According to most of the population of New England, it seems that the Patriots are DONE as a playoff contending football team.

The game has passed Bill Belichick by both as coach and GM, Tom Brady doesn’t have WEAPONZ and is disgruntled at the organization, Josh McDaniels is incompetent, and Bob Kraft is CHEAP.

Coming off that Monday night drubbing at the hands of the Kansas City Chiefs, I can understand a certain amount of consternation at the possibilities for this team. I also understand the schadenfreude that non-Patriots fans and media are enjoying right now.

But this is over the top. I have not seen a week like this. The piling on and glee with which not only national analysts like Marshall Faulk and Trent Dilfer  have engaged in is distasteful enough, but even usually level-headed local reporters have seemingly done the heel-turn and declared Gillette a disaster area with no hope of survivors.

Some look at Sunday’s night’s game and see no way the team can turn things around in time. John Dennis, in his chat yesterday, said he thinks the Cincinnati game will be even worse than the KC game. Hard to imagine.

The media would rather be three months early on a burial than two seconds late. Their eagerness to bury and take shots at Bill Belichick and the Patriots is childish and unattractive.

Based on the pathetic showing of Monday night, a bit of smug satisfaction was to be expected. I’m not sure I expected it to snowball into The Patriots are a 5-11 team!

Can they turn things around and beat the Bengals on NBC Sunday night? It won’t be easy, but yes, they can. Will they? I sure hope so, I don’t know if I can take another week of this.

Get all the coverage at PatriotsLinks.com.

Tuning in: Root canal better than watching Patriots – Bill Doyle says that since “it’s like pulling teeth trying to get anything insightful out of Belichick” we need to rely on the nuanced expertise of people like Steve Young, Tony Dungy Trent Dilfer, Mike Tirico and Jon Gruden.

I don’t know about you, but I can hardly wait to hear Cris Collinsworth weigh in on this.

Derek Jeter’s website promises candor, but should we believe? – Chad Finn looks at Derek Jeter’s new website and whether it can be what it says it will be.

If you haven’t checked out Matt Chatham’s site Football by Football which is a similar concept, you should do so, it’s one of the best new sites out there.

Dennis & Callahan Edges Toucher & Rich, While Sports Hub 3d, WEEI 5th in Summer Ratings – If you missed it earlier in the week, Finn looked at the summer ratings book, and Dennis and Callahan and Minihane edged Toucher and Rich by .1 to finish second in their time slot, while T&R finished third.

It’s the end of an era at the Boston Herald:

Sports editor Hank Hryniewicz is calling it a career. Congratulations to him.

Maine broadcaster Bruce Glasier dies at age 69 – I grew up in NH, but my dad always got his weather from WCSH Channel 6 in Portland. Thus I got many of my early sports highlights from Bruce Glasier. Even though my dad isn’t a sports fan, I got to see the highlights because WCSH, unlike the Boston channels, did their sports report before the weather, rather than after it. Many Larry Bird highlights were narrated by Glasier in my home.

Enjoy the weekend.

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36 thoughts on “Can Patriots Bounce Back Against Bengals?

  1. My problem with the Patriots (who will beat the Bengals by 21) is that they’re not fun anymore – they have no personality, they aren’t interesting, they are all bad attitude and paranoia, and take themselves entirely too seriously. Bruschi, Harrison, Brown, Dillon, etc. were fun to watch and listen to. This group is like…like nothing. Like a thin cloud.

    Now if it’s not Kraft defending Goodell or Belichick just being cranky or the media being their usual miserable selves, I’m just over the whole package. Sorry Bruce, but even this site is just worn out retreads defending Spygate and attacking Dan S (though more often in the comments, than your posts).

    The entire NFL is an overpriced, overhyped product that has long since leeched away any sort of good feeling. It’s like cheering for a factory assembly line – “Yay! Crank out another crankshaft!” Whatever – I’m over it and I’m over them.

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    1. She is a moron. Has been since her days at the ProJo. I have no idea how she still has a job. We have discussed several times how lazy and whiney she is. Here is another example of her writing a gotcha piece without doing the research to find out if her info is good. I am not so kind. Enough is enough. She should be fired. Aaron Dobson did nothing to have his work ethic questioned. Yet not that perception is out there for all in the league to see. Her shoddy reporting changed his reputation. There should be a crime for that….wait there is…its called slander.

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  2. Loving this Shalise Manza Young meltdown on Twitter. She is more concerned with shouting down a teenage Tweeter than the fact she slandered a young player. I guess Sullivan would call her courageous.

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    1. Their statement on it:

      @Globesullivan As far as Patriots’ statement on Aaron Dobson today I have one thing to say: “We’re on to Sunday’s paper.”

