Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald reports that the Patriots released their injury report yesterday. One unexpected player listed on the injury report was defensive lineman Richard Seymour who missed a portion of yesterday's practice and is listed as questionable with a knee injury. Guregian speculates that Seymour may have gotten injured while playing fullback on short-yardage situations last week against the Chargers.
Jerome Solomon of the Boston Globe writes that Tom Brady took exception to fact that many are already writing off the Patriots because of so many losses on the injury front. "If people want to write us off, that's fine by us -- I mean, go for it -- but I don't think that's the wisest thing to do. I think we've just got too many guys with too much character. Are we proud that we're 2-2? No. But you know we've got 12 more games? I mean, 12 more games. When you think about it, that's a lot of football left," said Brady who also responded to comments made by Chargers head coach Marty Schottenheimer that injuries may have caught up with the championship team. "I just assume you talk about your own team," Brady said. "You don't talk about our team. He has no business talking about our team. He's not our coach. We'll let our coach talk about our team. We'll let our players talk about our team. The only thing that we ever do is give respect to the other teams, because that's what they deserve. They played a good game. They beat us. That's what it is -- no more, no less -- it's one game." Michael Felger of the Boston Herald and Tom Curran of the Providence Journal also offers a similar report.
Michael Felger of the Boston Herald writes that the Patriots will need to be ready to defend against the Atlanta Falcons tactic of cut blocking, a tactic also employed last week by the San Diego Chargers. Cut blocking involves the tactic of diving at the legs and knees of defenders. The technique is allowed under NFL rules, as long as the defender is not already engaged with another blocker. "It's a tough block. And in certain situations, it's clearly legal," linebacker Monty Beisel said. "When you're down the field and you have eye contact with the guy and he's making the block. In other instances, when it's on the line of scrimmage and they're cutting guys' knees from the backside, it's a tough ordeal. It's definitely one of those blocks that has to be looked at (by rule-makers)."
Jerome Solomon of the Boston Globe writes that poor tackling has been a key reason for the Patriots two losses this season. New England missed at least a half-dozen legitimate tackling opportunities, and had maybe twice that many plays in which a defender reached for a runner, but failed to make the stop. "Definitely tackling was an issue," linebacker Monty Beisel said. "All day we allowed them to get up to the second level and make some plays down the field. We're not used to defending like that. We're used to being on their side of the line of scrimmage and making plays. That wasn't happening."
Tom Curran of the Providence Journal writes that the Patriots faced the second-best rushing team in the Chargers last week. This week New England faces the number one ranking rushing offense of the Atalnta Falcons. The depleted Patriots will have it's hands full trying to contain an explosive offense centered around QB Michael Vick and running backs Warrick Dunn and T.J. Duckett. Curran previews the matchups between the Patriots defense and the Atlanta Falcons offense. "They're a good running team without Vick," said Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. "With Vick, that's one more guy. You have one more thing to defend in the running game -- the quarterback -- that you just don't have in most pro offenses. It spreads you kind of thin defensively to have worry about . . . bootlegs and keeps. Without that, they're tough. With it, it expands the running game."
Doug Flutie has been playing the role of Michael Vick in practice as he helps prepare the Patriots defense to defend against the Falcons offense reports Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald. "You want to give the defense as realistic a look as you can," Flutie said yesterday. "But I can't run a 4.3 (40). That ain't happening."
Tom Curran of the Providence Journal offers his daily sports blog with Patriots notes and commentary.