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Stephen Gostkowski one-ups Tom Brady on ski slopes 03.12.17 at 1:00 pm ET
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A few weeks back, Tom Brady posted a video of him skiing in Montana.

This weekend, Stephen Gostkowski went skiing at Wachusett Mountain and appeared to one-up the Patriots quarterback.

“Tom, this is how you land a jump, my friend,” Gostkowski said in a video before starting a run.

Click here to see the video.

Read More: Stephen Gostkowski, Tom Brady,
Sunday 7: Jimmy Garoppolo trade talk could heat up this week 02.26.17 at 6:00 am ET
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Jimmy Garoppolo's name could be coming up some this week at the NFL combine. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

Jimmy Garoppolo’s name could be coming up some this week at the NFL combine. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

1. The last few weeks have featured a lot of hypotheticals when it comes to a potential trade of Jimmy Garoppolo, but this could be the week where interested teams actually emerge and there’s a better idea of who is truly interested. For the first time this offseason, the entire NFL will be in the same place at the NFL combine, which begins Wednesday. This is a place where often times the foundation of trades starts. The majority of front office personnel across the league will be in Indianapolis, so it would not be a surprise to learn of a team or two speaking with the Patriots on a potential trade for Garoppolo. Also, teams will get a chance to meet with the quarterbacks coming out in the draft and after meeting with them, some teams may come away realizing trading for Garoppolo may be the way to go instead of drafting one. While there almost certainly won’t be an actual trade this week, for the first time there might actually be some buzz in terms of teams speaking to the Patriots on what it might take to acquire the quarterback.

2. While many coaches and general mangers are scheduled to speak to the media at the NFL combine this week, no one from the Patriots is on the list. This isn’t out of the norm by any means, as it is very rare for Bill Belichick to step to a podium in Indianapolis. In year’s past, Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio has done an exclusive interview with Patriots.com. Most coaches and GM’s will speak on Wednesday. Some notables from a Patriots perspective are: new Bills coach Sean McDermott, Falcons coach Dan Quinn, Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff, Jets coach Todd Bowles and Jets GM Mike Maccagnan. Dolphins coach Adam Gase will speak on Thursday.

3. For those interested in watching the NFL combine on the NFL Network this week, here are the days each position will be on the field for drills (40-yard dash, throws by quarterbacks, catching passes by receivers, etc.) Friday: punters, kickers, long-snappers, offensive linemen and running backs; Saturday: quarterbacks, wide receivers and tight ends; Sunday: defensive linemen and linebackers; Monday: cornerbacks.

4. Want to know what Belichick was up to this weekend? The coach was in Maryland taking in some Johns Hopkins lacrosse. Belichick attended the team’s practice Friday before it took on North Carolina on Saturday. He’s very close with coach Blue Jays coach Dave Pietramala. Belichick and girlfriend Linda Holliday also had some BBQ while in the area at Mission BBQ where the coach seemed extremely relaxed and the most happy he’s been since winning Super Bowl LI.

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Read More: 2017 NFL Combine, Alan Branch, Bill Belichick, Jimmy Garoppolo
Stephen Gostkowski, Nate Ebner return to Patriots practice 01.28.17 at 12:30 pm ET
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Stephen Gostkowski returned to practice Saturday. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

Stephen Gostkowski returned to practice Saturday. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

FOXBORO — There was good news coming from the start of Patriots practice on Saturday.

After missing the last two days, Nate Ebner (concussion) and Stephen Gostkowski (illness) returned. The team had 100 percent attendance at the practice held in cold conditions on the upper grass fields behind Gillette Stadium.

With Ebner, it’s worth noting earlier in the year he was present for the start of practice and stretched, but didn’t actually practice. He was dealing with a concussion then, too.

There will be no injury report given since the team is only required to release three per week.

Owner Robert Kraft also made an appearance at the session.

New England will practice once more on Sunday before leaving for Houston on Monday.

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

Read More: Nate Ebner, Stephen Gostkowski,
Stephen Gostkowski, Nate Ebner miss Patriots practice once again 01.27.17 at 4:29 pm ET
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Stephen Gostkowski missed his second straight day of practice. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

Stephen Gostkowski missed his second straight day of practice. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

FOXBORO — The Patriots held a walkthrough inside the Empower Field House on Friday afternoon and once again two players didn’t participate.

Just like on Thursday, Nate Ebner (concussion) and Stephen Gostkowski (illness) didn’t participate.

It is worth noting Ebner was present for the media access, which likely means he was present to watch, but he just didn’t participate. This could be a good sign for his availability in Super Bowl LI.