      What a prick. I guess both enjoy some job security but just funny how “oh we don’t care if we get it wrong”.

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  3. I never sensed any anti-Semite tone or intent with anyone who uses it.

    It’s a popular mantra that I’ve recalled hearing since the ’05 playoff loss vs. Denver and has got louder then. It has become a staple of a certain afternoon show who loves to perpetuate the myth that the cap is crap. Your usual suspects tend to bring it up more than others. I’ll rail against the troll and I’d be with you if I had ever heard it used in some disparaging way. I have not.

    After last week, one of the good sources for Patriots stuff, Miguel @patscap, put this together:

    @patscap Using my numbers+numbers found at http://espn.go.com/boston/nfl/story/_/id/10586646/new-england-patriots-spent-free-agents-not-wisely … have @Patriots spending 105% of cap over 4 past yrs

    If you have evidence here, I’d be interested to hear it.

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    1. Excellent stats about the cap. Thanks or posting that. Of course, the guy in your avatar perhaps typifies more than any other mediot in town the unfair and usually untruthful bashing of Kraft’s spending habits. Case in point, after the horrid, shocking playoff loss to the Jets in 2010, when the 14-2 Pats — clearly the better team — simply had a bad day and got out-executed and probably outcoached, Shank wrote a column the next day claiming that the Pats had the “third lowest payroll in the NFL” and clearly implied that cheap Bob Kraft — the man who denied Shank his Super Bowl free breakfast all those years ago — was the reason for the defeat. Of course, a real journalist, I forget who, promptly dispelled that myth by showing that the Pats, in fact, had one of the 10 highest payrolls in the league that year. The Globe issued a “correction” a few days later that was hidden deep within the sports pages and NEVER mentioned the name of the writer who made the “reporting error.” Naturally, as Mark Twain (I think) once said, the lie had already traveled halfway around the world before the truth had time to tie it’s shoelaces, and I was actually confronted by a co-worker months later during a discussion about the Pats’ roster-building philosophy, who said, “the Patriots don’t spend any money; they had the third-lowest payroll in the NFL last year.” So, even though the truth had already been published, Shank’s lie was still the conventional wisdom among 90 percent of the people who bothered to read his post-game tripe. Such is the power of journalism to shape public opinion; even when their lies are exposed, their lies tend to remain the conventional wisdom and part of ongoing “narrative.”

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    2. The anti-semitism charge…stems from the battle over the south boston stadium that did not happen. It was the appearance and venom with which the Krafts were attacked and continue to be attacked that causes the complaint. It does not matter how many times we prove that the Kraft family is not “cheap”, a pejorative trait anti-semites hurl at successful Jewish business owners, the Globe and other media members continue to imply/say this openly. The Krafts and their family foundation have given $10s of millions to charity in the US and abroad. The Patriots spend to the cap or above it in both real and cap dollars every year. They built the stadium without government help or handout. Yet it is implied by the Globe writers (Ron Borges is the worst) and others that they are cheap. It goes up my A$$ sideways every time I hear it.

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      1. Care to cite the so-called attacks and venom levied at the Krafts over their fantasy of a stadium in Boston? Cause my recollection of it is that the Krafts wanted a stadium in the city, but the city said, “All set.” End of story. Oh, expect the part about Kraft threatening to move the team to Hartford. To which the entire state replied, “Go ahead.” Bob Kraft is a successful businessman, and that’s why people don’t like him. It’s the same treatment that all successful businessmen get regardless of race, gender, or creed. Hating on businessmen is like hating on lawyers. Everyone does it, and, for the most part, it’s deserved.

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        1. Agree.

          If you also looked at the list of owners across all sports trying to milk as much of public $ for stadiums, it has nothing to do with faith.

