Red Sox Facing Heat After Losing Lester To Cubs

I stayed up as late as I could last night awaiting the news on Jon Lester. Naturally the news broke just a few minutes after I turned things off and went to bed that Lester had agreed to a 6-year $155 million deal with the Chicago Cubs.

I don’t sense that many people will be upset with Jon Lester for this decision. The heat, from both fans and the media will be directed at the Red Sox.

How will they react? Will there be a subtle leak in an attempt to turn PR to their side? (#SmearCampaign)

Their best move will be to acquire talent to try and fill the void in the starting rotation.

Here’s a sampling of articles from this morning:

Red Sox’ lowball offer last spring led to Lester’s depature – Sean McAdam says the Sox didn’t lose Lester last night, they lost him last spring.

When it came to Red Sox’ pursuit of Jon Lester, we should have known better – Rob Bradford says that the “Red Sox offered less than their competition, less than it would have taken to get Lester re-signed, at every step of the way.”

Red Sox have work, explaining to do – Gordon Edes says that the Red Sox have let Lester fans down twice, first with his trade to Oakland and now this.

Red Sox made curious strategy change in Jon Lester pursuit – Peter Abraham says that this will go down as one of the strangest chapters in Red Sox history.

Red Sox wouldn’t overpay for Jon Lester – Michael Silverman says that the Sox wanted to be in the hunt, but weren’t upset at not getting him.

What now? Potential Red Sox targets with Jon Lester off the board – Alex Speier looks at where the Red Sox go from here.

Jon Lester Was Everything a Red Sox Player Was Supposed to Be — So Why Is He a Cub? – Chad Finn laments the loss of the lefty.

The Red Sox don’t like to take heat from the media. They will respond one way or the other. Here’s hoping it is in the form of player acquisition, not some sort of whisper campaign or Boston Globe article from Bob “The hitman” Hohler.

Does John Henry appear on Felger and Mazz today? Does Larry Lucchino make some jabs at his former protege, Theo Epstein?

Or does Ben Cherington just go about his business of building a competitive baseball team? Let’s hope it’s that.

*****

Gronk! The Interview. – Lindsay Czarniak interviewed the Patriots tight end for ESPN The Magazine. It’s a must-read.

Larry Bird’s Greatest Shot Was the One He Didn’t Take – Larry Bird fans are very familiar with the former Celtic’s background, but this Indianapolis Monthly feature by Sean McCabe is worth a read.

Red Sox Need To Prepare For Rotation Without Jon Lester

While nothing is official yet, indications seem to be that the Red Sox need to start thinking of the rotation for 2015 and beyond without lefty Jon Lester at the head of it.

Ken Rosenthal had reported yesterday that Lester would likely choose between the Cubs and Giants, though Lester’s agents quickly refuted that report as did the Red Sox, who said they had no indication that they were out of the bidding.

No sign yet from Jon Lester – Scott Lauber looks at the signs that lead Lester away from Boston.

Lowballing Jon Lester haunts Sox – Michael Silverman has the team likely regretting their decision to produce such a weak offer to the pitcher earlier this year.

Only one man knows Jon Lester’s true intentions: Jon Lester – Rob Bradford says that speculation is useless.

In defense of the Red Sox: GM Ben Cherington explains Boston’s pursuit of Jon Lester –  Jason Mastrodonato has the Sox boss trying to outline what happened between the two parties earlier in the season.

Jon Lester has options to weigh – Gordon Edes notes that whichever way Lester chooses, he really can’t lose.

Red Sox continue to wait on Lester’s decision – Sean McAdam has the Red Sox content to wait things out.

With Jon Lester decision imminent, different levels of optimism for Red Sox – Tim Britton has the Red Sox admitting they’ve changed their view of Lester’s value since the offer last spring.

Red Sox GM Ben Cherington wading through options at Winter Meetings – Nick Cafardo says that the Red Sox haven’t only been focused on Lester in recent days.

