Connelly’s Top Ten: Patriots Win By Less Than a FOOT Panic Mode in Full Effect, Minutemen are Struggling Quarterback Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots slides as inside linebacker Demario Davis #56 of the New York Jets defends during a game at MetLife Stadium on December 21, 2014 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images) Patriots Survive Gritty Challenge From Jets KELSEY KRUZICH Smart Era Gets Off to a Good Start with Win over T’wolves

Connelly’s Top Ten: See You in the Super Bowl

Colin Kaepernick, Tom Brady (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

1. Patriots:

OFFENSE

* Brady – we’re lucky to watch him
* With that said – he’s not good if he has four seconds or more to scan the field
* Hernandez took a big hit and then was gun shy on bubble screen, leading to an interception
* Didn’t see Vereen after his fumble
* I know the Patriots have proved me wrong on Woodhead, but the power run at the goal line can be frustrating
* Patriots 2 for 15 on third down / but amazingly 5-6 on 4th down
* Brandon Lloyd, last two weeks: 17 receptions for 279 yards

DEFENSE

* Chandler Jones has been neutralized
* Biggest play is Arrington allowing Crabtree to turn him and go for a TD
* Talib had a touchdown on a fumble recovery and Gregory stood up and knocked him down
* Lot of doubleteams on Wilfork

MISC

* Every fumble went San Franciso’s way on both sides
* 49ers were doing a lot of chirping out there when up big and they were chippy like their coach – gasping for air late in the game
* Krafts made a visit to TV land at 10:10 of 3rd quarter
* Not often does a Belichick team get caught with a fake punt
* Another wrong challenge for Patriots
* Can’t tie it up 31-31 and then allow the big kickoff return
* Would be a great Super Bowl

2. Around the NFL:

* Should Danny Amendola of the Rams be fined for his spike that hit a sideline worker in the face?
* Ray Lewis has turned into the fattest NFL cheerleader
* Cam Cameron must have loved the Baltimore offense struggling
* Adrian Peterson has started his self-promoted MVP campaign. Running for 200 plus yards is a good start.
* The Jim Schwartz coaching job in Detroit might be one of the worst since Rod Rust
* Wow! Jets – Titans on Monday night football!
* Pete Carroll fake-punted up 30 points in the 4th quarter

3. Around the MLB:

* Scutaro got $6mm a year and hit .306 / 43 extra base hits / while Youkilis got $12mm a year and hit .235 / 36 extra base hits?
* Lot of buzz for Nick Swisher, who has hit .169 in postseason (181 plate appearances) / 141 strikeouts in 2012
* Hello salary cap, you idiots!

4. Patriots Hall of Famers:

What number in the draft did the Patriots pick their Hall of Famers:

John Hannah – 4th (1973)
Michael Haynes – 5th (1976)
Andre Tippett – 41st (1982)
Curtis Martin – 74th (1995)
Nick Buoniconti – 102nd (1963)

5. Prior Celtics players as Celtics coach:

Bill Russell…………162-83 (.661) / 2 championships
Tom Heinsohn……427-263 (.619) / 2 championships
Satch Sanders…..23-39 (.371)
Dave Cowens…….27-41 (.397)
KC Jones…………..308-102 (.751) / 2 championships
Chris Ford………….222-188 (.541)
MLCarr ………………48-116 (.293)

6. Sammy Sosa:

I wonder what Sammy Sosa did in the off-season between 1997 and 1998?

At bats per home run:

1997 – 17.8
1998 – 9.7

7. Amazing Stats:

MLB Network had a list of the greatest pitching seasons ever – number 1 was Pedro Martinez in 2000 (Walter Johnson 1912 / Bob Gibson 1968 followed)

* 1.74 ERA / one third of the league average
* 0.737 WHIP – lowest ever
* Strike outs to walks – 284 to 32
* Amazingly they said his 1999 might have been the second best year in MLB history

8. Old School:

Boston College played in the 1939 Cotton Bowl and 1940 Sugar Bowl despite the fact that their star African American player
Lew Montgomery wasn’t allowed to travel with the team to the south.

