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Patriots 3 Things to watch for

There’s no definitive word on whether Logan Mankins will dress Sunday. Too bad — this would have been a great week for him to return.

1 Don’t let them mess up Brady’s hair

There’s no definitive word on whether Logan Mankins will dress Sunday. Too bad — this would have been a great week for him to return.

The Browns sacked Drew Brees three times (and hit him nine times) in their win over the Saints. That pressure is definitely one of the reasons Brees threw four interceptions.
The Pats’ O-line has been unexpectedly solid this season, and they’ll need to bring it this week. Cleveland’s 28th-ranked offense doesn’t pack a lot of punch, but it’s proven it can make hay out of turnovers from the other side.

2 But what about the handshake?

It seems like with every “Bill Belichick vs. former assistant coach” matchup, we want to fast-forward to the end of the game to see how it all goes down when they meet at midfield. Will it be a hug? A two-handed shake? Maybe a chest bump and a slap on the rear end? Doubtful.

Chances are, when Belichick and Eric Mangini exchange how-do-you-dos at the end of the game, it will be short and sweet.

“Hopefully I’ll have a smile on my face,” Belichick said. “That’s what I’m hoping for. Hope we come out on top — that’s what we’re going up there for.”

3 It only gets tougher from here

The Pats better take care of business on Sunday, because they’re going to be really tested from here on out.

They travel to Pittsburgh next week, then return home to host the Colts. Just four days later, they’ll be busy trying to shut down Matt Stafford’s air assault in Detroit.

Those three games set up an epic matchup between the Pats and Jets on Monday Night Football. With the division rivals looking like two of the top teams in football, that one could decide the division.


 
 
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