*******

The Patriots resurgence apparently has Mike Felger yearning for his old days of writing about the team, as he has a new column up on CSNNE.com – These Patriots have a different feel.

Patriots used week in California as bonding experience – Shalise Manza Young has the team using the week out West to their advantage.

Film review: How Jamie Collins and the Patriots defense battered Philip Rivers and the Chargers = Kevin Duffy looks back on the win.

Bruins strictly average so far, and they will need help – Fluto Shinzawa says that it is time for the Bruins to make some moves.

Celtics hit Wall in 2 OT, lose – Steve Bulpett has the Celtics falling a point short last night, behind a huge game from rookie Marcus Smart.

Slugfest in San Diego Latest Win For Patriots

After the Patriots squeaked by the lowly New York Jets at home on October 16th, focus turned to the just-completed six-game stretch for New England, which experts said, would make or break this team. Some leaned towards the latter, predicting doom, even 0-6 over this stretch.

After going 5-1 over the six games, you’d think most questions would be answered. New England won blowouts, they won close, they won at home, they won on the road. They won scoring 51 points, and they won scoring 23 points.

With gauntlet complete, Patriots take another step on journey toward title – Chris Price with the Patriots establishing their contender credentials.

Patriots’ defense saves the day against Chargers – Tom E Curran has the team showing they can win a game with their defense, too.

Jamie Collins leads Patriots big defensive effort – Karen Guregian has the second-year linebacker taking charge with Hightower out last night.

Jamie Collins, New England Patriots defense overwhelmed San Diego Chargers Sunday night – Kevin Duffy has teammates raving about the young linebacker.

Patriots’ defense delivers after team bonding in San Diego – Mike Reiss has the week of preparation out West paying off for the team.

Brandon Browner disputes roughing penalty – Michael Whitmer’s extensive notebook leads off with the controversial call against the Patriots cornerback.

Get all the coverage at PatriotsLinks.com.

Sports media: Marshawn Lynch has his say — such as it is — in interview – Chad Finn’s Monday media column has the Seahawks running back speaking to a former teammate.

Sam Ponder on motherhood, football; misogyny among hockey media – Richard Deitsch’s media column covers the usual wide gambit.

Elsewhere:

One John Henry plane flight later, stage set for Jon Lester’s decision – Rob Bradford wonders if a second visit from the Red Sox owner could sway the lefty into returning to Boston.

Simple Truth: Boston a special place for Paul Pierce – Steve Bulpett has a talk with the former Celtics captain.

Worst Owners In Major League Soccer Look For Title Win Sunday

On Sunday at 3:00pm (ESPN) the New England Revolution will be playing in the MLS Cup final for the fifth time since 2002. This despite having the worst owners in Major League Soccer.

I won’t pretend to know a ton about the Revs or how the Krafts have done as owners to the franchise, but that article still strikes me as a lets strike at the Krafts and indirectly make the “cheap” accusation type of move. It was a great way to get talked about on afternoon drive sports radio, as the topic was right in the wheelhouse of one of the two shows in town.

I don’t know if the Revs can get over the hump and get that first title, but I’ll be hoping they do.

Taylor Twellman on the call for MLS Cup – Chad Finn’s media column has it sounding like Twellman believes the Revs will have a tough task in front of them to earn their first title.

Finn also confirms that Alex Speier will be leaving WEEI.com and coming to the Globe.

The role seems a bit ambiguous. Finn says Speier will be mostly writing for the BostonGlobe.com website, with some articles also appearing in the paper. He will also not be writing strictly about baseball. While I have no doubts that Alex Speier can write about any sport, it seems a bit strange to me to take the guy who is, in my opinion, the best baseball writer in town, hands down, and use him differently.

In what would be a related move, Finn on the SoSH media forum speculates that John Tomase could be in line to replace Speier at WEEI.com. That would make sense given the history between Tomase and Rob Bradford.

