Jerome Solomon of the Boston Globe reports that Patriots' owner Robert Kraft has been named the recipient of the 2006 Theodore Roosevelt Award, the highest honor bestowed upon individuals by the NCAA. According to the organization, the award is given annually to ''a former NCAA student-athlete for whom competitive athletics in college and attention to physical well-being after graduation have been important factors in a distinguished career of national significance and achievement." Kraft, who played football at Columbia from 1959-61 and earned a varsity letter in 1960, joins a distinguished list of award winners. Past recipients of the prestigious award include Byron R. White (1969), Omar Bradley (1973), Althea Gibson (1991), Bill Richardson (1999), William S. Cohen (2001), Eunice Kennedy Shriver (2002), and former presidents Dwight Eisenhower (1967), Gerald Ford (1975), George H.W. Bush (1986), and Ronald Reagan (1990).
John Tomase of the Boston Herald writes that the Patriots squad received some good news yesterday on the inury front when the agents for cornerback Asante Samuel and guard Logan Mankins said their clients were OK after leaving Sunday's game against the Saints with apparent leg injuries. Tomase also offers an update on Troy Brown's injury and reports that the wide receiver/defensive back told WEEI yesterday that he nearly played Sunday after spending the week recovering from a foot injury. "I was dressed," Brown said. "I was close."
Jerome Solomon of the Boston Globe writes that the Patriots and Saints managed to stir up some angry emotion on the field in the fourth quarter Sunday. The most obvious examples were Patriots receiver Deion Branch's near-squabble with Mike McKenzie, and Saints defensive end Will Smith's meltdown, triggered by a tussle with New England tight end Christian Fauria.
Tom Curran of the Providence Journal writes that the Patriots have been outscored in the second quarter this year by a thoroughly inexplicable 96-20. And 10 of the Patriots' second-quarter points came in one game (San Diego).
Jim Donaldson of the Providence Journal writes that the feeling seems prevalent throughout New England that, because the Patriots are too banged up to win a third straight Super Bowl -- which would be their fourth in five years -- there's no point in getting all excited about this season, even though the Pats lead the (woefully weak) AFC East by two games. True-blue (and silver, too) Patriots fans should be enthused about, and proud of, a team that is overachieving by being over .500. Despite all their injury woes, the Pats likely will win the division and get into what Bill Parcells always refers to as "the tournament." They'll have a home game in January, then probably would have to head to Indianapolis to take on the Colts.
Michael Felger of the Boston Herald offers his weekly Patriots report card. Felger writes that for the second week in a row the Patriots secondary saw improvement and awards that position with a C grade.
Alan Greenberg of the Hartford Courant writes that entering Sunday's game, the Patriots had forced only eight turnovers this season. Greenberg points to the loss of key playmakes such as Ty Law, Rodney Harrison and Ted Johnson as a contributing factor to the lack of turnovers.
Tom Curran of the Providence Journal offers his analysis of the Patriots 24-17 win over the New Orleans Saints at Gillette Stadium.
Tom Curran of the Providence Journal offers his daily sports blog with Patriots notes and commentary.