Thu Nov 14 11:35am ET
By ROB MAADDI
AP Pro Football Writer
In this Feb. 4, 2018, file photo, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady sits on the field after fumbling against the Philadelphia Eagles during the second half of the NFL Super Bowl 52 football game, in Minneapolis. The Eagles upset the Patriots 41-33. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)
PHILADELPHIA (AP) Losing to the Philadelphia Eagles in the Super Bowl two years ago still bugs Tom Brady, even though the New England Patriots rebounded to win their sixth title last season.
''That's a lot of mental scar tissue from that year,'' Brady said in his weekly radio appearance on WEEI in Boston. ''That was a tough game. In a lot of ways, we learned from that year and we came back stronger the next year. We won the Super Bowl in '18. I think everything is a matter of perspective and when you play in that game and you play great teams, you're not going to win them all.
''This is not the Harlem Globetrotters vs. the Washington Generals. This is all about tough competition against the best teams. They deserved it that year, and now a couple years later we get a chance to play the organization again. We've had a lot changes, they've had a lot of changes. It's totally different circumstances. Huge game for us. Big game for them. The better team is going to win.''
The Eagles (5-4) meet the Patriots (8-1) on Sunday for the first time since backup quarterback Nick Foles led Philadelphia to a 41-33 victory on Feb. 4, 2018, to capture the franchise's first championship since 1960.
Foles is in Jacksonville now, so the Patriots will get their first chance to see Carson Wentz. He was recovering from knee surgery and watched Foles' MVP performance against New England from the sideline.
''He can do it all - good arm, athletic, can extend plays, tough kid, can run if he needs to, can make all the throws, get the ball down the field, gets the ball to all his receivers, uses the backs, tight ends and receivers based on who is open, his route progression,'' Patriots coach Bill Belichick said. ''He's good at reading defenses. They give him a lot of responsibility at the line of scrimmage to change plays or adjust plays. There's some checking going on there and so forth. So, looks like he's pretty good at everything, a pretty accomplished guy.''
The Eagles have won two in a row after consecutive lopsided losses and are tied with Dallas for first place in the NFC East. The Patriots are coming off their first loss, 37-20 in Baltimore.
Both teams had a bye so they're well-rested and some of the players who've been out are getting healthier.
With rankings at or near the top of the NFL in several defensive categories, the Patriots have drawn comparisons to the 2000 Ravens' defense.
That Baltimore unit, led by future Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Lewis, held opponents to a single-season record-low 10.3 points per game. The Ravens went on to win the Super Bowl over the Giants that season.
The Patriots have allowed only 10.9 points per game through nine games, while allowing the fewest yards per game (249.3). They're first in interceptions (19), second in passing yards allowed (150.2) and fourth in sacks (32).
Eagles coach Doug Pederson started at quarterback for the Browns the second time they faced the Ravens that season and suffered cracked ribs in a 44-7 loss. He said he sees parallels between the two defenses.
''I think the biggest thing that jumps out to you right now, the glaring thing, is the turnover ratio,'' Pederson said. ''The fact that they've got six defensive scores this season, the interceptions, the fumbles they're causing - it's a brand of defense where they just smother you. They just corral you. They're OK with giving you 2, 3, 4 yards, but they're right on top of you.''
Patriots rookie receiver N'Keal Harry is again available to make his NFL debut after being activated off injured reserve before the loss to Baltimore.
Harry, who was sidelined with a preseason ankle injury, has been practicing without restriction since being activated.
The 32nd overall pick in the draft became the first receiver selected by the Patriots in the first round since they chose Terry Glenn seventh overall in 1996. Harry is the first receiver taken in the first round under Belichick.
''We'll activate the players that we feel give us the best chance to compete against the Eagles,'' Belichick said about whether Harry will play.
The Patriots have allowed at least 135 yards rushing in four of their last six games, including 210 to the Ravens. Their vaunted defense has one flaw, susceptibility against the run. The Eagles' biggest strength is running the ball. Jordan Howard and Miles Sanders have combined for 861 yards rushing and seven touchdowns.
Throwing the ball against New England is a tough task. The defense has allowed just three touchdown passes while making 19 interceptions. Wentz has only thrown four picks this season, but the Patriots have had four in a game three times already.
Nine-time Pro Bowl left tackle Jason Peters could return for the Eagles after missing time with a knee injury. Rookie first-round pick Andre Dillard played well in Peters' absence.
