Every Thursday on ESPNBoston.com, there is a Patriots chat in the early afternoon. This week's chat started at noon, can be recapped here, and included some of the following topics:
1. Toughest remaining game for the Patriots.
2. The third receiver spot and its importance to the team.
3. Julian Edelman the cornerback.
4. How the Patriots might handle the absence of starting right tackle Sebastian Vollmer.
5. Devin McCourty, Patrick Chung and the overall state of the secondary.
6. Is Shaun Ellis a bigger disappointment than Albert Haynesworth and Chad Ochocinco?
7. Deep thoughts on the defense -- is it going to be good enough in the playoffs?