Unable to reach an agreement on a lucrative long-term deal with the Patriots after they slapped the franchise tag on him during the offseason, Asante Samuel missed a month of training camp, balking at signing his $7.79 million tender. When he finally signed, he got the Patriots to add provisions that prohibit them from franchising him again if he plays 60 percent of the defensive snaps or the team wins 12 games. New England is 11-0 heading into its Monday night matchup with the Baltimore Ravens, and Samuel, who is tied for the NFL lead in interceptions with six, is one win from cashing in on his status as one of the game's best cornerbacks.
"I knew what he was capable of and we needed to make sure he was protected," said Alonzo Shavers, Samuel's agent. "We knew Asante was going to be in this situation. We did know what he was capable of, and we knew if he played to his capabilities, he would be in a situation similar to this. We just wanted to put Asante in the best situation for him."
If the Patriots want Samuel to remain here, it could mean having to offer him a Nate Clements-type deal. Clements, who played out a franchise year with the Bills last season, was rewarded by the 49ers during the offseason with an eight-year, $80 million contract that included $22 million in bonuses and guarantees. Key to Clements's deal is that in the first three years of the contract he is slated to earn $28.9 million.
Via Boston Globe
New England Patriots, Free Agent Rumor
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The New England Patriots have set another standard during their thus-far perfect season: biggest favorite in a road game.
The Patriots (11-0) are 20-point favorites at Baltimore (4-7). The previous high was 17 points, set in 1976 with Dallas over Seattle; the Baltimore Colts over the New York Jets; and Patriots over Tampa Bay, according to World Features Syndicate, which publishes the Glantz-Culver line.
There was a bigger spread for a road-team favorite in a 1987 replacement game. San Francisco was installed a 23-point favorite at Atlanta, according to Las Vegas Sports Consultants.
New England Patriots, Team Achievement
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The New England Patriots activated receiver Troy Brown from the physically unable to perform list on Tuesday, reviving the career of one of the most versatile players from their three Super Bowl victories.
Linebacker Rosevelt Colvin was placed on injured reserve, ending his season. The team also waived defensive lineman Kareem Brown and signed linebacker Chad Brown.
Colvin, 30, left the 31-28 victory over the Eagles and did not return. Although the announcement was that he had a foot injury, it appeared trainers were working on his arm.
"It was announced as a foot? Then we'll leave it with that announcement," Coach Bill Belichick said Monday, according to the transcript of the news conference released by the team. "Was that what [we] announced? If that's what [we] announced, then we'll stand by that announcement."
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Green Bay 37, Detroit 26
The Thanksgiving Day slate of games opened with a clash between the Packers and Lions. Brett Favre starred in the show, throwing for 381 yards and three touchdowns. The Packers? new starting running back Ryan Grant chipped in as well, rushing for 101 yards and scored a touchdown of his own. Lions? quarterback Jon Kitna struggled, going 19-for-40 with 224 yards, a touchdown and an interception. The final score made the game look a lot closer than it actually was, as Detroit added two late touchdowns long after the result had been determined. Green Bay (10-1) travels to Dallas (10-1) for a showdown between the best teams in the NFC.
Fantasy Star: Brett Favre, GB: 381 passing yards and three touchdowns.
Dallas 34, N.Y. Jets 3
This one wasn?t close from the very beginning. Dallas quarterback Tony Romo wasn?t spectacular, but he didn?t have to be as the Cowboys? defense held the Jets to a measly field goal at Texas Stadium. Romo threw for 195 yards, two touchdowns and an interception, while Jets? QB Kellen Clemens managed just 142 yards and a turnover. Marion Barber aided the Cowboys? attack, rushing for 103 yards and a touchdown on just 18 attempts. Terrell Owens continued his hot streak, hauling in six passes for 65 yards and a score.
Fantasy Star: Marion Barber, DAL: 103 rushing yards and a touchdown.
