Patriots

Jordy Nelson, potential Patriots receiver target, retires from NFL

Jordy Nelson, potential Patriots receiver target, retires from NFL

It's time to end the Jordy Nelson-to-New England speculation for good, Patriots fans.

Nelson is retiring from the NFL on Wednesday, his former Green Bay Packers teammate, James Jones, announced on Twitter.

The 33-year-old wide receiver hit free agency this offseason after spending 2018 with the Oakland Raiders, and the Patriots reportedly were among the teams interested in signing him, which made sense considering New England's need at receiver and Nelson's impressive pedigree.

But the 10-year veteran instead is calling it quits, capping an excellent career that featured four 1,000-plus-yard seasons with Aaron Rodgers and the Packers.

The Patriots have made some depth-filling moves at wide receiver by signing Bruce Ellington and Maurice Harris, but they still may look to add a quality target in free agency or via trade. It just won't be a former Packers great.

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Doug Pederson marvels at Patriots QB Tom Brady's success late in career

Doug Pederson marvels at Patriots QB Tom Brady's success late in career

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is the oldest starter at his position in the NFL, but you wouldn't know it just by watching him play each Sunday.

Brady is completing 64.8 percent of his passes for 2,536 yards with 14 touchdowns and five interceptions through nine games. The 42-year-old veteran isn't posting MVP-caliber stats, but he's made enough plays to help New England earn an AFC-leading 8-1 record entering Sunday's Week 11 matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. 

Eagles head coach Doug Pederson is quite impressed with how well Brady has played late in his career.

"You're kind of in awe of his play," Pederson told reporters Wednesday, via John McMullen of 93.7 ESPN. "Where he is in his career, and how he's gotten himself physically and mentally, really, to play every season and every play of every game. You're really not going to show him anything he hasn't seen from a schematic standpoint. He's smart, he knows exactly where to go with the football. He can direct his offense and get guys in positions to be successful.

"And he does a great job with the football and protecting it. It's hard to get to him, No. 1 -- he gets the ball out extremely fast. It's just really impressive to watch where he is in his career and the age and all of that. As a former quarterback, to sit back and watch him play has been very impressive to me."

The Patriots and Eagles last met in Super Bowl LII, where Brady shredded Philly's defense for a Super Bowl-record 505 yards and three touchdowns. It wasn't good enough to win the Lombardi Trophy, however, as the Eagles prevailed with a 41-33 victory for their first Super Bowl championship in franchise history. 

Brady should again tally impressive stats Sunday because the Eagles pass defense, particularly at cornerback, has struggled throughout the 2019 season. The Eagles defense ranks 20th in pass coverage, 27th in tackling and 17th in defense overall, according to Pro Football Focus' grades.

The Patriots passing attack also could receive a boost in Week 11 if rookie wide receiver N'Keal Harry makes his regular season debut. Harry is eligible to play Sunday and is making good progress in practice.

Kyle Van Noy admits Pats will use Super Bowl loss as motivation Sunday>>>

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Patriots LB Kyle Van Noy ready for Eagles fans: 'We'll have a couple comebacks for them'

Patriots LB Kyle Van Noy ready for Eagles fans: 'We'll have a couple comebacks for them'

Eagles fans are well-known for their sometimes questionable behavior. After all, they once pelted Santa Claus with snowballs.

But when the Patriots travel to Philadelphia for this Sunday's showdown with the Eagles, New England linebacker Kyle Van Noy says he's prepared to face the wrath of almost 70,000 screaming fans at Lincoln Financial Field.

"I don't really listen to people talking trash," said Van Noy during his weekly appearance on 98.5 The Sports Hub's "Zolak and Bertrand" radio show. "I mean, people have said some crazy stuff, but Philly fans, they're known for being some of the ruthless ones out there, and we're excited for it. I think we'll have a couple comebacks for them here and there, so we'll be ready."

So what's some of that crazy stuff that Van Noy has heard over the years?

When asked what the worst thing he's ever heard from a fan, Van Noy laughed and said he didn't know if he could repeat that, though he did relay a particularly funny moment that happened while he was in college at BYU.

"This is pretty funny. We had the Honor Code, and in high school I got in trouble for drinking. So Utah fans used to heckle me when we played at Utah, so they'd have a beer in front of me. They're like, 'We know you want this beer. You look like a Budweiser guy.' Just heckling me. And I looked over and I said, 'I'm actually a Corona and lime guy.' And they went crazy."

Eagles fans are sure to be crazy in a different way Sunday, but will they have the last word? Or will Van Noy and the Patriots? We'll find out Sunday afternoon.

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