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New England Patriots Links 10/15/10 - Can The Offense - Moss + Branch = Win On Sunday?

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Mike Reiss posts CBS analyst Phil Simms' thoughts on Sunday's matchup.

On New England without Randy Moss "I’m one of many that underestimated what Randy Moss can mean to a football team and what he can do on the football field. It’s going to be interesting to see how New England adapts without him. It’s only a one week look without Randy Moss, but we will find out what the Patriots offense is going to look like. We found out on Monday night what he can mean to a football team."

On Baltimore’s defense "Baltimore is playing it safer with their pass defense and trying not to give up big plays. They are daring teams to try and run the football against their big defensive fronts, especially Haloti Ngata, and of course Ray Lewis in the middle. It will be interesting to see if New England can find ways without Randy Moss to get the football down the field and make big plays. In the NFL it almost always comes down to big plays. Who can make them on defense and get the turnovers? And what offenses can make the big runs or the big passes that lead to easy scores?"

Mark Schlereth on why the Ravens will win:

"When you’re playing football, the team that controls the line of scrimmage wins nine times out of 10. And I think the Baltimore Ravens can control that line of scrimmage, get that running game going and keep Tom Brady and that offense off the field."

Herm Edwards on why he likes the Patriots to win:

"New England plays a different brand of football ... they’re going to take the Ravens’ strengths away from them. In other words, they’re going to play outside the numbers with bunch formations, moving tight ends outside the numbers to get guys out of the box so when they want to run the ball they have the ability to do that.

"But when they really want to do is throw short passes and let their athletes make plays outside the numbers, and that is why, to date, the New England Patriots are the highest scoring team in the National Football League."



  • Monique Walker sees Brandon Tate's role expanding beyond the returning duties he has had success with already.
  • Mark Farinella reports Brandon Tate couldn't play in the '09 playoff loss to the Ravens so he doesn't need to get over anything. His only focus is Sunday's game.
  • Ian Rapoport reports Seattle QB Matt Hasslebeck predicts Branch will flourish in the Brady-led Patriots offense.
  • Christopher Price notes that with help from Brady, Deion Branch is settling back in with the Patriots.
  • Mark Farinella notes the Patriots receivers aren't tipping their hand on what the new game plan will be and how they'll be used.
  • Mike Reiss says Sunday's game will provide another measuring stick for what the Patriots are and where they may ultimately be headed.
  • Tedy Bruschi breaks down Pats-Ravens. The Pats will have to throw off the Ravens by spreading the offensive wealth.
  • Mike Reiss offers his three keys for the Patriots vs. Ravens.
  • Gary Marbry offers his Patriots-Ravens preview with enough stats to satisfy.
  • Mike Petraglia says Joe Flacco isn't thinking Sunday's game will be as easy for the Ravens or for him as it was last January.
  • Robert Lee says the numbers don't lie when it comes to the Pats' offense and the Ravens' defense.  Unstoppable force meets immovable object.
  • Ron Borges writes Sunday is a statement game, regardless of the outcome, for both the Patriots and the Ravens.
  • Jeff Howe sees Ray Lewis and the Ravens defense motivated to attack Tom Brady for last year's 'star treatment' call in regular season loss.
  • Mike Reiss tallies up the snaps played by Patriots defenders through four games and analyzes what it means. Devin McCourty has 100% participation. Wow.
  • Christopher Price offers the Q&A from Tom Brady's appearance on Sirius XM's Mad Dog radio Wednesday morning.
  • Ron Borges writes Deion Branch knew he would be asked to take a cut in base pay for 2011 because the Pats would be trying to extend Wes Welker's contract.
  • Mike Reiss notes former Patriots defensive coordinator Dean Pees is excited to return to New England.
  • Mike Reiss looks at the equal snaps for Brandon Spikes and Gary Guyton and says this is a case where two players actually equal one.
  • Mike Reiss charts the Patriots base vs. sub defense so far this season.
  • WEEI Patriots Friday: Jerod Mayo and Deion Branch.
  • WEEI offers highlights of Adam Schefter's appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show this morning.
  • WEEI offers the transcript of Brian Billick;s appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show.
  • Mike Reiss offers the transcript of his weekly online chat.
  • Sports Tonight How can the Patriots win without Randy Moss? (2.10 min. video)
  • Ian Rapoport Patriots Notebook: Dean Pees is looking forward to competing against his former team; With all the focus on the Ravens' running game the Pats can't forget about Joe Flacco; Deion Branch is really feeling the love and welcome from the fans; Sammy Morris talks about the Patriots running game.
  • Michael Vega Patriots Notebook: Deion Branch restructured his contract with incentives added for next season; Branch appreciates having his locker next to Brady's; RB Thomas Clayton is ready and hoping to get into the mix Sunday; James Sanders was limited in practice because of a toe injury and Fred Taylor did not practice.
  • Kirk Minihane makes his Week 6 Picks.  Ravens over Pats 24-21.
  • Jim Lazar makes his Week 6 picks. Pats win 26-21.
  • Rich Levine makes his NFL Picks: Week 6.