Matt Cassel talks to reporters
Matt Cassel talks to reporters this week while preparing for the Jets and his first NFL start.

With kick off just a few hours away it’s time for a little pregame news for the match up with the AFC East rival New York Jets.  Make sure you check that link for my all the game news including my weekly prediction.  The line is holding steady at Patriots +1.5 with an over/under of 37 this morning.

Yesterday the Patriots added QB Matt Gutierrez to the active 53-man roster from the practice squad.  In order to create roster space the team released first year WR C.J. Jones.  There is now a spot on the practice squad and Jones is a likely candidate but he needs to clear waivers first before he can be re-signed.

Bill Belichick downgraded TE Ben Watson (knee), WR Sam Aiken (knee) and LB eric Alexander (calf) to out.  Eric Mangini listed K MIke Nugent (thigh) and WR David Clowney (shoulder) as out.  The rest of the players who are inactive wil be in the post game report.

With the Tom Brady injury there appears to be much more further reaching financial issues by losing the leagues best player.  Newsweek talks about how the loss of Brady affects the team, NFL and the TV Networks in the pocketbook.

Indianapolis QB and Brady friend Peyton Manning says he is “sick over Tom Brady” and “Brady texted me and said it must not have been in the cards for him to stay healthy this year, and he’s going to fight hard in rehab and be back next year.”

When a prominent former player says this like:

“the offensive line used to come back and say, ‘Hey, there’s something about this kid.’ He always had a swagger every time he stepped under center.  The confidence level’s amazing.”

When a former coach says

“Vivacious — he is just 100 percent go all the time.  He is just on fire, mentally aggressive, physically aggressive.”

You tend to listen.  The player was Doug Flutie, the coach was Bill Coan of Chatsworth High, the player they are talking about is Matt Cassel.  Lots of people had high praise for player many people have never heard of until last Sunday. 

Patriots defensive coordinator Dean Pees has a won-loss grading system for the defense on 1st, 2nd and 3rd down plays. 

  • First down: A win is 3 yards or less, setting up second-and-7 or more.  
  • Second down: A win is anything that makes it third-and-4 or more.  
  • Third down: A win is stopping the offense short of the first down.

Pees was very happy with first down but said there were issues on third down where the Kansas City Chiefs converted on 8 of 16 3rd downs.

“There were a couple situations where we were very competitive on the routes but the guy made the catch, basically [Tony] Gonzalez,” he said. “Regardless of that, we have to do a better job on third down. … We have to a little better job of playing our techniques and doing some things to get off the field. We have to get that number lower.”

Will someone tell ESPN’s Emmit Smith it’s Matt Cassel…not Matt Hassel.  He screwed up his name at least 6 times this morning on Sports Center.