'Tuck rule' still a nightmare for Woodson

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'Tuck rule' still a nightmare for Woodson

By Danny Picard
CSNNE.com

FOXBORO -- Everybody has nightmares. Charles Woodson's seem to be recurring.

The 2001-02 AFC Divisional playoff game at a snowy Foxboro Stadium continues to haunt Woodson's dreams.

Now a cornerback for the Green Bay Packers, Woodson was the Oakland Raider who stripped Tom Brady of the ball in the fourth quarter of that playoff game.

But, as we all know, that play -- a fumble recovered by Oakland -- was reviewed and overturned because of the tuck rule. Brady's arm was just barely going forward, which, by the rules, meant it was an incomplete pass and not a fumble.

The Patriots retained the ball, drove down the field, tied the game with a field goal, and then won 16-13 with another field goal in overtime.

The rest is history.

Just ask Woodson, who will be reminded of that game once again if it snows Sunday night at Gillette Stadium.

"You know, I've had that flashback more times than I would like," said Woodson in a conference call on Wednesday. "I catch that game on classic football channels sometimes. That's a bad memory for me. But, you know, it is what it is."

Packers coach Mike McCarthy began his NFL career as a member of the Kansas City Chiefs' offensive coaching staff in 1993 and 1994. Joe Monatana spent the last two seasons of his career as the quarterback for the Chiefs in both of those seasons.

Having to study for Tom Brady this week, in preparation for the Patriots on Sunday night, McCarthy said on Wednesday that he sees glimpses of Montana in the Patriots' quarterback.

"Joe was probably the most fundamental quarterback that I've had an opportunity to be around," said McCarthy. "I would say definitely, Tom is in that category. His fundamentals are outstanding."

Woodson agrees with the comparison as well.

"I think Brady's No. 1, as far as quarterbacks are concerned," said Woodson when asked who was the best quarterback in the league. "I guess there are some similarities. Joe Montana was 'Joe Cool' and Brady's no different. Watching him on film, and watching games when they're on television, the way he drops back, he sits in that pocket as if there's no rush coming.

"There's no panic in his game. And he's a winner, and Joe was a winner as well. That's the greatest comparison between the two."

Danny Picard is on Twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard. You can listen to Danny on his streaming radio show I'm Just Sayin' Monday-Friday from 9-10 a.m. on CSNNE.com.

Patriots-Steelers injury report: Seven Pats listed as questionable

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Patriots-Steelers injury report: Seven Pats listed as questionable

FOXBORO -- The Patriots will head into Sunday's AFC title game with seven players listed as questionable, including three receivers. 

Danny Amendola, Malcolm Mitchell and Chris Hogan have all been limited in practices this week due to their injuries. Amendola has been dealing with an ankle issue since a Week 13 win over the Rams, while Mitchell has not played since injuring his knee in Week 16 against the Jets. Hogan suffered a thigh injury against the Texans and left the game in the third quarter.

Both Hogan and Mitchell indicated this week that they were moving in the right direction in terms of their recoveries. One would think that the Patriots would need at least one, if not both, to help stress the back end of the Steelers secondary this weekend.

Hogan has been the team's most consistent down-the-field threat this season, averaging a whopping 17.9 yards per catch during the regular season. Against the Texans, before his injury, he reeled in four passes for 95 yards. 

Mitchell, meanwhile, had a very productive second half of his rookie season before he was hurt. He compiled 25 catches for 306 yards between Weeks 11 and 16, establishing himself as one of Tom Brady's go-to targets. 

The overall health of the Patriots receiving corps -- which will also include Julian Edelman and Michael Floyd -- will bear watching when the Patriots and Steelers kick off in two days.

The injury report for Sunday's Patriots-Steelers game:

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

QUESTIONABLE
WR Danny Amendola (ankle)
TE Martellus Bennett (knee)
RB Brandon Bolden (knee)
LB Dont'a Hightower (shoulder)
WR Chris Hogan (thigh)
WR Malcolm Mitchell (knee)
DL Jabaal Sheard (knee)

PITTSBURGH STEELERS

QUESTIONABLE
TE Ladarius Green (concussion/illness)
LB James Harrison (shoulder/triceps)
RB Fitzgerald Toussaint (concussion)

NOT LISTED
RB Le'Veon Bell (not injury related)
K Chris Boswell (illness)
LB Anthony Chickillo (ankle)
S Sean Davis (shoulder)
C B.J. Finney (illness)
WR Darrius Heyward-Bay (illness)
DE Ricardo Mathews (ankle)
QB Zach Mettenberger (illness)
S Michael Mitchell (not injury related)
QB Ben Roethlisberger (not injury related)
LB Vince Williams (shoulder)