It has been an eventful start to the 2011 season for cornerback Devin McCourty.



Sources now indicate that the Patriots will lose tight end Aaron Hernandez for two to four weeks because of a left knee injury he suffered in Sunday’s win over the Chargers. Hernandez, who is third on the team with 14 catches for 165 yards and two touchdowns on two games, has combined with fellow tight end Rob Gronkowski to form a dynamic portion of the New England passing game. The news that Hernandez would miss time was first reported by Shalise Manza Young of the Boston Globe.

Report Card time and after two weeks it seems this is true: 



KIRK MINIHANE

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FOXBORO -- With apologies to Tedy Bruschi, after two games, it’s probably OK to be in awe of the Patriots’ offense.



Tom Brady made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show Monday morning to recap Sunday's 35-21 victory over the Chargers.

"We made some good plays out there in all three phases," Brady said. "That was really a great complementary game by all of us in a team win. It's a very good San Diego team. That was a tough game we played against them last year. Last year in San Diego, we didn't do anything offensively. So, to come out and play this way offensively against a very good defensive team I think was very encouraging for all of us."

FOXBORO -- It all starts with the locker.



FOXBORO -- For the second straight week, the Patriots defense made a key, game-changing goal line stand. And for the second week in a row, the offense responded with a 99-yard touchdown scoring drive after Jerod Mayo and Patrick Chung stopped Mike Tolbert at the Patriots 1 in the second quarter. 

"We said ever since training camp that the goal line has to be ours," Mayo said. "That mental toughness really shows up down there." 

FOXBORO -- Tom Brady picked up where he left off Monday night, throwing three touchdowns and passing for 423 yards while the defense forced four turnovers and made a pair of big first-half plays to lead the Patriots to a 35-21 win over the Chargers Sunday at Gillette Stadium. Brady, who completed 31-of-40 passes, became the seventh player in NFL history with more than 400 yards passing in consecutive games and the first ever to follow a 500-yard game with a 400-yard effort.

FOXBORO --  Right tackle Sebastian Vollmer is expected to make his 2011 debut today as he is active for the home opener against the Chargers. He was inactive on Monday night in Miami with a sore back.

The Patriots inactives are Ryan Mallett, receiver Taylor Price, rookie running back Shane Vereen, linebacker Gary Guyton, offensive lineman Ryan Wendell, center Dan Koppen (left ankle) and defensive lineman Mike Wright (concussion). Guyton and Price are both out with hamstring issues while Wendell is nursing a calf injury. 

Here are 10 matchups worth keeping an eye on when the Patriots meet the Chargers in New England’s home opener on Sunday afternoon: