Tag Archives: logan mankins

NFL Week 17 Preview: Patriots vs. Bills

Hopefully, TB12 won't have to punt on Sunday.


Are you ready for the NFL regular season to end? Well, Week 17 is upon us and the New England Patriots (11-4) end 2013 where they began: playing Buffalo with no Rob Gronkowski. Pats fans expect another win.

So do I. Back to that in a bit. Let’s reflect on the season briefly. The Patriots offensive machine as we knew it was taken apart by injury, contract conflicts, and alleged criminal misconduct. The season was marked by dropped balls, players dropping like flies, fumbles, penalties that were called or not called, and some fantastic finishes that won’t be forgotten.

Despite that turmoil, the Patriots simply need to beat the Buffalo Bills, the 6-9 team that has never won at Gillette Stadium and is 2-23 against Tom Brady, to secure a first round bye. Don’t get overconfident, guys.

Today’s keys, just incase Bill Belichick needs my opinion:

1. Remember your opponent: Belichick doesn’t overlook opponents. We know. But, for some reason, the Pats tend to play at the level of teams they are better than. How else can we explain losses to the Jets and Cincinnati? No disrespect intended Bills fans, players or owners by the following comment: Patriots, please show why you’re the better team. Demonstrate it.

2. Start fast. That means a three-and-out for Buffalo’s offense. If the offense gets the ball first then produce an opening-drive touchdown. Move the chains however possible. Use Stevan Ridley and LeGarrette Blount to run over Buffalo if possible. Throw the ball all over the field to Julian Edelman or whichever rookie’s name gets drawn out of Brady’s hat to dress this week. Balance would be good, of course.

3. Good habits. To start fast they need to play right. No turnovers. Ridley is an important player on offense, but I’m nervous with the ball in his hands. The Pats need #22 to make a playoff run. Players not named Julian Edelman have to make catches. Danny Amendola has gotten his act together lately, despite the dropped TD in Miami. He took a couple of Welkerian hits last week, too. No dumb penalties you “don’t remember”, Logan Mankins.

4.Health. Be careful out there. Have you seen the injury report? The Herald counted 87 games lost to injuries. Enough.

Simply put: Take care of business. End the season on a high note for the playoffs. Momentum. Leave in one piece. Pats, 31-13.

Patriots Match-Up Mania: All About Offense?

Gronk is back. The Pats are, too.

Your New England Patriots return to action on Monday night with the Carolina Panthers in what has become a pivotal game with seemingly little fanfare. With a never ending crush of injuries to the Pats defense, can it be said that the team’s offense is the unit that needs to deliver? Frankly, yes.

The Patriots themselves are saying how big of a challenge the team’s offense faces against one of the NFL’s best defenses. Just ask Logan Mankins:

Teams aren’t really scoring on them. They’re not doing much against them. Nine points last week from the Niners. That’s not what we want. We hopefully can do a little better than that. They haven’t been giving up much of anything – the run, pass, points, they’re good in the red zone, good on third down. They’re good at everything right now.

Carolina doesn’t allow much of anything to anybody. The Panthers gave up a total of four touchdowns in their last five games. It’s a year-long trend, too. They rank second in points allowed at 12.8 and yards per game at 283.3.
As you know, the Patriots offense might be finally putting it together. Rob Gronkowski’s return could be considered a spark. He already has 19 catches, including his career high 9-catch game during the 55-31 romp versus Pitttsburgh. Gronk is playing well and is also well-versed in Bill Belichick approved quotes. Gronk says:

I’m just going out there, focusing on my job, what I’ve got to do to make the offense a better offense, and make sure I do my own job and try to make plays when my number is called.

However, the key for the NEP is always Brady. Carolina’s linebacker Luke Kuechly is preparing for TB12. He says the Panthers “can’t be too predictable. “We need to do a good job of playing in our defense and not showing stuff too early so he can get a bead on what we’ve got,” he said.

Patriots Preseason Update: Brady Is Brady

Bill Belichick

Bill Belichick

The NFL must have a written rule that requires a score be kept during all pre-season games. So, for what it’s worth…

Tom Brady’s play is always a primary concern for fans of New England Patriots. Last night he showed why he’s Brady. Oh, and that knee thing? Well, that won’t be a problem. The hooded one even said so. ”We’re so far past that,” he said. ”We’re way beyond that.”

TB12 started 11-11 and finished 11-12 with 107 yards and a touchdown. After two appearances, Brady is 18-20. The rest of Bill Belichick’s new-look offense looked as efficient as ever in the team’s first drive. Danny Amendola caught six passes for 71 yards and a touchdown. He was as good in the Wes Welker role as anyone could expect after two fake games. Shane Vereen looks ready to be a versatile go-to guy for Brady in 2013 after four rushes and four catches.

The surprise of the night could be Zach Sudfeld. He caught a 2-point conversion pass from Brady and got a touchdown after showing some nifty hands securing the ball. They are the kind of plays that help a rookie free agent earn a spot on a team.

