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Patriots.com News Blitz - 09/20/05

Jerome Solomon of the Boston Globe checks in with several Patriots players injured in the Panthers game on Sunday. Solomon reports that cornerback Randall Gay, who injured his ankle was in the locker room yesterday walking without the aid of crutches. Punter Josh Miller was sore but otherwise fine as he had been banged up on an attempted tackle of Panthers' Steven Smith during a long punt return.

During his press conference at Gillette Stadium yesterday, Bill Belichick was questioned by the media as to why he chose not to challenge a first-quarter touchdown by Carolina's Stephen Davis. There was speculation by the media that the ball had not touched the plane of the endzone. ''I didn't think there was enough evidence to warrant the challenge," Belichick said yesterday about the play that resulted in the first points allowed by the Patriots in a 27-17 defeat. Jerome Solomon of the Boston Globe, Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald and Shalise Manza Young of the Providence Journal all offer reports on Belichick's response to the play.

Michael Felger of the Boston Herald offers an early report card on the Patriots play through week two of the season. Felger gives below avergage grades to the offense and special teams, but gives high grades to the defense.

It's on to Pittsburgh as the Patriots continue their roadtrip with a matchup against the Steelers that has a familiar feel writes Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald. Guregian writes that if the Patriots didn't get enough of the Carolina Panthers' act Sunday, if they didn't get the message of what kind of game and intensity they're going to have to produce to beat that caliber of opponent, they know their fate come Sunday at Heinz Field. "You have to look at the film, see what you've done wrong, and get better. That's what you have to do. It's not the end of the world. It's one loss. We have a tough opponent this week. We just have to get better. Whatever we have to do, step up the game, that's what we plan on doing. There's no need for us to panic, or anyone else to panic out there. We just have to step it up," said Patriots safety Rodney Harrison.

Tom Curran of the Providence Journal writes that the Patriots' next four games, three of which are on the road, will test them like they've never been tested before. The Patriots play the Steelers this Sunday at Heinz Field, then it's a brief stop home to take on the San Diego Chargers at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots then go back on the road to take on the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome and finish the road trip with a stop at Invesco Field at Mile High Stadium to take on the Denver Broncos.

Steve Buckley of the Boston Herald writes that the Patriots need to address the lack of a running game thus far this season. Corey DIllon gained 39 yards on 14 carries during the Panther's game, his lowest totals as a Patriot. Blame can't be placed on Dillon alone, as the running game is a team effort. "It extends to everybody. It extends to all 11 guys on the field. The running game, it's a team play. All aspects of (the running game) need to improve. We have to coach it better. We have to block it better. We have to run it better," said Belichick.

Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette offers a preview of the Pats, Steelers matchup this Sunday. Last season the Steelers ended the Patriots 18 regular season game winning streak, this year it's the Patriots who hope to break the Pittsburgh Steelers 16 regular season game win streak.

Tom Curran of the Providence Journal offers his daily sports blog with Patriots notes and commentary.

Mike Reiss of the Boston Globe offers his daily sports blog with Patriots notes. Reiss also offers his latest mailbag where he answers your questions.

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