Thank you Denver. No need to listen to everyone fret about a possible three way AFC tie now. The Patriots have their first round bye, and now all that is at stake with the Buffalo game is the # 1 seed. That and a little revenge. Bob Ryan says life is good for Patriots fans right now. What have we done to deserve this? I’m predicting most talk show fodder regarding this team in the coming weeks will be regarding which assistants will be leaving for head coaching jobs. (And how Belichick and the Patriots will cope without them in coming seasons.) Romeo Crennel appears to be a lock to be gone next season. Tom Curran says Crennel will not be saying no to any head coaching opportunity that is offered to him. (Even Arizona Romeo? Say it ain’t so.) Crennel also heads the forward to Kevin Mannix’s report card for the week. All “A’s” and “B’s” this week for the Pats. Nick Cafardo looks at all the quarterbacks that the Patriots defense has consumed this season. Alan Greenberg looks at another Patriots opponent grumbling that they could’ve beaten the Pats. Ron Borges looks at the job Bill Parcells has done getting the Cowboys back to the playoffs. Michael Felger says the Patriots really need the bye week, but they’ll worry about that after taking care of some business they have with the Buffalo Bills. Michael Parente runs some numbers regarding the Patriots defense. Jim Donaldson wonders how good the Patriots would be if they actually had some Pro Bowl caliber players. Jonathan Comey says the Patriots have all the pieces. Ian M. Clark says another week, another hero for the Patriots. Curran’s notebook looks ahead to the Bills. Felger’s notebook looks at how Rodney Harrison is dealing with his Pro Bowl snub.

*Yawn* Tom Hicks has a deadline. I’m sure John W. Henry appreciates his feet being held to the fire. Gordon Edes and Tony Massarotti report on the latest in this tired drama. Vin Sylvia says anyway this deal goes, it’s a win-win for the Red Sox. Michael Felger says Curt Schilling has his eye on Drew Bledsoe’s old digs in Medfield.

The Celtics pulled off another fourth quarter comeback, beating the Sixers 87-84. The links are at Fox Sports Net New England.

Russ Conway looks at the seemingly inevitable crash course the NHL and the Players Association are embarking on. A more informative piece than you’re going to find from any of the Boston writers. Stephen Harris looks at recent comments from Jeremy Jacobs that are only hurting the ability of his team to make deals. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell looks at Ted Donato’s impact on the Bruins. Harris’ notebook has Harry Sinden saying the Bruins need to get more physical.

Ron Borges has a look at how John Ruiz will likely be regaining the WBA Heavyweight title, simply because Roy Jones Jr will not fight him again.

ABC has Packers/Raiders at 9:00. NESN has Bruins/Rangers at 7:00.