Indianapolis 31, Atlanta 13
Peyton Manning and the Colts? offense righted the ship as they ended their three-game scoring draught with a dismantling of the Falcons. Manning connected on 22-of-32 pass attempts for 272 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. His counterpart, Joey Harrington, had 155 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. Atlanta jumped out to a 10-0 after the first quarter, but Indianapolis (9-2) took over from there. Good thing, because the Jaguars (8-3) are right on their heels in the AFC South.
Fantasy Star: Roddy White, ATL: 104 receiving yards and a touchdown.
New Orleans 31, Carolina 6
The Saints kept themselves in the NFC playoff picture with a 31-6 dismantling of the Panthers. Drew Brees threw for three touchdowns and ran for another, while the New Orleans? defense pestered David Carr, and then Matt Moore, all afternoon. The Saints are still two games behind the Buccaneers for the lead in the NFC South, but their record (5-6) is good enough to remain in the Wild Card race.
Fantasy Star: Drew Brees, NO: 260 passing yards and four total touchdowns.
Tampa Bay 19, Washington 13
The Buccaneers didn?t put on a tremendous offensive display, but a combination of timely scoring and tough defense allowed them to improve to 7-4 on the season. Earnest Graham ran for 75 yards and scored Tampa Bay?s only touchdown early in the first quarter. Redskins? quarterback Jason Campbell passed for 301 yards and a score, but it was his two interceptions that doomed Washington?s hopes at Raymond James Stadium. The loss dropped the Redskins into a tie for last place in the NFC East with the Eagles.
Fantasy Star: Chris Cooley, WSH: 96 receiving yards and a touchdown.
Seattle 24, St. Louis 19
Despite losing quarterback Marc Bulger to a concussion early in the game, the Rams very nearly upset the Seahawks behind the play of Gus Frerotte. He threw for 161 yards and a touchdown, but his fumble near the Seahawks? end zone in the final moments of the game ended the Rams? chances. Without Shaun Alexander in the backfield Maurice Morris excelled, rushing for 79 yards on just 16 carries. Steven Jackson added 90 yards of his own to go along with a touchdown. The win, Seattle?s third consecutive, gave them a two-game lead in the sub par NFC West.
Fantasy Star: Deion Brach, SEA: 92 receiving yards and a touchdown.
Minnesota 41, N.Y. Giants 17
Eli Manning won the game on Sunday, but not for his Giants. Manning tossed four interceptions into the Minnesota secondary, with three of them being returned for scores. That was all the Vikings needed to knock off the struggling Giants. Chester Taylor added 77 yards and a score, to go along with a Tarvaris Jackson touchdown strike to Sidney Rice. Manning only managed to reach the end zone once, on a 6-yard pass to Plaxico Burress late in the fourth quarter with the game already well out of reach. The win kept Minnesota?s playoff hopes alive, while the loss may have dropped New York (7-4) out of the NFC East race.
Fantasy Star: Minnesota DEF: 3 sacks, 4 interceptions and 3 touchdowns.
Oakland 20, Kansas City 17
The Raiders ended a 17-game losing streak within the AFC West as they stunned the Chiefs with their defense and a late game-winning touchdown run by Justin Fargas. Daunte Culpepper passed for only 170 yards, but Fargas was all the offense Oakland needed with 139 yards on the ground. Kolby Smith stepped in nicely for the injury-riddled Chiefs with 150 yards and two scores of his own. The loss dropped Kansas City to two games back of the division-leading Chargers with just five games left in the regular season.
Fantasy Star: Kolby Smith, KC: 150 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
Jacksonville 36, Buffalo 14
The Patriots are so good, even this game resulted in a victory for them. The Bills loss to the Jaguars clinched the division for New England, who didn?t even take the field until several hours after Jacksonville dismantled Buffalo. David Garrard passed for 296 yards and a touchdown, and Fred Taylor ran for 104 yards and a score of his own. The Jaguars? defense held the Bills in check, who might still be reeling from the romping they received at the hands of the Pats in Week Eleven. The win kept Jacksonville (8-3) within a game of the defending champion Colts for the lead in the AFC South.
