We’re finally on Friday, on the cusp of the weekend, and closer to the kickoff of Patriots/Jets on Sunday at 4:30.
I’ll get this out of the way first, and I’m embarrassed about it.
This game concerns me. Greatly.
To me, this has the makings of an “exorcise the demons” type of game for the Jets. You’ve got the historically disappointing Jets coming off having their doors blown off by the Patriots a month ago. You’ve got Mark Sanchez and LaDainian Tomlinson, who have struggled mightily at Gillette Stadium, among others, getting a chance to atone for poor performances here in the past.
Sanchez has not looked good for much of the season, and he’s been horrible in two games at Gillette (1TD, 7 INT) but he’s been very good in the clutch this season. Could he be clutch for an entire game? I think he has the potential to have a good game here.
My lasting image of LT – besides telling reporters how classy he is – is from the 2007 AFC Championship with him sitting on the bench in a parka, helmet on. He also has a chance for redemption against a franchise that he despises.
The Jets have guys who have burned the Patriots in the past – Jerricho Cotchery, Dustin Keller, Jason Taylor. Could the Jet offense control the ball enough that the Patriots offense’s opportunities are limited? Can their defense hold the Patriots down in those limited opportunities? Tougher, but not out of the question. It seems like most people have pretty much conceded the game to the Patriots, but even that concerns me.
I hesistate to type this, but there is almost a 2004 Red Sox feel to these Jets, a loud, obnoxious group of idiots, who are looking to finally break through against a traditionally superior opponent.
Please. Tell me I’m stupid and way off base with this. I’ll feel better. If I’m wrong on Sunday, no one will be happier than me.
Alright. I’ll exhale now. It’s off my chest. Onto a few links:
Where the Coaches Let Their Guard Down, a Bit – From Richard Sandomir in the NY Times, a look at the pregame production meetings, with several broadcasters talking about how helpful and pleasant Bill Belichick is in these meetings. One says he can be even more forthcoming than Rex Ryan at times.
ESPN saves worst for BCS’ biggest game – On the second page of Phil Mushnick’s media column is this gem:
Who made the worst knee-jerk call in the history of modern sportscasting? Funny you should ask. One could logically guess Mike Francesa, given that he has made so many, but the title belongs to a more likable fellow, ESPN NFL studio analyst Tom Jackson.
After the Patriots opened the 2003 season with a 31-0 loss to the Bills, Jackson firmly, knowingly declared that “Bill Belichick has lost this team.”
The Patriots went 14-1 the rest of the way, won the Super Bowl, went 14-2 the next season, and, well, since Jackson’s claim, Belichick’s Patriots are 113-29.
In ratings game, NFL scoring lopsided win – Chad Finn’s media column looks at record numbers for the NFL this season.
Boston’s Morning Sports Talk Shows Are All A-Twitter – My SB Nation Boston media column looks at the Twitter antics of Boston sports radio morning shows.
Patriots’ winning ways put Spygate hand-wringing to rest – Mike Freeman says that Spygate was tremendously overrated.
SpyGate: The Most ‘Overblown’ Story of the Decade – Russ Goldman on Patsfans.com has a very good column on this subject as well, with quotes from Bill Cowher, Jimmy Johnson, and the Jets blogger who first broke the videotaping story.
Tuning In: Ryan’s hope is fading – Bill Doyle’s media column has CBS analysts scratching their heads over Rex’s antics this week.
Doubters abound, but Meriweather unquestionably makes an impact – Shalise Manza Young has a look at the Patriot that New England fans love to hate, safety Brandon Meriweather.
Green-Ellis finds yards almost every time – Ian Rapoport has some eye-popping stats on the production of BenJarvus Green-Ellis this season.
A year later, things are different for Vince Wilfork – Christopher Price looks at how far things have come in one year for the Patriots and their massive defensive lineman.
Among Kraft moves, coach gets top billing – Bob Ryan looks at Robert Kraft’s best move – hiring Bill Belichick.
Heat turned way up for rivalry game – Tedy Bruschi and Mike Reiss break down the game on Sunday.
Patriots-Jets: How they match up – Karen Guregian examines the matchups.
Leigh Bodden still on corner – Rapoport’s notebook has the injured veteran corner enjoying the success of his teammates. The Globe notebook from Monique Walker has a look at Wes Welker’s comments yesterday. The Patriots Journal by Robert Lee and Brian MacPherson has Brandon Spikes a bit rusty in his return to practice this week.
Check out coverage of the Bruins 7-5 win last night over the Flyers at BruinsLinks.com.
Nice clip from Quick Slants last night – Tom E Curran with a nice jab at himself and his fellow media types for acting “like fourth-graders” this week: