It’s not often that Jets fans and shameless, unrepentant, Patriots jammies-wearing suckups like myself have ever agreed on anything. But if there’s one thing we can all sign onto, it’s the hugeness of this week’s game.

Since 1990, the Patriots have drafted 23 cornerbacks. Some of them are surefire Hall of Famers, like Ty Law. Some of them, like the immortal Chris Canty, are not.

FOXBORO -- This is not your normal week in Foxboro. Local, New York and national media have already shown up to cover the two 9-2 teams getting ready to square off at Gillette Stadium on Monday night. After conducting practicing on the upper grass fields on Tuesday, coach Bill Belichick surprised the team by giving his players Wednesday off, with practice Thursday through Saturday with the normal day-before walk-through on Sunday. 


FOXBORO — The following players were missing from the start of Patriots practice Tuesday afternoon: quarterback Tom Brady, cornerback Jonathan  Wilhite, offensive lineman Stephen Neal, defensive lineman Myron Pryor, defensive lineman Ron Brace and defensive lineman Mike Wright.

FOXBORO -- Reacting to the quote from Jets coach Rex Ryan saying he came to New York to “kick his ass,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick acknowledged there is no love lost between the two teams.

FOXBORO -- Don't expect to hear any trash-talking from Gillette Stadium and the Patriots — at least in the week leading up to next Monday night's showdown between the Patriots and Jets.


Heading into their showdown with the Jets, the Patriots retain the top spot in the latest edition of Joe Zarbano's NFL Power Rankings, followed by the Jets in second and the Falcons in third. This is the third straight week those three teams have been in the 1-2-3 spots in Zarbano's rankings.


Patriots coach Bill Belichick made his weekly appearance on The Big Show and touched briefly on his team's victory over the Lions on Thanksgiving before discussing next Monday's heavily-anticipated  showdown with the Jets.


Patriots receiver Deion Branch stopped by for a brief visit with the Dale & Holley show Monday from Gillette Stadium as part of WEEI's Patriots Monday. Branch recounted his long touchdown pass from Tom Brady in Thursday's win over the Lions and talked about how grateful he is to be back in New England following the trade with the Seahawks.


"I'm just thankful for the opportunity that Mr. [Robert] Kraft and coach [Bill] Belichick came back to give me, the opportunity to come back and play here and join this team," he said. "I'm home now."

The Bears have announced that their Dec. 12 game against the Patriots have been "flexed" out of its 1 p.m. spot, and will now kickoff at 4:15 p.m. This is the first New England game of the year to be "flexed" out of its original spot, an option that the NFL and networks have in Weeks 11-17 of the regular season. For more Patriots news, check out