Patriots

Devin McCourty becomes first Patriots player since Ty Law with five interceptions in first seven games

Devin McCourty becomes first Patriots player since Ty Law with five interceptions in first seven games

Dont'a Hightower and Jamie Collins got into the Jets backfield untouched, quarterback Sam Darnold panicked and immediately threw it toward slot receiver Jamison Crowder. The pass was wildly overthrown, and Devin McCourty came down with his fifth interception of the 2019 season. 

With his latest pick, McCourty became the first Patriots player since Ty Law in 1998 to record five interceptions in his first seven games of a season, according to NFL Research.

The Pro Football Hall of Famer finished the 1998 season with a league-leading nine interceptions to earn himself a First-Team All-Pro selection. If McCourty keeps up his level of play at the safety position for this dominant Patriots defense, it'd be hard for him not to secure a similar honor at season's end. 

The New England defense will probably feature multiple All-Pro selections when it's all said and done for 2019, but are there any Defensive Player of the Year candidates in this unit? Perhaps McCourty is their best shot. 

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

Patriots Talk Podcast: Rich Eisen on 'positively absurd' Spygate 2.0

patriots_talk_podcast_cvs.png
NBC Sports Boston Illustration

Patriots Talk Podcast: Rich Eisen on 'positively absurd' Spygate 2.0

Like most of the rest of the NFL world, Rich Eisen of the NFL Network is amazed that we are talking about what has become known as Spygate 2.0 - the Patriots again being accused of taping an opposing teams' sideline - and the repercussions surrounding it. 

He joined Tom E. Curran's Patriots Talk Podcast to provide a little national perspective on the controversy and his first reaction was how "positively absurd" it was that the Pats are being accused of the same behavior that they were punished for back in 2007.

"If the Patriots did attempt something like this again, how remarkably brazen it would be?" Eisen told Curran. "I couldn't imagine being in that press box and seeing that happen? That's what makes it so positively absurd. How does anybody that represents anything to do with the Patriots not know you're not supposed to shoot the other team's sideline?''

Eisen predicted that the Patriots' admission of a "unintended oversight" in taping the sideline of the Cincinnati Bengals while they were playing the Browns in Cleveland on Sunday and Bill Belichick's adamant denial of knowing anything about the operation, won't prevent a hefty fine from being leveled by the NFL against the team. 

I'm sure there are a lot of people who are breathing fire at One Patriot Place," Eisen said. "Even if it was a clueless botched operation, I think the Patriots get fined. They still shot video of another teams' sideline and bottom line is that's a no-no, an absolute no-no.

"I'm assuming its a hefty fine for the team that's coming."

LISTEN AND SUBSCRIBE HERE: 

Eisen's comments come near the end of the episode. Former Patriots backup quarterback Matt Cassel joins Curran earlier and talks about how the original Spygate accusations back in '07 were a motivating factor for a Patriots team that went on to a 16-0 regular season.

"We were shocked at how it took on a life of its own," Cassel recalled. "It honestly was comical the way they took it, with people thinking we had it all figured out, we filmed them and we knew all their signs. The best thing that possibly could've happened is we came out for the rest of the season after the knowledge that Spygate took place and everyone saying 'That's why they won their Super Bowls' and we just dominated." 

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

Week 15 NFL Power Rankings: Patriots continue to slide in AFC

afc_power_rankings_121019.jpg
AP Images

Week 15 NFL Power Rankings: Patriots continue to slide in AFC

Through 13 weeks, it’s become clear that there are six good teams in the AFC and one very good, maybe great team. The Ravens are a complete team: offense, defense, special teams, coaching, situationally smart, tough, you name it.

Everybody else has the flaw that they’ll either need to cover up or overcome in the playoffs to get past Baltimore.