Patriots anxious as they await season-opener

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Patriots anxious as they await season-opener

By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com Celtics Insider
Follow @sherrodbcsn FOXBORO With the season opener just a couple days away, these are anxious times for the New England Patriots -- and it's not just the players, either.

Anxiousness. Butterflies. Whatever you want to call it, both players and coaches alike are feeling it.

"Once the game starts, like the players say, after that first kickoff, you're into the game," said Pats coach Bill Belichick.

The Patriots don't have much of a choice if they want to get off to a good start for the 2011 season which begins at Miami on Monday night.

"We're the only game on TV," said Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo. "So it's going to be a big game for us and a chance to showcase our skills and what we've done (in the preseason). We've worked hard. Hopefully it pans out in the game for us."

Dealing with Dolphins receiver Brandon Marshall will be challenging for the Pats. Miami beefing up its line on both sides of the ball will likely cause some problems as well.

But there's an even bigger foe for New England to be concerned with -- the unknown.

"There's a lot of things going into this game, your'e just not sure about," Belichick said. "Your team, their team, the matchups and all that. There's more of a comfort level when you have more evidence. But it's exciting."

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached at sblakely@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

Report: Amendola has high ankle sprain, may be out until playoffs

Report: Amendola has high ankle sprain, may be out until playoffs

The Patriots lost another offensive weapon when, days after Rob Gronkowski underwent season-ending back surgery, Danny Amendola hobbled off the field with a foot injury in New England's 26-10 win over the Rams on Sunday.

On Monday morning, Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported the extent of the injury:

Amendola's absence creates an immediate issue on special teams, but also thins the wide-receiver corps as the team heads down the final stretch and attempts to secure home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs.

SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Rawls leads Seahawks to 40-7 rout of Panthers

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SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Rawls leads Seahawks to 40-7 rout of Panthers

SEATTLE - Behind Thomas Rawls bouncing off and through tacklers and a big-play punch from Tyler Lockett, the Seattle Seahawks rediscovered their offensive star power on Sunday night.

It came at a significant cost to their defense.

Rawls ran for 103 yards and two touchdowns in the first half, Lockett took a reverse 75 yards for a score to open the second half and the Seahawks routed the Carolina Panthers 40-7 on Sunday night.

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