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Analyzing the inactives

Posted by Staff  October 25, 2009 12:03 PM

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* The Patriots are dressing seven linemen on offense, with Dan Connolly and Mark LeVoir the only backups in uniform. And LeVoir came off the P.U.P. about 27 seconds ago, so New England's operating on pretty thin ice with its tackles. The good news: Tampa just traded Gaines Adams, the only edge rusher of any consequence on the roster. So that thin ice has a pretty shallow pond under it -- Don't worry about the Patriots drowning here.

* The fans might get what they want. That being a lot more from BenJarvus Green-Ellis. He's ready to go here, and the idea against Tampa will be to get on top early. That way, you negate the Bucs' primary offensive strength (running behind a pretty solid offensive line), and put the game on Josh Johnson's shoulders. Shouldn't be hard to do, considering what Tampa has in the secondary. And then, Green-Ellis and Laurence Maroney should get their chances to carry the Patriots right out of here and into the bye week.

* One more thing: Terrence Wheatley, the Patriots second-round pick in 2008, is inactive for the sixth time in seven games.

News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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