The Patriots report card by

The Patriots report card by Kevin Mannix isn’t quite as harsh as I thought it would be. Only two “F’s”. (receivers and DB’s.) Ron Borges crows just as much as he’s entitled to. Scolding those who chided him for being negative early. My wrist still smarts from being slapped. All worship at the altar of the almighty Borges…Tom Curran looks at the fatigue factor and admits also to being wrong and thinking this team was better than it is. Alan Greenberg notes that the team is still positive, and wonders why. Lenny Megliola says the team is done. A quote from Vinatiari saying they hope to give the Dolphins a run for their money is particularly damning. Steve Buckley presumes to speak for every man, woman and child in New England. Sorry Buck, I disagree, I think the Jets have a very good chance of beating the Packers Sunday. Bill Reynolds looks at Tom Brady struggling to keep afloat while his team sinks around him. Rich Thompson looks at a still hopeful Bill Belichick. Ian Clark looks at the offensive offense. Thompson’s notebook looks at Adrian Klemm at right tackle, while Curran’s notebook starts with the dejected Tom Brady.

Gordon Edes looks at the Red Sox pursuit of Jose Contreras. Edes’s article also takes an interesting look at the intrigue involved in signing international, and in particular, Cuban players. Yesterday talk on Red Sox on-line boards and on WEEI was hot discussing a story in a Panamanian newspaper that had Ramiro Mendoza quoted as saying he had agreed to a contract with the Red Sox and was awaiting a physical. Tony Massarotti looks at the Contreras pursuit and also examines the rumors of that Mendoza signing coming soon. David Heuschkel says once again, the Yankees are the team to beat. Edes’ notebook looks at Chad Fox, Mendoza and Timlin.

Stephen Harris and Nancy Marrapese-Burrell cover last night’s 5-2 Bruins win over the Sharks. Kevin Paul Dupont is a tad concerned over the goalkeeping and wonders if now is the time to deal Kyle McLaren for netminder. Steve Conroy looks at Ivan Huml bringing his sister in for the holidays. Marrapose-Burrell’s notebook looks at a close call for Gerry Cheevers’ son Robbie, while Harris’ notebook leads with PJ Stock.

Paul Pierce tells Mark Murphy that the NBA needs to crack down on the rough fouls. Shira Springer has Jim O’Brien looking to take advantage of some needed practice time.

Jim Baker and Bill Griffith review the weekend of NFL coverage. Griffith also looks ahead to ABC coverage of the NBA tipping off tomorrow. John Molori says that NESN might be looking to Butch Stearns to head up its “Red Sox Nation” program. Molori also has some WWZN/WEEI stuff and a look at the Mike Adams show on WWZN.

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