  • The Patriots will be playing their last prime-time game of the regular season, on NBC’s Sunday Night Football against the San Diego Chargers.
  • Boston sports media personality Jennifer Royle, who has done shifts at WEEI, the Boston Herald, and other outlets in town, is contestant on this season of ABC’s The Taste.
  • J.J. Watt would be a better tight end than Rob Gronkowski? Thanks to Pro Football Focus for setting the advanced stats/analytics industry back 10 years. (Same article, Mike Vrabel playing TE was just a “look-how-clever-I-am gimmick by Bill Belichick.”)
  • If you’ve been an overnight listener of CBS Sports radio and used to listening to Damon Amendolara, that will change in January as his show will move to 6-10PM. Amy Lawrence will move into the slot previously occupied by Amendolara.

Patriots/Packers Still Worthy Of Discussion, But…

It seems like some of the most influential conversation-makers in town would rather talk about how Josh Boyer is ruining the cornerbacks, or worrying about several Patriot players going to the Clippers game last night and ending up hanging out with Justin Bieber or drooling over the prospect of Bill Belichick being called to testify in the Aaron Hernandez trial and being forced to answer questions. ‘It is what it is’ isn’t going to cut it in cross-examination, haha!
I even heard the incredibly tired and cliche Did the Packers find the blueprint on how to beat the Patriots???

Anything, it seems, other than what was one of the best regular-season games the Patriots have been involved in for a while. The game had everything – except of course a win by New England.

Since I’m a day late on most of this, you’ve probably seen many of these, but here are some stories I enjoyed.

Patriots-Packers: What We Learned – Matt Chatham looks at some of the big plays and some gripes Patriots fans likely had.

An issue some people had with the game was the amount of time Aaron Rodgers had in the pocket. I really liked this answer from Tedy Bruschi to that question in his chat yesterday:

bruschi

While some are talking about this as a “moral victory” another former Patriot, Dan Koppen doesn’t think it is being viewed that way inside the locker room. – Can Patriots view loss as a moral victory?

Tom Brady on D&C, still frustrated by Sunday’s loss: ‘I felt like we should have won’ – It doesn’t sound like the Patriots QB believes in moral victories either.

Would television fee dispute ever affect a Patriots game? – Chad Finn’s media column yesterday looked at the blackout of FOX on FiOS which caused viewers to miss the Cowboys/Eagles game on Thanksgiving and notes that DISH subscribers, already without CSNNE, could lose Patriots games on CBS in the near future too.

***********

This could be an interesting week for the Red Sox as well:

Red Sox continue quest for arms – The team is waiting for Jon Lester’s decision, but is also busy exploring the trade market, according to Gordon Edes.

Jon Lester taking his time as he weighs his decision – Nick Cafardo looks at the Lester landscape.

Past as prelude? Pedro Martinez, Jon Lester and a potentially rocky Red Sox rotation remake – Alex Speier looks at Pedro Martinez’s free agency a a decade ago gives us any insight into Lester’s.

***********

Now we’re on to the section of the post known as “Articles that I will never click on.”

I’ll let Jerry Thornton address this, since he’s apparently one of Dan’s targets this morning.

benz

Nice strawman, Benz. Who is saying this? (Besides Felger and cronies?) I saw my buddy Wilbur mention it, but are actual Patriots fans saying this? Or is Benz just clickbait trolling?

Unlike Patriots, Red Sox Going “All In.”

Meanwhile the Patriots play the waiver wire, picking up castoffs and trading for players who would’ve been cut by their teams anyway.

It remains to be seen how the Red Sox roster will shake out, there appears to be a lot of redundancy at certain positions, but Ben has a plan. In Ben we trust.

But if they don’t sign Lester, this offseason will be a complete failure, right Dan?

Trying to make sense of Red Sox reunion with Hanley Ramirez – Rob Bradford looks at the reported signing.

