A collection of afternoon links as the weekend comes into sight…
Gordon Forbes in USA Today lauds Bill Belichick as among the best coaches ever. Tommy Craggs in the New York Times addresses the criticism of Belichick and declares that the peanut gallery, in fact, has gotten Belichick exactly wrong.
Reggie Rivers says that the Patriots looked past the risks they took in going for 16-0 and instead focused on the possibilities. John Madden says that David Garrard will need to step up in the passing game for the Jags to have a chance. Jeffri Chadiha says Garrard will need to learn from his mistakes.
Mike Tanier of Football Outsiders has the Blueprint for beating the Patriots. Couldn’t he have waited until after the season to release it? Tanier also provides a Divisional Round Rundown for FOX Sports.
Dr Z releases his own All-Pro Team. Four Patriots on this one. Adam Schein says that Jacksonville provides just another test for the Patriots in attaining their goal of being the best team of all time. John Clayton examines the organizational structure of the remaining playoff teams.
Vic Carucci examines whether the Jaguars can expose the Patriots supposedly aged defense. Mike Celizic says that the Patriots defense age is starting to show, and they need to step up their performance for the postseason.
Tom Curran says that the Jaguars could be the new Patriots, and Saturday night could be their signature win. He also says that if the Patriots lose then their season is down the drain. He also ranks The Final Eight.
Pete Prisco says that the Jaguars secondary will need to step up on Saturday night. Jeff Goodman writes that the Patriots still want to make people forget about Spygate. Gregg Doyel notes that the Jags are Fat and Phat. Randy Hill expects the Jags to go their running game early and often. David Fleming looks at the Jags super-sub, Derek Landri.
The Predictions for this weekend are trickling in.
Peter King likes the Patriots by 17.
Vinnie Iyer has the Patriots by 13.
Jeremy Green says that the Jaguars will win.
Jay Novacek has the Patriots winning by 17.
Pete Prisco has it a little closer, with the Patriots winning by 7.
The Harmon Forecast makes the Patriots an 11 point winner.
Bill Simmons has a new set of links.
CBC Sports has the Blue Jays team chiropractor from Roger Clemens two season in Toronto saying that he never observed any signs of steroids in Clemens.
Jason Whitlock issues 10 truths from the world of sports.
It took just one game for Stan McNeal to claim that the Celtics are full of questions.
For a couple of sobering stories guaranteed to make you think, check out the tragedy of Eastern Arizona basketball coach Tim Parmeter as chronicled by Gary Parrish.
Also, there is the story of Tony Harris, told by Wright Thompson.