Patriots Handle Bills With Ease

The Patriots actually trailed for a short time in yesterday’s game, as the Buffalo Bills took a 7-3 lead behind rookies Marshawn Lynch and Trent Edwards, the Patriots then answered by running off 35 unanswered points in a 38-7 win at Gillette Stadium.

Scott Benson says it took just a little while, but the Patriots eventually dragged themselves out of bed and went to work yesterday. Christopher L. Gasper says that the Patriots are making football look like child’s play. Karen Guregian says that the Patriots were once again the proverbial men amongst boys yesterday. Mark Farinella says that the Patriots are stealing the number 38 from Curt Schilling. Shalise Manza Young notes that while the Patriots seemed to ease up on the Bills for a while in the second half, they took control quickly. Douglas Flynn says that the Patriots proved that even when they’re bad, they’re still really good. Chris Kennedy has the Patriots overcoming early mistakes to rout the Bills. Michael Parente has the Patriots turning a brief nail-biter into another one-sided laugher. Mike Lowe has the Patriots offering up a repeat performance of the first two weeks of the season.

Christopher Price has his 10 Things We Learned Yesterday. Jackie MacMullan is gushing over Randy Moss and his third straight 100-yard receiving day. Michael Felger says that the scary thing is that the Patriots didn’t even really play that well yesterday. Jim Donaldson says that you might as well hand the AFC East crown to the Patriots right now. Lenny Megliola has the Patriots claiming that they’ve still got a ways to go, even if they’re all impressed with the gifts of Moss. Ian M. Clark says that the Patriots are every bit as good as people thought they were on paper.

Even Tony Massarotti can’t find anything negative to write about, noting that the “Patriots currently have so many weapons its borderline perverse.” Jennifer Toland has Tom Brady raising his game another notch thus far this season. David Heuschkel notes that the headline combination of Brady and Moss was unstoppable once again. Robert Lee has his Patriots teammates in awe of Randy Moss and what he is capable of on the field.
Dan Ventura looks at just another day at the office for grizzled veteran Tom Brady. Donaldson has Bill Belichick seeing room for improvement in Brady’s play. Dan Pires has Moss rolling on in his stint with the Patriots.

Mike Reiss focuses on Wes Welker, who was the Patriots sparkplug yesterday, both on offense and returning punts. David Brown says that Welker’s work yesterday was special for the Patriots. Guregian has more on what Welker is doing for this team, particularly on special teams, where he had 72 yards in punt returns. Farinella notes that the extra work that the Patriots put into their punt return teams this week in practice paid off yesterday. Robert Lee has Welker shining on both offense and special teams yesterday. Toland looks at the versatile receiver proving his value yesterday. Heuschkel looks at a risky play by Welker working out this time, though his coach wasn’t all that impressed with it. Flynn says that Welker will be taken to the woodshed this week for that play.

Massarotti says that even though the players continue to harp on their failures in the red zone, there is little room for improvement in the Patriots defense, which has allowed the fourth fewest points in the NFL. Farinella has the defense making some quick adjustments after Edwards came in. Rich Garven says that the Patriots had a little bit of a lull, but no letdown yesterday. Tim Weisberg says that the Patriots at least showed they were human for a short time yesterday. Steve Solloway says that we’re watching a Patriots team like you’ve never seen before.

Felger has the best & the worst from yesterday. Art Martone offers game analysis from both sides of the ball. Heuschkel’s sidelines report looks at what went right and wrong for the Patriots yesterday. Garven notes that this was another 38 special for the Patriots.

Ventura has J.P. Losman talking about his short day, in which he was hit hard twice by the Patriots. One might wonder if his comments from this week gave the Patriots any extra incentive to put a hit on him. (Losman noted how he has never beaten the Patriots, and wondered if the camera stuff had something to do with it. No, J.P., you’re just not very good.) Michael Vega has Aaron Schobel being held mostly in check by the Patriots offensive line. Reiss notes that injuries really hurt the Bills yesterday, and in all three games thus far this season. Farinella has Edwards getting a baptism of fire with his NFL debut yesterday.

