Curran: Five thoughts from the first half

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Curran: Five thoughts from the first half

By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com

FOXBORO -- Five thoughts from a dominant first half by the Patriots.

1. WOODHEAD WHACKEDWith 8:59 left in the first quarter, Danny Woodhead took a handoff up the middle and got met and met hard by Kendall Langford. Woodhead fumbled, Miami recovered and Woodhead left the field with a head injury. He got checked out on the sidelines by the medical staff for a concussion and has not yet returned. His return is listed as questionable. Woodhead has been on the bench throughout the half and was seen walking around and chatting with teammates. But having next week off is a plus for any player who needs to convalesce and Woodhead would seem to be one now. 2. TURNOVER STREAKWoodhead's fumble snapped the Patriots' seven-game streak of not turning the ball over. Going into the break they've given it up 10 times in 2010. The record for fewest turnovers in a 16-game season is 13 set by the Packers and Dolphins in 2008. The Patriots would seem likely to break that. 3. HOYER GETS YANKEDBrian Hoyer came in for three plays in the second quarter and - after nearly getting picked then throwing one into the Dolphins' bench - got the hook in favor of Brady. Brady played out the remainder of the first half. He's stretched his streak of attempts without an interception to 332. You'd have to expect Hoyer to get the bulk of the second half snaps, if not start after intermission. 4.MORE FROMMOOREPlucked from the UFL, the defensive end continues to be a powerful force for the Patriots since he's arrived. In the first half today, his pressure in the Dolphins' backfield was almost constant. Between he and Rob Ninkovich, there's been a ton of heat brought by the Patriots pass rush.
5. JULIAN RISESPatriots' wide receiver Julian Edelman - who had just four catches for 14 yards coming into this game - had a 94-yard punt return and back-to-back receptions of 22 and 40 yards to set up the Patriots' first touchdown. This week, Tom Brady noted that Edelman has a tendency to press and get down on himself. Maybe this performance will help kickstart him and regain the trust of Brady who's been victimized by a number of Edelman drops this year.

Tom E. Curran can be reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

Ex-Pats Podcast: Defending Le’Veon Bell; Antonio Brown’s Facebook Live mishap

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Ex-Pats Podcast: Defending Le’Veon Bell; Antonio Brown’s Facebook Live mishap

Dan Koppen, Jerod Mayo, and Mike Giardi discuss the upcoming AFC Championship game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Jerod Mayo draws up a plan for defending running back Le’Veon Bell. Antonio Brown’s Facebook Live controversy is also broached.

2:30 Recapping the win over Houston

6:09 Improving pass protection vs Steelers

8:18 Antonio Brown’s Facebook Live controversy

13:00 Defending Le’Veon Bell

17:35 Importance of tackling vs Steelers and Ben Roethlisberger

20:19 The rivalry with Pittsburgh

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