Christopher Price offers his Five Things to watch for Sunday afternoon, including whether Laurence Maroney can repeat his solid rushing performance from last week.
Everyone’s favorite comedian (each Maroney press gathering should come ready made with one of these), the running back snapped out of a year-long malaise last week against the Titans, rushing for 123 yards in the win. More important than the yards was how he got them: Instead of juking and dancing, he waited for the holes on the offensive line to develop, and when they did appear, he hit them decisively. It was a terrific performance for the much-maligned back, who deserves to take a bow for his effort.
Now comes the hard part — putting solid back-to-back outings together. There is no reason to think Maroney could not follow up his effort against Tennessee with a similar performance this week against the Bucs. He will get plenty of touches (Sammy Morris isn’t expected to play), and Tampa Bay is miserable at stopping the run (they allow an average of 172 rushing yards per game, the 31st in the league). If everything works out, this week should provide his first back-to-back 100-yard efforts since the end of the 2007 season.
Martin Fennelly (Tampa Tribune) says this will be a 'Tour de farce' awaiting the Bucs in London.
Pay no attention to New England coach Bill Belichick, who was either being very kind or was drugged with horse sedatives before he was asked about the Bucs on a Wednesday conference call.
"The Bucs can hurt you in a lot of ways," Belichick said. "They're explosive and they're dangerous. ... I hope we're able to be competitive against them."
Then the alien popped out of his chest ...
Mike Reiss notes the Patriots schedule for Friday
The Patriots arrived at London's Heathrow Airport at 5:15 a.m. Friday, and then headed to their team hotel before their scheduled practice at 1:30 p.m. (London time).
The practice will be held at The Brit Oval Cricket Ground.
Offensive lineman Sebastian Vollmer, defensive lineman Vince Wilfork and linebackers Jerod Mayo and Junior Seau are among the players scheduled to speak with media members before practice. Coach Bill Belichick will also answer questions from reporters.
- Erik Scalavino explains how America's sport made it to Wembley Stadium.
- Erik Scalavino offers some Quick Kicks on Wembley Stadium.
- PFW crew Erik Scalavino, Andy Hart and Paul Perillo arrived in London and will blog through out the trip.
- Ian Rapoport talks about the Patriots keeping their routine as much as possible in London. The game will be special, but the buildup won't have any Super Bowl type hoopla to distract them.
- Monique Walker details the logistics of the London trip for the Patriots.
- Chris Gasper notes the Patriots need to get their first win on the road this season
- Mike Reiss describes the scene in the Patriots locker room prior to departure and notes the practice squad made the trip with the team. Reiss offers some quick hits and leftover pieces about the London trip.
- Mike Reiss notes the eyes on Adalius Thomas as he bus-hopped before the Patriots convoy left for Logan.
- Mike Reiss wonders which Patriots will be activated for playing duty - Tate, Nunn, or Stanback?
- Steve Buckley captures some players' reactions to the NFL becoming an international league.
- Jim Donaldson notes former Patriots kicker John Smith is along for the ride as an ambassador in his home country.
- Christopher Price describes the busy scene in the Patriots locker room Thursday afternoon.
- Mike Reiss presents a breakdown of defensive alignments, and tracks how often the Patriots are in sub packages (5 or more defensive backs).
- Kirk Minihane answers WEEI's weekly reader mailbag, mostly filled with Pats questions.
- Dan Duggan notes the Patriots decision to keep BenJarvus Green-Ellis was a wise one. He and Laurence Maroney are close like brothers.
- Rich Thompson says we can tell LS Jake Ingram is doing a good job because he's been relatively anonymous.
- Jim Lazar makes his week 7 NFL picks. Pats over Bucs 38-13.
- Boston Herald Patriots Notebook: LB Rob Ninkovich was with the Dolphins when they played in London; LS Jake Ingram is used to long flights and time changes from his college days in Hawaii; S Brandon Meriweather was limited in practice with a foot injury; QB Isaiah Stanback was seen catching passes in practice.
- Phil Simms: Bucs outmatched against surging Pats.
- Vic Carucci (NFL.com) Trip to London pales in comparison to distance between Pats, Bucs.
- Jenny Dell from "Countdown Daily" previews Sunday's game in London between the New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Pats expected to win by 15 points. (35 second video)
- Terry McCormick (Nashville's The City Paper) Wife of former GM, blasts Titans on local radio. Sally Reese, unbeknownst to Patriots' senior advisor Floyd Reese, called in to "set the record straight" and admitted she wished the Patriots had scored 100 points Sunday. Includes the audio links.
- Charles Robinson (Yahoo! Sports) Owens' star has drastically fallen in Buffalo.
- Don Banks (SI) Draft's biggest unanswered question: How will 2010 rookies get paid?
- NFL Week 7 Picks. Pats 34, Bucs 14. (Nat'l Football Post)
VIEW FROM TAMPA
- Steven F. Holder (St. Petersburg Times) New Tampa Bay Bucs defense tests CB's nerves, coverage skills.
- Bucs Beat (St. Petersburg Times) Raheem Morris' Thursday practice quotes.
- Bucs Beat (St. Petersburg Times) State attorney plans to file formal charges against Aquib Talib.
- Insider Preview: Tampa vs. New England. (3.41 min. video) .com
- Buccaneers.com Business trip for the Bucs.