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Patriots.com News Blitz 10/12/04

Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe leads off with a look at Tom Brady, whom defenses have been targeting with relentless blitzing attacks the last two weeks. "When you're a two-time Super Bowl MVP, defenses aren't letting up. Some may even take a roughing-the-passer call just to send a message, and Brady is getting all of that," writes Cafardo.

In his notebook, Cafardo gets Josh Miller's take on Miami kicker/kick return man Wes Welker. Cafardo also touches on Christian Fauria's upcoming face-off with his old Seattle mates as well as the Bethel Johnson situation.

Tuesday means its time for Kevin Mannix to hand out his grades in The Boston Herald. High marks this week go to the coaches, the linebackers, and the running backs, while the quarterback takes the low grade.

Rich Thompson of the Herald looks ahead to this weekend's home game against the Seattle Seahawks, who were 3-0 before blowing a 17-point lead in the final minutes of Sunday's game with St. Louis. Thompson notes the team is a tough one, and not to be overlooked.

The Herald runs another excerpt from Michael Felger's book Tales From the Patriots Sideline.

Tom Curran of The Providence Journal asserts the team was hurt by its lack of depth at receiver against the Dolphins. "Countless times since 2001, the Patriots have been caught short-handed at a position and responded well. But Sunday's game against Miami proved that even New England's resourcefulness has a tipping point," writes Curran.

In his notebook, Curran writes Bill Belichick believes rookie Vince Wilfork, who played extremely well on Sunday, still has much room for improvement. Curran also looks ahead to Sunday's game, and notes the high number of blitzes that have come at Brady.

Alan Greenberg of The Hartford Courant writes there will be no letdown after the Patriots 19th consecutive win, and goes into the locker room in an attempt to identify some of the team's characteristics that keep the ship so steady.

Mike Reiss of The MetroWest Daily News highlights the new-found consistency on the offensive line. "Based on the favorable results from the last two games -- the line surrendered one sack in 49 pass attempts, while paving the way for 234 rushing yards -- the rotation system is out and the combination of left tackle Matt Light, left guard Joe Andruzzi, center Dan Koppen, right guard Stephen Neal and right tackle Tom Ashworth has solidified itself as the starting line," writes Reiss.

Reiss also points out that the next four games represent a tough stretch for the Pats, as they host Seattle and the Jets, before traveling to Pittsburgh and St. Louis. "It's the quarter pole of the Patriots' season and they've zipped through at 4-0," writes Reiss. "No doubt, it's a nice start, although the next four games should reveal even more about the defending Super Bowl champions."

Michael Parente of The Woonsocket Call previews Sunday's showdown with Seattle, also noting that this team is not one to look beyond. "Other than the Colts, this will be the best team the Patriots have played this year," writes Parente. "The Seahawks are ranked among the top 10 in seven defensive categories, including special teams, and are 13th in offense. They are more balanced than the Dolphins and Bills, who can defend, but canÃ?Ã'¢??t score, and the Colts, who can score, but canÃ?Ã'¢??t stop others from doing so."

The Cape Cod Times runs an AP article by Ken Maguire highlighting the overflow of good times currently besieging New England sports fans, pointing particularly to the Patriots winning streak and Red Sox playoffs. "The success of the past few years has some sports fans harkening back to the glory days of 1980s, when the Celtics won three NBA titles, along with strong teams from the Bruins, Red Sox and occasionally the Patriots," writes Maguire.

If you enjoy News Blitz, you might want to check out bostonsportsmedia.com where Bruce Allen also offers links to what the media is saying about the Patriots as well as the other Boston sports teams. Allen also includes commentary on the media and does a good job holding everyone accountable.

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