Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 19, 2009
The NFL notebook …
CHARLOTTEó Matt Moore will make his third consecutive start at quarterback for the Carolina Panthers today against the Minnesota Vikings.
Jake Delhomme was ruled out of the game Friday with a broken finger that’s kept him sidelined since Nov. 29.
Moore is 1-1 as a starter, but the Panthers have scored just two touchdowns in that stretch.
Cornerback Richard Marshall is questionable with a right ankle injury, but practiced Friday. Backup running back and kick returner Tyrell Sutton is also questionable with a sore hamstring.
Defensive end Tyler Brayton is probable after missing last Sunday’s loss to New England with a concussion. Linebacker Na’il Diggs (ribs), receiver Muhsin Muhammad (knee) and running back Jonathan Stewart (toe) are also probable.
PATRIOTSORCHARD PARK, N.Y. ó Amid accusations that Randy Moss has quit, concerns whether Tom Brady has lost his magic touch and with an inability to win a road game on this side of the Atlantic, Kevin Faulk readily acknowledges the Patriots might be vulnerable.
“By the way that we’re playing as a football team, yes, we are vulnerable,” the New England running back said this week. “We know that as of right now we are playing inconsistent football. We have to play better in order to get where we want to get.”
The admission of a sliver of doubt is uncustomary coming from a veteran leader who’s been part of a team that, for all it’s warts, still sits atop the AFC East. The Patriots (8-5) have proven nearly virtually unbeatable once the calendar turns to December: New England’s now an NFL-best 25-3 in the final month since the 2003 season.
If the air of invincibility has fully seeped out of the ever-proud Patriots, the true litmus test comes on today at Buffalo (5-8), a division rival that’s very much played the role of Patriots patsy in what’s become a near-decade of futility.
THE TOILET BOWL
KANSAS CITY, Mo. ó Arrowhead Stadium has been the site of some great games. Rarely has there been a clunker like today’s game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Cleveland Browns.
Five combined wins, two of the NFL’s worst statistical teams, first-year coaches already under fire, little more than pride at stake.
PHILADELPHIA ó The start of the Eagles-49ers game today has been moved to 4:15 p.m. from 1 p.m. because of a snowstorm in Philadelphia.