After the Patriots squeaked by the lowly New York Jets at home on October 16th, focus turned to the just-completed six-game stretch for New England, which experts said, would make or break this team. Some leaned towards the latter, predicting doom, even 0-6 over this stretch.

After going 5-1 over the six games, you’d think most questions would be answered. New England won blowouts, they won close, they won at home, they won on the road. They won scoring 51 points, and they won scoring 23 points.

With gauntlet complete, Patriots take another step on journey toward title – Chris Price with the Patriots establishing their contender credentials.

Patriots’ defense saves the day against Chargers – Tom E Curran has the team showing they can win a game with their defense, too.

Jamie Collins leads Patriots big defensive effort – Karen Guregian has the second-year linebacker taking charge with Hightower out last night.

Jamie Collins, New England Patriots defense overwhelmed San Diego Chargers Sunday night – Kevin Duffy has teammates raving about the young linebacker.

Patriots’ defense delivers after team bonding in San Diego – Mike Reiss has the week of preparation out West paying off for the team.

Brandon Browner disputes roughing penalty – Michael Whitmer’s extensive notebook leads off with the controversial call against the Patriots cornerback.

Get all the coverage at

Sports media: Marshawn Lynch has his say — such as it is — in interview – Chad Finn’s Monday media column has the Seahawks running back speaking to a former teammate.

Sam Ponder on motherhood, football; misogyny among hockey media – Richard Deitsch’s media column covers the usual wide gambit.


One John Henry plane flight later, stage set for Jon Lester’s decision – Rob Bradford wonders if a second visit from the Red Sox owner could sway the lefty into returning to Boston.

Simple Truth: Boston a special place for Paul Pierce – Steve Bulpett has a talk with the former Celtics captain.


26 thoughts on “Slugfest in San Diego Latest Win For Patriots

  1. Vrabel had 12 career touchdowns (10 w Pats). Some gimmick. Maybe Watt catches him in career TDs. One record he won’t reach: Vrabel’s two Super Bowl touchdowns.

  2. Beating up the local media and fans for their pre-“gauntlet” predictions is fun, I’ll admit. But to me, it’s less about whether or not they were right about the Pats being “done”, “Finished”, etc… but more about the perverse joy in their voices/prose that they could barely could contain. They have been waiting for so long for the Pats to become like most other teams and it seemed they were finally right. Sorry fellas.
    PS: I loved EEI playing Fauria’s prediction after the Pats ‘season ended’ in KC. He thought during the 6-game “gauntlet” they would go 2-4 and he was “heavily leaning towards 1-5”. Swing and a miss!

    1. And ThanksDad Benz was patting himself on the back for an 11-5 prediction while simultaneously whining about being told by callers that he would be proven wrong.

    2. The most critical opinions seem to come from the former players who at some point were let go by Bill. Always get a little sense that Ty or Christian want to to just needle their former boss just a bit. It’s natural, I get it.

      1. Law is clearly bitter, but it’s misplaced. He wishes he had taken less money (but still millions, mind you) to stay with the Patriots instead of wasting the last 5 years of his career with teams that had no chance of winning. I’d say Ty is projecting his anger onto BB. Who knows, NE might have another ring or two if he had stayed.
        Fauria’s angle is perplexing. BB blessed with him with 2 rings, and the guy has no career in the media if he never plays for the Pats. Stay in your lane, sir.

  3. “Mike, if Phillip Rivers was under center for the Patriots last night, the team would have won by 35 points. How can you be picking this team for the super bowl? Tomato cans!”

  4. Why can’t he go and retire some where far far away from here. I haven’t read anything from him in over ten years. It’s time to walk back to Worcester shank

  5. “What impressed Belichick so much was that the Patriots had to do it without some key parts, such as do-everything linebacker Dont’a Hightower,”

    The Gold Standard.

    Remember when the Radio Nitwits thought they were being clever (and smarter than ‘BB the GM’) while mocking the selection of Hightower? We don’t have even have to go back passed last season to find tape on that.

    1. This goes back to what Ordway said about how most markets cover their team’s own drafts. In each market, their local team SUCKS and BLOWS at drafting (YARM!!). Every team, in every other market, has these genius GMs that hit with every single pick and wind up turning UDFAs into ProBowlers. But, I have to think, it’s a record here for how much our team SUCKS and BLOWS, even if we won’t “win the big one”. (Funny since he just covered this again yesterday on the show.)

