Patriots

Ravens' Earl Thomas takes shot at Patriots defense after Derrick Henry's huge game

Ravens' Earl Thomas takes shot at Patriots defense after Derrick Henry's huge game

Earl Thomas and the Baltimore Ravens defense have the difficult challenge of slowing down Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry in Saturday night's AFC Divisional Round playoff game.

Henry is the main reason why the Titans are coming to M&T Bank Stadium this weekend. He dominated the New England Patriots defense on Wild Card Weekend with 182 yards and a touchdown in a 20-13 win at Gillette Stadium. It was the most rushing yards a Belichick-led Patriots defense had allowed in a playoff game.

Thomas was asked Tuesday in a press conference about Henry's impressive performance versus the Patriots, and the veteran safety didn't pass up an opportunity to take a shot at New England's defense.

Yikes.

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Tackling Henry is easier said than done. The Titans running back led the league in rushing yards with 1,540 during the regular season and tied for the lead in rushing touchdowns with 16. His 29 broken tackles tied for the second-most among all running backs, and he missed one game.

The Ravens allowed the fifth-fewest rushing yards per game in the regular season, but a good chunk of that success might have been the result of Baltimore often having a lead on teams and forcing them to abandon the run game. Baltimore ranked 21st in yards allowed per carry (4.4).

The Titans have a strong run game, a good defense, and an accurate quarterback. They have the ability to upset the Ravens, but for that to actually happen, Henry needs to give another elite performance.

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NFL Rumors: Patriots plan to sign TE Jordan Leggett, DT Darius Kilgo

NFL Rumors: Patriots plan to sign TE Jordan Leggett, DT Darius Kilgo

The New England Patriots have more open roster spots than any NFL team, but they're reportedly beginning to fill them.

The Patriots plan to sign tight end Jordan Leggett and defensive tackle Darius Kilgo assuming both free agents pass their COVID-19 tests and physicals, NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported Monday.

New England hosted both players for visits last week, according to ESPN's Mike Reiss.

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Leggett began his NFL career with the New York Jets in 2017 but missed his entire rookie year due to a knee injury. He caught 14 passes for 114 yards and one touchdown during the 2018 campaign but hasn't played a regular-season snap since after spending the 2019 season on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' practice squad.

Still, the 25-year-old would add depth to a thin tight end group in New England: Ryan Izzo joins rookies Devin Asiasi and Dalton Keene as the only tight ends on the roster after Matt LaCosse opted out of the 2020 season.

Kilgo has spent four NFL seasons on six different teams and spent part of the 2016 campaign in New England, earning a Super Bowl ring while finishing the season on the Patriots' practice squad.

The 28-year-old missed his 2019 season with the Detroit Lions due to injury and last played an NFL snap with the Tennessee Titans in 2018.

Patriots' Julian Edelman sounds eager to move on from Tom Brady questions

Patriots' Julian Edelman sounds eager to move on from Tom Brady questions

Julian Edelman and Tom Brady were inseperable for much of the past decade, so it's fair to wonder how the New England Patriots wide reciever feels about losing his longtime quarterback to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

It's also fair of Edelman to want to put the Brady era behind him.

The veteran wide receiver gamely fielded questions about Brady in a video conference Monday but seemed intent on spinning the narrative forward rather than harping on the QB's absence.

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"Obviously it's a little different (not having Brady around), but you've got to move on and understand this is a business," Edelman said. "You wish him well. That's when you instantly start thinking about what you have to do to prepare yourself to go out and contribute and help the team for the upcoming year.

"We've played a lot of ball together. I love him to death, but the train keeps moving, as it will when I'm not playing here or something. I mean, it always keeps going. So, we've got to worry about the people we have here."

Edelman and Brady won three Super Bowls together during their 11 seasons as teammates, and Brady was instrumental in Edelman's rise from converted college quarterback to Super Bowl MVP.

But reports have indicated the 34-year-old wide receiver is motivated to prove he's not just a product of his quarterback, and that motivation peeked through Monday.

"There's a lot of guys that are passionate for football," Edelman said. "Of course Tom has a passion that's a very big one. But he's moved on and he's somewhere else.

"We're worried about the passion of the players that are on this team right now, and I can tell you right now, there's a lot of guys that are very passionate and very hungry."

One of those players is new quarterback Cam Newton, who's expected to replace Brady as the Patriots' starter. Edelman and Newton linked up for workouts earlier this summer, so if he lamented the loss of his former QB, he didn't do so for long.