9. Just a Little Bit Outside:

Five saddest days in American History ranked by date, not pain:

* April 12, 1861 – Fort Sumter – wasn’t the bloodiest moment but led to Americans killing Americans (51,000 casualties at Gettysburg)
* December 7, 1941 – If you ever visit Pearl Harbor, you will be moved to tears
* November 22, 1963 – Country’s soul damaged for good
* September 11, 2001 – Shocking confirmation that the enemy lives in shadows and not on the other side of a border
* December 14, 2012 – Children and teachers perish in school rooms in what is supposed to be the intended bastion of learning and innocence. Little by little, the greatest country known to man has its idealistic Norman Rockwell-world chipped, tarnished and erased. To those teachers and first responders and surviving children, they will never be the same, the holidays will never sparkle as bright and their sleep never still. But amazingly, in that schoolhouse existed the worst and best of mankind – a sick person with poison in his heart on one side of the gun and on the other side was teachers who sacrificed all for their children, fulfilling their ultimate calling to make a difference in children’s lives!

10. Randomocity:

* Purdue is playing on New Year’s Day with a 6-6 record? Wouldn’t New Year’s Day be the perfect day for the four game quarterfinals in a 16-team tournament?
* Heart wrenching to watch Kevin Garnett – Kevin McHale embrace
* Tom Watson is going to coach the USA Ryder Cup – hopefully he doesn’t show the team highlights of his white knuckle putt in the British Open
* Why isn’t Troy Brown getting Hall of Fame consideration?
* Boston College football is 63-25 lifetime against U Mass, Boston University and Holy Cross
* Any reporter that tried to question a child in Newtowne should be suspended immediately
* What players currently playing for local teams will have their uniform retired – Tom Brady / Zdeno Chara / Paul Pierce

About Michael

Lifelong Boston resident who finds equal enjoyment in celebrating the local team's success as I do complaining about their failures. I have been writing the Top Ten for the last decade as well as five sports books: 26 Miles to Boston, Rebound, The President's Team, The Great Book of Boston Sports Lists and NBA List Jam.

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Discussion

5 comments for “Connelly’s Top Ten: See You in the Super Bowl”

  1. excellent writing today.

    surprised to see you still feel the pats can make a superbowl! don’t love them on road for 2 straight weeks going into DEN and then HOU… AND, they may have to contend with Bengals or Jets in 1st round… tough road.

    Key is to keep Brady upright for next 2 weeks… didn’t get whacked around too too bad last night (only 1 bone cruncher that i saw).

    REPLY – MPC – Brady gives you a chance every game -sad thing is Manning might have won MVP yesterday

    Posted by tronburger | December 17, 2012, 10:21 am
  2. Well said, Mike. Nice job today.

    REPLY – MPC – thanks

    Posted by David H | December 17, 2012, 11:53 am
  3. Good observation about Brady struggling when he held the ball. On plays where he held it for 2.5 seconds or longer he had a completion percentage of 32.8% and a QB rating of 26.2.

    MPC – REPLY – Thats not very good – might speak to two things – his receivers don’t get great separation and he doesn’t throw the deep ball well which is where receiverd are breaking off routes to

    Posted by Zach | December 17, 2012, 12:59 pm
  4. Brady and Pierce get their numbers retired, up the air on Chara. He certainly could depending on where his time with the Bruins goes, but right now I’d say no. Ortiz for the Red Sox should be in that debate as well, I’d say yes for him as well.

    REPLY – MPC – Fair points – Ortiz won’t make Hall of Fame though and that is part of criterion

    Posted by Matthew Bond | December 17, 2012, 1:23 pm
  5. Troy Brown #78 all time in receptions; not in the top 250 in Receiving TDs or Rec. YPG. Patriots Hall of Fame for sure, but not Canton.

    REPLY – MPC – Special teams, defense, the substance of his contributions his intangibles in three super bowls – like a Phil Rizzuto part of a dynasty

    Posted by TimU | December 17, 2012, 3:02 pm

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