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AFC Eternal Thread #251: If a Zombie outbreak happened in Vegas, would it stay in Vegas?

Hello, NFL fans! A concept we'll be continuing ad infinitum is the 24-hour open thread for fans of all football, located in the FanPosts section of Battle Red Blog (a special thanks to Tim for...

Ex-Patriots 6th round draft pick RT Corey Hilliard to start for the Lions


"Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz declined to say whether or not former first-round draft pick Gosder Cherilus will start at right tackle on Sunday. The Lions are hosting the Kansas City Chiefs and Schwartz doesn’t want to tip his hand after Cherilus and Corey Hilliard divided first-team reps in practice this week. Cherilus declined comment on the matter, and it looks like there is a real possibility Hilliard, a sixth-round draft pick by the New England Patriots in 2007, will take his place. At least for the short term. Hilliard was the one who replaced Cherilus last season following his knee injury."


Ask Pats Pulpit (preseason edition)

Hello, Jaguars fans.   I'm not sure whether it's a feature of this fine site, but we at Pats Pulpit usually try to get behind opposition lines and offer an opportunity to fans of opposing teams to...

Patriots trade 2013 5th round pick to get Albert Haynesworth


Blockbuster Patriots move - Bill Belichick trades for troubled D-lineman Albert Haynesworth.

Interesting little NFP writeup with two Belichick connections


"However, what do you do with the massive blocking tight end who possesses the size/physique and athleticism to possibly make the move to left tackle in the NFL? One such prospect last year who I really took a liking to was Temple’s Steve Maneri. The 6-6, 270 pound kid was the best in-line blocking tight end I saw on tape and possessed a frame that could continue to get bigger. He went un-drafted in 2010, but spent the year on the New England practice squad as a developmental tackle prospect. He’s now nearly 300 pounds, is still a gifted athlete and might be the next gem the Patriots uncovered along their offensive line." That's one. The other is that it compares Maneri to 2011 draft candidate Will Yeatman, of Maryland. Yeatman is an ex-lacrosse player (cough, Belichick, cough) who only recently switched to football. However: "When talking with an NFL scout this past week, he told me that if someone made him (Yeatman) a offensive tackle three years ago, the guy would be 310-pounds right now and could be a first round pick." Keep the kid on the radar - for obvious reasons, this kid just screams Belichick.

Super Bowl second-half Gamethread


Super Bowl second-half Gamethread

Super Bowl Gamethread


Super Bowl gamethread.

Eric Mangini discusses the keys to beating the Patriots


A pretty good list of NE-related insights. Some old, some novel. Among the interesting ones: "The Patriots always are going to find the opponents' strength and attack it. They always are going to work to make you play left-handed. It's like: "If this is your greatest strength, we're going to take that away. If you beat us with your second or third thing, fine, but you're not going to beat us with the thing you do best." The first thing the Patriots are going to try to stop is the Jets' running game. New England is going to have something gameplan specific for this game to help them stop the run. They're going to try to keep Mark Sanchez in the pocket and make him throw from the pocket. That's a real strength of the Jets -- Sanchez's ability to make plays outside the pocket. The Jets will move the pocket, play bootlegs, throw some fast passes, throw in some misdirection plays. Those are good for Sanchez. He puts pressure on the perimeter of the New England defense. The Jets have got to have long, sustained drives that end in points. The best way to beat Tom Brady is to not have him on the field. And when he's on field, make it cloudy, cloudy, cloudy. Eventually he's going to get you; it's a law of averages. So the fewer opportunities he has to get you, the better your chances... "When I came to the Jets, everything was designed and built to beat New England. One of the main reasons I hired offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer was because the Patriots always struggled against that system of shifting and motioning that Schottenheimer does. It's a very disciplined approach against the role-based offense the Patriots employ. That can be a factor because New England has a young defense. We drafted to try to beat the Patriots, because if you can't beat them you can't win the division. The reason we drafted Nick Mangold was because we needed a center to hold up against the nose guard, which is the driving force in a 3-4 defense, especially for an inside running game. We drafted Mangold to battle Patriots nose tackle Vince Wilfork.

