Raiders pose serious threats to Patriots


Raiders pose serious threats to Patriots

By A. Sherrod Blakely Celtics Insider
Follow @sherrodbcsn These are not your JaMarcus Russell-era Oakland Raiders, folks.

While it's way too soon for Raiders Nation to start booking flights to Indianapolis for Super Bowl XLVI, there's no question that this is one of the better teams to come out of Oakland in a while.

For the New England Patriots, Sunday's game in Oakland will be the second in as many weeks against a team that's looking to make the transition from league doormat to being a more dominant force.

"There are problems all over the place that they present," said Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien.

For O'Brien's crew, pass protection -- always a must -- takes on even greater importance against one of the league's best pass-rushing teams.Oakland already has 10 sacks this season, which ranks fourth in the NFL.

One of the keys to the Raiders defense is former Patriot Richard Seymour who has 10 tackles this season, including 2.5 sacks.

"These guys are really big up front," O'Brien said. "They're a physical defense. They're fast. That's part of our discussion right now, all the different areas of their defense."

The Patriots defense won't have it any easier on Sunday, not with Darren McFadden leading the league's best ground attack with an NFL-best 393 yards rushing this season.

With so many of today's elite teams in the NFL relying heavily on the passing attack to be successful, the Raiders seem to be from the three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust era.

"They definitely like to run the ball," said Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. "They got a good offensive line. They emphasize it a lot; you can see they're pretty good at it. Their backs are really special. They do enough in the passing game to make you worry about that, too. It's not just one thing. It'll be a big challenge for us."

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached at Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

Patriots-Dolphins injury report: Cutler out for Dolphins


Patriots-Dolphins injury report: Cutler out for Dolphins

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


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

TE Martellus Bennett (shoulder/hamstring)

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

QB Tom Brady (Achilles)
TE Rob Gronkowski (illness)


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

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

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

Tom Brady: Achilles injury 'nothing to worry about'


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. 


“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.