McCourty expects to be challenged by Rivers

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McCourty expects to be challenged by Rivers

By Danny Picard
CSNNE.com Staff Reporter Follow @dannypicard
FOXBORO -- Philip Rivers threw one interception last year when the SanDiego Chargers hosted the New England Patriots in Week 7.

That interception was made by then-rookie cornerback DevinMcCourty. It was McCourtys first career interception.

Six more picks later, McCourty finished his standout rookiecampaign with seven total interceptions, and most certainly opened the eyes ofall quarterbacks and offensive coordinators around the league.

Now in his second season, McCourty is preparing to faceRivers and the high-powered Chargers offense for a second time, this Sunday atGillette Stadium.

Youve got to just compete, said McCourty on Thursday.This week, with Vincent Jackson and Malcom Floyd both being the receivers,theyre guys that can get vertical down the field as well. So weve got ourhands full again.

Thats what you kind of expect. In the NFL, you have morereceivers that are bigger guys and still can run very well and run good routes.So each week, youve got to be ready to go against top guys.

The Chargers are presumably saying the same thing aboutMcCourty, after the game he played against them last year, and the strongseason he finished with.

Still, McCourty believes teams are going to take theirchances, even if hes put himself on the map.

Last year I came in and I was a rookie, and I was asked thesame question as a rookie, Do you think theyll challenge you deep? And Isaid, Yea and they did, said McCourty. This year, with the guys we have upfront, I mean, of course, still, Im only in my second year, and we got Ras-IDowling out there with Kyle Arrington and me. Teams are going to take theirchances.

They have good receivers. They believe in their receivers.So theyre always going to take those chances down the field.

I dont believe in those kind of things, added McCourty.I dont think offenses or players look at what youve done before and say,You know what, were going to leave that guy alone today. As a corner, Iexpect each week to go out there and be challenged, because this week weregoing out there, and weve got Malcom Floyd and Vincent Jackson, with PhilipRivers. I dont think theyre going to look at me and say, Were not throwingover there.

Danny Picard is on twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard.

THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Jared Goff, Todd Gurley explode in shootout win vs. 49ers

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THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Jared Goff, Todd Gurley explode in shootout win vs. 49ers

Jared Goff threw for 292 yards and three touchdowns and Todd Gurley ran for two TDs and caught another to help the Los Angeles Rams put up another big offensive performance with a 41-39 victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday night.

The NFL's lowest-scoring team last year looks like a completely different outfit this season under first-year coach Sean McVay thanks to vastly improved play by Goff after a rough rookie season as the No. 1 overall pick.

The Rams (2-1) have also been helped by the additions of receivers Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods and the play-calling of McVay as they have scored 107 points through three games. That's the second-most in franchise history, trailing only the 119 by "The Greatest Show on Turf" squad in 2000.

This win didn't come easy as the Rams nearly blew a 15-point lead, giving up two late touchdowns, fumbling a kickoff return and failing to recover an onside kick. But Los Angeles managed to stop a potential game-tying 2-point conversion and then used an offensive pass interference penalty against Trent Taylor and a fourth-down sack by Aaron Donald to stop the Niners after the onside kick.

The 49ers (0-3) scored five touchdowns after failing to get any the first two weeks but still came up short in part because a missed extra point by Robbie Gould forced them to try for 2 on their late touchdown.

This time it was a tired defense that hurt San Francisco. After facing 79 plays in a 12-9 loss at Seattle on Sunday, the 49ers appeared to run out of gas on the short week as Goff frequently had wide-open receivers, especially on third down.

All three of Goff's touchdown passes came on third down, including a 13-yard pass to Watkins early in the fourth quarter that gave Los Angeles a 41-26 lead.

The Rams needed all that offense on a night where Brian Hoyer threw for 332 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another score.

QUICK START: The Rams took just 12 seconds to get on the board as Nickell Robey-Coleman intercepted Hoyer on the first play from scrimmage and returned it to the 3-yard line. Gurley ran it in on the next play to give the Rams a 7-0 lead.

DROUGHT BUSTER: The 49ers came into the game without a touchdown on the season but broke through in the first quarter with some help from the Rams. After Blake Countess jumped offside on a punt, the Niners took advantage of the second opportunity and drove to score on Hoyer's 9-yard run 126:43 into the season. That was the longest it took a team to score its first TD since 2006 when both Tampa Bay (143:03) and Oakland (127:10) took more time.

FOURTH DOWN CALLS: Both teams drove to the opposing 1 on their opening drives of the second half with help from a Willie Mays-style basket catch by Watkins and a perfect toe drag on the sideline by San Francisco's Pierre Garcon. But the Rams opted to kick a short field goal, while the 49ers went for it and converted on Carlos Hyde's 1-yard run that cut Los Angeles' lead to 27-20. Hyde added a second 1-yard run on fourth down in the fourth quarter.

INJURIES: Rams S Lamarcus Joyner left the game in the first half with a hamstring injury. ... Los Angeles C John Sullivan injured his groin in the second half and Watkins and Tavon Austin left with concussions. ... 49ers S Jaquiski Tartt (concussion), FB Kyle Juszczyk (neck), DL Tank Carradine (ankle) and LB Brock Coyle (concussion) all left with injuries in the second half.

UP NEXT: The Rams travel to Dallas on Oct. 1. The 49ers visit Arizona.

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Boston Sports Tonight Podcast: Is there a blueprint to beat the Patriots?

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Boston Sports Tonight Podcast: Is there a blueprint to beat the Patriots?

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE PODCAST.

0:41 - Tom E. Curran breaks down the ‘blueprint’ to beat the Patriots and if the Texans have the talent to do it.

5:27 - Michael Holley and Kayce Smith discuss Kyrie Irving’s comments that he made on Early Edition about going back to Cleveland for the opening game. 

9:52 - We take a listen to what Malcolm Butler had to say about his role on the team and discuss how the cornerback keeps saying all the right things. 

15:18 - Michael McCann, Legal Analyst for Sports Illustrated joins BST to talk about Aaron Hernandez’s brain found to have CTE and his family now suing the NFL and the Patriots.