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Patriots.com News Blitz - 12/15/2011

Greg A Bedard of the Boston Globe writes about one trait the Patriots defense will need in order to stop Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos, discipline. With Denver running an option style offense they are averaging 156.2 yards rushing per game, tops in the NFL. To stop Tebow, McGahee and the rest of the Broncos running backs, the Patriots might need to use a page out of AFC rival San Diego's playbook. The Chargers used an outside linebacker to work on the "dive" back, McGahee, which Tebow will either hand off to or pull the ball out on a fake. For the Patriots this linebacker would be Rob Ninkovich. Next, an inside linebacker would be assigned to Tebow if he runs with the ball. This would be either Jerod Mayo or Dane Fletcher. Finally a defensive back would be assigned to the pitch back. This would be a safety like James Ihedigbo or Julian Edelman.

Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald writes about the mutual respect between Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow and his former college teammate, Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez. When asked about Tebow, Hernandez said, "He keeps plays alive, and he's winning," Hernandez said. "A leader. I'm sure he still is. He brought a lot of energy to the game. When someone has energy, you take from it." While Tebow said ""(Hernandez) makes any quarterback he's with look a lot better," Tebow said. "He's a phenomenal player, one of those guys when you need competitive excellence and you need someone to step up and make a big play, he's always ready and willing. I'm just proud of him for what he's done as an NFL player and what he did with me at Florida." Both players also added that they were good friends in college.

Christopher Price of WEEI.com breaks down who Tom Brady targets most in the passing game, and who is most efficient. Wes Welker leads the team in targets with 136 with Rob Gronkowski close behind with 100 targets. Aaron Hernandez also sits near the top of the list with 85 targets. After Hernandez, Deion Branch has 81 targets. Nobody else has more than 30 targets. When it comes to efficiency, the tight ends have caught 70 percent of the passes thrown their way while wide receivers have caught just 64 percent.

Jeff Howe of NESN.com writes about the ability of Matt Light to stop some of the NFL's best pass rushers in his 11th season. The 33 year old Light has faced players like Tamba Hali, DeMarcus Ware, Dwight Freeny and a host of other great names with great success this year. "I'm healthy," Light said when asked about his success. "I'm happy about that. Going out there and working with those guys, I've got a great crew. Old man B-Waters (Brian Waters), my trusty sidekick Logan (Logan Mankins) and all those guys. The guys that have filled in at center, they've all done a phenomenal job. (Sebastian Vollmer) and Nate (Nate Solder), those guys are playing really well. It's a fun room to be in right now."

Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com looks at the most recent Pro Bowl voting numbers. Tom Brady has the most votes for quarterbacks (and overall) while Wes Welker leads wide receivers, Rob Gronkowski leads tight ends, Logan Mankins leads guards and Andre Carter leads defensive ends. Others receiving high votes are Aaron Hernandez (second for tight ends), Brian Waters (second for guards), Matt Light (second for tackles) and Kyle Arrington (second for cornerbacks).

Tom Curran of* CSNNE.com* writes about recent comments from Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. Brady was asked if the defensive struggles the Patriots have faced have affected his game. To which Brady replied, "I think the big part of it, for the defense, however they're going to play, it doesn't matter, because we have to do our job. They get the ball to start the game, who cares what happens on the opening drive; when we get the ball, we have to go down and do something with it."

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