Patriots Scott McCready, Michael Malan and Shane Stafford were all featured elements of the Scottish Claymores' aerial attack in NFL Europe's Week Three. Malan and McCready combined for 11 catches for 106 yards and a touchdown, while the New England duo of Stafford and McCready hooked up in the end zone for the second time in three weeks in the Claymores' 34-17 defeat at the hands of the Rhein Fire. With the Claymores trailing 27-10 and facing fourth-and-one on the Fire's one-yard line, the Scotland coaches opted to go with a Patriots connection, calling on the McCready-Stafford tandem to deliver. Stafford found McCready – the Claymores' leader in receiving yards and receiving touchdowns – in the end zone for a one-yard score in the fourth quarter.
"I feel like I played quite well, but I made some mistakes here and there," McCready said of his performance. "Not just me on the touchdown, but I feel like the entire team fought for 60 minutes. Unfortunately, it was a little late by the time we were able to get things rolling. Hopefully we'll get things back together this week and practice and go out and put another one in the win column next Sunday."
Malan racked up a team-high six catches on the afternoon, but it was a play on special teams that stood out for the former Brown fullback. With the Claymores pinned back on their own 28-yard line and forced to punt, Malan hustled down the field and recovered a fumble by Fire returner Autry Denson at the Rhein 20. The Stafford-led offense then converted the opportunity into a field goal for the Claymores' first points of the game. Patriots cornerback Dyshod Carter and tight end Rod Trafford also got starting nods for the Claymores for the third week in a row.
In other Patriots news across the pond, former Harvard standout center Mike Clare's Frankfurt Galaxy is the only undefeated team in NFL Europe after three weeks. Clare has started at center in all three Galaxy wins, including a 41-21 beating of Berlin last weekend. Clare helped open holes for a Galaxy rushing attack that chewed up 258 yards on the day.
Rhein linebacker Courtney Ledyard sat out the weekend's action with a shoulder injury. Wide receiver T.C. Taylor remains on injured reserve with the Barcelona Dragons.
The Galaxy can be seen in action against Amsterdam on Saturday, April 26 at 11:00 a.m. on Fox Sports Net New England.
The Patriots media relations department contributed to this report.