFL Network analyst Vic Carucci joined The Big Show to talk about an upcoming slate of NFL games and whether the Patriots can make an impact on the Steelers’ banged up offensive line. “The bigger thing to me is does [Rashard] Mendenhall or does this running game get rolling? If that happens, good night nurse. Because I really think it will be a huge problem for the Patriots.”
To hear the interview, visit The Big Show audio on demand page here. Here are some more highlights:
On this weekend’s games:
I was in Philly last week and got a good look at [Michael] Vick and DeSean Jackson and just that duo alone, it’s a jaw dropping experience to watch these two play. To watch the speed and what they force defenses to do. Like misdirection plays, it’s almost impossible to defend that because of the worry that you have the second that the ball is in Vick’s hand or the second it might end up in DeSean Jackson’s.
And against Washington, whose defense has just been horrendous, I’m not liking that matchup for them. The [Donovan] McNabb story has been interesting, I think it has been so poorly handled by Mike Shanahan. His M.O. usually doesn’t take you down that road. For whatever reason, this thing looks like it’s been botched.
[On the Dolphins switching quarterbacks], I saw this move coming. I thought it was eventually going to happen. I just saw a downward spiral with Chad Henne and it looked like he made huge strides in that Sunday night loss to the Jets in Miami and it went downhill from there. And now to go to [Chad] Pennington at this point in the season, I think you have crushed it with Henne. I don’t think there’s any coming back from that.
Are they really built for Pennington? Because I think they were supposed to be built for a big-armed, young, strong quarterback to throw deep. And yeah, they are getting yards. They are not getting into the end zone. But Pennington is not going to be necessarily as good of a fit. He’s a manager, right? The turnover thing will decline. But they are supposed to be built for big plays. I think that is going to be an issue. Read the rest of this entry »
|11.12.10 at 4:27 pm ET|
Steelers defensive end Aaron Smith will miss his third straight game Sunday night with a triceps injury while another defensive end – Brett Keisel – and left guard Chris Kemoeatu are doubtful with hamstring and knee injuries, respectively.
Steelers Injury Report for Friday:
Did Not Participate
DE Brett Keisel (hamstring) Doubtful
G Chris Kemoeatu (knee/ankle) Doubtful
DE Aaron Smith (triceps) OUT
|11.12.10 at 4:26 pm ET|
Sports Illustrated’s Peter King joined the Dale and Holley Show on Friday to talk about the controversial Thursday night win for former Boston College standout Matt Ryan and the Falcons, who the best teams are in the NFL and some of the league’s surprising storylines.
To hear the interview, visit the Dale and Holley Show audio on demand page here.
King also addressed Cleveland’s win over the Patriots last week. “I just will say this about Cleveland and Oakland,” King said. “I know this is weird, but it reminds me of Kevin Millar when it’s 3-0 in 2004: You better not let us win this one, this one game. And it’s almost like the Browns and the Raiders. You better not let us in the playoff because we’re going to beat somebody.”
Here are some more highlights from the conversation:
Lots of great sporting events including an incredible football game last night:
I can’t help but feel that the Baltimore Ravens really got jobbed. In two ways: Number one, the facemask call on Terrell Suggs. Well I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a guy get his facemask grabbed, and then there’s a facemask call and it goes against the guy who got his facemask grabbed. So that was one.
And then, look, I mean we can talk about how incidental contact, how refs should throw the flag away on the last series of the game or whatever do it like an NBA game but the fact is, the NFL has talked adamantly that a foul in the final 40 seconds of the game is the same as a foul in the first 40 seconds of the game.
And that was no if, ands or buts offensive pass interference on Roddy White for pushing down Josh Wilson and it was just a terrible, terrible call. Now, having said that, I still think that they would have been in position to kick a field goal to win the game. So I’m not saying it cost them the game but the fact is they still would have had to make that field goal to win the game and I just thought both of those calls at key moments, particularly the second one, were horrible calls. Read the rest of this entry »
|11.12.10 at 4:18 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is listed as probable for this Sunday night’s game in Pittsburgh against the Steelers. Brady was limited for the second straight day in practice after missing Wednesday’s practice with a foot injury. Safety Jarrad Page (calf) is the only active player ruled out for this weekend. Defensive lineman Myron Pryor (back) is questionable.
Patriots Injury Report for Friday:
K Stephen Gostkowski (thigh) OUT
Did Not Participate
S Jarrad Page (calf) OUT
DL Myron Pryor (back) Questionable
QB Tom Brady (right shoulder/foot) Probable
DL Mike Wright (groin) Questionable
S Patrick Chung (knee) Questionable
RB Fred Taylor (toe) Questionable
RG Stephen Neal (shoulder) Questionable
|11.12.10 at 3:34 pm ET|
Jets at Browns
* – The Jets are figuring it out: After starting the season allowing first down success (i.e. gains of four or more yards) 49 percent of the time (66-for-135), they’ve improved to 38 percent (33-for-88) over the last four weeks, the league’s best mark in that span.
