5 Gifts the Patriots want for Christmas

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Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

3. Ball security on punt returns

Sunday marked the third game in the past four in which the Patriots have had trouble on punt returns. This has got to stop.

Against the Denver Broncos three weeks back, Chris Harper muffed a late punt which led to points, essentially costing the Patriots the game. He got cut the following day.

In Week 14, Keshawn Martin dropped a fumble against his former team, the Houston Texans. The Texans recovered the loose ball deep in Patriots territory.

On Sunday, it was usually trustworthy Danny Amendola who couldn’t field the punt, again leading to a turnover on the wrong side of the field. What is going on?

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Santa Claus may give the gift of ball security on punt returns by healing Julian Edelman in time for Week 17 so that Edelman can get his bearings under him in the return game before the playoffs. Edelman is pretty much the only guy Patriots fans can feel comfortable with on punt returns these days.

Next: 2. Collins, Hightower on the field together