Brady’s Four Interceptions Help Buffalo End Streak Against Patriots

Tom Brady threw four interceptions yesterday, and the Patriots defense continued to give up yards and points at an alarming rate as the Buffalo Bills came back from a 21-0 deficit to defeat the Patriots 34-31 out in Western New York. It was the first time that the Bills have beaten the Patriots since 2003.

ESPN the Magazine’s Boston issue this week features a column on Tom Brady which might be the worst thing I’ve read in some time. In short, the premise is that Boston fans don’t like Tom Brady anymore because he is too perfect. So by that logic, yesterday’s performance raised him a bit in the eyes of the Boston fandom.

Thanks to John Lackey however, the Patriots loss may not totally dominate the talk around town at least for today. TMZ reports that the embattled Red Sox starter is divorcing his wife, who has been fighting breast cancer. Last night, after Lackey actually pitched pretty well in a 7-4 Red Sox extra innings win, Lackey confronted reporters, saying that he had been texted about a personal matter from a media member just 30 minutes before the game started. Rumors says that the came from the TMZ reporter.

The Red Sox magic number for the Wild Card sits at three, with three games to play this week against Baltimore.

Pressure on – to improve defense – Greg A Bedard says that offseason plans to improve the defense haven’t worked, as that unit is still unable to generate any pressure at all on the quarterback. Chris Forsberg says that the Patriots need to go back to the drawing board on the defensive side of things. Hector Longo says that it is a fact that the Patriots have sold their fans a bill of goods when it comes to this supposedly rebuilt team. Ron Borges mocks the supposed “big play” defense. Tom E. Curran says that the defense is just not good enough.

Patriots can’t pick Brady up – Mike Reiss says that costly penalties and spotty defense were just as much to blame for this loss as Brady’s four interceptions.

Ten Things We Learned Sunday: No defense for this outcome – Christopher Price says that the defense’s shortcomings is the biggest thing to take away from this one.

A bit of a catch for Welker – Monique Walker looks at a record-setting day for Wes Welker, who would rather have gotten a win yesterday.  Karen Guregian has more on the afternoon for Welker.

True to form, Patriots consider loss quietly – Mary Paoletti says that there wasn’t a lot of demonstrative anger in the Patriots locker room after this one.

Pats play ‘passive defense,’ says Buffalo’s Nelson – The Patriots Journal has even the Bills taking some shots at the weak New England defense. The Globe notebook from Shalise Manza Young and Monique Walker has another shaky game from Chad Ochocinco. The Herald notebook has more on the struggles of 85, who dropped a sure TD pass yesterday.

Apparently the objective media in Buffalo was really excited by this win:

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Did Jacoby Ellsbury save the Red Sox season last night? His three run homer in the 14th inning lifted the Red Sox to a win and a doubleheader split with the Yankees yesterday, preserving the Red Sox one-game lead in the Wild Card.

Red Sox show they’ll stick it out – Gordon Edes has Ellsbury and the Red Sox hoping this win can give them a boost. Nick Cafardo says this might’ve been Ellsbury’s MVP moment.

The turning point? How Sox hope to use dramatic win as springboard – Alex Speier has the Sox headed to Baltimore knowing that they still control their own fate. Speier also examines What happened to Carl Crawford’s defense.

Sox take deep breath – Michael Silverman has the Sox showing a pulse.

Pen stopped at nothing – Peter Abraham’s notebook has the Red Sox bullpen coming up big. The Herald notebook from Scott Lauber has more on the Lackey incident. The CSNNE.com notes from Sean McAdam have Ellsbury hitting a few milestones yesterday.

  • Classless

    I don't know how even the biggest Patriots pom pom wavers can read those Dave Nelson quotes and not be nauseous. The days of the "exotic Belichick defense" are long gone. It really kills me that the Patriots, since 2008, have been the "predictable, passive" unit.

  • latetodinner

    Set aside for a moment that I am way to nauseous after watching the Pats offense commit 4 turnovers, drop easy TDs, kill themselves with several procedure and holding penalties and then have Bill Belichick lose an ill advised time out with 1:47 left on the clock arguing over the TD replay to rip the Patriots and the coverage the game garnered. I needed to comment on the TMZ report about John Lackey. It might be one of the most repugnant stories I have ever heard. Obviously Lackey is painted as a heartless bastard…leaving his wife of 3 years in the middle of her bout with Cancer…making sure his prenup is intact. Totally repugnant. However, as awful a human being I think he is…its nothing compared to the cold place in hell that is reserved for TMZ because they think this needed to be made public. Lackey's soon to be ex wife doesn't have enough on her plate…with battling cancer and recovering from a double mastectomy…that she now has to deal with pity, scrutiny and being in the spotlight.

    I have argued many times in this space and others that professional athletes lake their money because they are famous. As such I have little sympathy when they ask for or seek privacy. This might be the only case I can think of where the privacy concerns of Lackey's wife should come before everything else…at least until she recovers. Lackey needs to be crucified…but it could of waited. He had little respect in Boston to begin with…this is not going to help him. But that to me is not the story…the story is…Did his wife want this spotlight and if not…is he so selfish that he could not stay married, live apart and not publicly humiliate her?

    • APimpNamedDaveR

      How do you know it's repugnant for him to be divorcing her, and that he "needs to be crucified"? Cancer can affect complete a-holes, too. Suppose she slept with three of her cancer doctors behind his back? Maybe she is an innocent victim of a heartless bastard. Or maybe SHE'S the bastard. We don't know, and frankly, it's none of our business either way. It's possible they're both bastards; it's possible they're both good people who just can't be happy together and decided to split amicably. Maybe they were at that point prior to her breast cancer diagnosis, but Lackey stayed with her until she was on the mend to support her. We don't know. We might not ever know.

      • latetodinner

        I don't….but I always blame the non cancer affected spouse. Timing is everything…he could have lived separately and waited. He had to know that as a celebrity this would make news somewhere. He filed…they did not jointly file. Am I making some assumptions sure. I expect him to have honor and be a man about it. She might be a total shrew…it would not matter…to have her having to deal with the press spotlight along with everything else…seems awfully selfish and repugnant to me. Now that it has been made public (divorce is a public document)…if he wants to clear up any misconceptions he is free to do so…I will sit here holding my breath waiting for that to happen.

        • Winning_

          Blanket statements like "i always blame the non cancer spouse" are dangerous. That like making stereotypes on race or creed. I understand that in all liklihod, hes a jerk that is bailing. But we cant blame him for getting a divorce. Maybe they both agreed that theyre better off apart. This is not our business. Lackey is just an idiot for bringing it up.

        • latetodinner

          I covered most of that when I said “Am I making assumptions, sure”. I also agree that blanket statements can be dangerous…but come on…he files separately, in the middle of the season…what's the rush? I don't think it is an unrealistic assumption that he is a lousy human being. Like I said…he can tell his side of the story and correct any misconceptions…I am holding my breath waiting.

  • NutCracker

    I can understand the Buffalo fans excitement after so many years of futility against the Patriot's but you'd think the media guys that cover the Bills would realize they barely escaped with a win against a porous NE defense and an uncharacteristically generous Tom Brady. Nice 'W' but don't print the t-shirts just yet boys. PS: I'm so glad my sister is not married to Wacky John Lackey. It can't be easy battling breast cancer and a divorce from such a churlish husband at the same time. God spede to Mrs. Lackey.

  • Steve

    On the time out "squandering", the game clock was going to start as soon as the refs placed the ball since the player was tackled at the one instead of a TD – amazing that no one told Marv Albert this in his headphones.

    Although the Pats deserved to lose with how poorly they played, the officials certainly helped the Bills along with an invisible hands to the face call in the Bills endzone and a questionable pass interference call – how is the DB when looking back for the ball supposed to know the WR has stopped in his path?

