Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe writes that when the Patriots play host to Tampa Bay Dec. 17, we may see whether a few days of players criticizing fans for a lack of noise and passion woke up the masses. Richard Seymour was the first to be critical of the fan support after the 16-3 win over the Jets last Sunday. Tom Brady, who last night received Sports Illustrated's Sportsman of the Year award in New York, backed Seymour on his regular segment on the "Dennis and Callahan" radio program Monday.
Michael Felger of the Boston Herald writes about the Patriots success in cold weather games. In six seasons under Belichick, the Pats have lost just one game in which the temperature was 35 degrees or less. That defeat came in the 2000 season finale against Miami at Foxboro Stadium. Since then, the Pats have gone 14-0 in "winter" games, including the playoffs. Felger also takes a look at the Patriots best cold weather players.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe offers some Patriots playoff scenarios. Cafardo writes that barring something drastic, the Patriots are headed for a first-round playoff game against the Jaguars at Gillette Stadium.
Chris Kennedy of The Republican offers an article on linebacker Rosevelt Colvin. Kennedy writes that Colvin has started the last seven games at outside linebacker - or ever since Mike Vrabel moved to the inside - and he has 3.0 of his 4.5 sacks during that time. He's also averaging about four unassisted tackles per game since moving into the starting line-up. "He was having a good year all year," New England coach Bill Belichick said of Colvin, who missed almost the entire 2003 season with a fractured hip. "I wouldn't limit it to (recently). He had a good year last year, and he is building on where he finished up last year."
Eric McHugh of the Patriot Ledger offers a story on Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. McHugh writes that including the playoffs, as an NFL starting quarterback Tom Brady is a sterling 64-19. At Michigan he was a sparkling 20-5 as a two-year starter. At Junipero Serra High School in San Mateo, Calif., he was - hey, how about that? - kind of average. Try 6-4 as a junior in 1993, 5-5 as a senior. McHugh explores how far Brady has come since his high school days.
Tom Curran of the Providence Journal offers his analysis of Sunday's 16-3 win over the New York Jets.
Eric McHugh of the Patriots Ledger writes that scoring points isn't overrated, but sometimes not scoring them is underrated. The New England Patriots didn't get any points out of their third offensive possession in Sunday's 16-3 victory over the New York Jets, but they did manage to exchange 73 yards of field position in a scoreless game. "Just to be able to dig the ball out of our own end and at least get a little bit of field position and punt it out, sometimes those are the biggest series offensively that you can have,'' Belichick said. ''Not that they necessarily result in points, which they didn't, but the fact that you just create some field position and give your defense a chance and not put them out there on the 35-yard-line was very important."
Glen Farley of The Enterprise writes that with their home win over the hapless 2-10 Jets behind them, the Patriots now focus their attention on a trip to play another AFC East division foe, the 4-8 Buffalo Bills, at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday. A win over the Bills, combined with a Miami loss at San Diego at 4:15, would lock up the Patriots' third straight division title. "Now we're going to Buffalo," said Belichick. "It's a team that's played very well at home (4-2), big win against Kansas City (14-3) a couple weeks ago (Nov. 13). That's a lot more than we can say (the Patriots lost to the Chiefs in KC, 26-16, on Nov. 27)."
Michael Parente of The Pawtucket Times writes that with a chance to take over sole possession of second place in the AFC East and put pressure on division-leading New England, the Bills blew a 21-point lead against Miami and lost their third consecutive game Sunday. They're now 4-8 and on the brink of being eliminated from playoff contention with the Patriots visiting Ralph Wilson Stadium this weekend.
Tom Curran of the Providence Journal offers his daily sports blog with Patriots notes and commentary.