Like the other days this week, seven were limited including Martellus Bennett (knee) and Dont’a Hightower (shoulder).

For the Falcons, Julio Jones (toe) returned to practice, but was limited and center Alex Mack (fibula) missed practice once again.

Here is the complete Patriots injury report.

DID NOT PARTICIPATE

ST Nate Ebner (concussion)
K Stephen Gostkowski (illness)

LIMITED PARTICIPATION

WR Danny Amendola (ankle)
WR Chris Hogan (thigh)
WR Malcolm Mitchell (knee)
LB Dont’a Hightower (shoulder)
DE Jabaal Sheard (knee)
RB Brandon Bolden (knee)
TE Martellus Bennett (knee)

Read More: Nate Ebner, Stephen Gostkowski, Super Bowl LI,
Stephen Gostkowski among 2 missing from Patriots practice, 7 remain limited 01.26.17 at 4:35 pm ET
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Stephen Gostkowski missed Thursday's practice due to an illness. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

Stephen Gostkowski missed Thursday’s practice due to an illness. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

FOXBORO — The Patriots had two players miss practice on Thursday.

Nate Ebner missed his second straight practice with a concussion and kicker Stephen Gostkowski missed his first practice of the year due to an illness.

Other than Gostkowski, there were no changes to the Patriots’ injury report from Wednesday, as the same seven players were limited.

For the Falcons, Dwight Freeney returned after missing Wednesday’s practice, while Julio Jones and Alex Mack missed their second straight session.

Here is the complete injury report for the Patriots.

DID NOT PARTICIPATE

ST Nate Ebner (concussion)
K Stephen Gostkowski (illness)

LIMITED PARTICIPATION

WR Danny Amendola (ankle)
WR Chris Hogan (thigh)
WR Malcolm Mitchell (knee)
LB Dont’a Hightower (shoulder)
DE Jabaal Sheard (knee)
RB Brandon Bolden (knee)
TE Martellus Bennett (knee)

Read More: Stephen Gostkowski,
Scouting Report: What you have to know about Patriots-Dolphins 12.31.16 at 11:29 am ET
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It could be another big day for LeGarrette Blount on Sunday. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

It could be another big day for LeGarrette Blount on Sunday. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

Everything you need to know when it comes to Sunday’s game between the Patriots (13-2) and Dolphins (10-5) at Hard Rock Stadium in South Florida.

(Disclaimer: No one is quite sure how this thing is going to shake out, because there’s a risk/reward factor here: Both teams have something to play for, but they’ve also clinched playoff spots. Will each team play it straight up and go for the win? Or will they rest some starters to get healthy for the postseason? For purposes of this exercise, we’re going to assume both teams are going to play to win on Sunday, which means this will be a traditional game preview.)

WHEN THE PATRIOTS RUN THE BALL

LeGarrette Blount (285 carries, 1,110 rushing yards, league-leading 17 TDs) has been the Patriots back of choice all year long, and with the Dolphins having one of the worst run defenses in the league, it only makes sense that New England is going to do plenty of running. Miami is 30th in the league in run defense, having allowed an average of 141.8 rushing yards per game, but that only tells part of the story: The Dolphins have kept opponents under 100 yards on the ground in just three of their 15 games this year, and have yielded 200-plus rushing yards on a pair of occasions. That includes a whopping 272 yards last week against the Bills. Two things to keep an eye on, however: one, Blount’s between-the-tackles opportunities have dipped slightly over the last couple of weeks. It could be purely matchup-based, but there could also be a feeling that the Patriots are monitoring Blount’s snaps down the stretch, as he’s already hit a career-high when it comes to carries and yards. And two, Dion Lewis (53 carries, 235 yards) has gotten a lot of those reps. It’s an opportunity for Lewis to get as much work as possible so he’s completely ready for the postseason. While we’re going to see Blount get some good work against Miami, look for Lewis to get his share of opportunities. (Plus, the Patriots want to do everything they can to keep Lewis in the lineup — after all, they haven’t lost a single game he’s been a part of since the start of the 2015 season.)

WHEN THE PATRIOTS PASS THE BALL

Tom Brady (67 percent completion rate, 3,278 passing yards, 25 TDs, 2 INTs, passer rating of 110.7) looks to keep New England on a roll in the regular-season finale. While there will be the running game to fall back on, considering some of the matchups and some of the potential soft spots in the Miami pass defense, expect wide receiver Julian Edelman (90 catches, 146 targets, 955 yards, 2 TDs) to see lots of short work over the middle, as the Dolphins linebackers have occasionally struggled in coverage. Tight end Martellus Bennett (52 catches, 68 targets, 668 yards, 6 TDs) will see his fair share of work as well, as Miami has also had issues defending tight ends.

