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New England Patriots Links 12/09/11 - Brady Adjusts Quickly to Increased Pressure

Mark Daniels reports Deion Branch gives all the credit to the front line for how the offense performs at it's best when they run the no-huddle.

"Most of the stuff is all the work we’re putting in practice," Branch said of the no-huddle’s success. "I think the most important thing is you’ve got to be able to block once we go into that type of situation of football. And the front line, they get all the credit for it. I think they’re doing a great job. Most teams try to do certain things when we go into it and (the linemen) do a good job of reacting to what they see."

Monique Walker says there is plenty for the Patriots to like about Nate Jones.

"I thought Nate did a good job,’’ said coach Bill Belichick. "I mean, he wasn’t even familiar with what we were doing, so he had a steeper learning curve, but he’s a more experienced player, so there’s a trade-off there. [He] played the defenses pretty well, was good in communication, got his hands on a couple balls, made a few plays. It was far from perfect, but I thought he did a good job.’’

Jerry Thornton reminds us the Patriots are still winning, even if they're winning ugly.

"Part of being the City of Champions should be acting like winning is all that counts. That it’s all about results and nothing else. If 10 years ago today, in December of 2001, when we were sitting on 15 years without a championship, you told me that someday the Patriots would be 9-3, two games up on the division, sitting on the No. 1 seed in the AFC and looking at possibly having home field throughout the playoffs but all [anyone] could talk about is how bad we think their defense is, I wouldn’t have believed you."



  • Mike Petraglia examines why Tom Brady is getting rid of the ball faster and faster with every passing game.
  • Mark Farinella sees the hurry-up as a counter to the traditional edge rushers the Patriots have faced a lot of this year.
  • Chris Gasper gives us 3 keys vs. Redskins: Pressure Rex Grossman, stay out of 3rd-and-long situations, and win the ground battle. (4 min. video)
  • Mark Daniels reports the one constant on an interchangeable-parts defense is Vince Wilfork.
  • Danny Picard reports Vince Wilfork thinks the team will focus on stopping Washington's running game this week.
  • Christopher Price takes a closer look at Rob Gronkowski's truly amazing numbers in the red zone.
  • Ian Rapoport helps us get to know gritty, determined Patriot Antwaun Molden.
  • Christopher Price says Nate Solder's versatility has made him the most impactful Patriots rookie of 2011.
  • Christopher Price reports Nate Jones is starting to settle in with the Patriots.
  • Christopher Price writes how Jabar Gaffney gives a tutorial on working as a No. 3 receiver in New England.
  • Jerry Thornton includes the Patriots defense as he counts down the dirty dozen of Boston sports patience-testers that are just so hard to watch.
  • Mike Petraglia notes James Ihedigbo is happy that he'll be able to watch UMass play football at Gillette Stadium in 2012.
  • Christopher Price tells us which defenders have done the best job of getting after the quarterback through 12 games.
  • Mike Reiss keeps tabs in the race for No. 1 seed in the AFC, and offers a link to the tiebreakers.
  • Christopher Price charts the offensive opportunities for the skill position players through 12 games.
  • Mike Reiss offers a game-by-game breakdown of base vs. sub defense, noting the sub defense got a lot of work against the Colts.
  • Ian Rapoport Patriots Notebook: Kevin Faulk has made peace with his reduced role; Patriots defense should return to a more 'normal' look with it's starters Sunday; Tiquan Underwood appreciated playing several snaps in the no-huddle last week; The Pats D is expecting Mike Shanahan to dial up an uptempo look as well, and look to be ready for it; Patriots have excelled in pass-blocking this season.
  • Shalise Manza Young Patriots Notebook: Vince Wilfork feels "one hundred percent fresh" and good about the season; Brandon Spikes returned to practice, one of 13 listed as "limited; Wes Welker was limited (knee) even though he was wearing a wrap on his wrist; Andre Carter remembers how the Redskins rallied together after Sean Taylor was murdered; Sunday will be only the third time the Pats play the Skins in Washington.
  • CSNNE lists the NFL's 20 most disappointing players in 2011. Looks like my fantasy team.


  • Ben Reiter (SI) The new no-names. The Patriots defense, built from spare parts, castoffs and converted receivers ranks dead last in the NFL and yet NE is once again cruising to the playoffs.
  • James Walker (ESPN) Revisiting Brady-Rodgers MVP debate.
  • Kevin Fishbain (Pro Football Weekly) O-line shuffling has hurt Patriots' run game.
  • Kevin Fishbain (Pro Football Weekly) Pats-Skins matchup of the day: DE Andre Carter vs. OLT Sean Locklear or Willie Smith.
  • James Walker (ESPN) How Patriots can clinch the division Sunday.
  • Kevin Fishbain (Pro Football Weekly) Five questions with PFW Redskins correspondent John Keim.
  • Jason Smith ( Only four teams have true shot at winning Super Bowl XLVI.
  • Jim Trotter (SI) Ranking the NFL QBs from Rodgers to Tebow to Palko. Brady No. 3.
  • Peter Schrager (Fox Sports) It's officially 'The year of the backup QB'. Plus Week 14 picks.
  • Vinnie Iyer (Sporting News) Week 14 picks. Patriots 34, Redskins 19.
  • Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) Week 14 picks. Both pick Patriots over Redskins by 10.
  • Staff Report (Nat'l Football Post) NFP's Friday forecast.