Sunday, November 23, 2014

Suspect defense, late Broncos rally doom Dolphins

BY NICK ST. DENIS

The Miami Dolphins entered the fourth quarter with an 11-point lead on the road against the Denver Broncos. The defense, however, couldn't hold up.

Denver scored three straight touchdowns in the final stanza to rally for the 39-36 win, behind an extremely balanced attack on offense.

The Broncos rushed the ball 35 times and threw it 35 times--successfully on both accounts. Quarterback Peyton Manning threw for four touchdowns, and Broncos running back C.J. Anderson amassed a whopping 167 yards on the ground with a score.

Patriots shift gears on offense in rout of Lions

BY NICK ST. DENIS

After a ground-focused attack led the New England Patriots to a win over the Indianapolis Colts last week, the Pats went to the air Sunday against the Detroit Lions in another decisive win, this time of the 34-9 variety.

Tom Brady threw for 349 yards on 38 completions and added a pair of scores to tight end Tim Wright. Julian Edelman hauled in 11 receptions, and Brandon LaFell led the way in yardage with 98.

New England didn't completely neglect the run game, though it certainly was wary of the NFL's top run defense.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Revis, Patriots prep for 'man amongst boys' Megatron

BY NICK ST. DENIS

As good as the New England Patriots' secondary is, it'll have its hands full Sunday.

The Patriots' defensive backs will be up against arguably the best receiver in the NFL in the Detroit Lions' Calvin Johnson, a 6-foot-5, 236-pound beast.

"He's a man amongst boys out there," cornerback Darrelle Revis said, via CSNNE. "... You can create him on a video game, that's basically what he is. Lot of respect for him, and I do feel like our defense has a lot of respect for him."

For Fred Jackson, a week balancing rest and rehab

BY NICK ST. DENIS

Snowed in at home, Buffalo Bills running back Fred Jackson couldn't do a whole lot this past week.

Jackson missed last week's bout with the Miami Dolphins after re-aggrivating his groin injury and had been working his way back to full speed in time for this week's game against the New York Jets.

The time away from the facility gave him beneficial rest time, though it also kept him from the proper equipment to keep his recovery on the fast track.

Despite record, Rex still has grip on locker room

BY NICK ST. DENIS

New York Jets coach Rex Ryan lost the season more than a month ago, and whether he's already lost his job remains to be see.

The locker room? It's still Rex's.

"I can't see myself playing for another coach,'' linebacker Demario Davis said this week, via Newsday. "Rex is a great defensive mind and just a great coach in general. Players love him. The only thing you can ask for out of a head coach is that he creates a system that everybody buys into and that people go out and play for him.

Tannehill looks forward to Von after game, not during

BY LANDON RODY

They were teammates for three years at Texas A&M. This week, they will be opponents.

And Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill wants nothing to do with Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller during the game.

"I look forward to seeing him after the game,” Tannehill said Wednesday, via MiamiDolphins.com.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Belichick on Blount: 'We're glad to have him back'

BY DAN BEGNOCHE

It's amazing what a year can bring.

This time last season, running back LeGarrette Blount looked like the running back of old, averaging more than five yards a clip and getting into the end zone on a semi-consistent basis. He finished his season averaging 144 yards his last three games before that fateful playoff game against the Denver Broncos, where he tallied only six yards on five carries.

Fast forward, and the 27-year-old is back with the New England Patriots after a tumultuous season with Pittsburgh that's seen him rush for more than 100 yards only once in 11 games this year.

Tickets distributed for free for Jets-Bills in Detroit

BY NICK ST. DENIS

Detroit will be the Buffalo Bills' home away from home this NFL week.

The league announced that Ford Field will be the site of the New York Jets-Bills AFC East bout, to be held Monday night at 7 p.m.

Tickets for the game will be free and available to the general public, according to the Detroit Lions' official website. Tickets distributed for the originally scheduled November 23 contest at Ralph Wilson Stadium will also be accepted for admission.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Steelers pass the Blount right back to Patriots

BY DAVID HEIM

The rich certainly do get richer.

The New England Patriots have brought back LeGarrette Blount, signing the recently-cut ex-Pittsburgh Steeler to a 2-year deal. The deal is worth the veteran minimum plus incentives, according to the team.

Last season with the Patriots, Blount rushed for 772 yards and seven touchdowns, notably a 189-yard performance in the regular season finale against the Bills and a 166-yard attack against the Colts in the Divisional round of the playoffs. Blount added four scores in that game.

Snowed out: Bills-Jets to move to neutral ground

BY DAN BEGNOCHE

It's been decided.

According to Greg Aiello, the NFL's senior vice president of public relations, Sunday's matchup between the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets will still happen, but it won't be in Buffalo. Aiello relayed the news via Twitter Thursday afternoon, saying the league was in the process of relocating and rescheduling the divisional matchup.

Chris Brown of buffalobills.com reported that the decision on when and where the game will be held could happen Friday, while the Buffalo News indicated the game will likely take place on Monday in either Washington or Detroit.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Bills offering hourly wages, tickets for help with snow

BY DAN BEGNOCHE

The last time the Buffalo Bills played the New York Jets, they forced six turnovers en route to a 20-point victory, a tough performance to top.

Even tougher, however, will be clearing the 200,000-ton obstacle currently blanketing Ralph Wilson Stadium and standing between them and their rematch on Sunday.

While the team prepares to dig out of the worst snowstorm in its history, it has once again reached out to the Bills faithful for help. In return for aiding in efforts to get the Ralph in game shape, the team is offering hourly pay and tickets to Sunday's game.

Jets have big-hitter Pryor working on finishing tackles

BY NICK ST. DENIS

Calvin Pryor made himself known among the college ranks as a big hitter. In the pro ranks, tacking is one of his bigger hurdles.

New York Jets coach Rex Ryan says Gang Green's first round safety, who lost his starting job to Jaiquawn Jarrett two weeks ago, is getting back to basics on wrapping up.

"It starts with tackling," Ryan said Monday, via Newsday. "You have to get guys on the ground. He gets some great shots. He is a good tackler, but you have to get them down in space, especially when you have that much room and that is not easy.

Patriots' Arrington locks it down in bolstered role

BY DAVID HEIM

Forget Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner--the real defensive MVP of Sunday night’s 42-20 over the Colts might actually be fellow cornerback Kyle Arrington.

While Revis and Browner both earned contracts from the Patriots in the offseason to shore up the pass defense in 2014, and while they certainly have thus far, it was the familiar face of Arrington that earned his money in the win.

In the week leading up the matchup with the Colts, it was heavily debated who Bill Belichick would stick Revis on and virtually eliminate from the Colts’ offensive game plan. Most said Colts No. 1 receiver T.Y. Hilton would draw the short straw and be blanketed by the Pats shutdown corner.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Jonas Gray finds SI cover, along with two more yards

BY EDITOR

Not a bad day for Jonas Gray. (We're sure that's been used before.)

The New England Patriots running back, fresh off breakout game Sunday night that saw him rush for four touchdowns in a rout of the Indianapolis Colts, found himself on the cover of Sports Illustrated Tuesday.

Bills say they have Manuel back on 'original plan'

BY LANDON RODY

Buffalo Bills quarterback EJ Manuel struggled adjusting to the starting gig his first year and a half, having been plagued by injuries as a rookie and failing to get a good handle on things as a young sophomore.

Manuel combined for 16 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in 14 total starts, and four weeks into his second season, he was replaced by veteran Kyle Orton.

Despite the demotion, the Bills’ front office doesn’t believe Manuel’s season is lost. In fact, they say it was the plan all along.