It turned out to be really just a formality yesterday, as Bill Belichick announced that Tom Brady would require season ending surgery and was placed on IR. Thus begins a new era for the Patriots, at least for this season.
Christopher L. Gasper has the rest of the Patriots vowing to move on and continue the season despite the loss of their offensive leader. Mark Farinella has defensive leaders Richard Seymour and Mike Vrabel among those speaking up yesterday. Christopher Price has a look at the events of yesterday from Foxboro. Karen Guregian has the Patriots putting on a brave front in the face of a harsh reality. Paul Doyle wonders if Cassel is more prepared to take over than Brady was in 2001. Robert Lee looks at an end and a beginning for the Patriots yesterday. Douglas Flynn looks at the challenges of trying to find a way to win without Brady. David Brown looks at what’s next for the Patriots.
Patriots Daily will have the Turning Point column posting this morning.
Michael Felger has his Patriots report card, and says things won’t quite be the same without number 12. Showing that Felger didn’t take the patent to the report card with him when he left the Herald, John Tomase also grades the Pats this morning. Ian Clark also serves up a report card for the Patriots performance on Sunday.
For those few cynics who say Mike Reiss can’t be critical of the Patriots, today’s piece on the backup quarterback position and the Patriots gamble to not sign a veteran behind Brady might be to their liking. Rich Thompson has Patriots teammates expressing confidence in Matt Cassel. Tomase provides a list of backup quarterbacks who have gone on to win the Super Bowl. Lee says that Cassel doesn’t the expect game plan to change with him in the lineup now.
I’m pretty sure Dan Shaughnessy is thrilled at the prospect of life without Tom, and is likely already penning his newest “Curse” book this time featuring the Patriots. Jeff Jacobs states unequivocally that there is no way the Patriots will win the Super Bowl this season. He says they will make the playoffs though. Bill Reynolds is almost gleeful as he states that the Patriots title hopes are “Gone, Baby, Gone” and that the charmed life is over for Patriots fans. This really is a worthless column, I’m sorry. How hard is it to write that the Patriots season is over right now? Jim Donaldson agrees with his colleague that there is no way Matt Cassel is leading the Patriots to the Super Bowl. So two columnists, same paper, essentially the same column. Way to mix it up. Hey, how about this, Glen Farley says that the season is not lost for the Patriots.
Lenny Megliola says that Brady’s parents must not be liking football right now. Ya think? Ron Borges says its a whole new world for Matt Cassel now. Borges says he expects the Jets to attack Cassel much the same way the Bears went after Peyton Manning on Sunday night. Borges stated yesterday that Belichick’s career record without Tom Brady was 41-56 without Brady. Gerry Callahan says this morning that Belichick is 42-58 without Brady. Callahan is the latest to state that we’ll really see what Belichick is made of, now that Brady is out. The Herald had it yesterday at 42-57…
Here’s the problem I have…why can’t having *both* of these men be the reason for the Patriots great record this decade? As with many debates in sports, people seem to need to be black and white on things. It’s one or the other, not both. The storylines are set for this season: If the Patriots do well it’s “Brady’s Overrated!” If the Patriots struggle mightily it’s “Belichick’s Overrated!” Talk about a lose-lose situation.
Julian Benbow looks at the impact of the loss of Brady on Fantasy football owners.
Gasper’s notebook has Vince Wilfork critical of the league’s ruling that Bernard Pollard’s hit on Brady was clean, since Wilfork was flagged and fined for a very similar hit last season. Guregian’s notebook has more on Wilfork’s ire towards the league. Lee’s notebook has more thoughts on Pollard’s hit. Jennifer Toland has more from Wilfork on Pollard and the NFL’s ruling.
The Red Sox moved to within a half game of the first place Tampa Rays with a 3-0 win over the division leaders last night at Fenway Park. Jon Lester threw eight scoreless innings, and Boston scored all three of their runs in the first inning as the Sox continued their charge towards the top of the division.
Amalie Benjamin has Jon Lester stepping up in a playoff atmosphere last night at Fenway Park. Joe Haggerty has Jason Bay and Jon Lester looking a lot like Manny Ramirez and Curt Schilling last night. Jon Couture notes that the October foundation is continuing to be built at Fenway.
Adam Kilgore has Jonathan Papelbon slamming the door on the Rays in the eighth and ninth. Mike Fine has the homefield advantage proving big for the Sox last night. Rob Bradford has Coco Crisp turning things around to become a second half star for the Red Sox.
Nick Cafardo says that the Rays are the “1967 Sox, the 1980 US hockey team, the 2001 Patriots all rolled into one.” Or are they?
Check more links at RedSoxLinks.com (I had the full Red Sox links composed here, and they were lost in a server reboot…)