It looked like Belichick has been coaching up his defense, too. The starting unit looked solid with three sacks in the first quarter and four for the game. Brandon Spikes (2), Chandler Jones and Rob Ninkovich got to the quarterback. Logan Ryan did make a big play with an interception return for a touchdown. He also

Brady’s back-ups played like back-ups again. Ryan Mallett improved a bit since Philly. That’s not much of an accomplishment. He was 12-20 with 137 yards and a TD. At best Mallett is adequate. Tim Tebow was terrible. You all saw it. There’s no need to pile on.

Bill was as grumpy as ever in his press conference after the game.He found plenty not to like in addition to Tebow. Such as…

There were a few glaring penalties that would hurt the Patriots against a good team. Two penalties pushed a field goal back to 50 yards and cost the Patriots three points. Stephen Gostkowski should make that kick regardless of that, but poor execution of some basic football drives Bill crazy. Penalties (10 of them) are bad. Penalties that take away points are very bad. Special teams errors are very bad, too.

As for Logan Mankins and his 15-yard penalty…I wouldn’t want that dude mad at me and I would want him protecting me, but he can’t lose control and must stay disciplined.

One added bonus was seeing Randy Moss appear as a studio commentator in the brief pre-game presentation on Fox. Moss gave great answers when he did post-game press conference as a player and comes across, to me, as very intelligent. He said he knows how tough Brady is and considered the knee injury concerns a “smokescreen.” During the game, Moss praised the Patriots offense because they were that good. But, he described the offense as “magic” or “magical” and “the sky’s the limit” for the rookie receivers and said it is an honor to play with Brady. I don’t entirely disagree with him as Brady, Amendola and Vereen were clicking. FoxSports1 might want Moss to drop the pompoms.

Relax, Patriots Fans: Brady Was Back At Practice Today

Tom Brady's knee

Tom Brady’s knee

You’ve seen the video. The aftermath is a big sigh of relief for Tom Brady, his knee, Patriots fans and Bob Kraft’s $1.8 billion franchise. Adrian Claiborn is not Bernard Pollard 2.0 as Brady simply suffered a knee sprain/injury/bruise – depending on who is reporting – in his collision with Nate Solder.

Logan Mankins wants you all to relax.

That means you, too, Stevan Ridley. The team’s top back actually said his heart was “at peace” that Brady was okay.

The Pats leader was back at practice Thursday and participated as he normally would, albeit with a knee brace. Brady is reportedly ready to go tomorrow night against Tampa Bay. Not that it matters on August 15th. Here’s what Ridley said:

I know he’s going to be there when it counts. When the season matters the most, Tom’s going to be out there. I just don’t want us to rush him or anything like that. I think Tom will make the right decision and the coaches will too.

Fans of the team will most likely agree with that.

Patriots 2012 Regular Season By The Numbers

On the surface, it is easy for any fan to see just how good or bad of a season their team has had. Whether it be wins and losses or total points put up, some stats tell the story, god or bad, of the year of their favorite team.

What most fans fail to sometimes realize, however, is all the stats that go into making an NFL team successful. Here are a bunch you would never even think to remotely consider about the 2012 season of the New England Patriots.

You name it. If it can be statistically tracked in the NFL, it’s probably in this post.

0 – The number of wins the team had when their leading rusher was under 40 yards for the game (0-2).

0 – The Patriots had no two-point conversions on the year. Just kind of odd.

0.5 – Brandon Bolden averaged half a yard more per carry than Stevan Ridley did.

1 – The number of franchises to score 500 points four different times. New England accomplished that this year after 500-point seasons in 2007, 2010 and 2011 as well.

1 – The New England offense ranked first in the NFL in total yards, yards per game, points and points per game in 2012.

1 – Of the four members of the team who finished the year as the starting secondary, only one (Devin McCourty) was on the team last year. Alfonzo Dennard, Aqib Talib, Steve Gregory were the other three.

1 – Vince Wilfork‘s four forced fumbles were tied for first in the NFL.

1 – The number of full games that tight ends Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski were both on the field for the whole contest – the season finale against the Dolphins.

1 – The number of NFL quarterbacks to throw at least one touchdown pass in all 16 regular season games for three straight seasons – Tom Brady in 2010-12.

2 – The number of teams to ever win 10-plus games in 10 consecutive seasons – the Patriots became the second to accomplish that this year.

2 – Their two-game losing streak in Weeks 2 and 3 was tied for their longest losing streak since they lost four straight in the 2002 season.

2 – This season was the second time they have gone undefeated against the AFC East, joining the 2007 team.

2 – The number of teams to ever record 400 first downs in a season – the 2012 Pats and the 2011 Saints.

2 – The number of points that Stephen Gostkowski needed to tie the all-time single-season Patriots scoring record set by Gino Cappelletti in 1964.

3 – Pass plays in the NFL this season longer than Shane Vereen‘s 83-yard reception in Week 12.

3 – It had been three years since the Patriots lost four or more games in a season (10-6 in 2009).

3 – The Pats have scored 500-plus points in three consecutive seasons.

The Patriots' offense has been unstoppable in the three years since drafting this duo.

The Patriots’ offense has been nearly unstoppable in the three years since drafting this duo.

4 – New England had four different players lead the team in receiving in their 16 games – Brandon Lloyd (3), Wes Welker (9), Gronkowski (3) and Vereen (1).

