Reiss' P.A.T.: Previewing Pats-Packers

December, 16, 2010
12/16/10
8:48
AM ET


In this week’s P.A.T. (above), ESPNBoston.com’s Mike Reiss touches on the following topics when previewing Sunday night’s Patriots-Packers clash:

* Topic 1: Will Aaron Rodgers (second concussion of the season) play against the Patriots on Sunday night? And if not, does Green Bay stand any chance?

“When I was in the Patriots locker room on Wednesday I went up to one defender and said ‘Give me the X-factor, the one thing we need to be talking about with this game?’ He said it starts and ends with Aaron Rodgers -- and hopefully he doesn’t play.”

* Topic 2: Did the Patriots make a mistake by passing on Packers pass rusher Clay Matthews in the 2009 draft? The Patriots could have taken Matthews, but instead traded the pick to Green Bay. New England parlayed those picks into Darius Butler, Brandon Tate, Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman.

If the Patriots had to do it all over again, would they rather have Matthews or that package of four players?

“I think if the Patriots knew the player Matthews would become, they probably would have held onto the pick and taken him. And they could have gotten some of those other guys as well. All in all not a huge loss for the Patriots, but Matthews is one player that did get away from them.”

Mailbag questions:
* Is it a coincidence that since offensive lineman Logan Mankins has come back, the Patriots have gone from good to great?

* Who should Pats fans root for in Sunday’s Jets-Steelers game?

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