    Lackey certainly seems to be the ultimate scumbag – quite Gingrich-esque

    • John

      I think the issue is that the play clock was going to reset to 25 because of the stoppage in play so if he used the timeouts on 2nd & 3rd downs instead he could have saved 15 seconds

      • riboflav

        It resets to 40, not 25 seconds. BB and Adams know the rules by now, rest assured.

        • John

          It resets to 25 when there is a stoppage in play for things like booth reviews. It only resets to 40 if a down is played without a stoppage in play.

  • http://twitter.com/awesomeneil @awesomeneil

    John Lackey, the pitcher, is statistically-speaking the worst single-season pitcher in the Red Sox modern era. No argument about that. John Lackey, the pitcher, has last his fastball and his command, and seemingly shows up his teammates and manager once a start. For this, we, as fans, can all judge.

    But for John Lackey, the person, his home life should be left private. We have no idea what the circumstances are at home and frankly, it's none of our business. I'm going to judge him for anything that is not directly relevant to his baseball performance. I find it interesting that people automatically assume someone who has cancer cannot also be an a-hole. Jerks get sick too, people. But we don't know and nor should we.

  • riboflav

    Because divorce is a dissolution of a civil contract, which makes it public. Sorry but that's the law.

  • latetodinner

    Lackey's divorce is being discussed because divorces are legal filings and public documents (you can correct my terminology later Dave). He files on Aug 30. TMZ finds out and makes it known. The question you need to ask is why can't Lackey wait 60 days and file Nov 1? Of course you can take Dave's position that maybe it was because his wife is unbearable to live with…but it seems to me in 2011 we have hotels, second homes (esp if you make $80 mill) and boats where a person of Lackey's net worth could hide out for 60 days if he had to. Yet in the middle of a pennant race he choses to take the risk that his personal life will become known and then a distraction…model of selfless humanity that Lackey is.

    • John

      I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that you are single.

      • latetodinner

        Had my 15th Wedding anniversary 27 days ago.

        • Classless

          If your 15 year wife started cheating on you, but was also afflicted with a serious illness, you would flip out like Lackey did/would. Methinks your high horse is a bit too high, brah.

    • APimpNamedDaveR

      Your terminology is correct. A+. However, I think some technical details about divorce proceedings might at least inform you better, if not change your opinion.

      — It's not common at all for there to be "joint" filings for divorce. One spouse or the other will file the petition, even if it's a mutually-agreed-upon situation.

      — The filing of the petition has SIGNIFICANT legal impact. Once the petition is filed, each spouse's actions become potentially subject to court oversight. Before filing, Mrs X could mortgage the X family's jointly-owned house by herself, take the money to Vegas, and bet it all on black, and that's within her rights. After filing, the court can and absolutely would take that into account when determining a property settlement, to the point where they could order her to give restitution to Mr X. This is to prevent a spouse from, basically, stripping out all the marital property such that there's little or nothing left to divide. Once the petition is filed, you're on notice, and anything you do can be undone. That's why you'd NEVER advise a client to wait if they plan to get divorced — file the petition ASAP. You can always withdraw it if you change your mind.

      — Lackey DID try and keep this private. He filed using a procedure in Texas under which a divorce petition can be filed without using the names of the parties in the (public) petition itself. Instead, initials are used. In practice, this makes it virtually impossible to "find" a divorce proceeding unless you know what you're looking for. Here, TMZ didn't discover the divorce — they were TOLD about it by "sources close to the family", and used the specific information (that he filed on the 30th) to track down the public document. It wasn't something they happened upon — it's something they actively pursued. Likewise, when Sandra Bullock filed under the same procedure in Texas, the tabloids were able to find and confirm the petition because they expected her to file for divorce, and just examined new filings every day until they found one that factually matched her situation.

      So while you see "heartless jerk", I see "well-advised client who tried to keep the petition private". Just my $.02

  • alex

    Sports writers have to be the least self aware people on the planet.