It's ex-tra special for Smith [6:22 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'Smith did more than a ''pretty good job'' of establishing the run, collecting 111 yards on 29 carries. And whether he wanted to or not, he earned a large portion of the spotlight, with three touchdowns (one rushing) in the Patriots' 38-7 win in Brady-Bledsoe Bowl I. Smith put New England ahead, 14-0, early in the second quarter, catching a 13-yard screen pass from Brady. Late in the third, Smith scored on a 2-yard run. He caught another screen pass in the fourth and rumbled in from 14 yards out to cap the scoring.'
A breakout game for TE Graham [6:21 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'Patriots owner Robert Kraft spent some time with Bledsoe before the game. When Belichick accepted a postgame handshake from Bledsoe, it was the first time the two had interacted since last season.'
Mind game won by coach [6:20 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'The Patriots blitzed Bledsoe often, sacking him four times, took away his ability to throw long to his speedy receivers, and used a ''stand up'' defensive line to keep Bledsoe guessing. Sometimes the Patriots had a single defensive lineman - Willie McGinest - in the game with linebackers and defensive backs.'
CBS, Simms do nice job teaming words, pictures [6:19 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'On the weather: ''The flags are straight down. Normally, a calm day in Buffalo at this time of the year is 15-m.p.h. winds. Especially when it was snowing sideways here on Friday.'''
Pats feast on Buffalo [6:18 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'Yesterday, the Pats had Bledsoe and the Bills for lunch.'
Smith's showing steals spotlight [6:17 AM]
Boston Herald reports: '``They didn't expect me to catch (any) screen passes, that's why (Brady) threw me the ball,'' said Smith.'
Order restored with Law leading defense [6:16 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'The Patriots cornerback again won his individual duel with Buffalo's premier wide receiver yesterday. Covering Moulds most of the game, Law limited the Bills deep threat to five catches for 68 yards in New England's 38-7 rout. Law also stepped in front of Moulds to intercept a Drew Bledsoe pass late in the fourth quarter, the game's only turnover.'
Patten rebounds with big game [6:15 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'The key to the Patriots' success was long sustained drives, not big plays. By rushing for 111 yards on 29 carries, tailback Antowain Smith allowed Brady the luxury of using play-action fakes. That gave Brady extra time to set up, while forcing the Bills' linebackers and secondary to stay at home.'
Ted turns up heat [6:14 AM]
Boston Herald reports: '``I wasn't exactly sure where we were coming from at times, but whatever we did worked,'' said Johnson, stressing the defense's need to come up with big plays on third down. ``We got some pressure on Drew, and that's what we need to do. We needed to get off to a fast start, and that's what we did.'''
Faulk passes screen test [6:13 AM]
Boston Herald reports: '``That was basically our train of thought going in there, have the tight ends and backs make some big plays,'' said the fourth-year Patriot from LSU.'
One Bill looks like genius [6:12 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'What it comes down to is this: Bill Belichick was right . . . and pretty much everyone else was wrong.'
Quantitative QB analysis [6:11 AM]
Boston Herald reports: '``When you're able to run the ball and have control of the game, you can really do what you want,'' Brady said. ``When you make your reads and don't throw the ball to the other team, good things happen.'''
Drew's day a real downer [6:10 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'Despite a weeklong buildup that dominated two cities and brought the national media flocking from every corner of the country, the Bledsoe Bowl was, in dramatic terms, a flop.'
Offensive line keeps Buffalo quiet [6:09 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'The boisterous Buffalo crowd is known as the Bills' 12th man. But the Patriots offensive line removed the fans from the formula by being effective on first down. By giving quarterback Tom Brady a surplus of second-and-5 situations to work with, it allowed the Patriots to mount long sustained scoring drives. The Patriots' efficiency on first down eliminated the Bills' home-field advantage.'
