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Patriots.com News Blitz - 11/01/05

Jerome Solomon of the Boston Globe is reporting that the Patriots have agreed to terms with fourth-year fullback Heath Evans, most recently of the Miami Dolphins. The 26-year-old Evans played with the Seahawks from 2001-04, signed with the Dolphins in the offseason, then was waived Oct. 24. "Everything has caught me by surprise," Evans said yesterday as he packed bags for a flight to Boston. "You're a starting fullback for a team for six weeks and then you get a call that they released you. You don't expect that when you're starting. To go to New England, after all that has happened the last few weeks, I'm thrilled." Evans will add depth to a depleated running back core that has been hit hard by the injury bug.

Tom Curran of the Providence Journal reports that Bill Belichick would not clarify the reason why linebacker Chad Brown was inactive for Sunday's matchup against the Bills. Brown was not listed on the injury report, yet was inactive during the Patriots 21-16 win over the Bills. "You select the 45 and you put them in the roles you think are best for that game in that situation. We've seen that plenty of times before," said Belichick. Belichick did note that sometimes a player's skill set doesn't lend itself to the game plan in place for the week. John Tomase of the Boston Herald also offers a similar report on Chad Brown.

Michael Felger of the Boston Herald offers his Patriots report card. Felger gives low to average grades all across the board. Overall, Felger writes that the Patriots looked undisciplined, unaware and defensively soft.

Jerome Solomon of the Boston Globe writes that the most encouraging aspect of the Patriots win over the Buffalo Bills was the improvement of the Patriots red zone defense. New England did not surrender a touchdown on any of Buffalo's three trips inside the 20-yard line. Buffalo twice began drives at its 47, and started another at the Patriots' 29 after a Tom Brady fumble, but scored only 6 points on those possessions. New England was a perfect 2 for 2 with Corey Dillon touchdown runs on its red zone opportunities.

John Tomase of the Boston Herald offers a story on Patriots running back Corey Dillon. Tomase writes that despite basically not practicing for three weeks because of a sprained left ankle, Dillon came off the bench to rush for 72 yards and two fourth-quarter touchdowns in the Patriots' come-from-behind, 21-16 victory against the Bills. "I thought Corey played really hard," Belichick said. "He ran with a lot of authority and got some tough yards down on the goal line. He broke some tackles. It was a great effort. A lot of guys weren't playing at 100 percent, but they sucked it up and played very tough."

Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald writes that even after watching Tedy Bruschi's triumphant return to football Sunday night, there will remain critics of his decision to play again after suffering a stroke. Bruschi started Sunday nights game at inside linebacker and missed only a handlful of plays during the game. After the game, Bruschi Spoke elequently on his return. "We have all gone through things in our lives . . . I am sure people have lost loved ones or something happened, some other type of injury or something like that, and there comes a point where you just can't feel sorry for yourself anymore. You know, the minute I had my stroke and the doctor told me, I just wanted to know where we go from here and how do I get back. I don't know how it has affected other people out there or anyone else, but mental toughness is something I pride myself on. And if you have support from friends and family and teammates, it is possible to overcome any obstacle," said Bruschi.

John Tomase of the Boston Herald offers a preview of the upcoming Monday night matchup between the Patriots and Colts. Tomase writes that Peyton Manning and Co. are 7-0 and tearing through the league with an equal mix of offense and defense. The Patriots, meanwhile, continue to surrender 50-yard pass plays and Sunday survived bad penalties, a botched field goal and a 2-to-1 time of possession deficit to defeat Buffalo, 21-16. "I mean they're 7-0. They're undefeated," Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said. "Until somebody beats them, I don't see how you can say anybody is a better team than them. They haven't lost a game. That's more than anybody else can say."

Jim Donaldson of the Providence Journal writes that the currently undefeated Colts have lost nine games in a row in New England, their last win coming in 1995. Manning is 0-for-7 in Foxboro, with two playoff losses, including an embarrassing 24-14 defeat in the 2003 AFC Championship Game in which he was intercepted four times while completing only 23 of 47 passes. But, despite his history of horrors facing Belichick's defensive schemes, Manning has got to be licking his chops this week, thinking it's finally payback time.

Tom Curran of the *Providence Journal * takes a look at the good and the bad of Sundays 21-16 win over the Buffalo Bills.

Alan Greenberg of the Hartford Courant also offers a recap of Sunday win over the Bills.

Mike Reiss of the Boston Globe offers his daily sports blog with Patriots notes. Reiss also offers his latest mailbag where he answers your questions.

Tom Curran of the Providence Journal offers his daily sports blog with Patriots notes and commentary.

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