The Patriots needed every one of the 60 minutes on the clock last night to come back and defeat the charged up Baltimore Ravens last night. Tom Brady found Jabar Gaffney in the end zone with 44 second left to give the Patriots a 27-24 victory, and preserving their perfect record.

Christopher L. Gasper says that the Ravens handed the Patriots this victory with their penchant for penalties. Mark Farinella says that the perfect season should have come to an end last night. Karen Guregian has Tom Brady stepping up down the stretch to keep the game alive for the Patriots. Shalise Manza Young has the Ravens hot heads and a timely (for the Patriots) timeout call by Baltimore giving the Patriots the escape. David Heuschkel has the Patriots staying unbeaten thanks to a bizarre series of events. Rich Garven has the Patriots taking another opponent’s best shot.

On Patriots Daily, Scott Benson observes that the Kings still aren’t dead this morning. Christopher Price checks in with 10 Things We Learned Last Night. Dan Shaughnessy says that the Patriots were just plain lucky. And clutch. Michael Felger says that the Patriots were a little soft last night, as they were pushed around by the Ravens all night long. Jim Donaldson says that at least this Roller coaster ride had a happy ending for the Patriots. Ian M. Clark has the Patriots closing in on home field advantage.

Mike Reiss tries to figure out why the Colvin-less defense allowed Willis McGahee to run all over them the entire night. Donaldson also looks at the Patriots defense, which showed it’s problems once again. Gregory Lee Jr. has the Patriots leaving a lot of plays out there on offense as well. Heuschkel has a look at the Winning Catch from Gaffney. Garven has Laurence Maroney playing a larger role in the offense last night, including a couple of big catches and long runs.

Tony Massarotti has the Patriots able to make the clutch plays, while the Ravens were shooting themselves in the foot. Reiss and Jim Rodenbush have the Ravens placing the blame for the loss on the officials, claiming that the refs gave the game to the Patriots. Jeff Seidel also has the Ravens angry at the refs. Jim Donaldson has the Ravens blaming the officials, rather than themselves, for the loss. He also writes that the Ravens showed that they were no no laughingstock.

Frank Dell’Apa has a piece on Jabar Gaffney that was written prior to the game, as there is no mention of the game winning touchdown catch. Tomase tabs the Gaffney TD as the Play of the game from last night. Robert Lee puts together the postgame analysis in the ProJo. Massarotti puts together the best & the worst from the game. Young has Rodney Harrison getting some kisses from Brian Billick. Heuschkel’s Patriots Sidelines report has more analysis. Donaldson looks at a “good” false-start penalty for the Patriots.

The Globe notebook has Randy Moss thankful for Tom Brady’s defense last week, and has Tony Dungy talking about his “frosty” handshakes with Bill Belichick. Farinella’s notebook has Belichick talking about growing up around Baltimore. Guregian’s notebook has more from Moss on Brady.

The ESPN broadcast last night was uncomfortable, especially from the standpoint of a Patriots fans. Now, Patriots fans realize that the rest of the country hates this team, and accept that fact. However, with the broadcast crew (especially Tony Kornheiser) openly rooting for the Ravens to win at times, it resulted in the sound being turned off at more than one point during the game. Bringing Don Shula into the booth in the third quarter only seemed to cement the broadcast in favor of a Patriots loss.

The opening bit by Kornheiser on Belichick was simply disgraceful. In another arena, it might’ve been considered slander. While meant to be biting, but a little tongue-in-cheek, Kornheiser delivered his harangue against the Patriots coach with a surprising bitterness.

Did we get any real mention of how pathetically bad losers the Ravens were? Bart Scott completely lost his mind after the Gaffney touchdown, throwing the officials flag into the stands, and having to be held back from going after the official, it was termed a “meltdown” and not criticized beyond that. While I’m not going to doubt the sincerity of Ray Lewis’ feelings for fallen Redskins safety Sean Taylor, I’m curious as to why the ESPN crew only showed the Baltimore side of the Miami connection to Taylor. The Patriots’ Vince Wilfork, unlike Lewis, actually played with Taylor at Miami, and you got very few shots of him throughout the night. Rookie safety Brandon Meriweather also played with Taylor at Miami.

Red Sox

Gordon Edes and Amalie Benjamin report that the Red Sox and Twins were exchanging medical information on Jon Lester and Johan Santana – an indication that a deal could be close. Joe Haggerty claims that the talks took a decided turn in the Yankees favor last night. Rob Bradford has the Red Sox taking things easy as the Yankees self-imposed deadline passes. Sean McAdam says that the price for Santana could get too hot for the Red Sox.

Tom Caron says that Red Sox fans can rest easy – Theo Epstein is always in control. Michael Silverman looks at the Santana sweepstakes as just another arms race between the Red Sox and Yankees.

The Globe notebook has Curt Schilling in favor of a Santana trade. Bradford also reports on the Francona Rule – no more pullovers in the dugout.

Celtics

Be sure to head on over to the BSMW Full Court Press, where Kevin Henkin has part one of A Celtics Blogger Christmas Carol.

Steve Bulpett has Rajon Rondo getting more comfortable and confident out on the floor leading the Celtics offense. Peter May examines the Celtics “astonishingly” good defense, especially at home, which is a big reason for their 14-2 record thus far. Scott Souza has the Celtics giving themselves a little room for error with their fast start. Jeff Howe looks at a historic start to the season for the Celtics. May’s notebook has the Celtics returning Gabe Pruitt to the NBADL.

Bruins

Fluto Shinzawa and Stephen Harris have the Bruins skating to a 3-1 win over the Islanders, the first win on Long Island for the Bruins since 2001.

Harris’ notebook and Shinzawa’s notebook each look at the welcome return of rookie Milan Lucic to the Bruins lineup.

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