Kevin Mannix hands out a

Kevin Mannix hands out a harsh report card. Two “F’s” and three “D’s” among the grades. Tom Curran looks at the bulls-eye the Patriots have on their back each week. Bill Reynolds tells us the NFL is a difficult league. Alan Greenberg says we really shouldn’t be surprised that the Patriots lost in Miami. After all, they do that every year. Ron Borges looks at the remaining schedule, says the next five games are tough, but the last six should be cupcakes. (Except for Miami to close out the season) Nick Cafardo looks at a somber group of Patriots.

Kevin McNamara says the Patriots don’t have an identity yet. Lenny Megliola writes that “The film the New England Patriots were in Sunday might as well have been titled, well, “Road to Perdition.” The Union Leader does an interesting feature in which high school coaches grade the Patriots performance. Karen Guregian is shocked that Bill Belichick admitted that the team was outcoached. Cafardo’s notebook has Belichick not commenting, but speaking volumes on the officiating. Mark Murphy’s Herald notebook looks at the O-Line and Red Zone problems. McNamara’s ProJo notebook looks at the third down failures. Hector Longo says the problems can be fixed.

Tony Massarotti has A’s management sounding like Billy Beane is staying right where here is. Gordon Edes hears similar things. From yesterday on Page2 , a Top Ten list of moments for Yankee haters. Dan Shaughnessy revs up the white hot California/Minnesota rivalry. (note to Dan…in addition to the A’s not having a high payroll, they haven’t even been to the ALCS in the last few years.)

Peter May looks at the troubled Knicks, and tosses in some Celtic notes. Steve Bulpett has the Celtics hoping to avoid traveling. Yesterday, Mark Murphy looked at the dedicated Eric Williams.

Bill Griffith looks at Globe partner NESN’s upcoming Bruins coverage. Jim Baker weighs in on the Sports Final bickering, and adds that Sports Xtra beat it in the ratings. He also includes the tidbit that Steve Burton was told by his bosses at Channel 4 that he could not take a daily gig at WWZN. A sharp contrasts to yesterday’s report by John Molori, as well as contradicting earlier reports that Burton had received a go-ahead from WBZ to pursue a day job. Baker throws the name of Gene Lavanchy into the pool of WWZN candidates.

FSNE has Celtics/Knicks preseason action at 7:30. Fox has Angels/Twins game one at 8:00. ESPN counters with its Tuesday night block of EOE. (ESPN Original Entertainment) ESPN2 has Memphis/Louisville college football at 8:00.

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