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Mailbag: Optimism turns to pessimism?

Defensive struggles vs. Rams have users questioning the Patriots

Updated: August 31, 2010, 1:01 PM ET
By Mike Reiss | ESPNBoston.com

After two weeks of optimism regarding the New England Patriots, e-mailers were more critical this week after the team's surprising 36-35 loss to the St. Louis Rams.

So one question is what this all means for the team: Should expectations be adjusted?

Other topics in the mailbag include:

1. Injured players and their status, such as receiver Julian Edelman and outside linebacker Jermaine Cunningham.

2. Getting excited about rookie tight end Rob Gronkowski.

3. ...

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