Firin’ up the Sunday morning tailgate


After seven long months away, the NFL is just hours away from starting up again for real.

But if you’re on the road this morning, those could well be some long, long hours. Not that this should come as any surprise to you … TomTom, the company that produces some of those nifty GPS devices, recently conducted a study that showed that Gillette Stadium has the second worst gameday traffic in the NFL.

FedEx Field in Landover, Md. (I can attest to this one) is the only one with worse traffic, according to the good folks at TomTom. Buffalo and Dallas (two more suburban stadium settings) rank third and fourth. Jacksonville, Carolina, Miami, Tennessee, Green Bay and Atlanta round out the Top 10.

Need something to pass the time if you’re riding shotgun down to Foxborough? Here’s some links to get you ready for this afternoon’s big game …

* Esteemed columnist Dan Shaughnessy raises the pertinent questions when it comes to the 2010 Patriots, and sets the stage for a team that’s still looking to wipe the taste of last year’s playoffs out of its mouth.

* Veteran scribe John Powers chronicles this week’s Twitter war between the Patriots defensive backs and Bengals receivers, and the matchup they’ll engage in today.

* Beat writers Shalise Manza-Young and Monique Walker say that stopping Cedric Benson and the Bengal running game is just as big a concern.

* Shalise’s notebook leads with Tom Brady and Robert Kraft exchanging gratitude in a team-issued statement.

* And here are my Sunday NFL Notes. The lead is on Sam Bradford making the first start of his career. If you scroll down, you’ll see notes on the powerful message sent by the NFLPA and how it might be built on today, and also the longevity of star quarterbacks like Tom Brady and Peyton Manning.

OK, time to go battle that traffic. We’ll see you guys in a bit.


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