Patriots

Curran: 40 lines on 20 issues

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Curran: 40 lines on 20 issues

Twenty thoughts in 40 lines . . .

Last season, Brandon Tate was targeted 46 times and caught 24 passes for 432 yards and three touchdowns. In the Patriots' first 10 games last year, he was targeted 33 times and caught 18 passes for 301 yards and a touchdown.

Bonus! He also had 29 kickoff returns in the first 10 games, averaging 30.5 yards per return and taking two back for touchdowns.

The player that replaced Tate in the Patriots offense has been targeted 23 times and has 11 receptions for 201 yards. He hasnt scored a touchdown, he hasnt taken back a kick.

So that player Chad Ochocinco has 47 less touches for 987 fewer yards and three fewer touchdowns than Tate did. Of course, hes making about 5.5 million more than Tate, so it all makes sense.

Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson has a bruised foot suffered Sunday in the Eagles win over the Giants. Anything that helps slow down the player recently voted the second-fastest in the league in a SI poll of players is good news for the Patriots.

Ray Lewis felt badly about not being available to speak to the media on Tuesday so he released a statement, saying, I apologize for not being available as I normally am on a day like today, but I am taking every opportunity to get treatment on my foot to prepare to play on Thursday. What a weirdo, right?

For Monday nights live (LIVE!) Quick Slants show, one of the prop bets was which would be higher, the game-time temperature or the total points scored. The points scored came out on top, 37 to 33.

Why do cigarettes get a special litter dispensation? If you saw someone throw a straw wrapper on the ground or out a car window youd say, What the hell . . . but butts get a relative free ride.

Matt Lights ankle is going to be sore for a few weeks. But there is no danger of it being a long-term injury.

Kyle Loves Twitter avatar tells the story that Ryan Lilja may not be able to recall. The blossoming Patriots defensive tackle de-cleated Lilja on one of Kyle Arringtons picks.

Later, Love told me, It actually hurt. He's heavy, I actually hurt my back a little bit. I caught a glimpse of it on the Jumbotron. They're trying to hit us too. That's how football works.

Clearly, the crime-and-punishment portion of the NFL game is pretty screwed up right now. Whether on simple penalties a flag last week for Sterling Moore when he dislocated a teammates shoulder; fines handed out to players whose helmet-to-helmet contact is wholly incidental or initiated by the offensive players or shame-the-game infractions like 75,000 to Rex Ryan this week.

The whole thing needs an overhaul . . . and when that happens, how about fines by percentage? A first-offense dangerous hit fine should be .05 percent of a players cap number for that season.

So if Brandon Deaderick and his 468,000 cap hit get dinged for a blow to a quarterbacks head, hes out 2,340. And Shaun Ellis? Hes out 20,000 for the same hit thanks to his 4 million cap number.

So it needs some tweaking. At least its a thought.

Monday was the first time Jerod Mayo looked like the pre-MCL Jerod Mayo. Hats off to him and Aaron Hernandez for hustling back from those injuries, but its hard to maintain that level of play when youre playing three weeks after a six-week injury is sustained.

Well see what happens with Brandon Spikes in that regard. If he sits out through the Colts game, that would be four full weeks off.

The Eagles defense, considering the way they played against the Giants? Kind of a tough draw for the Patriots this week.

I dont know how much more talented physically the current Patriots secondary guys are compared to the ones whove been ushered out this year. But they sure seem a lot smarter.

My oldest kid broke every toe on his right foot skateboarding Tuesday night and I spent thenight in the ER and got home a bit late to properly finish this out. So,begging your pardon,I prematurely put a bow on this little number and wish you all a happy Thanksgiving.

Patriots cut ties with Cassius Marsh, sign Eric Lee to help front-seven

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Patriots cut ties with Cassius Marsh, sign Eric Lee to help front-seven

Cassius Marsh was brought to New England to help a depleted defensive end group and play in the kicking game. The Patriots wanted him badly enough that they parted with two draft picks -- a fifth and a seventh -- to acquire him in a trade with the Seahawks just before the start of the season. 

Less than three months later, they've decided to part ways with the 6-foot-4, 245-pounder. 

Marsh played in nine games for the Patriots this season, providing the team with an edge defender and someone with special-teams experience. He blocked a kick in Week 7 against the Falcons that earned him an enthusiastic attaboy from coach Bill Belichick. 

Coming off the edge, Marsh recorded one sack and 13 hurries. Against the run, he was used more sparingly, and he was one of the Patriots on the scene for Marshawn Lynch's 25-yard run in the second quarter on Sunday. He played in just two snaps in Mexico City after missing the previous week's game in Denver due to a shoulder injury. 

Without Marsh the Patriots remain thin at defensive end. In order to help bolster that spot, the corresponding move the Patriots made to fill the open spot on their 53-man roster was to sign defensive lineman Eric Lee off of the Bills practice squad. 

Lee entered the league with the Texans last season as an undrafted rookie out of South Florida. Listed at 6-foot-3, 260 pounds, Lee has bounced on and off of the Bills practice squad this season since being released by the Texans before this season.

The Patriots got a good look at Lee during joint practices last summer with the Texans at The Greenbrier in West Virginia. In the preseason game with the Texans that week, Lee played 40 snaps and according to Pro Football Focus he had two quarterback hurries. The Patriots have a history of snagging players they've practiced against, and with Lee, that trend continues

Belichick takes some heat for 'earthquake' comment

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Belichick takes some heat for 'earthquake' comment

Bill Belichick sounded less than enthused about traveling to Mexico to play a game. And his line about being "fortunate there was no volcano eruptions, earthquakes or anything else while we were down there," didn't exactly sit well with some folks south of the border.

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“Personally, I wouldn’t be in any big rush to do it again,” Belichick said on his weekly appearance on WEEI's "Dale and Holley with Keefe" show Monday. “Players did a great job dealing with all the challenges that we had to deal with. I think we’re fortunate there was no volcano eruptions, earthquakes or anything else while we were down there. I mean you have two NFL franchises in an area that I don’t know how stable the geological plates that were below us [were], but nothing happened so that was good.”

Pancho Vera of ESPN Mexico took exception to Belichick's comment on Twitter, which, translated, called out the "ignorance of the genius of the NFL." More than 200 people were killed after a quake centered near Mexico City struck in September. 

Other Twitter users said, using Belichick's reasoning, they wondered if they'd be fortunate not to be killed or wounded in a mass shooting if they were to travel to the US:

Translated, the tweets read "I also have luck in Las Vegas I was not in a shooting" and "But you are right, I apply the same when I go to the U.S. and say I was fortunate I was not in some crazy shootout."