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Pats key on stopping the late, great Mark Sanchez

I asked Patriots linebacker Tully Banta-Cain about Mark Sanchez today. Not the Sanchez who has played most of the season, but the one who seems to have a knack for engineering game-winning drives late in games.

Even after struggling, as he did against the Colts, Sanchez has shown an ability to pull it together down the stretch.

“He has some good targets that allow him to make the plays and he’s got a good arm,” Banta-Cain said. “If he can catch a guy open, he’ll hit him. He knows at the end of the game, if they’re ahead or behind, the situation is going to fall on him to make a play. He’s been able to pull it out in some tough games.”

How does a defense stop that?

“You have to know who his primary targets are, which is pretty much everybody,” Banta-Cain said. “You really want to put pressure on him and make it a tough decision.”

The other way, of course, is to make sure that the game is out of reach before Sanchez has a chance to lead a comeback.

The Patriots would undoubtedly prefer that method.
 

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