First half notes: Patriots 6, Cardinals 6


First half notes: Patriots 6, Cardinals 6

FOXBORO -- The primary halftime story here in a 6-6 tie between the Patriots and Cardinals is the relative sloppiness of both offenses. The Patriots have 129 yards of offense and the Cardinals have 111. Tom Brady's been sacked three times and he threw a pick on the first offensive play for New England, a tipped pass that was hauled in acrobatically by Cardinals corner Patrick Peterson. There are two developing stories as well: 1) what looks likea fairly serious ankle injury for Aaron Hernandez and 2) an even bigger role this week for Julian Edelman in place of Wes Welker. Hernandez went down while blocking for Edelman in the first quarter. Hernandez's right ankle was rolled over and it bent under the weight of the tacklers and Edelman. It could be a high ankle sprain which normally takes more than a month to recover from. As for the wideout reps, Edelman started in place of Welker and was on the field ahead of Welker in two wideout sets prior to the Hernandez injury. Last week, Welker had 43 snaps to Edelman's 23, leading to speculation Welker was being supplanted. That was a little premature based on the number of snaps, but this week's developments put the situation in a new light. One interesting tidbit that gains traction was pointed out to me by someone close to the team during training camp. Edelman and Brady spent a ton of time together in the offseason, time that in years past Welker was spending. A comfort level may have been reached and necessary improvement on Edelman's part may have been attained. Edelman's work during training camp was remarkably good. This could be a pro-Edelman move as opposed to an anti-Welker move. Still, with Welker making 9.5 million and having been targeted 173 times last season, it's too early after six quarters of football to conclude it's a freeze-out.

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: What's going on between Patriots, Butler?


BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: What's going on between Patriots, Butler?

0:41 - Tom Curran, Michael Holley, Tom Giles, and Kayce Smith discuss what’s going on between the Patriots and Malcolm Butler after Bill Belichick praised Jonathan Jones and Eric Rowe but didn’t have much to say on Butler.

5:39 - John Farrell thinks David Price out of the bullpen can be similar to Andrew Miller with the Indians last year in the playoffs. Our panel on BST break it down.

10:35 - Curran, Holley, Smith, and Phil Perry talk about the NFL ratings being down and why that continues to be.

15:15 - Evan Drellich joins BST after the Red Sox win to explain why Drew Pomeranz could be even more threatening, how good the bullpen actually is, and the offense not driving in runs.

Dorsett (knee) hoping to be able to practice this week


Dorsett (knee) hoping to be able to practice this week

FOXBORO -- The picture at wide receiver wasn't pretty for the Patriots by the time the clock hit zeros in the fourth quarter in New Orleans over the weekend. 

Chris Hogan looked hobbled for much of the second half. Phillip Dorsett left with a knee injury. Danny Amendola was ruled out well in advance of kickoff with a concussion and a knee injury. Matthew Slater was ruled out due to a hamstring injury. Brandin Cooks looked like the only Patriots wideout to finish the game feeling spry.


But as the team prepares for the Texans this week, Dorsett is hoping he'll be back on the field with his teammates for practice. 

"I feel good," Dorsett said in the Patriots locker room Monday. "Just a little sore, but I'm alright."

Not only would it help the Patriots offense to have another body available at receiver, but Dorsett understands how crucial it is for him to practice as much as possible. He was acquired in a trade with the Colts just before the season, and he knows he has work to do to get adjusted to his new offense.

"It's just me going out there and getting the plays in practice," Dorsett said when asked about his confidence level in running New England's system. "I feel like practice builds my confidence. If I get to play in practice, I feel more comfortable when it comes to the game."

Dorsett looked comfortable in Week 2, catching three passes for 68 yards. His first grab in the first quarter went for 23 yards and came on a play when Tom Brady, who was hit as he released, threw a floater down the right sideline. Dorsett alertly saw the pass falling short and worked back toward the line of scrimmage to make the catch. 

"I think he trusts me," Dorsett said of Brady. "We work a lot during practice and after practice. Hopefully we can continue to gain more trust as the season goes on. It's only the second game. We got a long way to go."

More practice time would be helpful in allowing that relationship to continue to grow. We'll see if Dorsett gets any when the Patriots take the fields behind Gillette Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.