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Throwback effort for Pats defense

Unexpected performances from fill-in players evoke championship memories

Updated: November 14, 2011, 2:41 PM ET
By Mike Reiss | ESPNBoston.com

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New England Patriots' surprising 37-16 victory over the New York Jets on Sunday had shades of 2003 and 2004 written all over it. The clincher was seeing receiver Julian Edelman playing slot corner in the closing minutes, just like fan favorite Troy Brown did in the Super Bowl days.

Back then, it was players like Brown, Earthwind Moreland and Hank Poteat who stepped in and ensured the defense didn't break stride. On Sunday night at MetLife Stadium, it was ...

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