One man's ranking of the 10 best quarterbacks in the NFL today ...

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10. Eli Manning

Just to put an end to a debate that never actually started:



KIRK MINIHANE

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When it comes to the Patriots, Jon Gruden has no doubt: The ESPN analyst believes that when it comes to the AFC, it begins with New England.



Most years, the preseason finale is the exclusive domain of the backups, the second- and third-teamers who are getting one last shot at a spot on the 53-man roster. In the wake of last week’s preseason loss to the Lions, some of the starters are expected to play Thursday night against the Giants.



The Patriots claimed cornerback Antwaun Molden off waivers from Houston on Wednesday, according to Mike Reiss of ESPN. Molden was a third-round pick of the Texans in 2008 out of Eastern Kentucky. Over his three years with the Texans, he collected 28 total tackles and never recorded an interception, with his best season coming in 2008 when he played in 14 games and came away with 20 tackles. For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

Lions defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh has been roundly criticized for pushing Patriots offensive lineman Logan Mankins during an incident Saturday night, but Suh and teammate Lawrence Jackson are pointing fingers at Mankins.

After a second-quarter play, Mankins grabbed Jackson's facemask before Suh rushed in to slap Mankins away. Mankins received a 15-yard penalty for his actions.

Jackson insists Mankins was responsible for the incident.

FOXBORO — You want to beat the Patriots? Beat up Tom Brady.



FOXBORO — Speaking with the media Tuesday afternoon, Patriots owner Robert Kraft said that newcomers Chad Ochocinco and Albert Haynesworth are very different than the image that has been painted for them by the media.

“[Ochocinco is] a lot different — both he and Albert Haynesworth — are a lot different than in my opinion that the media has portrayed them,” Kraft said. “[Ochocinco] is very self-contained and works very hard, and I know [he] wants to do well. He and Brady seem to have a great rapport.

FOXBORO -- Patriots defensive lineman Mike Wright was back at practice on Tuesday as the team resumed normal operations in planning for Thursday's preseason finale against the Giants at Gillette Stadium. The team worked out in shorts, shells and helmets. 

Wright has missed the last several weeks with an issue that Bill Belichick said last week was not related to his concussion of last season. 

FOXBORO -- Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker was back in the Patriots locker room but not at the start of practice Tuesday, as he spoke before practice about his neck injury from Saturday night in Detroit. Welker said he feels better than he did after he tackled Ricardo Silva and brought him to the ground after Silva's interception of Tom Brady late in the first half of the 34-10 loss to the Lions.

"I'm OK," Welker said. "They guy made a good play on the ball and I needed to make the tackle so I went in there and made the tackle, got him down."

FOXBORO -- On Tuesday, Chad Ochocinco wanted to reassure everyone in New England that he is making plenty of progress learning the Patriots offense and he'll be ready once the season begins on Sept. 12 in Miami.