Thanks To Tomato Can Schedule, Amos Alonzo Kraft and Patriots Gifted Into 10th AFC East Title in 12 Years

The winning coach yesterday was dour. After beating a divisional opponent on the road in a key game for the playoff picture, he half-heartedly trotted out to greet the opposing coach. The opposing coach offered his head and said “congratulations” and the winning coach briefly touched his hand and started to jog away, not even making eye contact.

The losing coach wasn’t happy, refusing to let go of the hand and pulling the winning coach back towards him. Hey, hey, hey I said congratulations. The winning coach reluctantly came back, said “thank you, good job” and pulled away again, and trotted off.  The losing coach took a few steps after him, as if to confront him, but thought better of it

That Bill Belichick, just once again showing what a poor sport, even in victory that he is.

Oh wait, that was Mike Tomlin of the Steelers who snubbed John Harbaugh yesterday? Oh. Well, it’s forgiven then, because that game was played in such a dark place.

The Patriots won their 10th AFC East Title in 12 years yesterday, beating the Miami Dolphins on the road 23-16 to move to 9-3 on the season. Remember when all four teams in the AFC East were 3-3?

The string of opponent miscues continued, especially in the first half, as Miami made several critical mistakes which New England took advantage of.  Two of the most tiresome “storylines” of the moment tie into this. First is the “We can’t learn anything about the Patriots when the opponents hand them the game” storyline. The other is the “What’s going to happen when the Patriots face a team that won’t just hand them the ball????”

Whatever. Hopefully the next two games, which are not against Shaughnessy’s tomato cans, (hey, did you know he came up with a clever nickname for Robert Kraft…he called him “Amos Alonzo Kraft!” How witty is that Shaughnessy guy?) will actually show us something about this team. Except it won’t, unless they lose. If they win, it’s because they were at home, and people will be screaming about what will happening when they play these teams on the road or on a neutral field.

On CSNNE yesterday, Felger and the Lettermen had their targets lined up. Insisting that they weren’t taking anything away from Stevan Ridley for reaching 1000 yards, they then took everything away from him. ANY back can get a 1000 yards if you give him the ball enough, he plays with Tom Brady, he’s no Adrian Peterson. Ridley got his 1000 yards in 12 games, which is much different then getting in 16. Then Troy Brown went off on Brandon Lloyd (which he continued today on WEEI).

Before we jump to a few Patriots links, a couple links on the events in Kansas City over the weekend. Brady Quinn may never be a great (or even good) NFL quarterback. But he gets it. His Postgame Comments yesterday were about as empathetic, intelligent and introspective as you’ll ever hear from a professional athlete.

CBS drops the ball in coverage of the Chiefs’ murder-suicide tragedy – If you’re heading to SI.com to read MMQB be sure to stop by and read Richard Deitsch’s media column covering the approaches taken by the network pregame shows yesterday.

Get all the Patriots coverage at PatriotsLinks.com. A few highlights:

What we learned: For Patriots, Sunday wasn’t about hats or stats – Wait, we DID learn something from this game? Christopher Price tells us what those things were.

Patriots defense, not offense, gives rival the boot – Karen Guregian has the Patriots winning this one with their defense.

More power to them – Greg A Bedard says this one was won by running the ball when they had to run the ball.This is a good, technical look at how they did it.

Patriots not satisfied with AFC East – Mike Reiss has the Patriots with bigger goals.

The Red Sox are about to sign 1B/C Mike Napoli, according to Rob Bradford and others, including Jon Heyman, who says the deal is for 3-years, $39 million.

Josh Hamilton may be ripe for plucking – John Tomase hasn’t given up on the idea of the Rangers outfielder coming here.

  • http://twitter.com/DryHeave1 DryHeave

    If that was Belichick it would have been worth at least a week of ESPN coverage, plus a stern lecture from Peter King. Tomlin and Harbaugh both get pats on the head

    • Chris W.

      For a second I thought I’d missed some kind of post-game incident in Miami. Thank God that was an AFC North issue. We’d be watching Belichick’s sullen handshake on an ESPNNews loop and tolerating media calls for disciplinary action. I shudder to think what Gregg Easterbrook would say.
      Well-written lede, Bruce!

  • Bullock

    Can we please retire the term, “phasing out?” I’m sure we’ll hear about how the Pats are now “phasing out” Brandon Lloyd, much like they “phased out” Wes Welker earlier in the year. It simply couldn’t be that when Brady surveyed the field, he went to the open guy, right? Oh wait, he threw a pick yesterday. So it must be that Lloyd is being “phased out” in favor of throwing into double coverage. It couldn’t be that Brady just made a mistake.

    Also, is there anything more foolish sounding that a media member who says “we didn’t learn anything from yesterday’s game” regardless who the opponent is or what the variables are? Every moment, every play, every series, every game — there is some sort of takeaway. I must have missed that part of “A Football Life” where Belichick goes in on Monday and tells the guys, “Well, we really didn’t learn anything yesterday, huh?”

    • http://twitter.com/DryHeave1 DryHeave

      The Lloyd thing is a lazy media “storyline”. The idea of the offense is to SCORE POINTS. Pats have been the highest scoring team in the NFL this year….From what I’ve seen, Lloyd has caught most of the balls thrown to him (some have been spectacular catches)…He’s been open on a few deep routes this year and Brady has overthrown him. Overall he’s been fine.

      I think some uniformed media thought he was going to be Randy Moss. Of course if Lloyd was being targeted too much they would say they are trying to “phase out” Welker…another non-story trying to be made into a story.

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

    On the KC thing:
    - The issue is tricky. There is clearly no perfect angle to cover it. However, there are ways you should not cover it. CBS exemplified this and the repulsive thing Costas did was absolutely disgusting (http://bit.ly/SHcckT).
    - Thought the local CSNNE/NESN coverage was adequate. They covered it how they should and gave it proper time.
    - Wasn’t it the media, just last week, joking about how useless pregame shows are? Now we care how they cover issues? Yes, they needed to cover it and CBS completely botched it, but I love how we only care about them when its time to trash it.
    - Deitsch, who, unfortunately, covers so much of the media like political bias (wish he didn’t because he’s good at his job), went so soft on Costas. One paragraph? It would have been 5 pages if you inverse Costas’ argument. Deadspin, who is normally in the same boat, at least went wrong here http://deadsp.in/Tyf1nh . If we flip what Costas was pontificating (if there were more guns, she would be alive), 99% of the media would be calling for his firing.
    - It seems like sports media have become much like Anderson Coopers when it comes to tragedies these days. Instead of presenting the story, they turn incidents and issues into personal platforms to either win that Emmy/award nomination. They also make sure to ‘establish the bar’, citing some universal or standard, on how to react to an issue, using it as a punchline and talking point to destroy others with. In all of this, the actual story gets lost.

    • http://twitter.com/DryHeave1 DryHeave

      My biggest pet peeve with something like this is how the media TALKS DOWN to the general public. Pontificating about how this should put everything into “perspective” yada…yada..yada..

      I mean REALLY…I love my sports but I’m guessing we are all adults here. We’ve all had tragedies/rough times in OUR OWN lives. We’ve found ways to deal with them the best we could. I don’t need some sports yakker telling me how the death of someone I don’t even know,should put things in “perspective” for me….nor do I need some pompous ass (Bob Costas) giving me his views on gun-contol….(no, I’m not a “Gun guy”) just don’t need/want his opinion on it when trying to watch a game.

  • mike ross

    Hey CHB, FYI the late great Will McDonough already bestowed a nicknam on Robert Kraft- “Thanks Myra”.