Most improved: Running game or defense?

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Most improved: Running game or defense?

The Patriots did two things really well on Sunday that they didn't do in more than spurts last season: run the ball and defend well.

Mike Felger likes the way the Pats ran the ball, saying that it not only helps the offensive line who is still working on protecting Brady, but it also takes pressure off of Brady.

Andy Gresh notes that it makes the Pats much more complimentary in terms of the pass and the run together.

But is a run game the missing ingredient to a Super Bowl win? Or is it defense? Most likely, it's both.

Patriots-Texans practice report: Gronk sits out; Gilmore limited

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Patriots-Texans practice report: Gronk sits out; Gilmore limited

Wednesday's practice participation/injury report for Sunday's Patriots-Texans game:

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

DID NOT PARTICIPATE
RB Rex Burkhead (ribs)
OT Marcus Cannon (ankle/concussion)
TE Rob Gronkowski (groin)

LIMITED PARTICIPATION
WR Danny Amendola (concussion/knee)
WR Phillip Dorsett (knee)
CB Stephon Gilmore (groin)
LB Dont'a Hightower (knee)
WR Chris Hogan (knee)
LB Elandon Roberts (thumb)
CB Eric Rowe (groin)
WR Matthew Slater (hamstring)
DT Vincent Valentine (knee)

HOUSTON TEXANS

DID NOT PARTICIPATE
G Jeff Allen (ankle)
CB Kevin Johnson (knee)

LIMITED PARTICIPATION
TE Stephen Anderson (concussion)
RB Alfred Blue (ankle)
WR Will Fuller V (shoulder)
CB Jonathan Joseph (shoulder)
G Xavier Su'a-Filo (knee)
DE J.J. Watt (finger)

FULL PARTICIPATION
CB Marcus Burley (knee)
T Chris Clark (wrist)
WR Bruce Ellington (concussion)
TE Ryan Griffin (concussion)

 

Mexico City site of Patriots-Raiders game reportedly 'in good shape' after quake

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Mexico City site of Patriots-Raiders game reportedly 'in good shape' after quake

While a football game should be the furthest thing on people's minds after a natural disaster, the earthquake that measured 7.1 on the Richter scale and struck near Mexico City, killing more than 200, has led to the NFL reviewing whether the Patriots-Raiders game scheduled there for Nov. 19 at Estadio Azteca can take place.

“The initial information from that review is the stadium is remarkably in good shape, and that’s a testament to the construction and the safety devices that were put in place when that stadium was built 50 years ago,” NFL vice president for international Mark Waller told NBCSports.com's Pro Football Talk.  “The stadium is actually built with four gaps in it to allow the stadium to move in the event of an earthquake.”

Social media images showing what some thought was a crack in the stadium actually showed expansion joints that are a safety feature allowing the stadium to withstand an earthquake.

For the second consecutive year, the Raiders are giving up a home game to host a game at the stadium. They defeated the Houston Texans there last season. 

“The Raiders have the people of Mexico City and the surrounding areas in our thoughts and prayers following today’s earthquake,” the Raiders said in a statement. “Mexico City is a special place for the Raider Nation, and the most heartfelt sentiments of the Raiders family go out to all of our Mexican neighbors in this time of need.”