Ho-Hum, Another AFC Title Game Appearance For The Patriots

The Patriots find themselves in their 7th AFC Championship game since the 2001 season, as they knocked off the Houston Texans 41-28 at Gillette Stadium yesterday.

Thanks to the Baltimore Ravens and their 2OT victory in Denver on Saturday night, the AFC Championship will be right here in Foxboro, where the Ravens beat the Patriots last January to go to the Super Bowl.

Well, they practically beat the Patriots, right? After Lee Evans dropped the winning TD had the winning TD stripped from this hands and Billy Cundiff missed a chip shot field that would’ve sent the Ravens to the Super Bowl would have tied the game.

The Ravens will be back, hungry for revenge, and eager to have Ray Lewis’ final game be the Super Bowl in New Orleans. They can beat the Patriots, as some are eager to point out, and I wonder how much we’ll hear about whether it matters when you’ve lost to a team already in the regular season. We’ve already got one villain for the week, and there should be no shortage of storylines for the media to drool over.

Get all the coverage from yesterday’s win at PatriotsLinks.com.  Meanwhile, here are a few items of note this morning:

What we learned: Get ready for latest chapter of rivalry with Ravens – Christopher Price touches on all the big points from yesterday and looks ahead.

Ninkovich picks good time for INT – Greg A Bedard looks at the Patriots defender once again making the big play. This column is a prime example of very good football writing. Great stuff.

Of course, the Globe also runs two clown columns today, one by Shaughnessy taking his victory lap, and the other by Gasper smugly saying “Time to up your game, Patriots.”  Terrible, terrible columns both.

Pats adjust to life without Gronk – The Patriots will be without tight end Rob Gronkowski for the reminder of their playoff run after he re-injured his arm yesterday, but Mike Reiss says that at least this season, the Patriots have experience playing without Gronk.

Patriots put mental toughness on display in win over Texans – While football simpletons like Gasper talk about how nothing yesterday should make you confident that the Patriots can win it all, others note that after the Patriots lost two of their big weapons – Gronkowski and Danny Woodhead, whom much of the gameplan going in had revolved around – they were able to completely adjust and still put up 41 points on an allegedly stout Houston defense. Tom E Curran looks at the Patriots stepping up, and at why the Ravens may have started talking already.

Speaking of Curran, he did have showdown with Shaughnessy (and Felger) on CSNNE yesterday. It’s worth a watch.

A couple of SI links:

Offensive outburst, meeting of legends set up conference finals – MMQB. The usual number of head-scratching statements and proclamations.

MEDIA CIRCUS – Among other things, Richard Deitsch’s media column looks at whether Brian Billick, who worked the Falcons/Seahawks game for FOX, should’ve disclosed that Atlanta coach Mike Smith is his brother-in-law.

  • Bullock

    Tom Curran is simply fantastic. I could listen to him dress down Felger and Shaughnessy all morning.

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

    I was hoping CSNNE would not “forget” to post that segment of pregame. While the SEA/ATL game was on, I think the score was 27-7, so I turned over and low and behold Curran is doing his business on Felger and Shank. Love it. I wish he did this more, even though it won’t stop them.

    National side: Being AFC means you have to deal with Phil Simms far too much. Is it me or is he a liability in the booth now?

    1.) He made some “compliment” in the 3rd quarter about Brady keeping his hands on the ball before throwing it. Last I checked, any other “throw” usually implies fumbling. Fumbles are not good, in case you did not already know.

    2.) On the Texans 2pt conversion, what’s up with his math?
    http://www.awfulannouncing.com/2013/january/phil-simms-struggles-with-basic-addition-and-subtraction.html

    3.) At the end, him wanting the Texans to kick a FG with 17 seconds left. Now, maybe he’s channeling his inner Brent Musburger, and was well aware of the spread(-9.5), and many had taken the Texans +10.5, but something tells me this was not the case.

  • http://www.jimmacleod.com JimMacLeod

    I usually like Tom Curran. This makes me like him more. He just called out the two biggest “Look at me!” personalities in Boston sports.
    But I can understand Curran’s frustration. He actually has to work to do his job (provide value to sports fans). I can’t say the same for Felger and Shank.

