Edelman catches pass, tackled by Jasper Brinkley

In the Sunday afternoon thriller at Metlife Stadium where the New York Giants hosted the New England Patriots, fans for both teams were on the edge of their seats. The Patriots ultimately defeated the Giants 27-26 on a last second, 54-yard field goal off the foot of Stephen Gostkowski. Tom Brady led the Pats into range by completing a 4th and 10 pass on their way down the field to victory.

Unfortunately the Pats lost wide receiver Julian Edelman in the first half when it appeared he was rolled up on by Giants Linebacker Jasper Brinkley. Edelman limped off under his own power but tossed his helmet down when getting to the sidelines indicating that the injury may be more than just a tweaked ankle. He did not return to the game and afterwards was diagnosed with a broken foot, specifically a fracture of the fifth metatarsal bone in the mid-foot commonly known as the Jones fracture.

Fans may remember earlier this year when Dez Bryant suffered a similar injury, it does require surgery which Edelman underwent on Monday. Bryant was able to come back five weeks after going under the knife. Another Pro Bowl receiver, Julio Jones had the same injury and it took him a bit longer to recover. Like most foot problems if not given the proper time to heal they can lead to continued pain and possibly even recurrent fracture, but if anyone is likely to press getting back on the field it would be Julian Edelman. Not only is Edelman as tough as a bag of hammers, repeatedly taking big shots going over the middle and as a return man, but he is also a fierce competitor who wears his emotions on his sleeve. Continue reading Julian Edelman Breaks Foot, Return This Season Questionable »

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Stephen Gostkowski stands tall among fallen Giants after kicking the game winning 54-yard field goal. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

There is nothing quite like a good old fashioned nail biter to get the blood pumping on a Sunday afternoon in November. The Giants have been the one team to have the Patriots figured out. For most of the game on Sunday it appeared like it was going to be more of the same. We were going to be subjected from a perfect performance from Eli Manning, while Tom Brady looked as mortal as he has all season. Luckily for the Patriots and their fans they were the recipient of the lucky break at the right time.

– No doubt about the fact that Danny Amendola was the savior of that game. His punt return sparked some much needed life into a team that was dragging. I, like everyone else I imagine, have zero idea what Duron Harmon was trying to accomplish. Amendola walks into the end zone if Harmon stays far, far away from him. On the last drive he was right where he had to be to haul in a laser of a pass to keep the drive going on 4th and 10. His awareness produced the necessary yardage on his catch setting up Stephen Gostkowski for the game winner. If Amendola goes down right where he catches that pass there’s a real chance Gostkowski doesn’t make that kick.  Continue reading Notes and Observations Week 10: Gostkowski’s Game-Winning Field Goal Sends Patriots Past Giants 27-26 »

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1. Pats vs. Giants:


* One of the great Patriots regular season wins evah’

* Who threw up when the kick went through – Mercury Morris, Don Shula, Mike Felger, Goodell

* The Giants couldn’t beat the Patriots without Collins, Lewis, Edelman, Vollmer, Solder, Wendell, Jackson, Cannon, Flowers

* Biggest play of the game was Ninkovich sack of Eli taking them out of field goal range

* Excellent national anthem (surprised they didn’t sing the French national anthem)

* Bad timing – With Edelman hurt – too bad Welker just signed with St. Louis

* How tough is field goal kicking with the two kickers are a combined 46-46 this year

* Ugh – Phil Simms with Giants pajamas on and CBS pushing the theme of Giants victories over Pats

* Patriots injuries reminding me of that tough 1987 Celtics who fought to the Finals with injuries to everyone

* Ed Hoculi means penalties and conferences (two of those interference calls Butler and Chung – disgraceful)

* That’s what Mara gets for siding against Patriots and with the league

* Thought Brady’s disposition switched to pouty after Edelman injury

* Landon Collins meet Asante Samuel

* Great use of timeouts surrounding 2:00 warning Continue reading Connelly’s Top Ten: Patriots Treat Us Again! »

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New England Patriots' Rob Gronkowski (87) scores a touchdown in front of New York Giants' Jayron Hosley (28) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday Nov. 15, 2015, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

The Patriots did something they have not done since the last week of the 2007 regular season on Sunday. They beat the Giants. The teams fought back and forth with many big plays and the Patriots won 27-26. Stephen Gostkowski kicked a field with six seconds left from 54 yards out to win the game.

The game began with a long Patriots touchdown drive capped off by a Scott Chandler touchdown catch. The Giants answered right back with an 87 yard touchdown catch by Odell Beckham on their second offensive play. The teams fought back and forth throughout the second and third quarters with the Giants taking a lead into the fourth.