4 – It was Brady’s fourth career season of throwing 30 or more touchdown passes, good for a tie for the fourth-most all-time.

4 – Welker finished four receptions behind league-leader Calvin Johnson, who had 122 on the year.

4 – The Patriots have made the playoffs in each of the last four seasons.

4 – The team had four different players lead them in rushing in their 16 games – Ridley (13), Bolden (1), Julian Edelman (1) and Danny Woodhead (1).

5 – There have only been five Patriots running backs to rush for 1,200 yards in the team’s history. Ridley became the fifth this year.

5 – Wilfork was elected to the fifth Pro Bowl of his career and will start on the defensive line for the AFC.

5 – The team has held its opponents to 20 points or less in five of six games since Nov. 18 (5-1).

6 – In 16 games, the Patriots only lost six fumbles.

6 – The Pats finished six spots higher in total defense this year compared to last season when they finished 31st in the league.

6 – New England has been a top-10 offense in the NFL for six straight seasons.

7 – The amount of consecutive games that Brady needs to throw a touchdown pass in to break the all-time record of 54.

7 – New England’s longest winning streak of the year from Week 7 through Week 14.

7 – The number of points that Brady’s total QBR trailed Peyton Manning‘s for tops in the league.

7 – McCourty was one of seven NFL players to return a kickoff more than 100 yards on the year.

7 – The team sent seven members to the Pro Bowl in 2012.

New England's seven Pro Bowlers in 2012 are the third-most in the league.

New England’s seven Pro Bowlers in 2012 are the third-most in the league.

7 – Last year’s NFL leader in interceptions, Kyle Arrington, had seven fewer interceptions in 2012 than a year ago. He had seven in 2011.

8 – The number of years it had been since the team had a 1,200-yard rusher before this year. Corey Dillon rushed for 1,635 yards in 2004.

8 – Rob Ninkovich led the team with eight sacks on the year.

8 – The Pats had eight return TD’s on the season.

9 – The number of games in which the starting offensive line of Nate Solder, Sebastian Vollmer, Ryan Wendell, Dan Connolly and Logan Mankins were all on the field together.

9 – Brady now ranks ninth on the NFL’s all-time passing list with 44,806 yards. He needs 1,427 yards to pass Vinny Testaverde.

9 – Ridley finished the season as one of just nine non-kickers in the top-40 in the league in scoring.

9 – The team has a nine-game division win streak heading into next season.

10 – The number of consecutive 10-win seasons for the Patriots – the second longest such streak ever (16).

10 – The team scored 30-plus points 10 times in their 16 games in 2012 (8-2).

10 – The number of players who had a rushing attempt for the Pats in 2012 led by Ridley’s 290 carries.

10 – New England had 10 more sacks than it allowed in 2012.

11 – They also had 11 more interceptions than their opponents did.

11 – The combined number of points New England fell by in its four losses against the Cardinals (2), Ravens (1), Seahawks (1) and 49ers (7).

11 – The number of current and former Pro Bowl running backs that Ridley out-rushed in 2012.

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Seven Patriots Selected To Pro Bowl

Seven Patriots were selected to represent the team in the 2013 Pro Bowl on

Seven Patriots were selected to represent the team in the 2013 Pro Bowl on Jan. 27.

It’s that time of year again. No, not Christmas. It’s time for the large contingency of New England football players to learn that they may be heading to Hawaii following championship weekend.

The 2012 AFC and NFC Pro Bowl rosters were announced Wednesday night and as usual, the Patriots will be heavily represented at Aloha Stadium. Seven hometown players were graced with the honor of representing their team in the game of the NFL‘s finest from the past season after the team had a dozen in the mix when voting got underway a few weeks ago.

Four players were voted by fans, players and coaches as starters at their respective positions and the other three will be alternates. Rob Gronkowski, Logan Mankins, Jerod Mayo and Vince Wilfork will all be starting for the AFC, while Tom Brady, Matthew Slater and Wes Welker will be alternates.

The seven players selected were the third-most among NFL teams with only the Texans (eight) and 49ers (nine) sending more to the game.

Gronkowski, in his third year in the league, was awarded the honor for the second straight season. In just his third season, the 6-foot-6-inch, 265-pound tight end has caught 53 balls for 748 yards and 10 touchdowns while playing in just 10 games so far because of a broken forearm. His huge presence has also helped the Patriots restore a prominent running game back into their offense. It was Gronk’s second career selection. Tony Gonzalez will start at tight end for the NFC.

Joining him on the starting offense will be guard Logan Mankins. Unlike Gronkowski, Mankins has now been voted to the Pro Bowl five times in his career. This season, he has really provided the injury-plagued offensive line with a veteran presence during a season that has seen almost as many starting combinations as points they helped to put up. With the losses of Brian Waters and Dan Koppen, Mankins has stepped up even more while playing in just nine games this season, but has still been instrumental in providing the up-and-coming running backs holes with which to work. He will be joined on the AFC’s starting line by Joe Thomas of the Browns, Duane Brown of the Texans, Marshal Yanda of the Ravens and Maurkice Pouncey of the Steelers.

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