Guregian’s notebook has Asante Samuel celebrating his return to the starting lineup with an interception. Gasper’s notebook has more on the return of Samuel. Young’s notebook has a look at the running game, where Laurence Maroney had his second career 100 yard rushing game and Sammy Morris was impressive once again as well. Kennedy’s notebook has more on the potent Brady/Moss combination. Weisberg’s notebook has punter Chris Hanson not getting a whole lot of work thus far this season. Lowe’s notebook has the Patriots special teams answering a challenge this week.

Cold, Hard Football Facts has a new-look with their re-designed website, making it easier to find what you’re looking for. John Molori says that FOX’s analysts yesterday were ignorant in their criticism of Donovan McNabb’s comments from earlier this week.

Red Sox

The Red Sox did clinch a post season berth over the weekend, and now, enter the final week of the regular season still fighting to hang onto the division lead. Yesterday didn’t help, as Tim Wakefield’s magic against the Devil Rays wore off in a 5-4 loss in Tampa. The AL East lead sits at 1.5 games.

Rob Bradford has Tampa starter Edwin Jackson shutting down the Red Sox for five innings yesterday. Gordon Edes has more on the Sox falling in Tampa, a day after clinching at least a wildcard spot in the playoffs. Sean McAdam says that the Red Sox face some tough multi-tasking in the final six games of the season. Bill Ballou notes just how bad the Red Sox rotation has been in September. Jeff Goldberg looks at Wakefield falling to the Devil Rays for the first time in Tampa.

Steve Buckley says that the Red Sox might want to win the AL East, but they don’t need to do it. Mike Underwood says that the fans want the Red Sox to take the division. Nick Cafardo says that Bryan Corey could be in the mix for a postseason roster spot. Buckley looks at Tim Wakefield struggling once again yesterday in the loss.

Bradford’s notebook has Tampa’s Delmon Young challenging Dustin Pedroia for the rookie of the year award. Edes’ notebook has Manny Ramirez and Kevin Youkilis taking batting practice today at Fenway to see how close they are to returning. McAdam’s notebook examines Wakefield’s struggles of late. Ballou’s notebook says that Terry Francona has some tough decisions to make in the final week of the regular season. Goldberg’s notebook has more on Pedroia vs Young for AL Rookie of the Year.

Other

Stephen Harris says that the Bruins hope to be deeper up front this season. Fluto Shinzawa looks at Bobby Allen, who finds himself on the bubble of making the Bruins club. Harris’ notebook has the Bruins dropping a preseason game to Montreal yesterday.

John Connolly has Taylor Twellman feeling sore after suffering a groin injury in Saturday night’s tie with the New York Red Bulls. Frank Dell’Apa has the Revolution struggling with possession in that game.

Mark Blaudschun has a look around the world of college football this week. Steve Conroy has Boston College staying focused after their 4-0 start to the season.

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Weekend Watch – Sox Look To Clinch Postseason

The Red Sox hope to at least clinch a playoff spot this weekend in Tampa as they got back on the winning track Friday night behind Josh Beckett’s 20th win of the season. The Sox throw Daisuke Matsuzaka on Saturday and Tim Wakefield on Sunday in their efforts to try and clinch a postseason berth.

Keep up with the coverage on RedSoxLinks.com

The Patriots entertain the Buffalo Bills on Sunday afternoon at Gillette Stadium. Kevin Harlan and Rich Gannon handle the broadcast for CBS. Patriots Daily is your home for football coverage this weekend, as Saturday Greg Doyle looks at some of the top college games with an eye to the Patriots draft, focusing in on Northwestern/Ohio State and Purdue/Minnesota, with a few others to watch as well. For a full college football TV schedule click here.

Over on the Patriots Buffet Table, the staff eschews the traditional Buffalo Wings for this week’s menu choosing instead another specialty from the Buffalo area, Beef on Weck. There is also a selection of beers to choose from to go with the sandwich.

Here are your NFL TV maps for the weekend. CBS Single Game, Fox Game One, Fox Game Two.

