- Mike Reiss, ESPN Staff Writer
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A few links around the Web, from a national perepective, on the Patriots:
1. Chandler Jones' importance. Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com picks seven rookies who must play key roles for their teams down the homestretch, and Jones is identified as a key for New England. Jeremiah calls his selection, 21st overall, a "home run." He later points out that the Steelers' eight turnovers on Sunday match the Patriots' total the entire season.
2. No. 1 ranked team. Peter King's "Monday Morning Quarterback" piece has the Patriots' as the top-ranked NFL team (New England doesn't crack Clark Judge's top five on CBSSports.com). "Pats have averaged 47.5 points per game the last four weeks," King writes. "Tom Brady's on pace for 35 touchdowns and four interceptions. Occasionally they show signs of being defensively competent. And Thursday, they won by 30 without their two best offensive linemen, best tight end and best defensive end. How they have three losses, I have no idea." King also notes how coach Bill Belichick reached 200 career victories faster than Chuck Noll. T
3. Salas settles in with Eagles. Former Patriots receiver Greg Salas, who was claimed on waivers by the Eagles on Friday, is featured by CSNPhiladelphia.com. "We think he’s a good player and can help us,” head coach Andy Reid says. “He’s a good inside route runner and also [an] outside [receiver]." As for Salas' time with the Patriots, he said: "You definitely pick up some things over there the way they run things. You can learn how to run certain routes the way [Wes Welker] does, but it’s hard to do what he does. You just kind of take what they do and implement a little bit in their game.”