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Picked-up Patriots pieces

A spin around the Web to pass along some Patriots-related items:

1. Pats-Bills game on "midseason report" radar. Don Banks of SI.com files his "midseason report" and the Patriots show up ... although not for the best of reasons. Banks calls the Patriots' 34-31 loss to the Bills the upset of the year.

2. Pass rush in focus. Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com files his weekly "After further Review" piece, and there are two Patriots-related items. The first focuses on how the Steelers played a lot of man coverage on Sunday, while the second was on the lack of New England pass rush. "The Patriots secondary is taking a lot of heat for getting carved up by Roethlisberger on Sunday. But the real problem is the lack of a pass rush," Prisco writes.

3. Mankins' beard draws notice. They don't all have to be hard-hitting stories, right? Along those lines, Patriots offensive lineman Logan Mankins earns the fourth spot in Foxsports.com's "top beards in the NFL" ranking.

4. Bradshaw's foot injury in focus. ESPNNewYork.com's Ian Begley and Ohm Youngmisuk report on Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw, who has a broken bone in his foot. This would be a blow to the Giants if Bradshaw doesn't play Sunday against the Patriots.

5. Clark fined 15k for late hit on Gronkowski. Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Steelers safety Ryan Clark has been fined $15,000 for his late hit on Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski.