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Patriots DST flops in a big way


by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(1/19/2014) After intercepting Andrew Luck four times in the divisional round, the Patriots DST did not bother Peyton Manning in the AFC Championship Game. New England did not register a sack or quarterback hit, and was unable to force a turnover.

The Patriots gave up 507 total yards and allowed the Broncos to control the ball for nearly 36 minutes. True, New England was hurt by the injury to top cornerback Aqib Talib. But the title game demonstrated clearly that New England must improve its pass rush this offseason.


Two wideouts prominent on Friday injury report for Patriots


by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(1/17/2014) Patriots wide receivers Aaron Dobson (foot) and Kenbrell Thompkins (hip/concussion) head a short list of Patriots listed as questionable for the AFC Championship game Sunday at Denver. Punter Ryan Allen (shoulder) is also questionable.

Linebacker Steve Beauharnais has been ruled out with an undisclosed injury, though he likely would have been a healthy scratch anyway.


Patriots get the best of Andrew Luck in playoff win


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1/11/2014) The Patriots took advantage of Andrew Luck's mistakes, picking him off four times -- a career-worst for the second-year pro -- in a 43-22 win over the Colts in a Divisional Playoff game at Gillette Stadium.

New England allowed 331 passing yards and two touchdowns to Luck, both of which went to LeVon Brazill. Alfonzo Dennard came down with two interceptions while Dont'a Hightower and Jamie Collins each came away with one pick. The defense sacked Luck three times, forced four turnovers and allowed 386 yards of total offense in the win.

Patriots DST no boon for Fantasy owners on Sunday


by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(12/30/2013) The Patriots DST registered four sacks but little else for Fantasy owners Sunday in their win over Buffalo. They gave up 20 points and 393 yards and managed one turnover.

Stephen Gostkowski sets Patriots field goal mark


by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(12/29/2013) Patriots placekicker Stephen Gostkowski had an eventful afternoon on Sunday. He not only connected on all four of his field goal attempts, but his 37th of the year broke a franchise single-season record.

Gostkowski hit a 43-yarder to open the scoring, a 35-yarder in the first quarter, 29-yarder in the second and put the cherry on the sundae with a second 35-yarder in the fourth.


Patriots DST a Fantasy risk against Bills


by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(12/27/2013) The Patriots defense is tough to figure out, which means their DST is difficult to judge for Fantasy owners on a weekly basis.

The unit ranks a fine ninth in the NFL in points allowed (318) and fifth in turnovers (29), but is otherwise poor statistically. The Patriots rank 18th in passing yards yielded (3,600) and touchdowns given up through the air (24) - and that's the good news. They are a lowly 29th in rushing yards surrendered (1,976) and 24th in YPC (4.4). That leads one to believe they are lights out in the red zone, but they are a middle-of-the-back 16th in touchdowns given up inside the 20.

Such numbers force Fantasy owners to base decisions on matchups. And Week 17 provides a tough one agianst Buffalo, which boasts its offensive strength in the two-headed backfield monster of Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller that could take advantage of the weak New England run defense.

The Patriots have yielded at least 300 yards in every game since the season opener and were playing particularly poor defense before their 41-7 defeat of Baltimore last week. The hunch here is that the Patriots, who are playing for a first-round bye, will rise up and perform well defensively against the Bills. But they are a risky play.


Patriots cash in on two late DTDs Week 16


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12/23/2013) The Patriots turned in a monster defensive performance, as they capped off a 41-7 victory over the Ravens in Week 16 with two returns for a touchdown.

Chandler Jones recovered a botched snap in the end zone for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter. On the next drive, Tavon Wilson picked off Tyrod Taylor and took it back 74 yards for a touchdown. New England sacked Joe Flacco four times and allowed 358 yards of total offense in a convincing win.

The Patriots will end the regular season against the Bills.

Patriots could benefit from injury-plagued Ravens


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12/20/2013) The Patriots may be in for a somewhat favorable matchup against the Ravens in Week 16, depending on the status of Joe Flacco and Ray Rice.

Flacco was ruled questionable for Week 16, and if he does play, he'll wear a brace on his sprained left knee during the game, which will obviously impact his mobility around the pocket. The Patriots have registered 40 sacks this season, which ranks 11th in the league. New England has also permitted 240.2 passing yards per game, which ranks 18th in the league.

Rice is also listed as questionable for the game with a thigh injury. If he's healthy enough to play, New England may run into some issues. The Patriots have permitted 132.5 yards per game on the ground, which is the second most allowed this season.

If Flacco and Rice miss the game, the Patriots will obviously be at an advantage. That said, both players will have to seriously be injured to miss Sunday's game. For now, consider New England a decent starting option for Week 16.

Patriots pick up four sacks in loss


by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(12/15/2013) The Patriots rushed the passer well in Week 15 against the Dolphins, but did not do much else well in a 24-20 loss.

New England's DST unit finished with four sacks, taking advantage of a poor Dolphins offensive line. Unfortunately, the Dolphins were able to rack up 17 points in the second half, and the Patriots failed to make the kinds of plays needed to win.

