New England Patriots Links 11/10/09 - Coming Soon: The War of 18, 12

Sebastian Vollmer at the bottom of another Route 1 pile-up.

Dan Guttenplan evaluates the potential areas of concern leading up to the pats' toughest stretch of the season.

Watching a Patriots game this season has become similar to the morning commute to work. You have a good idea how it’s going to play out before it starts, and you’re really just hoping to avoid any accidents on the way there.

The Patriots completed the predictable portion of their schedule yesterday. After struggling with Miami’s Wildcat offense for about 40 minutes (when the Pats only led 17-16), the Patriots countered with a 71-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady to Randy Moss. A two-point conversion from Brady to Moss made it 24-17. The Patriots defense then switched to a 4-4-3, crowding the line of scrimmage to slow down the Wildcat. The final score — Patriots 27, Dolphins 17 — was just an afterthought on an afternoon when New England fans never really had a feeling their team would lose.

Ian Rapoport focuses on the admirable play of Sebastian Vollmer.

What happens when Matt Light returns?

"We’ll deal with the situation when he comes back," coach Bill Belichick told the Herald. "I don’t know when that’s going to be. Both guys have shown they can play that position very competitively, and we’ll deal with it when it’s an option. The last couple weeks, it hasn’t been an option."

Christopher Price offers some players thoughts on preparing for Peyton.

Outside linebacker Adalius Thomas says that one of the best ways to prepare to face Manning is to engage in a little self-scouting.

"I think that he knows so much and he’s such a student of the game and he studies so much that any little thing or clue that you give him, he’ll pick up on," Thomas said. "So you have to be very mindful of what you’re doing and showing beforehand. You have to study yourself like Peyton would study you a little bit in order to understand what it is he sees and what you might be giving away."

"You can show him 13 players on the field," Thomas said with a laugh, "but other than that, I don’t think you can give him anything new."

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