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Report: MRI reveals pectoral muscle tear, ending the season for Ryan Mallett 11.24.14 at 1:48 pm ET
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Former Patriots quarterback Ryan Mallett played with torn pectoral muscle and is out for the season.  (Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Former Patriots quarterback Ryan Mallett played with torn pectoral muscle and is out for the season. (Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Ryan Mallett‘s first chance as an NFL starting quarterback lasted just two weeks.

An MRI performed Monday on the Houston Texans quarterback revealed a torn right pectoral muscle that he played through in Sunday’s 22-13 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. The news was first reported by John McClain of the Houston Chronicle and Ian Rapoport of NFL Media.

The former back-up to Tom Brady, who is a free agent after this season, suffered the injury in his first career start Nov. 6 against the Cleveland Browns. He practiced fully all week but was on the injury report with a chest injury throughout the week leading up to Sunday’s game against the Bengals.

In his first start Nov. 16 in Cleveland, Mallett completed 20 of 30 passes and threw two touchdowns and one interception. He had the 10th-best rating of any Texans starting quarterback since 2001. On Sunday against the Bengals, Mallett completed only 21 of 45 passes and looked off target all afternoon.

Mallett won the job from Ryan Fitzpatrick just before their bye week in early November as head coach Bill O’Brien turned to the quarterback he coached in New England in 2011 and 2012. The Patriots traded Mallett to the Texans on Aug. 31 after spending the first three years of his career in New England. Mallett threw only four passes in those three years.

The Texans acquired him for a conditional draft pick. The pick is a sixth-rounder if Mallett plays 40 percent of the team’s snaps this season and a seventh-rounder if he plays less.

Read More: Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, houston texans, New England Patriots
Tom Brady ‘can’t put a price tag’ on satisfaction after Patriots’ blowout win 10.06.14 at 2:30 am ET
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FOXBORO — This time when Tom Brady came out of the game for Jimmy Garoppolo, he was feeling nothing but pure satisfaction as the back-up took a knee to end New England’s 43-17 thrashing of the not-ready-for-primetime Bengals Sunday night at Gillette Stadium.

How things can change in just six days.

Brady was 23-of-35 for 292 yards, two touchdowns and a season-best QB rating of 110.7. From the moment he came onto the field to his “PSA” anthem from Jay-Z, Brady was yelling and fired up. And it translated into the most dominating performance at a time when the Patriots needed it the most.

The Patriots were fired up during and after the game, celebrating a sense of relief in the locker room after the most significant regular season win in recent memory.

“I think it’€™s a great opportunity for our team,” Brady said. “We try not to get caught up in that stuff and I think you just focus on the things you can control. To ride the ups and downs of, ‘€˜You’€™re great. You suck. You’€™re great. You suck,’€™ it’€™s exhausting. It’€™s exhausting enough when you’€™re winning to have to deal with those things and when you lose, it sucks for everybody. We don’€™t play this game to go out there and not play well. Guys take it to heart. I think guys worked really hard this week to get prepared for tonight. Like I said, it was a great opportunity for us to come out and show what we’€™re made of.

“You know, we get paid to play football. We get paid to play it well, actually. So, we should go out there and play really well. We work really hard all year round for these moments and what we experience in the locker room after that win, you can’€™t put a price tag on that.”

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Read More: Cincinnati Bengals, New England Patriots, nfl, Tom Brady
Mike Petraglia, Chris Price break down Patriots’ annihilation of Bengals at 2:12 am ET
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FOXBORO —’s Mike Petraglia and Chris Price break down the Patriots’ 43-17 dismantling of the previously unbeaten Cincinnati Bengals at Gillette Stadium. Tom Brady passed the 50,000-yard passing milestone, and the Patriots put together their best all-around effort of the season.

Read More: Chris Price, Cincinnati Bengals, Mike Petraglia, New England Patriots
Bill Belichick: ‘Obviously, a satisfying night’ at 2:00 am ET
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FOXBORO — Bill Belichick has a way with words, and Sunday night, after his team demolished the previously unbeaten Bengals, 43-17, his words spoke volumes about how good it felt to come out and play a complete game.

“Well, that was obviously a satisfying night tonight,” Belichick said. “I thought our coaching staff really did a good job this week on the short week. You know, really worked hard to get our team ready and I thought the players really went out and played hard tonight.”

The Patriots put up over 500 yards of offense against a defense considered to be of Super Bowl quality. His quarterback looked like the Hall of Famer he certainly will become after he retires, throwing two touchdowns and firing up his team from the get-go.

And the special teams produced a touchdown when Brandon Bolden drilled Brandon Tate and Kyle Arrington scooped it up for the touchdown that put the Patriots up 34-10. Of course, there were 12 penalties for 114 yards.

“It wasn’t perfect — certainly [there are] a lot of things we need to do better, but we played hard; we made a lot of plays against a good football team,” Belichick said. “Cincinnati has a good — that’€™s a good club. Marvin [Lewis] does a good job with that group. Tonight was just kind of our night. A lot of things went in our favor. We made a few things happen and that was good. We just have to really give all the credit to the players for the way they played. They’€™re resilient, they’€™re tough and they worked hard this week and they played hard tonight. I’€™m proud of them for that.”

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Read More: Bill Belichick, Cincinnati Bengals, New England Patriots,
Bill Belichick explains why he has a ‘much closer relationship’ with Mike Brown than Paul Brown 10.05.14 at 6:06 pm ET
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Bill Belichick. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Bill Belichick. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

FOXBORO — It’s no secret that Bill Belichick has always admired the teaching methods of Paul Brown.

