Christopher Price spotlights the very versatile and effective Big Three on the defensive line.
But over the last two games, a rotation of Vince Wilfork at one defensive end, Gerard "Big Money" Warren at nose tackle and rookie Brandon Deaderick at the other defensive end has paid dividends. It’s a big, beefy trio that has made a difference, particularly in the running game: Through the first four games, the Patriots had yielded 4.4 yards per carry. Since the change in personnel made up front, that number has been slashed more than a half-yard to 3.8 yards per carry, an impressive decrease. In the last two weeks the Patriots’ opponents have carried the ball 53 times for 137 yards, a paltry 2.6 yards per carry.
Bill Belichick talks up the Minnesota Vikings yesterday.
The last couple days here watching the Vikings on film - they are definitely an impressive football team. They are very good in all three phases of the game. They've got a lot of talent and make a lot of big plays. [They're] real physical on special teams. [Percy] Harvin is a tremendous returner. [They have] a lot of weapons on offense and a good offensive line and skill players. They're fast on defense, explosive. They're tough to block. They've lost a couple close games. They were right there on every last position, right there every time. So I have a lot of respect for them, a lot of respect this team. We're going to have our hands full on Sunday. We're going to need to play better than we've played. [We'll] probably need our best game yet. Hopefully we can have a good week of preparation and be ready to go Sunday.
Tom Brady mentions how much Belichick is emphasizing details, considering how close the games have been lately.
Quite a bit. We don't get away with much. I said that the other day. He holds us to a pretty high standard and I think by the film session we watched yesterday, in regards to our game against San Diego, you wouldn't have thought we had won that game by his coaching. He's trying to make sure we know exactly what the truth is. We have to play a lot better than we played last week on offense. We're going to have to go out and have a great week of practice. This defense presents some different challenges than the defense we faced, but that doesn't stop us from what we need to do execution wise. As a group, we've got to go out and do a better job.
- Erik Scalavino tells us what happened at Wednesday's practice.
- Erik Scalavino reports rookie DL Brandon Deaderick has not only started two straight games, but has recorded a sack in each.
- Patriots-Vikings Wednesday Injury Report.
- Wednesday Pressers: Bill Belichick (14.49 min. video) and Tom Brady (15 min. video) plus transcripts.
- Vikings Conference Calls: Brad Childress (9.50 min. audio) and Jared Allen (9.11 min. audio)
- Locker Room Uncut - Talkin' Vikings in the locker room. (3.18 min. video)
- Patriots Today - Pats hope to keep win streak going. (3.26 min. video)
- Belichick Breakdown: Patriots vs. Chargers. (3.56 min. video)
- Patriots Today - Patriots help build playground. (2.27 min. video)
- Michael Vega reports the flexible group of D-linemen, changing positions from game to game, gives the Patriots depth and versatility.
- Ian Rapoport declares it's too early to judge the Patriots' Moss-less offense, but says five of 10 drives against the Chargers did not include a first down.
- Ian Rapoport looks at what the numbers say about the Patriots offense with Moss this year and without.
- Christopher Price talks about what it means for the Patriots offense when Randy Moss spills its secrets to the Vikes.
- Rich Thompson says 5-foot-10 Kyle Arrington will likely draw man-on-man coverage against the speedy 6-4 Randy Moss on Sunday.
- Christopher Price offers the highlights from Brett Favre's press conference yesterday.
- Jerry Thornton openly begs Brett Favre to play against the Patriots Sunday. Funny stuff.
- Karen Guregian talks about Brett Favre being a "must see" on Sunday and how even people who profess to hate him can't help but be drawn in to see what he does.
- Ian Rapoport notes how Brad Childress throws out innuendos and then backpedals by pretending he intended his remarks as a compliment. Ummm... yeah...
- Dan Shaughnessy says Brad Childress knows exactly what he's doing by "tugging on Super Coach's cape" and trying to agitate his team's opponent prior to Sunday.
- Ian Rapoport notes DE Jaren Allen considers himself a victim of the Samson Effect.
- Ian Rapoport offers his video of the day with Alge Crumpler, aka Captain Crump, explaining why he doesn't think the offensive funk will last.
- Mike Reiss recognizes two streaks that are on the line Sunday, with one being Tom Brady's regular-season home winning streak of 23.
- Mike Reiss & Mike Rodak look at this year's Practice Award winners, noting Darius Butler earned it for Game 6.
- Mike Reiss looks at the snaps played by defenders in Sunday's win over the Chargers, while highlighting some trends based on the results.
- Mike Reiss charts the Patriots' use of the shotgun so far this season.
- Mike Reiss lists the six game-ball winners from the Chargers game: Meriweather, Brown, Sanders, McCourty, Gostkowski and Neal.
- Monique Walker Patriots Notebook: The Patriots' only have two games on film this season that show their offense without Randy Moss; Pat Chung was one of five players who did not practice yesterday; Tom Brady respects Brett Favre's 'phenomenal' starting streak; Vikings have just six sacks this season and the Patriots are trying to close the gaps leading to Brady.
- Mike Reiss & Mike Rodak report two running backs were worked out by the Patriots yesterday, with the Pats hoping to fill its final practice spot soon.
- Troy Brown says head-to-head hits are a problem on several levels, and one is how the league defines a head-to-head blow.
- Kirk Minihane answers his Patriots weekly reader mailbag.
- Brad Biggs (Nat'l Football Post) Brett Favre wants to play Sunday at New England.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) Favre's streak on the line in New England.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) Patriots' rookie TEs far beyond role players.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) AFC East turnover tale of the tape.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) League looking at Moss media blackout.
- Kerry J. Byrne (Cold Hard Football Facts) Chargers have become the NFL's star of statistics, not standings.
- Total Access (NFL.com) Carl Johnson, NFL head of officiating, explains the controversial fumble call in Miami and an overturned Vikings TD.
- Sean Leahy (USA Today) Why the NFL's sky-high TV ratings add pressure to CBA tiff.
- Clifton Brown (Sporting News) NFL coaches on the hot seat.
VIEW FROM MINNESOTA
- Judd Zulgad (Star Tribune) Favre: 'I want to play.'
- Mike Wobschall (Vikings.com) Childress talks QBs.
- Jeremy Fowler and Brian Murphy (Pioneer Press) Favre-Childress relationship gets prickly.
- Shari Gross (Star Tribune) Waiting for Favre's decision again. (6.11 min. video)
- Mike Wobschall (Vikings.com) Setting the table for New England.
- Mike Wobschall (Vikings.com) Analyzing Vikings-Patriots special teams matchups.
- Chip Scoggins (Star Tribune) Moss helps coaches prepare for Patriots.
- AP (Pioneer Press) Randy Moss provides Vikings a comprehensive scouting report of New England Patriots.
- Vikings.com Vikings quotes - Childress, Favre, Belichick, Welker.
- Chip Scoggins (Star Tribune) Welker 'surprised' by Moss trade.
- CJ Siewert (Vikings.com) No sophomore slump for Harvin.