I’m out visiting family on the West coast this week, and to fill the days this week, I’ve got a few articles written up in advance that will hopefully help fill the time.

Today I’m going to review the Patriots blogs out there. Doing this today gives you two advantages – you get a look at each blog, but also can click on the link for each to get coverage from yesterday’s Patriots/Packers contest in Green Bay.

In the meantime, if you’re looking for more sports links, be sure to check out the Patriots News Mashup page, which should bring you many of the stories that I would normally link to in the mornings. We’ve also got a Celtics News Mashup page for coverage of that squad.

Throughout this week, check in on the bruceallenmedia.com page, which serves up the latest entries from all the BSMW blogs in a single blog-like interface.

Reviewing the Patriots Blogs

Reiss’ Pieces (Boston.com – Boston Globe)

The standard bearer. Mike Reiss might be the best media sports blogger in the country. He is consistently out in front of the competition with his news and scoops, and he brings you items of interest every day…many times right through the offseason as well. It’s easy to forget that this blog started over on the MetroWest Daily News site, and the Globe made one of their smartest decisions of the last few years by scooping him up and bringing him over to their side.

What makes Reiss great is his total objectivity in his writing. Some have snidely accused him of merely being a press agent for the Patriots, but these jealous types are way off the mark. I’m positive that there are times that Reiss disagrees with a move or decision that the team has made, but you will never hear that in his reporting. You won’t hear him lavishing praise on them either. He deals in facts, in news, and in getting that to the public in the quickest manner possible. This is what has made his site so wildly popular among Patriots fans. If something has happened with the club, Reiss’ Pieces is the place they go to check.

The Point After (Boston Herald)

The tag team of John Tomase and Albert Breer man this blog, and they’re pretty prolific posters themselves. They do their best to keep a steady stream of posts coming. In talking to both of these guys in the past, they realize that Reiss is the king of the hill when it comes to news scoops. Because of this, they mix their reporting with opinion. Tomase especially does this, and doesn’t mind admitting that because Reiss is so good at the “nuts and bolts stuff,” the Herald blog needs to do things a little bit differently in order to attract some attention. The Herald is of course, a tabloid newspaper, and as such naturally takes a more sensationalistic approach to things. It’s not my cup of tea personally, but some people like a little bite with their news. Occasionally Tomase mixes in a bit of humor with his posts, and those usually it the mark.

Breer has been a little less critical and opinionated than Tomase, but he still gets his points and views out there. He also has a sense of humor in some of his posts, which is always appreciated. However, Breer’s really contribution to the blog has been a pair of weekly features he’s been working in on a regular basis this season. “Foxboro Faces” usually appears late in the week and is a conversation with a Patriots player, and what their lives and interests are like outside the game. It’s a nice little personal glimpse into their lives. The second feature “Tale of the Tape” is a repeat look at the last game, where Breer brings out points and observations that might’ve been missed the first time around. Both of these features have become must-reads for Patriots fans.

Projo Pats Blog (Providence Journal)

Because of the first two blogs, the Projo blog is often overlooked. Art Martone’s crew do a solid job in their own right. They were left a bit shorthanded after Tom E Curran bolted for NBCSports.com, but they have filled the void with large doses of Shalise Manza Young – who seems to be the rising star of the Projo sports section. Her entries are factual, personable and informative. Joe McDonald occasionally contributes to the blog adding another perspective to the news. On game days, the blog is a busy place, with entries coming fast and furious. This blog is worth checking out as a nice compliment to the other Patriots blogs.

Eye on Foxborough (Masslive.com)

This blog is a hidden gem among the Patriots blogs. It doesn’t get the attention (or probably the traffic) of the above blogs, but it is well worth the visit. The blog is located on the website of Masslive.com – the online home of the Springfield Republican. It doesn’t cram in the news and information fast and furious like the other Patriots blogs, but instead gives you more commentary on the games, on major news and on items around the team. Blogger Dan Lamothe draws from stories reported both on the mainstream news as well as on the internet. His entries contain more sarcasm, wit and humor than the other blogs, and are usually pretty entertaining and thought-provoking. The design of the blog is pretty modern looking, and a credit to the designer.

One tip on this blog – at first glance it might appear that the entries are short and incomplete. To view the entire content of an entry, you need to either click on the title of the entry, or on the “permalink” line in the footer of the entry.

Chris Price’s Pats Blog (PatsFans.com)

PatsFans.com has had some technical issues recently, and I’m not sure if that has impacted Price’s blog posting here. The blog is kept simple and is mainly used to publish injury reports and other team releases. Price will from time to time give observations of things inside the stadium or locker room. He’ll also provide the occasional out of town link. I like the simple design of this blog, and like the blog above you’ll need to click on the entry title to see the whole text.

BSMW Game Day

Ah yes, the best for last. Just kidding. Mostly. I’ll take advantage of this opportunity to toot our own horn here with this review. On BSMW Game Day, we try to bring you stuff that you’re not going to find on the above blogs. We’ve created a posting schedule that leaves new content almost each day of the week. Our week revolves around Game Day, and you’ll usually get two entries that day, a pregame report with game day news and links, and after the game, the flagship Game Day Rear View column posted by Scott Benson. We follow that up with a Second Look column, usually posted on Tuesday. Season ticket holder Greg Doyle often attends the game Sunday, and then watches it again on Monday night before giving his thoughts on the action. During the week we have at least one column from Bill Barnwell of Football Outsiders, who gives us some statistical analysis you’re not going to find anywhere else. (Even BSMW nemesis Ron Borges has quoted from Barnwell’s Game Day stuff in his Sunday column) Another new addition this season has been the Roundtable, which has become a very popular feature of the site. Benson, Doyle and myself toss around the key issues of the week and make our picks for both the Patriots game as well as other top AFC games. Occasionally we try to add other features during the week, such as a national links roundup of Patriot mentions in the national media, or a second Barnwell column.

Check in tomorrow for a look at some of the reasons why Patriots coverage has hit an all time low this season. (Blogs excluded)