Tag Archives: Ryan Wendell

Patriots Beef Up In Later Rounds With Linemen (Videos)

Bryan Stork was one of three offensive linemen taken by the New England Patriots on Saturday.

The New England Patriots addressed their depth on both sides of the line of scrimmage in the final day of the NFL Draft on Saturday.

They came into the day with seven total picks after they added two more selections (in the fourth and sixth rounds) with the Jacksonville Jaguars on Friday night.

1. Fourth Round (105th pick): Center Bryan Stork

In their first pick and the first of three fourth-round selections on Saturday, the Patriots chose center/guard out of Florida State, the reigning national champions. Stork started at center for the Seminoles, but the Patriots also could use him as a guard. This offseason, the Patriots brought back center Ryan Wendell on a two-year deal. The 6-foot-3-inch, 315-pound interior lineman will challenge Wendell. Last season, the Patriots struggled to protect Tom Brady from inside pass rushers. In the AFC Championship game, the Broncos were able to apply pressure in the middle. Also, the Cincinnati Bengals’ ferocious defensive line was able to sack Brady on four occasions in a 13-6 victory over the Patriots in a regular season game. Stork is a big body, but he has durability concerns. He missed several games with various ailments, including a concussion during a game last season against Maryland. He also did not play in a game against Boston College due to frequent headaches. If Stork can stay on the field, the Patriots may have a steal. This is the initial pick that the Patriots got from the Jaguars in the transaction on Friday.
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eiuQyUC2jJM?rel=0]

2. Fourth Round (130th): Running Back James White Read more

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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Patriots Nip Jets In OT, Reclaim First Place In AFC East

It was Rob Ninkovich’s strip sack of Mark Sanchez in overtime that sealed the Patriots’ fourth win of the season on Sunday, 29-26.

There’s nothing quite like a rivalry football game in Foxboro on a crisp late Sunday afternoon in October. And there’s definitely nothing better than when the Patriots sport their red ’80s throwback jerseys.

The league’s best offense hosted the Jets and their head coach and defensive genius, Rex Ryan in a battle for first place in the AFC East on Sunday.

As if the rivalry and division lead being on the line weren’t enough, it doesn’t get much better than these two coaches. Along with Ryan, Bill Belichick is another mind game guru and it was sure to be a battle of head games.

Mix in a little Tim Tebowand the possibility that he might see time at running back and we knew we would be in for an exciting afternoon in Foxboro.

If you didn’t want an exciting lead with some wacky plays and a surprise ending, then, well, you got one anyway.

The Jets offense seemed to figure it out in last week’s blowout over the Colts when they took the ball out of Mark Sanchez’s hands. The run game dominated last week and Shonn Greene had a career day, but against the Patriots secondary, or lack thereof, Sanchez sought to take advantage. He almost did, but the Patriots hung on for the victory.

Even though they didn’t quite make it to 30 points, they got close enough and finally found a way to win one of these close games by a final score of 29-26.

It started out looking like the Jets and their lackluster receiving group would have no problem with the struggling Patriots’ secondary. Aided by a red zone flag on Ras-I Dowling and a couple of big plays to Jeremy Kerley as well as a couple of positive plays for Tebow, Greene carried it in from a yard out and the Jets took a 7-0 lead after a long first drive. Kyle Arrington got worked a couple of times on the drive.

Then, something amazing happened. On only his eighth career kickoff return, Devin McCourty took it 104 yards to tie the game at seven. Tom Brady and the offense had hardly done anything, but the game was tied midway through the first despite the Jets strong special teams play. The return touchdown marked the second longest in New England history and the team’s first since 2010 when Brandon Tate took one all the way. Ellis Hobbs took one back 108 yards in 2008.

Just when it seemed the Jets had the momentum, McCourty snatched it away and the defense forced the Jets to go three and out. Brady drove down the field and found Rob Gronkowski with a perfect throw in the corner of the endzone from 17 yards out. New England scored two TD’s in four and a half minutes and Brady recorded a touchdown pass in his 39th straight game, remaining ten behind Drew Brees, who threw a touchdown in his 49th straight game earlier in the day. The first quarter ended with New England driving and on top 14-7, but the drive would stall and the Pats would be forced to punt.

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State of the Patriots with Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston

Reiss is one of the best beat writers in the NFL.

ESPNBoston’s Mike Reiss was nice enough to take some time out of his busy bye week to answer some Patriots questions for BST&N. A very analytical beat guy, Reiss has covered the team since 1997.

Reiss has a very popular Patriots blog on ESPNBoston.com and can be followed on Twitter @MikeReiss.

Carl Desberg: Vince Wilfork said the defense began to improve once players started to buy into what the coaches were telling them. What did you see as the greatest adjustments for a Patriots defense that ended up finishing eighth in the NFL yielding just 19.6 points per game after allowing just 9.4 points per game over the final five contests.
Mike Reiss: Specific to the defense, I’d say the turnovers in critical situations are what stand out the most. James Sanders’ interception at the end of the Colts game is one example. He doesn’t make that play, they probably lose that day. It hasn’t always looked pretty, but they’ve delivered in the key moments.

CD: This Patriots offense morphs into whatever form they need to as their preparation is so match-up based. If you’re a defensive coordinator heading into the AFC Divisional round against the Patriots, what do you do to slow down this offensive machine?
MR: A lot of it would depend on the strengths of the personnel on that defense, but the first thing I’d try to do is hit Brady or at least direct as much pressure as possible up the middle to get him off the spot, especially when the Patriots go to the empty set. Easier said than done. I’d also have the corners playing close to the line and jamming receivers on a regular basis in an attempt to take away the short to intermediate passing game, disrupting the rhythm of the passing game that way.

CD: Jerod Mayo sprained his MCL in week 1 last season against the Bills. He then missed several weeks before returning and gutting it out as the Patriots made a playoff run. Mayo is now healthy and leading the NFL in tackles. Describe the skill set that makes the first time Pro Bowler one of the centerpieces of this defense in just his third year.

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