Preview of Patriots Week Four Matchup

After playing defense on a Hail Mary at the end of last Sunday's game against the Houston Texans, the Patriots tight end reflected on his days playing defense.

Still, Carolina suffered an embarrassing defeat at the hands of New Orleans last week.

Three years ago, some would have thought a potential Brady-Newton matchup would feature the face of the league at quarterback and the future face of the league at quarterback, but instead Brady is still doing incredible things at age 40 and Newton is ranked 29th out of 32 quarterbacks in QB rating.

Well, of course they have a shot. I know in the preseason I picked Brady to have a down season and he started out with a bad performance against the Chiefs. We saw them last week just have an abysmal performance on both sides of the football.

To say Carolina is an underdog this week is blatantly evident but a win would help to ease the uncertainty about how good the Panthers could be this season. They keep settling for field goals instead of touchdowns.

While the final score may have looked lopsided, the Panthers defense didn't give up a ton of yards to Drew Brees and his friends.

"If they put me at D-end ever, you'd see I'm a hybrid D-end", Gronkowski said Thursday, via WEEI.

Joe: I will own that.

"I just think it's a matter of time", Rivera said. He's pretty much what this Patriots defense needs at the moment, though Kuechly is pretty much what any defense needs, even those now ranked better than 32nd in the league overall. Not getting set on the line, for example.

While the poor play by the high-priced secondary definitely falls into the biggest disappointment category, there is too much talent for that unit not to improve as the season continues. The cornerbacks and safeties not being in position.

"I might have got away with one there", he said. Peppers said he didn't want to kneel because he wanted to make it clear he was not showing disrespect for the USA flag.

I don't think that's how it's going to work out, though.

How can I watch the Panthers and Patriots?

I do think last week was a bit of an anomaly. "But at the same time, just giving people - not just for the city I play for and the teams that I played for before, but just people all around the world, just to be able to give them hope and courage to be able to fulfill their dreams".

Sounds to me like he's frustrated (as he should be) and plans to seize his chance when it comes (and it will). They're OK with the drives, they're not good at finishing drives. "Some things you can pin on us as to what else goes on in the game". If I had seen something out of him in recent weeks that convinced me he could do it I'd be with you. From the first time I stepped into an National Football League locker room at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore in 1959, I have lived and seen the sport's ability to bring people of all backgrounds together. So, I enjoy it and it's fun going in there and always going with the guys that I compete against all the time [in practice].

Rivera said overall Kalil has done a "pretty good job", but is still learning to play with his new teammates including Newton, who takes a deeper drop in the pocket than most QBs and tends to hold the ball a little longer.


editors' picks