Pleasant a Patriots presence [5:41 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'Pleasant is an appropriate last name for the Patriots' 6-foot-5-inch, 280-pound defensive end. But when describing him, other words come to mind, including respect, passion, conviction, and wisdom.'
Pioli's latest move pleases Epstein [5:40 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'Tedy Bruschi, listed as doubtful on the injury report, didn't practice.'
Faulk has Midas touch [5:39 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'Running back Kevin Faulk made the Pats' first big play of the game (a 19-yard reception on third-and-10) and another one that put it out of reach in the third quarter (a 45-yard swing pass for a touchdown that was ultimately ruled a run). In all, he was a key part of the Pats' short passing attack that completely befuddled the Bills.'
Brady plays under gun [5:38 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'In 2001, the Pats were 5-2 when Brady passed for less than 200 yards, again including the Super Bowl. In 2002, they're 0-3.'
Face it, Jones may be right man for job [5:38 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'Many of the Pats know that the key to stopping Drew Bledsoe on Sunday will be getting to running back Travis Henry first.'
Voices for the ages [5:37 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'This is Miller's 36th season calling Bills' fortunes, Santos' 26th with the Pats...'.
Smith knows going 'home' is not easy [5:36 AM]
Providence Journal reports: 'Besides, Smith knows if he is running the ball well, it means the offensive line is controlling the line of scimmage, which means the Patriots offense will be able to keep the ball out of the hands of Bledsoe and the Bills' explosive offense. Getting the ball to Smith is likely to be a big part of New England's game plan, as it was in Buffalo, when he carried a season-high 29 times.'
Izzo proving he's a special player [5:35 AM]
Providence Journal reports: 'The Patriots had huge success with screen passes against the Bills in the first meeting. But Antowain Smith expects Buffalo to make adjustments. "They know what plays we ran hurt them," said Smith. "We'll just have to study them and see what things might work well against them this week."'
Bledsoe Won't Miss Bruschi [5:34 AM]
Hartford Courant reports: 'Unless the Patriots choose to deploy six or seven defensive backs, a risky strategy that could leave them more vulnerable to the runs of Travis Henry (4.7 yards a carry), a linebacker will have to shadow Centers. And with his teammates facing the pressing problem of keeping Moulds and Price in check, that linebacker won't be getting much help.'
Welcome back Bledsoe [5:33 AM]
Woonsocket Call reports: 'What Belichick did wasn’t ground-breaking. He didn’t exactly invent a defense. In fact, the scheme was similar to what his current defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel used when the two were in Cleveland in the mid-90s. It just caught Bledsoe off guard.'
Last year is over [5:32 AM]
Woonsocket Call reports: 'Drew Bledsoe is one of only two players along with Lawyer Milloy to sign the final steel beam put in place during the construction for Gillette Stadium last year, but Sunday will be his first appearance in the new venue.'
Smith still puts bullseye on Buffalo [5:31 AM]
Manchester Union Leader reports: '“There is such a thing as getting a little bit too hyped. You don’t want to go out there and try and do too much. You want to play within yourself,” Smith said. “(Drew’s) going to be on an emotional high. He’s going to be geared up to come in here and do what he can to put his team in a position to win.”'
Slain ex-football player involved in shooting in '01 [5:29 AM]
Cherry Hill Courier Post reports: 'According to The Buffalo News, Covington survived a drive-by shooting last year in Buffalo, N.Y.'
Police look at whether drugs had played role [5:28 AM]
Philadelphia Inquirer reports: 'Authorities say they are investigating whether drugs played a role in the Friday night shooting death of Damien Covington, a star football player at Overbrook High School in Pine Hill whose professional football career was cut short by a knee injury.'
Brady, Bledsoe enjoy importance of game [10:01 PM]
Patriots.com reports: '"It's a homecoming and I get to come back and play against my old team, and play in front of my old fans, and it'll be an interesting game," Bledsoe said. "The big deal for us is that we've got to play a lot better than we did last time, that was really a disappointment to us, and a big setback for us to come out and play as poorly as we did in that game."'
