by Scott Benson
The papers took the occasion of their Friday editions to put out much of their pre-game material this week, but there’s still plenty awaiting us this morning as the sun rises on the Patriots’ 2007-2008 playoff debut. Let’s get started.
Over at the Globe, Christopher Gasper has some discomforting early news – Ellis Hobbs is listed as questionable with a groin injury. Thankfully, the Pats have Randall Gay ready to stand in, but the loss of the underrated Hobbs would be felt, including in the kick return department. Wes Welker, who may have been just resting this week, was removed from the report yesterday. In any event, Gasper says the Patriots’ tense regular season prepared them for the playoff pressure they’ll feel tonight.
Jackie MacMullen says the tables have been turned on the old underdogs – the 07 Jaguars are drawing comparisons to the 01 Pats. You know, I’m not convinced that Jackie wrote this. There’s not a single player criticizing management.
Jim McCabe looks at the Jaguars secondary as they get ready for Tom Brady and company. Is it just me, or did the Jaguars simmer down considerably as the week progressed? Here, they’re downright deferential.
Gasper closes out our Globe links this morning with a solid feature on the career arc of Josh McDaniels.
In the Herald, John Tomase expects the unexpected from that Krafty Patriots D. Karen Gurgian warns – look out for those BIG RECEIVERS! Tomase counters by making ‘Confuse David Garrard’ one of his five things to look for.
Steve Buckley says get back, Jackie Mac! There’s one problem with your Jags-Pats comparison – the 01 Pats won it all, and the Jags have not. Do the Globe and Herald have some kind of point-counterpoint exchange program? Speaking of exchange programs, Carl Kotala of Florida Today is the next victim of the Herald’s weekly Behind Enemy Lines feature.
Down in Providence, Shalise Manza Young is breaking it down and figuring it out. In her morning notebook, SMY has the honors rolling in for the Pats. Jim Donaldson is JACKED UP! with two servings this morning. First, Jim thinks the divisional round is football at its best, but….it will all be for naught if the Pats don’t go all the way.
The Pro Jo also has a short wire story on the disappearing asterisk. Seriously, I think these guys realized no later than Thursday morning that they were making a mistake with the locker room braggadocio and yes, even the passive-aggressive website. The brakes came on pretty quick, it seems to me.
Elsewhere, the QPL‘s Eric McHugh says the Patriots are ready to be punched in the mouth. Douglas Flynn out in MetroWest thinks they’ll hit back. Doug adds ten things you don’t know about the Jacksonville Jaguars. David Heuschkel of the Courant thinks the Patriots will just throw it over the heads of the big brutes.
Our colleague Christopher Price evokes the legends of Bill Brasky and Chuck Norris in this Metro look at Fred Taylor.
Hey, getcha tailgate ready! Have a great day and we’ll talk to you after if the game.