Could the cold weather slow down them down?
"When it comes time to run the ball, we're going to be prepared," said running back Laurence Maroney, who hoped that it would be more like Thursday's 60-degree temperatures than Friday, when it was back in the 30s. "Me and the snow don't really go together."
New England (10-0) plays the Philadelphia Eagles (5-5) on Sunday night in Foxborough, with forecasts calling for temperatures to dip below freezing overnight. That won't be shocking to a team from Philadelphia, but it's not going to be much help, either.
"Whatever we have to do," running back Kevin Faulk said Friday. "If you've got to throw the ball underhand, then that's what we're going to do."
They've run up 411 points in their first 10 games, winning all but one of them by at least 17 points. Tom Brady has thrown 38 touchdown passes, 16 of them to Randy Moss; New England has 10 touchdowns rushing, two of them by Brady.
But that balance might change if the passing becomes treacherous.
"I think that as the weather gets worse, we're going to have to see," offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels said. "If we get into some conditions that don't enable us to throw the ball as much, then the running game will have to become more of a focal point. ... Unless there's some significant wind issues or other precipitation that determines we can't do it, we'll try to keep our balance the way that we have through the first 10 games."
Overall, the Patriots have thrown the ball 346 times and run it 316 times. McDaniels said that ratio is largely determined by what other teams try to take away.
"If they determine that they want to force us to throw the ball more than run it, or vice versa, then we're certainly willing to do either," he said. "Our balance is something that we try to really keep an eye on, but I think it, more importantly, is what's going to help us win."
Coach Bill Belichick said one-dimensional teams can win, but not for long. The matchup might work against some teams, and everything will look great.
"But then sooner or later you're going to run into somebody that can handle that one dimension that you have, and then what do you fall back on?" Belichick said. "I think the big thing is to try to be balanced. I think you need that in every game all through the year: warm weather, cold weather, rain, sun, fog."
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press