Patriots

Why fans will like referee assignment for Patriots vs. Eagles Week 11 matchup

Why fans will like referee assignment for Patriots vs. Eagles Week 11 matchup

NFL players and fans have complained at various points in the 2019 season about the abundance of penalties called, but based on the referee crew assigned to officiate Sunday's Week 11 matchup between the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles, we shouldn't expect to see many flags flying at Lincoln Financial Field.

Referee Bill Vinovich and his crew have been assigned to work this much-anticipated game, and as ESPN's Mike Reiss notes, this group has called the fewest penalties per game in the league this season.

The Patriots have committed the sixth-fewest penalties on offense and the fifth-fewest penalties on defense through 10 weeks. 

The defending Super Bowl champions rarely beat themselves, but that wasn't the case in their most recent game -- a 37-20 loss on the road to the Baltimore Ravens in Week 9. New England committed seven penalties in this defeat, and a few of these mistakes proved costly.

A game with fewer penalties should benefit the Patriots for a few reasons, one being they have more talent than the Eagles on both sides of the ball. If Vinovich's crew lets the players play, New England should take care of business. Oddsmakers are confident in that outcome, too, as they've pegged the Patriots as 3.5-point road favorites.

The Patriots also have an 8-3 record in games Vinovich has officiated since he became a referee in 2004, including a Super Bowl XLIX victory over the Seattle Seahawks.

Tom E. Curran's latest AFC Power Rankings>>>

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Report: Pats' punishments for videotaping could include fines, draft picks

Report: Pats' punishments for videotaping could include fines, draft picks

While the investigation into the New England Patriots' illicit videotaping of the Cincinnati Bengals' sideline last weekend is ongoing, The Washington Post's Mark Maske is reporting that the punishment could be aligned in severity with similiar game-day violations committed by other NFL teams in recent years.

That means fines in the range of six figures and/or a reduced round value on a draft pick — or worse still, the loss of one altogether:

"The NFL is likely to penalize the New England Patriots for their admitted violation of league video policy last weekend and is contemplating disciplinary measures in line with those imposed on teams in recent seasons for infractions of game-day rules, according to people familiar with the deliberations.

That could mean a fine in the hundreds of thousands of dollars and potentially the loss or reduction in value of a draft choice, typically a lower-level pick."

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Looking for something similar to what the Patriots were levied for Spygate? Maske points out that punishment was clearly an exception, not a guardrail:

The Patriots have admitted wrongdoing in last Sunday's incident in Cleveland, in which a credentialed Patriots video crew member was caught filming the Bengals' sideline during their game against the Browns. New England has said the camera crew was there to feature a scout as part of their "Do Your Job" video series.

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Report: Julian Edelman, Ted Karras make trip with Patriots, Cowart out for Bengals game

Report: Julian Edelman, Ted Karras make trip with Patriots, Cowart out for Bengals game

Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman and center Ted Karras, who were each listed as questionable with injuries, made the trip to Cincinnati with the team Saturday but backup defensive tackle Byron Cowart was downgraded to out with a concussion, according to ESPN's Mike Reiss.

Edelman, the team's leading receiver, has been battling shoulder and ankle injuries. Karras, the starting center, missed the loss to the Kansas City Chiefs last Sunday with a knee injury. Both were limited in practice this week. 

The Patriots (10-3), coming off back-to-back losses to the Houston Texans and Chiefs, play the Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on Sunday at 1 p.m.