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Hoomanawanui was a fifth-round pick in the 2010 NFL Draft for the St. Louis Rams, but never made much of an impact in the first two years. Due to that, the Rams decided to cut bait with him, leading to Hoomanawanui landing on the Washington Redskins' practice squad before signing with New England, according to ESPN.com.
By adding Hoomanawanui to the team (provided he passes his physical), it's expected Visanthe Shiancoe is headed to the injured reserve list to open up a roster spot.
With stars like Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez already manning the tight end position in New England, Hoomanawanui is certainly not going to see much playing time. However, he does provide a little bit of depth and perhaps a body on special teams.
Tennant, a 2010 fifth-round pick of the New Orleans Saints out of Boston College, was claimed off waivers by the Patriots on Sept. 1. Hilliard, a sixth-round pick of the Miami Dolphins in 2008 from Montana, signed with the Vikings in the offseason, but was cut on Aug. 31 when teams reduced rosters to 53 players. Hilliard carried the ball 16 times for 41 yards and a touchdown for the Dolphins last season. He will join Stevan Ridley, Danny Woodhead, Shane Vereen and Brandon Bolden as the running backs on the Patriots' roster.
The Patriots open their season against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.
SB Nation's NFL editor Joel Thorman released his preseason Power Rankings Tuesday, and the New England Patriots were ranked No. 3 overall. The Patriots were edged by the Green Bay Packers and New York Giants, who were slotted No. 1 and 2.
Here's what the Thorman had to say about New England:
3. New England Patriots (LW: 2): What is this, decade No. 2 for the Patriots being a top three team? So consistent. The floor for this team is the AFC Championship Game.
The Patriots' Week 1 opponent, the Tennessee Titans, were ranked No. 21.
21. Tennessee Titans (LW: 20): If Chris Johnson isn't the old Chris Johnson this year it could be a long year in Tennessee.
Waters has missed all of training camp and the preseason for the Patriots. Belichick had previously said that Waters had team permission to miss training camp. Between the regular season and the playoffs, the 35-year-old guard played all 19 games for New England last season. Waters is not a stranger to playing without much of a warm-up. When he signed with the Patriots last season after spending his entire career with the Chiefs, Waters had just a week to prepare before the first regular season game was played.
During Waters' absence, veteran center Dan Connolly has been projected to start at right guard. Connolly played 13 regular season games (11 starts) for the Patriots last season.
The New England Patriots trimmed their roster to 53 players on Friday night, meeting the NFL's deadline and threshold for the regular season. The Pats made 23 roster moves, waiving 22 players and placing rookie Jeff Demps on IR to get down to 53. Demps, a Florida speedster and track star, was signed in mid-August but was injured in the Pats' final preseason game against the Giants. The Patriots did not disclose whether he had been placed on season-ending IR or the new shortened version of the list, which allows a player to return to practice after six weeks.
Weems was signed on July 27 as an undrafted free agent out of Oregon. If Weems is not claimed off of waivers, he has a chance to be named to the Patriots' practice squad.
Dennis, who was signed on Aug. 2, is an undrafted free agent out of Temple who started four years for the Owls. Dennis confirmed his release from the team on Twitter on Friday, saying "Thank you to the organization and fans of New England it's been fun!!" Before joining the Patriots, Dennis spent time with the Miami Dolphins and was seen being released by the team on HBO's "Hard Knocks."
Alex Silvestro has been released, per a league source, but appears bound for the practice squad.— Christopher Price (@cpriceNFL) August 31, 2012
Silvestro, who played at Rutgers, was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2011. He appeared in one game for the Patriots last season and was on the roster for the Super Bowl. Silvestro played on the defensive line in college, but was converted in New England's tight end-happy offensive system.
With Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez both signing long-term contract extensions, tight end is a tough place to breakthrough on this Patriots team. Silvestro will have to make good use of the reps he gets on the practice squad.
The deadline to have rosters trimmed to 53 is 9 p.m. ET.
FB Eric Kettani has been informed of his release, source says. Has practice squad eligibility.— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) August 31, 2012
The 25-year-old Kettani was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2009 before being called to active duty for the U.S. Navy for two years. He returned in 2011 to earn a practice squad spot with the Patriots. Soon after, he was recalled by the Navy and spent the year in various locations around the globe.
Earlier this summer, Kettani won an appeal to be taken off active-duty status and placed in the reserves. New England coach Bill Belichick assisted in his appeal, so it will come as no surprise if he lands on the practice squad again.
The New England Patriots will be releasing Brian Hoyer, Dan Koppen and James Ihedigbo on Friday, according to various reports. NFL team's are required to reduce their rosters to the 53-man limit by Friday night at 9 p.m., ET, and these men were unfortunate casualties in attempt to complete that process.
Hoyer was signed by the Patriots as an undrafted free agent in 2009 and was expected to be Tom Brady's backup this season. According to Adam Caplan, Hoyer is not vested, which makes him eligible to be claimed off waivers as early as Saturday at noon.
Koppen was originally drafted by the Patriots with the No. 164 overall pick in the 2003 NFL draft and won two Super Bowls during his tenure with the team. He was acting in the role of backup center.
Ihedigbo signed with New England last offseason and played in all 16 games after a slew of injuries decimated the Patriots defensive back corps. Patrick Chung is expected to start at strong safety in his place.
NFL teams have until 9 p.m., ET on Friday night to reduce their rosters to the 53-man limit. The 33-year-old receiver appears to be a causality of that process.
Truly thankful for all the support from everybody. I Love You guys— Deion Branch #84 (@deionbranch84) August 31, 2012
Originally selected by the Patriots with the No. 65 overall selection in the 2002 NFL Draft, Branch won two Super Bowl titles with the team in addition to being named the MVP in Super Bowl XXXIX. Following the 2005 season, he held out and was subsequently traded to the Seattle Seahawks for a first-round pick. In 2010, he was traded back to the Patriots for a fourth round pick.
In 2011, Branch registered 51 receptions for 702 yards and five touchdowns in 15 games played.
The New England Patriots wrapped up their preseason schedule on Wednesday night against the New York Giants without any major injuries.
After about two minutes of nail-biting in anticipation of an unnecessary preseason overtime game, the New York Giants defeated the New England Patriots 6-3 in each team's final dress rehearsal before Week 1 of the NFL season.
Tied 3-3 until the final minute of play, Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes sealed the victory with a 32-yard field goal with 1:03 remaining in the game.
The field goal came on the heels of a game-changing turnover when Patriots quarterback Brian Hoyer was sacked and fumbled the ball, which was then picked up by Giants defensive tackle Marcus Thomas. The lineman marched down the field into enemy territory, and from there the Giants were able to bleed clock and position Tynes for an easy game-winning kick.
On the Patriots' final possession, Hoyer attempted to hit a home run with a 45-yard pass to the end zone, but the heave was picked off by the Giants' Laron Scott.
The Patriots finished the preseason 1-3, while the Giants ended 2-2.
After the Patriots held a 3-0 halftime lead, the Giants have tied the game at three through three quarters, as a number of reserve players on both sides of the ball fight diligently to earn a roster spot.
For the Giants, wide receiver Ramses Barden is looking to secure a spot as the team's third wide receiver on the depth chart behind Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz, with four catches for 31 yards tonight.
With such a low scoring affair, Patriots punter Zoltan Mesko is having quite the active night, with seven punts for an average of 46 yards, comfortably placing four of those punts inside the Giants 20-yard line.
While rookie running back Branden Bolden got some reps in the first half, former Florida Gators running back Jeff Demps has come in and seen some action, accruing more than 45 yards from scrimmage on five carries and three receptions.
In the final pre-season game for both teams, the Patriots currently hold a 3-0 lead over the Giants at halftime following a Stephen Gostkowski 20-yard field goal, which capped off a 12 play, 51 yard drive mid-way through the second quarter.
The Patriots Ryan Mallett has taken all the offensive snaps for the team in this game, and is currently 8-15 for 40 yards on the night.
Perhaps getting head coach Bill Bellichick to keep five tailbacks on his roster, the Patriots undrafted rookie Brandon Bolden leads all skill position players with 59 yards on the ground.
Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks, who has stated he's 100 percent healthy after suffering a broken foot back in May, caught one ball tonight for six yards.
After one quarter, the New England Patriots and New York Giants are tied at 0-0. Patriots quarterback Ryan Mallett has completed 5-of-7 passes for 15 yards, but failed to march the Pats offense into Giants territory.
The best drive for the Patriots offense came on their third possession, when they marched 29 yards on seven plays.
Neither team managed to produce a drive inside its opponent's territory, as the Patriots defense forced the Giants offense, led by quarterback Eli Manning, to two three-and-outs and just one drive of six plays for seven yards.
Manning finished the quarter 4-for-7 for 29 yards.
So far, Patriots running back Brandon Bolden has carried the ball seven times for 15 yards. Bolden also has two catches for six yards.
The New England Patriots enter their final preseason game on Wednesday night with at least five position battles that have some players' roster status hanging in the balance. Rosters must be cut down to the final 53-man squad on Friday, and this will be the last chance for some players to show their value for head coach Bill Belichick.
One veteran who could be in jeopardy is center Dan Koppen, an anchor of the offensive line throughout the Brady-Belichick glory years. The local Boston College grad and one-time Pro-Bowler sat out last season with an injury, and Dan Connolly filled in without missing much of a beat. Alec Shane of Pats Pulpit writes that the center battle is one position to watch, with Brian Waters' potential return perhaps forcing either Connolly or Koppen out the door:
Unlike Connolly, Koppen is a center and a center alone, which means he may become expendable if Belichick decides the more versatile linemen are the way to go. Connolly filled in admirably last year, but I'd still argue that Koppen is the better center, and if Tom Brady had his way, he'd go back to Koppen. - assuming he can return to 2010 form. That's a big if, and so Koppen needs to show this team why he deserves having Tommy B touching his ample backside. Of course, this might all be a moot point if Waters does in fact retire, as Connolly will slide over to guard and open the center slot up for Koppen, with Ryan Wendell and his awesome mustache as the primary backup.
This would be Koppen's 10th season in the league, the entirety of which has been played in Foxborough. He played in only one game last year, breaking his ankle in the first half of the season opener. It was expected he would reclaim his starting center spot once healthy, but the veteran could be a casualty if Waters does indeed return.
The Patriots will wrap up the preseason on Wednesday night against the Giants.
Deion Branch will likely make the 53-man roster for the Patriots after Monday's surprising waiver of Jabar Gaffney.
The New England Patriots released five players and made various other roster moves on Monday in order to reach the 75-man limit. Of the players released, wide receiver Jabar Gaffney was the most notable. The team also let go of defensive lineman Tim Bulman, receiver Donté Stallworth, defensive back Ross Ventrone and defensive lineman Gerard Warren.
