Patriots Look To Avoid Surprise From Bills

It’s week three of the NFL season. You’ve got an 0-2 AFC East team that finished last in the division the year before coming into Gillette Stadium. Mid-week, an emotional leader of the opposite team speaks of being tired of having the Patriots laugh at his team, and vows that they can’t keep letting that happen.

Welcome to the 2008 season when an 0-2 Miami Dolphins team that finished last in the AFC East the year prior came into town, after Joey Porter spouted off during the week, and proceded to unleash the wildcat formation upon the NFL and smoked the Patriots, 38-13 at Gillette.

You thought I was talking about the Bills this week? You wonder why the Pats are making Bills sound like contenders? That’s why. Nothing can be taken for granted in the NFL, even when you’ve beaten the opposite team 13 times in the row.

Wait, are Ron Borges and I on the same page with this? I may need to rethink things…

Gerard Warren seeing stars – Ian Rapoport has the big defensive lineman settling in nicely with the Patriots.

Nuggetpalooza’s Patriots-Bills Preview! – Gary Marbry has every factoid and number you could possibly want in this matchup.

Pats’ D must pick up slack for depleted backfield – Danny Picard has the Patriots defense knowing they’ve got to get off the field quickly.

Around The League – Week Two Recap – Jeremy Gottlieb goes around the league for Patriots Daily.

Patriots Journal: Welker offers Faulk encouragement – Robert Lee has the WR giving the RB advice on what to expect with his rehab.

NHL, HBO have capital idea – Chad Finn’s media column has a look at the NHL getting a version of “Hard Knocks” and ratings success for the Thursday night football lineup at CSNNE.

Media Roundup: Opportunity Lost For NESN – What would you have rather watched, a meaningless late season Red Sox game, or Tyler Seguin’s first preseason game with the Bruins?

Real game to come for Red Sox-Yankees – Gordon Edes says that the two clubs are expected to battle for free agents this winter.

Offseason could produce an entirely different team in 2011 – Daniel Barbarisi thinks the Red Sox could look much different come next spring.

McDonald takes advantage of opportunity with Red Sox – Mike Fine has Terry Francona and others happy for the success Darnell McDonald has had this season.

2010 has been a major thrill for McDonald and Atchison – Maureen Mullen includes Scott Atchinson as a feel-good story of the season.

Five reasons to keep your Sox on – Scott Lauber gives you some reasons to keep watching the final 10 games of the season.

Sorting through the Savard saga – D.J. Bean tries to get things straight on the Marc Savard situation.

Current Celts ready for one last run – Scott Souza has Doc Rivers’ team gearing up for another push.

O’Neal shows his drive – Julian Benbow’s notebook has Shaq already making his presence felt.

Herzlich refocused – Mark Blaudschun has the BC Linebacker happy to just focus on football.

Anyone else looking forward to this:
http://espn.go.com/videohub/player/embed.swf

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Ortiz Helps Sox Avoid Sweep At Hands Of O’s

David Ortiz hit his 31st homer of the season, and had four RBI as the Red Sox beat the Orioles 6-1at Fenway Park last night. John Lackey got his 13th win of the season, and Josh Reddick added his first home run of the season in the win as well. Get all the stories at RedSoxLinks.com.

Ortiz leads Red Sox to victory, then talks about the possibility of leaving town – Daniel Barbarisi has a look at the big night from Ortiz, followed by talk of wanting a new deal, one without a home town discount.

Jonathan Papelbon won’t be leaving – John Tomase says you can count out a trade involving the Red Sox closer this offseason.

Ken Burns proud to present 10th inning – Michael Silverman with a look at the latest installment of “Baseball.”

Red Sox Notes: Red-hot Victor Martinez playing his way into a rich contract – Barbarisi has the Red sox catcher once again putting up big numbers.

Patriots’ second-half surety is gone – Jeremy Lundblad looks at the Patriots inability to hold second-half leads.

Brady’s not quite dialed in yet – Tom E Curran says that the QB isn’t quite himself yet.

Bagging Buffalo is a key in hunt for division title – Albert R Breer explains why this is such a big game for the Patriots.

Kevin Faulk has not left the building – Ian Rapoport has the injured running back saying that he will remain with the team, helping out in any way that he can while he rehabs his knee.

Without Faulk, this could get ugly – Hector Longo thinks this team could implode without Faulk.

Adjustments coming for Patriots – Mike Reiss says that the entire offense may need to be adjusted without Faulk.

Patriots Notes: Morris, Woodhead say they’re ready to help pick up the slack – Robert Lee has a pair of backs looking to fill Faulk’s shoes.

Worry Wart – Game Three vs. Bills – Chris Warner is still wary of this week’s opponent.

Bruins beat Canadiens in exhibition opener, 4-2 – Joe Haggerty has the Bruins looking good in their preseason opener.

Boston Bruins rookie candidate Joe Colborne can’t wait for his first NHL exhibition game. – While Tyler Seguin and Jordan Caron got to play last night, the 2008 first round pick get his chance tonight. Mike Loftus has that story and a few other notes.

Concussion cases hard to figure – Joe McDonald says that aftereffects can vary greatly from case to case.

Julien impressed by Caron – Fluto Shinzawa’a notebook has the coach impressed with the 2009 first round pick.

Random observation of the morning:

Bill Simmons has been hosting PTI on ESPN this week, and was a guest of Dennis and Callahan this morning. Simmons talked about the experience of hosting PTI, and weighed in on the Patriots and Celtics. At the end, John Dennis told Simmons that his fly was down on the show yesterday. It was a curious comment, but typical of a bully-type trying to make someone else feel foolish and himself appear like the veteran TV guy. Simmons’ fly wasn’t down, and Dennis’ comment was pretty transparent in its objective.

Without Kevin, Patriots Could Be Faulked

On many teams, having the third down back getting injured isn’t the end of the world. Reading the articles this morning, you get the sense that when Kevin Faulk was injured on Sunday, the Patriots lost their most important offensive player behind Tom Brady.

The Boston Globe reported first yesterday that Faulk suffered a torn ACL in the fourth quarter of the Jets game, and is done for the season. No official move has been made yet, but it seems inevitable.

Kevin Faulk a huge loss for Patriots – Mike Reiss points out that Faulk was really a starter – playing more than any other back the last three seasons.

Protective measures needed in his absence – Albert R Breer notes that the Patriot may miss Faulk most in blitz protection.

Danny Woodhead may come in handy – Karen Guregian says that the newest Patriot might fill some of Faulk’s role.

Pats have been market leaders in the QB business – Jim Donaldson notes the stability the Patriots have had at the QB position since 1993, compared to teams like the Bills.

First Impressions – Buffalo Bills – Greg Doyle on Patriots Daily has a peek at some key performers for the Bills.

Hard hit; no hard feelings – Monique Walker’s notebook has Wes Welker with no ill will towards Eric Smith.

Pap’s here in name only – Bill Ballou says that Jonathan Papelbon has already checked out of the 2010 season.

Red Sox may be losing interest – Mike Fine has the whole team (and fans) checking out.

Buchholz an ace in the hole – Lenny Megliola looks at Clay Buchholz coming into his own this season.

Phillies OF Jayson Werth a look – Scott Lauber wonders if the free agent-to-be could be a Red Sox target.

Too early to make a call on Savard – Joe Haggerty says the center’s immediate future is still uncertain.

Savard situation is a headache – Kevin Paul Dupont also weighs in on Savard.

I’m generally not a huge fan of Deadspin.com these days, but today is worth checking out as it is another Fire Joe Morgan reunion day on the site.

Patriots Try To Put Jets Game Behind Them

The Patriots and their followers are still trying to put that ugly second half from Sunday behind them as they start a new week in preparation for the Buffalo Bills this coming Sunday.

New boss in charge of Entercom Boston – Boston Radio Watch reports on Tim Murphy being named the new Vice President/ General Manager of Entercom Boston. Murphy is the brains behind the revamped WEEI.com. The question unanswered at this point is – is this a statement on Jason Wolfe?

Making The Grades – Game Two At Jets – Jeremy Gottlieb has the Patriots Daily report card.

Patriots Report Card – Ron Borges has the Herald version. Michael Felger has the CSNNE.com edition. Belichick hits bottom – Kirk Minihane has the WEEI.com edition.

