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.'''
A chance for redemption [5:22 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'Bledsoe still has a score to settle against his former coach and point to prove to his critics in New England. The Pats' 38-7 drubbing of Bledsoe and the Bills Nov. 3 only reinforced the notion that Belichick has Bledsoe's number. And Tom Brady's huge statistical performance that day only piled more evidence on the still-simmering Bledsoe-Brady debate.'
Brady's a real Weis guy [5:21 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'As for Brady, he's still the same guy who started last season as Bledsoe's backup. In between all the so-called jet-setting and celebrity parties, we still hear stories that remind everyone what a good guy he is. Only now, the legend just keeps growing.'
Turf war shifts to new stadium [5:20 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'Bledsoe doesn't expect the Patriots to use as much one-on-one coverage as the Dolphins did. ``I just don't think they will take that chance very often,'' he said.'
Players look to 12th man for help [5:19 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'Since the season-opening win over Pittsburgh, Gillette Stadium has had disappointingly few moments of noise and bedlam. Part of the problem has been some poor performances at home (where the Pats are 3-2), part of it has to do with the distant location of many seats and part of it has to do with the coziness of the indoor club areas.'
For Patriots, it's all in the plan [5:18 AM]
Metro West Daily News reports: '"I don't want to give away our game-plan, but we have something unique for them," promised linebacker Roman Phifer. "We try to keep it mixed up, try to keep the guys off balance and show them a different look."'
Johnson the man in the middle [5:17 AM]
Providence Journal reports: 'With middle linebacker Tedy Bruschi listed as doubtful for Sunday's game against the explosive Bills, Johnson will be featured prominently in the middle of the Patriots defense. He'll be there to squish the run, as he's always done. And he'll be there in pass coverage, a supposed weak spot in his game that he's been actively debunking with his play in recent weeks. He'll be there on blitzes, as he was during the first Bills game when he helped set the tone with a key 14-yard sack of Drew Bledsoe in the first quarter. He'll be there. Even though three months ago, it was easy to wonder if he'd even be around.'
Guest quarters fit the Bill for Bledsoe's homecoming [5:16 AM]
Providence Journal reports: '"Really early (in the planning stages) Robert Kraft asked me if we should do something indoors or outdoors," Bledsoe recalled. "I told him I thought it was an advantage in the northern climate to play outdoors, especially with Miami and (Indianapolis) in the division since they play in a warm climate or indoors."'
Old House, New Homes [5:15 AM]
Hartford Courant reports: '"I'm fully a Buffalo Bill now," Bledsoe said. "I'm proud of being part of that [2001 Patriots Super Bowl] team. But I feel at home here. This is where I belong."'
Bledsoe set for return to Foxboro [5:14 AM]
Springfield Union News reports: 'Now, New England (7-5) and Buffalo (6-6) both desperately need a victory to stay hot on the playoff trail. The Bills, who are 3-6 in conference play, probably need it even more than the Patriots.'
Bills' Centers merits attention [5:13 AM]
Springfield Union News reports: 'The Bills never seem to have much trouble matching up Centers against a linebacker because teams are so concerned with wide receivers Peerless Price and Eric Moulds. "You can't double everyone," New England coach Bill Belichick said.'
The pressure’s on in December [5:12 AM]
Woonsocket Call reports: 'Drew Bledsoe and the Bills represent phase one of the Patriots’ four-step march to the playoffs. This is the first game of a favorable stretch for the Patriots in which three of their final four games are at home. It will also be Bledsoe’s first game at brand-new Gillette Stadium, but considering the important of this game in the standings, his homecoming shouldn’t feature as much fanfare. The real story behind this game is that it could help decide who comes out on top in one of the closest AFC East races ever.'
Much more than Bledsoe Bowl II [5:11 AM]
Woonsocket Call reports: 'Of course, neither side is naive enough to believe that the fans in Foxboro -- some still loyal to the former Patriots’ quarterback -- won’t come up with some catchy phrases to scribble on their signs or blurt out something clever to say during the game.'
You can't go home, but visits can be memorable [5:10 AM]
El Paso Times reports: 'Williams, the massive lineman from the university and state of Texas who'd never before played in the snow, became an honorary Western New Yorker that day. On Sunday he witnessed and experienced the prideful bond the region's weather forges among its residents. On Monday he went out and bought a four-wheel drive vehicle and a snowmobile.'
Bill Belichick Press Conf. Transcript - 12/04/2002 [5:09 AM]
Patriots.com reports: 'Q: What kind of runner is Travis Henry? How would you characterize him? BB: I think Travis Henry has a lot of strengths as a runner. He's got real good balance, he's got good power, and he's got good speed. He likes to bounce the ball out and cut it back a lot. He doesn't always hit into the hole, not that he won't hit into the hole because he does, but he's also a threat to take the ball outside and send it back to the weak side of the formation, or the weak side of the way the play is designed to go. He's a guy that can really hit you on all fronts. He's been nothing but impressive. I talked about him before the first game about how impressed I was with his running skills, his ability to break tackles, make yards after the first hit, and outrun people as well as be strong and run over them. I think he's got a real good set of skills there to run the ball, and he's also catching the ball coming out of the back field, and of course turning into a good runner in those spots too. He makes some big plays for them consistently. He's had a real productive year.'
Bills Head Coach Gregg Williams Conf. Call 12.4.02 [5:08 AM]
Patriots.com reports: 'Q: In scouting the Patriots, in a lot of games this year, Antowain Smith has not been a big factor, yet every time he plays you guys, he's a major factor. How do you approach that? GW: Obviously, he's a focal point and, as we want to be able to establish each week, that you have to make sure you're able to play the running game strong and he's done a very good job in improving himself in the pass game and they're doing a good job of utilizing him and we need to make sure we take the necessary steps to make sure that we can minimize the gains when he's in the ballgame.'
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