On Patriots Daily this morning, Christopher Price looks at how Junior Seau has stepped into the number 55 in New England and become a huge part of the team on the field, but also in the locker room. He also has key things to look for this week against the Chargers.

Gerry Callahan wonders whether the Chargers should even bother showing up on Sunday, since this matchup is so lopsided in his eyes. I wonder if there was an article like this written in Indy last week….

Mike Reiss talks to Jaguars defensive coordinator Mike Smith, former NFL coach Dennis Green and Chiefs special teams coach Mike Priefer about the Patriots/Chargers matchup. Karen Guregian consults with Texans QB Sage Rosenfels, former NFL player and current CBS analyst Randy Cross and former NFL tackle and current Sirius analyst Tim Ryan about the matchup. They seem to believe that the Chargers have a shot at slowing down the Patriots offense. Ron Hobson says that the Patriots defense needs to clean up its act against San Diego.

John Tomase talks with former Patriots backup QB Damon Huard about how the Chargers are a different team now then they were early in the season when the Patriots beat them. Douglas Flynn says that it might be something of a mystery over which Chargers team we’ll see on Sunday. John Powers has the Chargers confident after their upset of the Colts. Robert Lee has the Patriots excited to be playing in the AFC championship game. David Heuschkel has Randy Moss hoping to take advantage of a second chance to reach a Super Bowl. Jennifer Toland has Wes Welker coming off a pretty memorable first-ever playoff game. Dan Pires has Ellis Hobbs calm as he prepares to play against a team that had some harsh words for him last season.

Reiss also has the Chargers looking forward to avenging their worst loss of the season, which took place in week two at Gillette. Jeff Horrigan has the Patriots defense confident despite giving up a number of long drives against Jacksonville. Tomase has some thumbnails of what he calls one of the league’s most underrated defenses in San Diego. Josh Egerman talks to Wareham grad Stephen Cooper, who is coming home this weekend, but will be all business. Glen Farley says that there is definitely a history between these two teams. Price has Donte Stallworth happy to have been able to make a contribution against the Jaguars.

Dan Duggan has a quick look at the Chargers super-subs who stepped in for their stars and led San Diego to the upset of the Colts. Shalise Manza Young examines some of the contentious history between the Chargers and Patriots. Ian M. Clark has his Patriots report card for the Jaguars game. All offensive positions receive an “A”, all defense and special teams a “C.” Eric McHugh also has a report card for the Patriots. Bill Burt says that Peyton Manning is officially second fiddle to Tom Brady. David Brown examines the Patriots history of success at home in the playoffs, where they are 6-0 at Gillette Stadium.

The Manchester Union Leader talks to the 14-year-old girl who was honored at the Colts game on Sunday as a winner of the NFL Pepsi Punt, Pass & Kick title for her age division, and who was booed by Colts fans because she had a Patriots jersey on. Ken Stejbach of Seacoast Online also talks to the poised young girl.

Reiss’ notebook has some injury updates on the Chargers.


The Celtics are officially in a mini-slump, having dropped two in a row to the Wizards and three of four overall. Steve Bulpett has the Wizards slapping the Celtics in the face as they came back from a 14 point fourth quarter deficit to beat the Celtics. Marc J. Spears has the Celtics going from phenomenal to mortal in the course of a week. Scott Souza has the new-look, scrappy and defensive minded Wizards giving the Celtics fits for the second straight game. Bill Doyle has the Celtics no longer playing like the NBA’s best team. Jeff Howe has the Celtics having a hard time getting things right recently.

Mark Murphy has Kevin Garnett ready to get things fixed for the Celtics. Peter May looks at the Celtics struggles thus far in 2008, and puts a lot of the blame on the injury to Rajon Rondo. Tony Massarotti says that this little slump will test the Celtics character. Lenny Megliola says that the back-to-back losses are reason to worry for the Celtics. Jeff Clark says that defense is the key to this Celtics team. Kevin Henkin tries to keep things in perspective. May also looks at the case of Joakim Noah, who was suspended by his own teammates. He recalls some other times that sort of thing has happened, including with the 1980’s Celtics. Henkin also puts out a request for help.

Bulpett’s notebook has Danny Ainge open to adding to his roster, but not willing to make any panic moves in reaction to the mini-slump. Spears’ notebook has Rondo back in uniform last night, but hampered by his sore back. Doyle’s notebook has Ray Allen struggling a bit to define his role playing alongside Garnett and Paul Pierce.

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