Fantasy Star: Fred Taylor, JAX: 104 rushing yards and a touchdown.
Cleveland 27, Houston 17
The dream season for the Cleveland Browns continues as they improved to 7-4 with a win over the Houston Texans at home on Sunday. Browns? quarterback Derek Anderson hooked up with Kellen Winslow and Braylon Edwards for touchdowns, and Jamal Lewis rushed for 134 yards and a score as Cleveland won rather easily. Texans? QB Matt Schaub threw for 256 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions in the loss. The victory allowed the Browns to keep pace with Pittsburgh (7-3), who faces Miami on Monday Night Football, in the AFC North.
Fantasy Star: Jamal Lewis, CLE: 134 rushing yards and a touchdown.
Cincinnati 35, Tennessee 6
Without Albert Haynesworth the Tennessee Titans can?t seem to stop anyone. Through the first nine weeks of the season the Titans? defense was one of the best in the league, but they have been roughed up in each of the last three weeks with Haynesworth out of the lineup. Carson Palmer passed for 283 yards, three touchdowns and an interception in the win. Palmer hooked up with Chad Johnson twelve times for 103 yards and all three of his touchdowns. The loss put the Titans (6-5) on the playoff bubble as the season enters the home stretch.
Fantasy Star: Chad Johnson, CIN: 130 receiving yards and three touchdowns.
San Francisco 37, Arizona 31
The 49ers earned their third win of the season, hurting the Cardinals playoff chances in the process. Trent Dilfer passed for 256 yards and two touchdowns, and Frank Gore returned to old form rushing 21 times for 116 yards and two trips to the end zone. Kurt Warner tallied 484 passing yards and two scores, but his fumble in overtime was recovered by the 49ers in the end zone, costing Arizona the game. Arizona is two games behind the Seahawks in the NFC West, heading into their Dec. 9 meeting.
Fantasy Star: Larry Fitzgerald, ARI: 156 receiving yards and two touchdowns.
Chicago 37, Denver 34
The Bears were victorious on a Robbie Gould field goal in overtime, allowing Chicago fans to keep their playoff hopes alive for another week. Rex Grossman struggled once again, throwing for 193 yards, a touchdown and an interception, but Devin Hester kept the Bears in the game with a pair of kick returns for touchdowns. Broncos? QB Jay Cutler had a nice game, with 302 yards and two touchdowns, but the Denver defense couldn?t keep Hester or Adrian Peterson out of the end zone. Chicago?s Cedric Benson was carried off the field after injuring his left ankle.
Fantasy Star: Brandon Marshall, DEN: 97 receiving yards and a touchdown.
San Diego 32, Baltimore 14
The Chargers dealt the Ravens their fourth-straight loss, catapulting themselves into first in the AFC West in the process. Philip Rivers tallied 249 yards and three scores, two of them to tight end Antonio Gates, posting one of his best performances this season. LaDainian Tomlinson ran for just 77 yards, without reaching the end zone, but the victory gave him something to smile about during his postgame interview. Kyle Boller passed for 191 yards and a touchdown and Willis McGahee ran for 59 yards and a score, but it wasn?t enough to counteract the Chargers? offense onslaught.
Fantasy Star: Antonio Gates, SD: 105 receiving yards and two touchdowns.
New England 31, Philadelphia 28
Philadelphia entered the game as 22-point underdogs, but someone must have forgotten to tell the Eagles that they had no business competing with the Patriots. Despite throwing an interception that was returned for a touchdown on the game?s first series, A.J. Feeley kept the Eagles in the game until the final minutes, throwing for 345 yards and three touchdowns against New England?s swarming defense. Ultimately, it was Asante Samuel?s interception with the Eagles knocking on the door in the final minutes of the fourth quarter that preserved the Pats? perfect record. Philadelphia actually led midway through the fourth quarter, but a special teams penalty gave New England another chance to take the lead. Laurence Maroney took advantage of the extra series, scoring on a 4-yard run that ended up being the game-winning touchdown. The win was the closest for New England this season, and with five games left they stand tall at 11-0.