There was no room for Donte Stallworth at the Patriots crowded wide receiver spot, as the veteran is the most notable name to be dropped by the Pats thus far as they look to trim their roster to 75 by today's 4 p.m. deadline.
Stallworth, who caught three touchdowns for the Patriots in 2007, has been trying to get his career back on track after his involvement in a DUI manslaughter case saw Roger Goodell suspend him for the entire 2009 season. He had 22 receptions with Baltimore this year and his work in preseason wasn't good enough for him to earn a roster spot.
The Pats have also cut Spencer Larsen, a fullback in his fifth year out of Arizona who turned heads as a rookie for starting a game for the Broncos at both fullback and linebacker. He was unable to beat Eric Kettani for the Pats starting gig at fullback. New England also cut BC product Tim Bulman, who has played with the Texans, and still need to trim four more players from their roster in order to make 75.
The New England Patriots have reportedly begun to trim their roster down to 75 players ahead of the Monday afternoon deadline of 4 p.m. The first players to be released are safety Josh Barrett, cornerback Ross Ventrone and defensive end Gerard Warren. The Patriots now have 82 players on the roster after the three cuts.
Barrett, 27, played five games (four starts) and made 17 tackles for the Patriots in 2011 after playing for the Denver Broncos in his first two seasons in the NFL.
Ventrone, 25, saw action in eight games (no starts) for the Patriots last season, and made two tackles.
New England came up short for the second straight week, dropping the all-important third preseason game to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 30-28, on Friday night at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL. The Patriots fell to 1-2 overall through three games this preseason.
Tom Brady, who sat on the sidelines for all of the Patriots' Week 2 preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday, played into the third quarter and improved with time, finishing with 127 passing yards on 13-of-20 passing and had one touchdown and an interception. Ryan Mallett completed 7-of-13 passes for 66 yards and two touchdowns.
Stevan Ridley had another impressive outing in the ground game, rushing for a game-high 87 yards and one touchdown on 16 carries. Jeff Demps, the Olympic sprinter and former Florida Gators running back, made his Patriots debut and rushed for 41 yards on three carries and saw some time on special teams. Brandon Bolden also rushed for 20 yards.
Five defenders had five tackles for the Pats and Marquice Cole deflected two passes.
Josh Freeman completed 10-of-19 passes for 102 yards and Dan Orlovsky completed 6-of-7 passes for 53 yards and one touchdown. Doug Martin rushed for 53 yards on 13 carries and former San Diego Chargers star wideout Vincent Jackson recorded 49 yards on three catches. Adam Hayward and Keith Tandy had seven tackles apiece for the Bucs.
New England closes out the preseason against the New York Giants next Wednesday.
A quiet third quarter to start picked up in the closing minutes, but the lead still would not change hands, as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers maintained a 23-14 lead over the New England Patriots entering the final quarter of their third preseason game on Friday night at Raymond James Stadium.
The first points of the period came with 4:30 left when Kai Forbath -- who hit a 51-yard field goal to close out the first half -- connected on a 55-yard field goal to stretch the Bucs' lead to 23-7. New England would score its second touchdown of the game on Tom Brady's 16-yard strike to Rob Gronkowski (no touchdown spike, sorry) with 1:02 remaining, making it a 23-14.
Brady had thrown for 127 yards on 13-of-20 passing and Stevan Ridley had 87 rushing yards on 16 carries and one touchdown through three quarters. Aaron Hernandez caught five passes for 52 yards. Josh Freeman, meanwhile, had 102 passing yards and Doug Martin had 53 rushing yards for Tampa Bay.
New England currently trails Tampa Bay, 23-14, with just under 10 minutes left to play.
The New England Patriots suffered yet another injury -- this time, it was safety Steve Gregory who went down. He stayed down briefly, but went off the field under his own power. It's too early to tell right now, but the injury doesn't appear to be all that serious at first glance.
For the Patriots, it's another in a long line of injuries in their Friday night matchup against Tampa Bay. Not only are they losing the game 20-7 right now in the third quarter, but they've also suffered four injuries so far, including one to cornerback Kyle Arrington.
Gregory is a seventh-year safety out of Syracuse. Since joining New England in 2006, he's been fairly healthy, playing in at least 14 contests in every season except for 2010. For more on the game and the Patriots' mounting injuries, stay tuned to this Storystream.
New England broke onto the scoreboard after a scoreless first quarter, but they couldn't catch up to Tampa Bay, as the Buccaneers took a 20-7 lead over the Patriots into halftime in the all-important third preseason game on Friday night at Raymond James Stadium.
Doug Martin scored on a one-yard touchdown rush at 9:41 of the first quarter and Mark Barron intercepted Tom Brady and returned the ball 22 yards for a score at the 3:09 mark, putting the Bucs up 14-0 after one quarter. Brady completed 4-of-6 first-quarter passes.
New England put together a solid drive at the start of the second quarter, going 81 yards on 12 plays over a span of 5:51, and Stevan Ridley capped it off with a one-yard score. Connor Barth's impressive 56-yard field goal put the Bucs up, 17-7, with 6:19 remaining, and a Kai Forbath 51-yard field goal gave Tampa Bay a 20-7 heading into the break.
Brady completed 9-of-14 passes for 80 yards and had one interception in the opening half. Ridley rushed for 52 yards on 10 carries and one touchdown and Aaron Hernandez caught two passes for 21 yards. Josh Freeman had 72 first half passing yards and Doug Martin rushed for 42 yards. Vincent Jackson, the former star wide receiver for the San Diego Chargers, had a strong first half, recording 49 receiving yards on three receptions.