Chad Finn has a nine innings national column for FoxSports. He also goes local with Notes on a scandal.

Larry Mahoney has the original “Big O” – Oscar Robertson – talking about the new-look Celtics.

Ian Thomsen says that Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown was offered the job as an assistant to Doc Rivers this offseason, and he was 90% sure he was coming at one point.

Mark Murphy has more from Ray Allen on his move to the Celtics.

Marc J. Spears talks to some Eastern Conference stars about how the Celtics stack up in the East.

Bill Simmons has his weekend NFL picks.

Tom Curran has a look at who are the frauds and who are the real McCoy’s early on in the NFL season.

Michael Silver has The Gameface for the weekend, and notes that last year’s darlings, the Saints, are already old news.

The Media Circus examines two old targets this week, Chris Berman and John Madden. They also have a new feature Headliners Ball looking at various sports headlines from the week.

National Media Columns

New England

David Scott reports that Glenn Geffner’s role with the Red Sox radio network will be greatly reduced (if not eliminated) next season. Susan Bickelhaupt has a look at Tommy Heinsohn reducing his role slightly on the Celtics TV telecasts this season and has more on the FSN/Comcast SportsNet move. Bill Doyle looks at how several TV commentators really took it to Bill Belichick last weekend. John Molori says that Belichick’s punishment is a beginning and an end.

New York
Phil Mushnick says that thus far, Ron Jaworski, sounds like an imitation of Joe Theismann on ESPN’s Monday Night Football. Neil Best has a look at WFAN’s new morning show with Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton. Bob Raissman examines the NFL’s efforts to track down how the Patriots tape got leaked to FOX last weekend. Justin Terranova has five questions with Steve Phillips.

More East Coast
Laura Nachman has Ron Jaworski and Suzy Kolber enjoying their homecoming to Philadelphia for Monday Night Football this week. Bob Smizik says that WPKI has the best Steelers coverage on the 11:00pm news. Leonard Shapiro has Pete Medhurst living a dream in his role with CSTV. Michael Hiestand has TBS getting it’s baseball postseason roster in order. Chris Zelkovich says that Hockey Night in Canada will sport a revamped look this season. Jim Williams says that Bob Carpenter will be missed on Nationals broadcasts next season.

South
Barry Horn has 77-year old Pat Summerall enjoying his weekly internet radio show. Dave Darling examines FSN’s new series Sport Science. David Barron has Solomon Wilcots and Ian Eagle looking forward to calling this Sunday’s Colts/Texans matchup.

Midwest
Judd Zulgad says that Charles Barkley gave the ESPN telecast a breath of fresh air on Monday night. Dan Caesar has KSDK throwing golf fans a bone by dropping a Cardinals postgame show to go directly to the final round of the PGA Tour’s Playoffs. Bob Wolfley has ABC’s Brent Musburger and Kirk Herbstreit coming and going for Saturday night’s Wisconsin/Iowa matchup. Jeffrey Flanagan has the Royals pondering a return to the powder-blue uniforms.

West Coast
Christine Daniels takes over Larry Stewart’s sports media column in the Los Angeles Times. Actually, it’s reclaiming old territory in a way, as Daniels had this role in a previous incarnation. Jay Posner has Phil Simms urging Chargers fans not to panic. John Maffei takes a look at every baseball TV broadcast team around baseball in his column. Jim Carlisle says that the hype is not quite as strong this year for the high school football game between Oaks Christian and St. Bonaventure which was shown on FSN last year. Tom Hoffarth has DodgerTalk host coming under fire in Los Angeles. He also has media overtime in his blog.

Pats In The Clear

Mike Reiss reports that the NFL has decided there will be no further sanctions against the Patriots for the spying incident. The Herald says that the league has received and destroyed all intelligence gathered by the Patriots in this matter.

Patriots Daily has your weekly roundtable discussion on the team, and a look at this weekend’s game with the Bills. As always, your comments and thoughts are encouraged on the page.

