Jacoby Speaks

Patriots Daily contributor Bill Barnwell recently caught up with the Red Sox (currently anyway) centerfielder Jacoby Ellsbury.

Speaking of Patriots Daily, Christopher Price checks in with his “Inside Gillette” segment, as well as, “Five things to look for this week”.

Gregg Easterbrook takes a look at the NFL’s plan to allow ticket brokers to re-sell NFL tickets. Gregg argues that this practice will only lead to astronomical ticket prices. He also gives his two cents on the Patriots victory over the Steelers. It even seems as if his son hates the Patriots. That plus all the usual nonsense in this week’s Tuesday Morning Quarterback.

Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio has some NFL fans angry at the Patriots for not wearing the #21 decal on their helmets this weekend.

Old Boston scribe, Howard Bryant has a mammoth piece about the upcoming Mitchell Investigation, scheduled to be released sometime this week.

Peter King has a warning for Wayne Huizenga in this week’s Monday Morning Quarterback. He also has a suggestion for the Patriots on what they should do with their first round draft pick.

Michael Silver was at Foxboro this weekend, he offers up his observations and a look at the Steelers first year head coach Mike Tomlin.

Sports Illustrated has a great piece on the rehabilitation that injured Buffalo Bill, Kevin Everett is undergoing.

Michael Wilbon says that Michael Vick’s sentence reflects the judge’s dissatisfaction with Vick’s lying.

While you may have thought that a personal masseuse, as well as, a housing allowance were great perks added to Dice-K’s contract, that’s not the only thing he or some of these other players managed to get out of their respective ball clubs. Here’s a look at some of the offbeat clauses in baseball contracts.

ESPN Ombudsman Le Anne Schreiber gives her critique of the World Wide Leader’s coverage of the Sean Taylor tragedy, also, their endless hours of Michael Vick.

Revenge is in the air

(Morning Links provided by David Vidinha. Dave can be contacted here.)

Before looking forward to the “epic match up” this week between the Patriots and Jets lets look back at the Patriots domination of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Michael Felger has the Patriots getting their swagger back in his weekly Report Card. The Patriots made the “Honor Roll” with their performance on Sunday. Meanwhile, over in Pittsburgh, the Steelers might be hiding their report card, Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette hands out some ugly grades to the Steelers. ESPN’s Len Pasquarelli has a tip for future opponents of the Patriots. Karen Guerigian has the Pats all charged up, and Belichick keeping some names out of his mouth.

Now that the Patriots have disposed of the last “real” threat on their quest for perfection, they can look forward to a week full of CameraGate and “Revenge”. The storylines that will be played out over the next couple of days will reach an all-time level in these parts, as well as, in New York. You can expect the New York papers to play this up as much as possible, considering the New York Post is responsible for placing an asterisk on the side of the Patriots record in their NFL Standings. As you look down the asterisk leads to the comment :”Caught Cheating”. Talk about pandering to the fanbase.

Gerry Callahan says that this Sunday’s matchup is all about hate. Gerry also points out all the offensive records that the Patriots will be vying for this season, and wonders if they can all be captured by halftime. Christopher Gasper has Eric Mangini telling reporters that his feelings for Belichick have not changed, too bad for Eric the feeling is not mutual. With the Patriots well on their way to breaking all sorts of offensive records, why not own a few Vegas’ records in the process. Jets safety Kerry Rhodes makes a guarantee about Sunday’s game, although this one might come to fruition. Mr. Old Time Baseball, Steve Buckley has Coach Belichick describing his team’s approach to Sunday’s game versus the Jets. Even though the most famous guarantee in football history was made by a Jets player, don’t expect to hear another one this week.

Gene Wojciechowski professes his love for Tom Brady, and looks for new ways to describe him.

In the Globe’s Notebook the Patriots discuss their improvements in the “red area”, and we also learn that there might be some real short press conferences this week. The Herald’s Notebook has Pittsburgh Pinhead Anthony Smith talking trash to Brady during pre-game warmups. How’d that work out for you? Young’s notebook in the ProJo has Richard Seymour still feeling the after effects of his knee surgery.

Bruins

The Bruins skated to a 4-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres last night. Fluto Shinzawa has Bruins newcomer Alex Auld making the difference chalking up 44 saves on 45 shots. Glen Metropolit returned to the Canadian housing project where he was raised.

Patriots Survive Eagle Attack

(Morning Links provided by David Vidinha. Dave can be reached here)

The Philadelphia Eagles gave the Patriots everything they had last night in Foxboro, nearly disrupting the Patriots journey to an undefeated season. The Eagles made certain there would be no talk of “RunningupthescoreGate” after last night’s game forcing the Patriots’ starters to play a full sixty minutes. The Eagles listened to John Madden’s advice from earlier in the week, “come out and be aggressive”, and aggressive they were, eschewing a field goal early in the game, going for it on fourth-and-one, which led to their first touchdown. Later in the half, they surprised the Patriots, recovering an onside kick. The Patriots showed their true spirit though, ultimately charging back and pulling out the 31-28 victory. Tom Brady’s assault on Peyton Manning’s touchdown record was put on hold last night, instead Brady who was 34-of-54, 380 yards, one touchdown, no interceptions, showed why he already holds a 3-to-1 lead over Manning in the only record that matters. With Brady’s performance last night, Michael Felger tells us he has regained the MVP vote from Randy Moss. The Eagles did everything possible to contain Randy Moss, holding Moss to 5 catches for 43 yards, but all that attention left the speedy Wes Welker (13 catches, 149 yards) to post a career game. This is a great way to describe the impact of Wes Welker. Along with Welker, Robert Lee of the Providence Journal has Jabar Gaffney having a “breakout” game.

For all of the talk about a record 22.5 point spread, Vegas surely got this one wrong. It did serve to provide some extra motivation for the Philadelphia players, who were not scared. The big question now, which will surely be debated all week is whether the rest of the league now has a blueprint on how to defeat, or at least disrupt the Patriots. If nothing else, Tony Massarotti says last night’s game proved the Patriots are vulnerable. Jackie MacMullan puts a more positive spin on the meaning of last night’s hard fought victory. No matter what gameplan teams decide to use, ESPN’s Len Pasquarelli says that you “cannot fool Brady”. Don Banks says the Patriots’ narrow victory may serve to help them in the long run.

Asante Samuel’s two bookend interceptions were huge, and ultimately the deciding factors in last night’s game. Jeff Horrigan has Rodney Harrison calling Samuel “the best defensive back in the NFL.” While a majority of the attention will be paid to the Eagles defensive scheme, AJ Feeley, the Eagles back-up QB played a tremendous game with the only tarnishes coming on the Samuel picks.

Within the Herald’s Notebook we learn that Rosevelt Colvin left the game with a foot injury. The Globe’s Notebook has Bill Belichick crediting Asante Samuel with the game deciding interceptions.

Amongst all of last night’s drama, the Patriots have clinched the AFC East, making them the Division Champions and also tying them with three other teams for the fastest to secure the division since the NFL expanded to a 16-game schedule in 1978.

Scott Benson over at Patriots Daily has the Patriots dodging a bullet last night. That plus random thoughts on last night’s victory.