By Tom E. Curran
FOXBORO - One player on the Patriots punt team heard Patrick Chung's audible for a fake near the end of the first half and the Patriots on their own 38 and thought about calling timeout. He didn't, the play went off and Chung was left Monday afternoon taking full responsibility for a monumentally bad play that was the biggest botch in a day full of them for the Patriots. I take full responsibility, said Chung. Of course there are regrets. Its not the fault of Bill Belichick or special teams coach Scott OBrien, said Chung. None of them. I take full responsibility. I saw the look we had. I made the call. It didnt work out for us."
Matthew Slater, the gunner on the right side of the Patriots' punt formation, was asked if he heard the call for a fake. He refused to comment. The reason for the question? Slater released inside, bringing a Jets player with him closer to the would-be area Chung was going to run. Sammy Morris executed his block on theright end but Slater bringing a defender into the area seemed counter-intuitive since an outside release toward the sideline would have brought his blocker away from the play. "Things happen," said Chung, who took the heat and questions well as his teammates packed belongings from their lockers into green garbage bags. "You have to bounce back. Its my responsibility. Leave Bill alone. Leave Scotty alone. Thats my call, man. My mistake."
Tom E. Curran can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran
FOXBORO -- Patriots wideout Chris Hogan indicated after Saturday's divisional round win over the Texans that he'd be OK, and he doubled down on that stance when meeting with reporters Tuesday.
The veteran receiver, whose first season with the Patriots has brought his first career postseason experience, injured his thigh against Houston. He left in the third quarter and did not return.
"Feeling good," Hogan said. "Just had a little minor setback in the game. I'm working back every single day and feeling better every day."
Hogan had an awkward collision with Texans defensive lineman Jadeveon Clowney at the end of the first half on a play at the goal line. To that point, he had reeled in four passes for 95 yards as the team's primary deep threat. With Hogan out, Brady relied upon Julian Edelman and Michael Floyd as wideouts.
Hogan explained that he was expecting to practice this week.
"I'm just gonna go day by day," he said. "Come in here tomorrow. Everything's been feeling better day by day. I'm looking forward to getting out there and practicing this week."
Michael Strahan saw the Patriots lose a Super Bowl first-hand, but he doesn’t think they’ll lose Super Bowl LI. That’s because he doesn’t think they’ll be participants.
Appearing on The Tonight Show, the former Giants defensive end and current Person Who is Frequently on Television said that he expects the Steelers to upset the Patriots in Sunday’s AFC Championship.
“I think in the AFC, I think Pittsburgh might pull the upset this year,” Strahan said.
When Jimmy Fallon objected, Strahan said Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers’ pass rush would be enough to beat the Pats if New England plays the way it did in the divisional round.
“If you watched the Houston Texans, they had a shot; they just turned the ball over,” he said. “And the Houston Texans offense is in no way, shape or form near what Pittsburgh has. They don’t have the quarterback that [Pittsburgh has]. Defensively, Houston had the really good defense, but Pittsburgh [puts] the good pressure on the quarterback. And from my Super Bowl experience, Tom Brady does not like pressure. I’m just saying I feel like if there’s anybody who’s going to pull an upset, it will be them.”
As for any rooting interest, Strahan said that he hopes the Falcons win the Super Bowl, citing Matt Ryan being overdue for a title and Julio Jones having a Brady-like quality of putting team goals before his own legacy.