One other area worth keeping an eye on for New England is that intermediate to deep part of the passing game. Malcolm Mitchell is listed as doubtful coming into this one, and with Danny Amendola already on the sidelines, it should provide plenty of opportunities for Chris Hogan (34 catches, 54 targets, 653 yards, 4 TDs) and newcomer Michael Floyd. It’ll be a sizable test for Floyd, who should get a lot of work as he tries to get up to speed for the postseason. In last year’s regular-season finale, the Patriots used the game as a chance to see whether or not Steven Jackson had anything left in the tank. We’re admittedly broad-brushing it here, but Floyd should get a similar sort of audition on Sunday.

The Dolphins’ defensive strength is against the run, but the pass defense — specifically, the Miami pass rushers — have shown an ability to get after Brady and New England in the past. Cameron Wake (11.5 sacks), Andre Branch (5.5 sacks) and Ndamukong Suh (5 sacks) will all provide a test for the New England offensive line. Overall, the Dolphins are 13th in the league in pass defense (240 yards per game). Cornerback Tony Lippett leads the team with four interceptions on the season. This will mark the first time that Brady will face Miami defensive coordinator Vance Joseph, who is in his first year as DC with the Dolphins.

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Read More: Adam Gase, Andrew Franks, Bill Belichick, Cameron Wake
Scouting Report: What you have to know about Jets-Patriots 12.23.16 at 12:26 pm ET
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It sets up to be a big day for LeGarrette Blount and Tom Brady Sunday. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

It sets up to be a big day for LeGarrette Blount and Tom Brady Sunday. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

Everything you need to know about this Saturday’s game between the Jets (4-10) and Patriots (12-2) at Gillette Stadium.

WHEN THE PATRIOTS RUN THE BALL

This is a winnable matchup for New England. (Well, they’re all pretty much winnable matchups for the Patriots on Saturday, but this one is really winnable.) New England has one of the best and most consistent running games in the AFC at this point on the calendar. LeGarrette Blount (265 carries, 1,060 yards, 15 TDs) could make a case he was snubbed in his pursuit of a Pro Bowl berth, while James White (36 carries, 143 yards) and Dion Lewis (37 carries, 183 yards) have formed a difficult-to-handle duo as changeup backs. The Patriots have topped 80 run yards per game every week since the bye, which includes a robust 91 yards on 21 carries against the Jets last month; at the time, New York was one of the best run defenses in the league. Going into that November matchup, the Jets were the fourth-best team in the league against the run, allowing an average of 85.4 rushing yards per game. This week, the Jets are 14th, at 99.9 rushing yards allowed per game. That includes losses to the Colts and Niners where they allowed 139 rushing yards and 248 rushing yards, respectively. Expect the Patriots to feature a healthy dose of the run on Saturday for a few reasons, not the least of which is the fact that it’ll help speed the game and get everyone home in time for bed before Santa comes.

WHEN THE PATRIOTS PASS THE BALL

The Patriots should also be able to do some damage against the Jets pass defense. The New York front seven had its big moments against the Patriots in November, but Tom Brady still finished 30-for-50 for 286 yards and a pair of touchdowns while not getting sacked in the close-but-not-really-close 22-17 win. Brady (249-for-372, 3,064 yards, 22 TDs, 2 INTs, passer rating of 109.7) slumped a bit last week against the Broncos, but let’s all keep in mind that was the best pass defense in the league. If he’s getting a mulligan this year, it’s that game. Overall, the Jets are 21st in the league in pass defense, allowing an average of 252 yards per game. According to Football Outsiders, the vulnerabilities of the New York pass defense are in slowing second and third options in the passing game, particularly wide receivers. Remember the first time these two teams met? Chris Hogan (33 catches, 49 targets, 631 yards, 4 TDs) and Malcolm Mitchell (29 catches, 43 targets, 372 yards, 4 TDs) combined for nine catches, 112 yards and a pair of touchdowns, both of them by Mitchell at the expense of You Know Who. Look for more from these two this time around. Don’t forget Martellus Bennett (50 catches, 66 targets, 649 yards, 5 TDs). Meanwhile, expect Julian Edelman (85 catches, 866 yards, 2 TDs) to see a healthy dose of targets — he’s been targeted 139 times this season already and is nearing his career-high of 151, set in 2013. It wouldn’t be crazy to suggest that Edelman has another double-digit target afternoon.

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Read More: Bilal Powell, Bill Belichick, Brandon Marshall, Bryce Petty

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