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Sunday, November 29, 2009
Quick-hit thoughts on NFL, Pats

By Mike Reiss

Quick-hit thoughts around the NFL and from inside Patriots headquarters at Gillette Stadium:

1. Writing on Drew Brees this week reminded me of a decision that has helped shape the direction of the Saints and Dolphins. In 2006, the Dolphins signed Daunte Culpepper over Brees in free agency.

2. Glad to see Josh McDaniels set the record straight on two recent incidents that have drawn more attention than what should be the focus: The terrific job he’s done with the 7-4 Broncos through 11 games.

3. Teams that have the fewest turnovers in the NFL through 10 games: Packers (8), Patriots (10), Vikings (10).

4. In the NFL stats, there should be a notation next to Wes Welker’s league-high 79 receptions that reflects he missed two games, which adds more impressive context to the production.

5. The Arizona Cardinals (7-3) shouldn’t have problems winning the weak NFC West, but the next two weeks -- at Tennessee and home versus Minnesota -- should provide a good gauge as to whether they can make another Super Bowl run.

6. Jeff Fisher’s Titans have turned it around from 0-6 to 4-6. If they came back to Gillette Stadium this weekend to face the Patriots, safe to say it wouldn’t be the 59-0 result from Oct. 18, which shows that sometimes when you play a team is most important.

7. One Patriots stat that jumps off the page: They own a 34:26-25:34 time of possession advantage over their opponents this season, best in the NFL.

8. His playing time dwindling with the emergence of Brandon McGowan and Pat Chung, Patriots safety James Sanders has remained the consummate professional behind the scenes.

9. Didn’t think the Cowboys would be 8-3 at this point. The next three games are huge: at the Giants, versus the Chargers, at the Saints.

10. Brett Favre has proven me wrong. He’s completing nearly 70 percent of his passes, has 21 touchdowns and just three interceptions. No wonder Brad Childress was so willing to pick him up from the airport.