Shalise Manza Young of the Boston Globe writes about the rise of defensive back Sterling Moore from being a member of the Oakland Raiders practice squad to making two game-saving plays in the Patriots' AFC Championship win. The 5-foot 10-ince rookie out of Southern Methodist started his NFL career on Oakland's practice squad and was picked up by the Patriots after being cut. "When he did get cut, I had a good feeling that he would get picked up because he had a lot of good things on film from preseason games with [the Raiders],'' said SMU defensive backs coach Derrick Odum. "It worked out well. He ended up going to a great organization and I was really happy for him. I knew if he got another opportunity, he was going to do well.'' Since then Moore has played a significant role for the Patriots in their run to Super Bowl XLVI.
SI.com breaks down the match-up of the Patriots tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez versus the New York Giants defense. When the Patriots and Giants met in Week 9 Gronkowski hauled in eight catches for 101 yards and a touchdown while Hernandez caught four passes for 35 yards and a score. Last week in the NFC Championship game the Giants allowed San Francisco tight end Vernon Davis to catch two touchdowns, including a 73-yard reception. This touchdown play was very similar to a favorite play in the New England offense which has Gronkowski or Hernandez line up as the outside man on the formation and run a seem route. According to Sports Illustrated, this match-up favors the Patriots.
Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald writes about Kevin Faulk as he looks back at his success as a Patriot and also looks at his possible future. Faulk has been a part of all three Patriots teams that won Super Bowl Championships along with Tom Brady and Matt Light. Faulk has a ritual where he looks at old film of himself and says it is a reminder of, "How far you've come," said Faulk, the former prep and LSU All-American. "Where you are now. Understanding that you've been blessed to be on the football field. And 'Let's continue to make this film.' "
Steve Silva of the* Boston Globe* looks at many of the great teams in Patriots history and asks, "Which Patriots team is your all-time favorite?" Some of the teams include the 1974, Jim Plunkett led squad, the 1985 team that went to the first Super Bowl in the team's history, the 1996 Super Bowl team that included Drew Bledsoe, Ty Law, Teddy Bruschi and Lawyer Milloy amongst other Patriots greats, the 2001, 2003 and 2004 Super Bowl winning teams, the record-setting 2007 squad and this year's 13-3 squad that will play next Sunday in Super Bowl XLVI.
Jen Floyd Engel of FoxSports.com writes about a day that changed the course of Tom Brady's career, the 2000 NFL Combine. That day a young Tom Brady was far from impressive, running a 5.2 40-yard dash. This led to Brady falling to the 199th pick in the draft, where he was selected by the Patriots.
Jeff Howe of NESN.com writes about the Patriots most dominant and valuable defensive lineman, Vince Wilfork. The defensive lineman played both nose tackle and left defensive end and had a positive effect on 15 plays in Sunday's AFC Championship win. Wilfork was double-teamed 24 times, and he beat five of them. He also beat nine single teams and one triple team (the only one he faced). This ability to shed multiple blockers freed up Mark Anderson, Brandon Deaderick and Kyle Love to have sold games.
Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com looks at if receiver Chad Ochocinco will be active for Super Bowl XLVI. Ochocinco played just one snap in the Divisional round win over Denver and was inactive against the Ravens in the AFC Championship. After regulars Wes Welker and Deion Branch, the Patriots used Julian Edelman, Matthew Slater and Tiquan Underwood on Sunday, with Edelman seeing the most offensive snaps. However with the health of Rob Gronkowski in question, Ochocinco does have a good chance of being active for the game.
Douglas Saffir of NESN.com writes about Patriots linebackers coach Pat Graham. Next Sunday Graham will make NFL history, being the first Yale graduate to ever coach in the Super Bowl. Graham played tight end and defensive lineman before graduating in 2001. He worked as a coach with several collegiate programs, including Notre Dame, before joining the Patriots in 2009.
Howard Ulman of the Associated Press writes about the consistent approach that coach Bill Belichick expects out of his team, even in the bye week. "I wasn't here in training camp but, from day one, I can tell that he's all about the details," Brian Waters said. "He's all about everybody doing their own job and staying in their lane. Everybody has their own responsibilities. That's something that you learn early on and that's something that he still makes sure that we understand today."