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Patriots.com News Blitz - 1/3/2011

Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman shined in yesterday's 38-7 trouncing of the Miami Dolphins, inside a balmy Gillette Stadium. With starting receivers Wes Welker and Deion Branch and tight end Aaron Hernandez inactive, the second-year Edelman came up with two catches in the first quarter--one a career-long 40-yarder--that set up running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis's 1-yard touchdown. Then just before the half, Edelman returned a punt 94 yards for a touchdown and gave New England the 24-0 leading going into intermission.

Read about Edelman's play-making ability in the Boston Globe. Read a similar story in the Boston Herald. And read about Edelman's return, which a broke a franchise record set in 1989, on ESPNBoston.com.

Also picking up the inactive slack was one Rob Gronkowski, the rookie tight end who caught six passes for 102 yards, a touchdown, and the Patriots rookie record for TDs caught by a TE. Read about Gronk in the Herald.

Read about the road to BenJarvus Green-Ellis's 1,000-yard mark in the Boston Herald. Read a similar story in the Boston Globe. ESPNBoston.com also marks the milestone.

Patriots backup quarterback Brian Hoyer took some snaps in yesterday's win, including his first career touchdown pass, a 42-yarder to Brandon Tate in the third quarter. Read about how Hoyer filled Brady's big shoes for a few plays in the Boston Globe. Read a similar story in the Boston Herald.

Patriots running back Danny Woodhead sustained a concussion in yesterday's game, on a low-note running play, which also ended the Patriots no-turnover streak over seven consecutive games. Read about the third-year back's condition in the Boston Globe notebook.

For the most part, however, the Patriots exited the regular season unscathed and in quite impressive fashion. Read more about the Patriots' record-setting performances in the Boston Globe. Read a similar story in the Boston Herald.

And now they're in the "driver's seat," en route to the playoffs, writes the Boston Herald.

New England's first playoff game will be Sunday, Jan. 16, at 4:30 p.m. at Gillette Stadium.

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