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Replay: Patriots Unfiltered Thu Apr 15 | 02:00 PM - 11:59 PM

Patriots.com News Blitz 11/8/04

Ron Borges of The Boston Globe provides game review, praising the Patriots resourcefulness. "Always, it seems, these Patriots play their best when the situation is at its worst and it couldn't get much worse than having their secondary riddled by injury as they were facing one of the most explosive pass offenses in football," writes Borges.

Dan Shaughnessey checks in to laud the Patriots team effort, noting the team separates itself from others by their willingness to do whatever it takes, in any role, to get the job done. "Football players. That's what these Patriots are. That's why they win," writes Shaughnessey.

Cliff Brunt of the Globe looks at the Rams defense, a unit that played relatively well in the first half, before being bamboozled by the Patriots ingenuity in the second half.

Mark Blaudschun of the Globe reviews the decision to use Troy Brown on defense, an idea that became a necessity with a first-quarter injury. "It was bad enough that Bill Belichick had to design a defensive game plan with Asante Samuel and Randall Gay at cornerback," writes Blaudschun. "But four minutes into the game, the Patriots coach watched in dismay as Samuel went off with a shoulder injury that sent him to the locker room."

Blaudschun also spotlights the play of the game, a fake field goal pass for a touchdown from Adam Vinatieri to Brown. "The play had been put in for weeks. But it was meant for one of those 'only when the moment is right' situations that only coach Bill Belichick could define," writes Blaudschun.

Borges highlights the play of Corey Dillon and David Givens, two players who fueled the offense with 100-yard games on the ground and through the air, respectively. "For the third straight week, Givens produced a 100-yard receiving day, and for the fourth time this season Dillon rushed for more than 100 yards, piling up 112 on a day when it was unclear whether he would play until an hour before kickoff," writes Borges.

Michael Felger of The Boston Herald notes the similarities between yesterday's win and the Patriots thrilling victory over the Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI. "Once again it was Belichick and his irrepressible roster that out-smarted, outworked and thoroughly stunned the Greatest Show on Turf," Felger reports.

In his notebook, Felger reports on the ill-timed Samuel injury. "It didn't take long for the Patriots to suffer yet another injury to their already-depleted secondary," writes Felger. "This time, however, things worked out in the end." Felger also covers the superb play of Willie McGinest, the powerful return of Dillon, and the victimization of former Patriots tackle Greg Williams, now a Rams starter.

Kevin Mannix has high praise for the Patriots team effort, writing, "the Pats' success on defense was two-fold: A great design by the coaches and terrific implementation by the players."

Rich Thompson of the Herald spotlights Dillon, who was dominant in his return from injury. "After missing last week's 34-20 loss to the Steelers in Pittsburgh, Dillon was determined to revive the Patriots' running game and alleviate some of the pressure on quarterback Tom Brady," writes Thompson.

Thompson also has praise for Brady, who executed the team's game plan with great discipline. Naturally, it was important to control the time of possession to keep the Rams high-powered offense from getting into a destructive rhythm. "Brady's objective was to move the chains, burn time, produce the necessary points and keep the Greatest Show on Turf on the sidelines," writes Thompson.

George Kimball reviews the two-way play of the veteran receiver Brown, a typical Patriots sacrifice that help spark another win. "Brown's line: Three catches for 30 yards (including a sneak-attack pass for a touchdown from kicker Adam Vinatieri), three tackles, a pass defended and a pass interference penalty," writes Kimball.

Craig Martin goes into the opponent's locker room, where the Rams coach was expected to be the one succeeding with dynamic play calling this weekend. Instead, "Mike Martz was once again left to wonder what could have been," Martin contends.

Martin also covers Rams quarterback Marc Bulger, who came into the game with a 15-1 career record at home. He came out of the game after 60 minutes of harassment, as he was sacked five times by a relentless Patriots attack. "The Patriots, who recovered a fumble and a muffed punt, also forced Bulger into a costly interception in the third quarter," writes Martin.

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

In The Providence Journal, Tom Curran reviews the game, praising the team's ability to stay within themselves. "Yesterday, they rebounded from what could have been early disaster and simply stuck it to the Rams," writes Curran.

Curran also exalts the cornerbacks for stepping up in place of injured starters Ty Law and Tyrone Poole. "They were the baby birds pushed from the nest. Either they would fly or go splat," writes Curran. Clearly, they flew, as Gay, Brown, and Moreland far surpassed expectations in holding the vaunted Rams offense to 22 points, seven of which came on a defensive touchdown.

Jim Donaldson of the Journal praises the Patriots for the heart and character they showed yesterday. "They showed how, with both starting cornerbacks sidelined by injuries, and then another going down on the first pass thrown by the Rams, they could adjust and limit one of the NFL's most wide-open offenses to just two touchdowns," writes Donaldson.

Donaldson is also enamored with the performance of Brown, who brought to mind the classic style of football with his unselfish two-way play. "He is a throwback. He's a 60-minute man. In this age of the specialist, when many players on both sides of the ball get on the field only in specific down-and-distance situations, Brown is the sort of player who would have been right at home with the likes of Brown University's famous "11 Iron Men" of the late 1920s," Donaldson writes.

In his notebook, Curran reports that former Patriot Williams warned his Rams teammates about the potential for the very fake field goal play the Pats executed in the third quarter, though it seems they did not listen. Curran also highlights the devastating pass rush the Patriots employed, and the play on which McGinest tipped a pass that was then intercepted by Roman Phifer.

In The Hartford Courant, Alan Greenberg reviews the game.

Greenberg also looks at the fake field goal play, suggesting the Rams distracted themselves with their celebration after stopping the Patriots on a 3rd and goal from the five. "Seconds later, the Rams' celebration turned to groans when Troy Brown, standing far to the left side, walked a couple of innocent steps toward the goal line after Lonie Paxton snapped the ball not to holder Josh Miller, but straight to Vinatieri," writes Greenberg. "It was a quick snap."

In his notebook, Ian Clark of The Union Leader reviews the game. Clark also hands out MVP honors to Vinatieri, doles out Unsung Hero recognition to McGinest and the defensive line, and praises Givens' 100-yard day.

On ESPN.com, Michael Smith chronicles Givens' season, in which he has emerged as a top receiver in the AFC.

On CBS.sportsline.com, Pete Prisco likes the team effort, writing, "They find a way -- the Patriots way."

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