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New England Patriots Links 12/22/09 - High Praise For Mike Wright

<em>Bills RB Fred Jackson is tackled by Patriots DL Mike Wright Sunday in Buffalo.  Wright brought his A-game.</em>
Bills RB Fred Jackson is tackled by Patriots DL Mike Wright Sunday in Buffalo. Wright brought his A-game.

Bill Belichick asked about positives from the game

As you reviewed the film today, is there one thing that you came out of this game and said, 'That was something we did really well'? BB:I think there were a number of things we did well. As I said, one of the things we didn't do well is do them consistently. There are times we ran the ball well. There were times where we converted third downs, scored in the red area offensively; not in the third quarter, but in the first half we did.

Defensively, we had a couple stops in the red area, but not in the end of the game. Our short-yardage defense, that could have been better, but overall third-down defense was good. I think individually, along the line, like our vice on the punt return, I thought those guys did a good job. Not that our punt return stats were out of this world, but the vice on the perimeter guys was good. I wouldn't say either team had a great day punting the ball, backed up. There's some good plus-50 punts, but it wasn't a great punting day for either team on the long field. I think some of the positives there weren't consistent and then there were some good individual performances. Mike Wright had a tremendous game, about as good as a defensive lineman can play really. I mean all the things he did in the running game, passing game, pursued. He played a couple different positions. He played left end. He played nose. He actually had some snaps in sub. So individually there were some great things along the way, too.

Tedy Bruschi says the Pats didn't blow out the Bills, but style points don't matter this time of year.

It wasn't a blowout, but it doesn't matter how you get it at this time of the year. Just win. The big thing now is that the Patriots have positioned themselves well for winning the AFC East, and that's all they should care about. Having a two-game lead gives them a little bit of breathing room. The mindset now can be something along the lines of "If we beat Jacksonville, we have a bye the next week at Houston." Instead of going into the final week of the season needing a win to solidify a playoff spot, they have a chance to have that Week 17 "bye" in which they can rest some of their players at Houston and prepare for a first-round playoff game at home.