The Patriots likely cost themselves a first-round bye last night, and appears that they set themselves a date to play in Denver for the Divisional round.
In a sloppy game in which the California team was taking advantage of miscues in the wet cold weather, the Patriots found themselves trailing 31-3 midway through the third quarter. One score coming from old friend Randy Moss. The Patriots were the ones turning the ball over and the 49ers were capitalizing. Unlike some of their opponents this season, however New England didn’t just fold up shop and call it a day. They scored four touchdowns in a row to tie the game midway through the fourth quarter, but the Patriots special teams gave up a long kickoff return, and a one-play touchdown drive pretty much killed the momentum for New England. There are no moral victories in the NFL, as Ron Borges gleefully reminds us this morning. (Sorry Ronnie, no link for you. You either, Jackie.)
The loss puts New England behind Denver in the AFC playoff race for the number two seed, and with two layups on the schedule for the Broncos, it appears a first round bye is out of reach for the Patriots. If they’re going to go to New Orleans, they’re going to need to hit the road to do it.
Patriots angry at themselves after loss to 49ers – Tom E Curran has an angry Patriots locker room following the game.
What we learned: If Sunday was prelude to Super matchup, Patriots have work to do – Christopher Price says that despite the loss, the Patriots have a few things they can hang their hat on for a potential rematch.
Patriots’ offense at best, worst – Mike Reiss says that the team’s second half resurgence is hollow without the victory.
Hopefully a lesson learned for Patriots defense – Greg A Bedard says that this was a much-needed reality check for the Patriots, and they’ll be better for it in the long run.
MONDAY MORNING QB – Peter King’s crush on Roger Goodell is downright embarrassing at this point.
Check all the other Patriots stories today at Patriotslinks.com.
A few other links this morning:
Adam Jones to be new evening host on The Sports Hub – From the weekend, Chad Finn’s report that Jones has been chosen to replace Damon Amendolara. For those who love Felger, you’ll love Jones. The evening show will basically be a continuation of the afternoon show now.
Sox add Stephen Drew on 1-yr deal – The Red Sox have apparently added the former A’s and Diamondback shortstop, continuing their pattern of veteran offseason signings.
J.D. Drew can feel Mike Napoli’s pain – Rob Bradford talks to Stephen’s big brother J.D. about the delay in finalizing Napoli’s contract, a situation that is very similar to his own when he sign with Boston.
Celtics need everybody to contribute or the season could be lost – Gary Washburn with a strong look at the Celtics struggles, with a lot aimed at the disappointing season of Courtney Lee thus far.