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Report: J.J. Watt re-injured back vs. Patriots, could be lost for season 09.27.16 at 9:14 pm ET
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Last Thursday’s game against the Patriots might be the last time we see J.J. Watt this season.

The Texans defensive lineman reportedly suffered a back injury last Thursday against New England, an issue so severe that he could be lost for the rest of the year, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media.

Watt, who underwent back surgery in the offseason, was held to just two tackles and no sacks in the 27-0 loss to the Patriots.

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More good news for Patriots quarterback situation, according to ESPN 09.27.16 at 5:26 pm ET
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More optimism from the Patriots and their quarterback situation.

New England is “all but certain” to have Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett for this Sunday’s game against the Bills, and if “[one] or both” were not available for Sunday, it would be an “upset,” according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Schefter notes that the team did not have any quarterbacks in for workouts this week, as well as the fact that both Garoppolo and Brissett were on the practice field on Tuesday.

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

Read More: Jacoby Brissett, Jimmy Garoppolo,
Bill Belichick was mic’d up for Texans game, and results will air Tuesday night on ‘Showtime’ 09.27.16 at 3:32 pm ET
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Bill Belichick was mic’d up for last Thursday’s win over the Texans, and the results will air Tuesday at 9 p.m. on Showtime’s “Inside The NFL.”

Belichick has a longstanding appreciation for “NFL Films” — when he’s collaborated with them in the past, it has produced many memorable moments. With New England’s dramatic 27-0 shutout of the Texans, along with the fact that it was the first game back at Gillette for veteran defensive lineman Vince Wilfork and the first career start for rookie quarterback Jacoby Brissett, it promises to be an entertaining show.

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5 things you have to know about Bills: Change in OC led to spike in Buffalo’s offensive tempo 09.26.16 at 10:01 pm ET
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LeSean McCoy is the most versatile option on the Bilsl roster. (Kevin Hoffman/USA Today Sports)

LeSean McCoy is the most versatile option on the Bills roster. (Kevin Hoffman/USA Today Sports)

Five things you have to know about the Bills, who will travel to New England this weekend for a date with the Patriots.

1. They’re better at running the ball than throwing it.

Through three games, the strength of the Buffalo offense appears to be an ability to run the ball — the Bills average a healthy 119.7 rushing yards per game (eighth in the league) and an impressive 4.8 yards per carry (fourth in the league). However, those numbers are skewed a bit because they rushed for a whopping 208 yards last Sunday against the Cardinals, but just 65 against the Ravens and 86 against the Jets. Why the sudden spike? Maybe it’s new offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn and the fact that he’s considered a more running back-friendly coach. (He coached the running backs before he stepped up to take over for Greg Roman. More on Lynn in a minute.) Maybe it’s the fact that the Cardinals have been exposed as an overrated defense that’s still seeking an identity. Or maybe LeSean McCoy flipped a switch. Whatever the case, the Bills’ run game will likely be their bread-and-butter Sunday in Foxboro. It starts with McCoy, who has 227 yards on 48 carries (4.7 yards per carry) and three touchdowns through three games, to go along with 13 catches for 98 yards. McCoy had a pair of touchdowns and his first 100-yard rushing game Sunday against Arizona. (For what it’s worth, in three career games against the Patriots, McCoy had 202 yards on 45 carries and a pair of touchdowns.) Buffalo will also mix in some designed runs for quarterback Tyrod Taylor (16 carries, 112 yards, one touchdown). Expect the Patriots to stack things up front and dare Taylor to beat them over the top.

2. They’re one of the worst passing team in the league, at least from a straight numbers perspective.

Part of it is because Sammy Watkins has struggled with a foot injury, but the Bills are at or near the bottom of the league in most major passing categories. Taylor is 47-for-77 (61 percent) with 527 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions through three games. Taylor has cracked the 100-yard mark through the air in only one of his three games (for what it’s worth, that was a 307-yard performance in a 37-31 defeat to the Jets. Obviously, the speedy Watkins is a huge x-factor here; if he can go, it’s a bit of a game-changer for the Bills passing attack. Watkins has six receptions for 63 yards in limited action this season. McCoy leads the team in catches, but Taylor has also zoned in on Robert Woods (11 catches, 15 targets, 81 yards) and tight end Charles Clay (seven catches 12 targets, 67 yards). The key here for New England? Maintain gap discipline and pay extra attention to Taylor or McCoy to make sure they don’t get to the second level.

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Read More: Anthony Lynn, Brandon Tate, Charles Clay, Colton Schmidt
Report: Patriots signing ex-Cleveland DL John Hughes 09.26.16 at 3:15 pm ET
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The Patriots are signing former Cleveland defensive lineman John Hughes, per Field Yates of ESPN.

A third-round pick of the Browns out of Cincinnati in 2012, the 6-foot-2, 304-pounder has been with Cleveland all five years in the league. He was cut earlier this month, but had played in 53 games with the Browns and had 5.5 sacks and 52 tackles in his tenure with Cleveland.

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

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Target Practice: Danny Amendola continues remarkable run of reliability in passing game 09.26.16 at 11:19 am ET
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Danny Amendola

Danny Amendola

Targets have been compiled by the NFL since the start of the 2009 season, and while it remains a vaguely imperfect stat — a badly thrown ball from a quarterback can often go against the record of the receiver as opposed to the quarterback — it remains a good indication of the confidence level a passer or coach might have in said pass catcher. With all that in mind, here’s a look at the target breakdown through the first three games of the regular season.

WR Danny Amendola: 9 catches on 10 targets (90 percent)
WR Julian Edelman: 18 catches on 24 targets (75 percent)
TE Martellus Bennett: 10 catches on 14 targets (71 percent)
RB James White: 8 catches on 12 targets (67 percent)
WR Chris Hogan: 8 catches on 13 targets (62 percent)
WR Malcolm Mitchell: 4 catches on 9 targets (44 percent)
RB D.J. Foster: 1 catch on 2 targets (50 percent)
QB Jimmy Garoppolo: 1 catch on 1 target (100 percent)
WR Matthew Slater: 0 catches on 1 target (0 percent)
TE Rob Gronkowski: 1 catches on 1 target (0 percent)

In his last 19 regular-season games, Amendola has caught 74 of the last 97 passes thrown in his direction for a remarkable 76.3 percent catch rate. It’s the highest rate for any wide receiver with at least 90 targets in that span. For the record, Keenan Allen at 76 percent and Doug Baldwin at 75.4 percent are just off the pace. In that same span, Julian Edelman has a 71.2 percent catch rate, second-best among the Patriots’ receivers.

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How do Patriots stack up against rest of NFL when it comes to penalties, penalty yards? 09.26.16 at 10:58 am ET
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On Thursday, the Patriots were whistled for three penalties for 15 yards, not counting flags that were declined or offset. Heading into Monday Night Football, New England has been hit with 18 penalties (13th fewest in the league) for 149 yards (12th fewest in the league) on the season. Here’s a breakdown of the flags that have gone against the Patriots after three regular season games:

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