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The Boston Globe

Sports

Why did the Patriots embrace tight ends?

Rise of the unit came as a result of disappointing season in 2009

It was a cool mid-December game in the nation’s capital last season. The Patriots, heavy favorites, were having trouble shaking the upset-minded Redskins early in the third quarter.

The game was tied at 20 when the Patriots came out in an empty package — no backs in the backfield — with three receivers and two tight ends at the Washington 37-yard line.

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