Bolden breaks through


Bolden breaks through

When a team scores 52 points in a game, you know the box score will be jam-packed with offensive goodness, and there's no shortage of that after yesterday's blowout in Buffalo.

According to ESPN Stats & Info, the Patriots became the first team since 1972 to score 45 points in the second half. They also became the first Pats team since 1980 to have a pair of 100-yard rushers in the same game and only the second team in NFL history to have a pair of 100-yard rushers and a pair of 100-yard receivers in the same game.

They also ran for 200 yards between the tackles, which is the third most of any team in one game since 2008, and more than the Bills had given up in their first three games combined.

But of all the notable stats from Sunday, none was more enjoyable to watch unfold than Brandon Bolden's 137 rushing yards. It was an out-of-nowhere performance from the undrafted back from Ole Miss and the first 100-yard effort from a Pats rookie since 2008.

(Who was the last one to do it? That would be the Pats last undrafted rookie out of Ole Miss, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, who broke 100 yards on November 9, 2008 against, of all teams, the Bills.)

Anyway, if there's one thing we've learned from the early stages of the Josh McDaniels Era, Phase 2, it's to expect the unexpected in terms of the Patriots game plan. Just because Bolden was featured heavily against the Bills and had substantial success doesn't mean that he'll be featured heavily next week against the Broncos. For all we know, they'll roll out Shane Vereen against Denver while Bolden polishes his helmet on the sidelines.

But if there's one thing we learned specifically on Sunday, it's that if they want give Bolden the call, the kid will be more than ready, willing and able to answer. In the meantime, we all might want to start scouting the Ole Miss running backs corps. The Pats next break out rookie has to be in there somewhere.

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Quick Slants Podcast: Gostkowski’s woes with Chuck Zodda


Quick Slants Podcast: Gostkowski’s woes with Chuck Zodda

New England Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski has now missed five kicks on the year, including field goals against the Miami, Buffalo and Cleveland. 

In an emergency podcast, Tom E. Curran speaks with Chuck Zodda of Inside The Pylon about Stephen Gostkowski’s kicking woes.

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Geno Smith has torn ACL; Ryan Fitzpatrick to start for Jets


Geno Smith has torn ACL; Ryan Fitzpatrick to start for Jets

The Jets’ quarterback situation took a comically typical turn Monday, as Ryan Fitzpatrick will be under center after an MRI revealed that Geno Smith has a torn ACL. 

After starting New York’s first six games of the season, Fitzpatrick was demoted to backup for Sunday’s game against the Ravens. Smith was injured on a sack by Baltimore’s Matt Judon, forcing Fitzpatrick back into action. 

After leading the Jets to a 24-16 win, Fitzpatrick made his dissatisfaction with being benched known. 

“The biggest thing in this game in order to last, is to have belief in yourself,” Fitzpatrick said in his postgame press conference. “Because when the owner stops believing in you and the GM stops believing in you and the coaches stop believing in you, sometimes all you have is yourself. That’s something that I’ve had to deal with before. That’s something I’m dealing with now.”

On the season, Fitzpatrick has completed 136 of 237 passes for 1,561 yards with six touchdowns and a league-leading 11 interceptions.