FOXBORO - The Patriots' back end is in some discomfort. And nobody likes that. James Ihedigbo's shoulder is hurting, Devin McCourty's too. Patrick Chung's right foot is still in disrepair. And Kyle Arrington's hurts as well. So the little-known guys who were on the field a ton last week - Antwaun Molden at corner and Sterling Moore at safety being the main ones - will be out there again Monday night against the Chiefs.
On Wednesday of last week, Ihedigbo mentioned that Moore would be instrumental against the Jets if Chung was unable to play. I honestly wasn't sure who Ihedigbo was speaking about until he pointed at Moore's locker. Moore played all 72 defensive snaps for the Patriots in New York. He'dnever even played the position in a game before last week. "It wasn't a shock but it was like, 'OK, time to step up,' " Moore said of the moment he learned Chung couldn't make it througha pregame workout. "I tried to make it not bigger than it was and I think I did a really good job of that. It wasn't too big of a stage I don't think."Being able to reduce a game to its essence is practically a measurable attribute. The player concerned about prime time and big lights and how he'll say his name for the network introductions is spending focus and energy on things that can detract from on-field performance. Norman Dale pretty much demonstrated that concept for his team in Hoosiers."I've always been able to do that and that's something I try to do," said Moore. "When you let(the hype)get in the way, you don't tend to play fast and you don't remember your Xs and Os so I just try to keep a level head and go out there and play."How could a group with two guys who'd barely played regular defense in an NFLgame - Moore and Jeff Tarpinian - play as fast and efficiently as the Patriots did last week?"We had confidence and we studied well throughout the week," Moore offered. "When you study well you can play fast and that's the key any week, knowing your opponent and Ithink we knew the Jets well."ThePatriots' familiarity with the Chiefs is a lot more shallow. Add in the fact that Tyler Palko starts instead of Matt Cassel at quarterback for Kansas City andthe ability to know what's coming is pretty much gone for Monday night. But because Moore and Co., didn't get blown away by the moment last week, they'll be back for another round.