Despite constant claims to the contrary, it is not easy to win the same division in the NFL 12 times in 14 seasons. The Patriots just make it look that way.

The Patriots clinched the AFC East yesterday by exacting revenge for an opening-day loss to the Miami Dolphins with a 41-13 pounding of those same Dolphins at Gillette Stadium.

AFC Easy: Tom Brady, New England Patriots roll Miami Dolphins en route to sixth straight division title – Kevin Duffy looks at the win, and the Patriots getting a chance to throw Miami’s words back at them.

Patriots gain revenge with December drubbing of Miami – Christopher Price has New England waiting all season for this chance.

Patriots built for a title – Karen Guregian has the Patriots subdued following yesterday’s division win.

Tom Brady’s feet fire up Patriots in win – Michael Reiss looks at a 17-yard scamper by the ancient QB which got his teammates fired up.

Patriots defense making most of second chances – Richard Garven has the defense once again pitching a second-half shutout.

Rob Gronkowski can’t be stopped – Jacqueline MacMullan has Bledsoe calling Gronk the “evolution of the species” of tight end from his own target, Ben Coates.

Brady-Bledsoe bond has aged like fine wine – James Donaldson has the QB’s catching up after the game.

Patriots ‘just doing their jobs’ in 2nd-half turnaround – Thomas Curran has the Patriots just working better in the second half.

Halftime adjustments helped Patriots turn a close one into a rout – Benjamin Volin looks at the tale of two halves.

Jonas Gray reappears, makes clear impact – Lee Schecter has the running back giving the team a spark in the second half.

Knee-Jerk Reactions: Week 15, Patriots vs. Dolphins – Gerald Thornton’s Knee-Jerk columns are always eminently readable

Patriots’ Chandler Jones plays like he never left – Michael Whitmer’s notebook looks at the emotional return of the defensive end.

Get the rest of the coverage at PatriotsLinks.com

*****

John Tomase Joins WEEI As Columnist, Senior Sportswriter – As expected, WEEI.com announced that John Tomase would be joining the site to replace Alexander Speier.

The release states that  Tomase’s responsibilities will include serving as a columnist across all sports, while continuing to excel with his coverage of the Red Sox. Besides his work for WEEI.com, he will be a frequent on-air contributor for Sports Radio 93.7 WEEI in Boston and across New England on the WEEI Network.

Many of his colleagues have been praising Tomase today, and congratulating him on the move. He is well liked among his peers. The same can’t  be said for many fans, who will never forgive him for his story on the Patriots taping the Rams walkthrough prior to Super Bowl 36, which was later retracted and apologized for, yet is still taken as fact by most people. (Even though the Herald wrote: “we now know that this report was false, and that no tape of the walkthrough ever existed.”)

I like John personally, never had any issues with him in that regard, but it is astounding to me that he has had zero professional implications for that incident. He remained on the Patriots beat for another season before being rewarded with a move to the Red Sox. The likes of Michael Felger defend him and insist that his story was accurate and he only made a mistake by sourcing once, no matter what has been said about it.

Others have been drummed out of the industry for less. Tomase is rewarded, ostensibly because he’s a nice, well-liked guy.

And no, we’re not going to forget this. It happened.

*****

Twitter post of the week. (From Dolphins beat reporter Omar Kelly)

 

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25 thoughts on “Patriots Run The East, Tomase Rewarded Again

  1. While it might be buried in the game notes from this week, it’s worth congratulating Stephen Gostkowski on becoming the Patriots all-time leading scorer. When Adam Vinatieri left for a bigger contract with the Colts, the Patriots “cheapness” blared in the media (even though Vinatieri was the highest paid kicker for several years before leaving). The usual media suspects were all ready and looking forward to taking Belichick and Kraft apart when Gostkowski missed a game winning kick. Fortunately that didn’t happen until the 2012 game against the Cardinals, a game that never should have come down to that kick

    While not having signature kicks into the snow to tie a game, or Super Bowl winning kicks, Gostkowski has done everything asked of him, has been one of the most reliable parts of the team, especially on the many kickoffs he makes that result in touchbacks (a much higher rate than Vinatieri), and deserves recognition for setting this record.

