|Tom Brady on K&C: Patriots offense will feature different players each week||10.24.16 at 10:09 am ET|
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady made his weekly appearance on Kirk & Callahan on Monday morning to talk about Sunday’s 27-16 win over the Steelers, among other things relating to the Patriots offense. To hear the interview, visit the K&C audio on demand page.
Julian Edelman had a season-high nine catches for 60 yards, while Rob Gronkowski and Martellus Bennett combined for just five catches. Brady said that was because of the way the Steelers played defense, as they didn’t want the tight end duo to have a big day.
“[Edelman] had a lot of opportunity based on how they really chose to play us,” Brady said. “We had some good matchups there in the middle of the field and I tried to get it to him. He was able to make some plays and really get into the defense, show his run after the catch. It was a very productive day for him. We really needed it. They made it tough in a lot of ways for our offense to really create big plays, but we had a lot of those plays underneath and Jules was a big factor in the game.”
Brady said the tight ends didn’t complain much as they know how the offense works.
“They really don’t. I think for our offense right now, I think it’s going to be different players each week,” he said. “They understand. They all want the ball. They are all working hard to get open. Sometimes the coverage that the defense is playing dictates where you throw the ball and if they are not in that position, they are all smart enough to know that’s not when they are going to get it. I think [the Steelers] were pretty intent on not letting Gronk and Marty have big days yesterday.”
Stephen Gostkowski missed an extra point for the second time in as many games and he’s now missed a kick in six of his last eight games dating back to the AFC title game last season. Brady isn’t concerned, though.
“I just think you show support and encouragement,” he said. “He’s a great kicker. He’ll find his rhythm. I don’t think anyone is really worried about that. He’s one of the best kickers that has ever played the game. I have 100 percent confidence he will find his rhythm.”
Running back LeGarrette Blount had his third game of 100 or more yards rushing this year as he finished with 127 yards on 24 carries with two touchdowns. The quarterback noted how important it’s been for Blount to get off to a good start this year.
|Mike Petraglia, Doug Kyed on LeGarrette Blount, Rob Gronkowski powering Patriots to win||10.23.16 at 8:53 pm ET|
PITTSBURGH — Without Ben Roethlisberger the Patriots outlast the Pittsburgh Steelers 27–16 Sunday in Pittsburgh. LeGarrette Blount ran for 127 yards while Rob Gronkowski tied Stanley Morgan with his 68th career touchdown catch. Mike Petraglia and special guest Doug Kyed have your post game report from inside Heinz Field.
|Rob Gronkowski reacts to tying Patriots all-time touchdown record in typical Gronk fashion||at 8:28 pm ET|
In the Patriots’ 27-16 win over the Steelers, tight end Rob Gronkowski tied Stanley Morgan for the most touchdowns in team history with 68 when he caught a 36-yard pass from Tom Brady in the third quarter to put the Pats up 20-13 at the time.
Gronkowski was asked about the achievement after the game and responded as only he would.
“One more I have 69 touchdowns, if you know what I mean,” he said with a smile. “Only you know what I mean, baby.”
The tight end finished the game with four catches for 93 yards and a touchdown.
— Chad Amaral (@chad_amaral) October 24, 2016
For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.
|Snap Judgments: Behind LeGarrette Blount, Rob Gronkowski, Patriots survive undermanned Steelers||at 7:30 pm ET|
PITTSBURGH – It took longer and was tougher than many expected but the Patriots eventually wore down the Steelers without Ben Roethlisberger.
Behind the 13th career 100-yard game from LeGarrette Blount and the 68th career touchdown reception from Rob Gronkowski, the Patriots outlasted the Steelers, 27-16, Sunday before 66,009 at Heinz Field.
Blount ran the ball 24 times for 127 yards and two touchdowns against his former team while Gronkowski caught four passes for 93 yards and tied Stanley Morgan for the team’s all-time touchdown reception mark.
Tom Brady completed his first nine passes and finished 19-of-26 for 222 yards as the Patriots improved to 6-1 and extended their AFC East lead to two games over Buffalo.
Early on, in building a 14-0 lead, the Patriots did exactly what would be expected when a Tom Brady team takes on a depleted opponent.
They took advantage of every mistake by the Steelers. And they covered their own. On the first drive, Brady completed the first of nine straight passes to open the game. But Chris Hogan fumbled, giving the Steelers the ball at the Patriots 45.
|Scouting Report: What you have to know about Patriots-Steelers||10.22.16 at 11:29 am ET|
What you have to know when the Patriots and Steelers meet Sunday at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh:
WHEN THE PATRIOTS RUN THE BALL
The run defense totals against the Steelers have to be put in context, but no matter the situation, I can’t stop looking at the Miami-Pittsburgh boxscore and the whopping 222 rushing yards that were allowed by the Steelers. Holy moly. (Jay Ajayi had 204 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries, including 153 in the second half as Miami gave him the ball time and again in hopes of helping protect the lead.) That came after Pittsburgh held four of its first five opponents under 100 yards rushing. In all, the Steelers are 13th in the league against the run, having allowed an average of 101.2 rushing yards per game, so the numbers are skewed a bit by what happened against the Dolphins. While every situation and every week is different, the feeling here is that if the Patriots get their chances — that is to say, get up early and are able to control the tempo — they should hand the ball to Blount about a zillion times in the second half. As expected, Blount’s production has taken a hit the last two weeks with Tom Brady back, but he’s still seventh in the league with 439 yards rushing. The 3.7 yards per carry isn’t so hot, but his six rushing touchdowns more than make up for it. If New England takes a comfortable second-half lead, look for Blount to get a lot of work.
