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Belichick, Brady and now Blount give Patriots edge
You’ve known the first two for more than a decade, possibly the best in the business at what they do. Now you know the third, the rejuvenated running back who will carry the ball and much of the New England Patriots‘ hopes on his broad shoulders.
They’ll need more to beat the Denver Broncos on Sunday and they should get plenty from LeGarrette Blount, the bulldozer with breakaway speed who powers the Patriots‘ charge toward their second Super Bowl in three years.
“The way he’s running, the way we’ve blocked offensively, it’s never a problem for me to check to a run because they’re executing it so well,” Brady said.
The 250-pound Blount struggled the last time he faced the Broncos, a game the Patriots won 34-31 in overtime Nov. 24. He carried the ball three times and lost it twice. The first fumble was reversed on replay. So Brady gave him the ball on the next play, he fumbled again and no replay was needed to confirm Denver’s recovery.
But now Blount is barreling for long touchdowns: 73, 36 and 35 yards in the past two games. In his last three games, he gained 431 yards on 64 carries for eight touchdowns with just one fumble that was recovered by the Patriots.
And they won those by 34, 14 and 21 points.
“We’ll just have to gang tackle,” Broncos defensive tackle Terrance Knighton side. “He’s getting to the second level untouched because their (offensive) line is doing a good job of getting a hat on a hat and controlling their one guy.”
Sure, the Broncos allowed only 65 yards rushing last Sunday in their 24-17 divisional-round win over San Diego. But Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers handed the ball off just four times after falling behind 14-0 at halftime and nearly completed an improbable comeback.
That’s nothing compared with the 24-0 hole the Patriots found themselves in at intermission two months ago against Denver. But they climbed out of that. They also beat Miami after trailing by 14 at halftime and Cleveland after trailing by 12 in the final two minutes.
Should adversity strike Sunday, the Patriots will be prepared.
“We’ve won a bunch of different ways,” Brady said. “We’ve won coming from behind, we’ve won with leads, we’ve won in pretty crappy weather conditions. You just fight through whatever it takes.”
Taxpayers must pay the freight for over-budget train projects
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