2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Patriots back from bye, ready for prime-time games

By JIMMY GOLEN - AP Sports Writer
    2013-11-11 17:46

They beat E.J. Manuel and split with Geno Smith. They blew out Ben Roethlisberger in their last game.

Now the New England Patriots will try to stop Cam Newton and the Panthers, who bring a five-game winning streak into Monday night's game in Carolina.

''He's playing very efficiently. He does a good job,'' Patriots coach Bill Belichick said in a conference call Monday. ''He's obviously a threat with the ball in his hands to run. He can make all the throws. He can put the ball on the sideline. He's got a lot of zip on the ball down the field and he's a good outside thrower, good deep ball thrower. Whether it's designed runs or scramble runs or loose-type plays, he's been effective on all those.''

The Patriots (7-2) have faced mobile quarterbacks before this season, beating Manuel and the Bills in Week 1, and Smith's Jets a week later. (The Jets beat New England in the rematch.) Before heading into a bye, New England earned a 55-31 victory over the Steelers and Roethlisberger, who is big and tough to bring down like Newton, but not as mobile.

''I think that a lot of the plays that Carolina runs we've seen from Buffalo and the Jets,'' Belichick said. ''The fact that we have seen some of those plays, we've worked on the basic blocking schemes and how to fit on them, where everybody needs to be. But it's always a little bit different from week to week, depending on the personnel. There will be some little differences, but there are definitely some similarities between the players that you mentioned and their overall scheme.''

The Patriots have never faced Newton, having played the Panthers (6-3) just twice since beating them 32-29 in the 2004 Super Bowl. The teams split their regular-season meetings since then, with each team winning at home. But while New England remains under the same management, with Belichick as coach and Tom Brady at quarterback, the Panthers now have Ron Rivera as coach and Newton at quarterback.

After earning Offensive Rookie of the Year honors in 2011, Newton came on late in his second season after early struggles. He led the Panthers to victories in their last four games. They started 1-3 this year, but the Panthers have since won five in a row.

Newton has thrown for seven touchdowns with three interceptions over that span, and he has also run for three TDs.

''They've been playing from ahead a lot this year,'' Belichick said. ''For a quarterback, managing the game, getting the win for the team, doing the right thing in the right situation is a lot more important than individual stats. I think he's done a good job of that for his team, making good decisions, doing things that help the team win. He's avoided mistakes that put the team in difficult situations.''

In all, Newton has completed 62.7 percent of his passes for 1,970 yards, 13 touchdowns and eight interceptions this season.

''He can control the game, run the game from a standpoint of moving the ball in critical situations, converting third downs, converting in the red area,'' Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia said in a conference call. ''I think he's done a great job of obviously just presenting a threat from both a pass game and a run game standpoint, but also being able to allow the offense to work, and allow the other players on the field to make plays.''

The Patriots return from their bye week with back-to-back night games, with Monday night's game at Carolina followed by a Sunday night matchup with the Denver Broncos in Foxborough.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Julius ThomasNov 27 07:52p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle) was limited during practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Anthony DavisNov 27 07:23p

The San Francisco 49ers have declared OT Anthony Davis, WR Bruce Ellington, DL Glenn Dorsey, QB Josh X. Johnson, WR Quinton Patton, CB Tramaine Brock, TE Vance McDonald inactive for Week 13.

Arian FosterNov 27 07:12p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) was limited during practice Wednesday, Nov. 27.

Allen BradfordNov 27 07:12p

The Seattle Seahawks have declared LB Allen Bradford, TE Cooper Helfet, CB Jeremy Lane, LB Kevin Pierre-Louis, C Max Unger, TE Rashaun Allen, DL Travian Robertson inactive for Week 13.

Jordan CameronNov 27 06:32p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) was limited during practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Latavius MurrayNov 27 04:52p

Oakland Raiders RB Latavius Murray (concussion) was limited during practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Larry FitzgeraldNov 27 04:02p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) did not participate in practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Tony HillsNov 27 03:22p

The Dallas Cowboys have declared LB Dekoda Watson, OG Donald Hawkins, QB Dustin Vaughan, FS Jeff Heath, DL Joshua Brent, OT Tony Hills, CB Tyler Patmon inactive for Week 13.

