The Patriots are a step away from reclaiming the AFC East crown after their 17-10 win in Buffalo yesterday afternoon. This win wasn’t all that pretty, nor was it “sexy” enough for many, but a win is a win, especially on the road in the division. I actually was encouraged by the energy of the defense, along with the dusting off of an old game plan that I enjoyed watching immensely. The Patriots employed, as Chris Warner puts it, the cocktail party formation with a bunch of players just sort of standing and milling around the line of scrimmage. Given the Patriots lack of available bodies on the defensive line, the formation may have been out of necessity as much as strategic.
But overall, the tone from the fourth estate is very negative indeed once again this week…
Adam Kilgore notes that it was a pretty good day all around for the Patriots. Ian R. Rapoport says that the Patriots didn’t answer any questions about themselves with their play yesterday. Even Mike Reiss doesn’t seem pleased with how the Patriots played yesterday. Shalise Manza Young has the Patriots using a little chaos to restore order.
Do you really want to read what Dan Shaughnessy has to say about Randy Moss? I know some of you do. The rest would do well to just skip this one. Even though Michael Felger‘s column is supposed to be about Laurence Maroney, there are enough shots at Moss in it to make it also worth the skip. Karen Guregian says that Moss didn’t wow anyone with his play yesterday.
Albert R. Breer discredits anything the Patriots did yesterday, chalking up the win to the number of Buffalo penalties on the afternoon. Ron Borges knocks the Patriots for scoreboard watching, saying that in the past, they only worried about themselves, not what anyone else was doing. Bill Burt needs to see a lot more from this team before he can feel any optimism for them. Duane Rankin has more on the rash of Bills penalties.
Monique Walker has Laurence Maroney once again leading the way in the running game. Brian MacPherson has Maroney serving as the Patriots’ grinder. Danny Picard notes that the Patriots were able to convert a third down late in the game to close out an opponent – something they hadn’t been able to do in recent weeks. Kirk Minihane has Maroney, Moss and the defense all getting some redemption yesterday.
Reiss looks a little deeper at the Defensive wrinkle that the Patriots employed yesterday. Guregian has Tully Banta-Cain picking up a hat trick of sacks. Donaldson has the organized chaos defense causing problems for Buffalo. Bob Matuszak has more the Patriots defense confusing the Bills. Zuri Berry has Tom Brady just happy to get the win.
Borges selects the Best and worst from yesterday. Rich Thompson picks the Play of the game. Young offers up game Analysis from both sides of the ball. Mark Farinella tells us who was hot and who as not. Hector Longo continues his season-long trashing of Jerod Mayo in his two-minute drill column.
The Globe notebook has Ron Brace finally getting to be a big part of the action. Rapoport’s notebook has the Patriots offense just good enough to get by – with the help of some Buffalo pass interference calls. Young’s Patriots journal has the Patriots choosing to feature the run against the Buffalo defense.
Frank Dell’Apa has the Celtics regaining their winning form with a 122-104 thumping of the Timberwolves at the Garden last night. Mark Murphy has the Celtics looking to make up for their loss to the 76ers. Jim Fenton has Paul Pierce finding the range last night. Bill Doyle has Pierce breaking out of his slump. A. Sherrod Blakely has the Celtics quickly putting the Philly loss behind them.
Gary Washburn notes that the Celtics made shrewd selections in drafting Kendrick Perkins and Al Jefferson directly out of high school. Steve Bulpett has Jefferson gushing about his former teammate, Perkins. Duggan has Jefferson keeping things in perspective out in Minnesota.
Tim Weisberg says that the Celtics are already being impacted by Rasheed Wallace’ temper. Blakely has Wallace saying he’s not going to change his game. Dan Duggan has Tony Allen making a contribution. Jessica Camerato has the Celtics putting on their Sunday best last night.
Dell’Apa’s notebook has Rajon Rondo wishing he could’ve set up Paul Pierce for another three-pointer. Murphy’s notebook has Pierce tying Danny Ainge with his 6-6 night from behind the arc. Doyle’s notebook has Wallace still upset over Friday’s ejection.