No film credits from Belichick’s view – Shalise Manza Young says that no one was spared in Belichick’s review of the film from Sunday.

Patriots take last look back at second-half horror show – Christopher Price has the Patriots trying to learn from the Jets game.

He’s not kicking himself – Young’s notebook has Stephen Gostkowski working on turning around his bad start.

Playing out the string, the Red Sox dropped one to the Baltimore Orioles last night, 4-2, as Daisuke Matsuzaka once again struggled with his command. Get all the coverage at RedSoxLinks.com.

Matsuzaka’s lack of command leads to another loss – Sean McAdam says that Dice-K himself doesn’t even know what his problem is.

A hot hitter at hot corner – Bill Ballou compares Adrian Beltre to some of the other Red Sox third basemen of the last 30 years.

First things 1st for Lars Anderson – Dan Duggan has the slugging prospect working on his defensive skills.

Youk’s diary: Reflections on the season – Kevin Youkilis talks about the apology he received from Manny Ramirez and some other thoughts in his ESPN Boston Diary. (There is also one from Johnny Boychuk of the Bruins)

Broken bats becoming a sticking point – Amalie Benjamin’s notebook looks at the outcry over maple bats.

Bruins veterans Mark Recchi, Patrice Bergeron enjoy role in development of rookie Tyler Seguin. – Mike Loftus has some Bruins veterans taking an interest in the youngster.

Bergeron-Recchi-Seguin combo lays a foundation – Joe Haggerty has more on the trio.

Celtics training camp preview: Battles to watch – A. Sherrod Blakely says that there are a couple of rotation spots up for grabs, including the starting center spot.

Jet Dominate Patriots In Second Half, Earn Right To Yap

When Randy Moss hauled in a long TD pass from Tom Brady while Darrelle Revis simultaneously grabbed his hamstring near the end of the first half, things were looking good for the Patriots at the new Meadowlands. Unfortunately it was to be the last highlight of the day for the Patriots, who were dominated by the Jets the rest of the way en route to a 28-14 loss that dropped New England to 1-1 on the season.

Get all the links at PatriotsLinks.com.

Patriots’ youth gets served up against the Jets – The Boston Globe – Albert Breer says that the Patriots defense is mediocre for all the right reasons.

Tom Brady, Bill Belichick big part of New England Patriots’ problem in loss – ESPN Boston – Mike Reiss has the Patriots leaders without any anwers for this one.

Bad habits return – The Sun Chronicle Online – Sports – Mark Farinella has things looking a lot like 2009.

Jim Donaldson: Bad as it seemed, let’s keep it in perspective -The Providence Journal – You know things are bad if Jim Donaldson is your voice of reason.

patriots – Ten Things We Learned Sunday: We’ve been here before – WEEI.com – Christopher Price has the Jets and Mark Sanchez making a statement with this one.

Patriot Mind Games – Rich Levine sums things up pretty well for Patriots fans.

Darius Butler, New England Patriots DBs didn’t have things covered against New York Jets – ESPN Boston – Mike Rodak looks at a rough afternoon for the second year cornerback.

Faulk injured in fourth quarter – The Boston Globe – Monique Walker’s notebook has Kevin Faulk’s status a bit of a concern after he was unable to return to the game yesterday.

The Red Sox avoided a sweep at the hands of the Blue Jays with a 6-0 win behind Jon Lester yesterday. Lester improved to 18-8 on the season. Check all the coverage at RedSoxLinks.com.

Jon Lester, with 18 wins, a steadying force for Boston Red Sox – ESPN Boston – Joe McDonald says that Lester still has a goal of getting to 20 wins this season.

Boston Red Sox – Wrist sprain sidelines Beltre – The Boston Globe – Peter Abraham’s notebook has the third baseman hoping to return to the lineup tonight.

Bruins area of concern brought up – puck movement by D-men – The Boston Globe – Fluto Shinzawa says that this is one area where Dennis Wideman will actually be missed.

Bruins’ Lucic looks to bounce back – Mike Loftus has the bruising forward looking for stay healthy this season.

Bringing You A Friday Megalink Thing

I owe you some megalinks from last week so let’s get this done.

Don’t forget the Weekend Viewing Picks.

