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Patriots.com News Blitz - 12/14/2011

Greg A Bedard of the Boston Globe gives his weekly ratings, by position, for the Patriots win over the Washington Redskins. The offensive line and receivers both graded a four out of five. The offensive line was led by Matt Light and rookie Nate Solder who were able to shut down the pass rush duo of Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan. The receivers were lead by tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez along with Wes Welker. The three combined for 14 catches with all three having impressive runs after catches. Groups like the running backs and defensive backs received the lowest marks. 

Sara Gaynes of the Boston Herald writes about Chad Ochocinco stepping out of his Patriots gear and into the classroom. On Tuesday night, members of Emerson College's Social Media class with professor David Gerzof Richard were lectured on the effectiveness of Twitter by the unofficial Twitter king, Chad Ochocinco. Ochocinco offered five major tip[s to the class: First: be inventive: "I'm creative and, because of the way I am, I've been able to get the following I have." Second: don't censor yourself: "I curse in my feed. I can express myself in ways other athletes can't, and so I can relate to everybody." Third: use it as a dating site: "I met my fiancé on Twitter," he said. "And it's because we had a fight!" Fourth: have comebacks ready: When Ochocinco finds a negative comment, "I answer back witty, and then, everyone else (all his other followers) does too." And finally: do it yourself: "Nobody touches my Twitter feed EVER," he said. "That's all me."

Christopher Gasper of the Boston Globe writes about the effect that Rob Gronkowski is having not only on the Patriots, but the position of tight end. Through only 13 games, Gronkowski already owns the single season record for touchdowns by a tight end in a season with 15. With 15 touchdown receptions, Gronkowski leads the league, and if he continues on the pace he is on could become the first tight end to ever be the solo NFL league leader in touchdowns. Since entering the league last season, Gronkowski has the third most touchdowns (25) in the NFL, trailing only running backs Arian Foster (28) and LeSean McCoy (26). Guard Brian Waters was recently asked to compare Gronkowski to his former teammate Tony Gonzalez, who is often considered to be the best tight end in NFL history. "Gronk, he's kind of a freak of nature in comparison to Tony," said Waters. "Tony is a good basketball player, great athlete. Gronk is a different type of breed. He really has done a great job of using his athletic ability, using his size more than anything, as you can see when he tears from tackles and gets yards after catch. As much as I love Tony, and I think he's the best ever, I never saw Tony do some of the things I'm seeing him do, and the fact that he still has so much more that he can do, it's an amazing thing to watch."

Phil Perry of CSNNE.com writes about the challenge that rookie Nate Solder will face this week blocking Elvis Dumervil and Von Miller. The past two weeks Solder has faced pass rushing tandems like Dwight Freeny and Robert Mathis in Indianapolis and Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan in Washington and has excelled. "You can't say enough about what Nate's done as a rookie," Pats offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien said Tuesday. "Being coached by Dante [Scarnecchia] is a big deal, too. Being under his guidance right away helped. He came in and was able to be a productive guy right away as a rookie. We put a lot on his plate. We ask him to know different parts of the game-plan, obviously, and he's done a good job and fits in to that whole group of veterans."

Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com writes about The Patriots Charitable Foundation 18th annual Children's Holiday Party Gillette Stadium on Tuesday. The night was highlighted by appearances by Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft, Wes Welker and Tom Brady. Brady was chosen to be the "Wrap-a-Pat" player, allowing hundreds of local children to cover him in wrapping paper, ribbons and bows. "[One] thing we all take for granted is how blessed we are to live in this region. You see the young people come in here, the smiles on their face, and how much they appreciate being here; we all have a lot to be thankful for. We take a lot of things for granted," Robert Kraft said. "We need more acts of civility in society and we have to cherish those we care about and make sure we tell them we love them."

Erik Frenz of BleacherReport.com writes about the similarities between the season Tim Tebow is having and Tom Brady in his first season as Patriots quarterback. Both quarterbacks were able to rattle off five consecutive wins in their first year as starters with both being known for not turning the ball over. Others point out the ability for both quarterbacks to lead shocking fourth quarter comebacks while relying on strong defenses and clutch kickers. In a sport where the outcome is so often decided by who makes the big mistakes, this game could be decided by who doesn't make them.

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