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Aaron Rodgers: Darrelle Revis, Brandon Browner a ‘talented duo’

11.27.14 at 6:00 am ET
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Aaron Rodgers has thrown for 2,957 yards, completed 67 percent of his passes, and has 30 touchdown passes and just three picks this season. (Casey Hayward/Getty Images)

Aaron Rodgers knows he will need to be at his best this Sunday taking on the Patriots. (Casey Hayward/Getty Images)

FOXBORO — Jay Cutler, Peyton Manning, Andrew Luck, Matthew Stafford.

Those are the four quarterbacks the Patriots secondary, led by Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner, has been able to contain in each of the last four games, all Patriots wins. This week they may face their toughest test yet — Aaron Rodgers on his home turf of Lambeau Field.

Rodgers is completing 67 percent of his passes, averaging 284.8 passing yards per game and has 18 touchdowns and no picks in five home games this years, but Rodgers knows keeping that pace will be tough facing Revis and Browner.

“They’€™re a talented duo there,” Rodgers said on a conference call Wednesday. “They both have different skill sets that they use to their advantage. I played against Browner in college and he was a dominant player and then for whatever reason he went up to Canada and came back. He’€™s been a dominant player since he’€™s been back. He’€™s a lockdown defender, uses his size and length really well. Darrelle has been one of the best corners probably since he got into the league. With the years under his belt, it just gives the experience. There’€™s nothing that probably surprises him. He’€™s done a great job of being patient and reading routes. He’€™s got great ball skills. Everything he does is exceptional.”

The two teams come into the game as the two Super Bowl favorites, and both playing their best football of the season. The Packers have won seven of their last eight games, while the Patriots have won seven in a row after a 2-2 start.

Rodgers says he isn’t look at this game any differently and is just concentrating on putting the Packers in the best position come the postseason.

“We don’€™t get up and down more for any other matchup,” Rodgers said. “This is an uncommon opponent, this AFC team. This time of year, you want to win all your games, especially the ones at home when you’€™re in a position to control your own fate here. We can keep on a roll and hopefully get a home playoff game. That’€™s what we’€™re thinking about.”

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Chandler Jones (hip), Shane Vereen (ankle) among 9 limited at Patriots practice

11.26.14 at 5:10 pm ET
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Chandler Jones

Chandler Jones

FOXBORO — The good news for the Patriots was the entire team took part in Wednesday’s walkthrough inside the Dana Farber Fieldhouse — the bad news was they had nine players limited.

The biggest takeaway was the presence of Chandler Jones (hip), the first time he has practiced since suffering the hip injury in Week 7’s game against the Jets. Shane Vereen (ankle) was another player limited — it is unclear when he suffered the injury, as nothing was seen during last Sunday’s win over the Lions.

Long-snapper Danny Aiken (concussion) was limited — likely the result of C.J. Mosley bulling into him drawing a personal foul penalty late in the game last Sunday on a field goal attempt. Mosley was fined for the play. Brandon LaFell (shoulder) was also limited after landing awkwardly on his final catch last week.

Tom Brady (ankle) and Julian Edelman (thigh) were full participants.

The Patriots are preparing for Sunday’s game in Green Bay against the Packers.

Here is the complete practice report:

Limited participation

LS Danny Aiken (concussion)
OL Marcus Cannon (hip)
OL Dan Connolly (ankle)
DL Dominique Easley (knee)
DB Nate Ebner (finger)
OL Cameron Fleming (finger/ankle)
DE Chandler Jones (hip)
WR Brandon LaFell (shoulder)
RB Shane Vereen (ankle)

Full participation

QB Tom Brady (ankle)
WR Julian Edelman (thigh)

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Tom Brady explains why Aaron Rodgers is ‘obviously one of the best players ever to play’ quarterback

11.26.14 at 4:14 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers can relate on a lot of levels.

Earlier in the season, both were struggling to get their high-powered offenses in gear. Both were warding off speculation that this may not be the year for them after many years that the top of the quarterback roll call.

After a 19-7 loss to the Lions in Detroit, the Packers were in a similar situation to the Patriots when they were rolled by the Chiefs, 41-14, in Kansas City. Rodgers famously told the local ESPN Radio affiliate in Wisconsin, “Five letters here, just for everybody out there in Packer land, R-E-L-A-X. Relax. We’€™re going to be OK.”

The Packers won their next four games, put up 50 points in back-to-back wins over Bears and Eagles and are considered the hottest team in the NFC. As for the Patriots, they of course haven’t lost since.

Both teams have red-hot quarterbacks. Rodgers has 30 touchdowns and just three interceptions this season. Brady has thrown 20 touchdowns while getting intercepted just twice in that span. And on Wednesday, Brady admitted that he’s followed Rodgers’ career very closely.

“I’€™ve known Aaron for a long time,” Brady said. “We always enjoy seeing each other, and that’€™s what both of us love to do is talk football. I’€™m always trying to learn from him.”

What are those conversations like? What do the two No. 12s talk about?

“Football. There’€™s a lot to talk about,” Brady said. “I don’€™t know if there are so many specifics other than I’€™m probably trying to get into his brain a little bit and he’€™s trying to get into mine. I think there are a lot of things that they do offensively that are really good. Read the rest of this entry »

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Report: Dominic Raiola facing $10K fine for punching Zach Moore

11.26.14 at 3:53 pm ET
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Dominic Raiola has no regrets about what happened Sunday against the Patriots. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Dominic Raiola is going to be $10,000 lighter after being fined for a shot at Zach Moore. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Dominic Raiola thought he’d gotten off scot-free for his cheap shots on Zach Moore.

Not so fast.

