Patriots

Jets, Pats will do what they do . . . unless they don't

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Jets, Pats will do what they do . . . unless they don't

By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com

FOXBORO - On Monday, Rex Ryan flogged himself for making his game plan too complex in the Week 13 meeting with the Patriots.

Offensively, the Jets tried to up the tempo and go no-huddle. Defensively . . . not sure what they were trying to do. Hence, the 45-3 loss.

But such is the risk when playing a team that is well aware of your tendencies and personnel as the Patriots are with the Jets.

Sunday will be the third meeting of the season between the teams. The most recent meeting was barely a month ago. Every player, every coach knows what the other side is up to. How do you combat that?

Can you employ the element of surprise without getting too far out of your team's comfort zone? That's the constant question.

Bill Belichick, for all his defensive ingenuity, often refers to the fact his '80s Giants played simple, primitive Cover-2 defense most of the time during their most successful periods.

Yet he leans heavily on being able to tailor his team's attacks.

The Patriots are a team that changes its offensive and defensive scheming week-to-week. They are the very definition of a "game plan" team. For offensive players to one week be totally in sync in a no-huddle, empty-backfield offense and the next week switch to a more conventional, grind-it-out set is a challenge. And it's an even taller order for defenders who switch between three and four-man fronts, passive schemes, aggressive schemes and multiple DB base defenses. If the offense screws up a couple of plays, they punt.

If the defense screws up, they're watching a PAT.

Jerod Mayo was asked to describe the changes he's seen in the Jets since the last meeting.

"We still know what they do but, at the same time, they do a little bit different things in the playoffs," Mayo explained. "Against the Colts, they showed some different looks."

Asked how hard it is to trot out a bunch of new tricks, Mayo said, "I think it would be very difficult. Both teams won a good amount of games this year. You dont want to change too much and get away from what got you to this point. There will be a few different looks, but at the same time, it will be pretty much the same."

Tom E. Curran can be reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

Patriots-Dolphins injury report: Cutler out for Dolphins

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Patriots-Dolphins injury report: Cutler out for Dolphins

The injury report for Sunday's Patriots-Dolphins game:

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

OUT
C David Andrews (illness)
OT Marcus Cannon (ankle)
WR Chris Hogan (shoulder)

DOUBTFUL
TE Martellus Bennett (shoulder/hamstring)

QUESTIONABLE
WR Danny Amendola (knee)
DT Malcom Brown (ankle)
S Patrick Chung (ankle)
CB Eric Rowe (groin)
WR Matthew Slater (hamstring)

OFF INJURY LIST
QB Tom Brady (Achilles)
TE Rob Gronkowski (illness)

MIAMI DOLPHINS

OUT
G Jermon Bushrod (foot)
DE William Hayes (back)
QB Jay Cutler (concussion)

QUESTIONABLE
T Laremy Tunsill (illness)
LB Stephone Anthony (quadriceps)
S Maurice Smith (illness)

OFF INJURY LIST
RB Senorise Perry (knee)
S Michael Thomas (knee)
DT Ndamukong Suh (not injury related)

Tom Brady: Achilles injury 'nothing to worry about'

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Tom Brady: Achilles injury 'nothing to worry about'

FOXBORO — Within 30 seconds of his Friday press conference beginning, Tom Brady was talking about biscuits. That should tell you how small a deal he considers the Achilles tendon issue that kept him out of Wednesday’s practice. 

Brady practiced for the second consecutive day Friday, after which he confirmed that he will be good to go Sunday against the Dolphins. 

MORE PATRIOTS:

“I feel great. Ready to go, so I’ll be excited for Sunday and it feels good to get a little extra treatment,” Brady said. “I’m feeling great this time of year. It will be a fun week. Nothing to worry about.”

After that, Brady spoke about the aforementioned Thanksgiving biscuits of which he posted pictures on Instagram. He said they were good. Rob Gronkowski said he wanted some and that there would be “problems” if Brady didn’t bring any in for him. Everyone got a real kick out of it. 

It’s hard to imagine Brady’s status for Sunday actually being up in the air. He has gone 134 consecutive regular-season games without missing time due to injury. His only absence in that span came in the form of last season’s four-game suspension for Deflategate.