WHEN THE PATRIOTS PASS THE BALL
Brady (76 percent completion rate, 782 passing yards, six touchdowns, no INTs, passer rating of 135.5) has an almost impeccable track record against the Steelers: In eight career games against Pittsburgh, he’s 6-2 and has averaged 326 passing yards and almost three touchdowns per contest. In his last five starts against Pittsburgh, Brady has 17 touchdowns and no interceptions, with a 127.9 passer rating. Bottom line? The names and faces might change, but he’s always been a pretty safe bet to light up the Steelers hyper-aggressive defense. Pittsburgh will be forced to try and stop New England’s double tight-end set, which managed to overwhelm the Bengals in the second half last week. Rob Gronkowski (13 catches, 282 yards, 1 TD) appears to be back to his old self, while Martellus Bennett (26 catches, 362 yards, 4 TDs) has made an excellent complementary fit alongside him. Julian Edelman (28 catches, 261 yards) has been slowed the last few weeks, but should be in for his fair share of targets, along with Danny Amendola (13 catches, 160 yards, 2 TDs), Chris Hogan (13 catches, 275 yards, 1 TD) and James White (25 catches, 212 yards, 2 TDs).
Brady can talk as nicely as he wants to about the Steelers, but the fact is that they’ve had trouble defending anyone you could call an even slightly better than average quarterback. Pittsburgh has yielded an average of 294 passing yards per game, which puts them 29th in the league through six games: Kirk Cousins, Andy Dalton and Carson Wentz threw for more than 300 yards on the Steelers. The Steelers struggle to get consistent pressure, as they have just eight sacks and three picks in six games. (Only four teams have fewer interceptions than Pittsburgh.) Ross Cockrell and William Gay are the Steelers’ two lead corners, and Cockrell leads the team with seven passes defensed.
In what was supposed to be a matchup between the two best teams in the AFC, Sunday’s Patriots-Steelers game will now have Landry Jones going up against Bill Belichick and the Patriots, as Ben Roethlisberger needed knee surgery on Monday. Pittsburgh enters the game 4-2, while the Patriots are 5-1.
(As always, thanks to the Patriots media relations staff for the help with some of these from this week’s media guide.)
1. In his past five starts against the Steelers, Brady is 134-for-189 (71 percent), for 1,667 yards with 17 touchdowns and no interceptions.
2. With a touchdown on Sunday, Rob Gronkowski will tie Stanley Morgan (68) for the most touchdowns all-time by a Patriots player.
3. The Patriots have the best kickoff unit in NFL when it comes to opponents starting field position, as the average opponents drive has started at the 22-yard line — the best mark in the entire league.
4. LeGarrette Blount leads the NFL in running plays that have been stuffed with 16. (A stuff is defined by a play stopped at or before the line of scrimmage.)
5. Gronkowski is averaging 21.69 yards per catch, the second-most in the NFL. Sammie Coates is No. 1 at 22.16 yards per catch. The Patriots tight end is also tied for first in the NFL with five first-down catches on third-and-7 or longer.
6. Something to watch as the Steelers are known to blitz a lot, is Brady’s quick release. Last season in Week 1 he had his fastest time of season at 1.85 seconds against Pittsburgh.
7. The Patriots have the second-best first half defense in the NFL as they have allowed just 6.2 points in the first half this season. The Seahawks are the best as they have allowed an average of just five points.
8. Since 2010 in the regular season when scoring first, the Patriots are 50-6.
9. Since 2000 the Patriots are 51-17 in the month of October, the best mark in the NFL. The Steelers are next at 46-19.
10. The magic number is 23. Including the playoffs, New England is 169-14 when scoring 23 or more points under Bill Belichick.
|Rob Gronkowski, LeGarrette Blount fined $9K for actions vs. Bengals||10.21.16 at 5:24 pm ET|
Vontaze Burfict wasn’t the only player fined by the NFL for his behavior in last Sunday’s game at Gillette Stadium.
LeGarrette Blount was docked $9,115 for an unnecessary roughness penalty he received after getting stepped on by Burfict. Blount reacted by shoving Burfict and getting in the face of Bengals defensive tackle Pat Sims. Burfict was fined $75,000 by the league for stomping on Blount’s leg after the all-22 coach’s film clearly showed the Bengals linebacker committing the act.
Rob Gronkowski was also fined $9,115 after being flagged for taunting in the fourth quarter. Gronkowski was flagged came when he caught a pair of passes on a field goal drive and yelled at Burfict. Gronkowski was upset with Burfict diving at the back of the left knee of Martellus Bennett earlier in the drive. Gronkowski was pulled from the game and received a dressing down from Bill Belichick.
Bengals cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick was also finded $9,115 for grabbing Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman’s facemask during a tackle in the fourth quarter. Kirkpatrick said Edelman grabbed his facemask first and that he did nothing wrong.
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