Scott comfortable as next man up on Patriots defense


Scott comfortable as next man up on Patriots defense

FOXBORO -- This is Trevor Scott's fifth year in the NFL. After spending four seasons with the Oakland Raiders, the defensive end is having a somewhat different experience this season with the Patriots.

"I mean, other than the fact that it's the first time I'm making the playoffs, it's pretty different," said Scott on Monday, a day after the Patriots beat the Dolphins 28-0 to clinch a first-round bye. "I'm definitely excited to be here, and definitely ready to take a run at this thing."

If the Patriots are going to take a serious run, then they're going to need Scott's presence on the defensive line. He recorded one of New England's seven sacks on Sunday, and may be used even more if Rob Ninkovich's hip injury limits his playing time. (Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran reported Monday that the Patriots are cautiously optimistic that Ninkovich may return for the playoffs.)

"I just go in and perform every time I'm asked to," said Scott, who saw action in place of Ninkovich against the Dolphins after the Ninkovich left the game. "I mean, that's all I can really control. So, every time my number's called, I just make sure I go in and do my job.

"We have a lot of depth here, on defense," added Scott. "That's one thing, when someone goes down, we have the next guy that's going to step in and fill his role. It's definitely huge to have the depth that we have, so no matter what happens, we just have to keep moving forward."

Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia said in a conference call Monday that he was pleased with Scott's progress.

"Trevor has certainly progressed and become more familiar with the system and communication and the different things that were trying to do," Patricia said. "Obviously we have a situation like we had yesterday and guys just have to step in and go and thats what we prepare for every week."

The Patriots move forward with a first-round bye. Players showed up for meetings on Monday. They'll have Tuesday off, and will practice on Wednesday and Thursday before having Friday through Sunday off.

"We're not taking the week off, that's for sure," said Scott on Monday. "We're still going to be back in here working hard, getting ready for whoever we face next.

"It's definitely good for us, just for the fact that you get to be mentally sharp and physically sharp again. The bye week is definitely big."

Julien: 'A lot of problematic things' in Bruins loss to Avalanche

Julien: 'A lot of problematic things' in Bruins loss to Avalanche

BOSTON – The Bruins simply weren’t ready to play on Thursday night when the puck was dropped against the Colorado Avalanche at TD Garden. 

They fell down quickly by a 2-0 score, had a couple of completely inept power plays in the first period that sucked all the game’s momentum away from them and received some subpar goaltending from Anton Khudobin on the way to a 4-2 loss to the lowly Avs. About the only B’s person above reproach in this one was David Pastrnak after scoring a pair of goals in the second period to get Boston back into the game, but it all fell short in a very frustrating, lackadaisical loss to a Western Conference team that isn’t very good. 

Needless to say B’s coach Claude Julien wasn’t too happy after a loss where the Bruins might have had more success with a smarter approach to holding the puck. 

“There were a lot of problematic things [in the loss]. No doubt that the power play could have helped us in the first period, and failed to do that. They’ve got to be better,” said Julien. “We needed some saves tonight, and we didn’t get them. [Anton Khudobin] has got to be better. 

“A lot of things here that we can be better at, and take responsibility [for]. But at the same time, you got to move on here.  It’s one of those nights that had we been smarter from the get go, we would have had a chance.”

Clearly it was about a lacking group effort when dissecting the loss, and the minus-3 for David Krejci on Thursday night marked back-to-back negative performances from the playmaking Czech center in big spots. The goaltending was shoddy with Anton Khudobin allowing four goals on 22 shots for Colorado, and unable to make plays on a couple of Colorado shots from outside the painted area that built up the Avs lead in the first place. 

But it was also very much about the inability of the Bruins to generate consistent offense outside of David Pastrnak’s offensive burst in the second period, and the complete breakdown of the Boston power play in the opening 20 minutes. The Bruins struggled to enter the zone in their first PP possession of the game, and then allowed a Nathan MacKinnon shorthanded goal after Torey Krug futilely dove at the blue line to try and keep the puck in the offensive zone. 

The Krug misplay at the offensive blue line gave MacKinnon a clear path the net, and he buried a wrist shot past Khudobin to get the one-sided loss rolling. Beyond the costly mistakes that ended up in the back of the net, the Bruins looked sloppy and slow-reacting in their breakouts and more than willing to settle for outside perimeter shots.

That doesn’t exactly make for a winning combo even when it comes against a flawed, underachieving team like Colorado, and especially when it comes less than 24 hours after a hard-fought road game in Washington DC. 

“I think we were still sleeping there early in the game and they were able to capitalize on their opportunities. We couldn’t claw our way back,” said Brad Marchand, who picked up an assist on David Pastrnak’s second goal of the night on a perfect dish for the one-timer. “I think it was definitely a mental [block]. You’re able to battle through that physical fatigue. It was more the mental mistakes and not being prepared right off the hop of the start of the game. Again, that’s kind of where we lost it.”

The sleepwalking Bruins lost Thursday night’s valuable two points as soon as the opening puck was dropped against the Avalanche, of course, and the Bruins never got out of lollygag mode at a time when intensity should have been automatic. 

THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Chiefs hold off Raiders 21-13 to take control of AFC West


THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Chiefs hold off Raiders 21-13 to take control of AFC West

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Tyreek Hill had touchdowns receiving and on a punt return, Kansas City's defense made life miserable for Oakland quarterback Derek Carr, and the Chiefs beat the Raiders 21-13 on a frigid Thursday night to take control of the AFC West.

Charcandrick West also had a touchdown run for the Chiefs (10-3). They moved into a first-place tie with Oakland (10-3) but holds the tiebreaker with two wins over their longtime divisional rival.

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