An on-air Boston media member’s nightmare. An off day with nothing really screaming to be harped on and beaten to death. How boring. Unless of course they want to try to make the case that the Patriots really are on a two game losing streak in the preseason. That’s ridiculous of course, as the Patriots who count beat the Panthers that count. The Red Sox keep rolling on, but today might be a day of reflection and to gather oneself for the very critical next 10 days. Sean McAdam says that the days of easy living are over for the Red Sox, who now go head to head with the teams they’re competing for a playoff berth with. Lenny Megliola notes that the Sox are playing as well as they have the entire year, and the timing couldn’t be better. Gordon Edes says that John W. Henry knew that his team was very capable of putting together the run that it has, and that it was only a matter of time before it would do so.

The Sox kept things going with a 6-1 win over the Tigers that kept them up by one and half games in the Wild Card standings and that brought them to within 4 1/2 games of the Yankees in the AL East. Game stories are provided by Bob HohlerTony MassarottiSteven KrasnerDavid HeuschkelRon Chimelis and David Borges. Yesterday, Bill Burt took a look at the Red Sox and all the other contenders for the Wild Card chase. Alex Speier looks at the red hot Red Sox. Steve Britt says Tim Wakefield and the rest of the rotation at peaking at just the right time. Chimelis says the Sox playing better since getting rid of Nomar is no coincidence. Not a bad column other than the opening line which says Red Sox fans are obsessed with the curse. Bob Halloran, on the other hand, says that the Nomar effect is way overrated. Steve Buckley (subscription only) says Wakefield’s last start against the Tigers in which he gave up six home runs was actually the start of a nice run for the knuckleballer. Christopher L Gasper looks at Wakefield being able to go eight strong innings against the Tigers yesterday. Thompson has Curt Schilling talking about the improved Red Sox defense.

Hohler’s notebook looks at Manny returning to the lineup yesterday after taking a nasty foul ball of his knee on Friday night. Massarotti’s notebook looks at Curtis Leskanic getting a bit of a chemical burn on his arm yesterday. Heuschkel’s notebook also looks at Manny and has an update on Byung-Hyun Kim. Chimelis’ notebook looks at the Sox suddenly tearing it up on the basepaths. Borges’ notebook looks at the critical upcoming stretch of schedule for the Red Sox.

Alan Greenberg notes that there was much more good than bad for the Patriots to take out of Saturday night’s preseason game with the Panthers. Ian M Clark says that the Patriots put alot of things together on Saturday night. Michael Parente says that Saturday night wasn’t about who won or lost, but how the Pats played the game, and they played it pretty well. Tom Curran suggests that the Patriots are slowly coming together and getting things in order for the season opener a week from Thursday. Joe Burris says that the Patriots have to begin trimming the roster, starting tomorrow.

Free of annoying spin, (unlike his NFL Notes yesterday, which have turned into little more than an Ex-Patriot update column) Nick Cafardo says that the Panthers brought out the intensity in the Patriots, and perhaps some nastiness and dirty play as well. Michael Felger looks at the multiple options that rookie Ben Watson brings to the Patriots offense, all of which were on display Saturday night. Dan Pires looks at a number of things of interest from Saturday night. Chris Kennedy says that the Patriots are still trying to get sharp in a number of areas before the opener. Kevin Mannix says that Corey Dillon is starting to come into form nicely for the Patriots. Del Jones previews the Dolphins in part three of his look at the AFC East. Be sure to also check out the BSMW exclusive football column – Patriots Rear View.

Felger’s notebook has Bill Belichick being very direct in his response about an inquiry regarding Ty Law’s unavailability for the game Saturday. Curran’s notebook also pursues this topic and looks at Steve Smith, still trash talking. Parente’s notebook looks at a solid performance from Tom Brady on Saturday night.

Dave Scott apologizes for his absence today, but promises an edition of Scott’s Shots for tomorrow.

ESPN2 will have Cubs/Expos at 7:00. ABC will have Titans/Cowboys preseason action at 8:00.