Tom Brady continued his dominance on Thursday adding four more touchdowns. He celebrates this one with Julian Edelman. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

One of the best things about being a Patriots fan is having this luxury of knowing you’re going to the playoffs every year. Even more than that, you’re probably going to watch your team in the AFC Championship just like the past four years. In only week eight, the Patriots have basically wrapped up the AFC East. After emasculating the Dolphins on Thursday night they now have wins against each of their AFC East opponents. What’s more impressive is that score could have been a lot worse. The offense left a lot of first half points on the field as the defense was shutting the Dolphins down. That’s really nitpicking though as 36 points is nothing to bat an eye at.

– I genuinely hope everyone watching is really appreciating what Tom Brady is doing this season. What he’s doing at 38 years old is nothing short of amazing. On Thursday he went 26-38 for 356 yards, with four touchdowns and no interceptions. That brings his totals on the year to 2,410 yards with 20 touchdowns and only one interception that came off a bobbled pass from Julian Edelman. He’s on pace to throw over 5,500 yards, about 47 touchdowns, and maybe have three interceptions. He’s more focused than he’s ever been and it was never more apparent than on one play in the fourth quarter. With the game already in hand with a score of 29-7, Brady took a sack after missing a read. He then slammed the ball and his fist in frustration. Even though the game was already over Brady wasn’t satisfied. He wants to leave no points on the field. Tom Brady wants to win this season more than he wants anything in the world and I don’t think there’s anyone out there who can slow him down.  Continue reading Notes and Observations, Week 8: Patriots Virtually Clinch AFC East in 36-7 Win Over Dolphins »

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There was plenty of action on the field during the Patriots impressive 30-23 win over the New York Jets on October 25. It turns out that there was also plenty of action going on inside the walls of Gillette Stadium, as two Patriots employees fell under suspicion of Jets and NFL officials.

Prior to the game, NFL officials swept the Jets locker room for listening devices. Although the NFL has said it was part of their usual random checks, reports have leaked out that the Jets requested such a sweep to take place. It was mentioned in two separate news stories in September that several teams suspected the Patriots of bugging locker rooms, but there is no proof and the Patriots have never officially been accused of such activity. Most evidence points to this being a random check, but conspiracy theories are sure to develop.

While the game was taking place, a Jets security official became suspicious of three Patriots employees that were wearing headsets. Both employees were questioned during the game. One of them required a phone call to the league office because the questioner did not believe his story of being responsible for the referees batteries. After questioning, it was determined that no employee did anything wrong and they were allowed to continue working.

Had the Jets security personnel had a better understanding of who is in charge of referee equipment, at least the second part of the second incident could have been avoided. The first part could likely have been a case of Patriots paranoia. It is understandable that a Jets team employee would want to make sure that everything was on the level during his team’s game and in most cases this would not have made many headlines. But in New England, everything is a big deal.

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1. Patriots round up after seven games:

* Teams are 2-4 in the week after playing the Patriots

* From Mike Reiss on ESPN – Vince Wilfork has never experienced a season with more than 6 losses – Houston already has six losses

* Since 2009 – the Patriots are 27-24 when they score 30 points or less in a game

* Patriots draft picks – Only two offensive starters were taken by the Patriots in the first three rounds – Vollmer, Gronk

* In 353 rushes / receptions – the Patriots have lost one fumble (imagine if they lost ten – Felger…..)

* Long kickoff return for the Patriots this year – 29 yards

* Players from each of the last five year drafts on roster: 2010 – 2 of 12 /2011 – 2 of 8 / 2012 – 3 of 7 / 2013 – 4 of 7 / 2014 – 5 of 8 / 2105 – 8 of 11 Continue reading Connelly’s Top Ten: 53 Shopping Days Left »

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Should Peyton Manning owners be worried this week?

