David Scott takes a look at the Patriots coverage yesterday, including the Providence Journal making the bold decision to post all their stories immediately, instead of waiting for the paper to come out the next day. The new Patriots page at Projo.com is certainly impressive. Check in with the Patriots Game Day blog today as we’ll offer up a few more thoughts and links during the day.
The Patriots needed a fourth quarter safety to squeeze by the chippy Buffalo Bills yesterday afternoon at Gillette Stadium, 19-17.
John Tomase says that strange things happen in season openers and yesterday proved that. Mike Reiss looks at the Patriots dodging disaster right from the first play of the game yesterday. Lenny Megliola says that it wasn’t pretty, but in the end, the Patriots got the job done. Shalise Manza Young looks at the Patriots flirting with disaster before turning things around in Foxboro yesterday. Alan Greenberg looks at the Patriots escaping with a victory on an afternoon that saw Tom Brady have 3 yards passing in the first half. Jennifer Toland reports on the Patriots winning a game in which Brady was booed by the fans at Gillette. Michael Parente notes that it was an unlikely hero that stepped to the forefront for the Patriots yesterday. Mike Lowe observes that we’ve seen this act before – struggle early, but pull out the win in the end.
Christopher Price offers up his trusty 10 Things We Learned Yesterday column. Michael Felger says we don’t know any more about this team than we did before yesterday, but he seems pretty sure this is not a talented Patriots team. Ron Borges on the other hand, says that the Patriots did what good teams do on opening day…find a way to win, even if they’ve struggled much of the afternoon. Are we in a bizarro world here? Felger slams the Patriots seemingly giving them no hope this season while Borges is complimentary towards them? Ian Clark has the defense delivering a victory for the Patriots yesterday. Tim Weisberg notes that the defense again did the dirty work for the Patriots.
Jim Donaldson has Tom Brady expecting more out his offense and shouldering the blame. Karen Guregian writes that the Bills, despite losing Takeo Spikes and Troy Vincent early on, still exploited the Patriots most glaring weaknesses. Joe McDonald looks at how the Patriots managed to shift the momentum of the game in the third quarter. Greenberg analyzes the game in his Turning Point feature. Rich Garven notes that the Patriots still have the ability to close out those tight wins. Dan Pires says that the Patriots know that they have plenty of time to improve.
Plea to Joe Sullivan: Please keep Dan Shaughnessy away from the Patriots. He’s already ruined the enjoyment of following one of Boston’s professional sports franchises for many fans. Don’t let him do it to the Patriots as well. This was a typical atrocious, mailed-in article where Shaughnessy simply took the easiest, laziest storylines and cranked out a template column, complete with comparisons to the Red Sox and shots at Patriots fans.
Steve Buckley claims that while Tom Brady didn’t mention Deion Branch at all, he clearly talked about him in code during his post game press conference. Albert Breer says that Brady really needs Branch back to keep defenses honest for the QB and the running game. Weisberg has Brady taking the fall for the tough afternoon for the offense. David Brown notes that the early struggles of the offensive line were only the start of a zany afternoon for the Patriots.
Breer has a look at Don Davis, who had a rare turn at linebacker on a goal line stand and stuffed Willis McGahee on fourth down to turn the tide in the Patriots favor. McDonald also gives credit to Davis’ bit hit as a turning point of the game. Dan Ventura looks at Rosevelt Colvin playing a key role in the Patriots defense yesterday, making several big plays. McNamara looks at how the defense performed for the Patriots yesterday, including their defensive line stocked with high picks. Toland has Ty Warren and company coming up with the big play when needed.
Kevin McNamara looks at Laurence Maroney’s impressive NFL debut yesterday. Greenberg also looks at the debut by the rookie, who remains humble after his big splash on opening day. Bob Duffy looks at the Patriots impressive 1-2 punch at running back. Breer has Brady giving credit to the balanced rushing attack for the win. Steve Solloway has Corey Dillon choosing to let his performance do the talking for him.
Buckley offers up some of the best and worst from yesterday. The Projo has some talking points from yesterday’s win. Duffy looks at a low-key return for Rodney Harrison yesterday. McDonald points to Richard Seymour as his player of the game. He also offers up quick game analysis on both sides of the ball.
Guregian has several Bills accusing the Patriots of picking up Jonathan Smith and then dumping him just to get knowledge of some of Buffalo’s plays and intentions. Christopher L. Gasper looks at the Bills falling apart after a strong start yesterday. Check the view from the opposition on the pages of the Buffalo News and the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.
Reiss’ notebook has a look at Ellis Hobbs shutting down Bills receiver Lee Evans. Tomase’s notebook looks at Rodney Harrison getting his licks in on the field, and continuing to round into form. Garven’s notebook reviews the big stop that turned things around for the Patriots. Brown’s notebook reports on Stephen Gostkowski passing his first test of a pressure kick, nailing a 32 yard field goal to tie the game in the fourth quarter. Parente’s notebook looks at the running backs taking up the slack for the depleted receivers. Lowe’s notebook looks at Bill Belichick winning his gambles, while Bills coach Dick Jauron didn’t fare as well with his.
If I missed anything, it’s likely on the Patriots Daily Links page, along with blog entries from around the Patriots world.
Next week’s opponent is the New York Jets, who won their opener under Eric Mangini yesterday against the Titans. Keep up with the Jets this week on the New York Sports Pages.
Chad Finn is ready to change seasons.
The Red Sox managed to avoid a sweep at the hands of the lowly Kansas City Royals with a 9-3 win at Fenway. Gordon Edes has David Ortiz providing a big home run and then talking about his quest for Jimmie Foxx’s club record and the MVP. Jeff Horrigan looks at another good outing for Julian Tavarez. Stephen Krasner says that the magic number is now two…and it has nothing to do with the playoffs. Paul Doyle has more on the afternoon at Fenway. David Borges looks at the Sox avoiding the sweep. Phil O’Neill has Coco Crisp revealing that his finger has bothered him all season, which could go a long way towards explaining his disappointing performance this year.
Michael Silverman has more on Big Papi closing in on 50 home runs. Alex Speier says that the Sox are still pushing Papi for MVP. Edes’ notebook has Tavarez tipping his cap after another strong start. Horrigan’s notebook looks at Coco and Manny sitting this one out. Krasner’s notebook also has Tavarez tipping his cap. Borges’ notebook also examines the same topic. O’Neill’s notebook wonders if Tavarez could be a starter next season for the Red Sox as well.
Stephen Harris has a look at Bruins goaltending prospect Jordan Sigalet, who has seen his career advance despite battling MS. Marvin Pave has Matt Lashoff making a splash at Bruins rookie camp. Harris’ notebook says that we perhaps shouldn’t close the door so soon on the Sergei Samsonov trade.
ESPN has Vikings/Redskins at 7:00 and Chargers/Raiders at 10:15.