Tom Brady and the Patriots look to avenge last season's Week 15 loss in Miami (Robert Mayer, USA Today Sports)

The wait is finally over.

The longest off-season in professional sports is finished, and meaningful NFL football is finally upon us.

The Patriots enter Miami as 5 point favorites on Sunday, and look to avenge last season’s 24-20 loss in Week 15.

Here’s what we’ll be watching for Sunday at 1:00 PM.

Defense, Defense, Defense

We’ve heard all off-season about this new-look Patriots defense. Darrelle Revis is here; Jerod Mayo is healthy; Vince Wilfork is back. Continue reading Week 1 Preview: Patriots at Dolphins, Sept. 7, 2014 »

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Mexico just made it into the knockout stage, but has the unenviable task of taking on the Americans in the Round of 16. (wwe.com)

The knockout stage is here. Things kick off with Mexico looking to down the United States, a most unenviable task. Fellow unbeatens Spain and Greece face Senegal and Serbia respectively, with some great action in between.

For the knockout stage, picking a winner successfully is worth two points. Not that it matters at all now, because all eight games featured unanimous winners. But with eight competitors remaining after the Round of 16, there’s still plenty of time left.

Check below for who we all picked to win each game, and come back when the first knockout round is over for updated point totals. Continue reading 2014 FIBA World Cup Expert Picks: Round of 16 »

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Shane Victorino is a valuable and expendable player for the Red Sox to trade before the deadline.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

September is upon us, which means only one thing. The MLB regular season is coming to a close soon, and given that the Red Sox are going through a losing season a year removed from winning the World Series, this can only mean rebuilding is on the minds of the front office.  There are several options that the Red Sox should pursue in the offseason if they wish to become a contender again.

Pitching woes-

Lester- The southpaw who left the team in July immediately said he would return to the team after the season is over, but he needs the incentive to do so. Lester has had a very impressive season thus far, and should be highly coveted by many teams. During his season with Boston, Lester was 10-7 with a 2.52 ERA and since moving across country to Oakland has been 3-3 with a 2.59 ERA. This has been his best year (specifically his best ERA) since coming to the big leagues in 2006. The Red Sox have some strong, young talent in their rotation like Brandon Workman and Allen Webster but having a veteran presence in the clubhouse again. Continue reading Red Sox 2014-2015 Offseason Preview »

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Anthony Davis (Photo courtesy of NBA.com)

The group stage of the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup came to a close on Thursday in Spain, with three teams going a perfect 5-0: Greece, Spain and the United States. Team USA was as dominant as expected given the weakness if its Group C rivals, winning all five games by an average of 33.2 points. But the home team certainly appears serious about not letting the Cup get away, with an average winning margin of 25.2 points over some very tough opponents, while Greece staked its claim as more than just a dark horse.

The three favorites

United States

The inexperienced American team looked very good in its five wins, beginning with a 114-55 throttling of Finland. Their stiffest challenge came from Turkey in the second game, but the U.S.A. put the clamps down in the second half on the way to a 21-point victory. Probably the best news was the balanced contribution of all the rotation players to the offensive game, with no Americans among the tournament’s top 10 scorers. Continue reading Spain, U.S.A. Appear Headed for Final Clash at FIBA World Cup »

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Promising rookie Mookie Betts takes the field a day after going 3 for 5 at Yankee Stadium

After Jacoby Ellsbury left the Red Sox to join the Yankees, Boston fans, including myself, shirked off the Center Fielder’s departure as ultimately inconsequential because of our inflated optimism in Jackie Bradley Jr.  We convinced ourselves that Bradley Jr. was our farm system’s answer to fill Ellsbury’s void and that sharing a position with him was going to impede on his development as a major league player. At that point, our mindset was also of the belief that since the majority of our core from last year’s title was still there, only minor changes to the lineup were in order.  To put it lightly, things fell apart.

Production across the lineup decreased while the list of names on the disabled list increased.  Bogaerts, after a promising beginning of the season, lost a touch on the offensive side.  Bradley Jr., on the other hand, appears to have never had a touch on the offensive side from the beginning, and now with news of his refusing to change his swing, the minor leagues appears to be his destination for the time being. Continue reading What Good Play from Betts, Cespedes Means for Crowded Outfield »

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Greece impressed as one of three unbeaten teams; how far can they take it? (http://www.greek-mythology-pantheon.com/)

The group stage is over in the World Cup, and to nobody’s surprise, the United States cruised. Spain also moved through handily, but what nobody saw combing was how well Greece did, winning all five games and helping push group favorite Argentina all the way down to third place. At least one team in each group made it through with a losing record as well, so it was a tough race for many teams.

With similar picks, our Pick ‘Em is neck-and-neck, so far relying on bonus points from picking the correct place finishers to open up leads. The results so far are below, and be sure to come back Saturday for the Round of 16 selections. Continue reading 2014 FIBA World Cup Pick ‘Em: Group Stage Results »

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1. Patriots Preview:

* Gronk over under on regular season games played 11 (under)

* Games Kraft is showed in – over / under 15 (easy I go over – although NFL Network has them on 10/16 and they snubbed him last year)

* Hoodies worn Over / Under 11 (I go under)

* Ridley fumbles Over / Under 5 (I go under)

* Brady sacked – 35 (Over)

* Second Leading Receiver Dobson, Gronk, Amendola, Wright (I go Wright)

* Leading yards from backfield (I go Vereen, Ridley then White)

* Average blood alcohol of Patriot fan 0.10 (I’m going over)

* Average blood alcohol of Patriot mascot 0.20 (I’m going over)

* Times after a sack the announcers talk about Dante Scarnecchia – 3 (over)

* Go 12-4 and Reeves makes us remember Mike Haynes, Raymond Clayborn and Ty Law all in one!

* Browner over / under on personal fouls 6 (over) Continue reading Connelly’s Top Ten: Are You Ready for Some Football! »

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