FOXBORO -- Week 17 will be an interesting one. Not just for the Patriots to find out what seed they'll have in the playoffs, but also to find out who they'll be playing.
The assumption would be that at some point this week, somebody might start to look ahead at the potential teams New England could face. Still, this is the Patriots. And that's just not how they do business.
At least, that's what they continue to say. And offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels re-iterated that in a conference call on Monday, saying that all they're doing is preparing for the regular-season finale against the Miami Dolphins.
"I dont think theres any less preparation because this is the second time around against a division opponent," said McDaniels. "This team is a team that theyre obviously a really good defensive team. They have a lot of talented players at all three levels of their defense. We certainly had our hands full in the first game with them and it was a nip and tuck game there most of the way. They created some issues for us, so my whole focus and our whole focus this week is going to be on trying to get our team and our offense to play as well as we can against Miami.
"If theres time to find some extra time at some point later in the week to try to squeeze in a little bit of work on somebody else then thats great, but I know Im going to spend my time trying to get our team ready to go and play against Miami and see if we can put together a good performance. Its always a challenge to play a division opponent the second time this close to one another. You did so many things you wanted to do in the first game and now you have that dilemma: do we change a lot, do we keep it much the same? And theyre going to go through the same things too. They have our complete, total focus this week.
"I think what matters is that we finish out the season the right way and then try to prepare and have a great week of preparation, whomever we play," added McDaniels. "I think our focus is going to be on the Dolphins and whatever we end up doing in the playoffs or what have you, then well find out after Sunday."
0:41 - Tom Curran, Michael Holley, Tom Giles, and Kayce Smith discuss what’s going on between the Patriots and Malcolm Butler after Bill Belichick praised Jonathan Jones and Eric Rowe but didn’t have much to say on Butler.
5:39 - John Farrell thinks David Price out of the bullpen can be similar to Andrew Miller with the Indians last year in the playoffs. Our panel on BST break it down.
10:35 - Curran, Holley, Smith, and Phil Perry talk about the NFL ratings being down and why that continues to be.
15:15 - Evan Drellich joins BST after the Red Sox win to explain why Drew Pomeranz could be even more threatening, how good the bullpen actually is, and the offense not driving in runs.
BOSTON – The Bruins ended Tuesday night’s preseason home date with another feel-good victory over the Red Wings, but it may have come at a cost.
Both Torey Krug and Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson were injured in the second period of the B’s 4-2 win over the Red Wings at TD Garden, and didn’t return to the game. Krug was hit in the face with a puck in the defensive zone during the second period, and quickly exited the ice with Bruins trainer Don DelNegro after the impact of the puck hitting his face initially took his feet out from under him.
“[Krug] clearly didn’t finish the game, and took a shot up in the facial area,” said Bruce Cassidy of Krug, who had a couple of shots on net in 9:10 of ice time while largely playing with Charlie McAvoy in an offensive-minded pairing. “We’ll probably have an update tomorrow.”
Forbacka Karlsson took a hard tumble into the end boards in the game’s middle period, and never returned after serving up the primary assist on Danton Heinen’s goal earlier in that very same period. JFK tried to return to Tuesday night’s win over the Red Wings, according to Cassidy, but was kept out of the game with an upper body injury that has his status as questionable moving forward.
“He went into the boards late in the second. He’s day-to-day, upper body. I think wanted to – he did come back and try [to return to the game],” said Cassidy of JFK, who put up an assist and a plus-1 rating in 8:37 of ice time before leaving the game. “I don’t think it’s serious, but I can’t speculate. We’ll get another update tomorrow. It didn’t look good, but I don’t think it’s as bad as it looked. We’ll know more [about JFK] tomorrow.”
It certainly sounds like both Krug and JFK could miss a day or two of practice moving forward after the injury wear-and-tear of preseason action, but the hope is that the Black and Gold won’t be missing a couple of key performers for anything more than that.