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Ron Borges draws the lead for the second day in a row, as he looks at the position the Patriots find themselves in after the bye week. He notices what is going on over in Orchard Park as well: (I had to preserve this for posterity)

As for the Bills, they are so far removed from the team they appeared to be in the first two weeks of the season you might think aliens landed in Orchard Park and invaded the bodies of Drew Bledsoe, Lawyer Milloy, and their teammates...

...Bledsoe has been dreadful, the running game has been nonexistent, and the receivers are no longer the explosive group they were a year ago when Peerless Price was among them.

Your powers of observation do you credit, Mr Borges. (Bonus points to anyone who can name the movie that quote was paraphrased from.) Tom Curran looks at Bill Belichick, only focused on this week, and not any magic numbers. Alan Greenberg looks at the Patriots’ focus this week and has Ty Law do a little comparison of Parcells and Belichick. Law is the subject of Rich Thompson’s article this morning, which has Law speaking about his matchup with Terry Glenn. Glen Farley says we can boo the Tuna, but should also always be appreciative to him for saving football around here. Michael Parente says the Cowboys defense might be the best that the Patriots will see all season. Michael Smith takes a look at players on the Patriots who still have ties to the Parcells era. Ted Washington told the media that yesterday that he would play on Sunday. Mike Reiss examines where the big fella is going to fit in on the field. Jon Wallach says what the two Bills have each accomplished this year is nothing short of remarkable. Jonathan Comey says Belichick’s focus is on the Cowboys, not on Parcells.

Smith’s notebook says that Belichick did a little scouting while watching TV Sunday. Thompson’s notebook has the Patriots coach sizing up the Cowboys. Parente’s notebook has more on Terry Glenn’s second return to New England. Reiss’ notebook has more on Law Vs. Glenn. Curran’s notebook looks at the Cowboy’s defense.

Michael Silverman says not to expect any big free agent signings by the Red Sox. Not surprisingly, Manny is “unfazed” by the Red Sox move to place him on waivers. Gordon Edes looks at that and other Red Sox items. Silverman’s notebook has more troubles for Byung-Hun Kim. Steve Buckley has a pay column begging the Sox not to trade Trot Nixon. He says:

Oh, he may run through the wrong wall, just as he may forget how many outs there are, but that's OK. He is one of those rare guys whose hustle, whose desire, has never been questioned, and you never have to wonder where he's looking, as his eyes are forever fixed, perhaps obsessively, on the prize.

Keep that in mind. It’s ok to forget how many outs there are, as long as you look intense.

Bill Reynolds issues three mini-columns in one. Two subjects include Pedro and Drew Bledsoe. Lenny Megliola looks at Doug Flutie at age 41. Joe Sullivan digs out two stories from NH sports lore. (I wasn’t aware that NH had any sports lore.)

Get your Celtics links at Fox Sports Net New England.

Nancy Marrapese-Burrell looks at Mike Knuble. Steve Conroy has a look at Sergei Samsonov and his importance to the Bruins. Joe Haggerty has a piece on Andrew Raycroft. Conroy’s notebook looks at Michal Grosek.

Bill Griffith looks at Fred Cusick being honored, and has a bit on the spat between Dale Arnold and Mike Keenan.

FSNE has Celtics/Pacers at 7:00. NESN has Bruins/Oilers at 7:00.