Saturday, November 21, 2015

Edelman-Lewis a key change from last Pats-Bills bout

There will be one major difference in personnel Monday night when the New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills take the field as opposed to the teams' last meeting.

As ESPN Boston's Mike Reiss points out:
When the Patriots defeated the Bills, 40-32, in Week 2, running back Dion Lewis (138) and receiver Julian Edelman (109) accounted for 247 of New England's 507 total yards (48.7 percent) and scored three touchdowns. Lewis is now on IR with a torn ACL, while Edelman broke his foot last week.
That said... Tom Brady is still Tom Brady. And he'll be in the friendly confines of Foxborough.

Check out Reiss' nine other "things to know" about the AFC East battle:

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Tannehill to use his legs more down the stretch?

Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill is on pace to set career lows in each major rushing category, having accumulated just 44 yards on 17 carries through nine games this year.

That's somewhat of a surprise given the fact that he came into the NFL a few years ago as a legitimate threat on the ground and has proven himself in that capacity in years' past.

As Adam Beasley of The Miami Herald points out, Tannehill has fewer rushing yards than Jay Cutler, Andy Dalton, Matt Cassel, and even Eli Manning, so far this season.

The Dolphins, however, are looking to change that.

“That’s certainly still in our package,” Dolphins interim head coach Dan Campbell said this week. “Would we like to run him more? Yeah.”


Read more here:
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Jets' defense needs to turn it over against Texans

It's time for the New York Jets' defense to step up. Or it may be over after Sunday.

Gang Green heads to Texas this weekend for what basically amounts to a must-win against the Houston Texans Sunday afternoon.

The Jets rolled to a 4-1 start to the season behind what was one of the top-performing defenses in the NFL. Now at 5-4, New York is reeling and needs a one-game turnaround in the worst way.

Newsday's Bob Glauber has more:
The numbers are staggeringly different from the start of the season. After five games, the Jets had produced a whopping 15 turnovers -- two more than all of last season -- in a nearly flawless start. But they're 1-3 in the last four games, partly because they haven't come up with a turnover in the three losses.

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Robert Woods' role: Free things up for the other guys

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Robert Woods has seen just eight targets in his last 111 snaps.

The No. 2 wideout is getting used to an offense that runs the ball more than all but two other NFL teams.

“That’s my role here – blocking receiver,” Woods said this week, via The Buffalo News. “Get these guys going. Other teams, other roles, everything’s different. But this role here for me is to get these guys free.

“You have to swallow your pride and keep winning games. I’ve got a new role – enjoying blocking now. That’s my role. I’m trying to enjoy it and put guys on their back now.”


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Friday, November 20, 2015

Gronk on pass interference calls: 'I'm playing football'

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has been flagged for pass interference more than any other offensive player in the league this season.

Don't expect him to switch things up this weekend because of it, though.

"I'm not doing anything wrong," Gronkowski said Thursday via Mike Reiss of "I'm playing football. ... I'm not changing my style."

Per Reiss, Gronk has been flagged four times this season, or five percent of all offensive pass interference calls in 2015. There have been 81 total offensive pass interference calls so far, up only six from this time last year.

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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Patriots drop two, add three to practice squad crew

The Patriots roster shake-up continued Wednesday, as the team added three players to its practice squad.

New England added tight end Joseph Fauria, cornerback Chris Greenwood and safety Brock Vereen, while subsequently releasing defensive backs Ross Ventrone and Dewey McDonald.

Fauria, the most notable of the three additions, is the nephew of former Patriots tight end Christian Fauria, who won two Super Bowls with the team. 

Joseph, a three-year pro, spent time with the Arizona Cardinals this season as a practice squad player before his release in early October.

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Rambo: Bills still need 'A' game vs. injured Patriots

Key injuries to the New England Patriots offense may have Bills fans optimistic for this week's rematch with the defending champs, but there's a different tune playing in Buffalo's locker room.

Despite the loss of starters Julian Edelman and Dion Lewis, who combined for 211 yards and three of New England's four touchdowns in their Week 2 victory over Buffalo, the Bills players aren't taking anything for granted going into Monday night, especially given the planning and execution typically put forth by Bill Belichick and Tom Brady.

"With somebody like Brady, no matter who they put out there he knows who to go to and where to put the ball, and it's still going to be a tough challenge," said safety Bacarri Rambo, the AFC's Defensive Player of the Week. "It doesn't matter who they have at receiver; as long as they have No. 12 out there, he's going to get the job done, so we've got to bring our 'A' game."

Linebacker Manny Lawson echoed that sentiment, though he noted the defense will be focused on Belichick's next-man-up strategy with two of his key offensive pieces on the sideline.

"It’s hard because Belichick is a very crafty coach and he comes up with different schemes and ways to use the guys he has available," Lawson said. "That's exactly what we're expecting him to do. We’ll have to adjust to it with what's thrown at us and do our best to overcome it."

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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Injury woes yield roster moves for Patriots, Dolphins

Things aren't looking so hot at the linebacker position for the Miami Dolphins. Following Julian Edelman's injury on Sunday, the same can be said for the New England Patriots' offensive play makers.

 Tuesday, both teams made roster moves to address their dwindling number of healthy bodies.

Miami, dealing with injuries to three linebackers -- including starters Koa Misi and Jelani Jenkins -- signed free-agent journeyman James-Michael Johnson.

The 26-year-old is now on his fourth team this season and seventh in his career, having spent time with the Bucs, Jags and Lions this year, as well the Chiefs and Browns in previous years.

On the Patriots side, the team promoted wide receiver Chris Harper to the 53-man roster. Harper, also 26, has played only one game for New England this season, the team's season opener.

To make room on the roster, Chris Barker and Sam Brenner were waived by the Patriots and Dolphins, respectively.

For more on the Patriots, via

For more on the Dolphins, via the Sun Sentinel

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Foot surgery likely puts Edelman out until playoffs

A broken foot sidelined Julian Edelman Sunday against the New York Giants and nearly ended the New England Patriots' undefeated streak.

Now it looks as if Tom Brady and Co. will have to figure out how to fill that void for the remainder of the regular season.

The 29-year-old had a screw inserted into his left foot Monday, according to, and the recovery time could be up to eight weeks.

That would put the team into the divisional round of the playoffs -- if they make it and shore up a first-round bye or win -- before regaining their leading wideout, who has more than 60 receptions this year and was on pace to tally more than 100.

Edelman currently leads the team in targets and receptions, and he's done so for the past three seasons.


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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

McCoy compares Taylor to 'Steamin' Willie Beamen

Jamie Foxx went from a third-stringer to legend as a mobile, play-making quarterback in Oliver Stone's "Any Given Sunday."

Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy can't help but see the similarities in his quarterback, Tyrod Taylor.

"I call him Willie, Willie Beamen," McCoy said via "The kid can make plays with his feet."

Despite missing a couple games due to injury this season, Taylor has made more than 40 plays with his feet, to be exact. The 26-year-old former Ravens backup has averaged 5.6 yards per carry on his scrambles this season, converting a pair into touchdowns while giving the Bills offense a needed shot in the arm.

"He's always putting us in the right positions to win, formations, audibles, doing the right things as a quarterback," McCoy said. "Having a guy like that in the locker room, especially on offense, you can build on it. 

"He's a heck of a player and that's why he's one of the best in this league."


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