FOXBORO -- The Patriots made room for their newest defensive lineman on Wednesday by placing cornerback Jonathan Wilhite on season-ending injured reserve. Louis Leonard is expected to be with the team this week for practice. 

 

At 6-4 and 325 pounds, Leonard is in his fourth NFL season after playing with the Rams (2007), Browns (2007-08) and Panthers (2009-10). He originally joined the NFL as a rookie free agent with the San Diego Chargers in 2007 out of Fresno State.

 

ESPN analyst and former NFL standout Cris Carter joined the Dennis & Callahan show on Wednesday morning to talk about the Patriots and further explain his critical comments about wide receiver Deion Branch.

 

In an interview on The Big Show recently, Carter said Branch "disappears" against regular cornerbacks. Asked if he still felt that way considering how well Branch has performed since rejoining the Patriots, Carter clarified his analysis as being of Branch's career, and it includes the fact that Branch has struggled with injuries.

The Patriots have reached a deal with free agent defensive tackle Louis Leonard, according to Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post. Leonard, 26, is a Fresno State product who is 6-foot-4, 330 pounds. He was an undrafted free agent in 2007 who has also played for San Diego, St. Louis, Cleveland and Carolina. His best season came in 2008 when he played in all 16 games with the Browns and finished with 25 total tackles. For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

The Patriots are ranked No. 1 in the WEEI NFL Power Rankings for the fifth straight week, an easy choice following Sunday's 36-7 destruction of the Bears, who fell three spots to No. 10. The Falcons, Steelers, Saints and Eagles round out the top five. Check out all the rankings at the It Is What It Is Blog.

The warning shot went out shortly after the game.



Tom Brady continued his incredible late-season run on Sunday at Soldier Field with 369 yards passing and two touchdowns in the Patriots' 36-7 romp over the Bears. He has now thrown 268 passes without an interception, the third-best streak in NFL history. 

 

"There's a long way to go I don't think anything's been accomplished yet. We don't sit here and think we've got it all figured out." Brady said of the playoff-clinching rout. 

 

The play that will be recalled as the one that put away the Bears as time ran out in the first half Sunday almost never happened.

 

Deion Branch caught a 59-yard 'hitch and go' route from Tom Brady down the left sideline as time expired in the first half. But Branch said there was "a lot of yelling" on the Patriots sideline with one coach yelling out for Brady to take a knee with a 27-0 lead. 

 

In the moments following their 36-7 win over the Bears at Soldier Field, Deion Branch said it's nice to have clinched a spot in the playoffs but that is hardly their end goal. 

 

Bill Belichick met with the media following the Patriots' 36-7 win over the Bears on Sunday in Chicago. Belichick was understandably pleased with the effort of his team, now an NFL-best 11-2.

 

"The credit goes to the players," Belichick said. "They executed and did the things we needed to do. They've done it before and they've stepped up and did it again today. I'm really proud of the way they performed."

 

From the opening drive of the game, Tom Brady and the Patriots ran the Bears right out of their stadium in a 36-7 beatdown at a snowy Soldier Field, clinching an AFC playoff berth. Linebacker Gary Guyton returned a Johnny Knox fumble 35 yards for a touchdown and intercepted Jay Cutler. The Patriots improved to 10-0 in snow games all-time with Bill Belichick as their coach.