|10.16.14 at 7:36 pm ET|
Staying home? Staying dry? Stay up to the second on all the latest news, updates and analysis from tonight’s Patriots-Jets game with the WEEI.com live chat!
|10.16.14 at 7:05 pm ET|
FOXBORO — The following Patriots will be inactive for tonight’s game: offensive linemen Bryan Stork, Dan Connolly and Cameron Fleming, safety Nate Ebner, running back James White, wide receiver Aaron Dobson and cornerback Malcolm Butler.
This means cornerback Brandon Browner will be making his season debut for the Patriots along with running back Jonas Gray and offensive lineman Chris Barker, who were both signed off the practice squad this afternoon. Gray gets the nod over White, a rookie out of Wisconsin, who has played in one game this season.
Also, playing for the Patriots are linebacker Dont’a Hightower and defensive lineman Dominique Easley — both missed Sunday’s game vs. Buffalo and should give the defense a boost in the absence of Jerod Mayo, who is out for the season.
For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.
|10.16.14 at 5:52 pm ET|
FOXBORO — It’s no mistake that the Patriots are honoring Ty Law on a Thursday night against the Jets.
It was the same in 2010 when they paid tribute to Tedy Bruschi, and celebrated with a 45-3 destruction of the Jets. The Patriots can only hope this works out as well.
“It means a lot. To have it come around one more time to say a final salute to the Patriot nation, it’s amazing,” said Law, the latest enshrinee to the Patriots Hall of Fame. “I think I [said] everything that I possibly could during the Hall of Fame ceremony, but to be able to go out on the field one last time in front of the crowd, on the football field, it’s an amazing feeling, and I’m looking forward to it.”
Law will also get the chance to again watch Darrelle Revis. In the last two weeks, Law has seen his fellow Aliquippa, Penn. legend turn into the shutdown corner everyone expected when Revis landed in New England. Has Law enjoyed seeing Revis do some of that in recent weeks?
“I knew coming into the game that’s how I got myself prepared,” Law said of expecting 1-on-1 battles. “It’s a challenge that I relished week-in and week-out, and I wanted my teammates to feed off of that confidence. I wanted to be contagious, letting guys know that I was going out there to do my job. If I took that approach, the next guy would be like, ‘You know what, I got him. I’m going to do my job.’
“And it worked for us. It was just one of those things that I took a lot of pride in. And then after it was pretty much established that I’d be taking the top dog every week, it just became one of those things that we had a lot of fun with, and I always looked forward to it. I think it makes your job somewhat easier even though you’re going against the best guy, to know and study and say, ‘OK, primarily I have him, so I don’t have to look at five, six different guys. I’m covering him.’ So, it was a blessing in that aspect as well. So, to see Darrelle doing some of the same things now that was one of my selling points to him.
“If you were to come to the Patriots you would have an opportunity to do some of the same things that you did in New York. Somewhat different system, but you will still be in charge of taking out the top guy [in] man or zone, and I think that was one of the things that pushed him to come to New England. It’s been a joy to watch him the last few weeks to go out there and be able to do what he does best because he was totally out of place in Tampa Bay. That wasn’t Darrelle Revis; that wasn’t the type of football that he likes to play. Where we’re from in Aliquippa, we called that cat coverage. I’ve got that cat, you got that cat, you got that cat, and that’s what we do. So, we’ve been doing this thing for a long time.”
|10.16.14 at 5:26 pm ET|
FOXBORO — For the second straight year, the Patriots will play the Jets at Gillette Stadium on a rainy Thursday night. Steady rain with a chance of thunderstorms is in the forecast for the entirety of the game. But temperatures will be very mild, with a kickoff temperature of 64 degrees expected for the 8:25 p.m. start. Temperatures are expected to remain above 60 throughout the night.
A 7 MPH breeze out of the southeast is also in the forecast throughout the game.
In 2013, the Patriots held their home opener against the Jets on Sept. 12 and squeezed out a 13-10 win as the driving rain pelted players, coaches and fans.
The Patriots have won their last five regular season games against the Jets at Gillette Stadium, not including the 28-21 loss to New York in the 2010 playoffs. Overall, the Patriots have won 20 of the last 27 meetings between the two AFC East arch-rivals.
The Patriots will be playing the first game since losing starting linebacker Jerod Mayo and starting tailback Stevan Ridley to season-ending knee injuries. Both were placed on injured reserve. Taking their place are running back Jonas Gray and offensive lineman Chris Barker, who have been activated off the practice squad and are eligible to dress for the game.