Taylor HartNov 27 03:12p

The Philadelphia Eagles have declared OT Dennis Kelly, DB Jaylen Watkins, WR Jeff Maehl, OG Julian Vandervelde, QB Nick Foles, CB Rashad Carmichael, DE Taylor Hart inactive for Week 13.

Jordan ReedNov 27 03:02p

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (hamstring) was limited in practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Dwayne AllenNov 27 02:32p

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (ankle) did not participate in practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Kyle FullerNov 27 11:32a

Chicago Bears CB Kyle Fuller (knee) will play in the team's Week 13 game against the Detroit Lions. Fuller had been questionable during the week.

Lance BriggsNov 27 11:22a

The Chicago Bears have declared WR Chris X. Williams, LB Darryl Sharpton, OT Eben Britton, DL Jeremiah Ratliff, LB Lance Briggs, CB Terrance Mitchell, DL Trevor Scott inactive for Week Week 13.

Reggie BushNov 27 11:12a

The Detroit Lions have declared QB Kellen Moore, OG Larry Warford, DE Larry Webster, DL Nick Fairley, RB Reggie Bush, OT Riley Reiff, WR Ryan Broyles inactive for Week 13.

Reggie BushNov 27 11:12a

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) is inactive Thursday, Nov. 27, for Week 13.

Reggie BushNov 27 10:12a

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) is out for Week 13 Thursday, Nov. 27. His ankle isn't responding well enough, but the hope is to return for Week 14.

R. Griffin IIINov 27 09:53a

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III is highly unlikely to return to the team next season, sources within the organization said. Head coach Jay Gruden convinced owner Daniel Snyder [ More ]

Jimmy StatenNov 26 09:43p

The Seattle Seahawks signed free-agent DT Jimmy Staten (Seahawks) to their practice squad Wednesday, Nov. 26. The team also released OT Andrew McDonald from their practice squad.

Marcus ThigpenNov 26 09:03p

The Buffalo Bills claimed WR Marcus Thigpen off waivers from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Wednesday, Nov. 26. The team also waived DE Bryan Johnson.

Richard GordonNov 26 09:03p

The Tennessee Titans waived TE Richard Gordon Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Larry FitzgeraldNov 26 08:33p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Dwayne AllenNov 26 07:33p

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (ankle) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

C. PattersonNov 26 06:23p

Minnesota Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson (knee) did not practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Jerick McKinnonNov 26 06:13p

Minnesota Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon (back) did not practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Brandon LaFellNov 26 06:03p

New England Patriots WR Brandon LaFell (shoulder) was limited during practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Jace AmaroNov 26 05:13p

New York Jets TE Jace Amaro (head) is not expected to play in Week 13, because he is going through the concussion protocol.

Reggie BushNov 26 04:53p

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle, back) was limited in practice for the third straight day Wednesday, Nov. 26, and is questionable for Week 13 against the Chicago Bears.

Jordan CameronNov 26 04:43p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) remains day-to-day, but the team is looking for him to practice symptom-free this week, according to head coach Mike Pettine.

Jordan ReedNov 26 04:13p

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (hamstring) was limited in practice Wednesday, Nov. 26, according to head coach Jay Gruden.

R. Griffin IIINov 26 02:53p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III needs more seasoning, and he'll likely do it from the bench for the rest of this season, according to head coach Jay Gruden. [ More ]

Arian FosterNov 26 02:33p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) has an excellent chance to return in Week 13 against the Tennessee Titans after missing the last two games.

Mark SanchezNov 26 02:23p

Philadelphia Eagles QB Mark Sanchez has thrown six interceptions this year, but all of them haven't been game-changing turnovers. In Week 12 against the Tennessee Titans, Sanchez thrived on [ More ]

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