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Patriots.com News Blitz 10/19/04

Jim McCabe of The Boston Globe looks back at Sunday's win over the Seahawks, and gives credit to the play of the defense. "For the Patriots' defense Sunday, there were five such red zone visits and only once did the Seahawks score a touchdown. The key to the victory? No doubt," writes McCabe. "But it hardly should have rated a surprise, because when the weekly NFL statistics were released yesterday, the Patriots showed up as the AFC's best defense in the red zone and second best in the NFL."

McCabe also features running back Corey Dillon, who led the way offensively on Sunday with 105 rushing yards and two touchdowns. "Five games into his New England career, the legend of Corey Dillon continues to grow. The onetime disgruntled running back for the Cincinnati Bengals is all smiles these days, his home in the Patriots' offense a most comfortable one," writes McCabe.

Bill Griffith of the Globe reviews this weekend's television coverage of the Patriots by Fox, detailing their approach, as well as their interview with Pats owner Robert Kraft.

Tuesday means Kevin Mannix gives out his grades in The Boston Herald. High marks go to the running backs and offensive line, while the defensive line and coaching staff leave something to be desired. Special teams is on the rise after a solid game this weekend.

Rich Thompson of the Herald looks ahead to this weekend's battle of the undefeated, with an eye on the ground game. "Patriots tailback Corey Dillon has few longstanding contemporaries in the AFC," writes Thompson. "Unfortunately for the Patriots defense, one of them will be on the opposing sideline Sunday when Curtis Martin comes to town with the New York Jets."

In his notebook, Thompson lauds the red zone defense and updates Ty Law's pursuit of interception history.

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

Tom Curran of The Providence Journal explores the added dimension of Dillon, and how it frees up Charlie Weis to be even more creative and free-wheeling. "With a back of Corey Dillon's talents, a quarterback as efficient as Tom Brady, and versatile, dependable receivers, Weis right now can dial up just about anything and get decent results," writes Curran.

In his notebook, Curran highlights the distinct home-field advantage the Patriots are enjoying on Gillette Stadium. "The Patriots haven't lost at home since December 22, 2002, a span of 665 days and 14 games," writes Curran. "The last time they lost it was against this weekend's opponent, the New York Jets, a 30-17 loss on a Sunday night."

Michael Parente of The Woonsocket Call spotlights Dillon, who every week has an experience he never had in seven losing Cinncinnatti seasons. "Dillon is having the time of his life in New England, as evident by his outpouring of emotion on the field," writes Parente.

Parente also gives out his grades for each unit. High marks go to the running game and both lines, while the coaching staff takes the lowest grade. Also with work to do is the secondary, while special teams receive credit for their improved play.

Alan Greenberg of The Hartford Courant credits the Patriots red zone play, on both sides of the ball, as being a major factor in their 5-0 start. "When opponents get a first down inside the Patriots 20, they're finding it hard to score touchdowns," writes Greenberg. "But when the Patriots get a first down inside their opponent's 20, they're finding it fairly easy to reach the end zone."

In his notebook, Mike Reiss of The MetroWest Daily News also lauds the red zone play. Reiss also reviews the trash-talking of Darrel Jackson, and notes who might be changing addresses before today's 4 PM trade deadline.

Reiss has a feature on Daniel Graham, whose streak of consecutive games with a touchdown ended at five, though he made noise by dominating in another aspect of his game. "The pass-catching was hardly what distinguished the third-year pro's exemplary game; it was his wham-bam blocking, both in the running and passing game," writes Reiss.

The Portland Press Herald runs an AP article which notes though a number of underdogs have reached the Super Bowl in recent years, this season the two preseason favorites, the Patriots and Eagles appear on a collision course. "That's premature, but this is starting to look like a season when the preseason favorites are truly the NFL's best teams."

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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