Every week that the Patriots play a game, Tedy Bruschi and Mike Reiss team up for "Bruschi's Breakdown" to dissect the matchup.
This week's piece is now posted on ESPNBoston.com and Bruschi focuses on how the Ravens' defense looks without Terrell Suggs (Achilles injury) and reminds us that Ray Lewis is every bit the playmaker we remember him to be.
"You're talking about the Defensive Player of the Year (in Suggs), so without that playmaking ability, that's a different look. But also, there is a different look at middle linebacker with Ray Lewis, who has dropped about 25 pounds. He really looks different on film, too. The last couple years, he was pushing 260, and when watching him, the thought would be, "Ray, you're getting a little big, maybe a little slower, this could be coming to an end." But it's a sign of a player who is probably the best linebacker in the history of the game saying, "I know what this league is turning into. I no longer have to thump on a guard or thump on a fullback for four quarters of a game. For me to last, what I have to do is cover and be a space player if I want to play every down. So I have to drop 25 pounds, ride the bike 40 miles every day, and change my body to change with the times." He looks a lot quicker, too. He's going into the line of scrimmage, coming back out, making plays, spinning. I saw him make a spin move against the Bengals and come out and tackle the running back. He made a play versus tight end Jermaine Gresham in coverage. The guy looks great, like the Ray Lewis of five years ago. The Patriots are going to have to deal with him."
Meanwhile, Bruschi doesn't mince words when asked what he makes of Wes Welker's drop in playing time:
"I'm not sure what's going on, but I know this: Bill Belichick doesn't care what you've done in the past. He wants to know how you've looked in training camps, preseason, going up to that week's game. For Welker not to start, and for there to be no other issues like off-field problems or health, it has to be a performance thing. Maybe they see Edelman doing better in practice, and they want to see more of it."
To read the piece, CLICK HERE.