Backup running back Shane Vereen injured his foot in the New England Patriots' game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Friday night. He was taken out of the game and his return is questionable. Not much more is known about the injury at this time.
Vereen has played sparingly to this point in the contest. He has only two carries for negative yardage playing behind the Pats' Stevan Ridley and Danny Woodhead, who have received the bulk of the work. Last season, Vereen had 57 yards on 15 carries and a touchdown playing for New England.
The Bucs lead New England 14-7 approaching the midway point of the second quarter. Both teams are 1-1 on the season.
For more on the injury and the game, stay tuned to this Storystream.
The all-important third preseason game for the New England Patriots isn't off to a grand start, as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers dominated the first quarter of play and took a 14-0 lead into the second quarter on Friday night at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL.
Tom Brady, who did not play in the Patriots' Week 2 preseason loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, struggled in the first quarter, throwing an interception -- which was returned for a touchdown -- and being hit hard on a missed block by Nate Solder. Brady completed 4-of-6 passes for 37 yards in the quarter. Stevan Ridley rushed for 11 yards in the quarter.
Doug Martin scored the game's first points, scampering into the end zone for a one-yard touchdown with 9:41 to play in the quarter, putting Tampa Bay on top, 7-0. Mark Barron scored the second touchdown of the quarter, picking off Brady and returning it 22 yards for the score with 3:09 left. Josh Freeman completed 5-of-6 passes for 65 yards in the quarter.
Something being overblown in the Boston sports media ... Could you imagine such a crazy thought? Well, that might be the case with the Patriots' supposed offensive line struggles, according to Matt Chatham.
The Patriots are down in Tampa Bay this week, participating in joint practices with the Buccaneers before the two teams meet in a pre-season game on Friday night.
Naturally, Tom Brady is not interested in taking in the sights and sounds of the Gulf of Mexico. For the three-time Super Bowl winner, this is a business trip.
"I don't think it's a vacation or a nice trip to Florida," told the media after Wednesday's practice. "There are no activities planned. We have work to do this afternoon and tonight. We're going to wake up tomorrow and come practice and then work tomorrow night and get ready to play the game."
Never one to go through the motions or rest on his laurels, even as a savvy veteran, Brady's comments clearly set the tone for the rest of the players -- from the undrafted rookies fighting to make the roster to those with plenty of training-camp experience under their belts. The team will keep working to get better, with the NFL regular season just two weeks away.
"It's different schemes that you're seeing and you want to see how your plays adjust to some different things. I think that's what we're trying to figure out," Brady said.
The lack of in-game repitiions Brady has received this pre-season has generated plenty of attention from fans. No. 12 wasn't even present on the sidelines of the Patriots' game Monday night against Philadelphia. But even so, Brady seems content with his progress leading up to Week 1.
"We'll see when we kick off, but the goal is to be ready and prepared when we need to be."
Something tells me Brady will be just fine.
The New England Patriots have signed defensive tackle Kyle Love to a one-year contract extension, according to a report. Love's extension would give his two-year deal a max value of $3.09 million, along with a signing bonus of $500,000.
Love, 25, has performed well during the preseason after a good showing in training camp. Love made two tackles against the Saints in the Patriots' first preseason game, and has made 40 tackles in 25 games (14 starts) for the Patriots over the past two seasons.
Love's agent, Sean Stellato, said about the deal:
"Very deserving client who has worked very hard," Stellato said. "Our company, KLASS Sports, is very happy we were able to do this for the third time. We appreciate the Patriots stepping up and making a commitment to Love at a time when they did not have to do so. Kyle Love has the New England Patriots in his blood."
Bill Belichick and his New England Patriots are practicing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, their opponent in the all-important third preseason game on Friday night at Raymond James Stadium, in Tampa on Wednesday morning. Thirty minutes of the practice will be open to the media, and players will be made available for interviews before and after the practice.
Belichick is a big fan of join practices, and his Patriots have already held a combined session with the New Orleans Saints prior to the Pats' preseason opener last Sunday. Belichick shared why he likes the joint practices, saying it's worth doing if there is a mutual benefit.
"If you feel like you can do something that benefits your team then you consider doing it,'' Belichick said in a conference call with the New England media on Tuesday night. "I've talked to many teams about doing something along the lines of what we've done this year or in the past with New Orleans and Atlanta a couple years ago. Sometimes it works out; sometimes it doesn't for one reason or another and that's true on the other side of it. It has to be mutually beneficial. If it works, it works. If it doesn't work, then I would prefer not to do it rather than do it and solve one problem but create two other ones down the line. (via ESPN)
New England and Tampa Bay will kick off at 7:30 p.m. Eastern on Friday evening.
At 33-years-old and entering his 11th season in the NFL, New England Patriots veteran wide receiver Deion Branch is engaged in an intense battle to earn a wide receiver spot and make the team's final 53-man roster for the 2012 season.
Early on, Branch had limited participation in camp but he's since resumed competing in full practices and after Monday night's performance against the Philadelphia Eagles (three catches, 51 yards), Branch drew praise from head coach Bill Belichick, according to a Telegram.com report:
"I thought he competed well," Belichick said during yesterday's conference call. "He had three big catches in tight coverage and traffic, and that's always good to see. He's worked hard in camp."
To his credit, Branch has maintained a positive attitude and relishes the challenge of trying to make the final cut:
"Every year, man," he said, "I'm going to come out here - and that's the fun part about the game -- you get to come out here and compete against your teammates, score against the defense and also do some things with the guys you're in the same room with. Overall, I love it, man. I love it."
