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Patriots.com News Blitz - 12/12/2011

Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe writes about the record breaking day for Rob Gronkowski. After grabbing six catches for 160 yards and two touchdowns, Gronkowski now sits atop the record books with 15 touchdowns, the most ever in a season for a tight end (Patriots still have three games to play). Even with all of the records he is breaking Gronkowski is staying modest. When asked if he was getting caught up in his records, Gronkowski said, "No. That's not how we roll around here. You've got to stay humble.''

Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald writes about Vince Wilfork scoring his first career touchdown in the first quarter of Sunday's game against the Washington Redskins. After an Andre Carter strip-sack Wilfork was able to jump on the ball in the end zone. "I saw the ball come out and basically just tried to get it." Wilfork said. "Let the refs decide if it's a fumble or what. I had to fight for it. It's you against everybody else fighting for the ball. Luckily, I got it and started fast for our defense." After his first career touchdown, the ball went to Wilfork's biggest fan, his wife Bianca who was sitting in the front row. "I told her, anytime I do anything with a ball — interception, fumble recovery — and she's in arm's reach, she's getting the ball," said Wilfork. "She was waiting for me."

Michael Whitmer of the Boston Globe writes about the ability of the Patriots defense to get fourth quarter stops. After allowing over 400 yards through the first three quarters the defense forced two punts and intercepted a pass in the fourth quarter. "We still have a long way to go to get better. This wasn't our best performance,'' said Jerod Mayo, who had the game ending interception. "Back to the drawing board tomorrow, and hopefully we continue to improve.''

Paul Kenyon of the Providence Journal writes about the two players who made the Patriots game winning interception, Jerod Mayo and Tracy White. With 29 seconds left in the game, the Redskins ran a crossing pattern with Santana Moss. When the pass arrived a small bobble allowed career special teamer White to jar the ball free, right into the hands of Jerod Mayo who was battling severe calf cramps. "It's a good feeling that they gave me the opportunity to play," White said. "I know I can play defense, but I've never had the chance. Here they give you a chance, and whatever ability you have, they're going to exploit it."

Mike Rodak of ESPNBoston.com writes about the Patriots red zone defense in Sunday's win over the Redskins. The Redskins were just 2-of-5 in the red zone and just 1-of-3 in goal-to-go situations. "They don't score, they don't win. That's sort of the name of the game," safety James Ihedigbo said. "You kind of don't want to give up those yards in the first place, but at the same time, we're going to pull our necks once they get down there, and say 'hey, they're not getting in the end zone.' That's what it's about." 

Jeff Howe of NESN.com writes about the two touchdown celebrations from Rob Gronkowski on his record setting day. Gronkowski made sure to use his signature spike on his first touchdown, but changed the celebration for touchdown number two. After scoring his second touchdown, Gronkowski leaped into the crowd to hug a fan in a Patriots jersey. "I just do things on the spot, and I never thought of that before," Gronkowski said after the game. "I just saw the guy with the New England jersey in the first row, so I've got to give him some props, got to give him some love because he's got first-row [seats] at an away game with the New England jersey on."

Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com takes his weekly look at offensive snaps. Rob Gronkowski was the only skill player to play in all 59 snaps with Wes Welker playing 58. Aaron Hernandez also played a major role playing in 55 snaps. Danny Woodhead led the way for running backs playing 35 snaps, well ahead of Kevin Faulk who played 13, the next highest for running backs.

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