NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Sports

October 11, 2013

Brady, Brees meet in matchup of 2 top teams

(Continued)

New England’s running game also has been inconsistent with injuries to Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen.

“It’s hard for me to comment on someone else’s struggles,” Payton said of the Patriots, who led the NFL in yards and points last year. “Certainly, it’s been a team that’s been very explosive.”

Five things to watch for in Saints-Patriots:

TOP TIGHT ENDS: The Saints and Patriots have probably the NFL’s best tight ends. But only one has played this season.

Jimmy Graham was tied for second with 37 catches after making 10 in New Orleans’ 26-18 win over the Chicago Bears last Sunday.

“Jimmy Graham is as good as anybody we’ve seen all year or will see in the passing game,” Belichick said. “He is fast and quick and is a hard guy to match up to no matter who you put on him.”

So is Gronkowski, and Saints rookie safety Kenny Vaccaro was eager to face him.

“He’s one of the best tight ends in the league, and that’s one of my favorite things to do,” he said, “to just match up and play against the best.”

LONG DRIVES: The Saints lead the league in time of possession at 34:37. So New England needs some long drives to keep the ball away from Brees.

“I think we’ll try to put together any drive at this point to score points. Long, short, it doesn’t matter. We’ve got to score touchdowns,” Brady said. “We’ve got to try and score quickly, methodically, whatever it takes, because they have a good offense.”

The Patriots had one drive of more than 35 yards against the Bengals.

HOLD THAT LINE: Getting into the end zone against these two teams is tough. The Patriots have allowed 14 points per game, second fewest in the NFL, while the Saints have given up an average of 14.6, fourth fewest. New England limited Cincinnati to 13 points without defensive tackle Vince Wilfork, sidelined for the season. New Orleans has won its last three games while safety Roman Harper has been out with a knee injury.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

NDN Video
Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Tiger Woods: 1 on 1 3 Questions with Gary Payton: Kevin Love, Andrew Wiggins and Derrick Rose Players Only: Marcus Mariota's Course Load at Oregon How We Almost Got Johnny Cowboy Donald Sterling Loses The Clippers For Good - @TheBuzzeronFox Franklin talks leaving Vandy Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX Michael Jordan OK With LeBron James Wearing No. 23? - @TheBuzzeronFox The Cornhuskers have gone...Loco? McNabb: Two games is not acceptable for me Ortiz, Price Feud Is Upsetting To Children - @TheBuzzeronFOX MLB Trade Deadline Talk: Price, Stanton, Kemp Tony Romo will be a full-go for camp Teammate's Advice For Johnny Manziel & Josh Gordon - @TheBuzzeronFox Helfrich praises Mariota's commitment to improve Hillary Clinton Blamed Bill's Affair With Monica Lewinsky On Abuse He Suffered As A Child Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent First impressions of Giants' new up-tempo offense Athletic Gaines: Where LeSean McCoy, Kenjon Barner, and more prepare for NFL season
Special Features