Patriots Get Back To Work, So Does BSMW

I apologize for the lack of an update yesterday, I needed to take a sick day. I appreciate all the angry emails. I really do.

The Patriots return from their break today to begin preparation in earnest for the huge game with the New York Jets on Monday night. Even if Tony Massarotti doesn’t know the first thing about the NFL tiebreakers, even he knows this is a huge game for the Patriots.

Pats vs. Jets hits a whole new level – Mike Reiss has these AFC rivals hitting an all-time high in terms of anticipation for their next meeting.

Patriots begin key stretch drive against the Jets – Ian Rapoport says that the real story of the 2010 Patriots will begin on Monday night. Danny Picard has Tom Brady with a similar sentiment.

Block to be tackled – Monique Walker has the Patriots rookies looking to avoid hitting the rookie wall, with the help of the veterans on the team.

Pass it on: From front to back, Pats’ pass defense a liability – Glen Farley says that the Patriots pass defense is pathetic.

It’s defense that will tell if they stand a chance – Greg A Bedard says that the poor defense is what is going to determine the Patriots fate this season.

Coaches see Jets team that hasn’t changed all that much– Paul Kenyon’s Patriots Journal has the Patriots seeing much the same from the Jets. The Globe notebook from Shalise Manza Young has Bill Belichick focused on the Jets rather than the Denver taping scandal. A CSNNE.com notebook from Tom E. Curran has Belichick praising Rex Ryan. The Herald notebook from Ian R. Rapoport has Darrelle Revis confident of a Jets win, but not revealing who he will be covering on Monday night.

KG, Shaq have found fountain of youth – Tim Weisberg has the old-timers keeping each other young.

Keep it simple, Glen ‘Big Baby’ Davis – Mark Murphy has the Celtics reserve big man making big contributions. The Globe notebook from Julian Benbow has more on Davis.

Breaking down what the Matt Hunwick trade means for the Bruins – DJ Bean lets us know what impact of the Bruins trade yesterday will ultimately be for the team. Fluto Shinzawa has more on the trade, which clears up cap space for the return of Marc Savard.

How Mike Cameron has suddenly become very important to the Red Sox – Rob Bradford looks at why the outfielder could be big in 2011 for the Red Sox.

We’ll avoid the Derek Jeter talk, except for some thoughts from Chad Finn on why the Sox should stay far away from the Yankees captain.

Check Out PFW This Week

Just a quick note and bit of shameless self-promotion…

If you see Patriots Football Weekly on the newsstands this week, be sure to pick up a copy and check out my media column for the month, entitled   For Pats, Nantz and Simms part of the family.

The column is a look at how CBS announcers Jim Nantz and Phil Simms have become almost the “official” TV broadcast team of the New England Patriots. No duo since 2000 has called more Patriots games, and no analyst has covered the Patriots more in franchise history – tomorrow will be the 82nd Patriots game that Phil Simms has done on network television – 62 since the year 2000. Nantz will call his 42nd Patriots game since 2000 tomorrow.

The column also looks at some other interesting Patriots broadcast tidbits over the decades, such as who is second on the list of announcers who have called the most Patriots games on network televsion? What was the worst decade for announcers? Who were some of the names who called only one Patriots game in their career? What year did Al Michaels call his first Patriots game?

The data for this column was compiled largely by the crew on the forum at The506.com and in particular, a 24-year Patriots season ticket holder.

V-Mart Gone, What’s The Next Move?

The news that Victor Martinez would be signing with the Detroit Tigers set off Red Sox everywhere yesterday, as suddenly they wanted to call into sports radio and vent about the lack of action by Theo Epstein and company this offseason. Both sports radio stations took calls from frustrated fans, many of whom are of the opinion that the Red Sox are not interested in competing or winning in 2011, are too in love with their prospects, and that the ownership is too distracted with their shiny new English soccer team to pay attention to the baseball team.

While I can empathize with the frustrations of fans, part of it reminds me of the cry this Patriots offseason, prior to the draft that “They have no tight ends!!!!” Sometimes you need to wait things out before making a judgement on a club’s decisions.  If the Red Sox lose Martinez and Adrian Beltre this offseason (which is expected) but pick up Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez, fans might feel different.

Risky Business: Breaking down the Red Sox decision on Victor Martinez – Alex Speier dives into the subject, looking at the team’s decision to gamble on the unproven, disappointing, and injury-prone Jarrod Saltalamacchia as their everyday catcher.

Don’t judge Red Sox on one loss – Gordon Edes says that Epstein is placing the same kind of bet on Saltalamacchia that Dan Duquette made on Jason Varitek.

What to watch for Thursday against the Lions – Christopher Price has some things to look for from the Patriots tomorrow. Tom E. Curran has a preview as well.

Turkey Wart – Game Eleven At Detroit – Chris Warner is more thankful than worried…but he’s still worried.

Plenty of Patriots throwbacks on display at Ford Field on Thursday – Glen Farley has a couple of Patriots from the 1990’s on the Lions coaching staff.

Injured players try to kick in – Shalise Manza Young’s notebook has Stephen Gostkowski and Leigh Bodden around to offer moral support to their teammates. The Herald notebook from Ian R. Rapoport and Karen Guregian has Gostkowski expecting to be ready for 2011. The Patriots Journal from Robert Lee has the Patriots focusing on rookie Ndamukong Suh.

Garnett, Shaq tandem provides punch at both ends – A. Sherrod Blakley has the big man duo enjoying being on the same side after so many battles over the years. Mark Murphy has KG comparing Shaq to fresh laundry.

Growth spurt for guard – Julian Benbow has Nate Robinson’s game maturing.

Evaluating the Horton-Wideman deal – Joe Haggerty thinks that both teams won.

Bruins rally around idea of better starts – Stephen Harris has the Bruins looking to dominate games from the opening face off.