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Patriots

Peyton Manning-Tom Brady rivalry began in obscurity

Thursday, October 30, 2014

DENVER — The greatest quarterback rivalry in NFL history began quietly with plenty of empty seats on a cloudy, cool and windy afternoon at Foxboro Stadium on Sept. 30, 2001. Baby-faced backup Tom Brady, a sixth-round draft pick from Michigan the year before, made his first career NFL start in place of Drew Bledsoe, who had suffered a sheared blood vessel in his chest one week earlier. On the other side was QB blue blood Peyton Manning, the top overall pick in the 1998 draft out of Tennessee, and the heavily favored Indianapolis Colts. As expected, it was a mismatch, but not the way anyone …

Wes Welker, Bill Belichick have buried the hatchet

Thursday, October 30, 2014

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — There’s no longer any bad blood between Bill Belichick and Wes Welker heading into the showdown Sunday between the New England Patriots and Denver Broncos. Belichick said he has long gotten over Welker’s hit that sidelined then-Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib in the AFC championship. At the time, New England’s often cantankerous coach called it “one of the worst plays” he’d …

Patriots defense preps to slow Broncos’ Manning

Thursday, October 30, 2014

FOXBOROUGH — Devin McCourty won’t allow himself to get caught up in Peyton Manning’s pre-snap antics on Sunday. New England’s Pro Bowl safety can’t afford to. He’ll end up losing. “I would say the chess game is pretty one-sided. It’s like being a kid going against a father in chess,” McCourty said of trying to anticipate Manning’s moves. “He’s a very smart quarterback. …

Patriots preparing to slow Chiefs running game

Thursday, September 25, 2014

FOXBOROUGH — Vince Wilfork has played only two career games in Kansas City. That’s more than enough for New England’s All-Pro nose tackle to know exactly how loud Arrowhead Stadium will get on Monday night. “They’re probably one …

Chiefs coach Andy Reid hopeful Jamaal Charles is available vs Patriots

Thursday, September 25, 2014

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Chiefs coach Andy Reid could have quite the pleasant problem come Monday night. Pro Bowl running back Jamaal Charles is expected to return to the field after missing last week’s win in Miami with …

Patriots linebacker Dont’a Hightower improving in solid defense

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

FOXBOROUGH — Dont’a Hightower and the New England Patriots defense have made great strides since their season-opening loss. Their past two opponents totaled one offensive touchdown. And the third-year linebacker had 15 tackles and two sacks in those …

Patriots defense steps up while offense finds its way

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

FOXBOROUGH (AP) — With the offense sputtering and looking for production, the New England defense has stepped up to lead the Patriots to wins the past two weeks. After getting hit with 23 unanswered points in the second …

Patriots offense still struggling after 3 games

Monday, September 22, 2014

FOXBOROUGH — The New England Patriots have plenty of time to get their offense rolling. The question is: Do they have the players? The offensive line is struggling to protect quarterback Tom Brady and open holes for running …

Patriots’ sluggish offense beats Raiders 16-9

Sunday, September 21, 2014

FOXBOROUGH — The New England Patriots had trouble getting into the end zone. Defensive tackle Vince Wilfork made sure the Oakland Raiders stayed out of the end zone in the final minute. An interception by the 325-pound Wilfork …

Patriots hope to continue dominance at Gillette

Friday, September 19, 2014

FOXBOROUGH — Stevan Ridley’s father switched his allegiance from the Oakland Raiders once his son was drafted by the New England Patriots. The running back’s dad sure picked a winner. The Patriots are 25-4, including playoff games, at …

Heading cross country hard for West Coast teams

Friday, September 19, 2014

The Oakland Raiders have to deal with more than just Tom Brady and Darrelle Revis at New England on Sunday. They’ll also be fighting mental fogginess and the physical effects of jetlag. Their internal clocks will make it feel like it’s 6 a.m. when they drag themselves onto …

Darrelle Revis a success in New England

Thursday, September 18, 2014

FOXBOROUGH — Darrelle Revis didn’t divulge much when asked about his preference for facing a rookie quarterback. New England’s shutdown cornerback officially is a Patriot. “I can’t give you all of that,” the five-time Pro Bowler said with …

Raiders rookie Derek Carr focuses on job at hand

Thursday, September 18, 2014

ALAMEDA, Calif. — As a rookie quarterback seeking his first NFL win against Bill Belichick’s New England Patriots, Derek Carr has too much to worry about himself to focus on questions about his coach’s job security. But if …