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New England Patriots links 12/13/21 - Taking stock at the bye: Pats win with Bills’ loss; Praise for Folk

Daily news and links for Monday

New England Patriots Vs. Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium
Unsung hero: Nick Folk
Photo by Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images


  • Paul Perillo notes that while the Pats got some rest on their bye week, they strengthened their position in the AFC East watching Buffalo lose in Tampa.
  • Patriots All Access: Bye week edition. David Andrews discusses the closeness of this year’s Patriots team; Belichick breakdown; More. (40 min. video)
  • Patriots This Week: Bills lookback and end of season preview. (20 min. video)
  • Patriots Unfiltered on TV: Recapping the Bills, Davon Godchaux 1-on-1. (22.30 min. video)
  • Gillette Stadium: Transformational enhancements coming 2023. (30 sec. video)


  • Tom E. Curran says New England’s 2019 defense was on an historic pace, calling themselves ‘the boogeymen’. But that defense turned out to be fraudulent. This year’s elite unit has staying power.
  • Ryan Hannable offers five Pats-related takeaways from Sunday, including Tom Brady, Buccaneers helping out in big way. 1. Division title could be clinched soon.
  • Mike D’Abate (PatriotMaven) Patriots remain atop AFC, AFC East as playoff race tightens.
  • Matt Vautour paints the Patriots playoff picture: What computers, bookmakers think of New England’s Super Bowl, AFC title, first-round bye chances after Week 14.
  • Karen Guregian and Andrew Callahan debate if the Patriots are the AFC favorite to make the Super Bowl: The Pats own the best record in the conference, but that may not be enough to declare them definitively better than the Bills and Chiefs.
  • Karen Guregian’s NFL Notes: With the Patriots riding a seven-game win streak and sitting atop the AFC, the Coach of the Year honor is Belichick’s to lose.
  • Mike D’Abate (PatriotMaven) Patriots 2021 rookie class: Three standouts at the Bye.
  • Nick Goss grades all of the Patriots’ 2020 and 2021 draft picks at the bye week.
  • Mike D’Abate (PatriotMaven) Patriots 2021 free agent class: Three standouts at the Bye.
  • Darren Hartwell grades all 11 of the Patriots’ free-agent signings at the bye week.
  • Mike Reiss shares some quick-hit weekend thoughts: Mac Jones’ “My Cause My Cleats” were partially designed by 7-year-old Robbie Klein, whose family linked up with Jones via Boston Children’s Hospital; Injury questions; Pats-Bills flexed?; Key number of carries; More.
  • Steve Balestrieri (PatsFans) Sunday Patriots news, AFC East notes: Much needed bye week to get some of their injured players some time to rest and recover; More.
  • Ryan Hannable’s Sunday 7: What changes, adjustments do Patriots need to make for rest of season?
  • Jason Mastrodonato reminds us not to overlook the Patriots unsung hero, kicker Nick Folk. /Cool & clutch.
  • Conor Roche takes a look at how the Pats’ top rookies are playing in relation to their draft spot and other rookies at their positions.
  • Evan Lazar’s Patriots Mailbag: The beat goes on for Bill Belichick’s defense post-Stephon Gilmore trade; More.
  • Bill Speros says it’s just like old times as Belichick and Brady dominate the NFL.
  • Sean T. McGuire says Bills Mafia is living a nightmare after losing to both Tom Brady’s Buccaneers and Bill Belichick’s Patriots within six days.
  • Ryan Hannable highlights WEEI guest Mike Lombardi who went on a rant regarding Mac Jones and how people refuse to ever give him credit.
  • Hayden Bird highlights WEEI guest Bill Belichick on Kliff Kingsbury, the Patriots mentality and enjoying Army-Navy.
  • Zack Cox notes Bill Belichick tosses the Coach of the Year ‘bouquet’ back to Kliff Kingsbury.
  • Zack Cox examines what the Lamar Jackson injury and the Ravens loss means for the Patriots playoff race.
  • Jenna Ciccotelli picks up on a Brian Hoyer comparison that shows just how bad Trevor Lawrence and the Jaguars really are.
  • Andy Hart suggests the Pats could benefit from a loss in the next four games because ‘long winning streaks heading toward a Super Bowl can be tough to maintain’. /Umm... ‘no’.
  • Alex Reimer points out that Jim Nantz and Tony Romo have called more Patriots games than any other team.


  • Albert Breer (SI) Monday Morning QB: Rookie Micah Parsons is the key to a transformed Cowboys defense; Plus, remembering Demaryius Thomas, dramatic Bucs and 49ers wins, and more from Week 14.
  • Peter King (ProFootballTalk) FMIA Week 14: George Kittle, 49ers climb aboard the NFL roller coaster where ‘every game’s a playoff game.’ More. ‘Bill Belichick could break coaching wins mark by 2023. He’s 28 wins from passing Don Shula.’
  • Jason La Canfora (CBS Sports) NFL insider notes: Cowboys hopes reside with rising defense, Jaguars failures magnified and more from Week 14; Plus, how the Raiders should smarten up, and reservations about the Ravens and Browns.
  • NFL Nation (ESPN) NFL Week 14 takeaways: What we learned, big questions for every game and future team outlooks.
  • Gary Gramling (SI) Week 14 takeaways: Bucs survive Josh Allen, But Bills take a step forward; Plus, Kittle and San Fran’s YAC Crew, Browns making a run, Ravens might run out of steam, the Urban Meyer disaster continues; More.
  • Around the NFL ( 2021 NFL season, Week 14: What we learned from Sunday’s games.
  • Rodger Sherman (The Ringer) The winners and losers of NFL Week 14. Winner: The Bills’ no RB strategy. /Josh Allen is now in a boot, so was this really a win?
  • Frank Schwab (Yahoo! Sports) NFL winners and losers: Micah Parsons pushes Cowboys into Super Bowl contender status.
  • John Breech (CBS Sports) NFL Week 14 grades: Chiefs get an ‘A’ for destroying Raiders, Jaguars get an ‘F’ as Urban Meyer rumors swirl
  • Kevin Seifert (ESPN) NFL playoff picture 2021: Week 14 standings, bracket, clinching scenarios and postseason outlook. The Pats could clinch the division if they win Saturday at Indy then beat the Bills at home in Week 16.
  • Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) Gillette Stadium is getting a $225 million facelift.
  • Judy Battista ( Bills clinging to final AFC wild-card spot after gut-wrenching OT loss to Buccaneers.
  • Charean Williams (ProFootballTalk) Josh Allen in walking boot but calls foot injury no big deal.
  • Jenna Laine (ESPN) Tom Brady overtakes Drew Brees for NFL pass completions record, throws 700th touchdown.