* – The Jets now lead the NFL in kickoff returns (28.6) while the Browns lead the league in defending kickoff returns (16.7). Cleveland hasn’t allowed a return of 30 or more yards over the last four weeks.
* – Cleveland went 7-for-10 on third-and-5 or less last Sunday and are second in the league for the season (66 percent). The Jets have allowed just 39 percent conversions on those, the second best defense in the league.
* – The Jets have allowed 16 conversions on third-and-long (10 yards or more), the most in the league.
* – The Jets have not thrown a touchdown pass to a running back in their last 29 games, the longest current streak in the league:
29 – Jets
22 – Ravens
22 – Bills
* – One more reason the Jets were lucky to escape in overtime last week: They fumbled five times, but lost only one of them.
Vikings at Bears
* – The Vikings have allowed a touchdown in their last 55 games, the longest current streak in the league:
55 – Vikings
43 – Jaguars
34 – Buccaneers
* – The Bears were successful on first down a league low 15 percent of the time last week (4-of-27). For the season, Minnesota has been sixth best at preventing first down success (43 percent).
* – After going 9-for-70 on third downs in their last six games (13 percent), the Bears went 7-for-12 against Buffalo last Sunday (58 percent).
* – Minnesota is the only team in the league that has not stopped a third-and-one try (10-for-10), while Chicago has been the league’s second worst offense at converting third-and-one (4-for-12, 33 percent).
* – The Bears have not allowed a touchdown pass to an opposing tight end this season after allowing 10 last year. This is their first eight game streak without allowing one since they went 26 in a row in ’05-’06.
* – Over the last four weeks, the Vikings have ranked first in net starting field position (+10.9) while the Bears have ranked 29th in that span (-8.0).
* – The Bears have forced a league high 20 fumbles. They’ve recovered nine.
* – While the Bears have been bad at converting third downs in the red zone (3-for-13, 23 percent), the Vikings defense has been the worst in the league in those situations (8-for-14, 57 percent).
Bengals at Colts
* – The Colts have allowed 2.8 points per possession on their opponents’ opening drive of either half (16 drives, ranked 30th). The Bengals offense has averaged just 1.1 such points on their 16 drives (26th).
* – Bengals’ opponents have been in goal-to-go 12 times and have scored 11 touchdowns and a field goal for an average of 6.7 points, the worst mark in the league. Indy’s offense? 12 touchdowns and four field goals in 16 tries (6.0 average, ranked sixth).
* – The Bengals allowed points on 26 percent of opponents’ drives in their first five games, but that’s ballooned to 46 percent over their last three. For the season, Indianapolis leads the NFL on offense, scoring on 42 percent of possessions.
Cowboys at Giants
* – The Giants have scored 40 or more points in consecutive games within the same season for the first time since at least 1970. They did it in the final week of the 1986 season and the first week of the 1987 season though, if you want to count that. They also are the first team in 2010 to break 40 points twice.
* – The Cowboys have allowed 35 or more points in each of their last three games, their longest streak since they allowed 45, 38, 41 in their third, fourth, and fifth games of existence in 1960.
* – New York scored three first quarter touchdowns last week. It was the first time they’ve done that since at least 1996.
* – In the Giants’ eight “first possessions” this year, they have committed five turnovers.
* – The Cowboys are last in the league in defending kickoff returns (28.1) and have allowed eight returns of 30 or more yards. The Giants, however, are last in kickoff returns (17.5) with just two thirty-plus returns all season.
* – Dallas and Chicago are the only two NFL teams with two punt return touchdowns this season. The Giants rank 30th in punt return defense (14.8 average). What’s gonna give?
* – The Giants held an opponent without a single third down conversion twice in October. Prior to that they did it twice… since 1991.
* – The Giants now lead the NFL in first down efficency (gaining four or more yards over 55 percent of the time). They also lead the league in lowest percentage of first down successes allowed (39 percent).
* – Once inside the Giants’ 10-yard-line, Giants’ opponents have completed just 2-of-12 passes (17 percent).
Titans at Dolphins
* – Can Tennessee continue their goal-to-go mastery? In 11 goal-to-go situations, the Titans have averaged 6.3 points, the highest in the league. But Miami’s defense has done well at limiting the damage in those situations, allowing a league best average of 3.7 points, including zero points allowed twice.
* – Only 33 percent of Miami’s pass yards have come on plays of 20 or more yards (30th). Only 34 percent of pass yards ALLOWED by the Titans have come on those big plays (fifth best).
* – Tennessee has allowed 10 or more third down conversions in each of their last two games. Prior to that, they hadn’t allowed double-figure conversions in any of their previous 40. For the record, no team has allowed 10+ conversions in three straight since San Diego in 2003.
* – After a slow start (Tennessee scored on 23 of their first 63 possessions, 35 percent), they’ve cranked up the offense lately, scoring on 16 of their last 34 (47 percent).