So … is there any money left for pitching? Red Sox roster building reconsidered – Alex Speier crunches the money numbers.

Keep up with the latest free agent craziness at RedSoxLinks.com.

*********

The Patriots won their seventh game in a row, beating their fourth division leader with a 34-9 rout of the Detroit Lions at Gillette Stadium yesterday.

Patriots disarm Lions offensive weapons in win – Tom E Curran has the defense taking away Detroit’s weaponzzzzz.

Darrelle Revis the queen piece in secondary – Mike Reiss has Revis as the most important piece on the chessboard for Belichick and Patricia.

Patriots keep opponents guessing – Jackie MacMullan looks at the team’s ability to morph from week to week.

Get the rest of the coverage at Patriotslinks.com.

*********

Latest Tom Brady-Randy Moss hookup a good one – Chad Finn looks at the interview between the two legends on FOX Sports 1 yesterday.

Christian Laettner on Laettner hate; why ESPN’s Keith Law was suspended – Richard Deitsch looks at the latest 30-for-30 film.

Where’s Pete Sheppard? Shaughnessy Wrong Again, And Other Friday Notes

I’ve gotten a number of emails and commenters asking about the status of Pete Sheppard, who has been absent from Glenn Ordway’s Big Show Unfiltered for some time now.

Sheppard took to Facebook yesterday to clarify his status:

My friends…I will make this fairly short and sweet as I have gotten a number of mostly private messages via Facebook and Twitter over the last month regarding my “broadcasting” status…The only thing I will say is I recently received an offer that I simply can’t refuse that is outside the broadcast world and at this point in my life, I have to take it…I don’t know what the future will bring but I know right now I have never been happier and the people I will be working for are incredible…That is all for now…Thanks my friends for all your support, it will always mean the world to me….

Hopefully that answers things for now.  I wish Pete the best in his future endeavors.

************

The Red Sox are in pursuit of both Jon Lester and Pablo Sandoval.

For months, Dan Shaughnessy has consistently been saying there was no way that Lester would be re-signing here after the team traded the lefty to Oakland in July, and that the team would not even make an effort. You know, stuff like this:

You’re a FOOL! And a sheep!

After the Red Sox made an offer this week, and by all accounts are “in on Lester”, Shaughnessy wrote yesterday that there are “No excuses” for the Red Sox not to get Lester signed.

His fawning boss sees no contradiction in Shaughnessy’s swinging views.

Dan also manages to work in a don’t be cheap like the Patriots (Krafts) into the column on Lester too.

Yes, this is the star of the Boston sports media.

Celtics radio announcer Sean Grande had a statement to make the other night and did so by photobombing the CSNNE TV telecast.

The Celtics get back in action tonight on the road in Memphis against a tough Grizzlies team. (8:00pm, CSNNE)

**********************

Last Sunday night’s Patriots/Colts game gathered a 40.0 rating with a 58 share, making it the second highest Sunday Night Football rating for the Patriots. The high mark of 42.6 was reached in a December 2010 game against the Green Bay Packers.

This Sunday’s Patriots/Lions game will be on FOX at 1:00pm, with the network’s top crew of Joe Buck, Troy Aikman and Erin Andrews calling the game.

The media is scrambling this morning for storylines after the latest “team X” the Chiefs lost to the previously winless Oakland Raiders last night. Of course, it doesn’t take much effort to turn it around and yell the Patriots got blown out by the Chiefs who lost to the winless Raiders!!!

Get all the Patriots news leading into Sunday at PatriotsLinks.com.

**********************

The Bruins are also in action tonight, taking on the Blue Jackets in Columbus. (7:00pm, NESN)

Get all the news on the B’s at Bruinslinks.com.

**********************

‘College GameDay’ takes The Game to another level – With the ESPN show originating from the Harvard campus tomorrow morning, Chad Finn talks with Lee Fitting, senior coordinating producer for ESPN’s college sports studio shows.