Free-agent defensive end Jadeveon Clowney is considering short-term deals after he's encountered a very cold market in free agency. Clowney has already dropped his asking price from $20 million per season, and now it looks like he's willing to accept a one- or two-year deal to re-establish his value as a pass-rusher. The Browns have shown interest in Clowney, and some around the league believe Cleveland got closer to signing him than any other team, but there remains nothing imminent. The 27-year-old is a nuisance in both the pass and run game when healthy, but he has a long injury history and has never had a double-digit sack season, which is why teams aren't giving into his demands this offseason. Plus, with the absence of physicals during the coronavirus pandemic, interested clubs aren't able to give Clowney a physical with their doctors.
Free-agent quarterback Cam Newton is willing to wait to pick a team, possibly until after the draft, in order to make sure the fit is right, according to a source close to him. There just aren't many teams looking for a starting quarterback right now, but things should become more clear after the draft. The Chargers and Patriots seem to be the best fits, but neither club has shown much, if any, interest in the former MVP. Part of the problem is that Newton has dealt with shoulder and foot injuries the last two days and teams are unable to conduct their own physicals with players. It's making things tougher on Newton on the open market. The dual-threat QB's stock is obviously down coming off injury and without a team, but he could bounce back in the right situation. Stay tuned.
New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman won't face prosecution after he was cited for misdemeanor vandalism in January, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office. Edelman was arrested on Jan. 11 in Beverly Hills after jumping on the hood of a vehicle and causing damage. The owner has been fully compensated for the repair costs and has dropped any charges. The veteran wideout led the Patriots with 100 catches for 1,117 yards and six touchdowns in 2019, but his fantasy stock will go down with quarterback Tom Brady leaving in free agency. Edelman can still be useful in PPR leagues, but the consistency should suffer with either Jarrett Stidham or another QB throwing him the football next season.
New York Giants kicker Aldrick Rosas signed his restricted free-agent contract on Thursday after the Giants previously made a second-round qualifying offer on March 16. The 2018 Pro Bowler has made 62 of 75 field-goal attempts (82.7 percent) and is 86-for-94 on extra points in 48 regular season games for the Giants. He made 32 of his 33 kicks in 2018, which was the fifth highest total in team history, and his 97 field-goal percentage was a Giants record. However, he attempted only 17 field goals in 2019 and made 12 of them, while making 35 of his 39 extra points. Until New York's offense proves worthy under second-year quarterback Daniel Jones, Rosas should be avoided in most fantasy leagues.
Buffalo Bills running back Devin Singletary is at the top of the depth chart with Frank Gore gone, and general manager Brandon Beane thinks that Singletary can be the team's workhorse in the backfield if needed. Singletary averaged over 5.0 yards per carry last year but didn't become the lead running back until the second half of the season in his rookie year. Beane thinks that Singletary's hamstring injury early last year cost him a chance at 1,000 yards rushing. I think Devin can do either or. Hes an unselfish player, Beane said. If we want him to be the workload guy, I think he could definitely do it. I think Year Two is going to be better for him. T.J. Yeldon currently is the No. 2 behind Singletary, but the Bills could easily add a running back at some point in the draft to share the load with Singletary.
Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay is excited about the possibilities for tight end Gerald Everett in 2020, and the team wants to get him more involved in the offense. Everett started the year hot but got hurt in Week 11, which allowed Tyler Higbee to go off in the final five games of the season to finish with 69 catches for 734 yards and three touchdowns. It was the best season for a Rams tight end. "Really, really excited about what Gerald Everetts going to do," McVay said. "I think Tyler Higbee did a phenomenal job, but I think Gerald Everetts a guy that Ive got to do a better job of utilizing his skill set because hes a difference-maker." The former second-round pick has plenty of talent, but it remains to be seen if he can break out with Higbee also involved. Higbee will be the preferred fantasy target as a low-end TE1, but Everett is still worth a late-round selection as an intriguing TE2 with upside for more.
The Detroit Lions, who have the No. 3 overall pick in this month's draft, have had discussions with teams about potentially moving back from their slot, according to sources. Teams wanting to move up to third overall have been receptive, and they'd likely be moving up to select a quarterback. If the Lions don't move back, they're expected to address the defense with the third overall pick, but a package of picks to move back might be too tempting to pass on, depending what other teams are offering them. Now that Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa looks to be recovered from his hip injury, interested teams might want to move up to No. 3 overall to select him.
