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News Blitz 12/27: Belichick has built a machine

Posted Dec 27, 2013

This edition of the Patriots News Blitz takes a look at Belichick's focus as a coach and the machine of a team he has built in New England.

Leading up to Sunday's matchup, Bills.com writer, Chris Brown posted a scouting report on the Patriots.  In the article he listed three individual matchups to watch throughout the game:  Jerry Hughes vs. Logan Mankins, Nickell Robey vs. Danny Amendola, and Erik Pears vs. Rob Ninkovich.  He believes winners of all three matchups could have an impact on the outcome of the game.  He also listed two advantages that the Bills have over the Patriots, which include Buffalo's pass rush and their running game.  But ultimately, in order to win, Brown believes the Bills must win the fourth quarter.

"Too often the Bills have let potential victories against the Patriots slip through their fingers by getting outplayed in the fourth quarter," said Brown before later pointing out that New England has outscored the Bills 214-106 in the fourth quarter over their last 25 games (since 2001).

WEEI also posted a preview to Sunday's Patriots-Bills game.  Christopher Price created a list of 'five things to know about the Bills' one of which highlights their scrappy defense.  Price mentions Kiko Alonso as one of the most important pieces to Buffalo's defense.  The rookie linebacker is fourth in the NFL in tackles with 145 on the year.  He mentions that although the Bills are good at taking the ball away, they also turn it over almost as often.

"Manuel has thrown nine interceptions, backup Lewis has three interceptions and two fumbles lost.  Cornerbacks Logan Ryan and Aqib Talib could have some chances Sunday against the Bills," writes Price.

Last week was Stevan Ridley's best game since being benched for fumbling in three straight games.  He has bounced back and is slowly regaining Belichick's trust.  Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston writes that it's because Ridley has stayed mentally strong and has continued to work hard.

"I have to keep fighting and keep battling every day.  I'm going to work every day and am going to work hard," said Ridley during his locker room interview.  "I know the player I am and I know the player God created me to be, and I just have to keep pushing it."

In an article in the Boston Globe, Ben Volin explains that the key to Belichick's succes is that he is never satisfied.  He states that the Patriots' 11 AFC East titles during Belichick's tenure is an "incredible accomplishment" and it's because of the coach's mentality.  Volin believes that Belichick never wants to appear satisfied so that his players will not lose focus of the ultimate goal: Super Bowls.

"It's a fine line for a coach, knowing when to revel in success and when to keep things in check," writes Volin.  "And Belichick is proving once again this season that few coaches tiptoe that line better than he does."

In a similar article, Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post explains that despite the setbacks, the Patriots keep winning and it's because Belichick has built a machine.

"The Patriots are currently held together by ACE bandages, miracle comebacks, baling wire and whatever magic dust Tim Tebow forgot in his locker back in training camp," writes Kilgore.  "The gears grinded, screws came loose and parts when flying off, and still the machine lurched forward."

Like many writers, Kilgore belives that this has been Belichick's best season as a coach - even more impressive, than the undefeated regular season in 2007.  He believes this Patriots team has faced more obstacles than most and has overcome them all better than anyone.

"The upheavel has tested and ultimately reaffirmed, the wicked football genius of Bill Belichick," Kilgore claims.

In an interactive article on NESN.com, Ricky Doyle predicts that Brady and Belichick will win their fourth Super Bowl ring in 2014.  Doyle made a list of 14 things he thinks will happen in 2014.  Number 1 on the list was a Patriots Super Bowl.

"Tom Brady will finally capture his fourth Super Bowl ring.  He'll then be left hanging on multiple high-five attempts," jokes Doyle.