The NFL announced Wednesday that the Lions offensive lineman would be fined $10,000 for a shot to the back of Moore’s head late in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s 34-9 win over the Patriots, according to this report from

That runs counter to the statements from Raiola about the incident.

“There’s no fine,” Raiola initially told reporters. “It’s during the game. I don’t know about regrets, I don’t live life with regrets. I didn’t intentionally try to hurt anybody. I didn’t try to do anything out of the ordinary.

“So, just play the game,” he added. “I didn’t make it a big deal, everybody else did.”

According to NFL spokesman Michael Signora, Raiola violated Rule 12, Section 2, Article 12(c) of the NFL Rule Book which prohibits “striking, swinging at, or clubbing the head, neck, or face of an opponent with the wrist(s), arm(s), elbow(s), or hand(s).”

Moore shrugged off the incident on Monday, but Patriots coach Bill Belichick took a shot at Raiola, saying there was likely some “frustration” on the part of the Detroit center, as he hadn’t beaten the Patriots in his 14-year career.

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Report: Lions DT CJ Mosley fined for personal foul penalty vs. Patriots

11.26.14 at 2:28 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Although Lions offensive lineman Dominic Raiola reportedly won’t be fined for his actions in last Sunday’s game against the Patriots, one of his teammates is.

According to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, Lions defensive tackle C.J. Mosley was fined $22,000 for his personal foul late in the game when he hit Patriots long-snapper Danny Aiken illegally after a snap on a field goal attempt, taking a personal foul penalty on the play. LeGarrette Blount recorded his second touchdown of the game on the following play.

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Report: Ed Hochuli will work as referee for Patriots-Packers

11.26.14 at 2:09 pm ET
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Ed Hochuli will serve as the lead official for Sunday's Patriots-Packers game. (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Ed Hochuli will serve as the lead official for Sunday’s Patriots-Packers game. (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Ed Hochuli will serve as the referee for Sunday’s Patriots-Packers game, according to

Hochuli, known for his physique — as well as his occasional tendency to overexplain situations on the field — will be working his first New England game of the season. His last Patriots have was the regular-season finale last year against the Bills. Hochuli, who has worked an an NFL official since 1990, has served as the lead referee for two Super Bowls.

Here’€™€™s a look at who has worked as the lead official for each New England game this year, and the corresponding penalties for each game, not counting the flags that were offset or declined.

Sept. 7 at Miami: Walt Anderson — 9 penalties, 100 yards (Dolphins — 4 penalties, 26 yards)
Sept. 14 at Minnesota: Tony Corrente — 15 penalties, 163 yards (Vikings — 7 penalties, 58 yards)
Sept. 21 vs. Oakland: Pete Morelli — 6 penalties, 59 yards (Raiders — 6 penalties, 49 yards)
Sept. 29 at Kansas City: John Parry — 3 penalties, 30 yards (Chiefs — 4 penalties, 35 yards)
Oct. 5 vs. Cincinnati: Jerome Boger — 12 penalties, 114 yards (Bengals — 4 penalties, 37 yards)
Oct. 12 at Buffalo: Walt Coleman — 9 penalties, 60 yards (Bills — 8 penalties, 107 yards)
Oct. 16 vs. Jets: Bill Leavy — 9 penalties, 64 yards (Jets — 7 penalties, 70 yards)
Oct. 23 vs. Bears: Brad Allen — 7 penalties, 38 yards (Bears — 5 penalties, 41 yards)
Nov. 2 vs. Denver: Walt Anderson — 9 penalties, 71 yards (Broncos — 10 penalties, 72 yards)
Nov. 16 at Indy: Pete Morelli — 5 penalties, 53 yards (Colts — 4 penalties, 27 yards)
Nov. 23 vs. Lions: Tony Corrente — 11 penalties, 89 yards (Lions — 9 penalties, 54 yards)
Nov. 30 at Packers: Ed Hochuli

For more on Hochuli’s work as a referee, check out his page at Pro Football Reference. For more information on this week’s assignments, click through to the always reliable Football Zebras. And for more Patriots news, check out

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Matthew Slater focused on Green Bay even following contract extension

11.26.14 at 2:00 pm ET
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FOXBORO — In typical Matthew Slater fashion, even after signing a two-year contract extension with the Patriots through the end of the 2016 season, he would rather talk about the Patrots’ next opponent in the Packers, than himself.

“I’d love to be able to indulge in that, but we have to focus on playing the Packers this week,” Slater said.

The special teams specialist did give one comment on his contract, but that was as far as he would go.

“I don’t want to get into too much detail about it. I am so thankful for what the lord has done in my life and my career and develop me here as a player and as a man,” Slater said. “I am thankful for an opportunity to continue this development — I am thankful to the coaching staff and coach [Bill] Belichick and this organization for believing in me and appreciating a player like me, and guys like myself across this team. That being said, the focus here is on us preparing for Green Bay. That is all I am concerned with and I’d rather talk about that.”

Slater’s contract was set to expire at the end of the season. Even as strictly a special teamer, Slater has made a huge impact being a three-time Pro Bowl selection. He also serves as the team’s player representative.

“It means a lot. It definitely means a lot to me,” he said of being a member of the Patriots organization. “I really feel like God has blessed me with a tremendous opportunity and I take a lot of pride and am thankful for the opportunity I’ve had here to live out a childhood dream.”

Slater is looking forward to Sunday’s game in Green Bay against a tough Packers team and being able to play at the historic Lambeau Field.

“Excited about it,” he said. “A lot of history there and with Curley Lambeau and everything that this organization stands for. I don’t think the league would be where it is without a franchise like this so we’re excited about the challenge. All that being said, we’re going against one of the best teams in football. That is going to be a big challenge for us and we have to have a good week of preparation and have a good effort on Sunday.”

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