Join my chat every Monday to have your question considered for the weekly Bruschi on Tap Q&A.
Q. Tedy, things are looking so good right now ... so what should we all worry about, besides health? -- Mike (West Roxbury, Massachusetts)
A. Health is the obvious thing. I don't know if you want to call it Jonas Gray Syndrome -- it's about having emotional stability and mental toughness. There is no statistic to measure this. Coming out ready to play every Sunday like a championship is on the line and every game means something, those are the things you have to do. This team has shown an incredible amount of emotional stability and mental toughness this year. But it's still early. I say early, because I know Thanksgiving is coming around, but it must be maintained every week. I've been on 21-game and 18-game winning streaks, and it takes an incredible amount of focus. That's really the only thing left they have to prove. In terms of balance, this may be the best team I've seen since '07. Offensively. Defensively. Specialists are playing very well -- Ryan Allen had a big day punting, Stephen Gostkowski is kicking great and Matthew Slater is still running down there like his hair is on fire. So I guess what I'm trying to say is this: It's there if they want it.
Q. Tedy, this team looks incredible right now. They are multi-dimensional on both offense and defense, so they have the talent to design an effective game plan against anyone. Are they peaking too early? -- Brian (West Virginia)
A. No, this is absolutely the right time to peak. At this time of the year, every game is so big when it comes to playoff standings. This is where your championship mettle is tested. This is where Romeo Crennel used to say the same thing; it went something like this: "This is when you show your ability to put teams behind you -- when you keep winning and everyone else is fighting for the scraps."
Q. Hey Tedy, another great win for the Pats! This team is really reminding me of the Super Bowl-winning teams the Patriots have had, with our depth on offense and defense (despite injuries) and especially with how our defense has been playing and with our secondary's play. Do you think this year the Patriots have finally put together the product that'll bring us the fourth championship? And what do you think it is that could/will be our downfall? -- Luke (New Jersey)
A. Luke, this Patriots team has taken on all comers. I couldn't care less how they played in September vs. Kansas City. September is an extension of the preseason in today's NFL, the way offseasons are structured. Everyone is smelling their turkey right now, and this is when you should be playing your best, and they are playing their best. A championship is very much a possibility for this team. As for a potential downfall, health would be No. 1 of course, inexplicable turnovers can always ruin a game, and multiple players sleeping in for meetings.
Q. Hey Bru, is it possible that we have not seen the best out of the Patriots' defense? Even though they are playing at an incredibly high level, I feel that when Chandler Jones returns we will really see this defense turn into a great one. Your thoughts? Thanks. -- Tyler (Bentley University, Waltham, Massachusetts)
A. Chandler Jones, of course, would add another dangerous pass-rusher. But they're already at a pretty high level right now. The way defensive coordinator Matt Patricia is using the secondary to take away offensive weapons, it's fun to watch. With Darrelle Revis playing at such a high level, this defense is built for today's NFL. It's an NFL where if you can't match up with all these talented receivers, you're going to struggle.
Q. So Tedy, is it Super Bowl or bust for the Pats this season? -- Benjamin (Chile)
A. It's that way every year for them, Benjamin.
Q. How impressive has Brandon LaFell been, Tedy? This guy is winning one-on-one matchups, physical, makes some amazing grabs. Not the guy I remember from Carolina. What impresses you most about him? -- Kyle B. (Philadelphia)
A. Yes, what impressed me most about him is that he's able to win for Tom Brady when Brady needs a bigger-bodied receiver to win on an underneath route. The slant route is what I most expect from him -- the intermediate routes on play-action. I don't see him as much of a downfield threat -- this isn't a huge downfield passing team. They'll take a shot each game, like they did with LaFell on James Ihedigbo on Sunday, but LaFell is more the big body who can be reliable in the middle of the field in addition to Rob Gronkowski.
Q. Hey Tedy, a learning lesson for Jonas Gray or just phased out of the game plan? How does BB justify Revis not really being punished when Gray was? Can something like this create locker room divide? -- Matt (Bangor, Maine)
A. I don't think you can create locker-room divide at all. I think it solidifies the message the head coach tries to send. One thing you end up learning in the NFL is that there are instances where players are treated differently. There is a difference between a veteran player who has a career/body of work to fall back on and a younger player that doesn't. Certain messages need to be sent, and in my opinion that's especially true of younger players. This is a great example of it.
Q. Hi Tedy. What's your take on Jonas Gray not playing a single snap?? -- J (Tokyo)
A. When I used to play, we used to say it like this: "Maybe he needed a big slice of humble pie."
Q. Tedy, do you think Jonas Gray will get another chance next week against Green Bay? -- Don (via mobile)
A. I don't know. It's up to Bill Belichick. If LeGarrette Blount stays healthy and makes it on time to every meeting and keeps running the way he's running, would you take him out? Bill has shown that he goes with what works. If Blount gets five carries against the Packers and has 6 yards, then you put Gray in and see what he does. If Gray is productive, then there will be another transition. The message has been sent. Gray understands it, and he's a good kid. This is just the way it goes in that locker room with Bill Belichick.
Q. Hey Bru, it was a nice game and all, but the Pats are still missing one key element that seems elusive ... the deep passing game. Any idea on how we can solve this problem? When will we see Aaron Dobson? Do you think this will be a problem when playing Green Bay and San Diego? -- NP (Barrington, Rhode Island)
A. Taking multiple shots down the field is not what this offense is about. Bill Belichick wants high-percentage offense, what gives him the best chance to win. Throwing the ball up for grabs every down isn't something he sees as a successful offense. Let's appreciate what this offense is -- a game-plan offense that attacks a defense's weaknesses. I think you might be playing Madden too much.