National

USA Today’s Michael Hiestand and Mike McCarthy square off over whether viewers should care what announcers do off the air and away from the camera.

USA Today’s Sean Leahy has NFL Network analyst Brian Baldinger saying the New York Jets did nothing wrong in the Ines Sainz controversy. For some reason, this story is just not going away. 

At Sports Illustrated, Richard Deitsch has his Media Power Rankings for August and September.

Chris Gentilviso of Time notes that 2010 may be the Year of the Blackout for the NFL. 

At Pro Football Talk, Michael David Smith says all 32 NFL teams will undergo a training program in the wake of the Ines Sainz incident.

Mike says the Lions just barely avoided a blackout in Detroit.

Jason Lisk at The Big Lead feels the NFL blackout policy needs to change.

Ryan Wilson at Fanhouse tells us which athletes are going to “appear” in this year’s “Body” issue for ESPN The Magazine.

Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News says Fox Soccer Channel has signed a rights deal to air French’s top soccer league in the US.

Mike writes that some Comcast subscribers had trouble accessing NFL Network’s RedZone last week.

George Winslow of Multichannel notes that Verizon Fios is adding Syracuse University sports for fans in the upstate New York area.

Paul Thomasch at Reuters notes that Fox is over 90% sold for the Super Bowl in February.

CNBC’s Darren Rovell says Michigan football jerseys are a hot seller once again.

Marcus Vanderberg at SportsNewser reports that Jay Mariotti’s arraignment on domestic violence charges was postponed until October 1.

Sports Media Watch notes that the NFL had its most watched opening week since 1987. 

Even with that good news, SMW discovers that the early NFL window for Fox actually experienced a ratings decline from the year before.

SMW has some various ratings news and notes.

SMW says the delayed men’s final at the US Open hit another ratings low.

And SMW tells us that the US Open women’s final also delivered low ratings. 

At Puck The Media, Steve Lepore looks at the early plans for NHL Network and NHL Radio.

Dave Dahlquist at Macworld says CBS is streaming its entire SEC football schedule on its iPhone app.

David Brown at Yahoo’s Big League Stew blog has a very good interview with Los Angeles Dodgers voice Vin Scully.

East and Mid-Atlantic

Chad Finn of the Boston Globe looks inside the radio ratings between 98.5 The Sports Hub and WEEI.

At the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, Bill Doyle talks about the tremendous Week 1 TV ratings for the NFL.

The New York Times’ Richard Sandomir says Fox failed to follow up after the Philadelphia Eagles’ Stewart Bradley returned to the field after seemingly suffering a concussion.

Newsday’s Neil Best notes that MSG Network has signed a rights agreement with the New York Giants.

Kimberly A. Martin of Newsday says the Jets will not be penalized for its behavior last week against Ines Sainz.

Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News has NBC’s Andrea Kremer’s take on the Ines Sainz
situation.

Dr. Doom and Gloom in the New York Post continues to harp on points that only he cares about.

Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union profiles the new program director/midday host of the local sports radio station.

Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Ashley Fox says Ines Sainz brought on the Jets behavior by her improper attire. 

Dave Hughes at Press Box talks about the new partnership between the Baltimore Ravens and Comcast SportsNet’s Baltimore website.

Jim Williams at the Washington Examiner notes that football fans are opting to stay home and watch games in HD rather than go to the stadium and pay expensive ticket prices.

And Jim likes listening to the Sirius Playboy Morning Show not just to hear about women, but for the NFL picks.

South

Carolyn Shapiro at the Virginian-Pilot notes that CBS College Sports is being picked up by a local cable company.

Barry Jackson at the Miami Herald looks at the tremendous TV ratings for the NFL.

Katherine Kington of WTVM in Columbus, GA speaks with ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit. 

Ray Buck at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram hears from the CBS college football crew on the state of the game today.

David Barron from the Houston Chronicle talks with one of the hosts of Sporting News Radio who made the move to H-Town when the operations moved from California.

Mel Bracht in the Daily Oklahoman says Saturday’s Air Force-Oklahoma game will be picked up for troops stationed overseas.

Midwest

John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer says the Bengals avoided a local blackout on Sunday.

John notes a Chicago sports TV anchor who got some bad advice from her boss when she was working in Dayton.