The New England Patriots trimmed three players from their training camp roster.
Fanene, 30, was a pricey offseason signing, with the Patriots inking him to a three-year, $9.85 million contract in free agency and giving him a $3.85 million signing bonus. A knee injury forced Fanene to miss the team's last 13 practices, though, and according to one report, he might soon need arthroscopic surgery on his knee. The former Cincinnati Bengals defensive end posted a career-high 6.5 sacks last season.
Hill, 23, was signed as a rookie free agent earlier this month after being a four-year starter at Duke.
Koepplin, 26, was signed during the spring. This was the second straight season in which Koepplin, who kicked at the University of Massachusetts, participated in Patriots training camp. The team cut him last season on Aug. 29, 2011.
Two preseason games into the schedule, and we've learned a little bit about what this New England Patriots team is going to look like. First, let's get the scores out of the way -- the Patriots won their preseason opener against the New Orleans Saints, 7-6, but lost to the Philadelphia Eagles, 27-17, on Monday night at Gillette Stadium. Great. Moving on now.
We're starting to see a few things consistently. First and foremost, the offensive line needs work. Tom Brady, who sat out of Monday night's game, was roughed up by the Saints defense -- even strip-sacked -- all while the Pats committed a handful of penalties. There were plenty of flags on Monday night, too -- seven for 60 yards in total -- and the offensive line had issues, as documented here. Concerning? Sure, but there's time to work it out.
Behind the O-line, the quarterbacks had their moments, both good and bad. Ryan Mallett had a much better showing in week two, completing half of his passes (10-of-20) for 105 yards and one touchdown. Brian Hoyer, meanwhile, was off target 12 times, completing just 5-of-17 passes for 55 yards. Brady wasn't exactly great in his preseason debut, but he can certainly be counted on for better numbers than that of Mallett and Hoyer, even at his worst.
We didn't see a very impressive show from the running back corps Monday, as Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley couldn't follow up on their strong preseason Week 1 outings. The two rushed for 45 yards, combined, but Vereen showed that he's capable of being a dual threat, rushing for 20 yards on 10 carries and catching four passes for 29 yards.
Defensively, the Patriots didn't do a spectacular job of defending the pass... against a rookie quarterback. Granted, 12 starters weren't on the field, including Jerod Mayo, Devin McCourty, Vince Wilfork, but allowing Nick Foles to throw for 217 yards and two scores isn't acceptable. The Pats kept Michael Vick in check, but only because of injury.
The star of the night? Stephen Gostkowski, who drilled two 50-plus yard field goals -- a 51-yard field goal in the first quarter and a 55-yard bomb in the third quarter -- looked sharp after missing a field goal in the Pats' preseason opener. Having a weapon like Gostkowski on the sidelines is a huge plus for New England, if and when any Brady-led drives stall out.
New England faces the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the all-important third preseason game on Friday. Expect to see Brady back on the field, and hopefully we'll see more improvements.
Tom Brady's absence certainly didn't help the New England Patriots in their 27-17 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in a Week 2 preseason battle on Monday night at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA. Nevertheless, the Pats were in the mix and were almost able to overcome.
Then again, it's only a meaningless preseason game, so it really doesn't matter, right?
Brady was held out of the Patriots second preseason game, likely due to the fact that New England has two games on the schedule this week. Following Monday's game, the Pats are scheduled to take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Friday night in Tampa, Florida.
New England put the first points on the board when Stephen Gostkowski kicked a 51-yard field goal with 6:15 left in the first quarter. Mallett then found Alex Silvestro for a seven-yard touchdown with 13:48 to go before halftime, and the Pats went for two and succeeded.
Philadelphia scored back-to-back touchdowns -- a one-yard run from Lesean McCoy at 10:11 and a one-yard pass from quarterback Nick Foles (18-for-28, 217 yards, two touchdowns, one interception) to Clay Harbor at 9:11 -- to go ahead 14-11. A 35-yard field goal from Gostkowski with 3:13 to go tied the game at 14-14 heading into halftime.
Harbor caught his second and final touchdown pass -- a three-yard strike from Foles -- at the 11:06 mark of the third quarter, putting the Eagles on top for good. Gostkowski hit a preseason-best 55-yard field goal at 4:17 in the third to bring the Pats a little closer, but that was cancelled out by a 42-yard field goal from Alex Henery of the Eagles with 38 ticks left.
Henery kicked a 21-yard field goal with 2:03 left in the fourth to put the nail in the coffin.
Deion Branch had three catches for 51 yards to lead the Pats' receiver. Stevan Ridley rushed for 25 yards on 10 carries and Shane Vereen had 20 rushing yards on 10 carries. Will Allen, Niko Koutouvides and Sterling Moore each had five tackles for the Pats.
Michael Vick started the game under center for Philly, but left in the first quarter after being hit hard by Jermaine Cunningham. Vick had an X-Ray on his ribs in the locker room, which was negative. He finished with five yards on 1-of-3 passing. DeSean Jackson had four catches for 82 yards and Bryce Brown rushed for 51 yards on nine rushes for the Eagles.
New England and Tampa Bay will kick off in Tampa at 7:30 p.m. ET on Friday evening.
After the two teams combined to score 28 points in the first half -- 25 of which came in the second quarter -- the scoring slowed down for the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles in the third quarter, and the Eagles took a 24-17 lead over the Pats into the final quarter of this Week 2 preseason bout on Monday night at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA.