Notable statistic: Four Patriots with 3 or more interceptions on the season

  1. Devin McCourty; 7 interceptions
  2. James Sanders; 3 interceptions
  3. Brandon Meriweather; 3 interceptions
  4. Patrick Chung; 3 interceptions

Notable statistic: Five Patriots with 3 or more sacks on season

  1. Mike Wright; 6 sacks
  2. Tully Banta-Cain; 5 sacks
  3. Rob Ninkovich; 4 sacks
  4. Gerard Warren; 4 sacks
  5. Gary Guyton; 3 sacks

From the UK's Daily Mail: BOY WEEPS BLOOD FROM EYES "Mr Inman, from Knoxville, Tennessee, is shown...

From the UK's Daily Mail: BOY WEEPS BLOOD FROM EYES "Mr Inman, from Knoxville, Tennessee, is shown undergoing tests to investigate whether a medical issue such as a tumour, tear duct problems, or a genetic defect is causing the bleeding. He said: 'People still call me possessed. The bleeding happens all the time, at school, at home and in the night. ‘I don’t usually know when they’re going to happen but sometimes it burns as it’s coming out. ‘Sometimes I don’t even know it’s happened until people start staring at me." [Editor's note: Or you're a Jets fan. Just sayin'.]

"Well from my standpoint I’m not sure why we’re 2-11 this year but the thing with me is I’ve become...


"Well from my standpoint I’m not sure why we’re 2-11 this year but the thing with me is I’ve become numb to the situations of losing. Being as though I’ve lost for such a long time that I have not been able to point the finger on what it really is. I’ve only had two winning seasons in a 10-year span. I don’t know what it is. All I know what to do is go out and play the game of football. The ins and outs of why things are not successful, I think I’ve missed that bus."

Chad Ochocinco, via Cincinnati Bengals Blog

Ask PatsPulpit!

The 10-2 Patriots are visiting the Windy City on a 4-game roll. Here's your opportunity to ask questions or queries of the mostly harmless PatsPulpit bloggers, so knock yourself out. And as a quick...

Broncos fire ex-Patriots OC and Broncos HC Josh McDaniels


"Josh McDaniels' tenure as the Denver Broncos' head coach has come to an end less than two seasons after it started. The team announced Monday that McDaniels has been fired by posting a message on it's Twitter account that owner Pat Bowlen has "relieved" the 34-year-old coach of his head coaching duties. The team has not announced who will succeed McDaniels. McDaniels has been under fire of late thanks in part to a 3-9 season but made worse by revelations that Steve Scarnecchia, Denver's video operations director under McDaniels videotaped a San Francisco 49ers walkthough prior to the teams' Week 8 matchup in London. The NFL fined the Broncos and coach McDaniels $50,000 for the violation and Scarnecchia was subsequently fired. McDaniels' head-coaching career got off to a good start. The Broncos their first six games last season. But that success would not last as the team dropped eight of it's last 10 games in 2009. With a 3-9 record this season, McDaniels has gone 5-17 following his hot start and finishes with an 11-17 record. The Broncos have lost seven of their last eight games." Womp womp, McD. Now we find out how many bridges have been burned?

Patriots are missing Brandon McGowan.


The Patriots struggles to contain opposition TEs goes way beyond the bare stats.

Inactives from Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots


Indianapolis: S Bob Sanders, CB Justin Tryon, LB Gary Brackett, LB Clint Session, DT Ricardo Mathews, RB Joseph Addai, RB Mike Hart, G Jaimie Thomas New England: DL Myron Pryor, CB Jonathan Wilhite, S Jarrad Page, RB Fred Taylor, WR Taylor Price, T Mark LeVoir, G Rich Ohrnberger, G Stephen Neal Looks like the Patriots will be featuring Butler a little more than expected. S Sergio Brown will see some time and BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead will split all the carries. It's also another game in which Taylor Price has redshirted. It's good for him. As for the Colts, their defense and offense will be without some of their playmakers.

