Mike Reiss of The Boston Globe reports on a few Patriots players entering free agency in early March, asking questions like: "Is linebacker Tedy Bruschi seriously considering retirement? Has receiver Troy Brown played his last game with the team? Will cornerback Asante Samuel be back? What about tight end Daniel Graham?"
Mike Reiss of The Boston Globe reports on Patriots cornerback Asante Samuel, whose agent Alonzo Shavers believes his market value has increased since Samuel last discussed an extension in October. "We were pretty close at one point; it was probably about the sixth or seventh game of season," he said. "But in deciding to wait, it was a gamble on everybody's part. I think they would have to redo some things to get him done at this point."
The Boston Globe's Ron Borges reports on Colts coach Tony Dungy, delving into the coach's techniques and ethical beliefs.
Bob Ryan of The Boston Globe offers a piece on the Bears, who are headed to the Super Bowl as the NFC Champions.
Mike Reiss offers The Boston Globe's Patriots Notebook, looking at the Colts game and finding a few breakdowns in the Patriots execution. Also, Belichick and his staff will coach the AFC in the Pro Bowl.
Bruce Mohl of The Boston Globe takes a look at TicketReserve.com, which allows fans to purchase ticket options for big games like the Super Bowl.
John Tomase of the* Boston Herald* wonders "What went wrong?" He lists five things that really hurt the Pats last Sunday.
The *Boston Herald* sports staff offers it's weekly poll, in which most voters blamed the defense for the loss.
Steve Buckley of the Boston Herald compares wideout Reche Caldwell to Billy Buckner, ultimately illuminating the differences between them. "The point is that New England football fans can deal with Sunday's loss, this because the outcome wasn't so much the product of what went wrong for the Patriots, but because of what the Colts did right," argues Buckley.
Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald reports on cornerback Asante Samuel's impending free agency.
In a related story, John Tomase of the Boston Herald offers approximate prices were the Patriots to franchise Samuel.
John Tomase of the Boston Herald takes a look at a few areas the Patriots will need to bolster this offseason, namely the defense.
Mike Felger of the Boston Herald offers the season's final installment of Patriots report card. Special teams and the receivers get high marks from Felger.
Ian Clark of The Union Leader offers his Patriots report card as well.
Tony Massarotti of the Boston Herald explains "the Patriots were a good team this season, just not a great one." Sure, the team fell short of the players' expectations, but it exceeded the expectations of others. "If there is one thing we have learned here in New England, in Boston, it's that the sting disappears after a while. The Patriots just completed a season in which they were 14-5 with a rookie kicker and no front-line wideouts, and that somehow is supposed to be a disappointment," writes Massarotti.
Albert Breer of The MetroWest Daily News features Peyton Manning and his 349-yards worth of passing excellence in Sunday's game.
The Providence Journal's Jim Donaldson wonders whether the Patriots will be able to return to the heights of Super Bowl glory in the near future, or if too much time has been squandered and the league has changed too dramatically.
Alan Greenberg of the* Hartford Courant* discusses coach Bill Belichick's demeanor after the loss, and takes a look at what went wrong in order for the Colts to score more points in the second half (32) than any team scored on them this season.
Rich Garven of The Worcester Telegram & Gazette wonders if we're watching the end of an era. Garven also discusses the list of impending free agents.
The Patriot Ledger's Eric McHugh reports that "the Patriots did a lot right this season, but they did a lot wrong in last night's AFC championship game." He also takes a look at potential retirements and impending free agents.
Glen Farley of The Enterprise reports on the Patriots defense, which "let the Colts out of the barn" on Sunday.
Mark Farinella of The Sun Chronicle explains that this painful loss is likely to linger.
David Brown of The Standard-Times features the Patriots linebackers. "Four of the top five tacklers at the linebacker position will be 30 years old at the start of next season," writes Brown. "That includes Junior Seau, who just turned 38 and may graduate to another franchise."
Michael Parente of The Woonsocket Call offers players reactions to the stunning loss.
USA Today offers its Inside Slant on the Patriots.