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When Tom Brady and Bill Belichick hoisted the Lombardi trophy for the fourth time Sunday, they had accomplished a rare feat. It was Belichick’s sixth Super Bowl Championship (fourth as a head coach) and Brady’s fourth as a player. Belichick tied Chuck Knoll as head coaches to win four and Brady tied Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw with four rings as well. The most impressive part about the Brady-Belichick success is they have done it during an age in which the NFL is set up for teams to struggle at times. With a salary cap, free agency and draft slotting that gives the previous year’s worst teams the best picks, the NFL is meant for no team to have a sustained run of success. Parity is the word of the day when talking with most in NFL circles and what the Patriots have done is make that word of the day out of their vocabulary and return to the pinnacle of NFL success time and again. Continue reading Legacy for Bill Belichick and Tom Brady? Not So Fast »

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Who is the best starting pitcher in the American League East?

On paper, it looks like the Red Sox pulled a bad five-card hand with the starting five they’ll be laying out this season. A rotation of Clay Buchholz, Rick Porcello, Wade Miley, Justin Masterson, and Joe Kelly looks brutal, and if it weren’t for an incredible lineup with new additions like Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval, the Red Sox would probably be projected last in the East in 2015.

However, the idea that offense is down and pitching strong in baseball as a whole may not be true at all in the American League East. The Red Sox aren’t the only team with a questionable starting rotation–they might actually have the best starting five in the division. Continue reading Red Sox have the best starting pitching in the East »

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Malcolm Butler clinched the Patriots 4th Lombardi Trophy with this game winning interception. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Super Bowl XLIX lived up to the hype and then some. Sunday night saw the match-up of the two best teams in the NFL go down to the wire to decide the champion. Every snap counted and every second felt like an eternity, which is exactly how the Super Bowl is supposed to be. As expected, it was nothing like last season which saw the Seahawks embarrass Peyton Manning and best offense in NFL history by the score of 43-8. This game was different because the Patriots are simply better than the rest of the NFL. They have the best owner, the best coach, and now without a shadow of doubt they have the greatest quarterback in the history of the NFL, Tom Brady. Despite all that it still took an unknown rookie making an improbable play to win the game. That is exactly why they are the best team in the NFL.

- Malcolm Butler is now a New England legend. Even if he never made a good play the rest of his career, no one will ever forget his name. You can blame the play call all you went, and yes it was an awful call, but Malcolm still needed to make the play. He read the route perfectly and timed his break precisely leading to the game-saving interception. On the Seahawks previous drive he helped break up the Jermaine Kearse drop on third down which could have sealed the game for Seattle. Of course we can’t forget that on the play before he defended as good as he possibly could have and Kearse still made that ridiculous catch. It was fitting that Butler was the one to make the clutch play after yet another miraculous Super Bowl catch. Butler looked great in the preseason as a rookie and ended up working his way onto the active roster consistently by out-practicing Alfonzo Dennard. Once Dennard went on IR there was no more question that Butler was their number four corner. Thankfully their confidence in Butler paid the highest dividend imaginable, the Lombardi trophy. Continue reading Notes and Observations, Super Bowl XLIX: Patriots are Champions Again! »

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"Pro Wrestling," NES

With an incredible game in the books, filled with circus catches and debatable play calling, the New England Patriots are Super Bowl champions. The Pats were down by 10 in the 4th quarter and came back, but still gave up multiple big plays to Seattle. And with nobody expecting a pass play, that could have been a great play call to end the game; it just didn’t happen to work out (maybe not lining up in the gun would have helped).

