The Patriots exploded for a 38-14 opening day win over their division rivals, the New York Jets yesterday, The Red Sox also beat the Orioles 3-2 in Baltimore to reduce their magic number to 14 to clinch the A.L. East.
And oh yeah, to the surprise of no one, Dennis & Callahan are back in time for the first regular season Patriots Monday of the year. David Scott got up early for their first appearance this morning, and has some entries from the start of the show.
Scott Benson has the first Patriots Game Day Rear View of the season, noting that the 38-14 score wasn’t as close as it seemed. Karen Guregian says that the Patriots had all the right moves yesterday. Christopher L. Gasper has Tom Brady and Co. playing their own version of fantasy football in New York. Shalise Manza Young states that yesterday “was an old-fashioned butt whuppin’.” David Heuschkel says that the Patriots had an answer for whatever the Jets defense threw at them. Rich Garven says that yesterday’s performance has the rest of the NFL shaking their heads in amazement. Mark Farinella says that it wasn’t perfect, but it was as close as humanly possible. Mike Lowe calls the display a stunning way to begin the season.
Michael Felger has Randy Moss answering the doubters (of which he was perhaps the most vocal) with his nine catch, 183 yard, one touchdown performance. Dan Shaughnessy says that watching Brady and Moss out there was like seeing Larry Bird and Bill Walton together for the first time on the same team. Albert Breer has Moss displaying his transcendent talent in his Patriots debut. Jim Donaldson says that it turns out that Moss didn’t need the practice time this summer after all. Ron Chimelis says that the Moss performance serves as the “latest and most decisive repudiation of the value of pre-season football.” Hector Longo says that Moss’s debut shows that chemistry should clearly be left to the lab techs. David Brown notes that coming off his worst season ever, Moss had one of his best games ever yesterday. Lowe observes that Moss finally seems to be a good fit here in New England. Jeff Jacobs has Moss giving Brady plenty to play with.
Mike Reiss has his Inside the Game segment, which looks at the offensive balance displayed by the Patriots. Christopher Price has his 10 Things We Learned yesterday. Tony Massarotti looks at the performance of Tom Brady yesterday, who had all the protection he needed, and with his new weapons, made it all look effortless. Art Martone provides the game analysis for the Projo. Ian M. Clark notes that the Hobbs runback set the tone for the second half of the game for the Patriots. Garven also has some facts and figures from the afternoon in New York.
Donaldson has a look at Ellis Hobbs‘ record setting 108-yard kickoff return, which provided a huge spark to open the second half. Heuschkel has more on Hobbs, who also tied the longest play in league history with the kickoff return. Garven has Hobbs calling his runback a calculated risk that he will take every time. Brown says that Hobbs incinerated the rule book by taking that kickoff out of the end zone. Farinella looks at Hobbs taking his place in the NFL record book.
Dan Ventura says Jarvis Green was “superb” filling in for Richard Seymour yesterday. Breer says that Asante Samuel didn’t show much rust in his return yesterday.Ventura also notes that the Patriots running back-by-committee approach worked like a charm yesterday. Farinella observes that Moss gets the headlines, but Sammy Morris and Wes Welker also made solid debuts for the Patriots yesterday.
Felger has the best & the worst from yesterday. Globe sports editor Joe Sullivan gets into the act with a look at the Jets remaining positive despite the one-sided result. Donaldson has the Jets coming up far short in their first crack at the Pats this season. Farinella has the Jets feeling low after the disappointing opener. Bob Hohler was in San Diego to scout the Patriots next opponent, the Chargers.
The Globe notebook notes that Asante Samuel didn’t start the game, but did still see extensive playing time yesterday. Guregian’s notebook has Samuel stepping right into the lineup in the second series of play. Young’s notebook looks at the guarantee of free agency in Samuel’s contract if he plays 60 percent of the defensive snaps or New England wins 12 games. Young’s Squib kicks has Moss and Hobbs leading an electrifying show for the Patriots. Lowe’s notebook has more on the Hobbs return.
Michael Silvermansays that both Josh Beckett and the Red Sox have shown that they are much better than they were last season. Gordon Edes has the Sox continuing their winning ways in a different style since Manny Ramirez has been out. Steven Krasner notes that strong pitching and a manufactured run was the formula for victory yesterday. Jeff Goldberg has Beckett bolstering his Cy Young candidacy with another strong outing. Bill Ballou says that the Sox were able to breathe a Cy of relief yesterday.
Steve Buckley says that Beckett has proven to be the ace that the Red Sox need for the postseason. Nick Cafardo also examines Josh Beckett’s strong case for the Cy Young. Buckley looks at Hideki Okajima pitching well yesterday after getting three days of rest. Alex Speier notes that Tampa manager Joe Madden was one of only two candidates to interview twice for the Red Sox job in 2004. The other of course, is the man who won the job, Terry Francona. Joe Haggerty says that Jonathan Papelbon is showing that he’s got plenty left in the tank this season. Mike Giardi agrees that Papelbon is back at his best.
Edes’ notebook says that Jacoby Ellsbury’s role will be changed when Ramirez is ready to return. Silverman’s notebook has Jonathan Papelbon giving up a hit for the first time in three weeks yesterday. Krasner’s notebook says that Daisuke Matsuzaka could learn from Beckett’s 2006 experience. Ballou’s notebook has more on Okajima pitching with some rest.
John Molori talks to “Sunday Night Football” producer Fred Gaudelli.