Tim Twentyman of the Detroit News says the Motor City will not be blacked out this Sunday for the Eagles-Lions game.

Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports on the very short leave that Shannon Sharpe took from CBS due to a legal problem that was quickly dropped.

Ed Sherman in Crain’s Chicago Business has his winners and losers in sports business and media this week.

David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune says the Ines Sainz controversy is an example of a woman being unprofessional.

Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes with Cardinals returning to KMOX, it completes sports teams going full circle in the Gateway City.

Dan notes that there’s some late season juggling going on with the Cardinals TV schedule.

West

Brian Murphy of the Idaho Statesman says a local cable system will not pick up CBS College Sports for tomorrow’s Boise State-Wyoming game. 

Jay Posner at the San Diego Union-Tribune wonders what’s going on at one local sports radio station.

John Maffei of the North County Times says fans who want to watch San Diego State play this weekend will have to shell out some extra bucks.

Jim Carlisle of the Ventura County Star wants CBS to stop sending the Oakland Raiders to the local airwaves.

Jim also has the NBC crew previewing Sunday’s Manning Bowl II.

At the Los Angeles Daily News, Tom Hoffarth inquires about the local ESPN Radio affiliate.

Tom speaks with a former Sports Illustrated editor who authored a damaging book on the USC football program.

Tom looks back at a crazy week in sports media in his blog.

The San Jose Mercury News has video of a rather testy exchange between KPIX sports anchor Dennis O’Donnell and 49ers coach Mike Singletary.

Canada

Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail writes that two cable companies are picking up the controversial Rogers Sportsnet One in time for NHL season.

Chris Zelkovich of the Toronto Star wonders if it’s time for a rights charter for sports fans.

The Star’s Rosie DiManno heard from former NHL coach Pat Burns after CTV Ottawa erroneously tweeted today that he had died.

TSN’s Bob McKenzie received the first phone call from Burns.

And we’re done for the night.

Albert Breer Headed To NFL Network, Patriots, Jets On Tap Sunday

After a stint of just under a year at the Boston Globe, Albert Breer is taking his talents to the NFL Network. The Globe’s National NFL writer will be covering the East coast for the Network in a writing, reporting and on-air role. According to Chad Finn today, Breer will be leaving after the Patriots play the Porps, er, the Dolphins on October 4th.

Here are the top links for a busy Friday:

Radio ratings game sounds like a good battle – Finn’s media column takes an extended look at the battle between WEEI and WBZ-FM.

Media Roundup: Randy To The Rescue – My Media column for SBNationBoston has Randy Moss bailing out the media with his comments after the game Sunday.

NFL’s opening TV ratings huge – Bill Doyle looks at some huge numbers for the first week of NFL football.

What to watch for Sunday against the Jets – Chris Price tells us what to look for this weekend.

Wes Welker the X-factor against Jets – Mike Reiss says that the key to game might be Welker, and wonders if Revis will cover him.

Sticking is far from a snap – Monique Walker has a nice little profile on linebacker Rob Ninkovich.

Around The League – Week One Recap – Jeremy Gottlieb bounces around the NFL.

 After 13 seasons, Taylor still not at the end of the line – Robert Lee has Fred Taylor still able to get it done.

Showing his metal – Mark Farinella has Wes Welkersticking with knee brace for a while longer.

In this corner – It was fun hearing Michael Holley this morning pick apart the exaggerations in this Darrelle Revis love-fest by Breer.

Strong start for Patriots’ special teams – Price looks at an impressive start for this unit.

Carl Crawford and the Red Sox: Will they end up together? – Rob Bradford examines whether it would be a good fit.

Navarro: Dirt-poor, talent-rich – Amalie Benjamin has a look at 22-year-old Yamaico Navarro and his rise to the majors.

Fresh start for Jarrod Saltalamacchia – Scott Lauber has the catcher glad the Red Sox wanted him.

Stud Sox prospect Ranaudo takes things slow – Mauren Mullen has the Red Sox taking things slow with Anthony Ranaudo.

Talent abounds among Bruins rookies – Joe McDonald says there was plenty of talent on display at the Garden the last two nights.

Time’s now to be a Bruin – Stephen Harris says this should be a highly motivated team.