    In fairness, sometimes Felger does have some insight to contribute.

  • 3-2 kid

    Great job by curran calling out the lazy and washed up shank shaughnessy and his plea for attention

  • NHBob

    Good work Tom E. Curran. Speaking “truth to arrogance” is in short supply around here. Keep it upTom. It is refreshing.

  • Frank

    Was Felger wearing his Patriots footie pajamas when he went tubing with BB and the Krafts? What a fraud.

  • Chris W.

    The look on Curran’s face at the second “clown show” reference epitomizes what every Patriots fan feels when dealing with the lookitme Boston media: exasperation and a bit of helplessness.
    As usual, he’s outnumbered.

  • http://twitter.com/DryHeave1 DryHeave

    Felger about, “stirring the pot” “ISN’T THAT OUR JOB??” ….that about says it all, doesn’t it?… he’s basically admitting opinions spouted by him and Shank have no value at all. It’s all about “stirring the pot”..true, most of us here already knew that, I just find it amusing that he’s so proud of it.

    Then Felger asks, (MORE THAN ONCE) “why were you upset by this Tom!? “….well Felger, why are YOU upset about Curran being upset??”…..I know the answer to that, Felger doesn’t like the fact another RESPECTED media member is FINALLY calling out the “ClownBoy” media.

  • Ben

    Never realized till now that the NFL.com replay of the Sterling Moore strip is headline “Lee Evans Drop”.

  • Joe

    Tom Curran is my new hero. What blowhards he must deal with on a regular basis.

  • Dan

    Tom E. Curran is my hero!
    I don’t know if it’s the new found confidence with his hair plugs but this guy is taking no prisoners! love it!

  • dan

    Felger is only picking the Ravens because he’s mad at Tom E. Curran. Simple as that. Because before this little spat Felger had them going to the super bowl whether they had to play Baltimore or Denver.

  • [email protected]

    God I hate Shaugnessy and Felger, love me some TEC

  • Chris A

    More Breer “reporting”:

    Schefter tweets at 8:22

    Adam Schefter
    @AdamSchefter

    Keep hearing former Broncos GM Ted Sundquist was particularly impressive last Thursday when interviewing for Jets GM job. Sleeper candidate.

    Breer at 9:03

    Also, sounds like ex-Broncos exec Ted Sundquist did very well in his interview with the Jets. Seems have to a legit shot at it.

    Someone called him on it and he said “independent source, of course.”

    Sure Bertie.

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

      Just some thoughts on this..

      With all the GM/Coaching stuff, the Twitter wars between the various outlets has been comical.

      Jason LaCanfora vs. Florio/PFT folks a week ago.

      Then Florio went on Twitter and NBCSN and ranted how a lot of these guys just shovel whatever BS agents throw at them. Obviously, like any sport, each agent has a specific reason to “plant” things like this.

      I’m going to defend Bert here because it’s defending all of these guys in this.

      – They reconfirm/rereport something because not every person in the world follows each and every guy. ESPN, specifically, likes to think otherwise with their “sourcing”, but this means that Bert just confirmed with his source that this happened. Now, if he fudged it? Who knows. I’m sure his employer cares if he did, so I’m going to say he didn’t.

      – Just because he didn’t get it “first” doesn’t mean he’s not going to report it. Worst case, he RT’s the info.

      – Their source could be the same exact person. You never know.

      At worst, Breer could have done what ESPN does where they report something themselves and act like it was their scoop, meanwhile another reporter clearly scooped them and ESPN claims “sources” as the person who put it out there. If Breer/NFLN are doing this? I’d like to think they’re not. Personally, I think that NFLN has a certain degree of “access” that other networks don’t enjoy and they don’t need to steal scoops.

      (See how ESPN stole a bit from Jay Glazer via Google if you’re interested.)

      In the end, you never know.

  • SmithtonJones

    I’ll never get bored with this Patriots team