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"The Pats haven't even gotten out of August and they're already feeling the Super Bowl bull's eye on their backs," writes **Michael Felger** of The Boston Herald. Felger recounts Saturday night's crash in Cincinnati, and points out that teams will be gunning for the Patriots all season. "The Bengals simply got up for the defending world champions, even though the game meant nothing. Coach Marvin Lewis and his players used the evening as a yardstick for their own progress, and right now everyone in Cincinnati is talking about what the Bengals did to the best team in football," writes Felger.
Felger does find a positive in the exhibition loss, however, in the form of rookie Ben Watson. "The fact that Watson carried a full load in Cincinnati showed he got through the physical grind of the first few days of practice and that he has quickly gotten up to speed on the playbook. All in all, it's been an encouraging start for the first-round pick, despite his 18-day holdout," writes Felger.
**Adam Kilgore** of The Boston Globe previews the impact Ted Johnson hopes to make on the Patriots defense. Johnson is once again back from injury, and says he is ready to contribute. "For now, Johnson has to fit in behind Ted Washington's replacement, Keith Traylor. He will still try to be the run-stuffing rock that, when healthy, he always has been," writes Kilgore.
In The Hartford Courant, **Alan Greenberg** takes a look at Michael Jennings, the speedy receiver hoping to latch on to the team in one capacity or another. "Jennings is competing with rookie fifth-round pick P.K. Sam, free agents Ricky Bryant and Chas Gessner, and veteran J.J. Stokes for a sixth spot that might not even exist. But if Jennings impresses the coaches, he could be signed to the practice squad. At a salary of $4,500 a week, it beats the heck out of going back to Jacksonville to coach phys ed," writes Greenberg.
In The Patriot Ledger (no online version), Eric McHugh sees Rosevelt Colvin as Saturday night's silver lining. "Two plays in particular were encouraging for Colvin," writes McHugh. "In the first quarter, he tackled rookie running back Chris Perry 20 yards downfield on a pass reception. On his half-sack in the second quarter, Colvin showed a good burst off the edge. He bull-rushed left guard Larry Moore, who had slid over to block him, pushing Moore deeper than quarterback Carson Palmer had set up. Colvin then disengaged from Moore, turned and pounced on Palmer as Green got there at the same time."
In a national article, **Peter King** of SportsIllustrated.com features Coach Bill Belichick. "That personnel and coaching trifecta -- knowledge, fearlessness, ruthlessness -- is why the Patriots are an NFL-best 40-14 over the last three years. And why they probably have the best chance of any NFL team to stay good over the next five to seven years," writes King. "Or as long as Belichick and his staff are coaching the players and [Scott] Pioli and his staff are mining for them."
In addition to King's feature article, SI.com has Five Questions with Belichick.
If you enjoy News Blitz, you might want to check out bostonsportsmedia.com where Bruce Allen also offers links to what the media is saying about the Patriots as well as the other Boston sports teams. Allen also includes commentary on the media and does a good job holding everyone accountable.