Bolden breaks through

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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.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Patriots players got a refresher on NFL social media policy because of Brown

Patriots players got a refresher on NFL social media policy because of Brown

FOXBORO -- Antonio Brown's live stream of coach Mike Tomlin's postgame speech on Sunday had a ripple effect that traveled all the way to New England: Just in case Patriots players weren't familiar with the league's social-media policy, they were reminded of it this week. 

"We were reminded of that," receiver Chris Hogan said. "I’m not sure what the timing is, but obviously, I don’t think we’ll see guys doing that in the locker room."

Players are prohibited from using social media in the locker room until media outlets have been given an opportunity to talk to players following games. Brown's Facebook Live video, which garnered national attention almost as soon as it went online, was shot well before the visitor's locker room at Arrowhead Stadium opened following Pittsburgh's win over Kansas City.

"We have a team policy on that," special teams captain Matthew Slater said. "Strictly enforced. We go from there."

Of course part of the reason the video became as widely disseminated as it did was because it caught Tomlin calling the Patriots "a--holes."

"I have a lot of respect for Coach Tomlin," Slater said when asked about Tomlin's speech. "I appreciate the way he prepares his team. I’ve had a good working relationship with him over the years, and it will continue to be that way."

Both Slater and Hogan insisted that their focus will be trained solely on preparing for what Tomlin and his players will do when they arrive to Gillette Stadium Sunday night -- not what they say leading up to kickoff.

"You come in here, you're automatically bought into what we preach here, what coach [Bill] Belichick preaches," Hogan said. "It's football. We're 100 percent football here. It's not about anything outside. Between the media or whatever it is outside of football, whatever we're doing. When we come here, it's 100 percent football. That's all we're focused on is the opponent we're playing that week."

Whether Goodell visits Foxboro or not, Patriots players say they don't care

Whether Goodell visits Foxboro or not, Patriots players say they don't care

FOXBORO -- Roger Goodell will reportedly be in Atlanta for the NFC Championship Game this weekend and therefore will miss the AFC title game between the Patriots and Steelers at Gillette Stadium on Sunday. His absence will mean he hasn't been to a Patriots game in more than two years, when he was present for the AFC title game in 2015 -- the birth of Deflategate. 

It's news that broke on Tuesday and sent some Patriots fans into an uproar. Patriots players, though, sound like they're having a hard time caring one way or the other.

"He’s the commissioner, so obviously whatever he wants to do, he can do," Tom Brady told WEEI's Kirk and Callahan Monday. "If he wants to come, that would be -- yeah, he can come."

In the Patriots locker room on Tuesday, others struck a similar tone.

"I could not care less," said Patriots receiver Chris Hogan. "I'm focused on Pittsburgh and their defense and studying them as much as I can this week, watching them as much as I can so that I can go out there on Sunday and be prepared."

Special teams captain Matthew Slater was similarly disinterested in the discussion.

"The game's going to be played," he said. "Whoever's in attendance is in attendance. We'll just worry about trying to play well."