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Sports

November 16, 2013

Same old story: Patriots are Super Bowl-ready

Five reasons a trip to the city in February could - and maybe should - be in works

(Continued)

Have we all forgotten how unique Rob Gronkowski is?

Receivers have suddenly been freed up with Gronk around. And he’s been force-fed the football, too. With all due respect to Jimmy Graham, Vernon Davis, Jason Witten et al., Gronkowski is on a whole different plane.

With him in the lineup and healthy, the Pats are good for 30-something every week. Can Andy Dalton handle that?

3. Best in the biz by far

Watching Mike Tomlin’s guys quit here last week, and the fact that Rex Ryan remains the best coach the Pats will face in the regular season, you have to respect the job Bill Belichick has done.

He’s rebuilt the defense and, even without key parts like Vince Wilfork, Jerod Mayo and Aqib Talib, they play winning, attacking football.

For the last dozen years, much of the credit for the Patriots’ success has centered around Tom Brady and Belichick. What we’re learning in 2013, they might not be even-Steven. Maybe Belichick deserves top billing.

4. Ridley ready to run

Watching former top pick and recent Indy acquisition Trent Richardson arm-tackled into near-submission by the Tennessee Titans Thursday, you get an appreciation for the last season and a half turned in by Ridley.

Ridley runs hard. If he doesn’t, it would be Brandon Bolden or Shane Vereen, a factor Ridley has come to accept and feed off of. I know he’s only at 514 yards so far.

Pencil Ridley in for 1,000 on the year.

This kid made the Steelers stop tackling. He’s done if before. Yes, he’s one fumble from the coach’s doghouse.

There’s just more to this guy than the run-of-the-mill halfback. I’d take Buffalo’s C.J. Spiller before him, but there’s not another better back in the AFC East than Ridley.

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