No Excuses, Huh?

(From BSMW member Claude45)

How about all the reasons you and your d-bag co-hosts keep hammering us with:

– Belichick the GM sucks
– Horrible Drafts
– Letting Welker go
– Kraft is cheap
– Brady is DUN
– Window is closed
– Denver’s ALL IN !!!!!
– The game has passed Belichick by on defense
– They can’t win a rock fight
– They play too many close games
– Lousy free agent signings
– They can’t draft and develop wide receivers
– They missed on Amendola
– They traded the heart and soul in Mankins (which would inevitably lead to Brady getting KILLED!!!)
– Trading draft picks for guys would be cut anyway
– Waiting for guys to get cut and pick them off the scrap heap instead of being AGGRESSIVE. STOP MESSING AROUND AND GET SOME GUYS IN HERE TO WIN SOME GAMES!!!!
– Brady does not care about football anymore. Just banging Giselle and fashion week.
– They will never recover from losing Scar
– Belichick surrounds himself with only yes men, needs a strong voice in the room
– Too many Rutgers guys
– They hate Gooch
– They have a tuba player on the OL
– They don’t have a signature road win in 4 years
– ARROGANCE!!!!
– The Jets passed them by (while somehow remaining a tomato can)
– Wasting a second round pick on a QB who won’t play for years INSTEAD OF GOING FOR IT!!!
– Tough stretch schedule with no tomato cans
– Inexperienced DB coach
– Coaches from Division III schools!
– NO PLAYMAKERS!!!!

Based on your football acumen, the Pats are huge underdogs to hang on for the number 1 seed, Tony. It will be a miracle or I may start to think you don’t know what you are talking about.

Patriots 2014 Five-Eighths Season Review

Wanted to wait until after the Colts game to file a report, and my, oh, my. This season has taken a pleasant little turn since the last time we talked, hasn’t it?

In our First Quarter Review, we showed concern (“panicked” might be a better description) after New England’s horrific outing at Kansas City. The best way to summarize that column is through the final line, where I wondered what ailed them: “But in Buffalo in two weeks – after a presumed loss to Cincinnati and a 2-3 record – they’d better figure it out.”

Yeah. Good call, me. After keelhauling the Bengals, 43-17, New England took care of the Bills (37-22), Jets (27-25), Bears (51-23), Broncos (43-21), and Colts (42-20).

That makes seven weeks, six games, and six wins later. The Pats and their fans are basking in the glow of the franchise’s latest dismantling of Indy that puts the Patriots at 8-2. During their run, the team has shown an affinity for adaptation normally reserved for generations of Galapagos finches. Oh, you like to stop the rush, Denver? Well, we’ll mix in the run for play-action, and pass for 332 yards. Ah, Indy, you want to hold down our air attack? We’ll just keep it on the ground to the tune of 244 yards.

Actually, the latter wasn’t much of a surprise, considering the Colts have a reputation for softness that makes me want to add them to my laundry’s rinse cycle. But the way New England did it – and the way they have done it these past several weeks – I didn’t see it coming.

So, my mea culpa tour, if you will…

Pride Goeth Before LaFell: Ah, yes. Brandon LaFell. You mean the guy discussed in our wide receivers review this past spring with less enthusiasm than Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins? Is this the same guy who a) converted a third down on a back-shoulder pass that looked more like a front-knee pass with a defender draped all over him? The guy who snatches footballs out of the air like a frog catching flies, to the point where we say about half the time, “Did he just catch that?”

Sure, I had doubts. Panthers fans lamented his lack of consistency snaring the ball. Some of us got a little wary of the Belichick Opponent Syndrome, where the coach obsesses over players who do well vs. New England (Wes Welker signing = good; Ochocinco = mal.) Through 10 games, LaFell has 39 reception for 536 yards (14.8 avg) and five touchdowns. And by the way, did you realize he caught 11 passes against Chicago for 124 yards? I didn’t.

