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News Blitz 12/29: Final thoughts on Jets

In the wake of New England's most recent loss and controversial on-field decision, The Boston Globe says communications breakdowns were to blame for the defeat, but the paper remains sanguine about the Patriots' chances of making it to Super Bowl 50 in the San Francisco suburb of Santa Clara. 

With injuries continuing to mount for New England, The Providence Journal talks with o-lineman LaAdrian Waddle, one of the replacement players asked to step in against the Jets and who himself was injured in the game. A ProJo column also says the "Next Man Up" mantra is a step down for the Patriots.

"This is not the same Patriots' team that spent the first half of the season rolling over teams as if they were a great high school team playing in the wrong league," the writer proclaims. "This has become a team trying to hold on until they can get some of their people back, a team that's different than it was when the season first started, when everyone knew that we were looking at a team that had the potential to be great."

ESPNBoston.com examines a troubling trend for New England's defense, which has been surrendering too many big plays recently. 

CSNNE.com offers an update on the AFC playoff picture following Denver's win on Monday Night Football. Plus, there's a story saying the NFL needs to investigate Peyton Manning's HGH allegations with the same vigor it had in pursuing Tom Brady during DeflateGate.

"I don't think the league can now look at this and say, 'well, it's Peyton, we take his word.' You can't do that. You have to be fair across the board," the quoted expert declares.

Meanwhile, WEEI.com catches up with hobbling LB Dont'a Hightower.

"I'm definitely not 100 percent, but I'm feeling good," he insists.

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