Patriots Streak Jettisoned

We’re on week two of the 2006 BSMW Fall Fund Drive. Week one finished a little behind schedule, but still at a very nice $2465. I really appreciate the donations that have come in thus far from all who have taken the time to show their support for the site. I appreciate reading the nice comments that often come along with the donations as well, it really makes my day.

Today’s prize is a copy of a very fine baseball book: Red Sox vs. Yankees – The Great Rivalry. This large book is a look at the century long battle between the two franchises, with plenty of stories and terrific photographs. The book was originally published in 2003, but this is an updated copy that now features the Red Sox incredible comeback in the 2004 ALCS.

All donations of $25 or more receive an entry in the drawing for this prize. You’ll also be eligible for the grand prize drawing at the end of the drive for a Sling Media Slingbox.

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For nearly four years now, Patriots fans have been able to get over regular season losses rather quickly, knowing that a win was only a week away. Now as the Patriots and their fans face a second consecutive week of coming off of a discouraging loss, there is a lot to question about this Patriots team. Are they real contenders in the AFC? Do they even have a shot any longer at a first round bye? Do they now face competition in the AFC East at the hands of the Jets? Will they ever win another game?

Ok, maybe the last question is a bit hyperbolic, but this is not a feeling or situation that we’re used to here in 21st century New England. It appears however, that for this season, we may need to adjust our expectations for the Patriots, who have set their own bar incredibly high. Speaking of hyperbolic, here’s the links for today:

Mike Reiss has a look at an afternoon where the Patriots were completely outplayed, out hustled, out executed and outcoached. Shalise Manza Young says there is plenty of blame to go around for this one. John Tomase says “For the Pats, the division race is officially, regrettably, surprisingly on.” He continues the week long Boston Herald/Corey Dillon feud by claiming that the Patriots running back was “in good spirits” following the loss. Alan Greenberg looks at the Patriots getting smacked down in the fog by the Jets. Albert Breer says this just looked like it was the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth quarters of the Colts game. Jennifer Toland notes that all of a sudden, things are getting very interesting in the AFC East. Dan Pires looks at a statement game for the Jets, and notes that all of a sudden the AFC East is a two team race. Michael Parente tells us that the streak is over and the trouble has just begun for the Patriots. Mark Farinella has more on the Patriots coming back to the pack in the AFC.

Christopher Price does his usual fine job with 10 Things We Learned Yesterday. Bob Ryan says that with all the old storylines now expired, it’s time to create newer ones for this Patriots team – stories that may not have happy endings. Michael Felger says that it is getting harder and harder to say with any confidence that this team is headed to the top. Jim Donaldson tells that the Patriots are just not an elite team anymore, not after their third loss of the season at Gillette Stadium – a venue where they had been nearly invincible during their Super Bowl seasons. Tom King says that apparently you can’t give Eric Mangini and the Jets two weeks to prepare for a team…

Ron Borges crows that Eric Mangini had the answer for everything Bill Belichick and the Patriots threw at his team, including the post game handshake. Tony Massarotti also enjoyed the student taking the teacher to school, and describes Mangini as “affable, polite and even-keeled.” Guess Tony hasn’t been reading the New York papers. Ian Clark also examines the angle of the student having the edge over the teacher in this matchup. David Brown has a look at the Jets winning the sideline matchup in addition to the game on the field. Tim Weisberg looks at Mangini keeping the former Patriots on his roster focused in this one.

Steve Buckley looks at another off day for Tom Brady, who was picked off, leading to a Jets touchdown, and strip-sacked to end the game. Lenny Megliola looks at Brady coming up abruptly short in his attempt to trigger another last second miracle finish. Toland looks at the Brady magic missing at the end of this one. Breer looks at Corey Dillon answering his critics with a strong afternoon.

