Patriots

Offensive lineman Leon Gray elected to Patriots Hall of Fame

usatsi_10549174_133468180_lowres.jpg
USA TODAY Sports

Offensive lineman Leon Gray elected to Patriots Hall of Fame

The New England Patriots Hall of Fame soon will have a new member.

The team announced Thursday that offensive tackle Leon Gray was selected by "a 10-person senior selection committee" that discussed Hall of Fame candidates who "have been retired for at least 25 years."

Gray played six seasons with the Patriots from 1973 through 1978. He was selected to two Pro Bowl teams (he made four total in his career) and one NFL All-Pro first team in 1978. He helped the Patriots offense feature one of the best rushing attacks in NFL history in 1976 and 1978. Gray joins other legendary Patriots offensive lineman such as John Hannah and Bruce Armstrong in the team's Hall of Fame.

Gray passed away in 2001 at age 49.

He will be one of two players inducted into Patriots Hall of Fame in 2019, but the other player has not yet been announced. Two of the favorites are linebacker Mike Vrabel and defensive lineman Richard Seymour. Left tackle Matt Light was the 2018 inductee.

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 downgrade S Patrick Chung, RB Damien Harris to out for Eagles game

Patriots downgrade S Patrick Chung, RB Damien Harris to out for Eagles game

The Patriots have downgraded safety Patrick Chung and running back Damien Harris from questionable to out for the game Sunday against the Eagles in Philadelphia.

Chung has had heel and chest injuries but did play in the Pats' last game before their bye week, the Nov. 3 loss to the Ravens. Harris appeared on the injury report for the first time on Friday with a hamstring issue. The rookie third-round pick from Alabama has only been active for two games this season.

The loss of Chung could impact the Patriots most in their coverage of Eagles tight ends Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert. Taking on tight ends is something Chung has excelled at. 

ESPN Mike Reiss reports that Patriots tight end Matt LaCosse, out with a knee injury since Oct. 10, did travel with the team to Philly so he will likely be active for the game.

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.

Ten years ago today, on fourth-and-2, Bill Belichick made one of his most controversial decisions

Ten years ago today, on fourth-and-2, Bill Belichick made one of his most controversial decisions

It was one of the most controversial calls in Patriots history...and it didn't come from an official.

It was Bill Belichick's decision to go for it on fourth-and-2 in the final minutes against the Indianapolis Colts. And it was 10 years ago today.

THE DECISION

It remains Belichick's most talked-about moves this side of Malcolm Butler. In a Week 10 matchup in Indianapolis, the 8-0 Colts faced the 6-2 Patriots in a high-scoring affair. Leading 34-28 but backed up at their own 28-yard-line and needing two yards for a first down, Belichick chose to go for it on fourth down and try and keep the ball out of quarterback Peyton Manning's hands.

THE PLAY

Tom Brady completed a pass to running back Kevin Faulk, who was driven backward by the Colts' Melvin Bullitt. After a measurement, Faulk was ruled short of the first down. Three Colts plays later, a Manning-to-Reggie Wayne TD pass and extra point with 13 seconds left a 35-34 victory.

THE AFTERMATH

There was plenty of second-guessing of Belichick's move. Had he outsmarted himself? Why didn't he punt and show more faith in his defense? 

“We thought we could win the game with that play,” he explained at the time. “That was a yard I was confident we could get.” Belichick had maintained it was more like fourth-and-long-1, rather than 2. Where the ball was spotted after the Faulk play is still the subject of debate.

Those Pats would go on to lose two of their next three, finish 10-6, still win the AFC East but get smoked by the Baltimore Ravens 33-14 in Foxboro in a wild-card playoff game. Manning's team won its first 14 games, then rested its regulars and lost twice before reaching its first Super Bowl as the Indy Colts and losing to the New Orleans Saints. 

TODAY

When Indianapolis reporter Kevin Bowen tweeted about the play's 10th anniversary on Saturday, it stirred up memories for former Colts linebacker Gary Brackens, who recalled the disrespect he felt from Belichick's decision to test the Indy defense. 

To this day, "Fourth-and-2" means only one thing to most NFL fans.

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.