Two weeks changes a lot


Two weeks changes a lot

There was a time when we all wondered if the 2012 Patriots might be destined for an undefeated season.

Im not saying we believed that they would, but we just wondered if they might. And that alone speaks volumes about our expectations.

Back then waaay back in early September we looked over the schedule, weighed all the possibilities and even if no one was short-sighted enough to think that 16-0 was all that likely, there were moments even if it was just one moment when you talked yourself into it.

Their toughest games were at home. They had plenty of cupcakes on the road. They had the easiest schedule in the NFL with a BYE week smack dab in the middle and all the talent in the world on their roster. Why couldnt they win every game? Why wouldnt they?

But through all the insane optimism, there was one week that always stood out. The one game all season when the Pats wouldn't be favored, when you could analyze every angle of the match-up and come to a logical conclusion that New England wouldn't and shouldn't come out on top. Week 3: Pats at Ravens.

Back then a whopping two weeks ago the Ravens game was the major, if not only, potential obstacle standing between the Pats and history. Today, it means so much more. It's not a matter of history, but more a matter of reality. The reality that we were all truly out of our minds to ever consider another undefeated season. The reality that the Pats are far from perfect. The reality that this one game now stands between New England and their first 1-2 start in more than a decade.

Of course, even in the worst case scenario, it's not a huge deal. The Pats can and will comeback from a 1-2 start. Remember, they have the easiest schedule in the league, the perfectly placed bye week and still enough talent to challenge their fair share of fantasy teams. But with a loss on Sunday, you know it just won't be that easy. You know you'll have to live through a week of non-stop panic, commotion and listening to the same people who wondered if the Pats might go undefeated now wonder if they might miss the playoffs all together, or if Tom Brady's over the hill or if the game's passed Belichick by.

It will all be crap, but it will be our life.

That threat alone is enough to root like hell for the Pats to pull the upset.

And then we can set our sights on 15-1. What else could go wrong?

Rich can be reached at Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

In a surprise move, Chiefs sign Darrelle Revis


In a surprise move, Chiefs sign Darrelle Revis

KANSAS CITY -- The Kansas City Chiefs needed help in their leaky defensive backfield.

Darrelle Revis was ready to provide it.

So the AFC West leaders signed the seven-time Pro Bowl cornerback on Wednesday, a surprising midseason move involving a big-name player. Revis played for the New York Jets last season, but his massive salary cap number combined with a decline in performance led to his release in late February.

Still, the Chiefs were desperate to find a cornerback to play opposite Marcus Peters. Terrence Mitchell, Kenneth AckerSteven Nelson and Phillip Gaines have all failed to hold down the spot.

"He's ready to go now," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said in a conference call with reporters. "He was coming off the wrist (injury) and that he had last year, you know - this is when he was ready to go. We felt the same way. So it was a nice, mutual agreement that took place and here we are."

Reid did not rule out Revis playing Sunday against Buffalo, either.

Four days is typically a quick turnaround for a player to get acclimated to a team, especially one that hasn't played a snap since the end of last season. But Revis has a few things going for him: He has a vast amount of experience from which to draw, he is already familiar with defensive coordinator Bob Sutton's system having played for him with the Jets, and the Chiefs really have nothing to lose.

They enter the game with the 28th-ranked pass defense in the league, hemorrhaging more than 250 yards per game. That includes a 417-yard performance by Oakland's Derek Carr a few weeks ago.

"We've had some young guys trying their hearts out and doing a nice job for us, too," Reid said. "It's a win-win. You get a veteran guy and you have some young guys that will continue to grow."

Perhaps coincidentally, the Chiefs visit the Meadowlands to face the Jets on Dec. 3.

Revis at one point was considered the best cornerback in the league, picking off 29 passes over 10 seasons with the Jets, Buccaneers and Patriots. He won a Super Bowl ring with New England.

He parlayed that into a five-year, $39 million contract to return to the Jets, but a wrist injury slowed him down a couple of years ago. Revis struggled most of last season, looking as if the 32-year-old had lost a step for the first time, and the Jets made the decision to let him go.

He's spent the past summer and fall keeping in shape.

"He's been around awhile. He looks great physically," Reid said, "but time does that, time will take a step away from you. But he's a smart guy, knows how to play the game and that becomes important at this point in his career. I'm not telling you he can't still run, he can run."

Good enough to help the Chiefs (6-4), who had dropped four of their past five?

"Darrelle is a proven player in this league and we are excited to add him," first-year Chiefs general manager Brett Veach said in a statement. "He's had a Hall of Fame career and his leadership and playing experience will be valuable to our defense."

That may be where he is most beneficial: His experience. The Chiefs have little veteran presence in their secondary after safety Eric Berry was lost to a season-ending injury.

"You're talking about one of the all-time great players at that position," Reid said. "It's just a matter of getting him back in the swing of things and seeing where he's at. He's excited to be here. We are excited to have him. I would think his role would be to step in and be a starter."

Patriots-Dolphins injury report: Tom Brady sits out with Achilles injury

Patriots-Dolphins injury report: Tom Brady sits out with Achilles injury

FOXBORO -- Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski both sat out of the entirety of Wednesday's practice at Gillette Stadium. 

Brady is dealing with an Achilles injury, per the injury report released by the Patriots. The Boston Herald has reported that Brady will play despite the issue. It's unclear when exactly Brady suffered the injury, but Brady was hit low by Raiders pass-rusher Khalil Mack in the fourth quarter on Sunday, and Mack was called for a roughing-the-passer penalty.

Gronkowski, like teammate David Andrews, is dealing with an illness. Patrick Chung, who left Sunday's game briefly, has an ankle issue. 

Here's the full injury report for both the Patriots and Dolphins . . . 


C David Andrews (illness)
QB Tom Brady (Achilles)
OT Marcus Cannon (ankle)
S Patrick Chung (ankle)
TE Rob Gronkowski (illness)
WR Chris Hogan (shoulder)

WR Danny Amendola (knee)
TE Marellus Bennett (shoulder/hamstring)
DT Malcom Brown (ankle)
CB Eric Rowe (groin)
WR Matthew Slater (hamstring)


LB Stephone Anthony (quadriceps)
G Jermon Bushrod (foot)
QB Jay Cutler (concussion)
DE William Hayes (back)
T Laremy Tunsill (illness)

RB Senorise Perry (knee)
S Michael Thomas (knee)