The grades are in, and they’re looking pretty good for the Patriots this week. Ron Borges even admits that he finds it “difficult to hand out anything but nearly perfect grades” for the Patriots 27-17 win over the Dolphins. What an unabashed homer that Borges guy is! Jeremy Gottlieb on Patriots Daily also has high marks this week, with the wide receivers and special teams getting the highest marks. Steve DeOssie says that this was a very good win, but it was not perfect, and his grades are a bit lower than the first two cards. Tedy Bruschi looks at how the Patriots handled everything Miami threw at them.
Jonathan Comey says that the Patriots first half numbers for points scored and points allowed are championship numbers. Jeff Howe says that the Patriots are playing with another Super Bowl on their mind.
Gerry Callahan says that the Tom Brady/Peyton Manning rivalry is the best in the NFL. Mike Reiss says that history shows us that this game will be worth watching. Dan Duggan goes through the stats of Manning vs. Brady. Steve Buckley says that Bill Belichick will never admit it right now, but these Patriots/Colts games mean a lot to him as well. Rapoport has Tom Brady giving respect to Peyton Manning on WEEI yesterday. Glen Farley says that the Patriots will need their Sunday best this week.
Ian R. Rapoport looks at how Sebastian Vollmer has developed from a raw prospect to someone who could potentially keep the starting spot even when Matt Light is ready to play again. Monique Walker says that there is no news of the status of center Dan Koppen, though Dan Connolly filled in nicely against Miami. Shalise Manza Young has a look at safety Brandon McGowan, who just loves to play football.
Adam Kilgore’s notebook has more on the Patriots/Colts rivalry from the Patriots players. Rapoport’s notebook has Shawn Spring with some thoughts on Manning. Young’s Patriots journal notes that moving Vince Wilfork out to defensive end gave the Patriots defense a different look on Sunday. Farley’s notebook has Leigh Bodden up for his first taste of the Patriots/Colts rivalry.
John Tomase and Peter Abraham have Tim Wakefield and the Red Sox redoing his contract and making it a 2-year, $5 million deal, with the potential to make up to $10 million in the two years. Paul Jarvey says the deal gives Wakefield a chance to go after the club record for wins. Daniel Barbarisi has the Sox starting their offseason business early. Sean McAdam has the Sox taking care of some internal housekeeping.
Silverman’s notebook says that any deal for Jason Bay is going to take time.
Paul Flannery has a really good piece on Rasheed Wallace and how he has learned to accept his diminishing physical abilities and pick up more of the mental side of the game, which is a sharp contrast to former teammate Allen Iverson, who doesn’t seem to be able to accept that he isn’t what he once was.
Bill Burt talks to former Cavs star Mark Price, who has been tutoring Rajon Rondo on his shooting, and tells us we can expect big improvements down the line from the Celtics point guard. Frank Dell’Apa has Rondo getting some rare fourth quarter rest Saturday night against the Nets. Mark Murphy has the Celtics working on getting better at the free throw line. Jim Fenton has the Celtics getting some home cooking in the upcoming schedule.
Jenn Abelson look at the Celtics going digital in a big way, with interactive features on Celtics.com, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
Kevin Paul Dupont has a feature on Lou Lamoriello, inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame last night.
Fluto Shinzawa has the Penguins showing a unique blueprint for success, one that the Bruins may follow. Rich Thompson has the Bruins preparing to face Sidney Crosby and the Penguins tonight. Mike Loftus has David Krejci set to rejoin the Bruins tonight after a bout with H1N1. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell has more on Krejci’s return, as does Thompson’s notebook.