South Carolina wide receiver Bryan Edwards (foot), who fractured the fifth metatarsal before the NFL Combine, had his walking boot removed and is moving around well, according to sources. Teams were sent updated images and scans of Edwards, who is expected to come off the board on Day 2 of the draft as the Gamecocks all-time leader in catches. The 6-foot-3, 215-pounder had 234 receptions for 3,045 yards (13.0 yards per catch) and 22 touchdowns in his four seasons at South Carolina. It doesn't look like his draft stock will be negatively affected now that he's getting back to full health in what is a loaded draft class for wide receivers.
The Kansas City Chiefs agreed to an undisclosed one-year deal with running back DeAndre Washington on Wednesday, according to a source. Washington was drafted in the fifth round by the Raiders back in 2016 and has rushed the ball 282 times for 1,122 yards (4.0 yards per carry) and seven touchdowns in his four years in the NFL. He's also added 88 catches on 110 targets for 613 yards and another score in 55 career games (five starts). The 27-year-old had 108 rushing attempts for 387 yards and three touchdowns in 16 games last year (three starts). He'll provide depth for the Chiefs backfield behind Damien Williams while also competing for touches with Darwin Thompson and Darrel Williams. He finds himself in an even more crowded backfield, meaning that it's unlikely Washington will yield any fantasy help.
Los Angeles Rams TE Gerald Everett is a player that head coach Sean McVay said he has to do a better job of utilizing. 'Really, really excited about what Everett's going to do,' McVay said. 'I think Tyler Higbee did a phenomenal job, but I think Everett's a guy that I've got to do a better job of utilizing his skill set because he's a difference-maker. But he's got to get the opportunities and I think that starts with some of the things I know I can do a better job of.'
Fantasy Spin: Everett was a TE1 for a big chunk of the season last year before a knee injury did him in. That allowed Tyler Higbee to break out in a monstrous way. Everett will be victim to a numbers game often, but he'll still be a TE2 or a bye-week filler in 2020.
Arizona Cardinals RBs Kenyan Drake and Chase Edmonds have head coach Kliff Kingsbury 'really excited' about the first two spots on the depth chart, but Kingsbury told a group of reporters in a videoconference on Tuesday, April 7, that he'd like to have three running backs 'that we feel like we could roll through and not lose much.'
Fantasy Spin: While this could be an indication Kingsbury wants to use a three-man committee, it's more than likely a realization that he wants to be deep at a position that was ravaged by injuries in 2019. Drake did more than enough after arriving via trade at midseason to warrant at least 15 touches per week and should be considered a low-end RB1 for fantasy purposes. Edmonds also performed well before getting hurt and should be considered Drake's high-upside handcuff.
Free-agent CB Dre Kirkpatrick (Bengals) has received some interest from the Minnesota Vikings.
Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury said that the team would like to have three running backs sharing the load in 2020. "D.J. was banged up last year," Kingsbury said. "We think he has a good skill set. But that's an area that we'd like to have three. You saw we got to (using) a third (running back in 2019). We'd like to have three that we feel like we could roll through and not lose much." Kenyan Drake, who signed his transition tender, will see the majority of touches, but Chase Edmonds and D.J. Foster will also get some work. Drake was one of the best running backs in the league after his trade over from the Dolphins, and he'll be a coveted RB1 in fantasy circles with Arizona's offense looking more explosive with the addition of receiver DeAndre Hopkins. Edmonds will merely be a handcuff for those that take Drake early in drafts.
Cincinnati Bengals franchise free-agent WR A.J. Green (ankle) has completely recovered from his ankle injury and is working out in Atlanta, according to head coach Zac Taylor.
Fantasy Spin: Green has only played nine games over the last two seasons, but he appears to be on track for the 2020 season. He is a risky option because of his injury history but can be a weekly starting option in all leagues if he is healthy.
Free-agent RB DeAndre Washington (Raiders) agreed to terms on one-year contract with the Kansas City Chiefs Wednesday, April 8, according to a source. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Updating a previous report, free-agent DE Jack Crawford (Falcons) officially signed with the Tennessee Titans Wednesday, April 8. Official terms of the contract were not disclosed.
Updating a previous report, free-agent WR Demarcus Robinson (Chiefs) officially re-signed with the Kansas City Chiefs Wednesday, April 8. Official terms of the contract were not disclosed.
Updating a previous report, free-agent DT Al Woods (Seahawks) officially signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars Wednesday, April 8. Official terms of the contract were not disclosed.
New York Giants restricted free-agent PK Aldrick Rosas signed his one-year tender offer Wednesday, April 8. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Updating a previous report, free-agent CB Darryl Roberts (Jets) officially signed with the Detroit Lions Wednesday, April 8. Official terms of the contract were not disclosed.