|Tom Brady ‘can’t put a price tag’ on satisfaction after Patriots’ blowout win||10.06.14 at 2:30 am ET|
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.”
FOXBORO — WEEI.com’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.
|NFL says Chiefs DB Husain Abdullah should not have been penalized after TD||09.30.14 at 10:50 am ET|
The NFL says it was wrong to penalize Husain Abdullah after his slid into a Muslim prayer following his pick-six of Tom Brady Monday night.
In the fourth quarter, Abdullah picked off Brady, raced 39 yards for the touchdown and then slid into sajdah, a common Muslim prayer. Abdullah, a devout Muslim, was making good on a promise that if he ever scored a touchdown, he would “prostrate before God” in the end zone.
The officials assessed a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty for the slide, which is not permitted as part of any celebration.
Rule 12, Section 3, Article 1 (d) states: Players are prohibited from engaging in any celebrations or demonstrations while on the ground.
But on Tuesday morning, NFL spokesman Michael Signora clarified the interpretation of the rule.
“However, the officiating mechanic in this situation is not to flag a player who goes to the ground as part of religious expression, and as a result, there should have been no penalty on the play,” Signora told ESPN’s Ed Werder.
Abdullah was very understanding after the game and apparently not upset.
“For me, I just got a little too excited,” Abdullah told reporters. “I think it was for the slide.”
Abdullah said that Chiefs coach Andy Reid told him the penalty was not for the prayer but his slide.
“He said, ‘You can’t slide,’ ” Abdullah said.
Abdullah played for the Vikings from 2008-11, then took a year off to make a pilgrimage to Mecca.
The 29-year-old veteran safety took to Twitter on Tuesday morning with a Muslim prayer of thankfulness.
“Subhana Rabbial-’Ala” (Glory be to my Lord The Most High) http://t.co/RdKz3UfEjk
‘ Husain Abdullah (@HAbdullah39) September 30, 2014
|Darrelle Revis on an ‘ugly’ win: ‘We showed great character’||09.21.14 at 6:10 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Darrelle Revis has been in New England long enough to know that a win is a win is a win.
He repeated that mantra after Sunday’s 16-9 win over Oakland at Gillette Stadium that had most fans paying close attention a lot longer than they they might have anticipated.
The Patriots were not able to dominate the the Raiders offensively but their defense kept them out of the end zone, something Revis said the Patriots should feel very good about.
“It was an ugly win for us as a team but sometimes it comes down to that,” Revis said. “We showed great character down the stretch.”
In a move that caught many by surprise, Raiders rookie quarterback Derek Carr came right at Revis, not backing down in making several completions on the Pro Bowl corner in the second half. Revis was asked if is comfortable in the Patriots system after three weeks.
“This is Week 3, right? I think I’m fine,” Revis said, laughing off any concern. “Today is over with. We won. That’s my focus. You go back to the drawing board and you make your corrections. It’s really not that serious. You go out there and compete. This is the NFL. Guys make plays. We all make plays. My thing is we came out and fought hard. It was an ugly win for us and we move on.”
As for the final drive, Revis watched as his fellow corner Logan Ryan was victimized by a pass interference call while defending Andre Holmes. The Raiders appeared to tie the game on the next play when Darren McFadden ran it into the end zone untouched but a holding call gave the Patriots new life. Ryan deflected a Carr pass intended for Denarius Moore and Vince Wilfork wound up with the ball for his third career interception.
‘It was a great stand for us as a defense and sometimes it comes down to those last final seconds,” Revis said. “There were a bunch of calls in those last few seconds and they ended up scoring but there was a flag, it was a holding call. We fought hard and we fought through it and we ended up coming out of it with a win.’
On a day when the Patriots couldn’t get their offense in gear, the defense saved the day.
‘I don’t know if it’s the defense leading [or] the special teams or the offense,” Revis said. “We just try to play great in all three phases and that’s what we try to do every Sunday. This one got a little ugly out there and it was a tough game. The only thing that I feel like we can get out of this is that we have great character. We fought down the stretch. It was a hard, tough game. You’ve got to commend Oakland for playing hard as well. This shows a lot, this win right here, for this team. We can build off this win. It was an ugly win. We showed great character but we can build off this going down the stretch.’
FOXBORO — The 2014 home schedule is finally here for the Patriots.
After splitting their first two games on the road, the Patriots will get their chance to open the home schedule Sunday against the Oakland Raiders here at Gillette Stadium. And it could be a stormy day.
Forecasters are calling for temperatures in the mid-to-upper 70s with a chance of thunderstorms around 3 p.m., in the second half of the game. Humidity, like Week 1 in Miami, could be a factor, with a relative humidity around 75 percent predicted. But the heat index won’t be nearly as high and a breeze of 10 MPH out of the south should help as well.
The Patriots are looking for their 12th win in 13 lifetime home openers at Gillette Stadium, with their only loss coming in 2012 when the Cardinals stunned them, 20-18, on a missed Stephen Gostkowski field goal at the end.
The Patriots are opening their home schedule against the Raiders for the first time since welcoming Randy Moss and company on Sept. 8, 2005. That night, the Patriots raised their third Super Bowl banner in four seasons, having won the Super Bowl the previous season.
The Patriots are 15-14-1 lifetime against the Raiders in the regular season, having won the last three meetings since Oakland’s 27-20 triumph on Nov. 17, 2002. The Patriots also hold a 2-1 advantage in the postseason.
|Report: Ray Rice told Roger Goodell in June that he hit Janay Palmer||09.11.14 at 9:53 pm ET|
The news keeps getting worse for Roger Goodell.
According to an ESPN “Outside the Lines” report Thursday, Ray Rice told the NFL commissioner in a meeting on June 16 that he punched his then-fiancee Janay Palmer in a casino elevator. OTL cited four sources that indicated Rice’s admission to Goodell in a disciplinary hearing.
If true, the assertion directly contradicts Goodell’s statement this week that “when we met with Ray Rice and his representatives, it was ambiguous about what actually happened.”
Goodell made that claim Tuesday during an interview with CBS News, saying the latest video released by TMZ Sports about the incident was “inconsistent” with what the former Baltimore Ravens running back had told him.
But the four sources close to Rice say that during the disciplinary meeting in the commissioner’s office in New York on June 16, Rice made it clear to Goodell he had hit Janay Rice, then his fiancee, in the face inside a Revel Casino Hotel elevator in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and had knocked her unconscious. Goodell and the Ravens insisted prior to the release of the TMZ elevator video released this week that they had no knowledge of what happened inside the elevator.
“Ray didn’t lie to the commissioner,” a source with knowledge of the meeting told “Outside the Lines.” “He told the full truth to Goodell — he made it clear he had hit her, and he told Goodell he was sorry and that it wouldn’t happen again.”
“He told the truth,” a second source said. “This is a public lynching of Ray.”
A third source with knowledge of Rice’s discussion with the commissioner told ESPN that “there was no ambiguity about what happened [in the elevator].” A fourth source also confirmed how the information was relayed at the meeting; however, a fifth source with knowledge of the meeting said Rice told Goodell he had “slapped” his fiancee.
|Bill Belichick wants to see if this Patriots team (like several others) can show ‘mental toughness’||08.19.14 at 10:12 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Bill Belichick hasn’t seen much losing in his career as a head coach, especially in New England.
The only sub-.500 season Belichick has endured with the Patriots was his first, when the 2000 team went 5-11. The next season, his team started 0-2 but ended up as Super Bowl champions. He’s been a record-setting winner ever since.
In Cleveland, of course, it was different. He had losing seasons in four of his five seasons by Lake Erie and endured the most arduous end to a season imaginable. So, Belichick does remember what losing was like. And he remembers something else, a bad feeling in training camp and preseason usually is never followed by a successful regular season.
On Tuesday, he explained why.
“I think it’s probably just an overall feeling,” Belichick said. “Just the way that the team works, the way they respond to the things they’re asked to do in camp and how they handle some of the tests that they’re put through. It’s a grind. It’s tough. It’s a very competitive situation. It’s a challenge for the team ‘ not just the players – but the entire organization to handle all the things you have to handle in training camp, without something kind of internally being a problem and being ready to go.”
There was no bigger potential distraction than what the 2013 Patriots had to deal with heading into camp, when star tight end Aaron Hernandez was released after being charged with the June 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd. But that was dealt with on the first day. There was the forearm injury of Rob Gronkowski and whether he would be ready to start the season. That actually became a bigger soap opera but eventually he returned and the team rolled to a second straight 12-4 season and a third straight trip to the AFC championship.
In 2011, owner Robert Kraft lost his wife Myra over the summer after helping negotiate the end of the labor impasse. That year, inspired from the start, the Patriots overcame the Ravens in the AFC championship and nearly overcame Rob Gronkowski‘s bum ankle in a heart-breaking Super Bowl loss to the Giants. The seed of toughness of the 2011 and 2013 teams were sowed in the summer.
“You have to be able to show some mental toughness, some ability to block out distractions and focus on your job and improving individually and as a team and all those things,” Belichick reminded everyone Tuesday. “If you can do those over a training camp period of, call it six weeks, then it’s probably a pretty good indication that you have a chance to do it during the year. If you don’t, then it’s probably an indication that when the pressure really comes on during the season, which the pressure is going to mount for the team as the season goes, I’d say the likelihood of it all just magically coming together without a legitimate foundation, I haven’t had a lot of great experience with that.”
In 2001, the Patriots started 0-2, lost their starting quarterback Drew Bledsoe to a life-threatening injury and had an offensive lineman in Joe Andruzzi, whose brother helped save lives at Ground Zero on 9/11. The Patriots somehow managed to overcome the distractions and play with the right kind of emotion, finishing 11-5 en route to a stunning Super Bowl win that started a dynasty.
Of course, Belichick has seen the flip side when his 1995 Browns were submarined by owner Art Modell‘s mid-season announcement he was moving to Baltimore in 1996. The City of Cleveland was devastated and that Browns team could never recover, finishing 5-11.
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