No Huddle: Patriots-Seahawks postgame sound

914603.jpg

No Huddle: Patriots-Seahawks postgame sound

SEATTLE, WA -- There's a lot for New England not to like about its 24-23 loss to the Seahawks.
Check out the post game sound and see for yourself.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick on how Aaron Hernandez looked in his return:
"I think everybody that played in this game could have played better, could have coached better, could have done a better job. I think everybody's certainly got missed opportunities and plays they'd like to have back."
Poor Hernandez. The tight end hasn't been active since Week 2 but his return doesn't even get the usual stock answer of, 'It's always great anytime a guy comes back,' because the team lost.
On the brighter side, the ankle didn't seem to bother him. Hernandez finished with six catches on nine targets for 30 yards and a touchdown. He certainly didn't play anywhere close to 100-percent of the snaps as he did in the season opener. Consider the tight end on a pitch count.
Quarterback Tom Brady on playing for the first time in Seattle and the impact of the crowd:
"The opponent was the Seahawks it wasn't the crowd, or the weather, or the refs. It was the Seahawks and we lost to a good football team. They certainly play well at home. We had an opportunity and we just didn't get it done."
It's good someone said it. All week Seattle's 12th Man was vaunted as though able to sack Brady itself. Loud, hostile stadiums can certainly cause trouble for visiting teams, but the 68,137 screaming Seahawks fans didn't beat New England as much as New England beat itself on Sunday.
Seattle wide receiver Sidney Rice on if throwing the ball downfield was a goal this week:
"Definitely. We studied the film; first thing we said was we'd have opportunities to take chances down the field, and all we had to do was take advantage of them."
How damning for the Patriots secondary. And you can bet every opponent feels this way after watching tape on the team. This Sunday, a rookie quarterback with the league's second-worst passing offense (169.7 yards per game) threw for 293 yards, three touchdowns, and zero interceptions. Said quarterback, Russell Wilson, completed 11 passes of 10 yards or more.
Wilson on whether he was surprised the team went for it on fourth down before the touchdown to Braylon Edwards:
"We knew we were going to go for it on fourth down. That's the type of situation where you have Tom Brady on the other side, and you have to keep the football and make a play, and we definitely did that."
There isn't a team in the league whose ideal situation is to hand the ball to its opponent with three minutes to play and a 23-17 deficit to erase. Most teams respect a Brady-led offense enough to hate it a little more than usual. But when Seattle went three-and-out to set up such a situation, its fear was quickly dispatched. The Patriots gained just two yards on two runs before Brady wasted third down on an incomplete to Deion Branch.
It was the Seahawks who capitalized with a death blow. Wilson completed his four play, 57-yard go-ahead touchdown drive in just one minute and 20 seconds.
Seattle safety Earl Thomas on how hard it is to not get down when Brady is continually driving downfield and completing first downs:
"I know in my mind, and I'm pretty sure in everybody else's mind, that at any moment we could make a turnover. I know at any time the ball can come our way and we can change the momentum so that's how we look at it as a defense. We're going to fight to the end."
The determination Thomas talks about is the very thing New England seems to lack. Sunday night marked the third time in six games that the Patriots failed to close out a tight game. Their three losses are by a total of four points.
But ask around and.
Receiver Deion Branch on if the Patriots lack a killer instinct:
"No, I think we have it. We have it, we are just not executing. That is the name of the game. We have done a good job of moving the ball but are not finishing drives. We had a lot of flags and some turnovers, and you can't come into this type of environment and do those things and expect to win the game."
Fuzzy logic, here. I'm not sure how a team can possess a killer instinct yet fail to execute at crucial times. Branch is correct about penalties, however. The Patriots were flagged for six accepted violations (80 yards).
Left guard Logan Mankins on the outcome of the game:
"When you get down to the red zone you've got to score points. That's the difference in this league. We've got good players who care about the team. We've just got to make plays when they're there. We can't make mistakes in those big situations."
New England was a dismal 1-for-6 in the red zone Sunday. And this after a slow start and two back-to-back losses forced the team toward efficiency. The Patriots converting on nine of 11 red zone opportunities in the two wins that followed.
Looks like its back to the drawing board on situational football for Week 7.

Beyond the numbers: Kings offense will test Celtics defense

Beyond the numbers: Kings offense will test Celtics defense

BOSTON – When it comes to defense, the Celtics are quick to claim that it is indeed the foundation for which their team is built upon. 
 
Still, far too often this season, we have seen cracks in their usually Teflon-tough defense, the kind that ultimately means the difference between winning and losing.
 
The Celtics’ defense will once again need to step up and play well tonight against a Sacramento squad that has shown it can fill it up offensively of late. 
 
Sacramento (7-11) has scored 100 or more points in eight of their past 10 games. In that span, their 107.2 points per game ranks ninth in the league. 
 
In that same span, the Celtics have allowed opponents to score 100.3 points per game, which ranks 10th in the NBA in fewest points allowed.
 
And when it comes to winning, limiting teams to less than 100 points has been huge in Boston’s win total. 
 
The Celtics have held eight opponents to 100 points or less this season. 
 
Their record in those games? 8-0.
 
Within that limited scoring, Boston must also make sure teams don’t get into a nice groove shooting the ball. 
 
Boston is 0-5 this season when an opponent shoots 48 percent or better from the field. 
 
While there are several things Boston must do to be successful, having the right kind of defensive disposition ranks at or near the top of that list in their efforts to play with the kind of defensive success that gave so many hope that this would the year Boston would hold court among the top teams in the Eastern Conference.

“We have to get a little more nastier on the defensive end and not let a team come in and get comfortable,” said Boston’s Jae Crowder.
 

Brady, Bennett, Edelman questionable for Sunday vs. Rams

patriots_martellus_bennett_112716.jpg

Brady, Bennett, Edelman questionable for Sunday vs. Rams

FOXBORO -- The Patriots injury report for Sunday's game with the Rams is out. While they'll be without one big name, but their others are still very much in play. 

Rob Gronkowski, who was scheduled to undergo back surgery on Friday, has been ruled out. Jordan Richards, who is dealing with a knee issue and has not practiced this week, will also be held out of action on Sunday. 

Tom Brady (knee), Julian Edelman (foot), Martellus Bennett (ankle/shoulder) and Chris Hogan (back) -- all of whom practiced on Friday -- have been listed as questionable for the Rams game at Gillette Stadium. Special teamer Nate Ebner (concussion) returned to practice on Friday and is also questionable, as is Trey Flowers (shin) and Elandon Roberts, who popped up on the injury report with a jaw issue Friday. 

Special teams captain Matthew Slater missed Friday's session after participating on both Wednesday and Thursday. He's been ruled as questionable. Defensive lineman Woodrow Hamilton is also questionable after missing his second straight day of practice with an illness.

If Slater and Ebner are at all limited this weekend, coupled with the loss of Richards, the Patriots kicking game would be significantly impacted. Hogan took reps as the team's personal protector on the punt team earlier this week and may fill that role should Ebner miss time.