Purely an unscientific guess here, but I think that households across New England yesterday fell on one of two sides while watching the Colts play the Chargers. One part wanted the Chargers to put an end to all the undefeated season talk right then and there for the Colts. The other part, and I believe the larger segment of the two, wanted the Colts to win that game and their next two and finish at 16-0 going into the playoffs. Now I certainly know quite a few people who wanted nothing more than the Colts to do down yesterday. But I think the majority of New England fans were looking forward to a second round matchup between an unbeaten Colts team and a Patriots squad that seems to be finding itself at the right time. The game still has a very good chance of happening, but a little bit of the lustre will have been taken off of the game now that the Colts no longer will be unbeaten. In fact, there’s a good chance they lose next week in Seattle as well. The Globe had Nick Cafardo report on the Colts game yesterday, and he looks at the Chargers managing to make the Colts a bit of a one dimensional team, for a day at least.
So what do the feelings of New England fans mean? Did our desire to see the Colts go undefeated mean that WE wanted to be the ones that had a chance to ruin this dream season for Indianapolis? Or were we hoping that the pressure of being 16-0 and being in the playoffs would cause the Colts to feel a bit more strain and increase the Patriots chances of the upset? Does the loss really change anything? Not in the big picture. As noted, it simply takes some of the lustre off a possible second round meeting between the two clubs. It would still be a huge game should it come about, but it has been slightly tarnished by yesterday’s results.
For the Patriots, Michael Felger has his Report Card for Saturday’s 28-0 win over the Buccaneers. Jerome Solomon looks at the Patriots being able to turn things around in their last three games and takes a peek at the postseason picture. Tom E Curran says that it is just about set in stone that the Patriots will be hosting the Jacksonville Jaguars in the first round. Alan Greenberg notes that the Patriots timing appears to be perfect in putting things together just in time for the postseason. Michael Parente agrees that the Pats are peaking at just the right time. Jim Donaldson looks at the Patriots treating another division title as no big deal.
Albert Breer says that feeling is still that the Patriots season will come to an end with that second round game in Indianapolis, but that he wouldn’t bet his loose change on it. John Tomase notes that as usual, it is the little things that count, he lists out some small things that were being done wrong earlier in the season, and notes the changes now. Bill Burt says that any Super Bowl hopes that the Patriots still harbor will need to be based on their defense playing as it did Sunday. Christopher Price lists out his 10 things that we learned from Saturday’s game. Dan Shaughnessy says that the Patriots are going to beat the Colts in the playoffs. The signature of his column reminds us that he also predicted that the Red Sox would run away with the division this season. Tomase notes that the Buccaneers didn’t quite look as good as Bill Belichick made them out to be.
Shira Springer looks at another critical point of the season coming up for the struggling Celtics, who lost by 32 points in Chicago on Saturday night. Mark Murphy says that getting consistent on defense is the Celtics biggest problem right now. Also in Springer’s article and in a note from Steve Bulpett is the news that Dan Dickau suffered a ruptured achilles tendon in Saturday night’s loss. The Herald also has Ricky Davis doing a great deed for the community.
Steve Conroy has a look at the Bruins, who also lost Saturday night. He notes that the B’s have problems with their first line, goaltending and getting off to slow starts, but he also insists there were some positives in the 3-0 loss to the Flames. Kevin Paul Dupont says that the eight day NHL trade embargo for the holiday might be too much for the Bruins and some of their players to bear. Be sure to check out the BSMW Power Play Bruins Blog, where they are looking for your opinion on what the Bruins need right now in order to improve.
Tony Massarotti reports that Tony Graffanino is leaning toward accepting salary arbitration and remaining with the Red Sox. He also reports that the Red Sox and Cleveland have not had substantive trade talks involving Coco Crisp for weeks now. Rob Bradford examines what makes Crisp attractive to Boston.
Michael Vega and Jeff Goodman report on Boston College’s 80-53 win over Texas Southern yesterday. Lenny Megliola says that a visit from Texas Southern was just what the doctor ordered for BC. Goodman’s notebook looks at Akida McLain getting in sync for the Eagles.
FSN has Celtics/Warriors at 7:30. ABC has Packers/Ravens at 9:00. ESPN2 has Pepperdine/Kansas at 7:00 and Indiana/Charlotte at 9:00.