The Indianapolis Colts ruled out several key players tonight, downgrading five players from...


The Indianapolis Colts ruled out several key players tonight, downgrading five players from questionable to out. Running back Joseph Addai (neck), middle linebacker Gary Brackett (toe), running back Mike Hart (ankle), linebacker Clint Session (elbow) and defensive back Justin Tryon (foot), did not travel with the team to New England for Sunday's pivotal AFC clash. It's not an unexpected development for the Colts considering the players' health, but it's still a big blow for an injury-riddled football team.

The New Orleans Saints have swapped out long snappers before Sunday’s game with the Seattle...


The New Orleans Saints have swapped out long snappers before Sunday’s game with the Seattle Seahawks. The Saints signed Jake Ingram, who was released by the New England Patriots after the first eight games. He will replace Jason Kyle, the 16-year veteran who was placed on injured reserve with a shoulder issue. Kyle was in his second season with the Saints. The Patriots drafted Ingram in the sixth round out of Hawaii a year ago. He appeared in 24 regular-season games for them. It’s a little bizarre how many long snappers have been injured this season. Add Kyle to the growing list.

Rookie of the Week - Rob Gronkowski a nominee

LeGarrette Blount, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Blount rushed 19 times for 91 yards and one touchdown in the Buccaneers' 31-16 win over the Carolina Panthers. Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots Gronkowski caught five passes for 72 yards and three touchdowns in the visiting Patriots' 39-26 win over the Steelers. Jermaine Gresham, TE, Cincinnati Bengals Gresham had nine catches for 85 yards and one touchdown in the Bengals' 23-17 loss to the Indianapolis Colts. Bryan McCann, CB, Dallas Cowboys McCann had five tackles and one interception returned 101 yards for a touchdown in the Cowboys' 33-20 win over the New York Giants. Tim Tebow, QB, Denver Broncos Tebow accounted for two touchdowns, one rushing and one passing, in the Broncos' 49-29 win over the Kansas City Chiefs. Go on and vote!

Patriots, Saints Supposedly Came Close to Pierre Thomas Trade

"Apparently, Pierre Thomas was nearly a Patriot. According to the, the Saints almost sent Thomas to New England at the trade deadline for an unspecified cornerback." Which CB almost got shipped? Bodden and Wheatley were hurt at the trade deadline; Butler was playing horribly but is full of athletic gifts. Wilhite was Wilhite. McCourty wasn't ever going to be shipped, the way he was playing. Arrington is a special teamer who's shown surprising upside at CB, but was unlikely to be targeted. Guesses? Although, this could be complete tripe, of course.

On a lighter note: A Randy Moss love-letter to Belichick and the Pats. Apparently.


On a lighter note: A Randy Moss love-letter to Belichick and the Pats. Apparently.

Beware: Brad Childress and his army of drunks coming to a field near you!

"It's hard when they take touchdowns off the board. I must not understand a catch in the end zone for them to take Shiancoe's off the board," Childress said. "That's not the way it's taught, that's not the way we're told ... That's wrong. That's wrong. They said he didn't control it and he controlled it. ..." So far, so waaaa... ' "I must not understand..." ' Yep, just like you didn't understand that Moss couldn't throw it to Favre when Favre lines up behind center - which shows when you drew up a play up that clearly and unambiguously breaches the rules about which players are eligible receivers. Smrt. But then the gem: "If the litmus is 50 drunks in a bar, those 50 drunks say that's a catch." Yes, Chilly. I'm glad your coaching awesomeness would be readily apparent to the 50 drunks in a bar... even if it's not to, you know, sober NFL watchers.

