Patriots

Detailing the extent of Eagles struggles at wide receiver: 'It's been grim'

Detailing the extent of Eagles struggles at wide receiver: 'It's been grim'

The Patriots are prepared to take on the struggling Philadelphia Eagles Sunday, and New England's defense might cause them even greater problems. 

The Eagles offense can't catch a break, with their main issue being the passing game. Although they do have a winning record at 5-4, Philadelphia's wide receivers have been abysmal. 

Tom Curran and Phil Perry discussed the situation with NBC Sports Philadelphia's Reuben Frank on a recent episode of the Patriots Talk Podcast.

"Ertz has been fine, he's not putting up the numbers that he did last year but, he's getting double-teamed a lot more," Frank said. "I think Alshon (Jeffery) has just gotten old. I mean, their wide receivers are averaging, over the last seven games, 72 yards per game combined as a group. That's barely a 1,000 yard season as a team. Since DeSean (Jackson) went down, they're about 10.2 yards per catch as a group, which is terrible. They haven't caught a touchdown pass longer than six yards, the wide receivers, in their last six games. It's been grim. Alshon, he's only 29, but he kind of looks like he's 38. He just looks slow and he's had a bunch of injuries, really for years now. Agholor's regression has been shocking."

Philadelphia hasn't necessarily changed up their offense since that Super Bowl victory either -- and that could be a reason for minimal improvement over the past few years. 

"I think they're learning that you can't keep bringing back the same group and expecting them to be the same people," Frank said. "That's the key to any championship team, is alright, how can we improve. You can't just keep doing the same thing, bringing back the same roster and Agholor, his regression has been mysterious because you look at that last drive in the Super Bowl and he had three consecutive first-down catches. Has anybody ever done that in the fourth quarter of a game-winning drive in the Super Bowl? I doubt it."

If the Eagles offense continues to struggle in Sunday's matchup against the Patriots, New England's defense will make it even more difficult on the wide receivers.

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Report: Pats' punishments for videotaping could include fines, draft picks

Report: Pats' punishments for videotaping could include fines, draft picks

While the investigation into the New England Patriots' illicit videotaping of the Cincinnati Bengals' sideline last weekend is ongoing, The Washington Post's Mark Maske is reporting that the punishment could be aligned in severity with similiar game-day violations committed by other NFL teams in recent years.

That means fines in the range of six figures and/or a reduced round value on a draft pick — or worse still, the loss of one altogether:

"The NFL is likely to penalize the New England Patriots for their admitted violation of league video policy last weekend and is contemplating disciplinary measures in line with those imposed on teams in recent seasons for infractions of game-day rules, according to people familiar with the deliberations.

That could mean a fine in the hundreds of thousands of dollars and potentially the loss or reduction in value of a draft choice, typically a lower-level pick."

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Looking for something similar to what the Patriots were levied for Spygate? Maske points out that punishment was clearly an exception, not a guardrail:

The Patriots have admitted wrongdoing in last Sunday's incident in Cleveland, in which a credentialed Patriots video crew member was caught filming the Bengals' sideline during their game against the Browns. New England has said the camera crew was there to feature a scout as part of their "Do Your Job" video series.

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Report: Julian Edelman, Ted Karras make trip with Patriots, Cowart out for Bengals game

Report: Julian Edelman, Ted Karras make trip with Patriots, Cowart out for Bengals game

Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman and center Ted Karras, who were each listed as questionable with injuries, made the trip to Cincinnati with the team Saturday but backup defensive tackle Byron Cowart was downgraded to out with a concussion, according to ESPN's Mike Reiss.

Edelman, the team's leading receiver, has been battling shoulder and ankle injuries. Karras, the starting center, missed the loss to the Kansas City Chiefs last Sunday with a knee injury. Both were limited in practice this week. 

The Patriots (10-3), coming off back-to-back losses to the Houston Texans and Chiefs, play the Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on Sunday at 1 p.m.