2014 DRAFT GUIDE
5 things to know from Patriots' 23-3 win over Bucs

By HOWARD ULMAN - AP Sports Writer
    2013-09-23 03:32

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) - Kenbrell Thompkins and Aaron Dobson had a huge challenge as the Patriots' rookie starting receivers.

With veteran Danny Amendola injured, they were replacing Wes Welker and Brandon Lloyd, who combined for 192 catches last year. And no NFL player had more than Welker's 672 receptions over the past six seasons.

``I just feel like you can't think about it,'' Dobson said after New England beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 23-3 Sunday. ``You just have to go out there and have fun. We've been playing this game since we were little kids.''

Five things to know from the Patriots' rout of the Buccaneers:

1. HAVE A LITTLE FAITH: Tom Brady is showing enough faith in his rookies to throw to them in key situations. As if he has a choice.

Amendola is sidelined with a groin injury so three of Brady's top four wide receivers are rookies. In the first two games, he completed 20 passes to veteran Julian Edelman. But on Sunday, Thompkins caught his first two touchdown passes and Dobson led the Patriots with seven catches and 54 yards receiving.

In their previous game, a 13-10 win over the New York Jets, Brady showed his displeasure with the rookies, raising his hands to his helmet and speaking animatedly on the sideline.

``Mistakes are going to happen, but you just have to learn from it,'' Dobson said.

He and Thompkins are, after combining for just nine catches in the first two games.

``They've worked really hard to understand what we're trying to do,'' Brady said. ``We did a good job of adjusting (during the game).''

2. UNBEATEN, BUT ... : OK, so the Patriots are 3-0 for the first time in six years. But look who they beat. The Buffalo Bills and New York Jets with rookie quarterbacks. And now the Bucs, who have struggling veteran quarterback Josh Freeman. Not exactly the best teams in the NFL.

That changes starting next Sunday with a tough three-game stretch - road games at Atlanta and Cincinnati and a home game against New Orleans.

Regardless of the opponent, the Patriots are 3-0.

``It's the best we can be right now,'' safety Devin McCourty said. ``Everyone will continue to pick apart what we do well and what we don't do, but coming into the season if you said after the first three games, `Where would you want to be?' we would want to be 3-0. We've got to keep building and getting better because the games get harder and harder.''

3. WINLESS AND GETTING WORSE: The Bucs lost their first two games by a total of three points, losing on a field goal with 2 seconds left and on another on the final play. On Sunday, they never threatened after Rian Lindell's 30-yard field goal late in the first quarter.

Now coach Greg Schiano may have to worry about his players' attitude.

``I have great confidence this team will stick together,'' he said. ``We have a lot of football to play and I am confident that we will improve and we will win.''

4. STICKING WITH `EM: Schiano is sticking with Freeman and Lindell despite their shaky performances.

Freeman completed 19 of 41 passes for 236 yards and one interception and has connected on 45.7 percent of his passes this year. But Schiano isn't ready to switch to rookie Mike Glennon.

Asked if Freeman gives Tampa Bay the best chance to win and whether any consideration was given to pulling him, Schiano said, ``He does. And, no, there wasn't.''

But Freeman couldn't come up with big plays. The Bucs managed just three points despite getting inside the Patriots 40 six times.

On one of those trips, Lindell missed a 38-yard field goal attempt.

``I like Rian,'' Schiano said. ``I think he is going to be our kicker.''

5. TOUGH DEFENSE: The Patriots have allowed 34 points, their fewest through three games since 1979. Former Bucs cornerback Aqib Talib intercepted his third pass of the season in the final minute of the first half, leading to Stephen Gostkowski's 53-yard field goal.

``Three weeks in a row we've raised our level of play,'' defensive tackle Vince Wilfork said.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Tramaine BrockOct 1 08:53p

San Francisco 49ers CB Tramaine Brock (toe) is likely out another week. He was able to start on-field rehab work with the team's strength and conditioning staff. He has [ More ]

Vernon DavisOct 1 08:53p

San Francisco 49ers TE Vernon Davis (back) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 1. He said he is experiencing some back spasms, and is listed a 'day to day.'

Justin SmithOct 1 08:43p

San Francisco 49ers CB Tramaine Brock (toe), OT Anthony Davis (ankle, knee) and DE Justin Smith (non-injury related) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 1. FS Antoine Bethea (ankle), DE [ More ]

Brandon ThompsonOct 1 08:23p

Cincinnati Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict (concussion), DE Robert Geathers (toe), DE Margus Hunt (shoulder), OG Mike Pollak (knee), DT Brandon Thompson (knee) and OG Kevin Zeitler (calf) were unable [ More ]

Andre EllingtonOct 1 08:23p

Arizona Cardinals RB Andre Ellington (foot) has seen improvement with his foot injury, although he is still not at 100 percent. However, he is able to practice more, and [ More ]

Dave ZastudilOct 1 08:23p

Arizona Cardinals OG Paul Fanaika (knee), LB Alex Okafor (thihg), DE Frostee Rucker (calf) and P Dave Zastudil (groin) were each listed as limited participants for practice Wednesday, Oct. [ More ]

Alfonzo DennardOct 1 08:23p

New England Patriots FS Nate Ebner (finger) and OT Cameron Fleming (finger) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Oct. 1. LB Jamie Collins (thigh), CB Alfonzo Dennard (shoulder), LB [ More ]

Kendall JamesOct 1 07:33p

The Houston Texans signed free-agent CBs Charles James (Giants) and Kendall James (Vikings) to their practice squad Wednesday, Oct. 1.

Shiloh KeoOct 1 07:23p

Chicago Bears LB Terrell Manning and WR Rashad Ross, Houston Texans S Shiloh Keo and Jacksonville Jaguars DBs Deion Belue and Winston Guy cleared waivers and became free agents Wednesday, Oct. 1.

Derek CarrOct 1 07:03p

Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr (ankle, knee) said he expects to play against the San Diego Chargers in Week 6 following the team's bye week.

Dashon GoldsonOct 1 06:43p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers DE Larry English (hamstring), SS Dashon Goldson (ankle), DE Michael Johnson (ankle) and TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins (ankle) all did not participate in practice Wednesday, Oct. 1. [ More ]

Carson PalmerOct 1 06:43p

Updating a previous report, Arizona Cardinals QB Carson Palmer (shoulder) isn't being ruled out for Week 5 against the Denver Broncos by head coach Bruce Arians. Arians said Palmer [ More ]

Anthony SpencerOct 1 06:33p

Dallas Cowboys LB Bruce Carter (thigh) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 1. DT Henry Melton (hamstring) and DE Anthony Spencer (knee) were limited, while LB Rolando McClain (groin) practiced in full.

Dez BryantOct 1 06:33p

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant (shoulder) had his first full practice Wednesday, Oct. 1, since injuring his shoulder in Week 2. He has caught nine passes for 133 yards [ More ]

Jonathan GoodwinOct 1 06:23p

New Orleans Saints C Jonathan Goodwin (neck), RB Erik Lorig (ankle) and CB Corey White (foot) all did not participate in practice Wednesday, Oct. 1. OT Terron Armstead (concussion), [ More ]

Joe ThomasOct 1 06:23p

Cleveland Browns WR Marlon Moore (illness) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 1. DE Desmond Bryant (gluteus, wrist) and OT Joe Thomas (non-injury) were limited, while LB Barkevious Mingo (shoulder) [ More ]

Brandon MarshallOct 1 06:13p

Chicago Bears WR Brandon Marshall (ankle) practiced without restrictions Wednesday, Oct. 1, for the first time in a while. 'It was good to get him (Marshall) back out there [ More ]

Roberto GarzaOct 1 06:13p

Chicago Bears LB Lance Briggs (knee), S Ahmad Dixon (hamstring), LB Shea McClellin (hand) and LB D.J. Williams (neck) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 1. DE Jared Allen (illness), [ More ]

Louis VasquezOct 1 06:13p

Denver Broncos S Quinton Carter (knee), TE Virgil Green (concussion), LB Danny Trevathan (knee) and G Louis Vasquez (rib cage) were full participants in practice Wednesday, Oct. 1. LB [ More ]

Terrell SuggsOct 1 05:53p

Baltimore Ravens DE Chris Canty (illness), DT Timmy Jernigan (knee), OT Eugene Monroe (knee) and LB Terrell Suggs (thigh) all did not participate in practice Wednedsay, Oct. 1. CB [ More ]

Tamba HaliOct 1 05:53p

Kansas City Chiefs WR Donnie Avery (groin) and S Eric Berry (ankle) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 1. LB Tamba Hali (knee) and CB Sean Smith (groin) were limited, [ More ]

Ryan MathewsOct 1 05:43p

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (knee) said he's feeling good, but he has no timetable for when he might return. He wants to make sure he's fully healthy [ More ]

Dee MillinerOct 1 05:33p

New York Jets WR David Nelson (ankle) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 1. OG Willie Colon (knee), C Nick Mangold (shoulder), CB Dee Milliner (quadriceps) and SS Calvin Pryor [ More ]

Tavon AustinOct 1 05:33p

St. Louis Rams WR Tavon Austin (knee) was limited in practice Wednesday, Oct. 1.

Shaun HillOct 1 05:33p

St. Louis Rams CB Trumaine Johnson (knee), C Barrett Jones (back) and CB Brandon McGee (foot) all did not participate in practice Wednesday, Oct. 1. QB Shaun Hill (thigh) fully practiced.

Dwight FreeneyOct 1 05:33p

San Diego Chargers LB Jeremiah Attaochu (hamstring), C Richard Ohrnberger (back), LB Manti Te'o (foot), LB Reggie Walker (ankle) and CB Shareece Wright (knee) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. [ More ]

Odell Beckham Jr.Oct 1 05:23p

New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) will be a part of the game plan heading into the team's Week 5 game. Beckham did everything in practice Wednesday, [ More ]

Marvin JonesOct 1 05:03p

Cincinnati Bengals WR Marvin Jones (ankle, foot) is not participating in practice Wednesday, Oct. 1, because of a possible ankle injury. The injury does not appear to be related to his broken foot.

Andre JohnsonOct 1 04:53p

Houston Texans WR Andre Johnson (ankle) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 1.

Julio JonesOct 1 04:53p

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (ankle) was limited in practice Wednesday, Oct. 1.

Roy MillerOct 1 04:53p

Jacksonville Jaguars CB Dwayne Gratz (concussion), WR Marqise Lee (hamstring) and TE Mickey Shuler (illness) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 1. DE Ryan Davis (shoulder), DT Roy Miller (ankle) [ More ]

Brett KeiselOct 1 04:53p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Martavis Bryant (illness), LB James Harrison (illness), DE Brett Keisel (non-injury), SS Mike Mitchell (non-injury), SS Troy Polamalu (non-injury), LB Ryan Shazier (knee) and CB Ike [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group