Brady again manages to win [8:11 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'Brady capped off that year with four first-half touchdown passes in a game we really have no choice but to label the Payback Bowl. Who among us was unaware that when the Patriots traveled to Buffalo Sept. 7 for the season opener, that the Bills had manhandled them by -- is this coincidence, or what? -- a score of 31-0? There really was no need for Belichick to go into his Rockne mode, whatever that might be (Actually, I'd pay pretty good money to hear that speech). "I don't think anybody was particularly proud of that opening game," Belichick said.'
This `nothing' was something [8:10 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'Here is the unvarnished truth: Your Patriots are the best team in football.'
Trying this team's giant status on for size [8:09 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'We are the joke no more. We are the Detroit Red Wings. We are the Los Angeles Lakers. We are the (gulp) New York Yankees.'
Coordinating job interviews [8:08 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'Drew Bledsoe was sacked 49 times for the season, five fewer than last season and 17 more than the Patriots' Tom Brady.'
Patriots winning streak [8:07 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'Drew Bledsoe completed just 12 of 29 passes for 83 yards with 1 interception for the Bills.'
Pats exact revenge on Bills in 31-0 rout [8:06 AM]
Boston Herald reports: '``The road to the Super Bowl goes through Foxboro,'' defensive lineman Richard Seymour [news] said. ``Everyone knows that.'''
Bruschi busts Bledsoe, Bills [8:06 AM]
Boston Herald reports: '``It was fluttering up there kind of like a Christmas gift from him,'' Vrabel said. ``But it was a big play.'''
Givens caps season with another gem [8:05 AM]
Boston Herald reports: '``When we are spread out like that with four or five guys to throw to, that puts the defense back on its heels a little bit. It makes the offense more effective in the fact that guys are out there getting open and any pass play can go to a different guy.'''
Brady pains Buffalo [8:04 AM]
Boston Herald reports: '``(Offensive coordinator) Charlie Weis decided early on that he wanted to spread (the receivers) out and see if they could cover all our guys. . . . We took advantage of the fact that we saw their coverages, our guys knew the coverages, and our guys knew how they were going to get open in those routes.'''
Ironic ending to Milloy's season [8:03 AM]
Boston Herald reports: '``The irony is crazy,'' Milloy said. ``We got them and they came right back and got us the same way. There was no doubt they beat us pretty badly.'''
Backers bask in glory days [8:02 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'And what a play, Larry Izzo! The ace special teamer, in as a sub on Buffalo's final drive, intercepted a pass in the end zone with 13 seconds to play to give under bettors a very extra, and financially beneficial, Christmas gift.'
Offense sets trap for Buffalo, other game [8:02 AM]
Boston Herald reports: ' It wasn't a trap game after all. Not even close. Actually, it was more like a statement game.'
Weis, Crennel up for grab [8:01 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'The pair could also draw interest from Buffalo general manager Tom Donahoe, who is expected to fire Gregg Williams this week. While Donahoe is thought to be seeking a candidate with head coaching experience (Jim Haslett?), he has also shown a penchant for picking off Patriots personnel (Drew Bledsoe, Lawyer Milloy, Sam Gash).'
Reversal of fortunes [8:00 AM]
Providence Journal reports: 'Truth be told, yesterday's game was over in the first five minutes.'
Brady wastes no time in achieving goal of redemption [7:59 AM]
Providence Journal reports: 'Brady completed 21 of 32 passes for 204 yards, setting a season-high and matching a career-high with his four TD's.'
Pats' Givens excels, now that he's been given the opportunity [7:58 AM]
Providence Journal reports: 'Givens caught seven passes for 80 yards and a touchdown to lead the Patriots corps of receivers in the 31-0 trouncing of Buffalo.'
Loss punctuates Bledsoe's sad year [7:57 AM]
Providence Journal reports: 'He was supposed to be their savior.'
Surreal day brings closure to Milloy [7:56 AM]
Providence Journal reports: '"During the week, I really didn't think about it too much, but on the way here just driving down the highway, seeing some familiar sites and stuff, it really did start to get weird for me," the safety said following the Bills' 31-0 loss to New England. "I had to hold back the emotions a little bit. I didn't want my teammates to see that. It was just a surreal experience."'
Brilliant Patriots upstaged by fruitless A-Rod clamor [7:55 AM]
Providence Journal reports: 'Yet, in the midst of what has been a stunning and dazzling run, New England fans have been more fixated on whether A-Rod would be coming to Boston than whether the Pats would be going to Houston for the Super Bowl.'
Failure on the first drive left the Bills buffaloed [7:54 AM]
Providence Journal reports: 'After two Travis Henry runs, the Bills had a first down at its 33. Henry motioned out of the backfield, leaving Drew Bledsoe alone. Obviously, he would throw.'
Two-minute drill [7:53 AM]
Providence Journal reports: ' The first-team defense held the Bills to 102 yards through the first three quarters.'
Izzo's special savvy in the clutch saves shutout [7:52 AM]
Providence Journal reports: '"You saw the energy," said linebacker Matt Chatham. "In the stadium. On the field. You looked around and 11 guys were jacked. It could have been the first play of the game or the last play of the Super Bowl. It was pride. You had 53 guys who bought into the team thing and the number 31-0 was symbolic. Sticking it to them the way they stuck it to us was important."'
Rough day for Drew and Co. [7:51 AM]
Metro West Daily News reports: '"I couldn't imagine, especially after the start of the season (wins over New England 31-0 and Jacksonville 38-17), I absolutely couldn't imagine us being in this situation," said Bledsoe. "Yes, it's been a very, very, very tough season."'
Brady is undoubtedly the NFL MVP [7:50 AM]
Metro West Daily News reports: '"People talk about Peyton Manning," says fullback Larry Centers, "but it's not even close."'
The end justifies the means for Pats [7:49 AM]
Metro West Daily News reports: '"Very ironic," said Harrision. Game 1, game 16, same two teams, 62-point turnaround. No irony, just two very different teams over 111 days. "Shows that it's a long season," said Harrison.'
Coaching window open [7:48 AM]
Metro West Daily News reports: 'Tom Donahoe has spoken highly of the Patriots' coaching this season, and thus, could target Crennel or Weis should he fire Gregg Williams.'
Patriots Clinch Home Field [7:48 AM]
Hartford Courant reports: '"It was payback, because they humiliated us in Buffalo," safety Rodney Harrison said. "We let it all loose today. We wanted to go out here and make a statement and prove a point. We wanted to return the favor."'
Brady Lets It Loose [7:47 AM]
Hartford Courant reports: 'Brady threw touchdown passes to four different receivers, and when he connected with David Givens on a 10-yard TD pass with 3:55 left in the first half, Adam Vinatieri's extra point made it 28-0.'
Act Of Revenge Perfectly Designed [7:46 AM]
Hartford Courant reports: 'The Patriots did worse than demolish the Bills. They toyed with them. They picked a score and made it happen. It was the same score the Bills had beaten the Patriots by in the opener. The payback was rich. Remember how everybody was calling for lawyers, guns and money after the Patriots cut Lawyer Milloy and he landed in Buffalo? Well, the only lawyer needed 16 weeks later is one to negotiate the deal on a new Bills coach. Gregg Williams is so g-gone and so is offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride.'
Turning Point [7:45 AM]
Hartford Courant reports: 'The Patriots took the opening kickoff and drove 62 yards in nine plays for a 7-0 lead. Three plays later, Drew Bledsoe's first pass, a rainbow thrown with blitzing linebacker Tedy Bruschi in his face, was intercepted by linebacker Mike Vrabel, who returned it 14 yards to the Bills 34-yard line.'
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