Fantasy Star: Greg Lewis, PHI: 88 yards and two touchdowns.
Via Andrew Perna/RealGM
New England Patriots, Game Recap
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Patriots' starting linebacker Rosevelt Colvin and backup cornerback Randall Gay were injured and not on the field in the fourth quarter of New England's 31-28 win over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday night.
The Patriots said Colvin did not return because of a foot injury. They said Gay had a back injury.
The unbeaten Patriots were having one of their worst defensive games of the season as the team matched its season high by allowing 28 points.
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Patriots Nov 2007 Archive
Yahoo.com | Nov 26, 2007
The Patriots beat the Eagles 31-28 Sunday night to run their season record to 11-0.
AP | Nov 25, 2007
The Patriots clinched the AFC East title even before they played the Eagles on Sunday night.
ESPN | Nov 24, 2007
QB Donovan McNabb will miss Sunday's game because of a sprained ankle and injured thumb.
ESPN | Nov 20, 2007
According to Las Vegas experts, this is the largest point spread for an NFL game that does not involve an expansion team.
Bloomberg.com | Nov 20, 2007
The New England Patriots, who have outscored opponents by an average of 25.4 points during their 10-0 start.
Andrew Perna/RealGM | Nov 19, 2007
RealGM's quick hits on all that went down in Week 11 of the NFL season, and the fantasy star from each game.
Yahoo.com | Nov 18, 2007
The New England Patriots won their 10th straight game, routing the Buffalo Bills 56-10 on Sunday night.
ESPN | Nov 18, 2007
The New England Patriots will face the resurgent Buffalo Bills on Sunday evening without starting right guard Stephen Neal, who was unexpectedly downgraded to "out" on Saturday night because of a shoulder injury.
Christopher Reina/RealGM | Nov 16, 2007
The Patriots, Steelers, Colts, Packers and Cowboys are clearly the top-five teams in the NFL. How do the other 27 rank?
CelebrityMound.com | Nov 13, 2007
Jennifer Aniston has chosen American football star Tom Brady as the male face of energy drink SmartWater.
Boston Globe | Nov 6, 2007
Patriots' linebackers Adalius Thomas, Mike Vrabel, Junior Seau, Tedy Bruschi and Rosevelt Colvin are on the cover of this week's Sports Illustrated.
NFL.com | Nov 6, 2007
The much-anticipated game between the New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts earned a preliminary national rating that would be the highest for a Sunday afternoon regular-season game in more than a decade.
Boston Herald | Nov 6, 2007
Making his weekly appearance on WEEI, Patriots coach Bill Belichick put the kibosh on any thoughts of running back Corey Dillon returning to the team.
New York Daily News | Nov 6, 2007
Don Shula, the coach of the only perfect season in NFL history, believes the Patriots have a legitimate shot at running the table and joining his '72 Dolphins in going undefeated in the regular season and playoffs.
ESPN | Nov 5, 2007
The league pushed back the start of New England's game at the Buffalo Bills on Nov.
Yahoo! | Nov 5, 2007
The NFL is looking into allegations that the Colts piped in noise during the game on Sunday.
Yahoo.com | Nov 4, 2007
This time, the New England Patriots struggled to survive.
ESPN | Nov 4, 2007
Pats FS Eugene Wilson will not play in Sunday afternoon's game against the Colts because of a sprained ankle.
AP | Nov 3, 2007
For Rodney Harrison, Sunday's game between two unbeaten teams has nothing to do with the past.
Yahoo.com | Nov 2, 2007
The Patriots have endured one of their few bumps in the road this season after placing running back Sammy Morris on injured reserve on Friday.
AP | Nov 2, 2007
Tom Brady is on pace to shatter Peyton Manning's single-season records for TD passes and passer rating.