Philadelphia scored the only touchdown of the period. Nick Foles found Clay Harbor for a three-yard touchdown pass, Harbor's second score of the game, with 11:06 to go in the quarter. The score ended am eight-play, 80 yard drive for the Eagles.
New England scored its only points of the frame on a preseason-best 55-yard field goal from Stephen Gostkowski, who also hit a 51-yard field goal in the first quarter, at the 4:17 mark. The Eagles answered with a field goal of their own, a 42-yard strike from Alex Henery, with 38 ticks remaining before the fourth.
The Eagles currently lead the Patriots, 21-17, with 11:41 to play in the final quarter.
Two local Olympians were honored in Foxborough on Monday night before the Patriots preseason game against the Eagles. Both Aly Raisman and Kayla Harrison, two women responsible for adding to Team USA's leading gold medal count, walked out on the field to raucous applause in Patriots gear before kickoff.
Raisman is a Needham native who was an integral member of the "Fab Five" women's gymnastics team that captured the gold medal. Raisman, one of two American women to qualify for the all-around, also earned an individual gold on the floor exercise and a bronze medal on the balance beam. Things were a lot less tense on Monday night, as she was all decked out in her Pats gear:
Harrison, the first American ever to win gold in judo, walked out prior to Raisman with her medal draped around her neck and over her Patriots jersey. Harrison resides in Wakefield.
A slow paced first quarter gave way to a high-scoring second period with the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles combining to score 25 points, and this Week 2 preseason game is tied, 14-14, at halftime on Monday night at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA.
New England opened the scoring on Ryan Mallett's seven-yard touchdown pass to tight end Alex Silvestro with 13:48 to go before halftime. The drive spanned just over five minutes and 80 yards on 13 plays. Philadelphia responded with its first score of the game, a one-yard touchdown scamper from LeSean McCoy at the 10:11 mark. Exactly one minute later, the Eagles tacked on another score -- a one-yard pass from Nick Foles to Clay Harbor, putting Philly on top, 14-11. Stephen Gostkowski, who connected on a 51-yard field goal in the first quarter, split the uprights from 35 yards out with 3:13 remaining.
Mallett completed 8-of-15 passes for 87 yards and one score and Brian Hoyer threw for 55 yards on 5-of-12 passing in the first half. Shane Vereen rushed for 20 yards on 10 carries -- all in the first quarter -- and had three catches for 25 yards. Deion Branch led all Pats' receivers with 37 yards on two catches.
Michael Vick started the game for Philadelphia, but left in the opening quarter after being hit hard by Jermaine Cunningham. Vick had X-Rays on his ribs, which were negative. Vick completed 1-of-3 passes for 5 yards in his brief appearance. McCoy rushed for 26 yards on six carries and DeSean Jackson had two catches for 26 yards.
Once again, the New England Patriots were unable to break through to the end zone in the first quarter, but they did put three points on the board and led the Philadelphia Eagles, 3-0, after one quarter of play in Week 2 of the preseason at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA.
Stephen Gostkowski's 51-yard field goal with 6:15 to play in the quarter put the Patriots on top and completed a lengthy drive (11 plays, 56 yards, 4:45). New England racked up 102 total yards of offense in the quarter, 80 of which came through the air.
Ryan Mallett, who started in place of Tom Brady (did not dress for game), completed 7-of-13 passes for 80 yards, averaging 6.2 yards per throw.
Shane Vereen rushed for 20 yards on 10 carries and had three catches for 25 yards.
Michael Vick, who took a big hit from Jermaine Cunningham in the quarter and left the game, completed 2-of-4 passes for 23 yards for the Eagles. Vick went to the locker room where he had X-Rays on his ribs.
The New England Patriots knocked out Eagles quarterback Michael Vick in the first quarter of their Monday night preseason game. Vick dropped back to pass off of play action, and Patriots rusher Jermaine Cunningham came hard at the shifty QB. Vick released the ball just as Cunningham came at his midsection, planting him to the turf at Gillette Stadium. The ball fluttered downfield. Here's an animated gif of the hit:
Vick was slow to get up, but eventually hobbled back to the huddle. But just a moment later, Andy Reid was forced to use a timeout after his quarterback went to the turf on one knee. He was taken out of the game and replaced by Nick Foles. Shortly thereafter, Vick left the sidelines to head to the locker room for further examination and X-rays. This game was expected to be a "dress rehearsal" for the Eagles, but Vick is almost certainly done for the night.
The New England Patriots are playing the Philadelphia Eagles in a preseason contest Monday night. Or, at least, a team that resembles the Patriots are playing the Eagles.
The following players were not spotted on the field during warmups in the moments before the Patriots-Eagles game Monday night: Jabar Gaffney, Tom Brady, Tavon Wilson, Kyle Arrington, Devin McCourty, Alfonzo Dennard, Jeff Demps, James Ihedigbo, Spencer Larson, Rob Ninkovich, Jerod Mayo, Tracy White, Marcus Zusevics, Matt Kopa, Logan Mankins, Vince Wilfork, Sebastian Vollmer, Aaron Hernandez, Visanthe Shianco, Wes Welker, Brandon Lloyd, Daniel Fells, Jake Ballard, Myron Pryor, Gerard Warren and Jonathan Fanene
Monday night's game is New England's second preseason match, and evidently Bill Belichick is using it as a time to rest the majority of his starters. New England will be back on the field for their third preseason game Friday.