Mid-week injury report for Patriots-Chargers

Patriots Julian Edelman - did not practice (concussion) Jarrad Page - did not practice (calf) Fred Taylor - did not practice (toe) Kyle Arrington - limited (groin) Wes Welker - limited (non-injury related (?)) James Sanders - full participation (hamstring) Chargers Antonio Gates - did not practice (toe) Ryan Matthews - did not practice (ankle) Larry English - did not practice (foot) Malcolm Floyd - did not practice (hamstring) Nate Kaeding - did not practice (groin) Legadu Naanee - did not practice (hamstring)

Sports Illustrated interesting Charger factoids


Stat of the Week Five strange ones, courtesy of the 2-4 San Diego (Underachieving Once Again) Chargers: 1. San Diego is 2-0 at home, 0-4 on the road ... winning by an average of 28, losing by an average of 6.3. 2. The Chargers lost twice in Missouri in the span of 34 days. 3. Philip Rivers is on pace to break Dan Marino's single-season passing-yardage record by 271 yards, whatever good that does. 4. The Chargers have outgained the opposition by 1,065 yards. 5. In six games, they've lost nine fumbles, had three punts blocked and had the opposition score touchdowns on returns of punts, kicks, interceptions and blocked punts.

NFP offers interesting details about Moss and Branch trades


"*Here are some interesting tidbits about two recent trades: The Vikings first approached the Patriots about trading for Randy Moss in the preseason. At the time, the Patriots weren’t interested. But they called the Vikings back three weeks into the season…. After the Patriots traded Moss, Deion Branch asked the Seahawks to trade him to the Patriots so he could be reunited with his bud Tom Brady. The Seahawks never made a call to New England though. The Patriots contacted them. And one reason they were open to moving Branch is they thought recently acquired Brandon Stokley could fill his role." Nothing too unexpected, but particularly interesting it was confirmed the Pats wanted to deal Moss "three weeks into the season" - after the Jets game, around the time they were concocting that rather Moss-less offensive playbook, and seemingly BEFORE he exploded at Bill O'Brien in Miami.

Week 6 Open Thread - Later Games

Open thread for late games. Jump in!

BenJarvus Green-Ellis - best RB in the league?!


Wee Benny has come up trumps in the Football Outsider's analysis of RBs. He's ranked second in total value of RBs - behind Arian Foster. This is a reflection of him being 4th in total yardage, but also a reflection that he's done it against some very good run defences. He's ranked second in RB value-per-play - on any given play, he's better than all RBs in the league except Jamaal Charles of KC. Finally, Benny's ranked first overall in running 'success' at 74% - basically a measure of how well he does based on down-and-distance. If he gets stuffed, it drops. But given his 74% ranking, and the fact Marion Barber is second at a mere 64%, Benny's a hard-nosed runner (and that O-line is doing pretty well).

The real reason the Pats thought Randy expendable - TEs


A quick look at the Football Outsider TE rankings shows just how good the Pats rookies are: Aaron Hernandez is ranked the 4th most valuable TE overall in the NFL - one above Dallas Clark - and 6th most valuable TE on any given play. Rob Gronkowski is the 13th most valuable TE overall, but a fantastic 2nd overall value in rating-per-play - a reflection of his value as a Red Zone TD threat and chain-mover. Another telling stat - Hernandez's catch rate is 90%; Gronkowski's is 86%. By comparison around the NFL, Antonio Gates is 73%, JerMichael Finley 81%, Dustin Keller 63%, Dallas Clark's 74%, Jason Witten's 63%. Ex-Pat Ben "Stone Hands" Watson is 64%.

Patriots ask Chargers: Logan-Mankins-for-Vincent-Jackson trade?


"The Patriots are reportedly talking to the San Diego Chargers about acquiring Vincent Jackson in exchange for disgruntled New England guard Logan Mankins. Tom Curran of CSN New England reported Thursday night that the Patriots had "looked into the possibility" of swinging a trade for Jackson and that the two sides are in preliminary talks." I personally don't think Jackson is a fit - he's a deep-threat but doesn't come from an intricate, timing-scheme playbook system like the Pats run. For that reason, it looks a little Joey "what's a pass-route?" Galloway-like. But if it's in exchange for a guy who's doing nothing for the Pats, what's the risk?

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