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Thursday, October 8, 2009
Mankins, Neal cleared the way vs. Ravens

By Mike Reiss

It's a challenge for the casual fan to assess the play of offensive guards. With that in mind, we asked former Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi about the contributions of starters Logan Mankins (left guard) and Stephen Neal (right), both of whom earned game balls in Sunday's 27-21 win over the Ravens.

"When you're looking at the TV copy of the game, it's a sideline copy and that is the best way to recognize their contributions in terms of the running game," Bruschi said. "Some of the Patriots' best running plays were draws or pump draws, and they had the short-yardage situations, like fourth-and-1, that they converted. When you look, you can see the movement of the offensive line at the line of scrimmage, specifically inside from the center and two guards. On those draw plays, there were holes and movement as they created room to make yardage."