Christopher Price offers his Five Things to Watch For Sunday afternoon. As Kevin Faulk put it, "Everybody this time of year is playing for something.
The Saints, suffering complete breakdowns in almost every area when it came to pass defense. The pass rushers had trouble getting any pressure on Drew Brees, the defensive backs couldn’t match up well with the New Orleans’ receivers and a lack of communication allowed the Saints to connect for several big plays (eight of 15 yards or more) in the passing game.’ pass defense. New England struggled mightily on Monday night against the
For the New England defensive backs, when it comes to bouncing back and regaining some confidence, there’s no better remedy than the Miami passing game. The Dolphins are averaging just 161.8 passing yards per game, the 30th best mark in the league.
Tedy Bruschi talks about the Patriots offense against the Miami defense.
I think the Patriots offensive line is starting to get beat up. Steven Neal went down last week and came back in. He's as tough as they come. Then you look at Matt Light, Dan Koppen, Sebastian Vollmer, Nick Kaczur, Dan Connolly, all these guys are banged up. Everyone is banged up at this time of year, but when you have your entire offensive line banged up, that's when you start to see three-man rushes that start to get pressure on Tom Brady, or guys getting beat one on one. This being a short week, it gives you less time to heal from those injuries. This is sort of a MASH unit right now. I know they're hurting a bit, but I know these guys and they're tough, some of the toughest guys in the league. They just have to suck it up and do whatever they can to protect Tom Brady because one guy who is going to be juiced over there is Joey Porter. He is not saying much this week up to this point. He doesn't need to. He said it all last time they played and last time they played it was zero tackles and zero sacks. He wants to make up for that in a big way.
- Erik Scalavino notes Ben Watson hopes to be more of a factor against the Dolphins; Thursday notes from Gillette.
- Ben Watson discusses the upcoming divisional matchup in Miami.
- Patriots Today: Focus on the Fins, Pats Thursday practice. (10:13 min. video)
Krafts to give Super treatment to MIAA Championships, with six Super Bowls to be played December 5th at Gillette Stadium. Each game will be professionally produced and carried live accross Massachusetts.
- Shalise Manza Young points out that there are only four running backs in the NFL age 32 or older and three of them play for the New England Patriots. The 4th is Ricky Williams who's still going strong.
- Michael Vega notes Sam Aiken is becoming a significant piece of the Patriots offense - and not just an ace on special teams.
- Albert Breer reports the method to the Saints' madness is right here, and wonders if the butt-whipping was just what the Patriots defense needed to get them into shape.
- Ian Rapoport says that for a youth-infused, depth-starved front seven, the lack of continuity has been evident on defense.
- Ron Borges praises Tom Brady for taking the initiative as an NFL star to assist the players union in its looming negotiation battle.
- Mark Farinella reports Ben Watson knows the Patriots have to win in Miami. "There's no real excuse that we can give for not winning on the road except the teams we've played have played better than we have."
- Ian Rapoport notes Shawn Springs supports the commissioner on head injury measures because it takes the pressure off players, who always want to play.
- Christopher Price questions whether the Patriots are still among the league's elite.
- Jim Lazar sighs that the Patriots are back to normal in every sense of the word. Picks the Pats over Fins 27-20.
- Mark Farinella notes Sunday is the last call for the throwback uniforms. Miami chose to wear its sunlight-reflecting white jerseys, so the Patriots will be wearing red.
- Steve Buckley warns against the Patriots rushing in to re-hire Charlie Weis at this juncture of the season. Wait until next year.
- Boston Herald Patriots Notebook: Patriots see Ricky Williams picking up right where Ronnie Brown left off; Ben Watson hopes the Patriots can be as offensively prolific as they were last time against Miami; Isaiah Stanback talks about the Fins' tall CBs.
- Boston Globe Patriots Notebook: Pats locker room talk about concussions and the new guidelines; DL Jarvis Green was happy to be up and running after his bye-week knee surgery; TEs Chris Baker and Ben Watson expect to see more action against the Dolphins.
- Tom E. Curran presents news and notes from around the NFL, including the Broncos looking Patriotic.
- Mike Reiss notes the Patriots are more likely to be in their base alignment the majority of the time Sunday in Miami because of the Dolphins' third-rated rushing attack.
- Mike Reiss offers some quick hit thoughts from Phil Simms.
- Tedy Bruschi (ESPNBoston) Bruschi's Breakdown: For Patriots, Miami is never a vacation.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) Rodney Harrison responds to Hines Ward, who thinks Harrison is to blame for people thinking he threw his QB Ben Roethlisberger under the bus. No Hines, you did that all by yourself.
- Jason Cole (Yahoo! Sports) Hines Ward's questioning of Ben Roethlisberger exemplifies the challenge in combating head injuries.
- Sean Leahy (USA Today) Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger admits he was hurt by Hines Ward criticism.
- Jim Trotter (SI) Breaking down the chances Colts, Saints go undefeated.
- Kerry J. Byrne (Cold Hard Football Facts) Drew Brees has best game ever by NFL quarterback.
- Week 13 picks. Pats over Dolphins 20-14. (Nat'l Football Post)
VIEW FROM MIAMI
- Greg Cote (Miami Herald) Miami Dolphins better hope Chad Henne becomes an elite passer.
- Dave Hyde (Sun-Sentinal) Is Belichick right? - Jason Taylor a Hall of Famer?
- Armando Salguero (Miami Herald) The truth and spin about the Miami Dolphins.
- Mike Berardino (Sun-Sentinal) Dolphins' Dan Henning defends Ricky Williams interception.