New England Patriots defeat Pittsburgh Steelers, 23-20

Got one of those ''Best of Larry Bird" or ''Best of Bobby Orr" tapes at home?

When it's all over, the last ring has been won, and Canton is calling -- when Tom Brady's greatest hits album is compiled -- this game will take its place alongside some of those near-mythic playoff moments of the last four years.

It was Game 3, many months before the serious ball takes place, but it felt like a tournament game and Brady was in postseason form. He completed 12 of 12 passes in ...

Cornerback Duane Starks went down with an injury on the first play from scrimmage against the Steelers. If it was a sign, it was a bad sign.

Starks wouldn't be the last Patriots defensive back to be hurt.

Safety Rodney Harrison, perhaps the most important member of the secondary, suffered a knee injury that appeared to be so serious a teammate said, ''I would be surprised if he plays again this season."

Second-year safety Guss Scott replaced Harrison, who was on c...

No one is automatic, but you can see automatic from wherever Adam Vinatieri is standing.

Perhaps you could have once said the same about Lou ''The Toe" Groza -- how do you think he got the nickname in the first place? If that was why the Cleveland Browns' Hall of Fame kicker was dubbed ''The Toe," then his modern-day equivalent is Adam ''The Instep" Vinatieri (Adam ''The Side-Of-The-Foot" Vinatieri just doesn't make it, you know?).

Because of Vinatieri's uncanny reli...

After New England's 23-20 win over the Steelers yesterday at Heinz Field, Richard Seymour trudged into the Patriots' locker room, a gash over his left eye staining the white bandage pasted to his forehead.

Seymour, like most of his teammates, was banged up after the win. But at least Seymour, unlike Rodney Harrison, could walk, and as long as he could put one leg in front of the other and keep them whirring, the defensive end didn't plan on failing.

''When the tough ...