* – Miami is the least-penalized team in the league (32 penalties for 241 yards), while the Titans have drawn lots of flags (65, fourth most) for lots of yards (558, fifth most).
* – Tennessee has committed 18 turnovers this year but has not allowed a touchdown following any of them. Their 1.38 average points allowed following turnovers ranks fourth. On offense, Miami averages just 0.86 points following turnovers, the second worst mark in the NFL.
* – The Dolphins have allowed a league high 7.0 average YAC on catches made more than 10 yards downfield this season. Only one other team is allowing an average above 6.0 (Giants, 6.2).
* – The Titans average a league best 6.7 yards when running left this season. Compare that to their 2.8 average going right (31st).
—————————————————————————————————————————– Read the rest of this entry »
|11.12.10 at 2:59 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Both were there for everyone to see. The fair catch call in the first quarter that caused Sammy Morris to muff the kick-off, leading to Cleveland’s first touchdown. Then came the fumble at the end of the first half on the Browns 2-yard line wiping out any chance for the Patriots to take momentum into the locker room.
Tight end Rob Gronkowski had the first forgettable day of what has been a memorable rookie season with the Patriots.
But one of his coaches isn’t very worried at all. As matter of fact, 27-year-old Brian Ferentz – an offensive assistant coach with the Pats – believes Gronkowski will bounce right back this Sunday night in Pittsburgh.
“Rob’s a tough kid and Rob’s very resilient and I’m not very worried about how he’s going to bounce back or do any of those things,” Ferentz said. “He’s certainly made mistakes all year. Perhaps, they just weren’t as visible as the ones he made last week.
“But everybody makes mistakes every week. We made mistakes as coaches last week. He was not the only player who made a mistake and he won’t be the only one who makes a mistake this week. We’ll just move forward and hopefully he’ll continue to improve like he’s done each week.”
“The most I can say about either of those guys is that show up every day, they work hard, they look to improve and they really do work at their craft, which I think is the key ingredient to being successful,” Ferentz said.
“It’s obvious that Aaron is not your typical tight end. And he and Rob are very different in what they can and cannot do. That’s kind of the nature of the position. It’s an interesting position really when you look at the last 15 years, how that position has kind of evolved, not that I’m some kind of veteran coach by any means. But even since I’ve been alive, the game’s changed a lot and that position has certainly led the charge as far as offenses morphing.”
While Gronkowski seems to be a possession receiver on the end of the line, Hernandez has clearly been a tight end the Patriots feel comfortable sending on deeper routes.
“Aaron is the type of guy who has to be ready to deal with anything,” Ferentz said. “He could see a corner, he could see a safety and he could see a linebacker. It just depends on how teams choose to play us, and what they want to do as far as focusing on covering him or how they want to try to slow us down offensively. I think he’s at the point in his career, very early, where he’s maturing, he’s starting to find his role a little bit, his niche and hopefully that continues. But as far as what he’s going to see on a week-to-week basis, your guess is probably as good as mine.”
|11.12.10 at 2:03 pm ET|
After missing five games due to turf toe, Patriots running back Fred Taylor resurfaced this week and appeared on the Dale & Holley show Friday afternoon as part of WEEI’s Patriots Friday. To hear the interview, go to the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.
Taylor has missed five games with the injury he’s learned to respect after previously not taking it seriously when he heard about it from other affected players.
“It’s a frustrating injury,” he said. “You re-aggravate it with each step. I always compare it to a sore thumb or a sprained thumb. Every time you take a step, it’s brutal. For me, the one that I did on the left foot was actually a slightly torn tendon ligament, and the right foot was turf toe from after the first game of the season.”
Taylor said an injured toe often leads to other injuries. “It’s the center of your universe,” he said. “Once that thing gets banged up or hurt, you start altering your walk, then you alter your run. Then you compensate, and then all of a sudden you have a tight calf, which leads to tight hamstrings, which leased to a tight back, which leads to pulled muscles. So, I mean, it’s the center of your entire universe. And I respect anyone that has had to endure turf toe, especially if they’ve had a severe case like the most recent one that I had. But I’m feeling better now.”
Taylor is eyeing a return on Sunday against the Steelers and isn’t intimidated by the team many people are calling the best in the AFC. Taylor points out that he has rushed for more yards against Pittsburgh than any other player. Said Taylor: “I get excited when I hear the word ‘Steelers’ and that color and what they bring and what they are about, what they’ve always been about, the tradition of that team. ‘¦ If you like competition, you’re looking at it this Sunday.”
Taylor said running backs that are successful against the Steelers don’t dance around before hitting the hole. “With Pittsburgh, you have to be patient,” he said. “Each run can’t be a home run. [Against] certain teams you have to alter your running style and know when to take your shot. You have to be extremely patient with those guys. You have to run physical, downhill, one cut. We’ve always been taught against the Steelers just that one cut ‘ stick your foot in the ground, get three, get four, get three yards. Try to stay away from the negative.”
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