Patriots Start Prep For Crucial Game With Dolphins

With the Patriots coming off a 16-0 regular season and Miami a 1-15 one in 2007, who would’ve thought that this Sunday’s game down in Miami would be so critical for both clubs?

On Patriots Daily, Scott Benson notes that if the playoff started now, the Patriots would be on the  Outside Looking In at the top teams. Brian MacPherson also takes a peek at the AFC playoff picture as we stand now.

Mike Reiss says that it will be interesting to see how much the Patriots use their tight ends against the Dolphins this Sunday. Shalise Manza Young says that the Patriots won’t be surprised by the “Wildcat” this time around. John Tomase notes that even though the Dolphins run the formation every week, it has still been effective. Mark Farinella says that the talk yesterday was all wildcat, all the time. Glen Farley says that the Patriots should be ready for the formation this time around.

Tomase has Joey Porter talking about why he hates the Patriots so much. Bill Burt says that the Patriots just need to turn it on like the ’07 Giants did. Farley has rookie LB Jerod Mayo making his presence felt.

Reiss’ notebook has more on the Patriots preparations for the “Wildcat.” Tomase’s notebook has the rookie season of Terrence Wheatley coming to an end after he was placed on IR yesterday. Farinella’s notebook has more on Wheatley’s season coming to an end.  

Bruins Top Leafs

Stephen Harris has Tim Thomas and the Bruins hanging on for a 3-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs last night. Fluto Shinzawa has Thomas surviving a late barrage by Toronto.

Upon further, further review, Mick Colageo reverses his column from yesterday and says that the officials got the call right on Saturday night.

Harris’ notebook says that Brian Burke will be the next GM of the Maple Leafs, not the Bruins. Shinzawa’s notebook has PJ Axelsson getting some point duty in the absence of Andrew Ference.

Celtics

Frank Dell’Apa has a mini-feature on Sam Cassell’s role as a player-coach with the Celtics and his passion to teach the game he loves. Jim Fenton says there isn’t much rest on the horizon for the weary Celtics. Scott Souza says that even though the team was fatigued, they still found a way to win in Milwaukee, which is a good sign for them.

Shira Springer has Magic Johnson saying the Paul Pierce is OK, but he’s no Kobe Bryant. Paul Flannery seems poised to leap aboard the Lakers bandwagon.

Steve Bulpett and Dell’Apa’s notebook have the NBA suspending Kevin Garnett for one game for the incident in Milwaukee Saturday night.

Red Sox

Gerry Callahan says that signing Mark Teixeira is worth the positional chaos it will cause the Red Sox. Paul Doyle says that Theo Epstein is the best GM in the game.

The AL MVP is handed out today, the Red Sox Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis are both top candidates. Mike Fine says that a strong case can be made for either player. Nick Cafardo says that there is no clear favorite for the award. Sean McAdam says that Pedroia could be the slight favorite, but both players could finish in the top three. Joe McDonald has Pedroia as the favorite to win the honor. Dan Lamothe provides a list of players who haven’t won the award to show how difficult it is. Rob Bradford looks at which player should win the award.