http://www.nypost.com/sports/jets/60234.htm PATRIOT 'D' IS MAKING LIKE STEEL CURTAIN By PAT REICHART December 24, 2005 -- In order for the Jets to keep Monday night's game from becoming a laugher, they must find a way to solve the puzzle that is the Patriots defense. Such a solution has proven elusive of late. Foxborough again is home to the hottest defense in the NFL, a unit which has surrendered 10 points all month, leading New England to a season-high three-game winning streak. In those three games, the Pats' defense has registered 11 sacks (including seven last week in the 28-0 shutout of Tampa Bay), and allowed an average of 28.3 rushing yards per contest. Those numbers show how much the Patriots' recent success is due to their ability to win the battle at the line of scrimmage. That reality comes as no surprise to Herman Edwards, who said he realizes he needs an outstanding performance from his offensive line for Gang Green to have a chance. "They're going to be a key," Edwards said after practice yesterday. "That's a key for any football team." In the Jets' 16-3 loss three weeks ago at Foxborough, the team's inability to run the ball was a major factor. Curtis Martin ran for 29 yards on 15 carries, and the Jets converted four of 14 third-down opportunities. That lack of production ultimately led to New England's domination in time of possession by more than 16 minutes. "Having our defense on the field too long and us not scoring is a bad combination," Edwards said after the loss. This time around, the Jets will have to give quarterback Brooks Bollinger a much better chance to succeed, and that means giving him enough time to throw in the pocket and, more importantly, an opportunity to escape when the pressure arrives. "Brooks has a knack for getting out of the pocket and making plays, whether it's running the ball or throwing it on the run," said his backup and mentor, Vinny Testaverde, who could see action Monday night. "He didn't get much of a chance to do that last time." Whether Bollinger will get a better opportunity Monday night is debatable, but his chances grew slightly better yesterday when offensive tackle Scott Gragg returned to practice. Officially listed as probable, Gragg likely will be in the starting lineup. Even Gragg's presence won't be enough to keep the pressure off Bollinger. An injury-riddled unit all season, the Pats' defense suddenly finds itself without a single name on the injury report, and their collective confidence seems to be returning as quickly as their health. "They're in their look, they're in their deal, they're in how they play right about now รขโฌโ swagger," Edwards said. * Neither DE Shaun Ellis (hamstring) nor DT Dewayne Robertson (thigh) practiced yesterday. Both are listed as questionable for the game. RB Derrick Blaylock, who broke his right ankle in Week 5 against the Buccaneers, will return to the lineup Monday, and, though he may get a few carries on offense, will be used largely on special teams.