Probably because, like opposing defenses, I was focused on –

I Wanna Gronk And Roll All Night (Y Fiesta Todos Los Dias): The next time I or anyone else complains about Bill Belichick’s second-round picks, just say the name Rob Gronkowski. Gronk – a risk at the time, considering he’d missed his final year at Arizona with neck issues – has helped shaped the offense into the amorphous monster it has become. You want a receiver? In 10 games, Gronk’s got 53 catches for 734 yards and nine TDs, a solid season for most tight ends. You want a blocker? Look what he did to Colts safety Sergio Brown on Jonas Gray’s fourth and final touchdown.

Just ridiculous. This year, with the benefit of solid health, he has returned as the player Patriots fans missed. And he has elevated Tom Brady’s play alongside his own.

The Price Was Wright: Yes, good, another miss by me. I was not a fan of the Logan Mankins/Tim Wright deal, just because the O-line seemed to be in a state of flux where Mankins could have helped maintain some stability. Was Dan Connolly going to stick around, or Ryan Wendell?

Yes, and yes. Along with rookie center Bryan Stork, the middle of the line has solidified, giving Brady a hell of a lot more time than he had early in the season. Wright, meanwhile, has 18 receptions and four touchdowns, adding another wrinkle for defensive coordinators to worry about.

Everything Turns Gray: I remember looking over potential late-round/undrafted rookies in 2012 and coming across Jonas Gray, a 5-10, 225-pound senior who’d missed his final season at Notre Dame due to a terrible knee injury. His only event at his pro day? The bench press: 31 reps of 225 pounds. Figured New England could take a flyer on him as a backup to Stevan Ridley.

Well, after stops in Miami and Baltimore, fans are glad that plan eventually came together. Sunday night, Gray broke out like a teenager on a chocolate binge, compiling 199 yards on 38 carries (5.2 avg) and four touchdowns at Indianapolis. He had shown signs of productivity vs. Chicago two weeks prior (17 for 86, 5.1 avg) and did enough against Denver (12 for 33, 2.8) to make play-action viable. Certainly can’t expect the same numbers when Detroit shows up, but important that the loss of Ridley for the season won’t become the giant setback some of us feared.

Holy crap: I haven’t even talked about the defense yet.

This Is My Brother Darrelle And My Other Brother Darrelle: What? Nope. Wait a minute…

The D-Backs Of Arizona: With Darrelle Revis, Brandon Browner, and Devin McCourty in New England’s defensive backfield, a surprisingly proficient effort from Patrick Chung and contributions from nickelback Kyle Arrington and undrafted rookie Malcolm Butler, this may prove to be the deepest, most talented backfield in Belichick’s tenure. Talk of a trip to Arizona for the Super Bowl surrounds the group. Why not? Browner can cover big receivers or tight ends. Arrington can take the slot consistently. Revis covers everyone so well, a camping gear company has started calling their one-man tents Revises (This is not true.)

It’s different. And exciting. Even when they give up yardage, they carry with them the expectation of stopping the opposition before the end zone. That’s refreshing.

Dont’a, Forget About Me: What did you think when Jerod Mayo went down? Tough, right? Difficult for the Patriots to recover/replace? So, kudos to Dont’a Hightower and Jamie Collins for stepping up and battening down the linebacker spots. Praise also to Belichick and Co. for going out and getting outside linebacker Akeem Ayers (two sacks, 10 tackles in three games for New England) and coverage linebacker/special teamer Jonathan Casillas (five tackles in two games for NE).

Collins’ athleticism was never in question – take a gander at his combine results if you feel like your chin needs to touch the floor (how’s a 41.5-inch vertical sound?). Now in his second year, Collins has gotten into a rhythm of how and when to react, and it’s a joy to watch. Especially alongside Hightower, whose heavier build and long-term savvy complements Collins so well.

