Sunday, September 29, 2013
Quick-hit thoughts after third quarter
By Field Yates
ATLANTA -- Entering the final quarter of play, the New England Patriots lead the Atlanta Falcons 13-10. Passing along quick-hit notes and observations from the third quarter:
1. Bolden returns. After leaving the game in the first half with a knee injury, running back Brandon Bolden returned to open the second half. Bolden was unable to play in each of the team's first two games due to a right knee issue. Nose tackle Vince Wilfork, meanwhile, was ruled out of the rest of the game due to a right ankle issue.
2. Edelman triggers incentive clause. In catching his third pass of the night, wide receiver Julian Edelman made himself a nice chunk of change, as he triggered an incentive clause in his contract that entitles him to $30,000 for 30 catches during the season. The next benchmark: 40 catches and an escalation of that bonus to $70,000.
3. Dobson banged up. At the conclusion of an extended drive that resulted in a chip shot field goal, Patriots receiver Aaron Dobson went down to the ground and clutched his right shoulder area after taking a crunching hit in the end zone. Dobson, who was the intended target of the throw on the play, was taken off the field with help from the medical staff. He later left the sideline and headed back to the locker room.
4. Vellano registers first sack. Getting extended playtime in Wilfork's absence, undrafted rookie Joe Vellano came through with his first career sack and the first sack for the Patriots defense on the evening. The sack pushed Atlanta into a 2nd-and-23 situation, putting the initial halt on what had been a productive drive.
5. Penalty box. The following Patriots were flagged for penalties during the third quarter: guard Logan Mankins (holding), team offense (illegal shift; declined) and quarterback Tom Brady (delay of game).