, Newburyport, MA


November 3, 2012

Patriots hoping to continue success


In 2010, they lost their eighth game 34-14 to the Cleveland Browns, to drop to 6-2. Then they beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 39-26 and had six wins by at least 13 points in their last eight games.

“These last eight weeks is when teams really start to show themselves and the bad ones really start to fade,” Brady said. “If you want to be a good team, you have to be on top of all those things, whether it be our conditioning, your nutrition, your rest, your decision making over the course of a long season and how that impacts the rest of your teammates.

“That’s really why some teams begin to separate themselves over a 16-week season.”

Brady isn’t sure where he’ll spend his three days off before players return on Monday.

“It’s not up to me anymore,” the father of two sons and husband of supermodel Gisele Bundchen said.

Stevan Ridley, the AFC’s leading rusher, plans to watch his old high school team play in Mississippi on Friday night then return as a fan to Baton Rouge, La., where he played for LSU. The fifth-ranked Tigers face top-ranked Alabama on Saturday night.

“So, I’m leaving football to go to football,” he said. “Hey, it’s my life.”

Ridley shows no signs of slowing down in his first year as a No. 1 running back. He rushed for 127 yards on just 15 carries in last Sunday’s 45-7 rout of the St. Louis Rams in London, the fourth time he’s gained more than 100 yards this season. He scored his fifth touchdown and broke loose for a season-long 41-yard run.

Brady is having another outstanding year, Wes Welker is tied for the NFL lead with 60 catches and Rob Gronkowski is 10th with 43 catches and tied for first with seven touchdown receptions.

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