Game 6 preview: Saints at Patriots

FOXBOROUGH – The Patriots (4-1) hope to get back on track today with a win against the New Orleans Saints (5-0) after suffering a disappointing loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 5.

They’ll have to do so without defensive tackle Tommy Kelly, who injured his knee in the fourth quarter against the Bengals. The Patriots brought up defensive lineman Marcus Forston from the practice squad to replace him. The team will have Forston, Joe Vellano and Chris Jones at defensive tackle after injuries to Kelly and Vince Wilfork.

However, New England is expected get a boost on offense with the return of running back Stevan Ridley (knee), who is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game.


The Saints will be without starting safety Roman Harper (knee), while wide receiver Lance Moore (hand) did not practice this week but is listed as questionable.

New Orleans features the NFL’s fourth-ranked defense (14.6 points allowed per game), due in large part to defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, a former Patriots linebackers coach. The Saints also have the second-best pass offense in the league (326.8 yards per game) and fourth overall offense (405.0 yards per game).

The Patriots lead the all-time series with the Saints, 8-4. The Saints took the last game between these two Nov. 30, 2009, 38-17, at the Louisiana Superdome. Saints quarterback Drew Brees threw for 371 yards and five touchdowns in that Monday night game.

Here are the details for today’s game:

Kickoff: 4:25 p.m.

Records: Patriots 4-1; Saints 5-0.

TV/Radio: FOX (Thom Brennaman, Troy Aikman, Pam Oliver); 98.5-FM The Sports Hub (Bob Socci, Scott Zolak) and Sports USA (Larry Kahn, Ross Tucker, Troy West).

Projected starting lineups:
Based on information distributed to the media, practice observations, and injuries for each team.

Patriots offense: WR Julian Edelman, LT Nate Solder, LG Logan Mankins, C Ryan Wendell, RG Dan Connolly, RT Marcus Cannon, WR Danny Amendola, WR Kenbrell Thompkins, QB Tom Brady, RB Stevan Ridley, TE Michael Hoomanawanui.


Patriots defense: DT Joe Vellano, DT Chris Jones, DE Chandler Jones, DE Rob Ninkovich, LB Dont’a Hightower, LB Jerod Mayo, LB Brandon Spikes, CB Aqib Talib, CB Kyle Arrington, S Devin McCourty, S Steve Gregory.

Saints offense: WR Marques Colston, LT Charles Brown, LG Ben Grubbs, C Brian de la Puente, RG Jahri Evans, RT Zach Strief, TE Jimmy Graham, WR Lance Moore, QB Drew Brees, FB Jed Collins, RB Pierre Thomas.

Saints defense: DE Akiem Hicks, NT Brodrick Bunkley, DE Cameron Jordan, OLB Junior Galette, ILB David Hawthorne, ILB Curtis Lofton, Parys Haralson, LCB Jabari Greer, S Kenny Vaccaro, S Malcolm Jenkins, RCB Keenan Lewis.

Read this, watch that

– From the New Orleans Advocate: Set free by the Saints, Rob Ninkovich is at home with the Patriots.

– From the Times-Picayune: Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan talks about his time with the Patriots in this video.

– Follow today’s game and comment on the action in our live blog. Updates start around 2 p.m.

Zuri Berry can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @zuriberry and on Google+.

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