      Every team hits. Every team misses. When you miss–and, miss bad–you turn into the Giants. Well, we haven’t. Why hasn’t the team (GM) got credit for Hightower? Collins? How about the FA signings of Ayers? We still had to resign Blount but remember HE CLEARED WAIVERS. EVERY OTHER TEAM HAD A CHANCE TO PICK HIM UP. NOBODY DID.

      1. Trust me, there are people out there who would say, regarding the Giants: “Yeah, they suck now, and they’ve missed the playoffs more than 50% of the time that Coughlin has been their head coach (11 seasons, 6 post-season misses, including this year), but they’re still a better organization than the Pats because of those two Super Bowls in the last seven years–that’s two more than Belichick has won during that time frame!!” Believe me….those people are out there, because I’ve “debated” them, and wanted to bang my head against the wall in the process because they simply didn’t want to acknowledge that winning 11, 12, or 13 games EVERY YEAR, and being at least in the Super Bowl conversation is a better overall track record than having the occasional playoff team that makes a miracle January/February run to a title, sandwiched in between multiple non-playoff seasons. Nope, there are just some people who have this “all or nothing” attitude about the Pats, and EVERYTHING about the team is a failure if they’re not hoisting the Lombardi every February. Moreover, these people think the Steelers, Giants, Colts, Ravens, et al, are better organizations than the Pats and have better GMs than BB simply because those teams have won Super Bowls more recently–no matter how many times those teams have also MISSED the playoffs more recently, or more frequently, than the Pats. (Three of those four teams missed the playoffs last year alone.)
        Regarding the drafts, it is truly hilarious to read some of the comments about how BB could have drafted this guy or that guy who ended up being much better than the guy BB actually drafted. It’s like the other 30 teams in the league, other than the Pats, who also passed on “that guy” don’t even exist. I just went through three days of head-shaking as I read through the “fan” comments about Dobson being put on IR. Again, it was all about “BB can’t draft WRs”, or “they could have drafted that Adams guy from GB instead of that stiff!!”, or, my favorite: “Another wasted/blown BB second round pick!” Do these people even realize that the best player on the field Sunday in San Diego (Collins) was a second rounder? How about Gronk? How about Vereen? How about Vollmer? UGH……yes, BB has blown probably more second rounder’s in recent years than other GMs, but “more” is a relative term considering the overall high “miss” rate for second rounder’s in the league anyway, not to mention the fact that BB, because of his “Trader Bill” tendencies, made more second round selections than any GM over the last five or so years. And I wouldn’t give up on Dobson yet–you don’t have surgery for a stress fracture in your foot in March and suddenly regain your 2013 form (which was pretty good for a rookie). Chalk this season up as an injury-related loss for him. Oh, and by the way, BB drafted Edelman. The last time I checked, he was playing WR. Does that pick not count because he was a college QB or something?

        1. That just comes with the territory. You have to win a title at some point to validate everything. Just one from 07 or 11 would’ve taken care of a lot of these arguments you’ve had with others. So going by your logic where do you rank the 1990’s Bills organization? Or how about any team that Marty Shottenheimer coached on? I’m not equating the Pats with them because they do have 3 titles but it’s been a ten year gap. For me the Bills were great and Marty was a great coach who had 12 win teams almost every year buy at some point you have to win it all to validate everything. Might not be fair but who ever said life was fair. My advice to you is to stop taking the bait and just let it be. Opinions are like assholes…everyone has one. 🙂

          1. Comparing the last nine Patriots season to the career of Schottenheimer doesn’t make sense. Guy lost three AFC CGs and had nine first game playoff losses in his career. The Patriots have played in five of the last nine AFC CGs. They’ve been to two SBs. The Buffalo Bills comparison is close to fair, but remember that they weren’t even competitive in three of their four SB appearances. NE could have (and ,arguably, should have) won the ’07 and ’11 games.