But what’s not as well known is the personal family connections between the Belichicks and Browns, dating back to World War II.

The connection begins with Bill Edwards, a former player under Paul Brown, who also coached for him. Edwards happens to be Belichick’s godfather.

When Brown came to run the Bengals, Belichick and his father, Navy assistant coach Steve Belichick made the trip to Wilmington (Ohio) College to visit training camp.

“Obviously he remembers a lot, it’€™s his father,” Belichick said Friday when asked about his memories about the Brown family. “But, I talk to Mike about him plenty and have a lot of respect for that family. My dad and that family go way back, back to World War II, post-World War II days. My godfather’€™s relationship with Paul and the Browns and the Bengals and the Browns being at Hiram [College] and my mom graduating from Hiram and my dad coaching at Hiram ‘€“ it goes back a long way.

Paul Brown died in 1991 at the age of 82. Brown’s son Mike, now 79, still owns and runs the Bengals, with his daughter Katie Blackburn.

“I’€™d say most of the relationship with Coach [Paul] Brown was with my dad,” Belichick said. “I met him and gone to practices and those kind of things, but I was young. So, I’€™d say I have a much closer relationship with Mike just because we’€™re a little closer in age, [have] football fathers, Ohio. There are a lot of similarities there.”

Read More: Bill Belichick, Cincinnati Bengals, Mike Brown, New England Patriots
Setting the scene: Patriots look to prove a point against Bengals at 4:54 pm ET
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The stage is set for one of the bigger regular season games in recent Patriots memory. (Mike Petraglia/

The stage is set for one of the bigger regular season games in recent Patriots memory. (Mike Petraglia/

FOXBORO — All week the Patriots have waited for this moment. Their chance to prove to critics, the league and most importantly themselves that they are not as bad as the last two weeks would seem is finally here.

Clear skies and temperatures in the low 50s are expected for the 8:30 p.m. kickoff as they take on the 3-0 Cincinnati Bengals at Gillette Stadium. The chill in the air could drop temperatures to the mid 40s by the end of the game.

Wind should be absolutely no factor with a breeze expected out of the east at 5 MPH.

This could bode well for the passing game, and speculation will intensify before kickoff about just how much Aaron Dobson will play, if indeed he is active for the first time since Week 2 in Minnesota.

With Brandon Browner and Brian Tyms also not activated by the 4 p.m. ET deadline Saturday, Alfonzo Dennard and Dobson could have bigger roles.

The 2-2 Patriots are not the only ones trying to prove themselves on this big Sunday night stage.

The Bengals come to Foxboro trying to prove they belong in the conversation among elite NFL teams and early-season talk about Super Bowl contenders. The Bengals have not handled the bright lights of Sunday night very well. They are 3-12 in Sunday night games and 1-8 on the road, with their only win coming in 1992 at Chicago in overtime.

Their last appearance was an abject disaster last December.

They took a 9-4 record into Pittsburgh and the sub-.500 Steelers pounded them into the ground, racing out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter. Their punter (Kevin Huber) broke his jaw when he tried to cover a Steelers punt return. He was blindsided and missed the rest of the season. The Steelers won that game, 30-20.

The Patriots have dominated this series of late, winning 7-of-9, including a 16-13 win in Bill Belichick‘s first year at the helm of the Patriots in 2000. Cincinnati’s only two wins ever in New England have come by a 31-7 score. The Bengals won in 1972 at Schaefer Stadium and in 1986 in the same stadium. The Bengals are 0-2 at Gillette Stadium, losing 35-28 in 2004 and 38-24 in the 2010 season opener.

The Bengals snapped a four-game losing skid to the Patriots with a 13-6 win last October at Paul Brown Stadium.

Read More: Cincinnati Bengals, New England Patriots,
Nate Ebner (finger), Cameron Fleming ruled out, Dominique Easley (knee) among 5 questionable 10.03.14 at 5:42 pm ET
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Dominique Easley

Dominique Easley

FOXBORO — Defensive back and special teamer Nate Ebner and offensive lineman Cameron Fleming have been ruled out for Sunday night’s game against the Bengals.

But the real news of the day from the injury report came in the form of the addition of rookie defensive lineman Dominique Easley, who was limited and is questionable with a knee injury.

Four other Patriots were again limited Friday, led by linebackers Dont’a Hightower (knee) and Jamie Collins (thigh). Also limited Friday was defensive end Chandler Jones (shoulder) and defensive back Alfonzo Dennard (shoulder). Hightower, Collins, Jones and Dennard are all questionable.

As for the Bengals, star linebacker Vontaze Burfict returned to practice Friday for the first time this week, but is officially listed as one of three “doubtful” Bengals for Sunday.

Burfict suffered concussions in Cincinnati’s first two games and missed their win over Tennessee. A.J. Green was added to the Bengals injury report Friday with a toe ligament injury suffered in Week 2 against Atlanta. But Green is still listed as probable.

Did Not Participate
DB Nate Ebner (finger) OUT
OL Cameron Fleming (finger) OUT

Limited Participation
DL Dominique Easley (knee) QUESTIONABLE
LB Jamie Collins (thigh) QUESTIONABLE
CB Alfonzo Dennard (shoulder) QUESTIONABLE
LB Dont’a Hightower (knee) QUESTIONABLE
DE Chandler Jones (shoulder) QUESTIONABLE

Full Participation
TE Rob Gronkowski (knee) PROBABLE

Read More: Cameron Fleming, Cincinnati Bengals, Dominique Easley, Nate Ebner
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