Michael Felger says that once again, the AFC East will be no contest…and it appears it will be that way for some time to come. Christopher Price says that no team is better at playing with a lead than the Patriots. Shalise Manza Young has Bill Belichick praising the Bills. Eric McHugh has the Patriots looking to improve their red zone defense. Chris Kennedy says not to expect this as the week that the Bills come due.

Karen Guregian and Christopher L. Gasper each look at second year running back Laurence Maroney, who talks about his upright running style, and doesn’t plan to change it. Jennifer Toland has the Patriots leading the league in rushing defense after two games. Mark Farinella has Rosevelt Colvin talking about his preparation and his development as a linebacker here in New England.

Guregian has Asante Samuel getting his legs under him after sitting out most of training camp. Robert Lee has a piece on Wes Welker, and how the receiver is fitting in nicely with the Patriots. David Heuschkel looks at the timing of Rodney Harrison’s HGH buys. Hector Longo comes up with some stray shots to take.

Guregian’s notebook has the Patriots defense vowing to improve its red zone play, where the first two opponents are 4-4 thus far this season. Gasper’s notebook says that Samuel has made up ground quickly, like any good cornerback. Lee’s notebook has Samuel approaching top form once again. Toland’s notebook tabs Welker as a guy who already makes things happen.

Jim McCabe and Jim Lazar have their weekend picks, while Double D and I.M. Bettor check the action.

Red Sox

If the Red Sox make the playoffs, it appears that they will be facing either the Angels or the Indians. Michael Silverman takes a look at each club and why the Sox would want to face them. Bob Ryan says that if the Red Sox would be the weakest of the AL playoff teams if it turns out to be the Angels, Yankees, Indians and Boston in the postseason. Sean McAdam makes the case that how the team plays in September will have no bearing on how they play in October. Jeff Goldberg notes that by tinkering with their rotation and roster, the Red Sox have gotten themselves in some hot water in the AL East race.

Jim Donaldson goes after Theo Epstein, saying that the Red Sox GM might want to keep his gorilla suit handy. Rob Bradford says that there is still time to get things turned around in the final nine games of the season. Joe Haggerty notes that an oblique strain, like what Manny Ramirez is suffering from, can be a tricky injury to properly come back from. Lenny Megliola says that the Red Sox need Jonathan Papelbon to put his last two poor outings behind him and be dominant again.

Amalie Benjamin has Sox ace Josh Beckett looking to get his 20th win of the season tonight, but more importantly, to stop the Red Sox losing streak. Bradford has more on Josh Beckett going for win number 20 tonight, and notes the hard work that Beckett has put in to get to this point. Garry Brown has more on Beckett going for win number 20.

Benjamin’s notebook has Gabe Kapler putting his managerial career on hold and hoping to come back as a player next season. Bradford has more on Kapler itching to play next season.

Other

Marc J. Spears talks to new Celtic Ray Allen, who has no problem being a co-star here in Boston after years of being the top dog on mediocre NBA teams.

FSN had their Celtics media luncheon yesterday, and will become part of Comcast SportsNet on October 1st. They are building a new studio for the network, and programming will include a full half hour pre and post game show for the Celtics, for each game, (including weekends, which they didn’t do in the past) and a weekly Celtics magazine show, slated for Tuesdays at 7:30. Greg Dickerson will now also be the sideline reporter for away games as well as home games, and Tommy Heinsohn will sit out some of the longer road trips, with Donny Marshall taking his place. In those games, Heinsohn will be part of the pre-game show instead. There was also talk down the road of Comcast creating an extensive sports news organization for New England.

Susan Bickelhaupt has more on Heinsohn and the Comcast SportsNet move. In the Herald, The Inside Track has the news from the luncheon.

David Scott reports that Glenn Geffner’s role with the Red Sox radio network will be greatly reduced (if not eliminated) next season.

Patriots Offensive Thus Far

Over on Patriots Daily, with the Patriots set to go up against Bills rookie Marshawn Lynch this week, Bill Barnwell examines how offensive players from the Big 10 compare with players from the Pac 10.

