Patriots inactives: Injuries lead to National Football League debuts

Patriots inactives: Injuries lead to National Football League debuts

For no less than the zillionth time, rumors of the Patriots demise have been greatly exaggerated.

New England will travel to New Orleans today to play the Saints and while there was a time that Drew Brees and company could keep pace with the offensive production of the Patriots, that no longer is the case. The 447 yards were the third-highest total of Brady's career.

But the Patriots responded by scoring 10 points in the final 4:47 of the half and put the game away.

While their overall numbers do not jump off the page, running backs Mike Gillislee and Rex Burkhead showed exactly why Bill Belichick brought them to Foxborough.

I'm not sure that the Patriots are weak in anything but after last week it sure looks like saying that the NE Defense is weak would be right on point. But aside from 2008, when he suffered a season-ending knee injury in the Patriots' opener, he's avoided serious injury.

With a few more plays like that, Dorsett could find his way into Brady's circle of trust.

All eyes are once again on a potentially injured Rob Gronkowski.

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Brady's entrenched himself so deep in the game of football that it could be hard for him to worry that much about his health this late in his career.

James White led New England with eight catches and had 85 yards receiving. I don't really think it's a healthy thing for your body to go through like, through that kind of aggression like, all the time - that can not be healthy for you, right?

This will be New England's first trip to New Orleans since 2009 when the Saints cruised past the Patriots 38-17.

The Patriots scored on five of their first six possessions and punted only twice in the game.

The defense remains far from ideal but after the debacle in Week One, the progress is notable. Without Dont'a Hightower, it was good to see Matt Patricia's defense come up big. The most impressive of the three was the pass to Gronkowski. Wise, New England's lone 2017 draft pick on this week's 53-man roster, had four quarterback hits and another tackle for a loss as well. And during the 2016 season the Patriots lost just two games and went on to win their 5th Super Bowl in franchise history. New Orleans, meanwhile, is now 0-2 for the fourth consecutive season. Houston is coming off an ugly 13-9 win over the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday night.

TV: 1 p.m. ET, CBS.

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