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Replay: Patriots Unfiltered Thu May 16 - 02:00 PM | Tue May 21 - 11:55 AM News Blitz 10/26/04

The Patriots continue to bask in the glow of their sixth win of the season. They now also own the NFL record, officially, with 18 consecutive regular season wins.

Joe Burris of The Boston Globe leads off today's blitz with a review of the Patriots flawless execution of their two-minute drill, the drive at the end of the first half that gave the Pats a 13-7 lead and ended the scoring for the day. "Perhaps it is true that successful teams generate their own fortune, for among the reasons the Patriots' two-minute offense resulted in the first-half touchdown was that the Jets ran defensive formations similar to what the Patriots' offense had prepared to face during its two-minute drills the week before," writes Burris.

Bill Griffith of the Globe recounts the television ratings for the many major sports events in the area this past weekend.

Kevin Mannix of The Boston Herald gives out his grades for Sunday's game. The linebackers and defensive backs receive straight A's for their stellar play this weekend. The offensive line and shorthanded receiving corps take the low marks.

Rich Thompson of the Herald looks ahead to this weekend's game in Pittsburgh, a game Bill Belichick will not be taking lightly. Thompson chronicles Belichick's high praise for Steelers coach Bill Cowher.

In his notebook, Thompson highlights the play of Vince Wilfork, who was thrown to the proverbial wolves against All-Pro Kevin Mawae, and updates the injury to Dan Klecko.

Tom Curran of The Providence Journal praises the early execution of the Patriots as being a big part of their success. "They open the game well. The Pats have scored on four of six opening possessions this season," writes Curran. "They're even better at closing halves. They've scored five out of six times on their final drive before the break."

In his notebook, Curran looks ahead to the Steelers game, and suggests they will be a tough test for the champs, despite the fact the five teams they have beaten have a combined record of 9-23.

Alan Greenberg of The Hartford Courant also notes the Patriots ability to start games strong. "Try this statistic: The Patriots have played 360 minutes of football this season. They have been behind for 12 minutes, 57 seconds. And, of course, never at the end," writes Greenberg.

Mike Reiss of The MetroWest Daily News disputes the impression many of the Patriots opponents have, that the team is one that does not make mistakes. "The difference in the contest, then, wasn't that the Jets made mistakes and the Patriots didn't," writes Reiss. "It was the Patriots' ability to rise in crunch time, stopping New York on its final drive, out-executing their foe at the most crucial juncture."

Reiss also looks ahead at Pittsburgh starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who is 4-0 since Tommy Maddox went down with an injury. "In another sign of his solid game management -- a trait in which Patriots quarterback Tom Brady also prides himself -- Roethlisberger has yet to take a delay-of-game penalty," writes Reiss.

Michael Parente dishes out his grades for the week, giving A's to the quarterback, running back, and linebackers. Low marks go for coaching, defensive backs, and both lines.

Parente also details the two-minute drive that was so effective, noting the team worked on it in practice expecting such a situation to arise. "Belichick might think it's good fortune, but a lot of has to do with good coaching and good execution, too," Parente writes.

Don Banks of has a feature on the Patriots winning streak, highlighting many things that have changed since the streak started. "When the Patriots last lost ... Red Sox manager Grady Little was still 18 days away from having to decide whether to yank Pedro Martinez or not," writes Banks. "He made the wrong choice."

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