    1. Here, here. Gostkowski has been one of the best kickers in the NFL ever since the Pats drafted him. He had a tough act to follow and he’s followed it as well as anyone could have expected. He also has, contrary to the conventional wisdom, made several clutch kicks during his career, missing just the one you mentioned against Arizona. I still shake my head as to why BB didn’t let Ghost try that 48/49-yarder in the Super Bowl out in Glendale, and instead opted for the bizarre 4th and 13 long pass attempt. Indoors, from that distance, he would have had a good 75 to 80 percent chance of making it. But, that was just one of the many head-scratching things that occurred that night which prevented the Pats from embracing football immortality.

      1. Even though it’s been seven years, I STILL can’t bring myself to talk, in any great depth, about that Super Bowl. So, for me, what is about to follow, is border-line therapeutic.

        I maintain to this day that Seymour had Eli in the grasp and that, normally, 10 times out of 10 that play is whistled dead for a loss. Add in Samuel’s drop of a sure pick, the miraculous — and ridiculous — helmet catch by a journeyman receiver off a desperation heave while Rodney was draped all over him, and the aforementioned bizarre decision by BB to not let Gostkowski attempt that FG and it resulted in just a very strange, kick-in-the-sack day.

        1. LOL…don’t forget the OBVIOUS holding penalty on the Giants’ O-line, caught by Sports Illustrated’s cameras in all its glory, that wasn’t called before Eli tossed up the prayer that Tyree answered. It was just a bizarre, bizarre evening all around. I’m still convinced that Weis figured out the NYG’s defensive scheme at halftime and the Pats win the game going away after he makes the adjustments. That was Weis’s specialty. McDaniels never adjusted that night. Of course, we never really knew until well after the fact that Brady’s foot injury suffered against SD in the AFC title game was much worse than they let on. That probably had a lot to do with their offensive issues that night. Bottom line: it takes luck to win a Super Bowl, and it takes a lot of luck to go undefeated. The ’72 Dolphins always chortle with contempt when anyone bothers to point out just how weak their schedule was that year, but the fact remains that it WAS a very weak schedule. Even Shula himself said the ’73 team, which lost two games on its way to a repeat championship, was better than the ’72 team. The ’72 team just had the easy schedule, and the breaks when they needed them.

  2. Much has been stated about the weakness of the AFC East. But look back at the divisional records of each of the division winners for the past six years, and you will see at least one divisional winner has matched or bettered the Patriots division record for that year. Given this fact (not opinion), though the Patriots have benefitted from being in the AFC East, it has not given them the inner track of getting the bye as others may lead us to believe. The Colts have a divisional record of 28-8 in the last 6 years (and that includes the “suck for luck” year) and we hear very little about the mediocrity of the AFC South.

    1. But the AFC East is garbage! Fact, not opinion, caller!! Even though Felger admits people send him emails proving the AFC East isn’t as bad as he says it is and that the Pats have a better record vs the rest of the NFL than vs the AFCE, but that doesn’t fit the narrative, so let’s ignore it.

  3. Weei.com is the better gig than the Herald? But the Globe, past home for Barnicle, Borges, Smith and Venocchi, is superior than Weei? Tomase would be a perfect fit at John Henry’s home for lazy hacks joining Shank and Cafardo.

  4. So I hope Entercom and WEEI understand that by hiring Tomase they have announced to the world that journalistic ethics, quality work and honesty are not high priorities. If they are stupid enough to put Tomase on the air where he opines on the Patriots…they deserve the avalanche of poo that will inevitably come their way as we Patriots fans have long memories and utterly despise Tomase. You would think that if someone at a major paper in town were to make up a story about the Patriots he should be person non grata forever. But this loser has some how skated and resurrected his self image while never (at least as far as I know) shown any public remorse for his horrific libel of the Patriots organization.

    Congrats WEEI you have managed to hire someone worse than Ken Powers and you seem proud of it.

      1. I wonder if that move foreshadows that the Pats have already given WEEI notice that they are moving Patriots Monday and Friday to the flagship 98.5 next year. The Brady and Belichick interviews will move there. Just supposin’ kind of like certain hosts.

