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NFL Makes Rule Change Because of the Patriots

NFL Makes Rule Change Because of the Patriots

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images(PHOENIX) -- The New England Patriots gained a crucial first down against the Baltimore Ravens in their playoff game in January when running back Shane Vereen lined up as an ineligible slot receiver to confuse the Ravens. If they try that again next season, they will be penalized five yards.On Wednesday, the NFL passed a rule making it illegal for an offensive player wearing an eligible number between 1-49 and 80-89 to lineup outside of the tackle box and report as ineligible. If that were to happen next season, the violating team would be penalized for illegal substitution."Whatever it is, it is," Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. "It would affect a lot of other plays, the spread punt formation and stuff like that. Whatever the rule is, it is."According to competition committee co-chair Jeff Fisher, many teams felt there needed to be a rule in place to stop the kind of substitution the Patriots used in the playoffs. Fisher himself said without change, "this may get out of hand."

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Shane Vereen: Can’t ‘Lay an Egg’ Against Colts

Shane Vereen: Can’t ‘Lay an Egg’ Against Colts

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images(FOXBOROUGH, Mass.) -- The New England Patriots are making their third straight AFC Championship game appearance on Sunday when they host the Colts.

Patriots running back Shane Vereen stressed the importance of getting off to a fast start and making sure they do everything they can to punch their ticket to Super Bowl 49.

"If we go out there and lay an egg then it really doesn't matter if we've been here before or not," Vereen said on Friday.  "Each year is something different, each team each year is a different animal, and we have our hands full this Sunday."

New England joined the San Francisco 49ers to become the first teams since the Eagles (2001-04) to go to at least three straight Conference championships after they beat Baltimore on Saturday.

"Unfortunately since I've been here we kind of got stopped a little quicker then we wanted to," linebacker Dont'a Hightower said on Friday.  "You kind of want to leave those things in the past.  I definitely feel throughout this week, we've all been kind of approaching it as doing as much as you can each day."

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has won five AFC title games out of eight appearances, which puts him in a tie with Hall of Famer John Elway for the most conference titles in NFL history during the Super Bowl era.

"As you get older experience is definitely good as long as you play well," said Brady, who has three Super Bowl rings.  "It's a game like all the other games.  We're very fortunate to be in this position."

The Patriots last Super Bowl appearance was in 2012 when they fell to the Giants, 21-17.  Their last Super Bowl title came against the Eagles in 2005.

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Patriots Edge Jets, 27-25 Thanks to Blocked Field Goal

Patriots Edge Jets, 27-25 Thanks to Blocked Field Goal

Jim Rogash/Getty Images(FOXBOROUGH, Mass.) -- In a game that ended closer than some had previously predicted, the New England Patriots look to be back on track after narrowly defeating the New York Jets 27-25 on Thursday Night Football.

With time expiring, Jets kicker Nick Folk lined up for a 58-yard field goal but it was blocked by defensive tackle Chris Jones.

"It's good to feel that ball hitting my hand and it's good to get the win," Jones said. "I just played it legally and did all that I could."

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was solid on Thursday night as he completed 20 of 37 passes for 261 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions.

Running back Shane Vereen was the leading rusher and receiver for the Patriots as he racked up 43 yards one the ground, had 71 receiving yards, and caught two touchdowns.

After a tough start to the season, the Patriots find themselves at 5-2 through seven weeks of the regular season and are in first place in the AFC East.

The Jets meanwhile fell to 1-6 on the season.

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Patriots Shock the Browns, Defeat Cleveland 27-26

Patriots Shock the Browns, Defeat Cleveland 27-26Jim Rogash/Getty Images(FOXBOROUGH, Mass.) -- Tom Brady did it again. The New England Patriots scored two touchdowns in the game's final 61 seconds to rally back and beat the Cleveland Browns 27-26. With about a minute left in the second quarter, the P...

ESPN: Amendola Will Likely Miss Thursday’s Game

ESPN: Amendola Will Likely Miss Thursday’s GameRick Stewart/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- New England Patriots receiver Danny Amendola will most likely miss Thursday night's game versus the New York Jets due to a groin injury, according to a source of ESPN NFL Insider Ed Werder. Amendola, who's been...

Patriots Place RB Shane Vereen On Short-Term IR

Patriots Place RB Shane Vereen On Short-Term IRTom Szczerbowski/Getty Images(FOXBOROUGH, Mass.) -- The New England Patriots on Tuesday placed running back Shane Vereen on injured reserve with a designation to return.The 24-year-old Vereen suffered a wrist injury during the Patriots' 23-21 victory o...

Report: Patriots Running Back Shane Vereen Needs Wrist Surgery

Report: Patriots Running Back Shane Vereen Needs Wrist SurgeryTom Szczerbowski/Getty Images(NEW YORK) --  New England Patriots running back Shane Vereen needs surgery to repair a broken bone in his wrist and is expected to miss a few weeks, according to reports. Vereen suffered the injury in Sunday's season-...

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