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New England Patriots Links 12/01/11 - Patriots Prepared to Amp it Up in December

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Tom Brady talks about December as a barometer of when the really good teams start to show.

I think we've had quite a few games to see the kind of team that we are, the place where we're at [and] the things we need to improve on. You kind of have 11 games now of evidence and you really start becoming the team that you are. 8-3, has everything been perfect? No. But we have to go out there this week and try and get to 9-3. Any week in the NFL is a tough week. This team, obviously, with the threats they have offensively, the threats they have defensively, they can change the game with one play. We have to go out there and try to get a win.

I think Coach Belichick has always stressed that the best teams get better this time of year. I think that's the kind of team you want to be; you want to be a good finisher. If you play poorly down the stretch, you're not going to give yourself much of a chance to accomplish any of the goals that you set at the beginning of the year. You can put yourself in a decent position and we're in a decent position, but Coach always says, "Eight wins doesn't get you anything in this league." We've got to try to get our ninth.

Jeff Saturday talks about the Pats-Colts rivalry and if their 0-11 season without Peyton Manning will change the tenor going into this game.

Not for us. Our season has not gone how we wanted, obviously not winning a game. I'm sure from the Patriots standpoint the rivalry is not as big. In the past, we've been playing for home field advantage or a number of different things - championship games and all that. But for us, we need to get a win. It couldn't be better for us to get the first one against the Patriots, especially going up there on their home turf. I have a ton of respect for how those guys are playing right now. It's going to be a major challenge for us but we just have to go up there and play good football.

Colts' owner Jim Irsay tweeted this thought out this morning:

Sum of u that buy N2 absurd rumor that we've been preparing #18 n secrecy n he'll make his shocking return against Patriots is ridiculous!

TEAM TALK

LOCAL LINKS

  • Karen Guregian reports that as December hits, the level of play gets cranked up and the Patriots kick it into another gear.
  • Karen Guregian points out the Patriots under Bill Belichick have swept December six times, and looks at how those six winning runs have played out.
  • Mike Reiss offers some quick-hit thoughts from the media-access period in the locker room.
  • Ian Rapoport explains Bill Belichick isn't looking at the Colts' record as a team, he's looking at individual battles that have to be fought and won on Sunday.
  • Mark Farinella calls Belichick a liar because of his portrayal of the Colts as a dangerous team.
  • Tom E. Curran doesn't see Tom Brady or the Patriots crying for the Colts.
  • Ian Rapoport notices Colts head coach Jim Caldwell got snippy with the local media during yesterday's conference call too.
  • Dan Duggan says Tom Brady is more concerned with which Colts players will be on the field than with who isn't.
  • Christopher Price notes that Belichick and the Patriots are still expecting the same looks from Indy even though they changed defensive coordinators.
  • Jeff Howe notes Tom Brady is hoping to avoid Colts DEs Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis.
  • Chris Forsberg gives us a view from Indy and sees the Colts team still focused in spite of their record.
  • Mike Reiss reports Tom Brady earned the AFC Player of the Month honor.
  • Ian Rapoport highlight's Tom Brady's guest appearance on Showtime's Inside the NFL where he talks about his relationship with Bill Belichick, Peyton Manning and more.
  • Christopher Price gives us two schools of thought on the recent run for the Patriots defense.
  • Chris Forsberg introduces us to CB Nate Jones and tells us what he can do for the Patriots.
  • Jeff Howe thinks Rob Gronkowski is always 'amped up' for game time and 19 other Patriots thoughts.
  • Greg A. Bedard reviews his five keys to a victory over the Eagles and how the Patriots matched up with his points.
  • Christopher Price breaks down the Patriots penalties through 11 games.
  • Mike Reiss tells us the penalty numbers are down for the second week in a row.
  • Christopher Price charts the offensive opportunities for the Patriots' skill position players through 11 games.
  • Ian Rapoport Patriots Notebook: Jeff Saturday joked that he and Robert Kraft's man-hugs are probably done and they'll "go to handshakes from now on"; Sebastian Vollmer suffered a foot injury that will keep him out "a while"; Patriots signed CB Nate Jones to the 53-man roster replacing Phillip Adams; Julian Edelman has drawn praise for his play as a defensive back so far; Neither Belichick nor Tom Brady are taking the Colts lightly.
  • Shalise Manza Young Patriots Notebook: Belichick pounded home the point yesterday that records don't matter; Wednesday's practice was a walkthrough, which isn't surprising considering the injury report; Sebastian Vollmer was the only player listed as "out"; Dane Fletcher and Brandon Spikes were on the field; Practice and injury update; Jim Caldwell wanted no part of talking about the Colts chances of landing Andrew Luck'.

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