New England faces shaky Bills run defense [9:35 PM]
AP reports: 'The Patriots had their second-best running game of the season in their 38-7 win at Buffalo on Nov. 3 with 159 yards on 36 carries. Antowain Smith rushed 29 times for 111 yards, both season highs and the only time he has surpassed 100 this year.'
His house may be for sale, but Bledsoe's coming home [1:46 PM]
Portland Press Herald reports: '"I know he definitely has a lot of supporters among the fans," said Seymour, the defensive tackle. "He's a guy with a lot of character and a class act. The fans have always recognized that."'
Updated Listing of Bills Backer Bars [1:41 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: Where do you watch the Bills games?
Drew Bledsoe Quotebook: Patriots Preview [1:40 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: "That's their defensive style. They change up week-to-week, team-to-team. We expect something different out of them this week. They change it up, give you different looks and make things hard on you. We expect them to do the same. They are going to do some stuff that we have seen and they are probably going to throw stuff in there that we haven't seen before. We just have to be able to adjust to what they throw at us during the game."
It's the most desperate time of year [1:40 PM]
Nashua Telegraph reports: 'Luckily, this Sunday’s forecast is for sunshine and temperatures in the high 30s, low 40s.'
Johnson can't wait to take on Buffalo [1:34 PM]
Quincy Patriot Ledger reports: 'Even though he has fewer catches than Henry, Centers may be the No. 1 concern.'
Bledsoe a footnote this time [1:33 PM]
Quincy Patriot Ledger reports: 'Perhaps because Bledsoe Bowl I was such a media circus and because this game has wide-ranging playoff implications, the Bledsoe angle seems a bit muted this time, even though he is coming back home.'
Patriots enter home stretch hosting the Bills [1:31 PM]
Patriots.com reports: 'The Patriots are 5-0 when Smith has rushed for 100 yards or more over the past two seasons.'
Bills' deep thinkers may need other ideas [9:05 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'They actually moved the ball with some success in the first meeting with New England. Bledsoe threw for 302 yards. They got within field-goal range on five of their first seven drives. But their marches kept stalling. They scored on just 1 of 5 trips inside the Pats' 20.'
Bledsoe just gives his opinion on controversial game [9:04 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"First of all, Shawn Jefferson made a spectacular catch on the sidelines and got both feet down and got the first down for us, and Terry Glenn was obviously interfered with in the end zone, and then Ben Coates made a great catch," Bledsoe said Wednesday with a mischievous tone in his voice.'
A great run for Henry [5:27 AM]
D and C reports: 'With a work ethic and spirituality passed on by mom. Not worrying where people rank him. On Henry’s right biceps is a tattoo of a cross with his No. 20 in the middle and on his forearm is inscribed: “Only God Can Judge Me.”'
Belichick trusts his players [5:26 AM]
D and C reports: 'Williams was happy with the way defensive end Kendrick Office and cornerback Jason Bostic played against the Dolphins and said both would be used in similar fashion Sunday against New England.'
Bills bracing for schemes of Belichick [5:25 AM]
Toronto Star reports: 'Because of their poor record head-to-head versus conference opponents (3-6) the Bills are not in good standing for a wild-card playoff spot, which means their best shot at the post-season is by winning the division title.'
In throes once again [5:24 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'This is no time to downplay the Bledsoe-Brady matchup - more than ever, the hype is truly warranted.'
Jones getting closer [5:23 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'Middle linebacker Tedy Bruschi is listed as doubtful on the injury report. Bruschi does have strong recuperative powers, though he may not have enough time to return from a sprained right knee suffered in the first quarter of the Lions game on Thanksgiving. Drew Bledsoe said of Bruschi, ''From a personal standpoint, I feel bad for Tedy, but professionally, I'd be real happy to see him in street clothes.'''
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