Early Miscues Cost Patriots Dearly

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.

  • Winning_Again

    Happened to flip to Patriots Post Game after the disappointing loss. Did anyone else notice the nice “shiner” Felger was sporting on his eye? Did he openly mock the wrong person and get decked?

    • http://twitter.com/theaisleseatcom Andy Dursin

      Thought Felger had some kind of blood issue that caused him to get those…it’s happened before.

      • 02062

        Hmmmm. Not sure about that. I do know that Mazz breaks his nose everytime Mike stops short.

        • http://twitter.com/theaisleseatcom Andy Dursin

          lol. It’s definitely come up before and he talked about it on air one
          day…not that anyone will bother but there’s a podcast on itunes of one
          of the shows from, I believe it’s June, where he mentioned it. Can’t
          find a direct link but it also came up here at BSM months back.

    • nsbombers

      I thought Felger had gardening issues earlier this year.Can’t he afford a landscaper.

  • GeorgeCain72

    Of all probabilities for first round Pittsburgh seems most likely unless Cinci beats them this week. Colts 10-6, Pitts 9-7, could also be Balt at 9-7. But, that’s the worst part of the bye, is the first round game will be taxing. So really you want the Jets to win out and Pitt to lose one more game.

  • N N

    I’m not ready to guarantee Denver beating Cleveland next week.

    • GeorgeCain72

      People always citing the Pats luck with schedule. How bout Peyton Manning. Has he ever had a tough schedule? Pats become first 11 win team in decade not make playoffs, now could be first 12 win team since who, to not get a bye? Colts in 2003? Pats conf record is 9-1 and they beat the #1 and #2 seeds. Ughh.

      • N N

        12-4 or better teams often don’t get a bye. It happened in each conference last year.

      • http://www.bostonsportsmediawatch.com/ bsmfan

        I think this is what separates the analyzing going on this year. Folks (Merril Hodge) who have it written into their contract to hate the Patriots ignore that fact. The folks looking at the bigger picture have seen that the Broncos got lucky to play the Ravens when their age/depth finally caught up to them (more than a few expected this), and that the rest of their schedule has been “tomato cans”. They can point that the Broncos are much better and that Peyton would not throw 3xfirst half INTs vs the Falcons.

        The only thing that would settle it is the Patriots going to Mile High and winning a playoff game there.

        - As N N said, look @ Pittsburgh last year and it caused them to go into Denver. We all remember that one.

        What I find entertaining is that ESPN is spinning this “butthurt” Brady angle, Pats being done (after hyping them as GOAT last week), Houston being “complete” again and the Broncos being “the best in the AFC” because they beat the reeling Ravens. They were down on the 49ers (using the Kaepernick stuff to fuel) after the loss to the Rams but now hyping as had won the Superbowl. Vegas still has us penciled as favorites, so I’ll take that.

  • http://www.bostonsportsmediawatch.com/ bsmfan

    - So, if the Patriots had come back from 31-3, would the writers already packing up shop in the 3rd quarter have to delete everything and write an angry “Brady = MVP” before the deadlines at 11:30? What’s up with Jackie sounding like Borges lately on the Patriots columns?

    - Pete Carroll took a bit of flack for the fake punt, up 47-17 in the 4th, over Buffalo. Give the writers some credit. At this point, I’d fear Seattle more than anything.

    - Here’s one “solace” to what’s going on right now: See the Giants get smoked 34-0? They’re most likely out of the playoffs. There is some BCS chaos going on in the NFC East and the Giants are 3rd because of tiebreakers. It’s amazing to watch when the Giants are “off” and look lifeless.. how does that team wind up winning anything? It reminds me of the Cowboys.

    • http://twitter.com/DryHeave1 DryHeave

      Jackie Mac isn’t as obvious about it as Borges, but she’s a BB hater. You can just tell

      • GeorgeCain72

        Last night Jackie said that Kapernick outplayed Brady “hands down” and Tanguay sat there with a stupid look on his face. Kapernick had one long drive. It was 63 yards. Everything else was set up by a turnover or Special Teams. She said said Andrew Luck scares her and she wouldn’t want to play the Colts. I mean, I guess she really doesn’t know football. She’s a great writer, but ever for me she’s paranoid.

        • http://www.bostonsportsmediawatch.com/ bsmfan

          Yeah, I’ve stopped reading her Football stuff since it’s gone from below the Mendoza Line of “I just read ESPN.com NFL articles” to .. uh, what?

          I didn’t see her segment but what would have been funny is if she or someone else bit the “I don’t want to see the Jets” again, since they were leading at 10PM when it was being broadcast live.

          Wonder if Felger has to find a new “mancrush” on a team since the Jets are an absolute dumpster fire? I’ve been hearing him express much love for the 49ers lately, so maybe that’s his new bone.

    • Winning_Again

      The 49ers beat the Pats. The Pats were the GOAT last week. The Pats beat the Broncos and Texans. The Rams beat the 49ers. The Seahawks beat the Rams. The Arizona Cardinals beat the Seahawks and Pats.

      Using the Transitive property mentioned above, I think it’s safe and obvious to say the Arizona Cardinals are the best team in the NFL!!!

  • sjc6224

    Will be curious to compare the Boston media reaction to this game compared to the NY media reaction to the Giants no-show embarrassment yesterday. I get “no moral victories” and all that, but Brady’s Patriots haven’t had a game like the Giants yesterday since Miami in 2006.

  • GRBSPR

    The G-men didn’t get a bye last year, either. This is “Not The End of The World As We Know It,” to coin a song lyric.

    • http://twitter.com/DryHeave1 DryHeave

      I agree GRB, I want a bye as much as the next guy. However the Pats play well on the road and have the mental makeup/talent to win 3 playoff games in a row, still confident they can get to the SB….also, while I agree the Broncs will most likely win their next 2 I’ve certainly seen stranger things happen in the NFL…..”not the end of the world as we know it” indeed.