Player News - Patriots

Date: Team: Pos:

CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora reports Patriots OC Josh McDaniels is bowing out of consideration for the 49ers' head-coaching vacancy.

According to La Canfora, McDaniels is taking his name out of consideration for "personal" reasons, and it's "not a reflection" on the 49ers. It's probably a little bit of both. With New England advancing this deep into the playoffs, the San Francisco job is the only one left open. McDaniels is better off riding it out another year with Tom Brady and Co. and seeing what next offseason brings. Kyle Shanahan and Tom Cable are the other two known candidates linked to the 49ers.
Jan 16 - 11:09 AM

LeGarrette Blount played 27 of the Patriots' 69 offensive snaps in Saturday's Divisional Round win over the Texans.

Dion Lewis led the backfield with 33 offensive snaps. Blount's workload is somewhat deceiving as a handful of his snaps came in the fourth quarter with the game well in hand. Already a non-factor on passing downs, Blount keeps falling further behind Lewis, even losing goal-line work on Saturday. We'd expect Lewis to operate as the lead back once again in next week's AFC Championship Game against Kansas City or Pittsburgh.
Source: ESPN.com
Jan 15 - 12:02 PM

Martellus Bennett (leg) said he'll be fine for next week's AFC Championship Game.

Bennett suffered a leg injury late in Saturday's Divisional Round win over Houston but only missed a handful of snaps. "I've been fighting through [expletive] the whole year. I'm not going to stop now," said Bennett. "I'm getting too close to what my goal is in life." Bennett has been hampered by ankle and shoulder issues throughout the year but has yet to miss a game. He tied for third among tight ends with seven touchdowns during the regular season and will continue to be one of Tom Brady's top weapons inside the red zone.
Source: ESPN.com
Jan 15 - 8:56 AM

Tom Brady completed 18-of-38 passes for 287 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions in the Patriots' Divisional Round win over the Texans.

He took only two sacks, but got hit eight times by a talented Texans pass rush. The Patriots played up-tempo offense and attacked the Texans’ linebackers, safeties, and slot CB Kareem Jackson in pass coverage. Brady hit Dion Lewis and James White for scores, both on route concepts targeting Texans ILB Bernadrick McKinney. Between the twenties, Julian Edelman ate Jackson for lunch. Both of Brady's interceptions came off deflected passes in a fairly ugly performance despite the lopsided score (34-16). If the Patriots are going back to the Super Bowl this season, their AFC Championship Game performance will need to be quite a bit better.
Jan 15 - 12:22 AM

James White caught his lone target for a 19-yard touchdown in the Patriots' Divisional Round win over the Texans.

Working as the Patriots’ clear No. 3 back in this game, White logged only three first-half snaps and zero touches behind Dion Lewis and LeGarrette Blount. White’s only touch occurred on a third-quarter wheel route, beating Texans ILB Bernardrick McKinney for a 19-yard score. The odd man out in New England's backfield, White now looks to be buried behind Lewis (15 touches) and Blount (8).
Jan 15 - 12:17 AM

Martellus Bennett caught 1-of-4 targets for four yards in the Patriots' Divisional Round win over the Texans.

Bennett suffered a knee injury in the fourth quarter, but jogged off and eventually came back in. Bennett just looks slow on the field at this stage of the season and hasn’t given the Patriots much in the passing game lately beyond a few red-zone scores. Bennett appeared to beat Texans ILB Bernardrick McKinney for a deep third-quarter reception, but the pass bounced out of Bennett’s hands on the way down. He should see two to five targets in the AFC Championship Game.
Jan 15 - 12:15 AM

Danny Amendola missed his two targets and rushed once for 15 yards in the Patriots' Divisional Round win over the Texans.

Amendola played only in four-receiver sets and wasn’t visible on special teams as Dion Lewis returned kickoffs and Julian Edelman continued to handle punts. Amendola’s highlight play was a fourth-quarter double reverse that gained 15. Amendola will remain game-day insurance behind the Patriots' featured receivers in the Conference Championship round.
Jan 14 - 11:56 PM

Michael Floyd caught 1-of-3 targets for nine yards in the Patriots' Divisional Round win over the Texans.

Floyd started in three-receiver sets with Malcolm Mitchell (knee) inactive, but we wouldn't be surprised to see Mitchell back in there next week. Floyd's first target bounced off his hands and to Texans CB A.J. Bouye, while a third-quarter Floyd drop nearly got Tom Brady intercepted again. Floyd was also flagged for offensive pass interference midway through the third quarter. Albeit long on talent, Floyd is nothing if not inconsistent.
Jan 14 - 11:53 PM

Julian Edelman caught 8-of-13 targets for 137 yards in the Patriots' Divisional Round win over the Texans.