Such back-and-forth action really put our Pick ‘Em up for grabs. But when the dust settled and the Patriots had emerged victorious, who reigned supreme atop our standings? Without further ado, the winner of the 2014-2015 NFL Playoff Pick ‘Em is… Continue reading 2014-2015 NFL Playoffs Expert Picks: Super Bowl Results »

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The Patriots and Seahawks duke it out for the Lombardi Trophy on everybody's favorite day of the year, Puppy Bowl Sunday. (AP Photo/Animal Planet, Keith Barraclough)

Welcome to Super Bowl XLIX. The Patriots and Seahawks are ready to fight for the Championship in Arizona. Everything has come down to this one game, both for these two franchises and our panel of experts. With odds makers not making either team favored, it’s pretty much a pick the winner scenario. That caused a split in our panel in choosing whether the unstoppable force in New England’s offense or the immovable object in Seattle’s defense will emerge victorious.

There’s also a disagreement as to how high-scoring the game will be, though the passing attack is thought to give way somewhat with Marshawn Lynch and LeGarrette Blount giving an explosive element on the ground. And for the Super Bowl, in such a quarterback driven league, only one pick set has a quarterback as the game’s MVP.

Scoring will be largely as before, with the addition of choosing the game’s MVP. Furthermore, ALL POINTS WILL BE DOUBLED! In addition, in the event of a tie, we’ll also be guessing the length of the game’s longest drive, in minutes and seconds.

  • Successfully picking the winner of each game is worth four points.
  • Picking the total number of touchdowns scored by both teams COMBINED in each game is worth two points if guessed to within one, or four points if guessed exactly right.
  • Picking the MVP of the game is worth two points.
  • Picking the total number of yards thrown in each game by WHICHEVER quarterback throws the most is worth two points if guessed to within 50, or four points if guessed to within 10, or ten points if guessed exactly right.
  • Guessing the length of the game’s longest drive, IN MINUTES AND SECONDS, is for tiebreaking purposes only.

So with that out of the way, pick sets are below. And be sure to come back post-game for the final results. Continue reading 2014-2015 NFL Expert Picks: Super Bowl »

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Malcom Subban (ESPNBoston)

Malcom Subban Recalled

It was announced this morning that backup goalie Niklas Svedberg was sent to Providence on a conditioning loan and Malcom Subban will back up Tuukka Rask in Boston. This will be exciting; Subban is obviously a highly prized prospect for the Bruins and did really well against NHL-level talent in the pre-season. They’re taking their time with developing the kid, and rightfully so, so it’ll be interesting to see what he can do. We have a game against the Canadiens in a couple weeks. Talk about a storyline…

All Star Game

Say what you want about the All Star Game, but any time that many elite players skate together on the same ice it’s something cool to watch. Patrice Bergeron represented the B’s well, notching a goal and 4 assists in a dazzling 17-12 game. It’s hard to believe that this was his first All Star appearance but he just displayed once again how talented and under-appreciated he is in this league. I’ve said it before, but he could absolutely be a point-per-game player if he was given free reign to score and not worry about two-way play. Continue reading Malcom Subban and Bruins Weekly Roundup »

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Mark Brunell somehow almost cried about some under-inflated footballs. That's where we're at with all of this. (image courtesy of deadspin.com)

Only in America would every major national news station cover the press conference of a man discussing the inflation levels of some footballs. All this outrage has been drummed up by the media, which is not shocking in the least. Thanks to the 24-hour “news” cycle we get to listen to so-called experts speculate for hours without an ounce of actual evidence. Yet without any evidence, other than the fact 11 out of 12 Patriots’ footballs came in under-inflated, they are already to convict Bill Belichick and Tom Brady of this heinous crime against humanity. Last time I checked in America it’s innocent until proven guilty…Unless of course you’re the New England Patriots.

Let’s take it back to where it all started. Indianapolis sports writer Bob Kravitz was the one to break the news that a source tipped him off about the Patriots using under-inflated footballs during the AFC Championship. The tweet turned out to be true, and the NFL was in fact investigating the Patriots footballs. So far so good, we have a reporter make a claim that gets backed up by facts. That, unfortunately, is where the credibility ended. Continue reading The National Media is to Blame for Deflategate Outrage »

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