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Patriots.com News Blitz - 12/21/2009

In today's news blitz, the Patriots gain ground in the division, read the updated AFC East standings, Ron Brace steps up, the pass-rush comes up big, learn about "organized chaos" and the team records their first true road win. Also, Randy Moss says he bounced back and Tom Brady comments on Moss. 

With Sunday's win, combined with a Jets and Dolphins loss, the Patriots increased their division lead to two games with two remaining in the regular season. They eliminated the Bills from playoff contention in the process, too. The Patriots can clinch the AFC East with a win in either of their final two games or a loss by the Dolphins according to the Boston Globe. The Jets cannot win the division due to a tiebreaking scenario.

AFC EAST STANDINGS:

Patriots: 9-5 (4-2)
Dolphins: 7-7 (4-2)
Jets: 7-7 (2-4)
Bills: 5-9 (2-4)

Rookie DL Ron Bracestarted Sunday in place of injured NT Vince Wilfork. Brace got the job of slowing down the tandem of Marshawn Lynch and Fred Jackson after being inactive the previous three games according to the Boston Globe. Read Brace's comments about getting the rare start.

The defense kept Ryan Fitzpatrick and Trent Edwards on their heels Sunday, recording a season-high six sacks in the win. LB Tully Banta-Cain, regarded as the team's best pash-rusher, tallied three sacks in the fourth quarter alone according to the Boston
Herald.
Banta-Cain now has 8.5 sacks on the season. LBs Derrick Burgess, Gary Guytonand DL Mike Wrighteach had a sack as well.

ESPN Boston discusses a new look Patriots defense used because of a lack of defensive linemen. LB Adalius Thomascalled it "organized chaos" and click here to find out what it caused.

The Patriots gottheir first "true road win" of the season Sunday according to the Providence Journal. "It is sweet. We have been talking about it all year, not being able to get a win on the road," LB Tully Banta-Cain said. "To pull this one off, and it's a division game. I can't ask for a better setting."

After a week of criticism alleging WR Randy Mosstook plays off a game ago, Moss let the football world know he can handle it according to the Associated Press. "I've been in this league 12 years, and I've been through a lot. And these shoulders that I have on my body, you can put the earth on it. So just to let you know, I bounced back. I appreciate it."

QB Tom Brady on Randy Moss (USA Today): "There was so much said about him last week, he came out and showed the kind of character he has. I love having him out there."

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