The region seems to have thrown in the towel on the Patriots. That might be the best thing for them. Some brave words coming out of Foxboro, but is it too late? Bill Belichick got a little testy with reporters who 1) want to make comparisons to last year, and 2) who ask how could things get to this point. Tom Curran and Nick Cafardo have pieces on Belichick. Michael Felger looks at the unproductive receivers and notes the attitude of David Patten. Ian Clark concurs on the unproductive receivers. Jim Donaldson writes about weather. Rich Thompson picks Damon Huard’s mind about Dave Wannstedt. Alan Greenberg looks at Leonard Myers preparing to bounce back after a rough starting debut, knowing that the Dolphins will be throwing at him all day. Thompson also catches up with Fred Coleman. Christopher Price says the Patriots just need some consistency. Michael Parente looks at Jason Taylor’s personal turnstile, Matt Light. Parente also yearns for the old days of Foxboro stadium. The Mooseman shares some post-Christmas thoughts on the Patriots with us. A couple Red Sox notes in there as well. Mike Vrabel also isn’t giving up yet, he’s quoted in both Cafardo’s notebook and Felger’s notebook. He plans on playing in January. Felger also digs up some possible bulletin board material. Curran’s notebook looks at a burst bubble and a quiet stadium. Leigh Montville makes his picks.

Genius sportswriter Ron Borges appeared on the Mike Adams Morning show to bask in the adulation of his brilliant foresight regarding the Patriots failure this year. He also talked about Tom Brady and reminded everyone smart he is not to have fallen in love with Brady like everyone else has. He brought up the names of Jake Plummer and Brian Griese as comparisons to Brady, noting that while he’s not predicting that Brady will have the same fate as those two, “there’s just as much reason to think it will happen as to think it won’t happen”. He chided those who called Deion Branch “the next Jerry Rice” after his first preseason game. Turning to the positive, he does think Leonard Myers has potential, he was in position to make all the plays against the Jets, he just needs the experience of knowing what to do to make the play, be it putting which arm up, looking back at the right moment, etc. The Genius also says this team could be bad for a long time after this because of all the holes they have failed to fill. He picks the Dolphins 20-14 on Sunday.

Going down to Miami – the scene of Rick Pitino’s final game as coach of the Celtics, for tonights Celtics/Heat game reminds Peter May that “We’re still waiting for Pitino’s promised, final news conference.” Steve Bulpett reports that the Celtics sale should be completed before Monday night.

Tony Massarotti looks at the Red Sox hoping to talk down Montreal even further in their pursuit of Colon. Steve Buckley looks at the risks the Yankees have taken investing $53 Million in players who haven’t yet played an inning in the Major Leagues.

Jim Baker gets Howard David’s opinion of the game Sunday. Bill Griffith looks at broadcasting memories from 2002. John Howell also looks at some memorable events from the year. Once again in the spirit of shameless self-promotion, my weekly column in the Metro is up, I’m wondering why so many in the media are afraid of Bill James, and also have an interesting nugget on Dave Jageler.

FSNE has Celtics/Heat at 8:00. NESN has Bruins/Lightning at 7:30. ESPN2 has Nets/Bucks at 8:00 and Jazz/Blazers at 10:30. ESPN continues Bowl week with games at 4:30 and 8:00. ESPN Classic is showing the 1983 Liberty Bowl with Boston College and Notre Dame at 9:00.