by Scott Benson

The Patriots will try to go to 9-3 this afternoon when they entertain the oft-beleaguered Detroit Lions at Gillette Stadium. The Sunday Papers have responded with some pretty decent stuff to help us get ready.

At the Globe, columnist Jackie MacMullen leads with the backstory on Pats defensive end Ty Warren. Jackie’s a craftsman, as usual, as she takes us back to Warren’s roots in Bryan, Texas. Read this article and then tell me how the hell Warren – who has become one of the finest defensive linemen in the league in his fourth year with the Patriots – ever got the reputation as a dog.

Mike Reiss sets the stage for this afternoon’s action, recounting Bill Belichick’s Wednesday pep talk, which might have melted a few faces in the Pats locker room. Mike also looks at Troy Brown, defensive back, in his always-read-it-first Patriots Notebook.

Jim McBride likes the Patriots, big, in his weekly scouting report.

Ron Borges is back on the Football Notes beat, where he reviews the disasterous season of Eli Manning and the Giants. Hey, it turns out a Manning boy tends to fade at the end of the season. Who saw that coming? Ron also looks at Art Shell’s paranoid meltdown from earlier in the week, and Friend of Art Borges fingers personnel guy Mike Lombardi as the supposed underminer. Of course, the fact that Lombardi is an old Bill Belichick ally had nothing to do with his Globe indictment this morning. At all.

Shell said this week that this same backbiting marred his first coaching run in Oakland, but at later stops in Kansas City and Atlanta, “everybody was on the same page.” Well, Art, THAT’S PROBABLY BECAUSE YOU WEREN’T THE EFFING HEAD COACH. He’s nuts. Naturally, Ron lines right up with him.

Fans of the BSMW message board will be delighted to see that Borges has also has a Tom Flores update at the end of the Notes (is this the Oakland Globe?). Jay Roach, however, is conspicuously absent. I wonder if Ron checked the Charlestown 99.

Over at the Herald, Mike Felger racks his brain for an innovative angle and finally settles on “TRAP GAME!!!!” To his credit, Felger quickly decides that sort of thing rarely happens to the Patriots. Felger moves on to his weekly tour of the league, where he looks at the troubles of our dear friend Romeo Crennel in Cleveland. Seriously – did you ever think it would get this bad for Crennel? It’s just sad. Speaking of sad, check out the bit on a possibly disgruntled Marvin Harrison, which sets off a clearly-impaired Bill Polian. No word on whether the media took a Breathalyzer reading from Polian before his latest wacky remarks.

Felger also has his Quick Hits, with some complaints about the league’s emphasis on (and over the top support of) the passing game, and he adds a nice bit about a productive pass play featuring the Patriots running backs.

Nicholas J. Cotsonika of the Detroit Free Press has the Herald’s weekly rival column. All I got from this piece was, basically, it sucks to be the Lions. Hey, didn’t this guy play ‘Coach’ on Cheers?

Steve Buckley takes a closer look at Pats safety Artrell Hawkins. I really liked this story, especially the first time the Herald ran it, on Friday’s Point After blog. Albert Breer must be wondering if Buck has him on block. You know where I come down on the whole blog thing (I fall to Pieces), but the weekly Foxboro Faces, posted every Friday, is by a mile the best thing on the PA.

It’s not that I don’t dig the Projo and consider them a major too, but for some reason, I can never keep a password functioning over there. Well, like Frank Costanza, I’m back, baby! This morning, Shalise Manza Young goes heavy on the human interest, and to great effect with the story of Our Bully Brother Heath Evans, his wife BethAnn, and new daughter Naomi, who thankfully seems to be doing much better after a rather difficult few days. Shalise also asks Rosevelt Colvin to explain Who I Am.

Joe McDonald gives the Pats the edge in his weekly scouting report.

For more from the four corners of the Net, punch up Bruce Allen’s Patriots News Mash Up. Hey, are those Game Day Rear View links I see there? Shucks, that’s sweet of you to do, Mash Up. And naturally, you know what to do as the morning develops – check our friend Mike’s Reiss’s Pieces for all the game day news.

I’ll be back afterwards, unless I have a heart attack watching Jeff Triplette’s crew referee this game. It’s not so much the flags they throw – it’s the conferences they hold AFTER EVERY SINGLE FREAKING ONE! They redefine ‘tedious’.

UPDATE: First time through this morning, I totally missed the Globe’s story on the tailgating scam operations of various WEEI personalities, which has led to the Pats pulling the FORTY-FOUR season tickets owned by Fred Smerlas (were they giving them away as free prizes for jumping offsides?). Get a load of the crap sprewed in this piece by slimy Glenn Ordway, who must crawl on his ample belly like a reptile. I need a shower.