Saturday, March 8, 2014
Hello everyone, I took a couple of days off to celebrate Thanksgiving with family and friends. Now that the Black Friday shopping is done, time to give you all some things to chew on as the Patriots prepare to play the Texans in Houston on Sunday.
Remember, the starting time has been moved to 1 p.m. So set your clocks appropriately.
- Right tackle Marcus Cannon, wide receiver Aaon Dobson and tight end Michael Hoomanawanui are all OUT for the game. That means Will Svitek will start at right tackle and Kenbrell Thompkins should see a lot more action. As will Mainer Matthew Mulligan at tight end.
Four cornerbacks - Kyle Arrington, Aqib Talib, Marquice Cole and Alfonzo Dennard - are all listed as Questionable, which means there's a 50-50 chance they will play.
- Coach Bill Belichick showed a decidedly human side at his pre-Thanksgiving press conference.
Asked if he prefered dark meat or white meat for his Thanksgiving feast, he said he didn't care as long as he had room for dessert.
"Whatever is on the plate,'' he said. "I haven’t turned down a lot of food in my Thanksgiving lifetime''
All the fixings?, he was asked.
"Whatever is on there,'' he said. "I make sure to leave room for pumpkin pie. I don’t want to fill up on everything and not be able to eat that pie.''
- The Patriots are not taking the Texans lightly, even with Houston's incredibly disappointing 2-9 record.
"They’re hungry. We’re hungry too.'' said quarterback Tom Brady. "Like I said, anything that’s happened for them this season doesn’t matter and anything that’s happened for us makes no difference either. They’ve lost some close games, we’ve pulled out some close games. I think that’s the big difference. It could just as easily go the other way. We’ve found ways to win and we have to try to find a way to win this week.''
- A win Sunday will guarantee a winning season for the 13th consecutive year. The NFL record is 16, co-held by the San Francisco 49ers (1983-98) and Dallas Cowboys (1970-85).
And you've got to figure they've got a good shot it: the Patriots are an NFL-best 45-6 in December games since 2001.
We'll have more later.
Mike Lowe has covered the New England Patriots since 1999 for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram and has had a nice view of their emergence as one of the NFL’s premier franchises.
He’s been at the paper since 1982 and has covered everything from a Little League World Series to the Summer Olympics. He is married to Tracie and they have three children and two grandchildren.
Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeLowePPH.