Ian Rapoport writes that a source told him Vince Wilfork was diagnosed with left ankle sprain.
The injury, which occurred in the second quarter of Sunday’s 26-10 win against the Atlanta Falcons when DT Mike Wright accidentally stepped on, or rolled over on, Wilfork's leg, is not considered to be a long-term issue. It’s too early to tell if the Pro Bowler could play this Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens.
The fact that the injury is not serious is good news on both an organizational and individual level. Wilfork, scheduled to earn a base salary of $2.2 million, is in the final year of his contract.
A serious injury not only would have been debilitating for the defense, it also would have killed Wilfork’s contract leverage.
Shalise Manza Young asserts that risky 4th-down play turned the tide for the Patriots. Fred Taylor thinks it sent a message to the Falcon's defense.
"It pumps you up, in my opinion, from the standpoint of once you execute and once you make it, looking across the field it really (ticks) the defensive players off and you get to put a little smile on your face," Taylor said. "When they’re thinking, ‘Hey, we make this stop, we get to get back on the bench and rest for a while,’ but when you make it you get the last laugh, so to speak."
Ed Bouchette (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) Mike Tomlin spent time between the Super Bowl and training camp studying offenses in the NFL and found one he would like the Steelers to emulate: the New England Patriots.
"I think the great teams are capable of winning in many forms or fashion and playing to their strengths on a week-to-week basis based on a matchup," Tomlin said yesterday. "I thought a great deal about that, frankly, this offseason.
"You study a team like New England, and they walk into a stadium offensively, and week to week they can be whatever they choose to be. They can beat you in three wides, four wides, three tight ends, and it makes them very difficult to prepare for and ultimately beat."
- Erik Scalavino Baker's TD 'an instinctive play'; plus Monday Notebook.
- Victory over the Falcons. (10.43 min. video) Today:
- Bill Belichick Monday Press Conference. 15 min. video plus Transcript.
- Ian Rapoport notes it's the changing game plan that keeps foes off balance and the Patriots hard to plan for.
- Jeff Howe notes the banged-up Patriots are preparing for the undefeated Ravens to come to town on Sunday.
- Michael Hurley refutes the assertion by a national columnist that Randy Moss has been "dogging it," and says that Moss has been unfairly accused. Good for you, stepping up on Moss's behalf.
- Bill Belichick defends Randy Moss and talks about the deceptive way he runs that may look like he's not going as fast as he is. (WEEI Interview at @ the 17.20 minute mark) Moss, Light and Taylor got game balls.
- Christopher Price focuses on S Brandon McGowan, who is quickly becoming a big hit with the Pats, and the fans who love his reckless style of play.
- Monique Walker and Chris Gasper report the North Attleboro police are investigating an incident involving a Patriots player (Jonathan Wilhite) and a home invasion. Wilhite's agent Jason Chayut said, "There was something, but not anything big. He is fine.’’
- Chris Gasper says Fred Taylor is clearly the leader of the running back committee.
- Christopher Price notes Fred Taylor is ready and willing to handle a hefty workload, with as many carries as he can get.
- Robert Lee offers his Patriots-Falcons post-game analysis.
- Tony Massarotti focuses on the 4th-and-1 from the Patriots own 24-yard line, saying that play tells you all you need to know about the state of the football team.
- Globe 10.0 Kevin DuPont and Charlie Pierce debate whether Bill Belichick's decision to go for it on 4th down turned the game around. (2.43 min. video)
- Mark Farinella notes the Patriots controlled possession of the ball for 39.49 minutes of the game Sunday.
- Mark Farinella lists his Falcons-Pats "Hots and Nots".
- Steve DeOssie issues his Patriots report card and gives a shout-out to the defense.
- Ron Borges grades the Patriots in his weekly report card.
- WEEI Patriots Monday: Listen to Tom Brady (20 min.), Chris Baker (8.27), Sammy Morris (11.35), Ty Warren (5.4 min.) and Bill Belichick (36.23 min.)
- Karen Guregian reports that two weeks after the first sighting, Jerod Mayo was seen again in the locker room, walking without crutches - and without any noticeable limp. He politely declined to "chat" with reporters.
Dan Guttenplan returns with his Most Wanted List, which includes players and others who have conducted themselves in a terrible manner in the last week. Maroney and Hobbs make the list.
- Mike Reiss (ESPNBoston) Defensive snaps played by New England defenders: Guyton a constant in both 4-3, 3-4 packages; Postitional Groupings for Patriots offense: TEs were big part of game plan; and Special Teams units better on Sunday: Pat Chung had 2 ST tackles.
- Jerome Bettis (SI) Tom Brady back; Rex Ryan might be hurting Sanchez and the Jets more.
- Mike Freeman (CBS Sports) After being counted out, Pats alive and well. Back on the bandwagon, eh Mr. Freeman?
- Mike Freeman (CBS Sports) Moss' lack of effort could be poison ivy to Patriots. He's convinced Moss is "a dog", doesn't understand why the Patriots put up with it, assumes that it "must privately irritate perfectionists like QB Tom Brady", and isn't buying that Moss had a bad back and was playing in pain on Sunday.
- Mike Florio (Pro Football Talk) Heaps on more speculation and innuendo that Randy Moss has been "dogging it." Looks like the "Randy Moss Watch" has been resurrected for the 2009 season. Aaarrgghh.
- KC Joyner (ESPN) Ravens-Pats Analysis: Ravens defense vs. Wes Welker. Pats didn't have an answer in 2007, but look for Welker to get the ball early and often this Sunday. (42 second video)
- Michael David Smith (NFL Fanhouse) Junior Seau run over by Bull. Seau got up laughing.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) Take your pick: Galloway or Lewis? Hindsight is 20-20 Tim.
- Michael Lombardi (Nat'l Football Post) Lions return from exile, but other teams may abdicate hope.
- Robert Boland (Nat'l Football Post) David Givens vs. the Titans.
- George Vecsey (NY Times) When religion is involved, a game is just that.
VIEW FROM BALTIMORE
- Jamison Hensley (Baltimore Sun) Ravens to opposing defenses: Take offense. Cam Cameron has his unit firing on all cylinders.
- Mike Preston (Baltimore Sun) Next three games will test Ravens.
- Mike Duffy (Baltimoreravens.com) Offensive assault emerging: Historically known for their defense, the Ravens are now becoming known on both sides of the ball.