Note: To those who expressed dismay or concern over the lack of a post yesterday, I had some family matters to take care of. Yes, it was the day after the Red Sox were eliminated, and some of you commented that you hold the site to a high standard, but I hope you can also understand that I run this site by myself, around a full-time job and sometimes I just can’t do as much as I would like here.
When I saw last night that the Patriots were wearing their dark jerseys at home rather than the white, and that Bill Belichick had on his familiar gray cut-off sweatshirt, for some reason I immediately felt better about their chances. When they forced a couple of early turnovers and converted them into field goals, I felt even better.
Last night was a badly needed win for the Patriots, who made the Denver Broncos look as bad as the Patriots themselves had looked last week against the Chargers. The only concerns coming out of last night’s game were the injuries. After piling up 138 yards in the first half, Sammy Morris didn’t come out for the second half. Ellis Hobbs left the game with an injury, and Rodney Harrison had to be carted off the field with a knee injury that even Bill Belichick said after the game “doesn’t look so good”, which to me spoke volumes and is about the most he’ll ever say about the severity of an injury.
Head on over to Patriots Daily, where Chris Warner has your first look at last night’s win.
Christopher L. Gasper has the Patriots bouncing back strong from their defeat in San Diego last week. Karen Guregian has the aforementioned injuries marring an otherwise great night for the Patriots. Shalise Manza Young has the Patriots having fun last night at Gillette. Mark Farinella looks at a reversal of form for the Patriots. Chris Kennedy has the Patriots flexing a bit of their old muscle last night. Jennifer Toland has the Patriots defense putting on a show last night. David Brown says you might need to rethink your ideas of these Patriots. Steve Krause has everything going the Patriots way last night.
Mike Reiss looks at the return of smashmouth football to New England. Ron Borges wonders if the thrill of victory will be worth the agony of the injuries. Farinella says that a key last night was the Patriots being able to convert opportunities into points. Rich Garven has the Patriots putting it all together last night. Hector Longo says that there is no middle ground with these Patriots.
Dan Shaughnessy says that this game said more about the state of the NFL than it did the Patriots or Broncos. Jim Donaldson has the Patriots going from terrible to terrific in just one week. Prior to the game though, Donaldson had a much more pessimistic view of the Patriots, especially after they placed Laurence Maroney on IR earlier in the day. He then changed his view after the strong first half from Sammy Morris. Did he change it again after Morris got injured?
Christopher Price lines up the 10 Things We Learned from last night’s game. Dan Duggan lays out the Best And Worst from last night. Robert Lee offers up some post game analysis from both sides of the ball. Garven has notes and figures from last night’s win.
Dan Ventura reports on the injury to Rodney Harrison. Young has more on the ugly looking knee injury suffered by the veteran Harrison. Farinella notes that the injury cast a pall over a strong defensive effort by the Patriots.
Gasper has Hall of Famer John Hannah talking about the Patriots struggles in the passing game this season with Matt Cassel under center. Dan Duggan has Cassel getting a passing grade for his work last night. Guregian has Hannah with plenty to say about Randy Moss as well. Donaldson has Cassel finding a comfort zone last night.
Borges has a look at the big night for Andre Tippett at Gillette Stadium. Borges, of course played a huge role in Tippett getting inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame with his tireless advocacy of the former Patriots linebacker.
Julian Benbow has Mike Shanahan and the Broncos at a loss to explain what happened last night.
Gasper’s notebook has the Patriots placing Laurence Maroney on season-ending IR. Guregian’s notebook has more on the end of 2008 for Maroney. Farinella’s notebook has more on Maroney being shelved for the year. Brown’s notebook has more on the disappointing running back.
The Bruins had their home opener last night, and managed to just salvage a point from the game, as they lost 2-1 in a OT shootout to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Fluto Shinzawa says that the only thing sour about last night’s game was the outcome for the Bruins. Joe Haggerty offers some postgame thoughts on the loss. Steve Conroy has the Bruins showing that they aim to keep their fans attention this season. Mick Colageo has the Bruins giving their fans everything except a win last night.
Kevin Paul Dupont has hockey crawling back into our sports consciousness with the end of the Red Sox season. Stephen Harris has Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs very gloomy about the financial future of the NHL and his team in this struggling economy. Barbara Matson has a look at Patrice Bergeron playing his first game that matters on the Garden ice since early last season.
Sean McAdam says that the Red Sox largest offseason decision involves Jason Varitek. Joe McDonald looks at the Sox to-do list for 2009. Bob Ryan deems this season a success. Jon Couture looks at David Ortiz being unable to fill the hero’s role this postseason.
Adam Kilgore has Theo Epstein and the Red Sox already looking ahead to next year. Michael Silverman says that the Red Sox will likely just do some “tweaking” but that a big move shouldn’t be ruled out either. Paul Kenyon has Theo Epstein not anticipating wholesale changes to the team. Mike Fine has more from Epstein on the winter ahead.