Oh, man, I just remembered…

Behind Every Cloud There’s A Sealver Lineman: New England has two defensive linemen due to come back, run-stopper Sealver Siliga and pass-rusher Chandler Jones. As Siliga waited out his time on the injury/designated to return list, the Patriots brought in Alan Branch, a 325-pound veteran (Cards, Seahawks, Bills) who was cut by Buffalo this past August. Branch got three tackles at Indianapolis, helping shut down the Colts running game for a piddling 19 yards (four from the running backs).

Let’s reflect on that for a second. Trent Richardson, former first-round pick, carried the ball seven times for a total of zero yards. Did you watch the game on your couch? Did you move from your couch at any point during the game? If so, you gained more ground than Richardson.

Now, with the possibility of Siliga and Jones returning (4.5 sacks in the first seven games), this defense has the potential to improve. From a fan’s view, that’s amazing.

You know what else is amazing? The fact that we’ve barely mentioned Brady, or Julian Edelman, or Shane Vereen. We haven’t even discussed Rob Ninkovich (five sacks, one INT).

The Patriots are 8-2, atop the AFC. Sure, they might lose a game or two. Aaron Rodgers always plays tough in Green Bay. Hell, even the Jets could play rude hosts if Rex Ryan has his squad drinking the Nothing-To-Lose-Kool-Aid (Rex-Aid?). But, with reasonable health, we have a hard time thinking this team can’t go far in early 2015.

But don’t ask me. I have no idea what I’m talking about.

You can email your agreements with Chris Warner at [email protected] or tweet him pumpkin pie recipes at @cwarn89 

Gray Matters

The Patriots just continue to roll on, continuing to make the dire predictions of doom from after week four look silly.

The criticism of the team and how they played at Kansas City at the time certainly was legitimate, but what was ridiculous was the assumption that they wouldn’t get any better.

I’ve been consistent on this.

(Some of the replies to that tweet are great.)

A 42-20 win in Indianapolis last night was the latest step for a squad that has made the changes and adjustments needed to improve since the round beginning. 199 rushing yards and four touchdowns from Jonas Gray didn’t hurt, either.

While they could certainly stumble a couple more times before the end of the season, it seems safe to say that those who wrote them off were a bit premature.

It wasn’t perfect last night, but it was powerful.

As for this “road win” storyline, which permeated the talk over the last week, as in, “They aren’t a good road team…they haven’t won a big road game since 2011…” Name me a good road team in the NFL. Most good teams are .500 on the road.

A sampling from this morning:

Separation Sunday: Patriots seize command of AFC with decisive win over Colts – Chris Price, WEEI.com

Patriots continue their run with thrashing of Colts – Tom E Curran, CSNNE

Patriots keep getting better and better – Jackie MacMullan, ESPNBoston

Defense builds up speed – Karen Guregian, Boston Herald

Jonas Gray learned success in Detroit, and the world learned his name Sunday night – Kevin Duffy, MassLive.com

After win over Colts, Patriots are in the running with the best – Mark Farinella, Sun Chronicle.

Get the complete coverage at PatriotsLinks.com.

******

Expert analysis from NBC’s Tony Dungy, Rodney Harrison  – Chad Finn looks at NBC’s coverage from last night.

Collinsworth and Michaels were certainly fawning over the Patriots last night, but Collinsworth also correctly pointed out what happened on Brady’s first interception, that with the pass rush coming he couldn’t see the safety Adams coming over to perfect position to make the pick.

On the second Brady interception, which looked to be one of the worst passes we’ve seen from Brady, the end zone view showed that Gronkowski was wide open and running away from the coverage. The issue was again the pass rush which resulted in the underthrown ball, and easy pick for the Colts.

The Inside Track in the Herald has speculation that WEEI might be trying to get the gang back together again.

Glenn Ordway ’EEI return in works?

Let’s say I’m skeptical.