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        2. Oswee, I feel like I have to correct the record a little bit here when it comes to the Boston stadium debacle. Basically, Kraft was told by former Gov. Weld that the “Commonwealth Flats” area of the city, which was owned by Massport and technically not by the state, would be a no-brainer and that he’d face very few issues trying to build a stadium/complex there because the legislature would have little-to-no say about it given that it was Massport land. Kraft was putting together a privately-financed proposal, which included TONS of incentives for the local community, including a community/youth center and other charitable-like facilities. The Herald got wind of the proposal, published some of the details before Kraft had a chance to go public with it, and then the grandstanding Southie Pols like Lynch, who was only a state rep. at the time, with considerable help from the Southie-placating Mayor Menino, and others, immediately began to gin up opposition among the Southie community–even though the facility was NOT going to be located in Southie (they claimed it would affect the “quality of life” in Southie anyway because it was in relatively close proximity). Media coverage of the situation, particularly that of the Globe, ran just about 90% against the Krafts, was very slanted and unfair, and Kraft was never even given a real chance to lay out his proposal in detail before the community already had its mind made up due to the slanted coverage, and because of the invective the local politicians were hurling at Kraft. I distinctly remember that in one Globe article, Kraft was quoted as saying that the people of Southie needed to be given the chance to educate themselves about the project, and he clumsily made the follow-up statement: “they’re not educated.” The politicians, naturally, ran with this quote completely out of context and told the residents: “Now Bob Kraft is calling you stupid and uneducated.” Weld, of course, was nowhere to be found. He was no longer governor and was busy running for the Senate at the time anyway. His successor was powerless to do anything about the power play the Boston city pols were playing — most Mass. governors are. The entire episode was a classic example of how “The Narrative” pushed by certain politicians and a hostile media can completely sabotage a person and his reputation, with blatant disregard for the actual facts.
          As for the Hartford situation, that was the last thing Kraft wanted to do. He only opted for Connecticut’s extremely generous offer because former speaker and convicted criminal Tom Finneran, who had a strong personal dislike for Kraft (for reasons we’ll never really know I guess) and once referred to him publicly as a “fat ass millionaire,” simply refused to even let a revised stadium proposal — now slated for Foxboro — come to a vote in the State House of Reps., even though the State Senate, which was dominated by the Speaker’s own party, had already voted 36-4 to allow Kraft to build, once again, a privately-financed facility in Foxboro, with a small amount of infrastructure aid from the state (which was to be paid back by Kraft over time). Finally, after Kraft threw up his hands in frustration and grudgingly opted for Hartford, the NFL got involved (they wanted to preserve their access to the Boston TV market, naturally) and the state reps in the local communities near Foxboro finally began pressuring Herr Finneran to allow the Foxboro stadium proposal to come to a vote. It passed, naturally, and Kraft turned down the $400M in FREE money the State of Connecticut was offering him, paid the $2 million escape clause fine to get out of the deal with Hartford, and then went ahead and borrowed $400M to finance the stadium project in Foxboro.
          In my recollection, the Kraft’s were the only people during the entire sordid affair who comported themselves with any dignity or integrity.

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          1. Great post. Very informative.
            Since we seem to be in the same boat that public money for anything like this is absolutely insane (and still being done in places where they make sure to bypass votes), it seems like Kraft (Jonathan?) has become quite hooked onto bringing the Olympics to Boston, just so he can get a stadium for the Revs. I can careless what MA does but as part of this absolutely disgusting plan, they want NH to kick in some $ for transportation, in which we’d most likely fund by our already high property taxes.

            Have you followed this at all?

            Surprisingly, I thought most local media balked at the idea immediately, knowing how much of the funding is W/F/A and payoffs to the idiots at the IOC, but there were some who still think the Olympics are a good idea.

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          2. Don’t care if all 5 NE states shared the cost — the Olympics are a horrible idea. We’d be digging ourselves out of the debt for decades to come.

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          3. That’s my point. The myth was really burst a decade ago and continues to get worse. Places get worse. Stuff goes to waste. IOC gets more corrupt. There’s a reason why the 2024 Winter games are basically now left to two shitholes.

            As to our area, every single “pro” person I’ve heard around here has some financial gain or is going to get something out of it. In the past, Olympics stuff tended to break down political lines, but it seems like this has changed. Only the media in bed with those who are going to be gaining or still don’t get how corrupt this whole thing is are for it.

            At least put it on a ballot. I’ll respect that. The problem is that politicians know none of this flies anymore and they’ve done everything to bypass any type of public measure (Kings arena, Vikings.) However, as the ‘mainstream media’ perspective changed, it seems many have changed. When I first researched this for a thesis a decade ago, it was the exact opposite.

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          4. As a lifelong resident of Boston, I’d like to set the record straight on something as well — it wasn’t just the politicians that didn’t want a stadium in the city. Residents didn’t want it either. And it had EVERYTHING to do with how quality of life would be affected. Game days would have been a cluster f*ck in an area where weekdays are a cluster f*ck on the reg.

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          5. I’m not arguing pro or con regarding the quality of life issue. I’m just stating that the proposal never was even given a chance to see the light of day because of political and media propagandizing. The public was not given a chance to hear the “pro” side of the proposal; all they heard was the “con” side. Again, I’m not arguing either way. I’m just glad the team stayed in Massachusetts and it’s not all that important that they don’t play in the city of Boston. Everyone associates the Pats with “Boston sports” in their minds anyway, regardless of the stadium’s location. The key takeaway from my original post is that Kraft did not have any desire whatsoever to take the team to Connecticut. It wasn’t a “threat” to take them to Hartford; he actually signed the deal, but was smart enough to put in that $2 million buyout clause should the Massachusetts pols ever come to their good senses. Thankfully, they did. But in his defense, he simply felt hemmed into a corner by Finneran and the other pols, and the media wasn’t inclined to help his cause at all. He signed that Hartford deal more out of desperation than anything else IMO.

