Patriots Knock Over Another Tomato Can, Media Ups and Downs

The Patriots improved to 4-0 with a 30-23 win over the Atlanta Falcons last night. New England suffered a big blow however, as they have likely lost defensive anchor Vince Wilfork for the season.

Get all the links this morning at PatriotsLinks.com.

Here are a few of the top links for today:

What we learned: Aqib Talib, defense rise up in win over Falcons – Chris Price runs down the items of note from last night.

Patriots switched offensive strategy at half – Ben Volin has a look at the halftime adjustments.

The Patriots are still Brady’s bunch – Tom E Curran says that the Patriots are making this offense work thanks to their quarterback.

Talib continues to have things covered – Field Yates has a look at the big-time performance from the cornerback.

Kenbrell Thompkins breaks out – Karen Guregian looks at a huge night for the rookie wideout.

Now, for the media performances.

Three Up

Shalise Manza Young, Boston Globe

Broke the scoop in the middle of the night that Vince Wilfork’s injury is a torn achilles, which will likely end his season.

NESN Halftime Show

I enjoyed the live halftime show with Adam Pellerin, Mike Salk and Matt Chatham. It was nice to be able to avoid the NBC halftime show and have something local on the television. They were also pretty good following the game in the times I looked over there, while trying to split time between NBC, CSNNE, WBZ and NFL Network.

Tom E Curran, CSNNE.com

Slow clap for this Sunday Notes piece yesterday from Curran which looked at the relative noise-meter for recent NFL scandals compared to Spygate, and also called out selective scrutiny from the Boston Globe when covering business deals by the Red Sox and Patriots.

AlsoJeff Howe for his report Saturday about the seeming divide of opinion between the Patriots and Rob Gronkowski’s camp on when the tight end should return to game action.

Three Down

Ben Volin, Boston Globe

I feel like there was some rookie hazing going on last week with his source telling him that Gronkowski and Amendola were going to play last night, when just about everyone else was saying they likely would not play. Volin got hung out to dry. Welcome to the beat, Ben.

Toucher and Rich, 98.5/Cris Collinsworth NBC

If you really think Cris Collinsworth is a Bill Belichick suck-up, then you haven’t been paying attention over the years. Yes, he gushed over Belichick and the Kraft family last night, especially when talking about Jim Brown’s appearance on Inside The NFL on Showtime (which Collinsworth appears on) where the Browns legend called Belichick one of his three heroes (along with Bill Russell and Bobby Knight) for his work with inner city kids and prison inmates.

Collinsworth went too far though when talking about all the troubled players that come into New England and how they all straighten out once they get there. The Aaron Hernandez elephant in the room was too much at that point. Collinsworth through the years though, has never shied away from being critical of Belichick and the Patriots, and was one of many calling for a ban of the Patriots coach following Spygate.

For anyone to think he’s just a Belichick suckup is ridiculous.

Gerry Callahan, WEEI

Rough morning for Gerry. His premise that “the Patriots are the only team that gets all the calls on the road” is a little flawed if you watched that game at all. (Edelman whacked on fair-catch, Dobson held and hit in the head in the end zone, iffy PI call on Talib.) Can you imagine the national outrage if the officials replay machine failed during a game in Gillette Stadium. The tin-foil hat wearers would be up in arms. Also, when a caller brought up Andre Carter, who the Patriots worked out recently and mentioned he had been in Oakland after leaving the Patriots, Callahan confidently corrected him by saying “Buffalo.” His co-host repeated “Buffalo.” Andre Carter, Mark Anderson, what’s the difference?

The Red Sox have wrapped up their regular season with homefield advantage, and await their divisional round opponent.

What does home-field advantage mean for Red Sox? – Alex Speier looks at the importance of home field.

Red Sox have decisions to make for postseason – Peter Abraham looks at some of the last spots to be decided.

The Celtic have media day this afternoon, and camp starts tomorrow.

Wait ’til next year, or maybe longer – Steve Bulpett has a quick preview.

Sox Inch Closer To Best Record

The Red Sox moved closer to grabbing home field advantage in the AL playoffs last night with a 15-5 win in Colorado. Will Middlebrooks hit two home runs, including a grand slam, to pace the offensive attack. With the win, the Red Sox have a two game lead over Oakland for the best record with three games to play.

All that remains of the regular season is a series in Baltimore this weekend, starting tomorrow night.

With Jacoby Ellsbury’s return, Red Sox lineup appears unmatched in playoffs – The centerfielder returned to the lineup last night, and Alex Speier explains how his presence changes everything for Boston.

Ortiz reaction to 7th 100-RBI season? Vindication – Sean McAdam has the Sox slugger pleased that he could validate the contract extension that was given him before the season, and silence critics of the deal at the same time. The other day, Gordon Edes wrote that we need to enjoy Ortiz while we still have him.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia in driver’s seat – Michael Silverman has the Sox catcher and free agent to be hoping to stick around, but also looking to explore the market in the offseason.

Balancing act for Red Sox in the season’s final week – Peter Abraham’s notebook has the Sox looking to juggle their priorities this weekend, mixing work with rest.

If Falcons can get healthy on offense, Patriots may have to pick their poison Sunday night – Nick Underhill looks at the challenge the Atlanta offense will likely present to the New England defense.

Amendola “not likely” for Sunday; better chance next week in Cincy -Karen Guregian has solid sources when it comes to injury/medical items with the club, and this one says we’ll probably have to wait another week to see the receiver.

Get all the Patriots news today at PatriotsLinks.com.

Green ready to make most of starring role with C’s – A. Sherrod Blakely has the forward looking to step up and out of the shadows of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce.  Jay King also has a good piece on Green.

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Michael Felger will be part of a new football show on the NBC Sports Regional Networks. “3 and Out” — a new football analysis and debate program will debut on Tuesday, October 1 and air each remaining week of the 2013 NFL season across its lineup of Comcast SportsNet RSNs. The 30-minute program will employ next generation fiber optics to connect a panel of accomplished and spirited football analysts, each located within a separate NFL market, to break down the three most impactful storylines affecting that week’s action.

While each week’s three selected storylines will dictate which panelists will make up the 3 and Out panel, the program will feature regular appearances from CSN Houston’s Kelli Johnson, CSN Mid-Atlantic’s Brian Mitchell, CSN New England’s Mike Felger and CSN Bay Area’s Ray Ratto.

Here’s the bio they gave for Felger:

Mike Felger –- As a self-described impartial observer of the New England sports scene, Mike Felger revels in his ability to play devil’s advocate and singe local sports fans for their unabashed homerism. Felger has been offering his keen observations and entertaining analysis on Comcast SportsNet New England’s UNO’s Sports Tonight and Sports Sunday. He can be watched daily on Comcast SportsNet’s simulcast of 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Felger & Mazz.

The show will air Tuesday nights at 11:00pm on CSNNE.

TiqIQ’s Red Sox Playoff Ticket Preview

Of all the teams that have a playoff position locked in, the Red Sox have the most expensive average ticket price on the secondary market. They also have the highest premium compared to their regular season average of any team in the playoffs. The 270% premium is ahead of both the Dodgers and Pirates, and an indication for how excited Red Sox fans are for an October run.

If you’re looking to catch some of the action without breaking the bank, the LDS is definitely your best bet. The current average price for Red Sox tickets at Fenway for the LDS is $373, which is almost $200 more than the next highest team, the Dodgers.  Dodgers tickets have an average price $182, which is the highest price for any non wild-card team in the NL.  Pirates tickets have an average price of $184, but they’d first have to win a wild card game to play any of those.

At an average price of $329, game two for the Red Sox LDS is currently the cheapest game of the series and has a get-in price of $76. Game one has a slightly higher get-in price at $80.  If the series were to go to five games, the average price goes up to $397 and the get-in is $90. If you want to take a peek ahead, the average price for the ALCS is $841 with a get-in around $200. Currently, the average price for World Series Tickets at Fenway is $1,442, with a get-in price around $550.

Right now, Vegas has the Red Sox and the Dodgers as their favorites to make it to the fall classic. It would be a series for the ages, and it would also definitely increase prices from where they are today, making a $500 ticket harder to come by in mid October. You can check out all the XLDS series averages and premiums for all the teams that have already clinched a playoff position.

Team XLDS Avg. Reg Season Avg XLDS Premium
Reds $144.40 $45.00 220.89%
Pirates $184.32 $51.00 261.41%
Braves $115.46 $52.00 122.04%
Cardinals $131.55 $57.72 127.91%
Dodgers $182.53 $53.61 240.48%
NL Avg $151.65 $51.87 192.39%
Red Sox $373.18 $100.60 270.95%
Tigers $145.91 $60.79 140.02%
A’s $173.46 $55.00 215.38%
AL Avg $230.85 $72.13 220.05%

Check out our ticket link in the navigation for ticket to any game during the playoffs, as well as other Boston-area tickets.