        1. Someone once said, and I don’t remember who, that they would not do that because of monopoly/anti-competitive measures the NFL has.

          I don’t know if that’s a bylaw or just an edict where if a market has more than one major station, they’re advised to spread things out. Like here, where one has the rights but the other is allowed to pay for “Team” days and have the interviews. You could have interviews and talk football 100% of the time but Patriots is copyrighted so you have to pay for it.

          It makes sense on one level but I also would think that if a team wants to give its radio and interview rights to one station, it should be theirs. I also have to think that it would not stop the independent interviews that some of the players give to WEEI, but that’s their deal with the team where they’re given tickets/gear in exchange for the team getting money for the exclusive.

          1. I think that is urban legend. If there is no rule/law against a team owning the channel/network that broadcasts their games I doubt there is any anti trust reason that mandates a team give two talk stations in the same market equal access. It might be good business to get both stations promoting their product but there is no legal/rule/reason why the Pats have to have Patriots Monday on WEEI. They never did anything on the old 1510.

          2. I have been always curious what the comp is doing the interviews especially Brady’s and what 98.5 pays to air the patriots vs. The red Sox 5 mil a year deal(I know 162 games)

          3. Read and heard many times it’s something like this:

            Station (TV/Radio) wants an exclusive with player. They go to the team and strike up some type of deal (cash, whatever). They go to player and typically offer free tickets/gear for them. Basically, the players get good tickets/free gear they can give to the wife/family/friends/etc. I have to think the bigger names get some cash or the team makes a donation to their foundation, but I am guessing.

            I couldn’t find the deal $ for the Patriots/SportsHub searching, but I’d think Chad Finn might know. IIRC, WEEI pays something like 17m/yr for Sox radio rights.

          4. Thank you my friend. I thought I was wrong with the 5 mil 17 mil makes more sense.
            I know your correct but I could never understand some one who makes min a mid six figure salary looking for freebies and gift cert. Maybe it’s just me. Hard cold cash is just nicer

          5. Many times, they offer them great seats that the team holds itself for things like this. Those are usually going to go to 1.) special guests but those who aren’t going into a box 2.) contest winners 3.) thank you gifts to some of their sponsors/biz partners.

            Is it “worth the money?” maybe not but the team basically takes care of the player’s needs on this part. They’ll not only have the person seated in a good seat, but also get them better parking, a nice sized-quota to the nicest restaurant in or at the stadium. You’d also have some type of limo/transportation setup, even if they’re flying in.

            If you’ve ever been “wined and dined” for sales, it’s a similar thing. The player can just do this for their family/gf/wife/etc. Could you do all of this with cash? Absolutely. The difference is that you’ll have, say, 4 people taken care of for the 8 home games, and not have to do a thing. The team’s concierge/relations department will handle this. (Source: family member was in sales and did this for decades.)

            Otherwise, yeah, cash is king. Who knows what someone like Edelman makes for his spot, vs Brady/BB, and I doubt we’d ever know.

  5. Listening to the DB & YARM podcast right now….is there another sports market in the country where the radio hosts open the show BITCHING about the home team not having competitive enough games? They are bitching that the Patriots blew the Dolphins out. I seriously have trouble believing what I’m hearing.

  6. Loved that Tweet from Omar Kelly (and subsequent ones in the first half patting himself on the back). Exactly why I don’t tweet judgmental, emotional stuff during games.

  7. People calling to complain about Brady dropping the f-bomb… nice. Where can I register a complaint with the FCC about the offensiveness of the NFL showing Titans-Jaguars tomorrow evening on NFL Network? Just the thought of that has caused irreparable harm in my mind, and I’ve suffered billions in damages.

  8. Somebody should tell this Omar character (full time NFL beat writer?…really?) that given the velocity/trajectory of his throws, the accurate comparison is Peyton Manning and Pennington

  9. Tiki:

    Excellent post. I am well aware of Entercomm’s none commitment to quality but I do think this is a the final straw. I don’t like Thornton and questioned bringing him on…he has no knowledge. I don’t like Minihane…his host on host crime is so unprofessional it makes me sick. But hiring Tomase…that one takes the cake.

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