The Patriots gave up 378 yards on offense and forced just one turnover, on a botched snap on a field-goal attempt.

The Dolphins' offense has improved in recent weeks, so this wasn't a huge surprise. The Patriots DST unit will try to bounce back in Week 16 against the Ravens.


Patriots take on improving Dolphins offense


by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(12/14/2013) The Dolphins offense is showing signs of life recently, but that doesn't mean the Patriots DST unit is likely to struggle in Week 15.

The Dolphins finally scored more than 27 points in Week 14, putting up a season-high 34 points up against the Steelers. Despite that, Pittsburgh's DST unit still managed to top double-digits in Fantasy points, the ninth time that has happened against Miami in 13 games.

The Patriots harassed Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill into two interceptions and six sacks in a Week 8 meeting during which the Patriots DST racked up 16 points. Opposing DST units are averaging 9.8 Fantasy points per game against the Dolphins, good for 20th in the leaguer, largely thanks to Miami's protection issues; they still allow a league-high 3.6 sacks per game.

The Patriots could have a good game against an improving Miami offense, but the odds don't seem to be in their favor. Among our three Senior Fantasy Writers' rankings for the week, only one has the Patriots among the top-12 for DST units for Week 15. Consider New England a low-end starting option for this Sunday's game. 


Six probables dot Patriots injury report


by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(12/13/2013) The Patriots have designated six players as probable for the game Sunday against the Dolphins, including quarterback Tom Brady (shoulder), wide receiver Danny Amendola (groin), running back Shane Vereen (wrist) and cornerback Aqib Talib (hip).

The others are wideout Matthew Slater (wrist) and safety Steve Gregory (finger).


Patriots DST almost scoreless in defeat of Browns


by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(12/8/2013) One measly sack by Rob Ninkovich. That's all Fantasy owners of the Patriots DST got for putting that unit in their lineups Sunday against Cleveland.

The Patriots yielded 26 points and 386 yards and forced no turnovers in their come-from-behind win.


Steven Gostkowski doesn't miss in win over Browns


by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(12/8/2013) Patriots placekicker Stephen Gostkowski was perfect Sunday against Cleveland. He booted field goals of 33 and 50 yards in the second half and nailed his only extra-point try in the come-from-behind victory.

Patriots DST an ideal Fantasy play against struggling Browns


by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(12/6/2013) One might be wary about placing the Patriots DST in Fantasy lineups because their run defense is so poor. But there is one consideration that alleviates that concern in Week 14.

The Browns have no ground game. They rank 28th in the league in yards gained on the ground and dead last in rushing touchdowns with two.

The Patriots are far superior against the pass. They rank 10th in yards given up through the air (2,688) and ninth in interceptions with 14. They also bring a strong pass rush from the ends and the Browns have struggled to keep their quarterbacks upright.

The Browns have one incredible weapon in wide receiver Josh Gordon, but New England cornerback Aqib Talib is physical enough to limit him and he can certainly be double-teamed because there are no other major threats.

All three CBSSports.com senior Fantasy writers agree that the Patriots DST is a fine play this week. Nathan Zegura even ranks them No. 1 on his list. Their potential drops if Jason Campbell is healthy enough to play quarterback for the Browns, but they are a must-play either way.


Patriots yield 31 points in Week 13 win


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12/1/2013) The Texans gave the Patriots defense plenty of problems Week 13. Although New England escaped with a win, Houston rolled up 31 points and 385 yards (121 rushing).

Texans running back Ben Tate was particularly an issue for the New England defense, as he finished with 102 rushing yards and three touchdowns. Wide receiver Andre Johnson also had a nice game, totaling eight catches for 121 yards.

The Patriots were only able to sack Houston quarterback Case Keenum once and forced just one turnover (interception) in the win. The Patriots are back in action Week 14 vs. Cleveland.


Patriots DST looking at favorable matchup Week 13


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(11/29/2013) The Patriots DST is looking at a favorable matchup Week 13 against the Texans.

Houston has allowing opposing defenses to score 14.73 Fantasy points per game, which is the third-highest figure in the league. The Texans offense has struggled this season, scoring 18.1 points per game, which ranks 30th. Houston has scored under 20 points in five of their 11 games this season.

Defensively, the Patriots are allowing 20.9 points per game, which ranks ninth in the league. New England has given up at least 30 points in three games, but two were against the Saints and Broncos, two of the best offensive clubs in the league. The Texans are no where near as strong offensively, which could mean the Pats are in for a big game Week 13.


Patriots defense help overcome 24-point deficit


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(11/25/2013) The Patriots defense bounced back from a rough start and rallied from a 24-point deficit during Sunday's contest against the Broncos in Week 12.

New England allowed 24 points in the first half, including 17 in the opening quarter. Three of Denver's scores came from turnovers from the New England offense. The Patriots clamped down in the second half and allowed only 10 points. New England picked off Peyton Manning once, sacked him twice and surrendered 412 yards of total offense in a 34-31 overtime win.

The Patriots will travel to Houston for a showdown against the lowly Texans in Week 13.

Patriots likely to have issues vs. fast-paced Denver offense


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(11/22/2013) The Patriots could run into trouble against Denver's fast-paced offense in Week 12.

The Patriots allowed 300 yards of total offense, including 197 to Cam Newton in Week 11 against the Panthers. New England will have to keep Peyton Manning in check, who failed to throw for multiple touchdowns for the first time this season in Week 11 against the Chiefs. Manning is averaging 357.2 yards per game, with 34 touchdowns and six interceptions. The Patriots have allowed 229.2 passing yards per game, which ranks 12th in the league. Opposing DSTs have scored 6.30 Fantasy points per game against the Broncos this season.

New England will need to contain the pass, which seems unlikely, especially if they fall into a shootout. Consider the Patriots DST a low-end option in deeper formats for Week 12.

Patriots DST can't force mistakes


by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(11/19/2013) After getting seven takeaways in its previous three games, the Patriots DST did not force a turnover in the 24-20 loss at Carolina. New England registered three sacks, two by defensive end Rob Ninkovich

The Patriots held Carolina to 300 total yards but had no answer for Cam Newton, who threw three touchdown passes and repeatedly scrambled to keep drives alive. Newton's running helped Carolina convert 8 of 11 third downs.

The Patriots DST faces an even tougher matchup Week 12, when Peyton Manning and the Broncos come calling.


Patriots DST a borderline play at best


by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(11/13/2013) The Patriots DST enters Week 11 at Carolina tied for 12th in Fantasy scoring (11.7 per game). The unit has been better of late, averaging 13 Fantasy points in three games preceding the bye while racking up 15 sacks and seven takeaways.

But the Panthers give up the ninth-fewest Fantasy points (8.2 per game) to opposing DSTs. They've turned the ball over five times during their five-game win streak. Over that span, DSTs have averaged 6.2 points vs. Carolina.

You can hope quarterback Cam Newton reverts to his former carelessness. Or you can do the smart thing and keep the Patriots DST benched Monday night.


Patriots looking to contain Pittsburgh's ground game


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(11/2/2013) The Patriots head into Sunday's contest against the Steelers at home in Week 9 looking to keep Le'Veon Bell in check.

The Patriots should fare well against Ben Roethlisberger, since they're pretty stingy against the pass, having only allowed 215.5 yards per game, which is the fifth fewest in the league. The focus for New England will be on Bell, who has yet to hit the century mark in his career. New England allowed 156 yards on the ground against Miami last week and are second-to-last in the league against the run. The Patriots have allowed 130.8 yards per game on the ground this season.

That said, Opposing DST units have done well against the Steelers, scoring in double-digits in all but one of the seven games played against Pittsburgh. Fantasy owners should consider the Patriots as a viable option in deeper Fantasy formats.

Patriots dial up second-half pressure


by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(10/27/2013) The Patriots defense got off to a terrible start in Week 8 against the Dolphins, as they allowed 17 points in the first half. That would be all Miami would manage, in a 27-17 loss.

The Patriots buckled down after halftime, eventually holding Miami to just 17 points on 252 yards of total offense. They dialed up the pass rush in the second half, with all six of the team's sacks coming after halftime, and helping lead to three turnovers by Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

The Patriots have another solid matchup for Week 9, with the Steelers coming to town.


Patriots could flourish vs. Miami


by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(10/25/2013) The Patriots DST has been one of the better options for Fantasy owners this season, averaging 11.1 Fantasy points per game so far. They should continue to prove a worthwhile option in Week 8, as the division rival Dolphins head to town Sunday.

The Dolphins have not taken the expected step forward as an offense so far, and opposing DST units have taken advantage. Miami's opponents are averaging 11.0 Fantasy points per game against them, and have reached double figures in five of six games.

Miami has turned the ball over 11 times and has allowed 26 sacks in six games, a combination of woes the Patriots will look to take advantage of. New England has 18 sacks and 13 turnovers on the season. The Patriots should be well worth starting for Fantasy purposes this week, given Miami's struggles. 


Patriots score DTD in Week 7


by Nando Di Fino | Senior Fantasy Writer
(10/20/2013) The Patriots scored a defensive touchdown off a Geno Smith interception in the first quarter of the team's 30-27 overtime loss to the Jets on Sunday, as Logan Ryan ran a pick back 81 yards for a score.

The Pats also recorded four sacks of Smith in the loss, allowing the rookie quarterback to score two touchdowns in the game. 

The Pats have been ravaged by injury lately, but got nice contributions from Chandler and Chris Jones in Week 7. With Aqib Talib expected back soon, New England could be a solid Fantasy option going forward.

The Pats face the Dolphins in Week 8.  


Stephen Gostkowski hits both field goal attempts


by Nando Di Fino | Senior Fantasy Writer
(10/20/2013) Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski hit both of his field goal attempts in Sunday's 30-27 overtime loss to the Jets. Both attempts came in the fourth quarter. 

Gostkowski hit a 39-yard field goal at the beginning of the quarter, then a 44-yard field goal as time expired to tie the game. Gostkowski also successfully converted three extra-point attempts. 

The Patriots face the Dolphins in Week 8.