EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

December 31, 2012

Bye the way, Pats are ready for run

(Continued)

Anyway, Tom Brady basically admitted the only professional coach he has ever known told the media a white lie.

“(Before the game) Coach Belichick just said, ‘Look, the only people that can improve our position are us, so regardless of what anyone else does, we have to win,’” said Brady afterward. “And that’s what we did.”

Last night’s win was another barometer of this team’s guile and grit. Not only was it very cold (28 degrees), but the wind was gusting all night from the open end of Gillette Stadium to the closed end.

Whatever happened to “the elements being the great equalizer,” particularly with a passing game as prolific as the Patriots’?

Not on Belichick’s watch.

There are other reasons for feeling warm and fuzzy.

Outside of the 41-34 loss to the 49ers, the often struggling defense has bordered on being good since Thanksgiving, allowing 13 points per game.

The running game, an afterthought in recent years, is eighth best in the NFL at 134.5 yards per game.

Now that tight end Rob Gronkowski, an MVP candidate before he broke his forearm on Nov. 18, appears to be nearing 100 percent, shouldn’t the offense be 20 percent better?

And then there is their pride, consistency and momentum, which have shined through since their perplexing 3-3 start.

“Man, I love this team,” said Patriots newbie, Aqib Talib. “It’s everything. Everyone on this team adds something. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

To be honest, Aqib, we have, several times before.

And that’s why we can say that the 2012 Patriots are ready. And I really mean ready.

E-mail Bill Burt at bburt@eagletribune.com.

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