Sunday's New England Patriots Links 9/25

Ian Logue
September 25, 2011 at 10:02am ET

No Brady or Gronk, but plenty of storylines at Patriots OTAs
Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski not at the start of the team's OTA's today
NFL notes: Don't be surprised if Deatrich Wise Jr., Derek Rivers rise up for Patriots
New Patriots DL Danny Shelton preps to hit the hill
Patriots center David Andrews excited with his new Georgia Bulldog teammates

It's game day, and here are today's links:


5 Keys to Beating the Bills - Russ Goldman
Goldman writes that the Patriots could really use a big game from Jerod Mayo on the defensive side of the ball today.

Pre-game Thoughts: Patriots at Bills - Derek Havens
Havens writes that hopefully today is the day we see Devin McCourty look like the guy we saw last season.


Chung, Price join Big Al on ‘out’ list - Ian Rapoport
Ian Rapoport reports that Patrick Chung was officially ruled out last night, as were defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth and receiver Taylor Price. Haynesworth is reportedly battling a back injury, while Price has a hamstring pull.

For Bills, Brady’s difference - Ron Borges
Borges writes that Bills may believe they're better than a year ago, but with Tom Brady, seeing is believing.

The Patriots’ one-headed monster - Karen Guregian
Guregian writes that with Hernandez out, the Patriots need a big day from Gronkowski out in Buffalo this afternoon.

Five things to watch with the Patriots - Ian Rapoport
Rapoport looks at five keys to today's game, one of which is whether or not they can withstand depth issues on the defensive line.

Ex-Patriots defensive end Jarvis Green helping bring man camp to North Dakota - AP
Out in North Dakota Jarvis Green is the Vice President of Marketing and Future Development for First Millennium Construction and Millennium Lodging, which is currently building a 500 person man camp in the Watford City area.

No need to cover up for McCourty - Karen Guregian
Guregian has her Sunday football notes, which leads off with the topic of Devin McCourty, with Guregian pointing out that NFL Analyst Solomon Wilcots recently stuck up for the second year defensive back.  “Before anyone starts on Devin McCourty, how about getting a pass rush?” said Wilcots, an NFL Network analyst. “Pressure leads to picks. If they get a little pass rush, I guarantee, you’ll see him making more plays back there.”


Going great guns - Shalise Manza Young
Young writes that the Patriots offensive performance through their first two games is quite similar to their record setting run in 2007.

Haynesworth, Chung are Out - Shalise Manza Young
Young looks at the injuries, and writes the team promoted defensive back Ross Ventrone off the practice squad to fill the Chung’s void, although Sergio Brown and Josh Barrett are expected to start.

Patriots at Bills - Scouting Report - Jim McBride
McBride has a scouting report for this afternoon's contest, looking at various aspects of the game.

5 Keys to a Win - Greg Bedard
Bedard has his five keys to a win for this afternoon, including the fact they'll need to shut Buffalo's running game down today.


Quick Hit Thoughts Around the NFL & Pats - Mike Reiss
Reiss has a number of thoughts for today, including the fact that today's 1 p.m. kickoff at Buffalo is just one of four on the season.  He also wonders with the Colts struggling, if maybe the Dec. 4 kickoff gets flexed from 8:20 p.m. to 1 p.m. - which would have been unthinkable just a few months ago.

Game day: The hit that changed football - Rich Cimini
Cimini, who writes for ESPN New York and covers the Jets, recalls the game where Mo Lewis hit Drew Bledsoe and obviously changed the course of the Patriots future, but also remembers how scary it was seeing Bledsoe wheeled out in a gurney into the ambulance with what could have been a life threatening injury.

The Herald News

Waters helping Patriots turn the page after loss of Koppen - Glen Farley
Farley looks at Brian Waters, who has really done a solid job of helping them adjust at right guard after losing center Dan Koppen for the season.  The injury moved Dan Connolly from guard to center, and Waters has stepped in and played well.  He's also caught the attention of Tom Brady, who sees Waters all the time with his head buried in his playbook.  “Every time you walk by his locker, he’s looking at his playbook, trying to understand his role in the play,” Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said, “and that’s what you get from a guy who has been to a bunch of Pro Bowls — a veteran player, who takes his job very seriously and really wants to go out there and win games.”


Harrison to Bills: Show me something - VIDEO has a video with an interview with former Patriot Rodney Harrison who told Tom Curran that the Bills need to prove in this game they're legitimate.  "This is a perfect game for the Bills to come out and prove they're a legitimate contender," Harrison told Curran on this week's edition of 'Quick Slants'. "I believe, right now, that they're not legitimate . . . [They] beat the Oakland Raiders, they're showing a lot of heart, they're playing extremely hard . . . [But] this is a true test to go up against a really good team in the Patriots."


Ten Final Thoughts on the Patriots and Bills - Christopher Price
Price has 10 thoughts heading into today's game,  and it's a great read.  Price points out that Taylor Price is now inactive for the 18th time in 19 chances in his year-plus in the NFL- which is disappointing.


Faking injuries doesn't throw off rhythm - Rich Garven
Garven has his NFL Notes for today, and leads off with the fact that the topic of faking injuries, which was a big discussion this week, didn't seem to make Brady feel like it throws off his rhythm at all when it happens.  “It's not really bothersome,” Brady said. “The hard part is somebody really may be hurt, so you hate to see injuries in football and if a guy is down, you take it pretty seriously. Whether that's a strategy, I have no idea; coach (Bill) Belichick has never coached that for us or anything like that.   If it is, you just deal with it. You play through it, play with a little mental toughness and try to go out there and execute. Everyone's going to have different ways to try to slow down teams.”

Matthew Slater’s development has been special - Rich Garven
Garven also has an article on Matthew Slater, who has worked his way up to becoming a key part of the team on special teams, and is starting to contribute offensively as well.  “I think Matt has been the same guy on special teams as he’s been on offense and even on defense when we had him on defense,” Belichick said this week. “He’s a hard-working kid, smart, really is one of the first guys in (and) last one to leave kind of guys. He’s a well-conditioned athlete that really prepares well and works hard and he gets better every week and gets better every year. I think his game has improved steadily in the three-plus years he’s been here.”

Belichick Pays Bills a lot of Respect - Rich Garven
Garven writes that Belichick may have downplayed the Patriots winning streak over Buffalo, but points out the Patriots have won 7 straight at Ralph Wilson Stadium, and handily.  Garven points out they’ve won by 14, 28, 22, 46, 13, 7 and 31 points, which works out to an average margin of victory of 23 points.


Buffalo hoping to keep swagger - Mark Farinella
Farinella writes that the Bills are hoping to keep the momentum going after their fast start this season.  "I think everybody is excited and looking forward to it," Gailey earlier this week when asked about today's game. "We're in a society of 'what have you done for me lately.' It's been good the first two weeks, but you've got to keep it going."


Last Chance For Ochocinco - Hector Longo
Longo writes that the Patriots need Chad Ochocinco to deliver more than he has so far, as the receiver has found himself battling for snaps with Slater through two games.

And finally - because you guys click on them enough to make me think you care, which is why I continue to include them when I find them - the Global Grind has photos of Gisele out with Benjamin yesterday in Boston.

That's it for this morning.  We'll have plenty of coverage later on after the game, so be sure and check back for updates.