        2. On the Giants, have they been overall more successful than us when it comes to winning championships from 2007 to present? Yes. Scoreboard. Can’t argue that. But I would argue the Pats have been a better overall team over that time period and have certainly had more chances to win it all, which they simply haven’t been able to execute. Let me put it this way. If Welker catches that ball, or if Tyree drops that ball, we are talking 1 championship each for the 2 teams since 2007. And the Pats clearly win the tiebreaker there. So it is really coming down to a dropped pass by Welker or an ultra fluky catch by Tyree as the sole reason why the Giants could be viewed as more successful than the Pats during that span.

          It comes down to team building philosophy, with the media elite hating the Pats’ philosophy big time because it is always thinking long term instead of “going for it now” like they think other teams like the Giants, Broncos and Ravens do (when in actuality those teams weren’t really doing that). The Pats might be 5% weaker in one year than if they had “gone for it”, but it pays dividends when the team continues to be successful each year. This team would NEVER be allowed to have a substandard year here without the media absolutely destroying it, regardless of them telling you that they’ll take a down year or two in exchange for a championship. The team already is treated like they are the Raiders or Jaguars by the media.

          When it comes to drafting, the media likes to specifically frame their argument to exclude certain facts so as to bash the Pats big time. A big one I hear, often from Felger-lite Adam Jones is to pick apart the performance of the Pat’s last 5 playoff losses, while completely leaving out the wins that often came in those same years (since they’ve only been one and done twice in the Brady era, and not since 2010). Yes, things are going to look worse if you purposely only look at the losses and leave out all the wins. How could it not look that way? The drafting wide receivers is another thing. The Pats will get bashed to death for not drafting wide receivers well. Well, they drafted a hall of fame-esque talent in Gronkowski, don’t they get any credit for that? Aaron Hernandez was a very talented wide receiver when he was here, if you are strictly looking at talent and performance on the field, that was a very strong draft pick. They brought in Randy Moss and Wes Welker when neither player was thought of highly and made them big stars. They turned a 7th round QB in Edelmen into a very good wide receiver. Yet when this topic comes up, all we hear is how much they suck at bringing in Wide Receivers. Yes, when you leave out the Tight Ends, the trades, the converted QB, etc… it doesn’t look as good. But we’re looking at an overall team here, that the wide receivers being drafted haven’t been as good is directly impacted by the tight ends and the traded for players!

      2. If you want to wr draft picks to work out. The best man for the job for gm is Matt Millen. Then we can a awful team with hall of fame wide outs and then media ho’s can tell us how much the team sucks. There is very few gm out there who have had the success bb has had if any in the history of nfl.

        Image if the past fourteen years some one else was running the show and had half the success Bb had yikes

  6. The worst part about the Curly Haired Boyfriend’s use of the Royal We is that we all know he doesn’t like any of the four teams (and for that matter, doesn’t even appear to enjoy sports in general). Remember folks, for Shank, it’s all about ‘rooting for the story’.

    1. I think he was a Celtics fan back in “the good old days” when Red ran the show and Bird was “wowing” the fans every night with his miraculous exploits. He was a beat writer then, and he certainly did his fair share of sh*t stirring in the locker room, but in the end I think he at least appreciated the way that C’s team played the game, and he certainly milked his affiliation with the organization for everything it was worth at that time (I think he penned two books, at least, about the Celtics back then, including the one he wrote with Red about his “business” philosophy, or whatever it was). Of course, those days are long gone. For the last 20 years his Celtics “coverage” has been all about calling the younger Gaston “Thanks Dad” and ripping them for “tanking”, and then ripping them for not “tanking” enough. And, as you said, I think his allegiance when covering or writing about the other three teams in town is to the “story”, period.

  7. One of the parody accounts here, @WWIIFelger, who is a great follow, Tweeted this right after the CHB/revs tweet:

    @WWIIFelger @Dan_Shaughnessy Revs valuation 89 million. Globe sale price 70 million minus 110 mm in pension liabilities minus land deal. Scoreboard.

    Love it.

  8. The peaceful protest would be not talking about him.

    I’m sorry, but this very site doesn’t exist withOUT Dan and the people complaining about Dan (and others). It’s the way of the new media. The games will still be on TV….

  9. Good to see DB & YARM return to the “Tom Brady in decline” conversation. Surprised they didn’t mention Tim Wright not having a catch and yelling about the Mankins trade, seeing how the o-line got pushed around vs the Chargers.

