One of the reasons New England's high-scoring offense has been so productive this season is the YAC. No, not a yak, that horned, hoofed animal that lives in the mountains. We're talking about Yards After the Catch.
That's the focus of a Boston Globe piece today. In it, they point out that during his 138-yard receiving performance this past Sunday in Miami, 71 of WR Wes Welker's yards came after his caught the ball. Other evidence in the article:
Sunday's YAC totals were bolstered by Donte' Stallworth gaining 40 yards after the reception - 25 on his 30-yard first-quarter touchdown, and another 15 on a fourth-quarter screen that helped the Patriots milk the clock.
Running back Heath Evans (26), receiver Randy Moss (13), running back Kevin Faulk (6), and tight end Kyle Brady (4) also chipped in to the impressive YAC effort.
As prolific as the Patriots' offense has been this season, it might be overshadowing the play of the defense. But The Washington Times has taken notice. Here's a sample of today's article:
"It might look like they're not doing anything on defense because their offense is scoring so many points, but they're very solid," said Redskins receiver Keenan McCardell, whose high-flying San Diego offense was held in check by the Patriots in the 2006 playoffs.
New England's defense is like Nicole Kidman when she was married to Tom Cruise. No matter how well the Patriots' defenders play, the spotlight's always on someone else.
Boston fans are happy this morning as the Red Sox are up 1-0 in the World Series. But this isn't just a baseball town anymore, as Sports Illustrated points out in a column on-line today.
"The ratings for the Patriots in the past 10 years have surpassed baseball on the days we both play, but I'm just happy to be engaged in that debate about whether it's a baseball town or a football town,'' Patriots PR boss Stacey James told SI.
"It wasn't that long ago that even asking the question would have been laughable. The Red Sox have such a generational lead on the Patriots when it comes to growing an audience. But what the Pats are doing now will have a profound effect on generations to come and how they view that baseball-football debate.
"To say it's a football town or a baseball town or a basketball town, you're trying to divide the sports fan. I think the right response is it's a sports town. All of the above."
You decide if ESPN is kidding or not when they say the upcoming Patriots-Colts game is a battle of good versus evil.
But FOXSports.com seems serious when they suggest changing the NFL playoff format to accommodate a Colts-Pats Super Bowl match-up.
That site also gives fans an opportunity to vote for who they think should top the NFL's power rankings.
NBCSports.com does the same.