One of the Patriots worst nightmares was realized last night when it was announced that Pro-Bowl cornerback Ty Law would miss the rest of the season. Law was sidelined with a broken foot in a game at Pittsburgh October 31st, and has not seen the field since. He began practicing recently, and it was widely expected he would be available for a postseason return. His absence, coupled with the earlier loss of other starting corner Tyrone Poole, means the famed "patchwork secondary" will have to step up even more. Especially if Peyton Manning and his trio of 1000-yard receivers make their way to Foxboro next Sunday. For more on this story, check out Nick Cafardoof The Boston Globe, Karen Guregianof The Boston Herald, Tom Curranof The Providence Journal, Alan Greenbergof The Hartford Courant, Mike Reissof The MetroWest Daily News, and Michael Parenteof The Woonsocket Call.
Cafardo spotlights one player who will be asked to fill the gaping hole left in the secondary. Undrafted rookie free agent Randall Gay has done an excellent job filling in for Law for much of the season, but he will face by far his stiffest challenge when the Pats take to the field in the playoffs next weekend.
Jim Donaldson of the Journal suggest that the team will need either the return of injured defensive lineman Richard Seymour or a sizable miracle if they are to beat the Colts next weekend.
Off the field, the Romeo Crennel watch continues. Crennel interviewed with the Cleveland Browns yesterday, and will meet with officials from the 49ers this weekend. Cafardo and Guregian have the story.
Guregian also speaks with veteran members of the Patriots, who are hungry for more postseason success.
Finally, Parente reviews the Patriots statistics from 2004, and asserts the team was more than solid in its offensive balance and prowess.