Patriots

Jamie Collins' ridiculous athleticism on display during Bills field goal block attempt

Jamie Collins' ridiculous athleticism on display during Bills field goal block attempt

Jamie Collins is a month into his seventh NFL season. He's at the point now, in his second go-round with his second team, that he's considered a veteran leader. He called the defensive signals for the Patriots on Sunday in Buffalo with Dont'a Hightower out with a shoulder injury.

There's some wisdom in Collins' game at this point. Some savvy. But as we saw over the weekend, even though he's gotten older, he's still explosive as hell.

Just before the end of the first half against the Bills, Buffalo kicker Stephen Haushka lined up a kick to give coach Sean McDermott and his club a lift going into their locker room. As he did, Collins got down into a three-point stance just to the right of the Buffalo long-snapper as part of the Patriots rush unit.

We've seen Collins take his place at the second level during opponent field goals in the past, where he's timed it up perfectly, running and jumping over the line to attempt a block. But that action is now illegal, as it's been deemed an especially dangerous position for players to throw themselves into.

What Collins did on Sunday was attempt the same leap over the line . . . but from a three-point stance instead of a running start. Players who are stationary at the line of scrimmage are still allowed to jump. It's just that they rarely -- if ever -- try to jump over the blockers in front of them and into the backfield; it is still a penalty to jump from a stationary stance and land on a lineman.

Collins, 29, is still one of the few athletes his size who could pull off a leapfrog over the line and not worry all that much about picking up a flag.

The 6-foot-3, 255-pound linebacker leapt from his crouched position, lifted his knees to his chest, got over the line and then sprung back up into the air to try to block Haushka's kick. He didn't get a piece of it, but the kick went wide.

McDermott argued at the time that the jump should've been a penalty, but it was legal because of where Collins started, and the officials were right to let it go.

"Well, he’s a great athlete," Bill Belichick said Monday on WEEI's Ordway, Merloni and Sauria show when asked about the play. “I think we all know that. There’s not too much he can’t do athletically. He was pretty close to blocking the (previous) field goal coming off the edge on the outside.

"He’s a very explosive player. He’s got a great lower body, very explosive, through contact and through space. He can jump, too, as well as being long and fast and having a lot of power."

In a game like that one, even three points made a difference. While Collins didn't block the kick, he might've thrown off the kicking operation just enough to encourage a miss. And without his athleticism at Belichick's disposal, that kind of jump-the-line move probably wouldn't have been a consideration.

The play was just another reason that Collins came away from the game as one of the most valuable players on the field -- something that's becoming a weekly occurrence in 2019.

“He played another outstanding game for us, both on defense and in the kicking game," Belichick said. "He was really close on that. If that ball hadn’t missed to the right, if it had been straight, he might have had it."

Patriots Report Card: Defense aces, offense flops>>>

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

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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 again 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 - their opponent this week - while the Bengals 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 and 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." 
 

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

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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.