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News Blitz 1/20: Patriots in defense mode

Future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady can add to his incredible legacy Sunday night by beating the Steelers to earn his seventh-career trip to the Super Bowl.

To do so, Brady may have to outduel another long-standing elite quarterback in Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger.

As such, as much as Sunday's battle for a trip to Houston and the Super Bowl LI hypes up as a matchup of franchise quarterbacks and their offenses, the game may end up being decided by how each team's defense performs with the season on the line.

The Globe notes that president-elect Donald Trump wished the Patriots luck on the eve of his inauguration. The Globe also passes along police warning fans of the potential for fake tickets on the market for Sunday's AFC title game. The Globe talks to CBS analyst and former Steelers coach Bill Cowher about dealing with locker room distractions.

Boston Herald columnist Ron Borges writes that it "hasn't been an easy ride" for the Patriots to get to this point in another impressive season. The Herald declares that Patriots vs. Steelers is simply a worthy matchup for the title game. The Herald *also notes Trump's shoutout to Robert Kraft and the Patriots during a Thursday evening speech at a donor dinner in Washington with the New England owner in attendance. The *Herald explains how cornerback Logan Ryan works to make the big play. The Herald Patriots notebook looks at Alan Branch's key role in trying to stop Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell. The Herald notes that Martellus Bennett is bringing an "even-keel" to the AFC Championship Game after the tight end's disappointing performance against the Texans to open the postseason. The Herald delves into the key role that a youth movement has played on the Pittsburgh defense.

The Providence Journal says the New England defense carries a chip on its shoulder heading into Sunday's AFC title game. The* ProJo writes that a surging Julian Edelman will be a handful for the Steelers to deal with this weekend. The ProJo* also notes Bennett looking for better production this time around.

ESPNBoston.com reveals how some unique decorations got into LeGarrette Blount's locker at Gillette. ESPNBoston.com notes that as the 2016 season plays out, New England made a move for 2017 by signing a veteran tight end to a futures contract. Edelman was mic'ed up for last Saturday night's win over the Texans, and ESPNBoston.com relays the receiver's humorous interaction with an official in the game.

The New York Times sat down for an exclusive interview with Kraft and says the Patriots owner is still "sore at the NFL" after Deflategate. "Sometimes, the league really messes up, and I think they really messed this up badly," Kraft told the Times.

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