Dan Snapp wonders What’s Luck Got To Do With It? when it comes to the Patriots.
Mark Farinella has Bill Belichick and the Patriots pumping up the Chargers, noting their success over the last half of the season. Guregian also has Belichick making a strong case for San Diego in his meetings with his players, making sure they don’t fall for the media portrayals that this is a one-sided matchup. Douglas Flynn has the Patriots killing the Chargers with kindness, extending compliments and acknowledging their success over the second half of the season. Jennifer Toland has Belichick insisting that the Chargers are “a lot better” than they were in the week 2 destruction here at Gillette stadium. Dan Pires says that the Patriots aren’t buying into the hype that this game is a mismatch. Tom King has the Patriots making sure to give the Chargers their due.
Karen Guregian notes that the turnover battle will be crucial on Sunday, as the Patriots are the best team in the NFL at taking care of the football, and the Chargers are the best team in the league at taking the football away from the other team. Robert Lee examines the Patriots roster depth, which has enabled them to survive the injuries that they have suffered this season. David Heuschkel has the Patriots ready for the talk of the Chargers. Christopher Price has the Patriots coaches preaching ball security this week.
Christopher L. Gasper says that Donte’ Stallworth might not be the prototypical Patriot, but he’s still a good fit here. Dan Ventura talks to Stallworth about his catch against the Jaguars and about facing his friends on the Chargers. Chris Kennedy has more on Stallworth, who counts Shawne Merriman and Shaun Phillips among his friends. Mike Lowe says that Stallworth may have dropped on the Patriots depth chart, but he’s happy to be with a winner.
Jim Donaldson says that the Patriots aren’t as good as most people think they are. John Tomase notes that Rodney Harrison has faced and played well against top tight ends all season long, and will be called upon once again on Sunday to do the same with Antonio Gates. Josh Egerman has Richard Seymour showing signs of getting back to full strength in this, his most difficult NFL season on the field. Teddy Panos says that the Patriots defense is fine and not worth getting worried over.
Tomase says that the Patriots would like to improve their kickoff returns this Sunday, and list some players who might give it a shot. Bill Reynolds says that the Brady vs Peyton debate is over. Price says that the Patriots are aware of the cold weather on tap for Sunday but are more focused on the Chargers. Sarah Green is over the hype and just wants the game to start.
Guregian’s notebook has teammates talking about Tom Brady’s “perfect” leadership qualities. Gasper’s notebook examines further the Patriots ability to hang onto the ball, and how that will be crucial on Sunday. The Projo notebook has the Patriots lauding the Chargers in yesterday’s sessions with the media. Tommy Hine’s notebook in the Courant says that the Patriots mirror their coach in their focus on the Chargers. Toland’s notebook has more on Stallworth. David Brown’s notebook also focuses on Stallworth for starters.
Jim McCabe says that the Chargers can draw from the example of the 1976 Pittsburgh Steelers, who overcame a tough start to the season and injuries to roar back in the second half of the season and made it to the AFC Title Game. Shalise Manza Young looks at the “intimidating” depth of the Chargers. Eric McHugh notes that it took some time for the Chargers to jell this season, but they came on strong in the second half.
McCabe’s notebook has the Chargers taking some quiet time to recover and plan for the Patriots.
Dan Shaughnessy says that you’re a wimp if you were happy that the Chargers beat the Colts on Sunday. So all the Colts fans were rooting for the Patriots on Saturday night, right?
The Red Sox are holding a rookie orientation camp over at Boston College, Clay Buchholz, Jed Lowrie and Justin Masterson are among the attendees. The Celtics focus is on the health of Rajon Rondo’s back, and the Bruins Milan Lucic will be suiting up for the each in the NHL’s YoungStars competition during All Star weekend. Check the links below for all the stories:
On the BSMW Full Court Press, Tom Lambert says Ray Allen is lot like George Brett. No, really.