Patriots

Here's what Mohamed Sanu said after Patriots QB Tom Brady's Super Bowl LI heroics

Here's what Mohamed Sanu said after Patriots QB Tom Brady's Super Bowl LI heroics

Mohamed Sanu is the newest member of the New England Patriots after the Atlanta Falcons reportedly traded him for a second-round draft pick Tuesday, and the veteran wide receiver already has firsthand knowledge of how well quarterback Tom Brady and his offense operate under pressure.

Sanu spent the first four seasons of his NFL career with the Cincinnati Bengals before signing with the Falcons as a free agent entering the 2016 campaign. The Falcons met the Patriots in Super Bowl LI during the 2016 season, and we all remember Atlanta having a 28-3 third-quarter lead in that game until Brady engineered the greatest comeback in league history to lead New England to an improbable 34-28 overtime victory.

The 30-year-old wideout was a guest on ESPN's "First Take" a few months after the painful Super Bowl loss to the Patriots, and he was asked about the moment he knew the tide was starting to turn against the Falcons on that night.

“After the sack-fumble, I was like, ‘Whoa, like, this is crazy. We’re just not moving the ball at all, not putting up any points, and they're out there -- they are on us.'” Sanu said in June of 2017. “They’re a great team, don’t get me wrong. They are a great team and they showed what they can do. We're a great team as well. I just had the confidence in my teammates and myself. They had that confidence in themselves, too, and that's what makes them a great team. They have a great leader in Tom Brady, and he went out and does what he does best, and that’s perform at a high level."

The Falcons have fallen apart after that Super Bowl defeat.

Atlanta lost in the NFC Divisional Round in 2017, then missed the playoffs in 2018 before starting out 1-6 this season. The Patriots, who enter Week 8 with a 7-0 record, saved Sanu from the misery of the 2019 Falcons, and now he has a great opportunity to get back to the Super Bowl and win the Lombardi Trophy that he came so close to hoisting in 2016.

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How Patriots defense could struggle with Amari Cooper, Cowboys' receivers

How Patriots defense could struggle with Amari Cooper, Cowboys' receivers

The New England Patriots will face one of their toughest opponents of the season in the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday afternoon.

While the offense continues to struggle, frustrating Tom Brady, the defense has been a game-changer throughout the campaign -- helping New England eke out a 17-10 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles last weekend. 

The only time the defense really struggled this season was when it allowed 37 points to the Lamar Jackson-led Baltimore Ravens in Week 9. With a similar offensive style to the Ravens, Dallas could potentially shred the Patriots defense if given the opportunity.

Wide receivers Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, Randall Cobb and Tavon Austin have combined for 141 catches, 2,149 yards and 13 touchdowns this season. 37-year-old tight end Jason Witten also has 41 receptions for 371 yards and two TDs.

None of those receivers would be having such great seasons if it weren't for quarterback Dak Prescott. The 26-year-old's 3,221 passing yards lead all NFL quarterbacks, and his 21 touchdowns rank second behind Russell Wilson -- he'll be just as dangerous, if not more dangerous than the receivers.

The combination of speed and skill the offense brings to the Cowboys' lineup has caused Patriots' cornerbacks coach Mike Pellegrino to take notice. 

“These guys can keep you up at night,” Pellegrino said of Dallas' wide receivers on a Tuesday conference call. 

And it's no surprise as to why Dallas ranks first in total yards per game and sixth in scoring. So, the Prescott-led Cowboys could potentially cause New England some problems -- and Pellegrino alluded to that. 

“We’ve got Cooper, Cobb, Gallup and then you’ve got Austin,” Pellegrino said. “Starting with the coaching staff over there, they’ve done a great job with these guys – the OC, [Kellen] Moore, and the wide receiver coach, Sanjay [Lal]. ... We’ve got our work cut out for us this week and we’re excited for the opportunity to go against these guys. It should be a good challenge for us.”

Although they pose a challenge, the Patriots also have a few notable players with some pretty impressive stats on the defensive side of the ball. Devin McCourty is tied for first in the NFL with five interceptions, while Jamie Collins and Stephon Gilmore (among others) are tied for fifth with three. 

It's clear that Sunday's matchup will be a good one -- especially considering the two are leading their respective divisions. 

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NFL rumors: Patriots activate Isaiah Wynn in huge boost for offensive line

NFL rumors: Patriots activate Isaiah Wynn in huge boost for offensive line

The New England Patriots offensive line is about to receive a huge boost.

UPDATE (Tuesday, Nov. 19 at 5:06 p.m. ET): The Patriots have made Wynn's return and Gunner Olszewski's move to injured reserve official.

--End of Update--

Talented left tackle Isaiah Wynn has been activated to the 53-man roster, the Boston Globe's Jim McBride reported Tuesday. ESPN's Mike Reiss reported earlier in the day the Patriots planned to place rookie wide receiver Gunner Olszewski on injured reserve to create a roster spot for Wynn's return.

The Patriots had until Wednesday to activate Wynn.

Wynn played very well early this season before suffering a foot injury in New England's Week 2 victory over the Miami Dolphins. He went on injured reserve immediately after, giving the Patriots another injury to overcome along the offensive line.

The second-year left tackle returned to practice on Oct. 30. Wynn, who was one of two first-round draft picks made by the Patriots in 2018, missed all of his 2018 rookie season with a torn Achilles.

The Patriots will host the Dallas Cowboys in Sunday's Week 12 matchup at Gillette Stadium.

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