The Boston Herald says the Patriots defense hasn't fallen into a bend-but-don't-break category. "It hasn't bent much, period." The Pats D allowed a mere 17 points over the last 10 quarters of play. Coach Bill Belichick has seeped "new wrinkles and schemes" into a previously vanilla mix of rookies, who are now working together as a cohesive unit. Opponent quarterbacks are having a tough time dissecting this incognito defense.
Coulda, shoulda, woulda. Packers linebacker Clay Matthews III, who the Boston Globe quoted an AFC personnel executive in saying "is one of the top three or four pass rushers in the league," could have been a Patriot via the 2009 draft. Instead the Pats traded picks down twice to acquire cornerback Darius Butler, receiver Brandon Tate, kick returner Julian Edelman and tight end Rob Gronkowski.
The Boston Globe and the Boston Herald were both in attendance at yesterday's annual Patriots Charitable Foundation community holiday party at Gillette Stadium. They heard from Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who said there's a "karma and chemistry with this team" that's "pretty special." Kraft mentioned walking through the locker room and noting a moral that was highly positive, which "wasn't the same last year," he said.
Playing top-notch football, it's no question Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has become quite comfortable in the pocket. One reason for this comfort is a low sack count, according to ESPN's New England Patriots Blog. Read about the Pats' O-line inspiration, offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia, on ESPNBoston.com.