Patriots

No Huddle: Brady, Welker, and more postgame sound

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No Huddle: Brady, Welker, and more postgame sound

FOXBORO -- There's plenty of post-game sound to digest following New England's 20-18 loss to the Cardinals.
Here are the highlights.
Rob Gronkowski on Stephen Gostkowski taking the blame (the kicker missed the game-winning 42-yard field goal) and if Gronk considers it a team loss:
"Definitely it's a team loss. Stephen does a great job. He kicked four great field goals to keep us in the game. The loss is not on him. The loss could be on me. I got that penalty at the end, holding the guy. You can't have things like that happen. It's definitely not on Stephen. He's a great kicker and a great guy."
Gronkowski was actually whistled for two penalties on New England's final drive. The first was a holding call that wiped out a 30-yard go-ahead touchdown run by Danny Woodhead. Gronk was livid, believing he was victim of just being bigger than the guy he grabbed. The second penalty -- a false start -- came two plays later.
Tom Brady on whether or not he feels this was a game where he needs to say something to Gostkowski after:
"No, I mean, you miss kicks, you throw interceptions, you fumble the ball, you miss tackles. Over the course of a long season those things happen. There's no one play that lost the game; we did a lot of things that allowed us to lose this game. We had a lot of opportunity out there to make more plays than we did. Hopefully it never comes down to a 42-yard field goal at the end. Hopefully we do a better job on offense so it's not that kind of game at the end.
Current Cardinals, former Patriots safety James Sanders on the Gillette Stadium crowd booing the home team... frequently:
"It didn't surprise me. I let the guys know that the Patriots have great fans, but sometimes they can be impatient. I knew if it was a tight game, there would be some boos. We took it to them early and got on top of them and the fans turned on them. That helped us out a lot today."
New England's offensive impotence rankled the fans from the start. Whether it was the team's decision to kick a field goal on fourth-and-2, or the election to have Danny Woodhead run it on third-and-32, Patriots fans didn't like the play calling and were noisy about it.
Sanders on how much losing Aaron Hernandez hurt the Patriots:
"They are a very potent offense, especially with him in the line-up. When he went down it took away a lot of things they are able to do. It's unfortunate for them, but, it helped us out as a unit. I just pray that he's healthy."
Hernandez suffered an ankle injury when teammate Julian Edelman, whom Hernandez was blocking for, landed on his ankle after being tackled. Was the fuss over his absence unwarranted? Not really. Only three players played every single snap in Week 1: Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, and Hernandez.
But reactions as to whether or not the team will thrive without the valuable tight end (literally -- he signed a five-year, 37.5 million extension a few weeks ago) varied depending on who was asked....
Brandon Lloyd on how much the game changed without Hernandez:
"I think we just pretty much adapted. I didn't think twice about the adjustments that we made and just figured that we'd step up and move on."
Lloyd ended up leading all receivers with eight catches on 13 targets for 60 yards.
Wes Welker on if he was surprised to not be as involved in the offense as in years past:
"You know, you want to be out there, I think as a competitor and everything else, especially on Sundays. It's what we play for and what we for for, and you want to be out there. At the same time, Coach felt like whatever was best for the team, and I'm for that and I totally understand that, and I'm just there to help out however I can.
Fascinating. Paranoia over the "Welker Phase-Out" was amped up when the receiver was replaced in the starting lineup by Edelman. He didn't really get a hand in things until Hernandez got hurt. Welker has somehow always managed to play the good soldier role and he did Sunday night, but not without expressing desire to be on the field instead of the bench.
Welker on if there's an injury reason behind his playing time being cut:
"No. No, I feel great."
Kyle Arrington on if he feels the team was focused Sunday:
"Credit the Cardinals; they deserved to win this game. It started in the week in practice. Everybody will probably tell you that everybody knew what they were doing and we still couldn't even get it done in some instances on the practice field -- blown calls, lack of communication or whatever the case is, and it showed up today in the game. We had our chances, but like I said, give all the credit to Arizona.
Hard to argue with Arrington. Welker and Logan Mankins also mentioned the Bad Week of Practice, saying guys weren't on top of their assignments and doing their jobs. In that regard, the miscues on game day were unfortunately not surprising.
Matthew Slater on whether or not the team can pick themselves up after a difficult loss:
"We have 14 games left; now is not the time to panic. Now is not the time to get down on ourselves because if we do it's going to be a long season for us. So we just need to take it one day at a time and continue to try and perfect our craft as we come in here and watch the film tomorrow, and learn from it, and come out on the practice field, and put together good days of practice. And hopefully it will transfer to the game field."
Slater is always good for perspective. That's why the guy is a captain. 12 of the 20 teams to have played two games (as of 8:00 PM Sunday) have split 1-1 like the Patriots, including the Ravens, Packers, and Giants.

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: 'Incomprehensible' to expect same greatness from Patriots?

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BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: 'Incomprehensible' to expect same greatness from Patriots?

0:43 - Tom Curran, Kayce Smith, and Michael Holley talk about Bill Belichick saying it’s “incomprehensible” that people expect the Patriots to be on the same level as last year at this point in the season.

11:55 - Tom Giles, Kayce Smith, and Michael Holley discuss J.R. Smith’s comments about the Celtics not being a threat to the Cavaliers.

15:38 - Abby Chin, Chris Mannix, and A. Sherrod Blakely join BST from Cleveland to talk about Marcus Smart and the Celtics failing to agree to a contract extension, making him a restricted free agent in July. They also preview Tuesday’s Celtics-Cavaliers season opener.

19:25 - Reports say Alex Cora is the frontrunner for the Red Sox managerial position, but Brad Ausmus interviewed for the position on Monday. Who is the right man for the job? Tom Giles and Michael Holley discuss.

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Titans end 11-game skid to Colts with 36-22 win

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MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Titans end 11-game skid to Colts with 36-22 win

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Marcus Mariota threw a 53-yard touchdown pass to Taywan Taylor with 5:29 left , and the Tennessee Titans beat the Indianapolis Colts 36-22 on Monday night to snap an 11-game skid tied for the NFL's longest active losing streak against one team.

Mariota didn't move around much on a cool night after missing a game with a strained left hamstring, but still managed to throw for a season-high 306 yards. He completed each of his three passes on the drive that ended with Taylor's tiebreaking score.

The Titans (3-3) also snapped a two-game skid with the win.

Jacoby Brissett tried to rally the Colts (2-4) to a second straight overtime. But Titans linebacker Wesley Woodyard forced Brissett out of bounds shy of the first down marker on fourth-and-inches with 2:19 left. Coach Chuck Pagano lost his challenge.

Derrick Henry then clinched the win for Tennessee with a 72-yard TD run with 47 seconds left. Henry, the 2015 Heisman Trophy winner, finished with a career-high 131 yards on 19 carries. DeMarco Murray also scored.

The Titans looked like the NFL's worst scoring defense in the first half instead of Indianapolis, with Brissett directing the Colts to a 13-9 halftime lead. John Simon then intercepted Mariota's first pass of the third quarter and returned it 26 yards for a TD.

But the Titans forced the Colts to go three-and-out on three of their first four drives of the second half, and Avery Williamson stripped tight end Jack Doyle of the ball after a catch.

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