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Patriots D dominates Dolphins in win


by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(12/14/2014) The Patriots defense came up with another big performance in Week 15, in a 41-13 win over the Dolphins.

The Patriots gave up 384 yards of total offense to the Dolphins, but held them to just one late touchdown in the first half. They picked Ryan Tannehill off twice and sacked him four times, finishing with 20 Fantasy points for their troubles, their best showing since Week 2.

The Patriots DST has scored in double figures in Fantasy points in three of the last four games, and should be able to keep that going in Week 16, with the Jets on the schedule. The Patriots had just 5 points against the Jets the last time these two met up, but opposing DST units are averaging 12.4 per game against them for the season. 


Patriots can't hold up vs. Packers


by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(11/30/2014) The Patriots DST unit entered Week 13 against the Packers rolling, but couldn't slow down the dominant Green Bay offense in a 26-21 loss.

The Packers racked up 478 yards of total offense in the game, but the Patriots did a good job of holding up in the red zone, limiting the Packers to four field goals in their trips. However, the Patriots did little else right, finishing the game with no turnovers forced and only three sacks on their line.

The Patrios DST unit finished the game with 5 Fantasy points, their worst showing since Week 7 against the Jets. They face the Chargers in Week 14. 


Special teams provides a lift in big Patriots' win


by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(11/3/2014) The Patriots DST unit took on a tough matchup in Week 9, but came out with a few big plays in a 43-21 win over the Broncos.

The Patriots didn't really get much pressure on Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, registering just one sack,  but forced Manning into two interceptions anyways. However, the biggest play of the game came in the form of a special teams touchdown, as Julian Edelman broke things open wide in the second quarter with an 84-yard punt return for a score.

The Patriots ended the game with 13 Fantasy points, the first double-digit game against the Broncos all season. They are averaging 12.7 Fantasy points per game with six double-digit games in nine tries, and should be viewed as a solid starting option when they return from a Week 10 bye, even against the high-scoring Colts. 


Forecast shows good things for Patriots DST


by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(10/16/2014) The Patriots DST has reached double digits in Fantasy points in four of six games so far this season, and has a good chance to make it five in Week 7 against the Jets.

The Jets offense has been a disaster recently, with opposing Fantasy DST units averaging 17.8 Fantasy points per game against them. So, even if the Patriots weren't already third in Fantasy scoring, they would be worth using against this reeling offense. Throw in the fact that the game is being played on a Thursday and a weather report that indicates plenty of rain in the area, and there is little reason not to start the Patriots.

The Patriots should be considered a must-start Fantasy DST unit for Week 7. 


Patriots unravel in blowout loss


by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(9/30/2014) The Patriots defense came apart in Week 4, during a 41-14 loss to the Chiefs Monday.

The Chiefs offense dropped 30-plus points for the second game in a row, and the Patriots defense provided little resistance. The Chiefs racked up 443 yards on 66 plays, including 207 on the ground, and the Patriots failed to make any big pays. New England's DST unit ended up forcing no turnovers, while finishing the game with just two sacks.

The defense had been a positive for the Patriots in recent weeks, as they allowed just 16 points in their previous two games. They might struggle to get back on track in Week 5, however, with the Bengals on the schedule. 


Early success not enough for Patriots DST


by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(9/7/2014) The Patriots defense forced a slew of turnovers early in Sunday's game against the Dolphins, but fell apart late in a 33-20 loss.

The Patriots DST unit came up with three big first-half plays, as they forced a trio of turnovers and limited the Dolphins to 10 points before halftime. They recovered a pair of fumbles and interception Ryan Tannehill once, but did little else otherwise, recording one sack total in the loss.

The Patriots DST failed to live up to expectations in the opener, but will look for better results in Week 2 against the Vikings. 


Patriots should find success in Week 1


by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(9/6/2014) The Patriots are expected to be much-improved on the defensive side of the ball this season, and they get their first chance to show it in Week 1 against the Dolphins Sunday.

The Patriots struggled just a bit against the Dolphins last season, at least in their second matchup late in the season. Miami scored 24 points on 378 yards of total offense, while the Patriots managed just one turnover, for an eight-point showing from a Fantasy perspective.

Of course, that game came without the services of offseason addition Darrelle Revis and returning defensive lineman Vince Wilfork, who missed both matchups a year ago. The Dolphins ranked just 26th in points per game a year ago, and opposing DST units averaged 11.8 Fantasy points per game against them, so this should be a good matchup for the Patriots to show off their improvements. Consider New England a high-end DST option for Week 1. 


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.