Afternoon links by guest blogger Brian

Checking in with some afternoon links for everyone, focusing on a national perspective on this weekend’s game, as well as the Randy Moss situation Bruce touched on earlier. It sounds like this is going to be one of those “he-said, she-said” stories until we get more information, and knowing the Pats, I don’t think we’re getting much more.

Mike Reiss has an update on the situation with Moss’ most recent comments after declining to answer questions.

Mike Florio at was the first national outlet to pick up on this story, as his latest post tracks the evolution of this story since this morning, with a much needed legal perspective.

Len Pasquarelli has a piece on the playmaking abilities of the Patriots receivers not named Moss or Welker, with Jags corner Terry Cousins offering an opposing player perspective.

Michael Silver has an excellent piece about the top seeds in the AFC over the last three seasons, and how following devastating defeats at home, at least two of the three teams seem to have learned from their mistakes and won the Super Bowl the following season, for various reasons. As a Pats fan, let’s hope this trend doesn’t prove to be true and we have to wait until next year. All this being said, he closes with his belief that the Pats will buck the aforementioned trend.

In case you missed it, our good buddy, Gregg Easterbrook, checks in with his perspective on a potential Favre vs. Brady Super Bowl matchup, while on one hand calling it “arguably the best quarterback pairing in Super Bowl History,” then in the next paragraph immediately predicting that the game’s story line would be that “traditionalists could root for a small town over a big metropolis; a team with an old-fashioned image would face the team that represents hypermodernism.” I’m not really sure what that even means, as I didn’t know Foxboro, or New England in general, is the center of modernism and metropolis. Furthermore, this quote seems to imply an underlying financial distinction between the two teams, with one characterized as “old fashioned,” and the other as “hypermodern.” I wish he would elaborate on this juxtaposition a bit more…why are we “hypermodern?” This quote seems to imply that the Packers have gone about their road to the Super Bowl in a different way than the Patriots…how so? Don’t all teams operate within the same salary cap structure? Regardless of a franchise’s history and the stadium they play in, aren’t the players of every team subject to the same system? Do Packers players play the game differently because of the history of the franchise, or get paid differently? I guess my point is that if Ryan Grant played for the Patriots, is he “hypermodern” now? Maybe I’m the only one confused here…moving on…

Scouts, Inc. (subscription only) has a breakdown of this weekend’s Pats/Chargers matchup.

Don Banks has a piece on sweet redemption for Tom Coughlin and Norv Turner this postseason.

In case you missed it, Jason Cole has a nice feature on Bill Belichick’s affinity for linebackers, dating all the way back to his days with the Giants. Cole makes note of the contract given to Adalius Thomas this past offseason in response to the Colts game last year. Who?

I don’t care what Greg Doyel says about Phillip Rivers infusing fun into the “No Fun League,” I still think he acts like a jerk who hasn’t accomplished anything in this league. Take this quote from Doyel; “This is one of the more fun guys in the NFL. He’s everything we say we want in a professional athlete. He talks to the media and says what’s on his mind. He shows unscripted emotion on the field. He pumps his fist and flaps his gums. He’s a professional football player, and you can tell how much fun he’s having. ” Oh he’s having fun? Well then, he can do whatever he wants, even if he is disrespecting the opposing team, or at times, his own teammates. At least he’s having fun.

Mike Freeman chimes in on Phillip Rivers with a counter argument to his colleague’s opinion. From a Patriots perspective, keep talking San Diego.

Jerry Crasnick takes a break from all the boring PED talk and checks in with 9 non-Red Sox/Yankees personnel about their choice between Clay Buchholz and Joba Chamberlain. Sox fans won’t be too excited to hear the results, but the chatter between Crasnick and some regional fans is pretty good.

Buster Olney (subscription only) has more non-news on the Johan Santana front, reiterating that at this point, he wouldn’t trade him and would at least enter the season with him as a Twin.

That’s all for today, feel free to shoot me any comments or additional articles that you would like to see in here at