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Patriots Blog: Short Week Not An Issue

By Levan Reid, WBZ-TV Sports
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(L-R) Aaron Hernandez #81 and Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots participate in drills as they warm up against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on November 27, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

(L-R) Aaron Hernandez #81 and Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots participate in drills as they warm up against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on November 27, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

WBZ-TV's Levan Reid Levan Reid
Levan Reid is a veteran sports reporter who has joined the W...
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New England Patriots

BOSTON (CBS) – It was a busy two weeks for the Patriots, beating the Chiefs last Monday and Eagles Sunday in impressive fashion.

After a short week to get ready for the Eagles, with their MNF matchup and Thanksgiving just a few days apart, the defense played well and the offense put up more than 30 points.  Sunday was a picture of a team coming together and hitting their stride.  The Pats got down early and kept on keeping on.  Their game plan was solid and the outcome was a winning one.

“It was obviously a short week, but I thought the players did a good job here of bouncing back,” head coach Bill Belichick said after the 38-20 win in Philly. “Just trying to cram everything in here, I thought they really did a good job the past couple days of pulling together on the game plan.”

Belichick gave praise to the group over and over.  For the first time in a long time, his words about this team were some of appreciation.

“I give the players a lot of credit for sucking it up and not just physically being out there, but mentally, all the preparation and the film work and the studying that they did, the extra meetings that they did to really try to prepare for this game,” Belichick said.

Read/Watch: Bill Praises Players

“It’s a tough week on them when you only have six days, you have a holiday right in the middle of it, you’re on the road and all that,” he continued. “But that’s the NFL schedule. Those guys did a good job, they deserve a lot of credit.”

Big Play Patriots

Every week the fans call for a deep threat and someone to take the top off the defense.  That term was used when Randy Moss was here and he is the best to ever do that.  The Pats went out and got Chad Ochocinco and the thought was he would stretch the defense a little bit.

That has not been the case though.

But on Sunday, the Pats used the big play their own way and it was extremely effective.  Tom Brady hit Deion Branch on a third and thirteen play to bring New England from their own 36 to the goal line.  The play was a breakdown, and Brady had to scramble in the pocket and the offensive lineman had to hold their blocks. He directed Branch to come back, and the play went from nothing to something.

“He had a comeback route, he ran it, and I scrambled up,” said Brady. “[Branch] kind of stepped up, wheeled inside and [Samuel] lost him. I just tried to jam it in there to him. He caught it and he did the rest. I thought he had a great cutback there at about the 15- or 20-yard line to get us down to the 1. That was a huge play in the game. I thought, really, it stopped the momentum that they had established and for us to make plays like that really softens up the defense.”

Highs and Lows: Pats Play Tough And Get Big Win

The second big play was simple.  Tom Brady to Wes Welker down the seem, 41 yards and touchdown  Welker had a fake cut in and Brady a play action to Danny Woodhead. The safeties bit on the play action and Wes beat his man. After that, he was all alone.

“We ran the same play early on and the safety came down pretty yard, so I told [Brady] in the huddle that, if I see this coverage, I’m going to step in and go,” said Welker. “He was fine with it. Luckily, we got the coverage and were able to get a touchdown.”

Quick Hits From Brady

Here are some quick thoughts from Brady in his after the game press conference.

On the team’s performance Sunday: “I thought it was OK — I just thought our execution was a little better. It’s good to come on the road and get a win. It’s a team that has obviously a lot of very good players and I thought getting down 10-0 and then rallying and coming back like we did, it showed a bit of mental toughness, which we’ve shown consistently throughout the year.”

Discuss: Should Patriots Go After Terrell Owens?

On a 63-yard connection with Deion Branch: “He had a comeback route, he ran it, and I scrambled up. [Branch] kind of stepped up, wheeled inside and the [defensive back] lost him. I just tried to jam it in there to him. He caught it and he did the rest. I thought he had a great cutback there at about the 15- or 20-yard line to get us down to the 1. That was a huge play in the game. I thought, really, it stopped the momentum that they had established and for us to make plays like that really softens up the defense.”

On rushing for 28 yards on five carries: “Yeah, that’s a rarity. There’s just a few times where I felt it opened up in the middle and I just took off. I’m not moving very fast, they’re converging pretty quickly, so I just got down there as fast as I could.”

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