Ploy leaves Bills scrambling [6:08 AM]
Boston Herald reports: '``It caused a lot of confusion in their blocking,'' Jones said. ``We had the lead (24-7 at the time) and we knew they had to pass. Their offensive line is big and we saw in other games that they had trouble with speed. We couldn't let (Bledsoe) step up and make his throws. We had to keep him on one leg and scrambling. If you let him stand there, he'll kill you. The idea was to cause trouble with their assignments.'''
Pats back on their game [6:07 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'The result was a 38-7 Patriots romp at Ralph Wilson Stadium before a sellout crowd of 73,448 that seemed to include about 10,000 rowdy Patriots fans.'
Bill lends hand [6:06 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'Prior to the game, dozens of Patriots approached Bledsoe to exchange handshakes and hugs. The first was Tom Brady, who chatted with Bledsoe for around 10 minutes. Bledsoe also met with Pats owner Robert Kraft, offensive coordinator Charlie Weis and about a dozen players. Bledsoe also played a little catch with Pats linebacker Mike Vrabel.'
Thank Drew very much [6:05 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'Anyone who would dare put a wager on these Patriots as 3-point underdogs had to be near-delirious, or a Republican cutting taxes.'
Bledsoe and Bills are rebuffed [6:04 AM]
Providence Journal reports: 'Rendering Bledsoe a non-factor sufficed to silence all of those second-quessers around New England who were poised to cluck "I told you so!" But beating Bledsoe was a severe afterthought for these 4-4 Patriots, had dropped four straight coming in.'
Smith takes matters into own hands [6:03 AM]
Providence Journal reports: 'It looked a lot like last season.'
For Brady, it was perfect timing [6:02 AM]
Providence Journal reports: 'Tom Brady wasn't perfect. But he was pretty darn close to it.'
Safe to say Bledsoe never saw this coming [6:01 AM]
Providence Journal reports: 'Instead of confusing Bledsoe with intricate coverages, the Patriots befuddled Buffalo's offensive linemen with blitzes.'
Patriots plan works to perfection [6:00 AM]
Providence Journal reports: 'The point is, all this money flowing in to the restaurants, bars and hotels, can be traced directly to the Bills success this season and that can be traced to Bledsoe. The Bills public relations department has no hard numbers on the financial impact Bledsoe's had, but they termed it as "significant." No wonder they're so enamored with him.'
Two-minute drill [5:59 AM]
Providence Journal reports: 'The Pats ran the ball more often than they threw it (35 rushes, 27 pass attempts), rolled up more than 400 yards total offense, and didn't commit a turnover. That's a recipe for success.'
Third and golden [5:58 AM]
Providence Journal reports: 'The Patriots defense stopped the Bills on 7 of 11 third-down conversion attempts yesterday...'.
Rolling With The Current [5:57 AM]
Hartford Courant reports: 'On Saturday night, Drew Bledsoe took Patriots linebackers Mike Vrabel and Ted Johnson to dinner. On Sunday, they ate him for lunch.'
Receiving Option Uncovered [5:56 AM]
Hartford Courant reports: 'He wanted to do well against his former teammates, but it wasn't a crusade or a national story. His was the grudge match that few people talked about. The spotlight was on Drew Bledsoe coming into Sunday's Patriots-Bills game. But that was fine with Antowain Smith.'
Defense Throws Drew [5:55 AM]
Hartford Courant reports: 'The Bills' tissue-soft play Sunday was interrupted only by occasional bursts of stupidity. They had defenders failing to make plays they should have, and their franchise quarterback playing when he shouldn't have.'
Smith rumbles past Bills [5:54 AM]
Springfield Union News reports: 'The funny thing is that after all the buildup, Drew Bledsoe went out and played pretty well - and it didn't really matter.'
QB, coach show mutual respect [5:53 AM]
Springfield Union News reports: '"He said something to me after the game," Belichick said. "I appreciate it. I feel the same way about him. He's a hell of a football player."'
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