Another week and another chance to improve on your fantasy team in Week 8. Sure, your team might be 3-4 or 4-3, but you still have a chance to be a Wild Card team if you play the right players going forward. Here are a few of my suggestions:

Start ‘Em

Jay Cutler (vs. Minnesota): The Vikings made Matthew Stafford look good last week and Cutler has a healthy Alshon Jeffrey to throw too. Expect at least three touchdown passes from the Chicago signal caller in this one. Continue reading Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em: Week 8, 2015 »

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1. Patriots – Dolphins:


* Tannehill’s face was classic when the snap went by his head for a safety

* CBS showed Malden High School practice (kids in Texas and Florida must be wondering if that’s the freshman team)

* Crazy man coach of the Dolphins Dan Campbell wasn’t looking so crazy

* Amazing draw up Gostkowski right to left for his field goal

* Women referee was throwing a lot of laundry on the field

* Brady paying homage to Bill’s lady with audibles of “cougar” and “Linda”

* Dolphins wasted money on Suh so far

* Jonas Gray didn’t get the revenge he was looking for


* Are teams starting to take away Edelman or does Brady have less confidence in him (see #6 below) Continue reading Connelly’s Top Ten: Tour Rolls Down the Highway »

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Feb 25, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics forward Jonas Jerebko (8), guard Evan Turner (11), guard Isaiah Thomas (4), forward Jae Crowder (99) and guard Marcus Smart (36) celebrate against the New York Knicks during the second half at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the Jungle! That’s the song that will be blasting through the speakers at tip off tonight as the Boston Celtics take on the Philadelphia 76ers in the home opener at TD Garden. The crowd will be rockin’ in anticipation of a young Celtics team that finished last season on a 24-12 run to lock up the 7th seed in the Eastern Conference playoff picture. Of course Boston did get swept by LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers on their way to the NBA Finals but they gave everything they had and left the Cavs bruised, battered and even dislocated (sorry, Kevin Love).

One thing is for sure, the Celtics plan to build on last year’s success. They finished last season 40-42 and would like to see that win total creep into the high forties or low fifties this season. With Brad Stevens running the show, a core of young talent, and a few veterans added to the mix Boston is poised to continue the rebuilding of a winning culture and get back to the post season.

Continue reading The Celtics Are Back! 2015-16 Season Starts against the 76ers at TD Garden »

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The Patriots are set to host the Dolphins this Thursday night and one match-up that could come into focus is the Patriots’ offensive line vs the Dolphins defensive line. The Dolphins don’t have the same talent across the board as the Jets, but they have two elite players in Cameron Wake and Ndamukong Suh. Suh is an excellent interior lineman when he has his head in the game and will be a handful for the Patriots interior offensive line. However, it is Wake who could end up being more of a problem for New England.

Wake already has six sacks this season and the Patriots are hurting at offensive tackle. If Marcus Cannon cannot play, then the starting tackle opposite Sebastian Vollmer will be Cameron Fleming. Miami will likely try to match-up Wake with Fleming as much as possible making this battle of the “Cams” important to the outcome of the game. When teams have beaten a Patriots offense in the last 15 years they have generally done three things” get pressure up the middle, have a good edge rusher, and cover well. Miami is not great in coverage but definitely checks off the other two boxes. If the Patriots line gets beat off the ball consistently, then Tom Brady will not have adequate time to defeat the Dolphins coverage. The battle around the edge is especially important because Brady struggled in the first half against the Cowboys this season and excellent edge rusher Greg Hardy.

Wake is a superior player to Fleming, but Fleming held his own last week against the Jets. The Patriots will also try to help Fleming out by chipping Wake off the edge with running backs and tight ends. Even so, there will be instances where the young tackle has to block Wake one on one. Wake has shown that when he gets going, he can have a monster game. His four first half sacks against the Titans changed how Tennessee played that game and he could do the same to the Patriots.

Miami could move Wake around and have him face off with Vollmer, but the better match-up for them is Fleming. If Marcus Cannon plays he will not be 100% and signs are pointing to the possibility of him sitting out. There is a strong possibility that Fleming will once again be forced into the starting role.  If that is the case, the match-up between the two “Cams” could decide the game.

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