Patriots

Patriots sitting pretty with 33rd pick

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Patriots sitting pretty with 33rd pick

By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com

INDIANAPOLIS - In 1995, USC quarterback Rob Johnson slipped down the draft board and out of the first day of the draft. From the time Round 3 ended until the start of Round 4 the next day, the Jacksonville Jaguar were inundated with offers for that 99th pick. Everybody wanted Johnson. An enviable spot for the Jags, who - in the end - stayed put and drafted Johnson. The Patriots couldthis year find themselves in a situation similar to the Jags. And don't be surprised if they make a move. Thanks to a deal last year with the Carolina Panthers, New England holds the first pick in the second round (33rd overall). And with the first round on Thursday and Rounds 2 and 3 on Friday night, teams will have all day to drool over prospects that slipped out of the first round. "Anytime you have the first pick in any new day it's a valuable pick," confirmed Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland on Thursday at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. Even more valuable when it's the second round in a deep draft.NFL Network draft expert Mike Mayock has said he believes there are nine defensive endoutside linebackers with first round grades. It's unlikely they're all going to go, so some team is going to see extreme value in trying to get that first crack at the board on Friday night. And the Patriots love to deal down and add picks. Add that fact to the reality they pick 17th and 28th in the first round and won't be jonesing for a selection at that point. The revised format instituted last year so that the draft could be on in prime time on Thursday and Friday nights has been roundly praised."I thought it was very positive," Ireland said when asked about the change. "I wasn't that positive about it going into it but I felt it worked out well. I didn't reset the board but I did rethink some things based on the way things shook out. It gave me more time to prepare and strategize alittle more. I liked the format."The Patriots areloving it.

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

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Wentz tosses 4 TDs, Eagles beat Redskins, 34-24

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MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Wentz tosses 4 TDs, Eagles beat Redskins, 34-24

PHILADELPHIA - Carson Wentz tossed four touchdown passes, and the Philadelphia Eagles overcame losing nine-time Pro Bowl left tackle Jason Peters in a 34-24 win over the Washington Redskins on Monday night.

Wentz threw for 268 yards and ran for a career-best 63 after a shaky start to lead the NFL-best Eagles (6-1) to their fifth straight win. But the victory was costly because Peters was carted off the field with a knee injury in the third quarter.

Kirk Cousins had 303 yards passing and three TDs for the Redskins (3-3).

The Eagles went three-and-out three times in their first four drives and had only 57 total yards before Wentz hit Mack Hollins in stride with a perfect 64-yard TD pass to tie it at 10.

That got the offense rolling.

Wentz connected with Zach Ertz for 46 yards on the next series and found him again for a 4-yard TD pass to make it 17-10.

After getting the second-half kickoff, the Eagles drove 86 yards for another touchdown. Peters was injured during the series, and fans chanted his name while teammates surrounded the cart.

Wentz finished the drive off with a play that Peters would appreciate.

While being hit by two defenders and falling forward, Wentz lofted a 9-yard TD pass to Corey Clement.

Wentz fired a 10-yard TD pass to Nelson Agholor to expand the lead to 31-17. Wentz kept that drive alive by escaping a sack and running 17 yards on third-and-8.

Cousins tossed a 7-yard touchdown pass to Chris Thompson to give the Redskins a 10-3 lead. He connected with Jordan Reed on a 5-yard TD to cut the deficit to 24-17 and threw a 12-yard pass to Reed to cap the scoring.

The Eagles were penalized on four straight plays to start their first possession before Wentz was intercepted by Quinton Dunbar on a deep pass to Torrey Smith on second-and-31.

Philadelphia swept Washington for the first time since 2013 and has a commanding lead in the NFC East. The Cowboys and Redskins are tied for second place.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Are Patriots' defensive problems solved?

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BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Are Patriots' defensive problems solved?

0:41 - Tom Giles, Michael Holley, and Tom Curran react to the Patriots’ 23-7 win over the Falcons on Sunday night and whether the Patriots deserve to be considered Super Bowl favorites.

6:09 - Is Johnson Bademosi an upgrade over Stephon Gilmore at cornerback for the Patriots? Michael Hurley joins BST to debate with Tom Curran, Michael Holley, and Kayce Smith. They also discuss the defense’s overall improvement in Sunday night’s win.

14:37 - NBC Sports Boston’s Red Sox insider Evan Drellich joins the show to talk about the Red Sox hiring Alex Cora to be their new manager, whether it was the right choice, and how his presence will affect the Red Sox clubhouse.

22:14 - Kayce Smith and Tom Curran discuss Kyrie Irving’s vulgar response to a Philadelphia fan yelling “Where’s LeBron?” at him on Friday night.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE