The departure of wide receiver Randy Moss from New England removed a distraction from the Patriots, but didn't significantly change the matchup against the Ravens in two weeks.
With Moss gone to Minnesota in a Wednesday trade, coach Bill Belichick has one less contract issue and one less headache. The fact that Moss had no catches Sunday against the Dolphins -- with only one pass thrown his way -- was more a statement that the Patriots were moving on than an indication Moss was covered often.
The playmaker in New England remains Wes Welker, and Moss's trade opens the door for a bigger contribution by Julian Edelman and Brandon Tate.
Tate was a third-round draft pick in 2008 after tearing his ACL and MCL at North Carolina, although he was rated higher than that before the injury.
Moss was in the final year of his three-year Patriots contract, and wanted an extension before the season ended. Belichick doesn't endure distractions well, and obviously felt comfortable enough with his receiving corps to trade Moss.
The Ravens play in Foxboro on Oct. 17 after hosting the Broncos this Sunday.