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Ryan Hannable, WEEI:
All indications are the Patriots will get their starting offensive line back this week — (left tackle to right tackle) Nate Solder, Connolly, Bryan Stork, Ryan Wendell and Sebastian Vollmer.

Just how important is a healthy offense line for the Patriots offense and Brady to be successful?

Solder, Connolly, Stork, Wendell, Vollmer (7-1 record) — Weeks 5, 8-14: Brady: 214-320 (66.9 percent), 2,433 yards, 21 TDs, 6 INTs, 103.6 QB rating, 4 sacks

Any combination besides above (5-3 record) — Weeks 1-4, 6, 7, 15, 16: Brady: 160-263 (60.8 percent), 1,675 yards, 12 TDs, 3 INTs, 89. 8 QB rating, 17 sacks

With the return of OG Dan Connolly to the starting lineup, the New England are fully prepared for what the Ravens' defense has to offer. The Baltimore defense has made 49 house calls in sacking rival QB's this season. 19 of those sacks have come from OLB Elvis Dumervil. Elvis is the former Denver Bronco's star linebacker who was let go by the Broncos in 2013 after his agent Marty Magid failed to fax the proper contract paperwork by the deadline.

New England QB Tom Brady has spent much of the week praising Ravens' DE Terrell Suggs. The long history of bad blood between the two has been reduced to a love fest of accolades. The ability for New England to move the ball on offense is directly related to controlling Suggs. In the eight weeks that the Patriots' offensive unit has been intact, four times no defender has laid a hand on the franchise QB. In the other four games, it was only a single sack.

Terrell Suggs isn't buying the compliments from the Patriots' signal caller. Suggs still refuses to mention Tom Brady's name. Old habits die hard.

Tom Brady did not limit his compliments to his nemesis, Terrell Suggs. Brady knows that having the offensive line in synch may be the key ingredient in avoiding past failures against the vaunted Baltimore defense. While MLB Ray Lewis and S Ed Reed have both retired, the task of moving the chains against the Ravens isn't a whole lot easier. It is still vitally important for solid communication on the offensive line from keeping the new Baltimore bullies out of the backfield. Rookie DT Timmy Jernigan and DE Haloti Ngata, fresh off his four game suspension from performance enhancing substances, pose a serious health threat to QB Tom Brady.


In preparation for the clash with the Baltimore Ravens, the Patriots had the privilege of watching the yet to be released movie, American Sniper. At the urging of Tom Brady, the offensive line should watch the top rated 1974 football classic, The Longest Yard. "The most important thing to remember is: to protect your quarterback - ME!"


Paul Murphy is a freelance writer from New Hampshire.

Follow me on Twitter at @_prmurphy

For more of my articles, click here.

Paul Murphy 1/07/2015 05:50:00 PM Edit
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