New England Patriots Links 8/31/12 - Survivor NFL: 22 Get Voted Off in Preseason Finale

TE Alex SIlvestro made the most of his reps, but in a TE-hungry league, if he's cut he may not make it back to the practice squad.

Albert Breer ( The greatest quarterback ever? A three-time Super Bowl winner, Tom Brady enters the 2-12 season seeking No. 4.

Brady enters his 13th season as a pro with a résumé already unlike any quarterback who has played the professional game. Four quarterbacks have won multiple Super Bowl MVPs. Four have won three Super Bowls. Two have made five Super Bowl starts. Seven have won multiple regular-season MVPs. Seven have averaged 300 yards passing per game over a season. Seven have thrown 40 touchdown passes in a season.

But the kid from San Mateo is the only one to make every one of those lists. So will he wind up being the best ever? Maybe. But if he gets to that abstract mountaintop, it’ll be a result of a drive that wasn’t born of a desire to become a legend.

Chris Burke (SI) Busting myths about the 2012 NFL season.

Myth: The Patriots’ tight ends won’t repeat their 2011 success.

Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez gave opposing defensive coordinators fits last season en route to 169 combined catches and more than 2,200 yards receiving. Those numbers were way way up from 2010, when Gronk and Hernandez put up a total of 92 catches and 1,109 yards. So was last season a flash in the pan?

There is very little reason to think that heading into 2012. The Patriots’ offense now, more or less, revolves around how Tom Brady uses his tight ends. Wes Welker, he of the 122 catches last season, still plays a vital role but, especially in the red zone, Brady looks to his two big TEs first.

Even if opposing defenses have devised some way to try to deal with Gronkowski and Hernandez, the sheer physical advantages they have over the opposition can negate that. Think of Calvin Johnson or Larry Fitzgerald at wide receiver — even if you defend them perfectly, they can and will still beat you. It’s the same for Gronkowski and Hernandez over the middle.




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