Q. Tedy what kind of game planning do you envision this week from New England defensively? Revis/Nelson and Browner/Cobb? Do you see Green Bay's run game as a threat? Or do they just let the DBs and rest of the defense duke it out like the past couple of weeks? -- Brandon (Texas)
A. I see similar combinations this week. There are two similar threats with Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson to match up against. There will probably be some specific matchups in the red area, but overall this is a different quarterback. Matthew Stafford looked confused and he wasn't up for the challenge yesterday. To beat this Patriots' defense, your third and fourth options must have productive days. Jeremy Ross, Eric Ebron and Corey Fuller didn't get the job done for the Lions.
Q. Is it safe to say that Nelson will be on Revis Island next Sunday? Also, how can the suspect defense of the Packers slow the Pats' offense if they don't know what to game plan on? For instance, the Pats are so deep and diverse that one week they can air it out, the next week gash the defense with their run game, as well as play action? I know the hostile environment of Lambeau Field won't make it easy, but what can the Pats do to nullify the crowd noise, cold weather, and wind? Sorry for the multiple questions! -- Marcus (New Jersey)
A. Of course, there will be times when Darrelle Revis is on Jordy Nelson. I will say this: Nelson is playing better football than Calvin Johnson right now. Having a QB like Aaron Rodgers helps also. Johnson's speed down the field, there are few equals. But his big body is sometimes a detriment for him, where you can put a big corner on him and be physical at the line of scrimmage and he's not as sudden as a smaller receiver. This is another big challenge for Darrelle Revis.
Q. Hi Tedy. Pats fan in Hawks country here. What's your take on all the former Pats turning into media? Who's doing the best job between yourself (ESPN), Rodney Harrison (NBC), Ty Law and Troy Brown (CSN)? -- Jon (Seattle)
A. Jon, always go with the linebacker!
I like watching all my former teammates on TV, and I think they're all doing a great job.
Q. Hi Tedy, how much of that stellar defensive performance was created by the NE players, and how much of it was Detroit missing on opportunities (e.g. dropped TDs by Fuller -- straight between his arms, Fauria, and someone else)? Just want to know how to evaluate the performance overall. -- Matt (California)
A. I can understand how Detroit dropped some passes and those can be categorized as missed opportunities. The Patriots missed some too. That was a complete butt-kicking. Matthew Stafford couldn't figure out what he was seeing at times. And man-on-man, the Patriots won more than the Lions did -- across the defensive front into the secondary. For the Lions' defense, it was a simple example of them not being ready to play. Take, for example, the two consecutive passes to Rob Gronkowski at the end of the first half. It was the same route, just dressed up a different way. Not being able to adjust to that, or recognize that, was a sign of an inexperienced defense.
Q. Hi, captain ... My question is about the next Pats game. What is the most worrying -- the high level that A-Rod is playing right now or the aggressive pass-rusher defense? What adjustments should be made to success in Wisconsin next Sunday? -- Esmayle P. (Brazil)
A. For the Packers offensively, the multiple threats they have at the receiver position -- Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb -- you have to think they will be accounted for and slowed down. You can take away their No. 1 and 2 options, so do they have a dangerous enough No. 3 or 4 to get the job done? Detroit did not. In Green Bay, we're talking about Eddie Lacy as a runner and receiver. The rookie at receiver, Davante Adams And the tight ends Andrew Quarless and Richard Rodgers. This is how you beat the Patriots' defense. No. 1 and 2 will be accounted for, and it's those players who have to rise up. Can they get the job done? Any more than that, check out our Bruschi's Breakdown on the game later in the week.
Q. Hi Tedy, what's your take on Odell Beckham Jr's TD catch last night? Best ever TD catch? -- Nissim (Lima, Peru)
A. That's the best catch I've ever seen. I was watching it with my sons last night and we all got up off the couch and were in disbelief to what we just saw. I've heard people say David Tyree's catch in the Super Bowl was better, but I separate them this way: Beckham's catch was skill, while Tyree's catch was destiny. Take your pick on that, but I'd like to forget Tyree's catch!
Q. Tedy, what do you think about Dominic Raiola? I feel it was classless but since the Pats get no love outside of NE, it is not being exposed for what it is. If the Pats did it ... watch out. -- Jim (Washington, D.C.)
A. I said this in the Bruschi's Breakdown last week. This is an offensive line that looks to get their shots. That was a nice way of saying they will cheap shot you at times, so don't stand around the pile and have yourself ready at all times. I remember playing against Detroit in Gillette Stadium and Mike Vrabel had an INT, with Raiola hitting him on the sideline to give him a concussion. I'm sure the Patriots were aware of Raiola and his history. First of all, you're glad no one got hurt. But you know you absolutely beat someone up when they get frustrated like that, and they decide to be tough when the game is over. You want to fight now? You want to come strong now? The game is over and now you want to talk trash and have this energy? What happened when the game was going on? We used to call these guys "fake tough guys" in the locker room. I get emotional about this because people still get mad about "running up the score" -- this isn't Pop Warner, this isn't high school or college. This is professional football. The games are played once a week. Defensively, we always knew our job was stop the offense and if we couldn't get that done, it was our fault. If you can't stop a team and they're scoring 50 points on you, whose fault is that? That's all I have to say.