Tom Brady makes his return to the NFL tonight as the Patriots kick off the regular season with a Monday Night Football (7:00pm, ESPN, Channel 5 locally) matchup with the Buffalo Bills.

On Patriots Daily, Scott Benson offers some Final Thoughts on the matchup, and other features leading up to tonight’s game include Matchups of the Week by Dan Zeigarnik, some Pregame Media Notes, we were Trading Places with a Bills blogger for thoughts on the game, Chris Warner is our Worry Wart and Greg Doyle offered his First Impressions on the Bills.

From the new ESPNBoston.com, Mike Reiss gives us five storylines to watch out for tonight. Earlier, he had offered a welcome to the new Patriots blog he is writing for the site.

Bill Burt says that Tom Brady is not perfect, and recaps all the recent failure in his life and football. Paul Flannery looks at how Brady’s injury last season altered the whole landscape of the NFL, and the careers of personnel men, coaches and players around the league. Ron Borges says that Brady is used to seeing star players traded. Karen Guregian says that tonight is the moment of truth for Brady and the Patriots. Reiss says that Brady is ready and able for tonight. Shalise Manza Young has more on Brady’s return to the Patriots. Rich Garven says that the wait is finally over for Brady and the Patriots. Mark Farinella says that it is finally time to get real for the Patriots. Glen Farley thinks it’s ironic that Brady returns on a Throwback night.

In the Globe, Bob Hohler has a feature on T.O., what he can bring to the Bills, and how the Patriots plan to stop him. Jim Donaldson insists that the Bills won’t be much of a challenge tonight. Jonathan Comey says that Bob Kraft deserves all the credit he gets for turning the Patriots into what they are today. Andy Vogt says tonight we’ll get to see if these Patriots are as good as the pundits are saying they are. Farinella thinks that these Patriots can win while rebuilding.

Christopher L. Gasper has the Patriots already looking at the importance of division games, knowing that losses to the Dolphins and Jets kept them out of the playoffs last season. Glen Farley says that these Patriots are not a Super Bowl contender. Young looks at how the Patriots revamped secondary gets a challenge tonight. Christopher Price offers up 10 Truths about these Patriots. He also looks at a big role for Leigh Bodden this season.

Ian R. Rapoport looks at five things we might be talking about tomorrow morning. Shalise Manza Young looks at how the Bills and Patriots matchup. Brian MacPherson says that we might get surprised tonight, but not by the outcome. Farinella gives us his NFL Predictions. Price gives us his Five Things To Watch For tonight.

Young manages to get Up Close with . . . Bill Belichick to find a few of his likes and dislikes.

Jackie MacMullan had quite a feature on Jerod Mayo in yesterday’s Globe.

Gasper’s notebook has Laurence Maroney excited for tonight. Rapoport’s notebook has Patriot veterans looking back at some memorable season openers.

Red Sox

The Red Sox swept a doubleheader yesterday and a three game series overall from the falling Tampa Rays.

On ESPN Boston, Amy K. Nelson looks at big games from Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester leading the Red Sox to the sweep. Amalie Benjamin has the Red Sox headed in the right direction. John Tomase has the Sox putting the Rays to bed with the sweep. In the ProJo Joe McDonald looks at game one, while Daniel Barbarisi recaps game two. Bill Ballou has the Sox getting things settled, just in time. Jim Fenton has the Sox boosting their Wild Card lead with the sweep. Rob Bradford says that the Red Sox have landed on their feet.

Adam Kilgore has a look at Jon Lester’s outing yesterday which was just the latest in a series of dominating starts for the lefty. Kilgore also has a look at the strong outing by Clay Buchholz in the first game. Steve Buckley has Buchholz showing that he belongs in the bigs. Buckley says that the whole top starting trio  for the Sox is finding their groove. Lenny Megliola has Lester and Buchholz both looking impressive yesterday. Mike Fine has the Sox terrific trio peaking at just the right time.

Peter Gammons has the Red Sox entering a “Dicey” stretch of games. Sean McAdam has Dustin Pedroia hot at home after a tough road trip. Brian MacPherson has Dustin Pedroia hitting an opposite field homer for the Sox. Barbarisi wonders if Jonathan Papelbon could win the Cy Young this year. Bill Burt says that the Rays are eating AL East Crow.

Benjamin’s notebook has Jonathan Papelbon showing that he’s at his best as the season winds down. Tomase’s notebook has Victor Martinez saving a run with a block of the plate. The Projo postgame tidbits has Bill Wagner pitching the ninth for the first time with the Red Sox. Ballou’s notebook looks at the homers by Pedroia and Jason Bay.

Bruins

Kevin Paul Dupont says that a trade of Phil Kessel is inevitable. On ESPNBoston.com, Matt Kalman says that these Bruins have unfinished business this season. He’s also got 5 questions to be answered this year. Joe Haggerty also has five big questions.

Fluto Shinzawa has Patrice Bergeron looking to get back to being a two-way force. Mike Loftus has Blake Wheeler looking to make a second year leap with the Bruins. Stephen Harris has Wheeler bulked up this season to try and avoid fatigue as the season wears on. Kalman says that a healthy Marco Sturm could make a big difference for the Bruins. Mick Colageo looks at why Boston is Derek Morris’ kind of town.

Shinzawa’s notebook has Blake Wheeler ready to play either left or right wing. Loftus’ notebook has several Bruins making returns from injury. Harris’ notebook reports on an early injury scare for Marc Savard.

On ESPNBoston.com, Howard Bryant looks at why Boston is a sports power.

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6 thoughts on “All Eyes on Brady, Patriots Tonight

  1. Haven’t even played a game yet but the local can’t let go of the doom and gloom surrounding the Patriots. How soon until Felger starts ripping Mayo – you know because he’s so original and insightful.

    Great article by Jackie Mac. I wish she wrote more.

    1. We, as Patriot fanslocal media observers need to stop with the “they’re all against us, why does no love OUR team?” whining. Nearly every local scribe has made them heavy Super Bowl favorites even with 6 new starters on defense and a QB coming off major surgery – name last team with that combo that got this much respect? And Felger has practically gone overboard in praising Mayo and was actually leading the pack in saying D had to get younger and faster. Sure Borges is a contrarian but he sticks out because he is practically a lone voice in the chanting, pom-pom waving crowd. Keep looking for the boogeymen and the haters but I’d rather enjoy the games and, like the overwhelming majority in the media, realize how lucky we are with this team.
      As an aside – Bruce, solid start for ESPN boston. I like the site, they brought out heavy hitters right away with content(Gammons and Reiss) and chats (Bruschi, Gammons and Simmons). Guarantee their hitstraffic surpass all local sports media sites combined today.

  2. Pats defense is going to surprise people around here and when playoff time rolls around, I’m sure none of the local writers will be reminding us of what they wrote over the last couple of weeks about the team.

    Mayo and Meriweather are going to make the leap while Bodden and Springs are much better than Hobbs, O’Neal, etc. The Pats are considerably faster and more athletic on defense than they’ve been in recent seasons.

  3. Writers like Rapoport crack me up.

    What the heck does “feed the hot back” mean?

    Hey Ian, some breaking news for you – the topic isn’t baseball – running backs don’t go on individually driven hot and cold streaks unless their playing with debilitating injuries. You either run well and see the holes, pick up blocks and make catches or don’t.

  4. The big o show begins with their cutting edge analysis of TV commentators. You see, because they’re so great on their award winning tailgate show.

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