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1. Around the NFL:

* I hate the Patriots not playing on Sunday afternoon

* Hats off to the Rams coaching staff for taking risks – fake punt and a tricky punt return scheme

* Saints Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan is the most overrated coach in the NFL

* Redskins have two playoff wins since Daniel Synder bought the team in 1999 / They had twelve playoff wins and two Super Bowls in the previous fifteen years

* The NFC South has a combined record of 8-17-1 / 2-12 outside their Division

* The curse of the Tuck continues – Raiders 0-6

2. Around College Football:

* Playoffs right now is Miss State vs. Alabama / Florida St vs. Ole Miss (though the Miss teams play each other and one will get knocked off) Continue reading Connelly’s Top Ten: Patriots Off – Winter is Coming »

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Peyton Manning is now the sole record holder for most touchdown passes in NFL history, surpassing Brett Favre. (Ron Chenoy, USA TODAY Sports)

Move over, Brett Favre. There’s a new sheriff in town.

Though he may not be the gunslinger Favre was, future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning is the new record holder for all-time touchdown passes in NFL history. He threw for his record 509th touchdown on an eight-yard pass to Demayrius Thomas with 3:09 remaining in the first half of the Denver Broncos’ Sunday Night Football contest against the San Francisco 49ers.

As a New England Patriots fan, I extend my begrudging congratulations to Mr. Manning. I pure hate you, but after playing you so many times after all these years, dang it do I respect you. Continue reading Peyton Manning Sets All-Time TD Record in First Half vs. 49ers »

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Ed Szczepanski/USA TODAY SPORTS

Jared Sullinger has always had a knack for rebounding. This can certainly be attributed to his oversized derriere, which effectively allows him to carve out space and grab loose rebounds which, on the offensive end, can turn into easy points. Former Celtics coach Doc Rivers recognized Sullinger’s talents on the boards early on, and primarily assigned him to maneuver around the block beneath the basket.

Brad Stevens, in his first training camp with the Celtics, hosted a drill in which all the players were encouraged to practice shooting three pointers. While most of the team’s bigs continued to refrain from long-distance shooting, Sullinger, who only took five shots beyond the arc in the previous year, upped his total to 208. Stevens employed three of the team’s bigs — Sullinger, Kelly Olynyk and Vítor Faverani — in a pick-and-pop role in an effort to space out the floor. However, more times than not the defense would allow Sullinger the space to shoot, due to his mediocre percentage, and he ended up only shooting 26.9 percent from three. Continue reading Can Jared Sullinger Become a Legitimate Deep Scoring Threat? »

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NFL Week 7 Betting Tips

October 19, 2014 at 11:00am in NFL, Opinion

It looked like it was going to be another tough day at the office, after the Houston Texans kicked off week 6 in the NFL with a tough 33-28 loss. Fortunately, my other three picks in the Indianapolis Colts, Carolina Panthers and Dallas Cowboys all covered easily. My overall record this year is now looking a little better at 12-9, and we look to keep the trend of winning alive.

Take the New York Giants (+5) over the Dallas Cowboys.
Last week these two teams could not have been a part of two completely opposite games. The Cowboys traveled to Seattle and came out with a 27-24 victory; to give the Seahawks their first home loss in over two years. The Giants, who came into last week as one of the hottest teams in the NFL winning three games in arrow, got thumped by NFC East rival the Philadelphia Eagles 28-0. The Giants will rebound in their second consecutive NFC East matchup, after being thoroughly embarrassed one week ago. The Cowboys are going to still be riding high after getting a road win in the toughest environment in the entire NFL. The Giants are going to upset the Cowboys 30-21.

Take the New Orleans Saints (+2) over the Detroit Lions
The Saints are 0-3 playing on the road this season with losses to the Cowboys, Atlanta Falcons and the Cleveland Browns. Two things that will be going in favor of the Saints are they are coming off a bye week, and most likely have heard they can’t win on the road for two weeks straight. New Orleans is going to come into Detroit motivated, rested, and hungry for their first road won of the season. Detroit is the No.1 ranked team in total defense, so a road win coming against the No.1 defense will send a message to every team in the NFL that the Saints are still here. The Saints and Lions will both be without one of their best players in Jimmy Graham and Calvin Johnson. New Orleans will leave Detroit capturing their first road win 27-21.

