SportsNation Blog Archives New England Patriots
Ravens change playoff picture?
Six Justin Tucker field goals -- including a 61-yarder with 38 seconds left -- were all the Baltimore Ravens needed on "Monday Night Football" to throw three playoff races for a loop. By beating the Detroit Lions 18-16, Baltimore moved to 8-6 and within one game of the Cincinnati Bengals atop the AFC North. By losing, Detroit fell to 7-7 and a surprising third in an NFC North Division it recently controlled. And then there's the AFC wild-card race, which still features three strong candidates -- four if you count Cincinnati -- fighting for one last spot. How will it all shake out?
pollcenter:category=4819+ravenschangeplayoffpicture?AP Photo/Lynne Sladky
Should Patriots fans be worried?
That 10-4 record is far from bad, but peel away the layers and things look a little murkier for the New England Patriots. Two weeks ago, they needed a comeback to beat the lowly Houston Texans. A week ago, they needed to rally to top the Cleveland Browns. Sunday it finally caught up to them, as the Miami Dolphins held off Tom Brady's late charge to win 24-20. Now, the Patriots very likely are playoff-bound. But will this team make any noise when it gets there?
Gronkowski tears ACL, MCL
The Patriots are a different (read: worse) team without Rob Gronkowski, so the news that he's out for the season after tearing his ACL and MCL must put a damper on their third consecutive comeback win. Gronkowski was hit in the knee by Browns safety T.J. Ward after catching a pass from Tom Brady, and he had to be carted off the field. The news couldn't be much worse for the Patriots, who've won their past three games only by the slimmest of margins and have already suffered devastating injuries to stalwarts like Vince Wilfork and Jerod Mayo. Though Brady thinks the team will adapt, it's hard to see how New England can make another Super Bowl run without their best pass-catcher.