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Old 12-23-2013, 06:17 PM   #226
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Mid-Atlantic
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Vince Wilfork. Tommy Kelly. Jerod Mayo. Sebastian Vollmer. Rob Gronkowski. Nate Solder. On Sunday, the Patriots added Devin McCourty and Shane Vereen to their list of injured players and still managed to beat the Ravens, 41-7, in Baltimore. It must have been satisfying in some way after losing twice to the Ravens last year, including that loss in the AFC Championship Game, but even more so that the Patriots did this with a shell of their typical roster.

Normally, it's easy to chalk up this sort of New England win to what Tom Brady does on the field as a Hall of Fame–caliber quarterback, but Brady had a quiet day, going 14-of-26 for 172 yards and a touchdown. No, this was a day to congratulate Belichick, who got contributions out of players nobody else wanted. LeGarrette Blount ran for 76 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries. Julian Edelman — who couldn't even get a million dollars on the open market this offseason — had a seven-catch day. Belichick coaxed meaningful reps from the likes of Sealver Siliga and Chris Jones at defensive tackle. He started Michael Hoomanawanui, Matthew Mulligan, Aaron Dobson, Marcus Cannon, and rookie free agent Josh Kline on offense. And those afterthoughts beat the defending Super Bowl champions by 34 points in their house. Good coaches can take yours and beat his; Belichick might just be able to take nobody's and beat yours.

Last edited by TonyR; 12-23-2013 at 06:21 PM..
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