AP NEWS

Pats Fans Shouldn’t Hit Panic Button Yet

September 27, 2018

For those fans panicking over the New England Patriots’ 1-2 start, please follow the one word advice Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers once uttered to Packers’ fans, “R-E-L-A-X!”

This edition of the Patriots is going to be OK. It may not be 12-4 home field throughout the AFC playoffs good. But it’s going to be plenty good enough to win the 10 games needed to capture another AFC East/Least crown and make the postseason cut ...

Patriots looking for rushing game consistency/12

The anticipated insertion of receivers Julian Edelman (who has one game remaining in his four-game suspension) and newly acquired Josh Gordon into the lineup will give Tom Brady more options in the passing game, and, hopefully, ease the double teams on Rob Gronkowski. But the play of the receivers isn’t as concerning as the performance of the defensive front through three games.

A mediocre Detroit Lions O-line continually blew holes in the heart of the Patriots’ defense in Sunday’s win. Rookie back Kerryon Johnson rushed for 101 yards, snapping the Lions’ 70-game drought without a 100-yard rusher that dated back to Thanksgiving 2013, when Reggie Bush gained 117 yards in a 40-10 victory over Green Bay ...

Speaking of Johnson, the former Auburn standout will forever be the answer to a trivia question for Patriots’ fans. The Lions, after making a deal with the Patriots, selected Johnson with the second-round pick, 43rd overall, in this year’s draft that the Patriots received from the San Francisco 49ers in exchange for Jimmy Garoppolo ...

Another player off to a good start that was selected with a 2018 draft pick the Patriots dealt away, 105th overall, is Cleveland Browns receiver Antonio Calladay, a former Florida standout who has hauled in seven receptions for 101 yards and a touchdown. Based on first impressions, Calladay would have been a nice addition to the Patriots’ receiving corps ...

With Baker Mayfield named the starter in Cleveland and Josh Rosen slated to get the start for Arizona this week, the four quarterbacks-- Mayfield (No. 1 overall), Sam Darnold (No. 3, Jets), Josh Allen (No. 7, Bills) and Rosen (No. 10) -- picked among the first 10 picks of this year’s draft are now all at the top of depth chart with their respective teams.

It remains to be seen if being thrown into the fire immediately and learning on the job on teams that are far from contending for a playoff berth will be beneficial in terms of their long-term development ...

The Kansas City Chiefs took the opposite approach with quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes was selected 10th overall out of Texas Tech in 2017, and sat last season behind Alex Smith (now with the Washington Redskins), watching and learning from the sideline. He made one start last fall, passing for 284 yards and no touchdowns.

Mahomes quickly proved the wait was worth it as he’s come out slinging TDs at a record rate this season, passing for 13 scores and 896 yards while leading Kansas City to a 3-0 start. Mahomes father, Pat, is a former MLB pitcher who played for six big league clubs, including the Red Sox, while compiling a 42-39 record ...

The Chiefs play at Cleveland on Nov. 4. If that meeting is anything like the show Mahomes and Mayfield staged when Oklahoma played at Texas Tech in 2016, it will be the NFL game of the year.

Mayfield, who began his college career as a walk-on at Texas Tech, led OU to a 66-59 victory in a game that set the all-time NCAA Division 1 single game yardage record with 1,708 yards.

Mahomes passed for 734 yards and five touchdowns while setting an NCAA record for individual offense in a game with 819 combined passing and rushing yards. Mayfield threw seven touchdowns while passing for 545 yards.

The 1,279 combined passing yards is an NCAA record. OU and Texas Tech also combined for 75 first downs.

AP RADIO
Update hourly