Patriots

Patriots anxious as they await season-opener

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Patriots anxious as they await season-opener

By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com Celtics Insider
Follow @sherrodbcsn FOXBORO With the season opener just a couple days away, these are anxious times for the New England Patriots -- and it's not just the players, either.

Anxiousness. Butterflies. Whatever you want to call it, both players and coaches alike are feeling it.

"Once the game starts, like the players say, after that first kickoff, you're into the game," said Pats coach Bill Belichick.

The Patriots don't have much of a choice if they want to get off to a good start for the 2011 season which begins at Miami on Monday night.

"We're the only game on TV," said Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo. "So it's going to be a big game for us and a chance to showcase our skills and what we've done (in the preseason). We've worked hard. Hopefully it pans out in the game for us."

Dealing with Dolphins receiver Brandon Marshall will be challenging for the Pats. Miami beefing up its line on both sides of the ball will likely cause some problems as well.

But there's an even bigger foe for New England to be concerned with -- the unknown.

"There's a lot of things going into this game, your'e just not sure about," Belichick said. "Your team, their team, the matchups and all that. There's more of a comfort level when you have more evidence. But it's exciting."

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached at sblakely@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

Raiders' Marshawn Lynch suspended game for shoving official

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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.

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