logoby Scott Benson

It’s another groggy Sunday morning here in New England, with late night playoff baseball taking its toll. The best thing I can say at this point is that our body clocks ought to be all set to easily handle the Patriots’ first prime-time appearance of the 2008 season.

Let’s grab the toothpicks to force our eyelids open for another sprint through the Sunday Links.

In the Globe, Chris Gasper reports that the Patriots have activated first-year runner BenJarvus Green-Ellis for tonight’s match with the Chargers. This may mean we won’t be seeing Laurence Maroney or LaMont Jordan, and it will be left to Sammy Morris and Kevin Faulk to keep the Pats running game on the roll they began last weekend in San Francisco. Maybe if they have a good night, BenJarvus will finally get the Glengarry leads. Which are for Closers!

In his weekly scouting report, Jim McBride is undeterred by these developments; he likes the underdog Pats by nine.

Like any good tourist, Scott Pioli has done some shopping on his West Coast junket. Did he stop at that little shop in Fresno? Gasper has the details.

Mike Reiss goes behind enemy lines to talk Oakland Raiders with cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, whose captors are “treating him well.”

In the Herald, John Tomase says the Pats have to hope that the ol’ lightning strikes the Chargers again, because San Diego is allegedly primed for a revenge-fueled blowout in this rematch of last year’s AFC Championship Game. John eventually sobers up and remembers that the super Chargers are freaking two and three in the here and now.

What’s this – another Pioli story? Is he running for something? Let’s let Karen Gurgeian have her shot. Afterwards, Dan Duggan offers five keys to a Patriots victory.

In the ProJo, Shalise Manza Young has more from Candidate Pioli, who would almost certainly institute the draft if he were elected. What game did Pioli drop the puck at last night? Shalise also has her weekly Up Close with veteran defensive end Ty Warren.

Lastly, Jim Donaldson complains that he’s not fired up about two teams that “can’t beat the Dolphins”. Click. That’s your problem, Jim.  

Enough already with the metros. What say you, locals?

Mark Farinella says the Pats are looking to continue their improvement (they’re improving? Awesome!) tonight in San Diego. Douglas Flynn has it down as a must win for both sides. Somebody’s going to be disappointed, then.

Tim Weisberg is intrigued by the contrast in running attacks tonight, and he would like to subscribe to its newsletter. Rich Garven says it all starts with stopping Philip Rivers, and Shaun Sutner is day to day with a leg injury.

Glen Farley visits with John Smith, who loves him some Stephen Gostkowski, before offering another edition of NFL picks. Brian MacPherson brings us home with news that Matt Cassel can now ride a two-wheeler all by himself.

I have to say – these Sunday night games make for a long day, but I’m interested to see what the Patriots come up with tonight. It’s now been over a month since Tom Brady crumpled to the ground, taking the Pats season with him in the eyes of many. Yet the team is 3-1, with a chance to finish a 2-0 West Coast swing (their first of two) with a win over the equally-imperfect Chargers. Still, it’s hard not to detect a strong whiff of pessimism in some, if not most quarters. I don’t get that – it makes me think of this scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Point is, right now they feel fine. So what’s your hurry?