Greg A Bedard of the Boston Globe writes about the impact of veteran offensive tackle Matt Light has had on the Patriots season. After the Patriots drafted Nate Solder in last April's draft, many thought the end might be near for Light. Due to an injury to Sebastian Vollmer, Solder has filled in at the right tackle position while Light has had one of his best seasons as a Patriot. Perhaps his best performance came against the Colts. When asked about Light, Colts defensive end Dwight Freeny said, "He's the best player that I go against."
Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald writes about the constant changes in the Patriots defense. Due to injuries as well as poor play, the Patriots have moved multiple players around on the defense. Since the start of the season 36 different players have seen time on defense with 24 getting starting nods at any point. "I think we've always used a lot of players around here at different points, whether it's offensively, defensively, in the kicking game, whatever the case may be," director of player personnel Nick Caserio said. "That's the job of the player; their job is to prepare to play wherever they're asked to play, whatever their role is going to be. A lot of it, the player is going to decide what that is ultimately going to be."
Shalise Manza Young of the Boston Globe writes about the improbable rise of offensive lineman Nick McDonald. Growing up, McDonald lost his mother at the young age of 14, an experience that made him the man he is today. "It was terrible but I think it's made me who I am and you can't take life for granted, you can't take anything for granted - that's why I can't take this opportunity for granted,'' McDonald said yesterday.
Jeff Howe of NESN.com writes about rookie linebacker Markell Carter drawing inspiration from his younger sister who is battling lupus. "There are days when she can't really get out of bed," Carter said. "It just depends on the day and things like that. She can't really move around all day like she used to do. She's still young. She's only 20, so she should be able to move around and walk around all day, but she can't. She's my inspiration, man, for sure."
Erik Frenz of BleacherReport.com writes about five keys to success for the Patriots as they travel to Washington this Sunday. Offensive tackles Matt Light, Sebastian Vollmer and Nate Solder are one key, needing to contain the impressive pass rush duo of Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan. Defensive players like Vince Wilfork and Jerod Mayo are also called upon to stop Washington's rush offense.
Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com takes his weekly look at the defensive tackles chart. Jerod Mayo has moved to the top of the list with 67 tackles while Devin McCourty sits behind him with 65. On special teams, Matthew Slater no longer sits atop the list as Tracy White moved ahead of Slater with 13 tackles. Other stats touched upon are 12 pass defenses by Kyle Arrington and 19 quarterback hits by Andre Carter.