Take the Indianapolis Colts (-3) over the Cincinnati Bengals
The Colts are now one of the hottest teams in the NFL, as they have now won four games in arrow. Indianapolis last win came 10 days ago at Houston, and they are now well rested, and back at home to take on a Bengals team that have struggled mildly on defense. The Bengals gave up 37 points at home last week against the Panthers, who have an average offense at best. Life is only going to become much harder for the Bengals having to play on the road against the NFL’s league leader in passing yards in Andrew Luck. The Bengals will also be without their best player for a second straight week in arrow in A.J Green. The Colts will defeat the Bengals rather easily 31-20.

Take the San Francisco 49ers (+6.5) over the Denver Broncos
This is the marquee matchup this Sunday, and these two teams are built on different principals. The Broncos are built on their overpowering offense, and the 49ers, despite being beat up, are built on their ferocious defense. The 49ers will be missing a lot of their key players on defense, but that has been the story all year, and they still own a 4-2 record. One thing the 49ers do very well which will help their defense in stopping the Broncos is run the football and run it well. The 49ers offensively lean on their run offense, and if they can continue to run the ball well, they will keep that high powered Broncos offense on the bench. I believe the 49ers will lose the game outright, but will cover 27-24.

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Shane Vereen celebrates after scoring his second touchdown of the game. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Well that was a lot harder than it had to be. Thursday night games all season have been blowouts by the home team. Of course when the Patriots play the Jets, it turns into the closest game both teams played all season and was decided by a last second blocked field goal. The defense looked terrible and the offense did just enough to squeak by one of the worst secondaries in the league. If you’re looking for silver linings in this game it’s that the Patriots got the win, they’re 5-2 in control of the division, they have 10 days off before their next game, and they escaped without any additional injuries.

- To start off, how about that redemption for Chris Jones? Remember it was Jones last year against the Jets who was called for that ridiculous penalty on a field goal in overtime which Nick Folk missed. Jones was called for pushing the lineman from the second level, or as we called it “Pushgate.” Folk then nailed the field goal from 15 yards closer and the Jets won the game. Throughout the game the Patriots were close to getting to Folk coming off the edges. The final play saw Jones go right through the middle to get his hands up and swat the ball down. A fitting end to a brutal nail-biter.  Continue reading Notes and Observations Week 7: Amendola, Chris Jones Save the Day; Patriots Beat Jets 27-25 »

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Tyler Murphy, T. J. Green (Mark L. Baer/USA Today Sports)

#24 Clemson, 17; Boston College, 13

Boston College came close to beating a top 25 team for the second time this season, but ultimately couldn’t knock off 24th-ranked Clemson (5-2) in what ended up being a defensive battle at Alumni Stadium. Punts and tackles for loss abounded in a game that came down to the wire.

The two teams traded punts throughout the first quarter, and it was the Tigers who finally got on the board early in the second on a 17-yard touchdown run by running back Wayne Gallman. The Eagles responded later in the period when quarterback Tyler Murphy found wide receiver Sherman Alston for an easy 26-yard score, and kicker Ammon Lakip gave Clemson a 10-7 lead with a 23-yard field goal as time expired on the first half. Continue reading College Football Week 8 Roundup: BC Falls Short, UMass Wins Second Straight »

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Will Bynum (Turner.com)

The Celtics may not win many games in 2014—15, but when it comes to getting rid of dead money, nobody in the NBA does it better than Boston general manager Danny Ainge. On Friday, the Celtics shipped little-used veteran center Joel Anthony and his $3.8 million salary to Detroit in exchange for point guard Will Bynum, who will be an unrestricted free agent after the season.

Anthony came to Boston from Miami in January as part of a three-team trade that also involved the Warriors. The two-time NBA champion played in just 21 games for the Celtics, averaging a point and 1.5 rebounds, but he was able to exercise a player option to extend his contract for one more year. Anthony was reportedly unhappy about his lack of playing time, and will now compete for a rotation spot behind Andre Drummond in the Motor City. Continue reading Danny Ainge Strikes Again with Will Bynum Trade »

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