Edelman was sitting on one catch for six yards deep into the first half before improvising downfield with Tom Brady and adjusting for a 48-yard bomb, beating Texans CB Kareem Jackson. Edelman got white hot in the third quarter, torching Jackson incessantly in the short, intermediate, and deep passing games. As the Patriots' running game struggled against a stout Texans run defense, Edelman was leaned on to move the chains. He can expect another double-digit-target workload in the Conference Championship Round.
Jan 14 - 11:46 PM

LeGarrette Blount managed 31 yards on eight carries in the Patriots' Divisional Round win over the Texans.

After Blount missed two practices this week due to an illness, Dion Lewis got the start and stole the show with three touchdowns, operating as the Patriots' feature back on 15 touches to Blount's eight. Blount got a goal-line carry late in the first half, but he was stuffed and forced the Pats to settle for a field goal. Blount’s best run came in fourth-quarter clock-killing mode, stumbling into an 18-yard gain. Lewis looks poised to operate as the Patriots' lead back in the AFC Championship Game.
Jan 14 - 11:40 PM

Dion Lewis rushed 13 times for 41 yards and a touchdown, caught 2-of-7 targets for 23 yards and a touchdown, and returned a kickoff 98 yards for a third score as the Patriots downed the Texans 34-16 in Saturday's Divisional Round game.

The focal point of New England’s game plan, Lewis logged feature back usage while LeGarrette Blount was mostly limited to clock-killing work. Lewis capped the Patriots’ second drive with a 13-yard touchdown catch, easily beating Texans ILB Bernardrick McKinney in coverage. Lewis house called a 98-yard kick return on New England’s very next possession, and scored on a fourth-quarter goal-line carry, staying in over Blount because the Pats were in a hurry-up look. Lewis did fumble twice, once on a kick return that resulted in a Texans touchdown and again in the fourth quarter, though it was luckily recovered by the Pats. Still, this was the kind of dynamic performance we’ve long awaited from all-purpose playmaker Lewis. Expect Lewis to remain New England’s feature back in the AFC Championship Game.
Jan 14 - 11:27 PM

Chris Hogan left Saturday night's Divisional Round game with a thigh injury.

He went to the locker room and was called questionable to return. Before exiting, Hogan lit up the Texans' secondary for 95 yards on four targets, whipping Texans S Corey Moore incessantly downfield.
Jan 14 - 10:29 PM

Malcolm Mitchell (knee) is inactive for the Divisional Round against the Texans.

With Mitchell scratched, it will be Michael Floyd's time to shine against the Texans. Floyd is an excellent low-dollar dart throw in DFS leagues. Also inactive for the Patriots are CB Cyrus Jones, CB Justin Coleman, RB D.J. Foster, QB Jacoby Brissett, OT LaAdrian Waddle and S Jordan Richards.
Jan 14 - 6:51 PM

Ben Volin of the Boston Globe "would count on" Dion Lewis leading the Patriots' backfield Saturday against the Texans.

The tweet was in response to another by MassLive's Kevin Duffy, who noted Lewis has just one fewer touch than LeGarrette Blount in the last three games. With the Patriots entering as big favorites, Saturday's game sets up for Blount to see a ton of touches in the second half, but it would not be surprising in the least if Lewis plays a key role in establishing a big lead early. Lewis is a great DFS value this week, especially at full-PPR sites.

RotoGrinders.com Daily Slant: There’s been plenty of speculation that New England’s plan has been to save Lewis for the playoffs. They’ve increased his touch count from 7.8 per game in his first four to 16.7 over the final three. He’s already cut into Blount’s carries and may finally take over receiving work from James White. He’s had nine red zone touches in the past two games and has a legitimate shot to score today.
Jan 14 - 1:02 PM

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports Malcolm Mitchell (knee) will not play in Saturday's Divisional Round game against the Texans.

Despite being listed as questionable, Mitchell has been trending toward inactive the last couple days. With Danny Amendola back healthy and Michael Floyd emerging, the Patriots do not need to push Mitchell to get back on the field. Projecting targets for anyone not named Julian Edelman is difficult, but someone in the Patriots' pass-catching corps is likely to have a big day against Houston.
Jan 14 - 9:13 AM


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