Patriots

Subban targets Krejci with head shot

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Subban targets Krejci with head shot

A few hours before Thursday nights game P.K. Subban was ticking off the reasons he thought the Bruins aren't a dirty or dishonest team.

In the third period the Montreal defenseman pulled the most dishonest act of the game when he lined up David Krejci for a hit, and then threw a forearm and elbow right under Krejcis chin as the initial point of contact. Subban was whistled off for elbowing and greeted by a charging, ornery Andrew Ference immediately after the questionable hit.

Subban predictably pulled his turtle routine as Ference attempted to drop the gloves, looking for the flamboyant Habs blueliner to defend his actions, and both players were slapped with penalties. But, inexplicably, the referees gave Montreal a power play when Ference was slapped with a double-minor for roughing, and essentially rewarded Subban for the rat-like behavior many want out of hockey.

It also opened the door for Montreals only goal a Mathieu Darche power play strike in the third period of Bostons 2-1 victory at TD Garden. But Claude Julien said thats the price to pay for protecting your teammates.

It cost us a goal, and we certainly dont like that part of it. We cant just be happy when it turns out well, and then criticize them when it doesnt. Our guys are a group of guys that stick together. I like to see that, said Julien. I couldnt see it from where it was on the bench because it happened in front of theirs, and it was called elbowing. I dont know where he elbowed him.

But if it was a dangerous elbow, then youd hope, again, that Im going to go back to what I said less than a week ago -- were going to police ourselves as far as protecting ourselves. Thats the way weve decided to handle it. Sometimes it comes with consequences. But at the end of the day I think that everybody knows if theyre going to cross the line with us, theyre going to have to face the music.

The good news: Krejci appeared to be okay following the attempt to throw a knockout punch to Bostons hottest offensive player amidst a 10-game point streak. But Subban might just be hearing from Brendan Shanahan and the NHL Department of Player Safety after a pretty clear collision targeting Krejcis head that could have been a devastating body check if the Montreal defenseman had just kept it clean.

Further good news: Subban may face more music than simply getting rag-dolled all over the ice by Ference.

Trump calls on NFL to suspend Marshawn Lynch for season

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Trump calls on NFL to suspend Marshawn Lynch for season

WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump says the NFL should suspend Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch.

Lynch sat during most of the U.S. anthem and stood for the Mexican anthem before Sunday's game against the Patriots at Azteca Stadium in Mexico City.

Lynch hasn't stood for the national anthem since returning from retirement this season.

Trump tweeted early Monday: "Great disrespect! Next time NFL should suspend him for remainder of season. Attendance and ratings way down."

Former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started the movement last season when he refused to stand during the anthem to protest racial inequality and police brutality.

Patriots hit heights in altitude of Mexico City against Raiders

Patriots hit heights in altitude of Mexico City against Raiders

In a conference call last week, Raiders coach Jack Del Rio wondered if Sunday's game in Mexico City with the Patriots might show how two contrasting approaches to handling the altitude could impact the outcome. 

Bill Belichick, Josh McDaniels and Tom Brady made sure of it. 

The Patriots utilized a hurry-up attack during their first drive -- a 16-play sequence -- that tested Oakland's conditioning early. Who would handle it better? The team that spent the week training at altitude in Colorado Springs? Or the team that wanted to beat the effects of the altitude by training at sea level and traveling to Mexico City the day before the game?

PATRIOTS 33, RAIDERS 8

Judging by how Raiders rookie defensive back Obi Melifonwu asked to come out of the game, and seeing linebacker Nicholas Morrow doubled over on the sidelines during the series, the Patriots initially looked like the more well-conditioned club. 

Stephon Gilmore and Danny Amendola had to leave the game briefly because they were dehydrated, but the final score, 33-8, suggested that the Patriots were better prepared.

Brady certainly had no issues playing at Estadio Azteca. He finished the game having gone 30-for-37 for 339 yards and three touchdowns. He had a quarterback rating of 131.9. 

At various points, Brady's name was chanted at the stadium, which he said caught him by surprise. He recently watched the television copy of last year's Texans-Raiders game just to get a sense for what the crowd would be like, and he remembered hearing Raiders fans dominating the crowd.

"That was very much a surprise," Brady said of the cheers. "Especially since seeing some of last year's game; they were very pro-Raider. But it seemed like we had a lot of Patriots fans here too, so that was great to see."

Rob Gronkowski said that the interaction with the fans in Mexico -- which included walking from the locker room through the stands to the sidelines -- was one of the things that made the trip a memorable one. 

"We really didn't get to do that much, explore around or anything, but we got to interact with the fans and everything coming out of the tunnel," he said. "That was a cool experience, seeing all the fans go wild and everything, giving them high-fives, so that was super neat.

"I wasn't sure what to expect, never played down here. It was a great experience, though. The way the fans were interacting was actually unbelievable. They were super loud. They sounded proud, and it was just a great experience overall coming here. Having that type of experience definitely makes it worthwhile and awesome."

Stephen Gostkowski, who turned in one of the plays of the day with a 62-yard field goal at the end of the first half, was similarly grateful to play in such a unique environment. 

"It was just an unbelievable atmosphere," Gostkowski said. "The stadium was great. The fans were unreal. Just a fun experience. To have a hand in a win, see the excitement from all the guys, it was really cool."

"That was pretty cool," Brady added. "I've been around a long time so if you're a fan of the NFL, you've probably seen me at some point, but it's still an incredible experience to come here and play football and see the reception and hopefully there's more games here, and the game continues to grow, and other people get to see it in person and experience it because it's a game that I love and so do a lot of other people around the world."

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