Brady went 4-for-7 for 30 yards in the Patriots' preseason opening 7-6 win over the New Orleans Saints last Sunday. As pointed out by Mike Petraglia of WEEI.com, one reason Brady might not be playing Monday is due to the fact that the Pats' offensive line struggled in the preseason opener, culminating in a Saints strip sack of Brady in the game.
With Brady out, veteran backup Brian Hoyer and second-year gunslinger Ryan Mallett will split time under center, giving Pats fans a chance to see what would happen if (gasp... knock on wood) if Brady were injured. Again, just to be safe... knock on wood. Maybe once more.
Hix, 23, was originally signed by the Patriots as a rookie free agent out of Texas on July 27, 2011. Hix missed the entire 2011 season with a shoulder injury which he sustained in the preseason a little over a week after he was signed. Hix spent the 2011 season on the Patriots' injured reserve list.
Hix was able to practice early in New England's camp before suffering a shoulder injury on Aug. 5. He ended up missing nine practices before the Patriots released him.
Here's a look at the Patriots' current depth chart at tackle, according to Mike Reiss:
The Patriots are glad to have one starting offensive tackle returning from injury, but they need to make sure their other options at the position are up to par as they face Philadelphia's pass rush in their second preseason game.
Sebastian Vollmer, the presumptive starter at right tackle, is now reportedly off the physically unable to perform list as the back injury that has kept him out of games since last season is now healed. However, he won't be eligible to play Monday against the Eagles, and the two players who did see time at the tackle spots last week -- Nate Solder on the left, and Marcus Cannon, Vollmer's likely backup, on the right -- left something to be desired, the Boston Globe writes.
Tackles Nate Solder (left) and Marcus Cannon (right) had rough outings against the Saints, and they need to show improvement after a week of tough practices. Cannon, who gave up six quarterback pressures against the Saints, has the most to prove. With Sebastian Vollmer set to return, the Patriots need to determine if Cannon is capable of being the swing tackle on game day. There's still some question about whether Cannon can even play tackle. He has all the physical tools to do so. Solder is fine. He just needs to keep working on his technique.
A solid, consistent starting offensive line was one of the trademarks of the Pats squads that formed a dynasty during the last decade. Tom Brady is still obviously a great quarterback, but he's not the nimblest in the league any more. He needs to be able to be comfortable in the pocket in order to be the elite passer New England needs.
The Patriots and Eagles meet on Monday in Foxborough.
If you were looking for pretty football, you were probably disappointed. Of course, that just isn't the case -- ever -- in preseason football, but there was some good with the bad in the New England Patriots' 7-6 win over the New Orleans Saints in their preseason opener.
Neither star quarterback -- Tom Brady or Drew Brees -- played particularly well, combining for 34 passing yards and zero scores (and Brady had 30 of the 34 yards). Both did not complete their first two passes, although Brady was on target with both. Brady's first attempt was a rocket right up the middle to a falling Rob Gronkowski and his second was to new receiving toy Brandon Lloyd, who couldn't get his hands up in time for the catch. Brady finally connected with Aaron Hernandez on third down on the Pats' opening drive, but he couldn't convert. Brady's quarterback rating was 67.6 and he averaged 4.3 yards per throw.
The offense clearly wasn't there for New England, as head coach Bill Belichick summed up in the postgame press conference, but there were some bright spots. Certainly not in the passing game, though. Three Pats' quarterbacks -- Brady, Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett -- combined for just 153 yards through the air, one score, an interception and a fumble.
As for the Pats' ground game, it racked up 126 yards, with second-year backs Shane Vereen (11 carries, 64 yards) and Stevan Ridley (40 yards, eight carries) carrying the load. Vereen had some solid rushes during the Patriots' 97-yard scoring drive early in the third quarter, which would prove to be the game-changing drive. Defensively, the Pats had their moments. New England amassed 64 tackles (32 solo) and five stops for a loss, as well as two sacks, six pass deflections and five quarterback hits. Jeff Tarpinian had seven stops to lead the team, and both Steve Gregory and Pat Chung came away with interceptions.
Then, there's the bad. New England's offensive line struggled. The Pats were also whistled for five penalties accounting for 81 yards, including a 46-yard pass interference penalty.
Still, all things considered, it could have been worse. New England did lose linebacker Dane Fletcher to a reported ACL tear, probably ending his season, but was otherwise healthy. With three more preseason games ahead of them, and more time on the practice field, the Patriots have plenty of time to right the wrongs as they prepare for the regular season.
Football returned to Foxboro on Thursday night, but it wasn't pretty by any means. Penalty flags flew seemingly without end, passes were off target, and frustration abounded. At the end of the mess, the Patriots took a 7-6 victory over the Saints in their preseason opener.
Both sides had unproductive opening drives, with both Brady and Brees failing to complete their first two passes. The Patriots' second drive ended with a turnover after Brady was sacked by Will Smith and fumbled the ball, leading to John Kasay's 46-yard field goal at 8:35 in the opening quarter to break the scoreless tie, putting New Orleans on top, 3-0.
Stephen Gostkowski missed a 53-yard field goal attempt, wide left, at the end of the second quarter, keeping the Saints up three points heading into halftime. New England would finally post a successful offensive drive early in the third quarter, when Brian Hoyer (8-for-15, 45 yards) led the Pats on a 14-play, 97-yard drive spanning 5:21 that ended with a three-yard touchdown strike from Hoyer to receiver Britt Davis, his only catch of the night.
Garrett Hartley made a 27-yard field goal to open the fourth quarter, making it a 7-6 game, but New Orleans couldn't come any closer. Kasay had a chance to put the Saints in the driver's seat late in the fourth, but his 41-yard field goal sailed wide right with 3:07 left. The Saints would get the ball back, but couldn't convert, and the Patriots ran out the clock.
Ryan Mallett led all Pats quarterbacks with 89 passing yards on 8-of-19 passes, but was picked off. Shane Vereen rushed for 64 yards on 11 carries and Stevan Ridley had 40 rushing yards on eight carries. Eleven different receivers caught passes for New England, which was led by Julian Edelman (four catches, 36 yards). Jeff Tarpinian had six tackles to lead the Patriots defense, which lost linebacker Dane Fletcher to a reported ACL tear.
Luke McCown threw for 86 yards and Chase Daniel registered 62 passing yards to lead New Orleans, which totaled one more total yard of offense than New England at 280. Joe Banyard rushed for a team-high 27 yards on seven carries and Courtney Roby had five catches for 85 yards. Jonathan Casillas recorded seven tackles to lead New Orleans.
Between the two teams, there were 15 penalties (10 for New Orleans) and four turnovers.
New England hosts the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 2 of preseason play next Monday.
New England was unable to muster any offense in the first 35-plus minutes of Thursday night's preseason opener against the New Orleans Saints at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA, but Brian Hoyer and the Pats were able to put together an impressive 97-yard drive that led to the game's first touchdown. New England leads, 7-3, after three quarters.
The touchdown drive was capped off by a three-yard pass from Hoyer to rookie wideout Britt Davis at 9:45 of the third quarter. The drive lasted 14 plays and 5:21, and featured impressive rushes from Shane Vereen, who had 64 yards on 11 carries entering the fourth.
New England Patriots linebacker Dane Fletcher is likely out for the season. Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports that the third-year player suffered a torn ACL while covering a punt during the first quarter of Thursday night's preseason opener against the New Orleans Saints.
Fletcher stayed on the ground clutching his knee after the play, and had to be helped off the field into the locker room by medical staff. He started the game at middle linebacker in place of Brandon Spikes, who is recovering from a knee injury of his own. Dont'a Hightower slid over from the strongside to compensate Fletcher's absence, and Bobby Carpenter filled in for Hightower on the outside.
The punt came off the Pats' first offensive possession of the game, and wound up not counting thanks to a Saints procedure penalty.
John Kasay's 46-year field goal midway through the first quarter was the only offense in the first half as the New Orleans Saints took a 3-0 lead over the New England Patriots into halftime of the Pats' preseason opener on Thursday Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA.
Stephen Gostkowski nearly tied the game at the end of the second quarter, but his 53-yard field goal attempt was wide left with one second left before the intermission.
Kasay's field goal came at the 8:35 mark in the opening quarter, closing out a four-play, six yard drive for New Orleans. The Saints got the ball after Will Smith sacked Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who fumbled and turned the ball over.
Brady completed 4-of-7 passes in the first quarter for 30 yards. Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett took the snaps after Brady departed midway through the first, and Hoyer threw for 18 yards on 4-of-6 passing while Mallett complete 7-of-14 passes for 85 yards, but did throw an interception in the second quarter.
Stevan Ridley had eight carries for 40 yards and Julian Edelman had four catches for 36 yards.
Drew Brees completed just 1-of-4 passes for four yards in his limited first-quarter action. Chase Daniel completed 4-of-6 passes for 62 yards, but threw an interception. Sean Canfield threw for 45 yards on 6-of-8 passing and was also picked off once.
New England Patriots linebacker Dane Fletcher left Thursday's night's preseason opener against the New Orleans Saints after suffering an apparent knee injury while covering a first quarter punt. He remained on the ground after the play, grabbing at his left knee, and had to be helped off the field into the locker room by medical staff.
Should Fletcher miss significant time, it would be a big blow to the Pats' depth chart at linebacker. The third-year player started the game in place of Brandon Spikes, who is out while recovering from a knee injury.
There is no word yet on Fletcher's long-term status.
Neither team made much noise in the early stages of the first quarter as both sides worked out the offseason kinks, and the New Orleans Saints carried a 3-0 lead over the New England Patriots into the second quarter in Thursday's Pats preseason opener.
John Kasay's 46-yard field goal was the game's first score at 8:35 in the first, concluding a four-play, six-yard drive. New Orleans assumed possession after Will Smith sacked Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who fumbled and turned the ball over.
After the Patriots' defense forced a three-and-out on the opening drive of the game, the Patriots followed suit and couldn't get a first down of their own, but caught a break on a Saints penalty, giving them new life. Brady's first drive didn't go very well, as he couldn't connect on his first pass with Rob Gronkowski or his next pass to Brandon Lloyd.
As for Brees, his first two passes were also incomplete. Brees was subbed out midway through the first quarter after only six snaps. He finished with four passing yards (1-for-4). Brady, meanwhile, completed 4-of-7 passes for 30 yards in his first preseason action.
Between the two teams, there were seven penalties, with the Pats committing four.
Brandon Spikes and Logan Mankins highlighted a list of 16 New England Patriots players who will not play in the team's preseason opener against the New Orleans Saints at 7:30 p.m. ET on Thursday night at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA. View the complete list of Patriots' inactives below.
New England Patriots -- Inactives (via WEEI)
The Patriots kickoff their 2012 preseason with the New Orleans Saints on Aug. 9 at Gillette Stadium.
Football is back, at least in preseason capacity. Tom Brady and the New England Patriots open up their preseason schedule with a home game against the New Orleans Saints (1-0) at 7:30 p.m. ET on Thursday night at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA.
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