Mike Reiss says that Tom Brady has certainly gotten himself into an early season groove. Karen Guregian says that Brady has found himself in a fantasy world for the first two games of the season. David Heuschkel has more on Brady getting connected with his new receivers. Ian M. Clark has Brady staying grounded, though his offense is flying high. Rich Garven says that the Patriots have shown a balanced attack that is going to be hard to defend.

Joanna Weiss in the Globe looks at Brady’s duel roles as both star quarterback and style icon. Shalise Manza Young has Patriots rookie Kareem Brown talking about his friend and former teammate Kevin Everett and his spinal injury suffered in the season opener. Chris Kennedy says that the Patriots aren’t going to assume that the rest of the season will go like the first two games have. Michael Parente says that a strong start to the season hasn’t changed the team’s philosophy. Jeff Howe has a look at Donte’ Stallworth as a guy aware of life outside of football.

Mark Farinella has Mike Vrabel ready get after J.P. Losman this week. Robert Lee says that as usual, the Patriots will likely have their hands full with Buffalo’s Aaron Schobel. Douglas Flynn says that the Bills’ special teams could also be an area of concern for the Patriots.

Reiss reports that Rodney Harrison actually first purchased human growth hormone in 2003. Ron Chimelis says that the NFL should’ve addressed the spying incidents around the league much earlier on. Over in the Metro, that Bruce Allen guy is claiming that no one involved in this episode exactly covered themselves with glory.

The Globe’s notebook has Mike Vrabel enjoying his move back to outside linebacker. Guregian’s notebook has coach Belichick dismissing talk about the Patriots running the table this season. The Projo notebook has a more on the passing attack for the first two games. Garven’s notebook has Belichick getting fired up when the subject of a perfect season was brought up.

Red Sox

The Red Sox continued their slide out of the division lead, falling 6-1 to the Blue Jays and seeing their lead over the Yankees shrink to 1.5 games.

Rob Bradford closes his game story with Mike Timlin saying that the Sox need to build momentum heading into the playoffs. This isn’t how to do it. Gordon Edes chronicles another “mind-numbing Red Sox defeat.” Sean McAdam says that today’s only good news is that the Sox can’t lose ground today. Jeff Goldberg has the Sox limping to the finish line. Bill Ballou says that the Red Sox approach to the final weeks of the season is bordering on bizarre.

Tony Massarotti has a look at the performance of Clay Buchholz last night, which showed that the rookie still has quite a bit to learn. Amalie Benjamin has more on Buchholz, noting that his status for the postseason is still unknown. Art Martone says that the Red Sox are showing that they are more concerned with the long haul and big picture. Bradford has Eric Gagne trying to remain positive. Massarotti wonders if Manny Ramirez is just being Manny.

Bradford’s notebook has the Sox shutting down Hideki Okajima to rest his arm. Edes’s notebook has Francona determined not to give up Eric Gagne. McAdam’s notebook has more on Buchholz, who was tagged with the loss last night. Goldberg’s notebook says two costly mistakes haunted Buchholz last night. Ballou’s notebook has more on the Sox shutting down Okajima.

Other

Marc J. Spears has Gerald Green talking about his trade to the Timberwolves. Mark Murphy also has Green talking about his trade. Jessica Camerato has the Celtics newcomers adding some winning experience. Bob Ryan looks at the ugly sexual harassment trial of Isiah Thomas.

Stephen Harris has Manny Fernandez planning on getting some time in net tonight, with the goal to be ready to go for the season opener on October 5th. Bud Barth has more on Fernandez suiting up tonight. Fluto Shinzawa has the Bruins living up to their goal of being hard to play against in their preseason opener.

Mark Blaudschun and Steve Conroy have Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan grabbing some of the national spotlight with his early season play.

SI Follies

I’m not sure if I’m supposed to blast Sports Illustrated or praise them this afternoon.

Last week, as part of the national media’s 24/7 bash-fest on Patriots coach Bill Belichick, SI’s Phil Taylor wrote a scatching piece that was typical of many written around the country. Taylor cited the events of last week as the latest in a “disturbingly long list of behavior that paints Belichick as paranoid, unsportsmanlike, classless and, if (Ted) Johnson’s claims are true, even abusive.”

Part of the article also talked about Belichick’s encounter with Peyton Manning following the Colts’ AFC Championship game win over the Patriots. Taylor blasted Belichick for what many have portrayed as having happened in that encounter. Last week, you might recall that in a piece I wrote tearing apart a Bob Cook article, I posted a picture of that Belichick/Manning handshake.

Today, if you look at Taylor’s article, there is a note at the bottom, which says:

Editor’s note: In a previous version of this story, Taylor asserted that Belichick treated Peyton Manning pretty much the same way he had treated Eric Mangini. Belichick did, in fact, shake Manning’s hand after the AFC championship game. SI.com regrets the error.

Then, today, Frank Deford decided it was his turn to take on Belichick for how he handled the meeting with Manning. Check out this runup:

I am always touched when, after all the savagery of a football game, the opposing players and coaches mingle pleasantly in the middle of the gridiron. Why, it's even reminiscent, on a reduced athletic scale, of the famous Christmas Eve armistice between the trenches in the First World War.

So it is that my lasting image of Bill Belichick came at the conclusion of the AFC championship game this past January after his Patriots had been beaten in a close game by Indianapolis.

The Colts' magnificent quarterback, Peyton Manning, spotted Belichick and sought him out in the crowd on the field. But Belichick ducked away, brushing by Manning, refusing to pay homage to the man who had been most responsible for his team's defeat. The look on Manning's face: some embarrassment, but mostly, it seemed, disappointment mixed with surprise.

That column was on the front page of SI’s NFL section, but has since been pulled. You can still access it in the SI archives page. I wonder what the retraction on this one is going to say, since Deford was so descriptive in what happened there to create the “lasting image.”

Edit: SI has added this to Deford’s article:

(although Belichick did shake Manning’s hand for the cameras somewhat later)

I’m trying to get more detail on this claim, which obviously is hard to substantiate.

In another note, Peter King seems to turning away from the Belichick-bashing and moving onto targeting Mangini.

Serious Shrinkage in Boston

Someone might want to let the Red Sox know that they have not clinched a thing yet, and this maneuvering to set up their playoff rotation could come back to look pretty silly on them in the next couple of weeks. Boston held a 2-1 lead in the eighth inning last night, and manager Terry Francona entrusted the game to Eric Gagne, who got the first two outs of the inning, but then gave up three runs, allowing the Blue Jays to escape with a 4-3 win over the Red Sox, shrinking Boston’s lead in the AL East to 2.5 games.

Rob Bradford has Jason Varitek insisting after last night’s game that the Sox are going need Gagne. Hell, they needed him last night. Needing someone doesn’t mean they’re going to perform. Gordon Edes says that Francona needed to see if he could trust Gagne with a lead, and will have to see how much that will cost him down the stretch. Sean McAdam notes that the Red Sox patience with Gagne last night dealt them a serious blow their short term prospects. Jeff Goldberg notes that a strong outing by Jon Lester was long forgotten by the time Gagne was finished. Bill Ballou wonders if TV manufacturers have seen a spike in sales here in New England since Gagne was acquired.

Tony Massarotti says that fans who are sweating the division have a loser mentality, as he says the important thing is to make the postseason, and their magic number for that actually went down last night. Jon Couture attempts to figure out what the Red Sox postseason roster would look like at this point. Amalie Benjamin has Gagne at a loss for words following the game last night as he struggles to figure out how his command has deserted him. Jim Donaldson looks at how the Red Sox pitching, once the strength of the club, has been so dreadful as of late. Massarotti says that the right knee of David Ortiz is still causing the slugger a lot of pain, and that he might be sitting out a game soon to rest it. Joe Haggerty looks at the injury list piling up for the Red Sox. With fans frustrated about the absence of Manny Ramirez, Bradford says that you need to understand what is involved in an oblique injury. He talks to Mike Timlin, who missed five weeks with his oblique strain earlier this season.