Tom Brady hit Rob Gronkowski on a 76 yard touchdown to give the Patriots the lead 24-23. After forcing a punt, the Patriots drove down the field highlighted by a 50 yard catch by Brandon LaFell. With the ball at the two yard line, LeGarrette Blount ran into the end zone for a touchdown but the score was called back due to a holding penalty by David Andrews. Despite the penalty, the Patriots were still in position to increase their lead. However, the drive came to a stunning end when Brady threw an interception  at the goal line.

The Giants then drove nearly the entire length of the field and appeared to take the lead on another Beckham touchdown catch, but the play was overturned. The Giants settled for a field goal and a 26-24 lead with less than two minutes to go.

The Patriots took the field needing to get into field goal range for a a chance to win the game. After three straight incompletions, the Patriots faced a fourth and ten. On one of the biggest plays of the day, Brady hit Danny Amendola for a first down. The Patriots got the ball into Giants territory and set up Gostkowski for the game winner. In a truly memorable affair, the Patriots left New Jersey with a one point.

They also may have left with a significant injury. Julian Edelman left the game after the first play of the second quarter. His ankle got rolled up on and he went back to the locker room. He did not  return and the team hasn’t provided any further details. The Patriots offense had significant trouble moving the ball after Edelman went down for much of the game.

If he is out for a significant amount of time, it will be a huge blow to a New England offense that has already suffered a rash of injuries. He is their best wide receiver and is one player who Brady always turns to in difficult situations. He is a third down machine with a knack for making big catches and moving the chains. He also rarely drops a pass, even when taking a big hit.

In retrospect, the Patriots got a huge road win but may have suffered a serious loss as well. The next few days are crucial for Edelman, as much about the severity of his injury will be known by the middle of the week. The Patriots face Buffalo next Monday night and that is followed by a match-up with the vaunted Denver defense. If Edelman can’t play, he will be immediately missed.

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Craig Kimbrel (Matt York/Associated Press)

The Red Sox made headlines on Friday night with their surprising acquisition of Craig Kimbrel from the San Diego Padres, marking Dave Dombrowski’s first significant roster move in Boston. Kimbrel immediately becomes the closer for the Red Sox since he has been one of the most dominant relievers in the history of the game, and provides an enormous upgrade from what the Red Sox had at the back of the bullpen in 2015. In fact, Kimbrel would be an upgrade over just about any closer in the game, so Dombrowski got good value in this trade, even though most people think he gave up too much prospect value. We don’t want to get too into that argument yet, but we can analyze how Kimbrel can improve the Red Sox bullpen aside from a flamethrower-fastball and a wipeout breaking ball. Following is our list of current Red Sox relievers who stand to gain from Kimbrel’s addition to the bullpen, and how they might benefit.

Koji Uehara:

Kimbrel’s acquisition comes with an automatic demotion for Uehara, who has been brilliant for just about his entire Red Sox career, including their World Series run in 2013. But his “demotion” only comes through the fact that Kimbrel is the best closer in the game, not by any fault of his own. Uehara maintained great strikeout (10.49 K/9) and walk (2.01 BB/9) rates into the latest stage of his career, even as his velocity has started to disappear (87.0 average fastball velocity in 2015). If he can manage to sustain his effectiveness even somewhere close to his current level, he will turn out to be an invaluable setup man for the eighth inning, and can combine with Kimbrel to shorten a game to seven innings.

Continue reading Kimbrel’s Effect on the Red Sox Bullpen »

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Will Kirk Cousins have the game of his life against New Orleans in Week 10?

The biggest week of bye weeks is over and the final bye week is Week 11, so this is one of the final weeks where you don’t have to choose who to start/sit with bye week replacements. The matchups are the only decision maker going forward, but here are some options to start/sit based on bye weeks and matchups combined.

Start ‘Em

Kirk Cousins (vs. New Orleans): New Orleans’ secondary has given up ample yards all season and Cousins now has Pierre Garcon, DeSean Jackson and Jordan Reed to throw passes to. Expect big things in a high-scoring affair. Continue reading Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em: Week 10, 2015 »

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Dave Dombrowski announced the start of his presidency by acquiring closer Craig Kimbrel from the San Diego Padres. (MLB.com)

The Boston Red Sox held a press conference back in August to introduce Dave Dombrowski as the new president of baseball operations, in the midst of (another) failed season en route to a third last place finish in four years. But throughout the remainder of the season, Dombrowski’s presence was more felt than seen or heard – assessments of the 25-man roster, speculation on what he’d do with Clay Buchholz’s option, expounding on his team-building philosophies, and finalizing his front office. He seemed more of a looming figure in the owner’s suite than the president of baseball operations.

All that changed when Dombrowski shipped four prospects to the San Diego Padres in a blockbuster trade for All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel. (So much for those Aroldis Chapman rumors!) With that announcement, Dombrowski has put his fingerprints on the 2016 Red Sox with the acquisition of a single player, and that more than any press conference announces his arrival as the president of baseball operations for the Red Sox.

Continue reading Dombrowski Announces His Arrival to Red Sox with Trade for Kimbrel »

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