Patriots

LaFell gives himself an 'F' after drops in first game back

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LaFell gives himself an 'F' after drops in first game back

FOXBORO -- Brandon LaFell walked to the Patriots sideline and looked to the heavens. He had just dropped his sixth Tom Brady pass of the afternoon in a game against the division rival Jets, and he couldn't figure out why.

It was not the way he had envisioned his return to game action after missing the first five games of the year on the physically unable to perform list. 

"If I had to give myself a grade, it'd be an 'F,' " LaFell said after the Patriots beat the Jets, 30-23. "I let the ball get out of my hands too many times. Tom threw some good balls. I should've caught them. Overall, we got the win. I just gotta get back into it. We got a short week, dust the cobwebs off, and come back out here and play a better game."

LaFell dealt with a foot injury all offseason, forcing him to miss Patriots practices in the spring and all throughout training camp. Though he had just three practices under his belt going into the Jets game -- all this week -- he played a relatively large role in New England's spread-it-out game plan against the blitz-happy Jets. 

He received eight targets, but caught only two for 25 yards.

"First game, last game, it doesn't matter," LaFell said. "I expect more from myself. And my teammates expect more from me. I'm just really down on myself right now, but I'm happy for the other guys around me. They got their level of play up and held on for us and made plays for us when we needed them."

At times it looked as though LaFell was still getting accustomed to his timing with Brady. At others, it simply looked like rust that led to his drops. LaFell made no excuses to reporters after the game, and he said that he received a great deal of encouragement on the sidelines. 

"After the first one . . . kind of got down on myself," he said. "Tom kept telling me he was going to come back to me. Coaches kept telling me, 'Just keep making plays.' I just wasn't making them."
 
LaFell has seen  very little in the way of contact this season, but he said that after taking one hit, that part of the game became second nature. 

 
"I think it happened quick," he said. "After I got hit, I was good. I was good. I was into the game. I just didn't play like I was good."

LaFell was not the only one who let a pass get through his hands for the Patriots. Julian Edelman dropped what appeared to be a surefire touchdown deep in Jets territory when he beat Darrelle Revis off of the line of scrimmage in the third quarter. Brady hit Edelman in stride, but the pass deflected off of his hands and hit the turf. 

Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski also had a long potential completion glance off of his hands as he streaked down the sideline behind the Jets defense. 

"I don't think any of us really felt great about the way we performed today," coach Bill Belichick said when asked about the team's drops. "We can all do a better job so I'm sure that everybody feels that way. I do, and I'm sure everybody else does. We just left too many plays on the field too often."

But, as Belichick noted, in the end the Patriots were able to make enough plays to win and hold on to first place in the AFC East. Danny Amendola's touchdown reception in the fourth quarter to give the Patriots a 23-20 lead was particularly important, and LaFell knew it. 

As LaFell packed up his things to leave the Patriots locker room, he got Amendola's attention to thank him for helping to make the sting of his tough return a little lighter. 

"DA," LaFell said. "Appreciate you."

NFL Rumors: Patriots in consideration to host 2022 NFL Draft in Boston

NFL Rumors: Patriots in consideration to host 2022 NFL Draft in Boston

Could the NFL's biggest spectacle outside the Super Bowl be coming to the City of Champions?

The league is considering Boston as one of its potential host cities for the 2022 NFL Draft, NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday night. 

"My understanding is what the NFL wants to do is go a little city, big city, and kind of alternate,” Rapoport said. “Obviously Nashville (in 2019) and then Vegas next, they’re basically saving a spot for a bigger city.

"And some of the ones that have been mentioned to me: Boston, potentially, with the Patriots hosting, that would be one. Washington, D.C., with the Redskins. Maybe Houston with the Texans, although usually these are reserved for teams that do not host Super Bowls. But figure that (2022) spot is saved for one of the bigger NFL cities."

The NFL has venues set for the 2020 (Las Vegas), 2021 (Cleveland) and 2023 (Kansas City) drafts, but according to Rapoport is eyeing a bigger NFL market for the 2022 draft. Boston would fit that mold, as the defending champion Patriots are one of the league's most visible teams.

Where in Boston the draft would take place is a different question, as the event has shifted to open-air venues in recent years after being held indoors at Radio City Music Hall in New York.

TD Garden is an obvious indoor candidate, while City Hall Plaza, the site of several Patriots Super Bowl send-off parties and championship rallies, could be an outdoor possibility. The Boston Common is one of the largest public gathering spaces in the city and might be considered an option.

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Duron Harmon dresses as Jon Snow of 'Game of Thrones' in hilarious Instagram post

Duron Harmon dresses as Jon Snow of 'Game of Thrones' in hilarious Instagram post

Duron Harmon is a massive "Game of Thrones" fan, but what did the Patriots safety think of the series finale?

The answer to that question will have to wait until Harmon's recap this Sunday, which he previewed with a hilarious Instagram post showing him dressed as one of the show's main characters, Jon Snow.

See for yourself below:

That's dedication.

Prior to last week's series finale, Harmon gave his prediction on how the show would end. Since his prediction didn't come true, it'll be interesting to see what he thought of the series' polarizing ending.

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