Patriots Quick Hits: Brady Behind Schedule
Matt Cassel clears out his his locker (AP)
Matt Cassel clears out his his locker (AP)

Posted Dec 30, 2008


New England wraps up their season with a win over the Buffalo Bills. News notes and snippets

Brady Recovery Not On Track?

The Patriots can now shift their attention to the offseason, and atop their list of priorities is figuring out what's going on with QB Tom Brady.

According to published reports, Brady is behind schedule as he recovers from knee surgery.

The reports suggest his ACL and MCL are still loose, which may factor into the team's decision regarding Matt Cassel, Brady's backup. Cassel, who won 10 games as a starter, is a free agent at the end of the year, but there's a chance he could be franchised if the Patriots decide Brady won't be ready to start the 2009 season on time.

Weather Cuts Welker's Opportunities Down

The wind at Buffalo on Sunday played a factor in the team's offensive strategy, which is why WR Wes Welker fell one catch shy of tying the franchise single-season record of 112, which he set last year.

Randy Moss caught only one pass in the season finale and finished with 11 touchdowns, which is 12 shy of the record-setting total he racked up during the team's undefeated season in 2007.

Bad News Bills

A poor case of clock management by the Bills before the end of the first half allowed the Patriots to keep their shutout intact.

The Bills missed out on a potential field goal in the closing seconds when they failed to get the snap off following a minor shoving match at the end of the preceding play.

"Some of us (were aware of the clock running down). I wasn't. It's football. Things happen," S James Sanders said. "You get out there, it gets emotional, you start wrestling and tussling. It's one of those things that worked in our favor."

Player Notes:
--LT Matt Light started the game despite a separated shoulder, but he left in the third quarter after apparently aggravating the injury. He was replaced by Mark LeVoir.
--OL Russ Hochstein continued to show his versatility against Buffalo by playing as a tight end and a fullback to help out with blocking assignments at the line of scrimmage.
--FB Heath Evans caught two passes Sunday for a career-high 31 yards. Those catches were the Patriots' only completions of the first half due to the conditions.
--DE Jarvis Green started in place of Richard Seymour and recorded his first sack of the season, which also forced a fumble by QB Trent Edwards.
--K Stephen Gostkowski set a franchise single-season record with 148 points. He had two field goals in Sunday's finale.

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