The New England Patriots will attempt to complete the NFL's first 16-0 regular season on Saturday minus the starting right side of their offensive line. Guard Stephen Neal (shoulder) and tackle Nick Kaczur (foot) were downgraded by team officials to "out" for the prime-time matchup against the New York Giants. The absences of the two offensive linemen are significant because the Giants lead the NFL in sacks with 52, and New York players maintained this week that a key to slowing the top-ranked New England offense will be mounting a pass rush on Patriots' quarterback Tom Brady. Seven-year veteran Russ Hochstein, who has filled in for Neal in the past, will start at right guard. Saturday will mark the eighth game Neal has missed this year. The likely starter at right tackle is second-year veteran Ryan O'Callaghan, who has not started at all this season but who did start six games at right tackle in 2006.
Hit By Injuries, Pats' O-Line Patches Holes