Rolando McClain Describes Patriots as a ‘Finesse Team’

Rolando McClain doesn’t speak with the media much, but when he does, he usually gives them something good. The Raiders linebacker broke from his usual pattern of silence to answer some questions Monday. We’re guessing his remarks won’t make him many friends in the New England-area, but they’ll likely create headlines this week.

Asked if the Patriots (whom the Raiders play Sunday) are different from the physical Jets (whom the Raiders beat in week three), McClain concurred.

“This is just a finesse team,” McClain said of the Pats. “I mean, Tom Brady’s a smart guy, has many weapons around him, with his receivers as well as his tight ends. His tight ends are playing great right now.”

McClain’s comments will no doubt be blown out of proportion and become bulletin board material, but they’re accurate. The Patriots are the second-highest scoring team in the league and they lead the NFL in yards per game. However, it’s important to note that 81% of their offense yardage has come through the air. 11 of their 13 offensive touchdowns have been passing. The Patriots are spreading out their offense and throwing the ball the way they did in 2007. They’re able to outscore many opponents, but physical teams like the Giants and Jets have been able to beat them in the past. Maybe the Raiders will be able to do the same.

We do know one thing: after getting called out for being a “finesse team,” the Patriots will have a lot to prove next Sunday. Perhaps incorporating Stevan Ridley into the offense more will help change that perception.

Richard Seymour Describes Raiders’ Defense as ‘X-Rated’

The Raiders beat the Jets 34-24 Sunday in Oakland to improve to 2-1 on the season. They’re tied with the Chargers for first in the AFC West, and their players are particularly proud of their defensive effort.

During introductions before the game, Raiders defensive lineman Richard Seymour went Dante Hall and threw up an “X.” After the game, he explained what it meant.

“When I throw up the ‘X,’ that means it’s time to put the kids to bed,” Seymour said. “It’s X-rated out there. That means if you’re 13 and under, don’t watch this.”

The defense didn’t exactly bring the pain early in the game, falling behind 17-7. In the second half, they delivered four sacks of Mark Sanchez, and one broken nose.

Seymour has actually been doing the “X” gesture since joining the Raiders in 2009. In an interview last year, he said the “X” symbolized what the Raiders were about to do defensively. Now apparently the gesture has changed to mean that the things are getting X-rated. I guess that’s what happens when your team is balling. Seymour shouldn’t get too cocky though — the offense has really carried them. Without Darren McFadden, they wouldn’t be 2-1.

Justin Tuck Says Young Eagles Fan Threw Beer at Giants Bus

Philadelphia fans are some of the most passionate, rowdy fans in the country. They notoriously booed Santa Claus, they booed a robot, and they’ve been known to throw batteries onto the field of play from time to time. No surprise, they weren’t in the best of moods after their Eagles lost to the Giants at home Sunday.

Giants defensive end Justin Tuck, who had a tackle in New York’s 29-16 road win, tweeted from the team bus about some of the Eagles fans’ naughty behavior:

I’m guessing the middle fingers will be there from Eagles fans regardless of whether the Giants win or lose, but getting a beer thrown at them is the product of bitter Philly fans. I’m sure Tuck was only too happy to take it.

Now if you want to call out Philly fans for bad parenting, then you don’t want to see this video from a Phillies game last year. It doesn’t get more irresponsible than that.

Mark Sanchez Has Busted Nose Pushed Back into Place Against Raiders

Mark Sanchez got hit hard in the third quarter against the Raiders Sunday and ended up with a busted nose. Though it hasn’t been confirmed that he has a broken nose, the animation above provides all the confirmation one should need. Sanchez went to the sidelines saying his nose was killing him and had it adjusted by the trainers. If he were a real tough guy, he would have gone Steve Nash. After getting his nose busted, Sanchez played the rest of the game with a visor:

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Bills Players Rave About Buffalo Fans Rocking Ralph Wilson Stadium

The Bills snapped a 15-game losing streak to the Patriots Sunday with a 34-31 win at home. Simply overcoming a 21-0 deficit makes the win special, but finally beating the Patriots made it spectacular. Buffalo had been thoroughly dominated by the Pats for years. New England had won 20 of their last 21 meetings with the Bills, so the victory had to feel like winning the Super Bowl for many fans.

Chris Kelsay, who is the only Bills player on the roster who was with the team the last time they had beaten the Patriots (in 2003), called it the biggest win of his career. Running back Fred Jackson ran around the field waving a Bills flag after the win, and the goal posts had to be lowered to keep fans from pulling them down. It was like a college atmosphere in Buffalo.

After the win, Bills players raved on Twitter about the amazing energy from the fans.

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Michael Vick Blames Refs for Broken Hand, Early-Season Injuries

Over the offseason, Andy Reid and the Eagles made it perfectly clear that they wanted Michael Vick to play more from the pocket in an effort to avoid injuries.  With the way the first three weeks of the season have gone, it might be a good idea for Reid and the Philly coaching staff to unleash Vick again and let him run wild.

Vick is obviously not safe in the pocket, as evidenced by his concussion last week and the broken right hand he suffered against the Giants on Sunday.  Following the loss to New York, Vick expressed frustration with the officiating that the Eagles have dealt with and talked his way into a certain fine from Roger Goodell.

“After such a great play I felt like I got hit late,” Vick said when asked about his injury. “There’s no flag. Broke my hand. That’s it.”

That was far from it.

“It really don’t matter where it was at,” Vick said. “I was trying to protect myself. Still didn’t get a flag. That’s pretty much the story for the last three weeks. Obviously, at some point something catastrophic is going to happen and I broke my hand.

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Antonio Gates’ Foot Likely to Bother Him for Season, Career

After catching eight passes for 74 yards in the Chargers’ season-opening win against the Vikings, it appeared as if Antonio Gates was back. Two weeks later, it appears as if being “back” has a whole new meaning.

Gates was shutout week two against the Patriots, prompting concern that he had re-aggravated his foot injury. Gates, who didn’t miss a game from 2006-2009, missed the last six games of the season last year with a torn plascia. Although listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Chiefs, Gates was inactive and it’s been reported that his plascia is torn again.

If you’re unsure what that means, read this excerpt from ESPN’s Stephania Bell, written about Gates before the season began:

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