The Patriots celebrate after Nick Folk missed his late 52-yard field goal attempt late in the 4th quarter of Sunday's game. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Woof. Well you know what they say, a win is a win and Sunday’s win over the Jets clinched a first round bye for the Patriots for the fifth consecutive year. A nice fun fact is the Patriots are the first team in NFL history to clinch a first round bye for five consecutive seasons. That is truly a remarkable accomplishment in a league designed for parity. While it wasn’t a pretty win by any means, the defense held strong the entire game to secure the bye. I’d be more concerned if it wasn’t a division game against a team that tends to play the Patriots well no matter what their record reads. At the end of the day the biggest positive is that they came away from the game with a win and no injuries. Continue reading Notes and Observations Week 16: Patriots Escape from New York with 17-16 Win; Clinch First Round Bye. »

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rick porcello

The Boston Red Sox are future focused when it comes to their pitching strategy. Ben Cherington, Larry Lucchino, John Henry and Tom Werner are looking for potential, not proven performance as they rebuild the five-man rotation and the bullpen.

The team acquired former free agent and pitcher in the Red Sox organization, Justin Masterson. The Detroit Tigers traded right-handed pitcher Rick Porcello to Boston for Yoenis Cespedes, right-handed pitcher Alex Wilson and minor leaguer Gabe Speier. They also acquired Zeke Spruill and Wade Miley.

None of these pitchers are household names. They have had good seasons for the clubs they have pitched for, but there is simply nothing outstanding about them.

Continue reading 2015 Red Sox Pitching Outlook (So Far…) »

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Wave goodbye, Celtics fans: Rondo is on his way to the Dallas Mavericks in a sudden and shocking trade. (CBS Sports)

Just this morning I wrote about the Rajon Rondo rumor mill starting up again, and Boston Celtics being able to look forward to spending the next month or so reading rumor after rumor, story after story about whether, where, and when Rondo would be traded.

Danny Ainge and the Celtics have preempted the rumor mill and spared us from reports quoting anonymous NBA sources by already trading their All-Star point guard to the Dallas Mavericks.

Continue reading Celtics Send Rondo to Mavs in Exchange for Pupu Platter »

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It's the most wonderful time of the year: nope, not the holidays, but Rajon Rondo trade rumors! (CBS Boston)

Death, taxes, and Rondo trade rumors.

Yes, the rumor mill is underway when it comes to Danny Ainge, the Boston Celtics, and their All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo. December 15th marked the first day free agents that were signed this past offseason are eligible to be traded, ergo: Rondo trade rumors.

This time around, it seems the Celtics have an “increased willingness” to trade Rondo, particularly to the Western Conference.

Continue reading Here We Go Again: Rondo Trade Rumors Have Begun »

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dt_common_streams_StreamServer

January 2011. The New York Jets traveled to Foxboro to face the red-hot New England Patriots in a divisional round playoff game. Just a month earlier the Patriots had beaten the Jets on that same field 45-3. However, the playoff matchup was a vastly different story. The Jets physically and mentally beat New England en route to a 28-21 victory that wasn’t as close as the score would indicate.

The Jets confused the Patriots, beat them physically, and forced them into uncharacteristic mistakes. Since that day, the two franchises have gone in opposite directions with the Jets losing the AFC Championship game and missing the playoffs the next three seasons while the Patriots went to three straight AFC Championship games and one Super Bowl. Continue reading Patriots and Jets: Two Teams Heading in Oppositte Directions »

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Tom Brady and Bill Belichick celebrate their 12th division title in 14 years. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

It never gets old winning the AFC East. At the start of every year, we have to listen to all the “experts” talk about how the Bills, Dolphins, and Jets are all primed to challenge the Patriots for the division crown. Granted the Bills actually have an impressive defense, and if they only had a legitimate quarterback they might pose a challenge int he future. But every year in December it’s the Patriots who sit atop the AFC East and remind everyone that it is still their division to lose. This of course is just the first goal of every year for them. The ultimate is still winning the fourth Lombardi Trophy in February. 

- I’ve compared this team to the 2003 team on a couple of occasions, and Sunday’s win was very reminiscent of their 31-0 win over the Bills in week 17 of that season. As you may remember the Bills embarrassed the Patriots in week one by the same 31-0 score. It came after Belichick cut long time captain Lawyer Milloy and the critics hounded Belichick for the way he coached his team. Similarly this year the Dolphins made it look easy in an upset win during week one of the season. Then the Dolphins did what the rest of the AFC East does when they beat the Patriots, they opened their mouths. The Patriots used the remarks as bulletin board material, and they clearly didn’t quit in the second half as they outscored the Dolphins 27-0. Sunday was a friendly reminder that if anyone is trying to unseat the Patriots they’ll have to pry it from Brady and Belichick’s cold, lifeless fingers.

Continue reading Notes and Observations Week 15: Patriots Blow Out Dolphins 41-13; Clinch AFC East »

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hitting red sox

The Red Sox were pretty active in the final day of the Winter Meetings, trading for Rick Porcello, Wade Miley, and signing Justin Masterson to a one-year deal for $9.5 million.

Well it looks like the Red Sox are certainly making big news in the offseason, but is it for the right reasons? First and foremost, the Red Sox missed out on a huge addition to their pitching rotation when Jon Lester signed a 6-year, $155 million deal with the Chicago Cubs. Lester would have been a huge presence in the Red Sox clubhouse and would have given them the veteran leadership that they needed in the rotation.

Second, I’m not entirely sure I agree with the Red Sox decision to trade Yoenis Cespedes to Detroit for Porcello. Continue reading Right Idea? Red Sox Bring in Rick Porcello, Wade Miley, Justin Masterson »

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