/Sports/NFL/New England Patriots/ Last Updated: Thu, Sep 21st, 2017 @ 8:10pm EDT

Pats Pulpit

Rich Hill

Week 3 Thursday Night Football Rams at 49ers: Game details and Patriots rooting guide

Here’s how to watch.

The (0-2) San Francisco 49ers are hosting the (1-1) Los Angeles Rams for week 3 Thursday Night Football. Kick off is at 8:25 PM ET on NFL Network. This game will either be an exciting high scoring affair, or a hideously inept mockery of football. There is no in between.

The Rams have a surprisingly solid passing offense behind sophomore QB Jared Goff. They rank 30th in rushing yards per play, but 1st in passing yards per play. They are tied for 3rd in points scored. On...

ESPN.com - New England Patriots

Malcolm Butler on reduced role: I haven't been performing; no excuses

Malcolm Butler on reduced role: I haven't been performing; no excuses

Pats Pulpit

Bernd Buchmasser

10 things we learned during week 2 of the NFL season

Let’s take one final look back before the Rams and 49ers open week three tonight.

Later today, the San Francisco 49ers will host the Los Angeles Rams to kick off week three of the 2017 NFL regular season. Before we officially turn the page, however, we take one final look back at week two – and we start with the defending world champions, who won their first game of the year.

1. The Patriots' offense has shown its tremendous potential: New England's offense played an uncharacteristically...

Yardbarker: New England Patriots

Patriots' Malcolm Butler not happy about his performance

New England Patriots Pro Bowl cornerback Malcolm Butler entered the 2017 season looking for a new contract. After an offseason in which he was bandied about as trade bait, Butler ultimately signed the one-year, $3.9 million restricted free agent tender New England threw his way. Now, two weeks into the season, the former Super Bowl hero is in no way happy with his performance. “I haven’t been performing at the level that I should be performing at,” Butler said, via CSN New England....

Pats Pulpit

Rich Hill

Week 3 Patriots vs Texans: Thursday injury report; Rob Gronkowski officially returns

Let's take a look at the second practice report of the week.

In three days, the New England Patriots will play their third game of the season as they host the Houston Texans. The Patriots suffered a string of injuries against the New Orleans Saints, but most players look to be ready to play on Sunday. Hopefully one starter will regain their health and return to practice, but everyone else should be available.

Let’s take a look at the injury report (via patriots.com):

Did Not Practice

RB...

Yardbarker: New England Patriots

Aaron Hernandez's family suing Patriots, NFL over CTE findings

A former fourth-round pick of the New England Patriots, Aaron Hernandez was once one of the brightest offensive stars in the league. That came to a crashing halt when he was charged — and ultimately convicted — of first degree murder charges stemming from the 2013 death of friend Odin Lloyd. Serving out a life sentence Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Massachusetts, Hernandez committed suicide this past April. Following his death, Hernandez’s family sought to figure out...

Yardbarker: New England Patriots

Aaron Hernandez’s fiancee sues Patriots, says he had severe CTE

The family of the late Aaron Hernandez is suing the New England Patriots, claiming the former tight end had severe CTE and the team failed to protect him from it. Boston University’s School of Medicine examined Hernandez’s brain, and one of the professors, Dr. Ann McKee, concluded that Hernandez had Stage 3 CTE, which is one step below the most severe form — Stage 4. They also determined “Hernandez had early brain atrophy and large perforations in the septum pellucidum, a central...

Bleacher Report - New England Patriots

Aaron Hernandez's Fiancee Sues NFL, Patriots Amid CTE Diagnosis

Shayanna Jenkins-Hernandez, who was engaged to former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, has filed a lawsuit against the Patriots and the NFL in the midst of Hernandez's diagnosis of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

According to TMZ Sports, the suit was filed on behalf of the couple's daughter and states "Aaron had stage 3 CTE usually seen in players with a median age of death of 67 years," alleging that neither the league nor the team properly informed Hernandez as to...

Bleacher Report - New England Patriots

Aaron Hernandez Diagnosed with 'Severe' Form of CTE

Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was diagnosed with a "severe" form of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in an evaluation following his death from an apparent suicide in April. 

Per Ken Belson of the New York Times, lawyer Jose Baez announced the results Thursday, stating research concluded Hernandez had "the most severe case they had ever seen in someone of Aaron's age."

The 27-year-old Connecticut native died at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in...

ESPN.com - New England Patriots

Hernandez had advanced stages of CTE

Hernandez had advanced stages of CTE

Pats Pulpit

Rich Hill

Bill Belichick talks about scouting games and if he’d change anything in his dad’s book

Belichick’s dad authored a book on scouting and his son shares his thoughts on it.

