|01-14-2006, 09:36 AM||#1|
Never say Always
Join Date: Jan 2003
What will the NFL do to admonish the misuse of the injury list if Brewski doesn't go. My guess? Not much.
Will Bruschi be available?
By Jerome Solomon, Globe Staff | January 14, 2006
DENVER -- Will he or won't he?
Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi's conspicuous absence from the team's injury report doesn't necessarily mean he will play in tonight's divisional playoff game against the Broncos.
Bruschi, who injured his left calf Dec. 26 against the New York Jets, sat out the previous two games while being listed as questionable for those contests.
He has not been on the injury report this week, although he was limping prior to practice Tuesday.
Bruschi traveled with the team here yesterday afternoon, but a team source said Bruschi did not go full speed at practice this week, which at best means he is a game-time decision. Bruschi dressed and warmed up before last week's wild-card game against Jacksonville and appeared to be close to giving it a go, but he did not play.
Should Bruschi sit tonight, Monty Beisel will start inside next to Mike Vrabel.
Beisel got off to a slow start this season, but played solidly against Jacksonville in mostly first-half duty. When the Patriots went to their nickel and dime packages, Beisel exited and Chad Brown entered.
The Broncos' running attack, second in the league at 158.7 yards per game, makes the inside linebacker spot a key to victory. With Bruschi and defensive lineman Richard Seymour not playing because of injuries, Denver ran over the Patriots here Oct. 16, finishing with 178 rushing yards, the second most allowed by New England this season.
Pass on Patrick
Running back Patrick Pass (hamstring), who had six receptions for 89 yards and 10 carries for 64 yards with Corey Dillon and Kevin Faulk out for the first meeting against Denver, did not make the trip.
Dillon and Faulk are both healthy. Fullback Heath Evans, inactive against Jacksonville, could see some action. Guard Gene Mruczkowski, added to the injury report Thursday with a back problem, will not play.
Denver dominated much of the first meeting, winning, 28-20, after leading, 28-3, midway through the third quarter. But the Patriots respond well in rematches against teams they have lost to earlier in that season. Since 2001, New England is 6-0 in such contests, including a victory at Pittsburgh in the AFC Championship game last season after the Steelers won the regular-season game at Heinz Field. Safety Artrell Hawkins, who was not with the team when the Patriots lost at Invesco Field three months ago, said his teammates have not talked about payback. ''More than revenge is an opportunity to play in the AFC Championship," he said. ''I think if you concentrate on revenge you're putting your energy in the wrong place."
A big hit
The NFL was the most-watched programming locally in the four-month period ending Jan. 8, dominating the ratings with 16 of the top 18 rated programs. Beginning with the Patriots' opener Sept. 8, more Boston televisions tuned in to the NFL than any other programs. A pair of Red Sox games -- a Sept. 30 matchup against the Yankees and Game 3 of the Division Series against the White Sox Oct. 7 -- were rated fifth and 17th, respectively.
The Patriots-Jaguars wild-card game last Saturday night on Channel 5 drew the top spot with a 36 rating and 56 share. The Patriots-Jets game Dec. 4 on Channel 4 drew a 34.5 rating and 55 share.
Visit Boston.com during the Patriots-Broncos game in Denver tonight for commentary from the Globe's Mike Reiss and a live fan chat.
|01-14-2006, 09:40 AM||#2|
President of the Universe
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Highlands Ranch
That would be huge if he doesent play.
|01-14-2006, 09:49 AM||#3|
Never say Always
Join Date: Jan 2003