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News Blitz 10/15: Brandon Browner says he's ready to make his Patriots debut

In this edition of the news blitz we take a closer look at last Sunday's Revis-Watkins matchup and find out how the Patriots plan to replace Jerod Mayo.


Jeff Howe]( of the Boston Herald says that the Patriots offense has found its identity in the past two weeks. He says that their ability to score in critical situations has been crucial to the Patriots success against the Benglas and Bills. Brady and the offense has been very good at responding after the opposing team scores, which in turn has enabled the team to maintain momentum throughout both games.

"The Patriots offense has answered five of their opponents' six scores with a score of their own on the following drive," explains Howe. "And they got style points during this two-game winning streak, as opposed to a doom-and-gloom feeling throughout their first run of back-to-back wins against the Vikings and Raiders."


Sterling Xie]( notes that the resurgence of Tom Brady and the Patriots offense is one of the things that many "experts" are talking about around the country. In a Bleacher Report article, Xie highlighted 5 stories on the Patriots that league experts are focusing on this week. Not surprisingly, the main story has been on how the Patriots plan to replace Jerod Mayo and Stevan Ridley.

"Mayo's loss alone will not submarine New England's impressive defense, but it certainly reduces their overall margin of error if they hope to remain Super Bowl contenders," writes Xie.

PFW's own Andy Hart joined Gary Tanguay on Comcast SportsNet's 'Early Edition' last night to discuss whether Dont'a Hightower will be able to fill Mayo's role on the defense.

"I think Hightower looked good early in the year, and there's no question, he's talked about it, he wants to be moving forward, not backwards," said Hart on the show. "But I think he's a big body and you need a veteran in the middle."

With Mayo and Ridley out for the rest of the season, CBS Boston compiled a list of six "fill in" players you should know. The list includes Deontae Skinner, Darius Fleming, and Jonas Gray who is on his third team since being drafted in 2012.

However, according to Hayden Bird of BostInno, replacing Jerod Mayo is not the biggest concern for the Patriots defense. He believes the real issue on the Patriots defense is the lack of depth on the defensive line. Bird says that the team is too reliant on the health of Rob Ninkovich and Chandler Jones. Both Jones and Ninkovich played every defensive snap against the Bills, which he believes is a big problem.

"Looking around the league, this is the opposite of the formula employed by quality pass-rushing teams. The Super Bowl Champion Seahawks employ a deep rotation of numerous rushers. The Lions, who lead the NFL in sacks so far this season with 20, also frequently rotate," explains Bird.

For the second straight week, Revis Island was in full effect. The Bills talented rookie wide receiver, Sammy Watkins, was a non-factor in Sunday's game as Darrelle Revis shadowed his every move. Yesterday, Watkins told the Buffalo media that he got open on Revis throughout the second half.'s Erik Frenz took closer look at the tape to see who really won the Watkins vs. Revis battle.

"Watkins was not open more than once in the second half on plays where he didn't get the ball or didn't get looked at," explains Frenz. "So, I'm not really sure where Watkins got his ideas from, but they're certainly not founded in reality."

But as great as Darrelle Revis is, he can't be expected to play man-to-man all game. Comcast SportsNet's Mike Giardi explains how Bill Belichick has used him so far this season and has been able to keep him rested throughout the game. Giardi says that Belichick will give Revis a break at various points throughout the game by allowing him to play off the receiver or in zone coverage. As a result, it allows Revis to fight fatigue in the second half.

As for the other cornerback the Patriots acquired in free agency, Brandon Browner says he's good to go for Thursday's game. Tim Britton of the Providence Journal says it's finally time to see Browner in action.

"It's hard to get ready for a game other than being out there," said Browner according to Britton. "You never can prepare for those live bullets until you're out there. Playbook and film, you can do all that all you want until you go out there and you get hit."

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