Bradford’s notebook has Clay Buchholz ready for his start tonight, 18 days after his no-hitter. Edes’s notebook has quite a bit more on Manny’s injury, and looks at how the oblique is such a difficult injury to judge, and notes other players who have had to deal with the injury. McAdam’s notebook has Francona shuffling his rotation for the postseason. Goldberg’s notebook has an injury update on Ramirez, Kevin Youkilis and Coco Crisp, who sat out last night with a sore back. Ballou’s notebook looks at the postseason magic number shrinking to four.

Patriots
Dan Snapp on Patriots Daily says that “Spygate” should teach us that no one is to be trusted.

Mike Reiss notes that early on, the Patriots running back situation has turned into another job share situation. John Tomase says that the Patriots explosive offense now needs a catchy nickname. Dan Pires says that the Patriots have shined while staying the course. Lenny Megliola says that Bill Belichick is still beloved by Patriots fans

Dan Shaughnessy chimes in on Spygate with a column that is about a week late. If you missed Michael Felger‘s report card from yesterday, there it is. Eric McHugh also has his version of the report card. Mark Farinella has his alter ego Ask Fearless address the video controversy. Sarah Green says that the videogate deserves some awards for those who distinguished themselves in this affair.

Reiss’ notebook has the league trying to figure out how FOX got the Patriots video that they showed on Sunday. Tomase’s notebook reports that Rodney Harrison placed his first order for HGH the day before the Patriots played the Titans in the playoffs in 2004.

Fluto Shinzawa says that the Bruins will be counting on more from Andrew Alberts this season. Stephen Harris says that there were some positive signs in the Bruins opening game of the preseason last night. Shinzawa’s notebook says that Dennis Wideman has something to prove here in Boston. Harris looks at what Shawn Thornton can bring to the Bruins this season.

Rally Cry

Note: For some reason I was unable to access either the Boston Globe or Herald websites when doing the links this morning.

Christopher Price in his Inside Gillette column for Patriots Daily, notes that when it comes to crisis management, no one holds a candle to Belichick and the Patriots.

Albert Breer says farewell as the prepares to leave the MetroWest Daily News and step onto the Cowboys beat at the Dallas Morning News. Go get ’em, Bert.

David Heuschkel says that two games into the season, the Patriots look like a juggernaut. Shalise Manza Young notes that it was rally-around-the-coach time in Foxboro as the Patriots stand by their man. David Brown has Tedy Bruschi defending his coach and striking back at critics. Ian M. Clark also looks at the Patriots rallying around their coach.

Rich Garven says that Tom Brady is finally showing what he can do with a top-flight receiver to throw to. Douglas Flynn says that the Patriots spoke loud and clear on Sunday night. Bill Reynolds looks at the “no respect” rallying cry coming front and center for the Patriots once again.

Young’s notebook has Belichick complying with the league’s request to turn over notes and video gathered on opposing teams since 2000. Brown’s notebook has LT saying that the Chargers were trapped at Gillette Sunday night.

John Molori says that Belichick’s punishment was an end and a beginning.

Red Sox
Frank Thomas hit three home runs last night, and Dustin McGowan pitched a complete game five-hitter as the Blue Jays beat the Red Sox 6-1 in Toronto last night. The loss dropped the AL East lead to 3.5 games, the lowest it has been since May 1st.

Bill Ballou says that the positive that can come out of the Red Sox recent play is that maybe it will come as a slap in the face. Sean McAdam looks at the weary and undermanned Sox falling in Toronto. Jeff Goldberg looks at the Sox sleepwalking through the Frank Thomas show.

Art Martone says that even though the lead is down to 3.5 games, the numbers and history are both still on the Red Sox side for winning the AL East. Joe Haggerty looks at Eric Hinske as a guy who plays the game the right way. McAdam reports that NESN broadcaster Don Orsillo will be used by TBS to announce postseason games, as the network secured the rights to the Division series for this season.

McAdam’s notebook has Clay Buchholz getting the call to start tomorrow’s series finale with the Blue Jays. Goldberg’s notebook has more on Buchholz getting the call. Ballou’s notebook has more on the rookie making his first start since his no-hitter against the Orioles.