Joe McDonald looks at Reche Caldwell as a bright spot for the Patriots on an otherwise dreary day. Dan Ventura also looks at the big day from Caldwell, one of his best as a pro. Caldwell has started to emerge as the top wide receiver on the club, and Brady’s confidence in him grows by the week. Christopher L Gasper looks at Caldwell’s TD catch, which Brady called “one of the best plays of the year” by a Patriots wide receiver. David Brown looks at the Patriots getting productive days out of wideouts Caldwell and Jabar Gaffney, but it wasn’t enough.

Breer has Ellis Hobbs taking the blame for the loss because of his inability to make a play on the Jerricho Cotchery touchdown. Amalie Benjamin says that it was more than just that one play that lost the game on defense for the Patriots. Mike Lowe also has Hobbs putting the loss on his shoulders. Farinella says that the Patriots defense was solid, but just didn’t make a few key plays, which ended up costing them the game.

Rich Garven makes a lot out of the fact that Richard Seymour said that the Patriots were outplayed and outcoached. Dan Ventura looks at the Patriots offensive line getting pushed around all afternoon. Gasper also has a look at the Patriots offense not giving Brady enough time all afternoon to make the right throws. Farinella also observes that the Brady and the Patriots offense are still a bit off.

McDonald provides his game analysis from both sides of the ball. Greenberg chimes in with his Turning Point analysis of the action. McDonald notes that it would be unfair to name a player of the game for the Jets, he awards the defensive unit as a whole the honor. Felger looks at the Jets scheme being able to limit the “whams” of the Patriots.

McDonald cites Brady’s interception, which the Jets then converted into seven points, as the play of the game. Massarotti cites the Cotchery TD as the play of the game and gets reaction from all involved in the play. It’s Buckley’s turn to compile the best and worst from the afternoon.

Steve Solloway examines how much this win meant to the Jets. Peter Gobis has a look at Chad Pennington picking apart the Patriots defense. Young has a look at an extra satisfying victory for the Jets. Greenberg looks at Mangini enjoying his moment, despite a chilly reception. Get the rest of the Jets coverage on the New York Sports Pages.

Tomase’s notebook looks at the situation of Richard Seymour, who didn’t play for stretches in the second half, though both he and the coach didn’t give injury as the reason. Reiss’ notebook has more from Seymour. The Projo Talking Points has a number of notes, quotes and observations from the afternoon. Chris Kennedy’s notebook has Tom Brady still struggling this week after his bad outing against the Colts. Garven’s notebook says that Doug Gabriel was benched for his second quarter fumble. Weisberg’s notebook looks at the decline of the running game, which started out so strong in the first quarter. Parente’s notebook has more on Seymour sitting out long stretches of the game. Farinella’s notebook, which is quite extensive, looks at the Jets rendering the Patriots ineffective.

Revolution Fall in Title Match

It wasn’t a good afternoon for the other Men of Kraft, either as the New England Revolution lost the MLS title game on penalty kicks. Frank Dell’Apa and Mike Biglin have the coverage of this one. John Powers says this was an ending to scream about. Biglin looks at Clint Dempsey coming back from injury in time to help the Revs. Biglin’s notebook has the Revs early play forcing a change in the Dynamos style. Dell’Apa’s notebook says that for five Revs, this third loss in the MLS final was especially tough.

Other

Michael Silverman looks at this week’s GM meetings as a starting point to lay the groundwork for deals later this offseason for the Red Sox.

Shira Springer and Steve Bulpett look at the Celtics in the aftermatch of a 1-5 start and losing a game in which they held a 25 point lead in Cleveland. Over on the FSN Celtics Central page, I have a look at whether things are as bad as the 1-5 start would indicate and a look at the busy schedule this week.

Fluto Shinzawa and Karen Guregian report on Hannu Toivonen suffering a sprained ankle during practice in Providence. Mick Colageo says that it may be a new season, but in many ways it’s the same old Bruins.

FSN has Celtics/Magic at 7:30. ESPN has Bucs/Panthers at 8:30.

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