Tom Brady enters the game with a perfect 6-0 record in Thursday night games. Bill Belichick is 7-2, with his last loss coming with Matt Cassel at the helm of a 34-31 overtime loss to the Jets on Nov. 13, 2008. Belichick’s only other Thursday loss was the 34-9 Thanksgiving blowout at the hands of the Detroit Lions in his first season in New England in 2000.
The game will also feature the Patriots paying tribute to Ty Law, the cornerback who was inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame on Aug. 1. The halftime ceremony will be similar to the ones that former Patriots Tedy Bruschi and Troy Brown have enjoyed past primetime games.
The national anthem will be performed by Joey McIntyre of “New Kids on the Block” fame. The game is on the NFL Network as well as CBS nationally. McIntyre stars in the new CBS show, “The McCarthys.”
|10.16.14 at 4:32 pm ET|
FOXBORO — In a move that was expected, practice squad running back Jonas Gray has been promoted to fill the spot on injured running back Stevan Ridley for tonight’s game against the Jets.
Gray impressed the Patriots in training camp and the preseason with his tough physical running style. The second-year back out of Notre Dame played in all four preseason games this year, totaling 37 carries for 142 yards and a 3.8 yard per carry average.
The other injured Patriot from Sunday who is lost for the season, Jerod Mayo, will be replaced by offensive lineman Chris Barker. This move was made with the uncertainty with regard to center Bryan Stork and left guard Dan Connolly. Stork missed the last game in Buffalo with a head injury after leaving in the first half against the Bengals on Oct. 5. Connolly left in the first half last Sunday against the Bills, also with a head injury.
Both Ridley and Mayo were placed on season-ending injured reserve before the 4 p.m. deadline to have Gray and Barker activated. The moves were first reported by ESPN’s Field Yates and NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
‘ Field Yates (@FieldYates) October 16, 2014
‘ Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 16, 2014
|10.16.14 at 2:05 pm ET|
We are fully aware that Tom Brady isn’t the one sharing this stuff on Facebook, but the quarterback (or his people) have been quite active on social media as of late. Here’s the picture he posted earlier today. Extra credit for the Photoshop work. (We’re not sure what’s going on with Vince Wilfork‘s legs in the picture, but whatever.)
Anyway, here’s the real thing to get you in the mood for tonight:
|10.16.14 at 1:36 pm ET|
ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith checked in with Middays with MFB on Thursday to discuss the Patriots-Jets matchup and why he thinks Rex Ryan has been sabotaged this season. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.
Smith hails from New York and does not attempt to hide his preference for teams from the Big Apple, but he acknowledged the Jets aren’t likely to leave Foxboro with a win Thursday night.
“I don’t think that the Jets have a chance,” Smith said. “I don’t think they have a snowball’s chance in hell. I think their offense is pathetic, I think it’s weak. And because of it, I don’t see how they can win this football game. …
“Defensively with Rex Ryan, you know that he’s going to have some kind of scheme that’s going to work to their advantage to some degree, but that’s assuming that the offense is going to be able to give you something. I don’t have faith that Geno Smith, with Chris Johnson, with Eric Decker as your No. 1 option as a receiver being out on that field on the offensive side of the ball is going to be able to to any damage against New England. And as a result, they’ll wear the Jets defense down. And ultimately the only question in my mind is whether or not it’s going to be a blowout, because I can’t see the Jets winning this game.”
Smith said he does not expect Ryan to be back next season, and he blames general manager John Idzik.
“I think that it’s going to be one of those situations where Rex is going to end up losing his job, because I think he’s been set up to fail,” Smith said, adding: “The word that comes to my mind is sabotage. I think that Rex Ryan has been sabotaged for this season.
“You look at Geno Smith, he was clearly Idzik’s choice to be drafted, not Rex Ryan. You look at the fact that they had about $20 million-plus in cap space. In desperate need of a corner, not only do you let Antonio Cromartie get out the door, you didn’t do what it took to get Darrelle Revis back — you lost out on him to New England, your nemesis within the AFC East. You didn’t buffer anybody at the cornerback position. [Alterraun] Verner went to Tampa. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie went in the same building to the New York Giants instead of the Jets. Everywhere you turn, when you had an opportunity to get a bona fide corner, you didn’t do so. And you left your No. 1 corner to be an individual [Dee Milliner] who was a rookie last year, benched three times before he got himself together and was Rookie of the Month in the month of December. But that was going to be your No. 1 corner coming into the season, knowing what Rex Ryan likes to do on the defensive side of the ball? I’d say that spells sabotage. Now Milliner is out, he’s hurt. So what do you have? Pretty much nothing.”
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