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January 13, 2014

Hector Longo's Two-Minute Drill

(Continued)

Wide Receivers (B-) ... This group scares me more than any other in Denver. Will Edelman, Amendola and Collie find a way to get open?

Quarterback (A-) ... Bump him up a half grade for stepping in as the holder on PATs. Courageous move for a starter when punter Ryan Allen got shmuckled. Only 13 of 25, but you must love the 7.9 yards per attempt. That’s vintage playoff Brady. So are the no interceptions.

DEFENSE

Line (B) ... Decent pressure with a four-man rush all night. With little effort, they took Donald Brown and Trent Richardson out of the game. Again, this is the Jones boys, Sealver Siliga, Joe Vellano and Rob Ninkovich -- hardly a bunch of household names.

Linebackers (B+) ... Jamie Collins made plays. Finally, a Patriots linebacker with impact! Yes, he still struggles in space. But for the most part Matt Patricia had him attacking, and Collins does that well. Don’t buy the Dont’a Hightower revival that some Boston types would lead you to believe in. But hey, he doesn’t make that interception Saturday night if he’s not three steps behind the play when the Colts’ Stanley Havili bump sets a Luck offering into the air. Dane Fletcher tries, God bless him.

Secondary (A-) ... Some truly bad safety play and couple blown coverages by Alfonzo Dennard gave Andrew Luck his moments. But the rest of the night, they did a nice job, especially outside. The secondary is as healthy as it’s been, and yes, they made things happen. There was no bend-don’t-break. They made plays.

WHY BELICHICK IS BETTER

It’s only in the last few weeks that the Patriots have cranked up this amazing running attack. They kind of stumbled onto it, because of injuries, right?

Call me suspicious, but I wouldn’t put this past Bill Belichick as one of his grand schemes for the season.

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