Bill Belichick’s father, Steve Belichick, wrote the literal book on football scouting in 1962 and a Twitter user was fortunate enough to ask the New England Patriots head coach if he would update or change anything about his father’s book after all of these years.

“I think I’d just let it stand,” Belichick answered with a smile. “I think what he wrote about was live scouting and those are back...

ESPN.com - New England Patriots

Signs pointing to Patriots being without RB Rex Burkhead

Signs pointing to Patriots being without RB Rex Burkhead

Pats Pulpit

Rich Hill

Texans will be playing the Patriots without their top cornerback

The Patriots offense should have an advantage against the Texans defense.

The Houston Texans defensive front seven is full of talent, with J.J. Watt, Jadeveon Clowney, and Whitney Mercilus all capable of taking over the game and ruining Tom Brady’s day. But if the New England Patriots can give Brady a couple seconds in the pocket, then look for the Patriots offense to take advantage of the Texans secondary that will be without their top cornerback.

Texans CB Kevin Johnson will miss the...

Yardbarker: New England Patriots

Tom Brady jokes he might give his book to Bill Belichick for Christmas

Tom Brady on Thursday reacted to Bill Belichick’s lack of enthusiasm over his new book by joking perhaps he’ll give it to the curmudgeonly New England Patriots head coach as a Christmas gift. Belichick was asked Wednesday about Brady’s new book, “The TB12 Method: How to Achieve a Lifetime of Sustained Peak Performance,” and whether he’d “throw a bone” to his quarterback. Belichick’s response was sublimely Belichick-ian. “We see Tom every day,” Belichick said. “I...

Pats Pulpit

Rich Hill

Bill Belichick shows how Rex Burkhead scored a touchdown against a favorable match-up

The Patriots head coach is breaking down film!

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick joined Scott Zolak to break down 3 key plays from the 36-20 victory over the New Orleans Saints. You can watch the video here.

On the first play analysis, the Patriots showed a run package with James Develin and Burkhead on the field. Develin aligned as a receiver on the sideline, taking one of the Saints linebackers with him. Burkhead flexed into the slot to draw away either a linebacker or a...

Pats Pulpit

Matthew Rewinski

Patriots rookie Deatrich Wise was one of Pro Football Focus’s best pass-rushers in Week 2

With an increased workload against the New Orleans Saints, Deatrich Wise graded out impressively as one of the NFL’s most productive defensive ends this week.

It’s got to be a flat-out amazing feeling for a mid-round draft pick to take the field on the NFL’s opening night for the defending world champions and notching the first sack of your career before halftime.

It’s just slightly less cool when Alex Smith does the work for you and puts himself on roller skates and all you have to...

ESPN.com - New England Patriots

Patriots should be able to exploit Texans' offensive line

Patriots should be able to exploit Texans' offensive line

Pats Pulpit

Marima

New England Patriots links 9/21/17 - Pats need Marcus Cannon’s head in the game

Daily news and links for Thursday

TEAM TALK

Patriots-Texans Wednesday Injury Report. Erik Scalavino shares some locker room news and notes from Wednesday's practice. Press Conference: Tom Brady (6.24 min. video) Press Pass: Patriots look ahead to Houston. (1.16 min. video) Belichick Breakdown: Key plays from the Patriots victory over the Saints. (2.28 min. video)

LOCAL LINKS

Tom E. Curran previews the Houston Texans: Houston has the defense and a dynamic rookie QB. Mike Dussault...

Pats Pulpit

Oliver Thomas

Deshaun Watson’s reliance on DeAndre Hopkins is at the forefront for Patriots

Thirteen of rookie Deshaun Watson’s 27 completions have landed in the hands of another Clemson product.

The Houston Texans’ receiving corps has not been plural through the first two games of 2017.

It’s been DeAndre Hopkins.

The 2013 first-round pick out of Clemson has caught 14 passes for 128 yards and one seam-reading touchdown out of play action for the Texans. Meanwhile, the only other wideout on Houston’s roster to catch a pass this September has been Ohio State quarterback...

Pats Pulpit

Evan Lazar

Film Review: Patriots QB Tom Brady is Houdini in the pocket

Breaking down Tom Brady’s most underrated strength: his skill in the pocket.

There are a lot of things that make Tom Brady the greatest quarterback of all time, and we got another reminder of that in Week 2 against the Saints.

This time around it wasn’t the high level of difficulty on the throws Brady was making. Instead, Brady dominated the Saints with one of the most underrated aspects of his game: his incredible feel in the pocket, and his clinical ball skills on play action fakes....

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