The Patriots furnished an answer to the many who felt they didn’t have a chance of beating the Bengals high powered offense, especially with a decimated secondary for the 19th season in a row. After a slow first quarter, the Patriots stomped the Bengals, 38-13 in Cincinnati.

John Tomase reports on the Patriots proving all prognosticators wrong once again. Mike Reiss says that “while the team picked up a victory, it also gained something just as important: confidence.” Joe McDonald says that the Patriots showed “absolute concentration” in their performance yesterday. Alan Greenberg looks at the Patriots turning back the clock and putting it all together. Rich Garven calls this one an absolute team victory. Michael Parente says that the Patriots are tough to beat when no one expects them to win. Mike Petraglia also reports on the win for the Patriots.

Michael Felger says that this was finally a “shut up” kind of win for the Patriots. Ron Borges says this was a win for the defense, even though the offense was “alternatingly grinding and explosive.” Ian Clark says that “impressive” is the best word to describe this win.

McDonald looks at Maroney making a loud statement in his fourth NFL game. Tony Massarotti says Maroney was the best player on the field yesterday. Christopher L. Gasper looks at Corey Dillon doing some mean running of his own in his return to Cincinnati.

Massarotti notes that Brady’s body language after the game was just fine thank you. I’d like to give a nod to WBCN play-by-play man Gil Santos, who as yesterday’s game wound down, made sure to needle all those who focused so much on Brady’s body language last week. Try as we might, we can’t seem to prevent Dan Shaughnessy from writing about the Patriots. Shannon Russell reports on Doug Gabriel starting to make a name for himself in the Patriots offense. Felger examines how the Patriots defense stopped the 16 Power O running attack of the Bengals.

Shalise Manza Young has Game Analysis for the contest. Felger lists out the best and worst from yesterday afternoon. Russell has a quick look at Maroney’s 25-yard TD run the play after Reche Caldwell was decked by the Bengals safety. Greenberg has his Patriots Sidelines report, which lists more of what went right and wrong.

Ryan Clark gets reaction from the Bengals in the wake of the loss. You can get more Cincinnati reaction from the Cincinnati Post and the Cincinnati Enquirer .

Check the Patriots Game Day page for more reaction to yesterday’s win, a video clip of Ron Borges spouting lies and mis-truths on FSN last week, and later this morning, a new column from Bill Barnwell of Football Outsiders looking at the impact of the bye week.

Reiss’ notebook has Maroney thinking End Zone on every run. McDonald has some Talking Points in a notebook-like format. Thomase’s notebook looks at Asante Samuel having the final laugh against fast-talking Chad Johnson. Garven’s notebook has the Patriots banged up secondary coming up big against the Bengals. Parente’s notebook looks at Maroney mauling his way through the Bengal defense.

Karen Guregian reports on Devern Hansack pitching 5 no-hit innings in a rain shortened 9-0 Red Sox win over the Orioles to close out the 2006 season. David Heuschkel also looks at the season coming to a close on a soggy afternoon. David Borges notes that yesterday was a a fittingly bizarre ending to a bizarre – and incredibly disappointing season. Phil O’Neill has more on Hansack’s five inning no-no. Alex Speier has more on the Sox saying so long to ’06.

Lenny Megliola looks at an afternoon of good-byes at Fenway Park. Steve Buckley writes that even though this season was a disappointment, the team never lost their ceased acting like professionals, even down to Terry Francona removing Trot Nixon so he could get an ovation from the fans. Gordon Edes looks at what was likely Nixon’s final day as a member of the Red Sox. Buckley has Gabe Kapler denying that he intends to retire and pursue a career in broadcasting. Guregian also looks at Sox hitting coach Ron Jackson being among those awaiting his fate.

Sean McAdam has Theo Epstein vowing to make things right with this club. Guregian says that the “one-time boy-wonder GM needs to be more of a miracle worker this winter.” Alex Speier says that this is a critical offseason for the Red Sox front office. David Borges says that Epstein has no regrets about standing pat at the trade deadline this season. Bill Ballou says that this season started to unravel on July 9th in a 19 inning loss to the White Sox.

Nick Cafardo has Roger Clemens denying the claims made by Jason Grimsley that he used performance-enhancing drugs. Bob Ryan also weighs in on the steroid rumors and how it has effected how we think about baseball and anyone who puts up big numbers or who plays at a high level very late into their career.

Guregian’s notebook has the fans giving Nixon a proper sendoff. McAdam’s notebook looks at Hansack brightening a dreary day with his performance. O’Neill’s notebook has the club looking forward to 2007.

Steve Bulpett examines the Celtics roster, noting that this group has a lot to prove this season. Scott Souza says that hopes are high with the Celtics going into camp. Jackie MacMullan had a nice feature yesterday on Doc Rivers and why family is so important to him that he’s willing to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to be able to see them regularly.

Dan Hickling looks at some power play lapses costing the Bruins in their preseason finale last night. Stephen Harris says that the Bruins are an improved team that should earn a playoff berth this season. Fluto Shinzawa says that the Bruins need to clean a few things up before the puck gets dropped for real this Friday. Hickling’s notebook has Marc Savard feeling OK after taking a slapshot off the knee.

ESPN has Packers/Eagles at 8:30.