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          6. No, see, the politicians and media were voicing the opinion of the people. That’s what I’m telling you. First hand. There was no propagandizing. And Kraft was certainly threatening to relocate the team to Hartford. But as I said before, it blew up in his face when the state’s response was: Go for it, chief. Make no mistake, that was a leverage move on Kraft’s part. It just didn’t work. And, like a good BUSINESSMAN, he put in an out clause to cover his ass. Good thing too, cause he needed it.

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      2. But, was this being cheap because they’re trying to do what every ‘owner’ (billionaire) tries to do by milking public dollars? Most writers, either by political belief or reflecting what most of us plebeians think, would use a term like ‘cheap’ because they want money that they have or could get a loan for something they’ll make money off of.

        I don’t see anything anti-Semite with that.

        If any writer ever did imply they wanted money only because they’re Jewish, basically playing the stereotype, isn’t that analogous to saying “well, they’re black, so we know how prone to crime they are”, or something else like this? They would (should?) be out of a job quickly, no? (Sadly, I can think of people making worse references, even at ESPN, and they’re still employed there.)

        Even at the Globe where they’d welcome anti-Kraft stuff, you’d have to think that if any writer, no matter who, would lose their job on the spot if they ever used anything like that.

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        1. I don’t know who’s called the Krafts cheap. Saying they don’t green-light enough high-level talent acquisitions isn’t the same thing–not remotely–as saying they’re cheap. More like saying they’re risk-averse, which, again, is far from being a synonym for cheap. Revis is the first high-priced free agent they’ve signed in a long time, probably since Adalius Thomas (who was hardly bargain basement). Thomas didn’t exactly work out well, and so far, Revis has been less than advertised.

          But I will never count the Krafts’ financing their own stadium to their credit. They decided to drop the effort to leverage taxpayer money–an all-too-common bit of fraud these owners like to pull–and built their own complex with their own money. They get a tepid golf clap for that one. Don’t forget for a second that these folks are 0.01%ers who love, and are very good at, making money. I have no doubt they’re making handsome return on their investment. We might as well shower gratitude on the Mohegan tribe for building Mohegan Sun.

          You could say–which is kind of what Felger, in his oversimplified-for-the-airwaves, conspicuously-trolling way, is doing–that the Krafts apply a business model to the game which doesn’t fit it very well. Jerry Jones applies an oil man’s love of the big gamble to the game, and it tends to go poorly for him. The Krafts seem to be at the other end of the spectrum–looking to create as homogeneous an organization, with ability spread as evenly as possible throughout, as they can. If you want to, as Steve Young seems to, say that that translates into not being championship driven, well, that’s a fair but arguable conclusion to draw.

          On top of that, I’m no football guy, but a number of Belichick’s decisions this year have left me scratching my head. Mankins and Kelly gone, largely because of money. Browner, signed, but not made active. One of their more promising receivers, Tompkins, gone. It’s the easy thing right now to pile on Patriots ownership and management/coaching, but I think the old saw about things never being as bad as they seem is good to remember here. After all, this isn’t Oakland. These guys have at least won before.

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  4. Heading into last Monday, many people thought KC would be a ‘turn-the-corner’ game for the Patriots. Sadly, it might have been. 1-2 in the AFC doesn’t help the Wildcard cause, if it comes to that. A win against the Bengals is necessary.

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    1. Their statement on it:

      @Globesullivan As far as Patriots’ statement on Aaron Dobson today I have one thing to say: “We’re on to Sunday’s paper.”

      What a prick. I guess both enjoy some job security but just funny how “oh we don’t care if we get it wrong”.

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  5. @BostonRadio summed up this SMY stuff pretty well:

    @bostonradio Reporter blows a story, tries to deflect blame on a bad source, goes on Twitter to hide behind support retweets…sports journalism in 2014

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  6. Pretty sure Jacobs is catholic. Also, wouldn’t Belichick have left here years ago if he couldn’t spend to the cap? Stupid,lazy talk. Kraft used his own $$$ to build Gillette. I don’t care if he’s not the most exciting guy with the media, he’s an all-time great.

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  7. Can Patriots Bounce Back Against Bengals?

    Question definitively answered.

    Of course the headline Monday will be:

    “Pats win, but….It was only the Bengals/there are still problems/Still can’t beat Baltimore/Denver/Whatever”

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  8. Tim Benz attempting to take FULL credit this morning, for motivating the Pats to play better and for the coaches using the game plan that he presented all last week on MFB. I look forward to more of the same from Tony Mazz.

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