  10. Also, quick memo to the fans….can we STOP with the Jonas Gray crap? He had the game of his life vs the Colts and everybody acts like Bill is keeping Barry Sanders standing on the sidelines? Felger says people overrate Blount. Well what do you call the pandemic surrounding Gray? Guy has been on like 4 teams in 3 years and several practice squads. Jim Brown re-incarnate he isn’t.

  11. I agree with you and the others about the lack of championships. It’s been frustrating as hell, made even more so by the fact that “Spygate” is often brought up as a “reason” for why they haven’t won again by the more ignorant people out there. With that said, to the argument about BB the GM versus GM’s in other towns that have won Super Bowls since 2004, those other teams, by and large, had “bad” seasons which enabled them to grab a high-quality, impact type of player early in the draft (example: Baltimore drafting Ngata). The Patriots, by virtue of their incredible regular season success, haven’t had those opportunities, which is one of the reasons why they’ve fallen just shy of another SB win a few times since 2004. And, I’ve said this before, but their lack of titles since ’04 has a lot less to do with BB the GM’s failures as it has to do with pure, dumb, unadulterated bad luck, which has plagued them since Feb. 2005 (starting with Bruschi’s stroke and moving forward since then). They’ve been good enough to win it all plenty of times, but the bounces, the flags, and the injury luck simply hasn’t been in their corner.
    Regarding the Bills of the 90s: different era; pre-salary cap/free agency, when the NFC was completely dominant in three of the four years Buffalo won the AFC. No one believed they had a realistic shot in any of those other three Super Bowls they lost. But, on the other hand, if Scott Norwood pulls that kick inside the upright against the Giants, Buffalo’s legacy is totally different, right? Again, there’s your Sister Luck, shining on the NYG and not on their opponent.

    1. you really can’t compare what the Pats have done with any other team from the past. You can only use contemporary teams. There have been too many rule changes in the last 10 years. The game now has very little resemblance to football in the 80’s and 90’s. BB has been the ONLY coach who has had success through all of these changes. the game now looks more like a video game than the game when teams were allowed to play defense. The fact that the Pats have been dominant during all these changes while every other team has been through a rebuilding process speaks volumes to how well they are run and coached.

  12. It depends on your outlook, I guess. Remember one thing about the Giants’ championship runs–particularly the last one in 2011. (In 2007 they were a good team that finished 10-6 largely because they had a lot of injuries during the regular season–they had been building up to that point over the previous couple of seasons). The 2011 Giants were 6-7 with three weeks left in the regular season and had to win all three to make the playoffs, which they did. Just to get to 6-7, they got an enormous break from the officials late in a game at Arizona, when, trailing by four with less than two minutes left, Victor Cruz caught a pass for a first down, lost his footing and left the ball on the ground after he got up, which Arizona recovered. Game over, right? Nope, the refs ruled that Cruz had “given himself up” and ruled him down without contact. Ridiculous call. He clearly just fell down on that play. The Giants kept possession and drove the final 30 or so yards for the winning TD. Without that call, they’re 5-8 heading into those final three games, and they’re out of it. In a crucial Week 15 game at Dallas, the Cowboys were leading late when Romo hit a wide-open Miles Austin for what would have been the game-sealing TD. He dropped it. Dallas instead had to punt, Eli got the Giants into the end zone for the go-ahead TD, and then the Giants blocked the Cowboys’ game-tying FG attempt. If Austin catches that ball, it’s game over and the Giants also are out of the playoffs.
    So what is my point here? My point is that the 2011 Giants may very well have been the luckiest SB champion in history. Good team? Sure. But every single break went their way that season, especially in the two regular season games I mentioned as well as in the post-season (Welker drop, Gronk’s ankle injury suffered in the AFCCG, multiple drops on the Pats’ final desperation drive at the end, etc.). Once again, I stress that the lack of SB wins in the last 10 years has been as frustrating for me as it has been for everyone else, but it has very, very, very little to do with Belichick’s GM performance. It’s basically boiled down to the breaks of the game. While I admit it took him a long time (basically six years) to rebuild the defense after 2007, that’s almost understandable given the fact that he had to do it “on the fly,” without any top 10 draft picks–because NE is always in the post-season. Even the year they missed the playoffs because of Brady’s injury, the NFL’s draft positioning formula (since changed) really scr*wed them and actually had them drafting BEHIND several teams that had made the playoffs.

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