We start off this edition of “In The Red Zone” with the weekly visit by head coach Bill Belichick to WEEI’s “The Big Show” hosted by Glenn Ordway with Pete Sheppard, Fred Smerlas and Steve DeOssie.

A quick look at the AFC playoff picture shows that The Patriots are the top team in the conference but the Steelers leaped the Colts with their win over the Browns and Colts dropped to 3rd with the road loss to the Chargers who are 4th. The Jaguars are 5th and the Titans right now hold the 6th and final spot. So if the playoffs were to start today the Patriots and Steelers would have first round byes and the Colts would host the Titans and Jaquars would visit the Chargers. A far cry from my predictions of Bengals at Colts and Broncos at Ravens with the Patriots and Chargers having byes.

After being released last week the Patriots re-signed safety Ray Ventrone to the practice squad. Ventrone had originally signed as an undrafted free agent with Patriots in 2005 and was on the practice squad for the season. After being on IR for 2006 he signed with the New York Jets for 2007 but was released from their practice squad on September 12th. He signed to be on the practice squad with New England on September 19th and was placed on the active roster on November 3rd and played against Indianapolis. He was released on November 7th.

To honor our troops as Veterans Day approaches on November 11, the Patriots Online Proshop is offering Free Shipping to our military personnel serving around the world. Beginning on Friday, November 9 and running through the remainder of November, all ground shipments to APO addresses will have their shipping costs credited back after the order is placed.

Three of the Patriots most productive players will be free agents at years end. Asante Samuel, Randy Moss and Donte` Stallworth. Samuel looks to get a big pay day from the Pats or someone else on the open market, Moss will be a free agent and he says he is happy in New England and Stallworth has bonuses that total $9.6 million for next year. Hopefully the Patriots can work out deals with all three to keep them here.

Other notables whose contracts come up after the season are: Tedy Bruschi, Eugene Wilson, Randall Gay and Jabar Gaffney.

Since the Miami Dolphins were undefeated in 1972 no less than 8 teams have been 10-0 and none have accomplished the feat. With that in mind we had a Sox and Dawgs poll and here are the results.

Which team has the best chance to beat the 9-0 New England Patriots:

  • at Buffalo – 55 24% of all votes
  • vs Philadelphia – 0 0% of all votes
  • at Baltimore – 1 0% of all votes
  • vs Pittsburgh – 74 33% of all votes
  • vs NY Jets – 0 0% of all votes
  • vs Miami – 8 4% of all votes
  • at NY Giants – 15 6% of all votes
  • No one, they’ll go unbeaten – 74 33% of all votes
  • Total Votes: 227 Started: November 5, 2007 Ended: November 12, 2007
  • The Steelers and unbeaten tied with 74 votes each. I wonder if Steelers fans opinions will change after the scare they got at home from the Browns. It’s pretty obvious that Bills fans opinions changed after they beat the Dolphins on Sunday with an increase in voting. What really surprised me besides the fact that a. they apparently have the internet in Buffalo and b. Steelers fans can read is that c. Giants fans didn’t really show up to vote for “Big Blue” d. only 8 members of the ’72 Dolphins took part in the poll and e. only Ray Lewis registered a vote for the Ravens. I will say this while going undefeated would be a great task I just think at some point they will lose despite what ever numbers FoxSports.com came up with. Officially, my vote in the poll went to the Giants because of a few reasons. They have a very good pass rush and it maybe hard to stop all of them at once. If the Patriots to get to 15-0 will Belichick pull out the stops to go for the record? We have seen him in the past when things are settled for the season he tends to lay back a bit and not play the big guns as much. I also agree with a comment in the post and that weather at the end of December may have an effect on the outcome of a game and the odds are just plain against it happening.
    This comes from the Boston Globe:

    A 41-year old Foxboro woman was arrested last week and charged with malicious destruction of property after she allegedly drove her car onto a New England Patriots practice field. Foxboro police said that Cheryl Richards had tried to get into a building at Gillette Stadium about 10:30 a.m., but when security refused to allow her in, she drove through the security gate and onto the field. Police arrived to find Richards’ car in the middle of the field and a portion of the metal door on top of the car. Patriots officials said she asked to see Chris Slade who last played for the team in 2000. Police said that Richards also has been charged with assault and battery on a police officer, leaving the scene of an accident with property damage and trespassing. She was transported to a local hospital for an evaluation.

    I have one question. Medical or psychiatric?

    Here is video from the NFL Network of NFL Vice President of Officiating Mike Pereira explaining why Ellis Hobbs pass interference penalty was a penalty. I don’t know but I just don’t buy it.

    I was sorry to learn from an article by Bill Barnwell that former Patriots OG Joe Andruzzi was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in May and is at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute receiving chemo. If you remember it was Andruzzi’s brothers who were FDNY firefighters that escaped the collapse of the Twin Towers on September 11th. I’m sure the thoughts and prayers of Patriots fans everywhere are with Andruzzi. If you want to see what other former Pats in the Belichick era are up to check out this article on Patriots Daily.

    NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell checked in at the fall meetings in Philadelphia a few weeks ago with a comment on the Patriots and the videotaping issue. Here are his comments regarding the league hiding information in the incident.

    “First, we were the ones who brought it out so if we’re sweeping it under the rug…we’re the ones who raised it,” Goodell said. “I don’t agree with that assessment. I think we dealt with it forcefully, aggressively, and effectively.

    “The thing that you want in discipline is to make sure that it doesn’t happen again and the other clubs understand that there are very significant consequences if policies are violated. I think that message was sent. We also want to send that message to our fans so they understand that all teams are playing by the same rules. The inference that you make in regards to us destroying the tapes, that was our intention from the get-go. There was no purpose for those. We said that we wanted those materials destroyed because we didn’t want anyone to have that material or the notes that could’ve come out from that. We went ahead and did that as we expected to do. Everything that we found was consistent with what we thought.”

    Veteran wide receiver Troy Brown was on the practice field with the team on Monday going through drills. The team has until November 28th to activate him to the 53-man roster, place him on IR ending his season or release the 15 year vet from the only team he has ever known. Troy is tied with Julius Adams for the second longest player tenure with the franchise, only Steve Grogan has played for the Patriots longer with 16 years of service.

    Buffalo Bills running back Marshawn Lynch hurt his ankle Sunday against Miami. He had some tests done and they say the ankle is not broken. The Bills have won 4 consecutive games and are hopeful the rookie will play Sunday night against New England.

    Also there still appears to be a quarterback controversy in Buffalo as head coach Dick Jauron will announce on Wednesday who his qaurterback will be against New England. The Patriots knocked out J.P. Losman back in Week 3 and opened the door for rookie Trent Edwards who was very serviceable until being replaced by Losman in Week 8 when he was injured against the New York Jets. Rumor has it that Edwards kept the starting job even after Losman was cleared to return because of games played triggered bonuses in Losman’s contract.