In The Red Zone – 12/13

In The Red Zone

The New England Patriots are in the midst of their second two game road trip of the season with back-to-back road games against Washington and Denver.  Their earlier trip back-to-backers in Buffalo and Oakland yielded a win in the Black Hole and a loss in southern Canada.

Now in addition to playing a football game in Denver they have to face the aspect of Tebow-mania.  Head coach Bill Belichick said the Broncos are more than one man and they will be treated as such.

While New England is on a five game win streak with their last loss coming at home to the New York Giants, Denver is on a six game win streak with many of them of the cardiac variety courtesy of Tim Tebow.

New England is a playoff team at 10-3, with a win or a Jets loss they clinch the AFC East for the 3rd season.  While Denver at 7-5, has been resurrected and leads the AFC West needs to keep on a somewhat magical run to get to the post season for the first time since 2005 when they lost to Pittsburgh in the AFC title game.

The Washington game was a challenge in many ways.  Offensively the team wasn’t sharp in the red zone or in go to go situations.  While the usually spot on Tom Brady had some not so accurate throws.

Defensively the 3rd down conversions were once again at 50%, they allowed to many 10 yards plus plays and they allowed their first 100 yard rusher of the season.  On the bright side Vince Wilfork and Andre Carter teamed up for a defensive TD on a strip sack of Rex Grossman by Carter and the recovery in the end zone by Wilfork.  And Jerod Mayo is returning to form after missing several weeks with a MCL sprain.  Even though he is still banged up he is such a smart player and was in the right spot when New England needed a game ending stop.

So now it’s onto the Mile High City where someone’s win streak is going to come to an end.

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Head coach Bill Belichick had his weekly day after the game media meeting about the week ahead.

His 187 career wins are good for 9th all-time. Former LA Rams, Washington and Seattle head coach Chuck Knox is 8th with 193.

Belichick announced the team would leave for Denver on Friday after practice so they can get a full day on Saturday to get acclimated to the climate.

Belichick wasn’t happy with the lumped up playing surface at FedEx Field but he bit his lip and would only say that ‘we’ve played on better.”

Two members of the Bill Parcells coaching tree got pruned on Monday.  Kansas City fired Todd Haley and Miami whacked Tony Sparano.

New England is a NFL best 64-15 in games played on or after Thanksgiving since 2001.

New England is 39-5 in December games since 2001.  That’s the best in the NFL in that time period.

This is what Tom Brady had to say about the win on WEEI AM/FM on Monday morning.

Brady’s 121st is 6th all-time, Fran Tarkenton is 5th with 124.

Brady’s 3 TD passes give him 33 TD passes on the year and 294 TD passes in his career ranking him 6th all-time.  John Elway is 5th with 300.

Brady says he deserved to be yelled at.

WR Wes Welker now has catches in 95 consecutive games including playoffs, 78 as a Patriot.  The last time Welker did not have a catch in a game was 12/24/05 as a Dolphin.

WR Tiquan Underwood addressed the sideline argument and his role in the end zone interception.

Thumbs up for Patriots LB Dane Fletcher.

Dying Patriots fan had one wish he wanted to meet a Patriots Cheerleader before he passed.

S James Ihedigbo has become a steadying force in the New England secondary.

S Patrick Chung was seen in the locker room Monday wearing a walking boot on his injured foot.

ESPN AFC East blog’s rapid reaction on Patriots-Redskins.

Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski is the clearly best around.

Meet the Patriots fan who’s lap Gronk ended up in when he leapt into the stands.

The signing of DE Andre Carter has been huge for the Patriots.

Patriots CB Devin McCourty found his form when he needed it.

DT Vince Wilfork is a big guy who is having a big year and he didn’t let his chance at a TD slip by.

The best and worst of the Patriots-Redskins game.

Mike Reiss charts the Patriots offensive snaps and defensive snaps played vs. Washington.

Pro Bowl voting is open feel free to cast your votes for deserving players.

New England plays the Denver Broncos on Sunday at 4:15 p.m. at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver CO.  Look for the Sox & Dawgs “In The Red Zone Game Preview” available on Friday.

Follow Steve on Twitter @djstevem

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