Britt Schramm on Patriots Daily has a look at Sunday’s game, including what they’re saying in New York this week.

Christopher L. Gasper looks at the important role that the running game will play on Sunday for Matt Cassel’s first NFL start. Christopher Price has the Patriots expecting a different look from the Jets on offense with Brett Favre behind center. Jim Donaldson says that Cassel might be able to manage the game on Sunday, but someone else is going to have to win it. Ron Borges says that while Bill Belichick and the Patriots might insist that the offense isn’t changing under Cassel, they’re really lying and changing everything. Jennifer Toland says that it is going to be hard to run on the Jets.

It’s safe to read Dan Shaughnessy today. He plays it straight, looking at how Matt Cassel is in a very good position to make his first start since high school. Karen Guregian has Cassel getting plenty of support from his team, including fallen teammate Tom Brady who has passed on some words of advice. Guregian also looks at what kind of presence and command in the huddle that Cassel brings. Mark Farinella looks at Cassel thrust into a starring role, and how he plans to handle the sudden fame. Shalise Manza Young has Cassel’s life changing with each passing day this week. Chris Kennedy has more on Cassel stepping into Brady’s shoes this week.

Steve Buckley has Brady joining Larry Bird, Bobby Orr and Carlton Fisk in the “Boston superstars who lost season of their prime due to injury” club. He gets quotes from all three of them for their thoughts on Brady and what he needs to do to get back on top. Garry Brown looks at times where backup QB’s have stepped up and led their team to success. Jim McCabe looks at Brett Favre as the latest football legend to end his career in an unfamiliar uniform.

Robert Lee observes that the Patriots will likely favor the run more this week with Cassel at QB. Stephen Harris notes the Adalius Thomas shares some roots with Brett Favre. He also has Stephen Gostkowski perhaps looking at a few more field goal attempts this season. Eric McHugh notes that having Jeff Hostetler visit camp last month was a case of eerie timing. The former Giants backup QB has some words of wisdom for Matt Cassel from his own experiences.

Gasper’s notebook has Dan Koppen not expecting any difficulties in snapping the ball to Cassel after so many games with Brady. Guregian’s notebook has Sammy Morris not looking back and dwelling on the play that got Brady injured last week. Farinella’s notebook has Koppen confident that Cassel can get the job done. The Projo notebook has more from Morris. Toland’s notebook has Cassel seeing his popularity soar this week. Dave Brown has some Friday Morning Fear Factor for this weekend.

Check the New York perspective on things over at JetsLinks.com.

Nancy Marrapese-Burrell has a few TV analysts actually thinking that the Patriots might be OK without Tom Brady. Here are the weekly NFL TV Distribution Maps.

Red Sox

Adam Kilgore has Tony Gwynn among those talking about Dustin Pedroia’s unique and uniquely successful swing. Sean McAdam says that the Red Sox are a virtual lock to make the playoffs, and is already making out the playoff roster for Boston. Jeff Goldberg says that after two tough losses to the Rays, things aren’t about to get any easier for the Red Sox with the red hot Blue Jays coming in for four. Michael Silverman says that it is time to duck-and-cover with the Jays coming in.

Bill Burt has a pretty candid interview with Red Sox reliever Hideki Okajima. Joe Haggerty has Jason Bay hoping to extend his stay in Boston. Lenny Megliola looks at how the Rays didn’t roll over for the Sox, and they’re still going strong. The Telegram & Gazette has the Sox hoping the last two nights were just a bump in the night and nothing more. Garry Brown looks ahead to Red Sox/Blue Jays this weekend. Mike Fine has Jed Lowrie learning plenty during his college days at Stanford.

Kilgore’s notebook has Josh Beckett coming out of Wednesday’s start with no health issues. Silverman’s notebook has J.D. Drew running out of time with his back issues. Jim Fenton‘s notebook has Beckett’s health scare in the past.

Misc

Michael Vega looks at this weekend’s Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. David Exum has the Roush Fenway Racing group returning to NASCAR’s version of the playoffs.

Frank Dell’Apa has Danny Ainge saying that Sam Cassell will re-sign with the Celtics.

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