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Patriots.com News Blitz - 10/3/2011

Michael Silver of Yahoo Sports writes about Tom Brady's return to the Bay Area on Sunday. A San Mateo native, Brady has only played back in the Bay Area once before Sunday. When Brady recalled his childhood he said, "I thought I was going to play baseball. I'd be a catcher – maybe catch a no-hitter against the A's. That was my dream." Brady did not catch any baseballs on Sunday; he did catch and pass his childhood idol Joe Montana on the NFL's all-time touchdowns list. Brady now sits in ninth place with 274 touchdowns after a fourth quarter TD to Deion Branch.

Shalise Manza Young of the Boston Globe writes about the Patriots running game on Sunday. After less than stellar performances in weeks one through three, the duo of BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Stevan Ridley combined for 172 yards on 26 carries with two touchdowns. "It felt good,'' guard Brian Waters said of the improved ground game. "It's definitely something we want to get better at. But at the end of the day, it's about winning football games.''

Karen Guregian of the* Boston Herald* writes about the first four games of the 2011 Patriots season. For years Bill Belichick has stated that four games is the measuring stick to know what kind of football team you have. After Sunday's game one thing is abundantly clear, this team is full of fighters. "We're tough. This is a tough, tough, tough bunch," said Vince Wilfork. "This week, Bill challenged us just to play better football and not give away games, and we did."

Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com looks at rookie running back Stevan Ridley's big game in Oakland. Ridley ran 10 times for 97 yards and one touchdown in his first extended time this season. When asked about his performance Ridley said, "[The holes were] huge, man. The offensive line did an awesome job. Like I said, those were the biggest holes I've ever seen in my life. So I just had to keep running and hit them at full speed."

Tom Curran of CSNNE.com writes about how the Patriots defense was able to perform in Oakland. Even after losing Jerod Mayo to a knee injury, the Patriots defense held Oakland's Darren McFadden to just 75 yards on 14 carries. Missing many of their regular players, the Patriots defense focused on one thing this week, getting better. "We got better this week," said Devin McCourty. "The goal is to win and we did that but throughout the week in practice we got better."

Paul Kenyon of the Providence Journal writes about Wes Welker's incredible season so far. Welker grabbed nine catches for 158 yards and one touchdown in Oakland. Combining that with his 216 yard performance in Buffalo, Welker broke yet another team record with 375 yards receiving in his last two games. "This is the best I've ever felt," Welker said after another outstanding day in a 31-19 triumph over Oakland Sunday. "This is the best I've ever played in my career."

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