It’s hard to believe, but another NFL regular season winds down this weekend. Another season of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick will be in the books. What a run it has been. Why not try to enjoy it while we still have it?
As for Sunday, it seems pretty simple. If the Texans win, I think the Patriots treat this week as their bye. As many key players as possible will be rested. There is simply no chance that Kansas City can beat Denver in Denver on Sunday. The Patriots best chance of a bye rests with the Indianapolis Colts and them being fired up at home against Houston with the return of their head coach from his cancer treatments. I happen to think though, that you’re safe making plans to watch the Patriots next weekend at home on Wild Card Weekend, likely against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Unless of course, they believe the easier game would be Indy, and if so, you may well see a whole lot of Ryan Mallett on Sunday.
It’s somewhat amusing that the Texans have now made this game “the biggest game in franchise history.”
As far as the game being flexed to 4:25 on Sunday, there’s no truth to the Jim Lazar joke that Belichick used leverage to force the league to flex the game.
Get all the Patriots coverage this weekend at PatriotsLinks.com.
Sports Hub No. 1 in fall radio ratings – Chad Finn reported on the fall ratings book yesterday, where 98.5 blew the doors off of WEEI, who fell to 7th place in the ratings, tied with WBUR, which might just make Gerry Callahan’s head explode.
It’s time for changes at WEEI. Unfortunately for them, they are the New York Jets of sports radio at the moment, in salary cap hell, tied into several huge contracts for their “talent.”
Cool off on the ‘hot team’ talk in the NFL – Is it just me, or is there even more of a “flavor of the week” theme this season in the NFL? My SB Nation media column looks at the week-to-week changes in the team to beat.
Networks ratchet up challenges to ESPN – Chad Finn has a very good look at the two latest challenges to ESPN on television – the NBC Sports Network, and the CBS Sports Network, and notes that FOX will likely switch SPEED to Fox Sports 1 later this year.
Fill In Notes
In the battle of the fill-in shows this week, I’ve actually found WEEI’s combo of Pete Sheppard and Kirk Minihane to be the best of the lot, though Bob Beers has been terrific over at 98.5. He’s clearly more than just a former hockey player and current analyst, he’s been able to speak well on all sports. I also knew Sean McAdam was obviously very good on baseball, and always knew his NHL knowledge was top rate, but he really surprised me with his NFL knowledge across the league, not just surface talking points, but deeper issues and analysis. I liked Dan Roche taking on the negativity in Boston sports yesterday, and imploring fans to sit back and enjoy sports a little more.
It’s been a little amusing at WEEI, as they’ve filled the schedule mostly with people they’ve let go or demoted in the last couple of years, with Dale Arnold, Sheppard, Fred Smerlas and Steve DeOssie all getting prominent time.
I’m not sure I understand the reasoning behind bringing Dan Sileo up for the week, unless they actually are thinking of shaking things up and this was a tryout.