|12.25.14 at 12:59 pm ET|
Via his wife’s Instagram account, here’s a Christmas picture of quarterback Tom Brady.
|12.25.14 at 12:00 pm ET|
FOXBORO — No matter what is said this week praising the Bills and how much of a threat they could pose Sunday, historically Tom Brady and the Patriots have dominated the Bills.
For starters, the Patriots have 67 wins against the Bills, the most against any other opponent in the NFL. In their last 28 games against the Bills, the Patriots are 26-2, and furthermore the Patriots have won 13 straight home games against the Bills, including a perfect 12-0 at Gillette Stadium.
“It will be a big challenge for us there Sunday all the way across the board,” Bill Belichick said Tuesday. “Obviously, they beat the Jets handily in both games, beat Green Bay, played very competitively in the Denver game on the road a few weeks back. Good football team, well coached, tough, physical. We had our hands full with them up there and I’m sure we will on Sunday, too.”
Brady had his best game statistically of the season Oct. 12 in Buffalo when he was 27-for-37 with 361 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. The 361 yards were a season-high, and the four touchdowns were second to his five touchdown game against the Bears.
Overall, Brady is 23-2 against the Bills and the 23 wins are tied for the second-most wins by a quarterback against an opponent — Brett Favre has 26 wins against the Lions.
“They’ve got a great defense. They challenge you,” Brady said of the Bills. “They’ve got good coverage. They’ve got 50 sacks, 30 turnovers. So, when you get two a game sacking the quarterback that means you’re forcing them into long-yardage situations and punting. So, between the turnovers and the punts, you just don’t score many points. They really have a lot of good players at every level of the defense, a very mentally and physically tough team. We’re going to have to match that, we’re going to have to bring our own intensity, bring some emotion and try to go out there and execute really well.”
|12.25.14 at 8:00 am ET|
FOXBORO — It’s been a special season for Vince Wilfork.
Wilfork has been dominant on the field, as the nose tackle has 46 tackles and has been incredibly durable. The 33-year-old in his 11th season in the league has played 780 of a possible 1,051 snaps (74 percent), per Pro Football Focus.
The 74 percent is important as he will make a $1.25 million bonus for playing in 70 percent of the team’s defensive snaps, and another $500,000 if he plays 70 percent of the snaps and the Patriots finish in the top 10 in points allowed.
The Patriots are currently eighth in the NFL in points allowed per game at 19.7. The Bengals and Browns are tied for ninth at 21.1.
“Every season means a lot to me,” Wilfork said. “Just another, playing sports in general, playing football in general, the passion I have for the game it means a lot. Being where I came from, especially last year, just to be back out there with the guys and my teammates, to play and win ballgames. I think that is the key. The key is winning and winning makes a lot of things easier.”
This season has even more meaning to Wilfork as he missed most of last season with an Achilles injury suffered in Week 4 and had to work extremely hard in the offseason to get ready to return for this year.
“I worked my tail off just to get back and play football like I normally play,” Wilfork said. “I never take nothing for granted. I’ll tell you that. It’s fun to come and work with the guys I have in this locker room. Devin [McCourty] has been with me sometimes in the offseason so he’s seen some of the things I did and how important it was to me to get back and play with these guys, especially the level we’ve been playing at. I’m very thankful.”
|12.24.14 at 4:02 pm ET|
FOXBORO — The Patriots rung in Christmas Eve with a full-padded practice on the Gillette Stadium game field in preparation for Sunday’s season finale against the Bills. The Patriots have wrapped up the No. 1 seed in the AFC and will have home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
Although every player practiced, 15 players were limited including a few new players. Jonas Gray (ankle) was limited after leaving Sunday’s game and then returning, while Brandon Browner has been added with a groin injury, as has Jamie Collins with a hip injury.
Tom Brady (ankle) was a full participant.
Here is a complete practice report:
LS Danny Aiken (finger)
CB Kyle Arrington (hamstring)
RB LeGarrette Blount (shoulder)
CB Brandon Browner (groin)
LB Jamie Collins (hip)
OL Dan Connolly (ankle)
WR Julian Edelman (thigh/concussion)
OL Cameron Fleming (ankle)
RB Jonas Gray (ankle)
LB Dont’a Hightower (shoulder)
DE Chandler Jones (hip)
WR Brandon LaFell (shoulder)
DE Rob Ninkovich (heel)
RB Shane Vereen (ankle)
LB Chris White (ankle)
QB Tom Brady (ankle)
|12.24.14 at 3:00 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Darrelle Revis was one of five Patriots players named to the Pro Bowl Tuesday night — for the sixth time of his career — but if Revis and the rest of the Patriots have their way, they won’t be playing in the game.
“I don’t even know the date or whenever,” Revis said. “I don’t know the exact actual date, but we have team goals that we want to accomplish and the Pro Bowl is definitely not one.”
The Pro Bowl is set for Jan. 25, 2015 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona — the Sunday before Super Bowl XLIX. Obviously if the Patriots were to be in the game, those players would not play, as they would be preparing for the game.
Although he ultimately doesn’t want to play in the game for team reasons, Revis does feel honored to be named to the game and credited his coaches and teammates for the honor. Revis currently leads the NFL with 123 passes defensed since he entered the NFL in 2007.
“It’s an honor,” said Revis. “You know, great talented guys and some of the greatest players in the game. It just shows you, especially coming off the ACL, it shows the hard work you put in. Like I said, I just have to save my teammates for making my job a little bit more easier. It all goes together — the pass rush, the schemes that we do that the coaches draw up. I thank the coaches as well and my teammates for making my job a little bit easier.”
|12.24.14 at 12:15 pm ET|
FOXBORO — For a second straight day, the Patriots had perfect attendance at practice. The practice was held in full pads on the game field at Gillette Stadium in preparation for Sunday’s season finale at home against the Bills.
It’s worth mentioning, Julian Edelman, LeGarrette Blount, Dan Connolly and Kyle Arrington all practiced, although on a limited basis, last week before missing Sunday’s game, so the injury report released later this afternoon will be a little more telling for their status on Sunday.
For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.
|12.24.14 at 8:00 am ET|
Just from watching Sunday’s game, it was clear the Jets defense was putting constant pressure on Tom Brady, giving him limited time to throw. The quarterback was hit a season-high 11 times and had his fewest passing yards (182) since Week 4 in Kansas City — one of Brady’s worst games of his career.
Looking back at the game and the numbers, it was clear the Patriots made a constant effort to get the ball out of his hands quickly, which came as a surprise given what took place when the two teams met in Week 7.
Back on Oct. 16, by our numbers, Brady had a season-high 2.58 seconds from snap-to-throw. The Jets clearly made some adjustments Sunday, as Brady had an average of 2.21 seconds from snap-to-throw, more than a .30 second difference, a pretty big difference when talking quarterbacks times to throw.
“You can’t look past this week,” Brady said on Tuesday. “I think we have to improve our execution this week, and it starts with practice today to see if we can do a better job with our communication, with our overall understanding of one another and what we’re trying to accomplish out there on every play. When you don’t do it consistently, it’s hard to score points. The more we can be on the same page, the more we can understand the anticipation of each other and the more we understand what we’re all trying to do, the better we’re going to be and the more we’re going to score points.”
Keep in mind a lot of the release time numbers are based on scheme and game planning against certain opponents with quick wide receivers screens, etc. skewing the numbers a bit, but there is no question the Jets defense forced Brady into throwing the ball quicker than he would have liked and has in the past, especially from the last time the two teams met.
In the team’s first meeting, by our numbers Brady had 12-of-37 plays (32 percent) where he took less than two seconds to throw the ball. This past Sunday he had 18-of-34 plays (53 percent) where he took less than two seconds to release the ball. The team did a little better job giving Brady more time in the second half, as he had 2.24 seconds from snap-to-throw in the second half, compared to 2.17 in the first half.
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