In The Red Zone

Well this Sunday was better than last Sunday and it also helped heal up the wounds of Wednesday so all in all it was a good day as the New England Patriots went into Oakland and came out with the win over the Raiders.

Defensively this team is still a sieve just gushing yardage in the opponents passing game.  At least when the other team runs the Patriots seem to hold their ground.  Two weeks in a row they faced the leagues leading rusher and both times they held him to less than 80 yards rushing or roughly 30 yards below their average at the time of the meeting.

Offensively they did enough to win as Tom Brady was pretty average on Sunday despite climbing another notch on the all-time touchdown pass list.

It was good to see old friend Richard Seymour on Sunday especially when his hyped up play ending up giving New England 30 of the 80 yards they needed to score on their opening drive.  He ended up being flagged at least 3 times on the day and his team had 9 penalties accepted on them.

Next week should be interesting as the New York Jets come to town.  It will be their third consecutive road game and they won’t be happy after losing the previous two games at Oakland and Baltimore.

When the team’s match up on Sunday it will be strength on strength and weakness on weakness or in other words the Patriots offense vs. the Jets defense and the Jets offense vs. the Patriots defense.

It is an all important division game “The Razor” is already sold out and the crowd should be jacked up for Rex Ryan and Gang Green.  I’m sure the Patriots will be.

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New England head coach Bill Belichick had his weekly day after media meeting about Sunday’s game.

Patriots WR Deion Branch spoke with the mid day crew Monday for WEEI’s Patriots Monday.

DT Vince Wilfork played 107 NFL games without registering a single interception.  In the last three games he has gotten 2 INT’s.  Once again when he snagged the ball against Oakland he proved hard to take down as he rumbled for a 19-yard return.  Wilfork is now second on the team in INT’s this year behind CB Kyle Arrington who has 3.

WR Wes Welker had another huge game with 9 catches for 158 yards receiving.  He is on pace to shatter Hall of Fame WR Jerry Rice’s single season yardage mark by about 600 yards.

Welker admits this is the best he has ever played in his career.

QB Tom Brady threw a pair of TD passes on Sunday and he tied Peyton Manning for throwing at least 2 TD passes in 13 consecutive games.

Brady also passed his idol, Joe Montana for 9th on the all-time TD pass list with 274.  He is one away from tying former teammate Vinnie Testaverde for 8th with 275.

Connecticut native, TE Aaron Hernandez missed his second game Sunday with the sprained MCL he suffered against San Diego.  It was thought he’d be out one to two weeks so if that projection is accurate he should be on the practice field this week and on schedule for a Sunday return against the New York Jets.

In addition to Hernandez players who missed the game Sunday were Albert Haynesworth, Mike Wright, Ras-I Dowling, Leigh Bodden and Sebastian Vollmer.  This team could really use Dowling and Bodden in the secondary, hopefully they’re healing up and making progress towards playing on Sunday.

S Patrick Chung returned after missing the Buffalo game with a thumb injury and he made an impact in his return.

WR Taylor Price was dressed for the first time this season against Oakland after missing the first three weeks with a hamstring injury.

LB Jerod Mayo reportedly has a sprained MCL and could miss up to 6 weeks, this is going to hurt.  He suffered a similar injury in 2009 and only missed 3 weeks.

Patriot injuries of note from Sunday in Oakland are: Mayo (MCL), RB Danny Woodhead (ankle), LB Rob Ninkovich (cramping), C Dan Connolly (neck) and DL Kyle Love (ankle).  Most, with the exception of Mayo, should be okay for Sunday’s game against the Jets.

Christopher Gasper says there is no evidence that the Patriots are better than last year.

Shalise Manza Young writes that New England successfully contained the NFL’s leading rusher for a second week in a row.

She also asked should the Patriots replace Chad Ochocinco with Randy Moss?

The Globe’s Patriots Notebook

The Patriots were able to keep former mate Richard Seymour from making a difference.

Mass Live’s Nick Underhill writes that the Patriots need to start using rookie RB Stevan Ridley more.  Ridley racked up 96 yards rushing on just 10 carries against the Raiders.

Patriots locker room quick hits from

Oakland QB Jason Campbell sites “bonehead play” as the Raiders undoing on Sunday.

One more time I want to mention the “Black Hole” and the Raiders organization for a couple of cool things.  First off the Raiders held a moment of silence prior to kickoff for Myra Kraft, the late wife of Patriots owner Robert Kraft.

The second acknowledgement is for the fans of the “Black Hole” who welcomed Robert Kraft as he went on the field during the pregame warm ups.  They gave him a nice ovation and Kraft went over and talked to the fans and signed some autographs.

For an organization that gets a bad rep about a lot of things these were really classy acts towards an opponent.

New England will be rocking the old school circa 1985 red uniform jerseys and Pat Patriot helmets Sunday for the only time this season.

New England plays their AFC East rival New York Jets Sunday at 4:15 p.m. at the Razor.  Look for the Sox & Dawgs “In The Red Zone Game Preview” available on Friday morning.

Follow Steve on Twitter @djstevem