Hoyer passes with flying colors against Dolphins


Hoyer passes with flying colors against Dolphins

By Danny Picard

FOXBORO -- Brian Hoyer didn't see his first career NFL touchdown pass. He was too busy getting slammed into the ground by Dolphins lineman Paul Soliai.

With the Pats leading 31-0, Hoyer took the team to the line of scrimmage with the ball at the Miami 42. He faked an end around hand-off to Julian Edelman,stepped back in the pocket, looked deep, and let it fly to Brandon Tate. Tate made an athletic, diving grab in the left side of the end zone.

But allHoyer witnessed was the official's call.

"I saw the ref put his hands up, that's what I saw because I got hit," said Hoyer after New England's 38-7 win over the Miami Dolphins. "I saw him put his hands up, so I was just so elated, I just sprinted down.

"That was a play that Brandon and I talked about before, and we just kind of had a good feeling about it, going into the game. He made a tremendous catch. You watch the replay afterwards, and he really went out and got it and made a great catch."

"That was real good, for Hoyer's first one," said Tate. "So we just went out there and I told him, 'If you've got a chance, just throw it up there to me.' So he trusted me, and he threw it up there for me and made the big play."

Hoyer said that he and Tate both have chemistry with that specific play, because they've run it many times before. But they ran it at practice, which is where Hoyer sees most of his playing time.

But with everything clinched that could possibly be clinched, and a 31-0 lead midway through the third quarter, Hoyer got the call to finish it out, and did so with a 7-of-13 performance for 122 yards and a touchdown.

Much of the talk heading into the game was about how much playing time Tom Brady would see. And it looked as if Brady was done in the second quarter, as Patriots coach Bill Belichick decided to put Hoyer into the game during the middle of a drive.

But Brady soon came back in, and as it turned out, Belichick was just testing Hoyer.

"Well, that could easily happen in a game, when a quarterback comes out, and the other quarterback has to go in," said Belichick. "That's what he did."

"It was just a thing where I was just standing there, and Bill Belichick was like, 'All right, go in.' And it was just kind of a spur-of-the-moment thing," said Hoyer. "He just said, 'You've got to be ready. You never know when you might have to just be thrown in there for a couple plays.'

"You don't play all year, and to get in there, it's just fun," said Hoyer. "You get in there and start making plays. I hit that quick slant to Taylor Price, and after that, I felt the comfort level come back a little bit. It's just fun to go out there and actually play."

Danny Picard is on Twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard. You can listen to Danny on his streaming radio show I'm Just Sayin' Monday-Friday from 9-10 a.m. on

Raiders' Marshawn Lynch suspended game for shoving official


Raiders' Marshawn Lynch suspended game for shoving official

NEW YORK - Oakland running back Marshawn Lynch was suspended for one game without pay by the NFL on Friday for shoving a game official during the Raiders' victory over Kansas City on Thursday night.

Lynch was ejected from the game after he shoved line judge Julian Mapp.

The scuffle started when Oakland quarterback Derek Carr was hit late on a run by Kansas City's Marcus Peters midway through the second quarter. Raiders offensive linemen Kelechi Osemele and Donald Penn immediately confronted Peters, and Lynch sprinted onto the field from the bench to join the fray. Mapp tried to break up the fight, but Lynch pushed him and grabbed his jersey. Lynch also got a personal foul.

NFL vice president of football operations Jon Runyan wrote a letter to Lynch, saying:

"You made deliberate physical contact with one of our game officials as he was diffusing an active confrontation between players. You were disqualified for your inappropriate and unsportsmanlike actions. Your conduct included pushing the game official and grabbing his jersey. ... You were not directly involved in the active confrontation that the game official was attempting to diffuse, nor were you a participant in the play that initiated the confrontation. You were the only player from either team who ran from the sideline to midfield to insert himself into a situation in which he was not directly involved."

Lynch will be eligible to return to Oakland's active roster on Oct. 30, the day after the Raiders' game against the Buffalo Bills.

Lynch finished the game with two carries for 9 yards.

The Raiders rallied to win 31-30 on a touchdown pass by Carr on the final play, and Lynch was in the locker room after the game congratulating his teammates.

Lynch came out of retirement this season and was traded from Seattle to the Raiders. Lynch said he wanted to make a comeback so he could give something back to his hometown of Oakland before the Raiders move to Las Vegas in 2020.

Lynch has rushed for 266 yards and two touchdowns in seven games.