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New England Patriots links 12/14/18 - All eyes, and coverages, on Gronk vs. Steelers

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Daily news and links for Friday

New England Patriots v Pittsburgh Steelers
Gronk makes a catch, wearing a Pittsburgh defender as a cape
Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

TEAM TALK

LOCAL LINKS

  • Nick Goss explains how Rob Gronkowski could dominate in Patriots vs. Steelers Sunday.
  • Rich Thompson writes Rob Gronkowski “has played his best football against the Steelers. In six grueling regular season games, he has caught 39 passes for 664 yards and 8 TDs. He has averaged 110.7 yards per game, his best against any team the Patriots have played more than once.”
  • Ryan Hannable reports Steelers’ Sean Davis is focused on keeping Rob Gronkowski in check: ‘He’s not going to get deep shots this year.’ /Psst... Gonna cover Chris Hogan this time?
  • 98.5 the Sports Hub notes Rob Gronkowski is excited for the “popping” atmosphere in Pittsburgh.
  • Tom Keegan finds that Big Ben is no Tom Brady in big games.
  • Evan Lazar believes the Steelers’ offensive line will be as stiff of a test for the Patriots defense as Brown and Smith-Schuster will be.
  • Evan Lazar’s Patriots Game Plan: Steelers defense a favorable matchup once again.
  • David Latham (LastWordOnSports) Patriots vs Steelers Gameplan: Pittsburgh offense not as efficient as you’d think.
  • Steve Balestrieri (PatsFans) Patriots vs. Steelers key matchups: Who has the razor’s edge?
  • Thomas Murphy (DiehardBostonSportsFans) Monster keys to Patriots-Steelers. 1. The line needs to establish its will on this Steelers front early, the way to do this is to pound the football.
  • Phil Perry explains the Patriots run defense is struggling due to breakdowns across the board.
  • Ryan Hannable mentions the Patriots are the healthiest they’ve been all year, while the Steelers get key players back at practice.
  • Ryan Hannable notes Bill Belichick says he’s not concerned about Stephen Gostkowski’s recent struggles.
  • Ryan Hannable highlights Gronk on knowing Josh Gordon would be a good fit: “I would say within the first week when he got out there playing in games.”
  • Zack Cox Patriots Notes: Rob Gronkowski expects varied looks from Steelers on Sunday.
  • Doug Kyed addresses his Friday Mailbag: Should New England play it safe with Josh Gordon?
  • Ryan Hannable highlights Tom Brady detailing how his routine is benefiting him late in the season.
  • Jim Lazar says recovery’s not easy for Pats fans, and makes his Week 15 picks. Pats 29-24.

NATIONAL NEWS

  • Charean Williams (ProFootballTalk) Rob Gronkowski has had great success vs. Steelers.
  • Staff (ESPN) Inside ‘the play that never happened’: Jesse James’ overturned TD. “You just expect the worst whenever it’s put up in someone in New York’s hands.” -- Pittsburgh TE Jesse James, a year later. /All you had to do was keep it in your own hands, JJ.
  • Cameron Filipe (Football Zebras) Week 15 referee assignments. Patriots-Steelers: John Parry.
  • Andy Benoit (SI) NFL Week 15: Preview and analysis of the Saturday and Sunday games.
  • Matt Harmon (Yahoo! Sports) Seven things to watch in Week 15 NFL: Leonard Fournette set for ideal script.
  • Albert Breer (SI) Game Plan: The Draft in Las Vegas, the Raiders in San Diego (maybe) and other nuggets from a newsy owners meeting.
  • Barry Werner (TouchdownWire) 15 Players within reach of milestones in 2018. 10: Tom Brady needs 300 more yards for his 10th season of 4,000 or more passing yards.
  • Gregg Rosenthal (NFL.com) QB Index, Week 15. 7th Tom Brady.
  • Danny Heifetz (The Ringer) The Chargers may have upended the AFC hierarchy with a two-point conversion.
  • Michael David Smith (ProFootballTalk) Four teams have clinched playoff berths, five more can clinch this weekend.
  • Michael David Smith (ProFootballTalk) AFC playoff picture: Chargers make the AFC West a race.
  • Robert Mays (The Ringer) The lifespan of the NFL’s coordinator-of-the-moment is shorter than ever.
  • Bryan Curtis (The Ringer) The great NFL heist: How Fox paid for and changed football forever.
  • MMQB Staff (SI) NFL Week 15 Picks: Who will win Steelers-Patriots? Four out of seven pick Pats to win.
  • Pete Prisco (CBS Sports) NFL Week 15 odds, picks: Chargers end losing streak to Chiefs, Patriots over Steelers 31-23.
  • Nate Davis (USA Today) Week 15 NFL picks: Five out of five pick Pats to win.
  • Elliot Harrison (NFL.com) NFL Week 15 game picks: Steelers nip Patriots; Bears stay hot. Steelers win 28-27.