1. Pats vs. Giants:


* One of the great Patriots regular season wins evah’

* Who threw up when the kick went through – Mercury Morris, Don Shula, Mike Felger, Goodell

* The Giants couldn’t beat the Patriots without Collins, Lewis, Edelman, Vollmer, Solder, Wendell, Jackson, Cannon, Flowers

* Biggest play of the game was Ninkovich sack of Eli taking them out of field goal range

* Excellent national anthem (surprised they didn’t sing the French national anthem)

* Bad timing – With Edelman hurt – too bad Welker just signed with St. Louis

* How tough is field goal kicking with the two kickers are a combined 46-46 this year

* Ugh – Phil Simms with Giants pajamas on and CBS pushing the theme of Giants victories over Pats

* Patriots injuries reminding me of that tough 1987 Celtics who fought to the Finals with injuries to everyone

* Ed Hoculi means penalties and conferences (two of those interference calls Butler and Chung – disgraceful)

* That’s what Mara gets for siding against Patriots and with the league

* Thought Brady’s disposition switched to pouty after Edelman injury

* Landon Collins meet Asante Samuel

* Great use of timeouts surrounding 2:00 warning Continue reading Connelly’s Top Ten: Patriots Treat Us Again! »

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New England Patriots' Rob Gronkowski (87) scores a touchdown in front of New York Giants' Jayron Hosley (28) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday Nov. 15, 2015, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

The Patriots did something they have not done since the last week of the 2007 regular season on Sunday. They beat the Giants. The teams fought back and forth with many big plays and the Patriots won 27-26. Stephen Gostkowski kicked a field with six seconds left from 54 yards out to win the game.

The game began with a long Patriots touchdown drive capped off by a Scott Chandler touchdown catch. The Giants answered right back with an 87 yard touchdown catch by Odell Beckham on their second offensive play. The teams fought back and forth throughout the second and third quarters with the Giants taking a lead into the fourth.

Tom Brady hit Rob Gronkowski on a 76 yard touchdown to give the Patriots the lead 24-23. After forcing a punt, the Patriots drove down the field highlighted by a 50 yard catch by Brandon LaFell. With the ball at the two yard line, LeGarrette Blount ran into the end zone for a touchdown but the score was called back due to a holding penalty by David Andrews. Despite the penalty, the Patriots were still in position to increase their lead. However, the drive came to a stunning end when Brady threw an interception  at the goal line.

The Giants then drove nearly the entire length of the field and appeared to take the lead on another Beckham touchdown catch, but the play was overturned. The Giants settled for a field goal and a 26-24 lead with less than two minutes to go.

The Patriots took the field needing to get into field goal range for a a chance to win the game. After three straight incompletions, the Patriots faced a fourth and ten. On one of the biggest plays of the day, Brady hit Danny Amendola for a first down. The Patriots got the ball into Giants territory and set up Gostkowski for the game winner. In a truly memorable affair, the Patriots left New Jersey with a one point.

They also may have left with a significant injury. Julian Edelman left the game after the first play of the second quarter. His ankle got rolled up on and he went back to the locker room. He did not  return and the team hasn’t provided any further details. The Patriots offense had significant trouble moving the ball after Edelman went down for much of the game.

If he is out for a significant amount of time, it will be a huge blow to a New England offense that has already suffered a rash of injuries. He is their best wide receiver and is one player who Brady always turns to in difficult situations. He is a third down machine with a knack for making big catches and moving the chains. He also rarely drops a pass, even when taking a big hit.

In retrospect, the Patriots got a huge road win but may have suffered a serious loss as well. The next few days are crucial for Edelman, as much about the severity of his injury will be known by the middle of the week. The Patriots face Buffalo next Monday night and that is followed by a match-up with the vaunted Denver defense. If Edelman can’t play, he will be immediately missed.

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Craig Kimbrel (Matt York/Associated Press)

The Red Sox made headlines on Friday night with their surprising acquisition of Craig Kimbrel from the San Diego Padres, marking Dave Dombrowski’s first significant roster move in Boston. Kimbrel immediately becomes the closer for the Red Sox since he has been one of the most dominant relievers in the history of the game, and provides an enormous upgrade from what the Red Sox had at the back of the bullpen in 2015. In fact, Kimbrel would be an upgrade over just about any closer in the game, so Dombrowski got good value in this trade, even though most people think he gave up too much prospect value. We don’t want to get too into that argument yet, but we can analyze how Kimbrel can improve the Red Sox bullpen aside from a flamethrower-fastball and a wipeout breaking ball. Following is our list of current Red Sox relievers who stand to gain from Kimbrel’s addition to the bullpen, and how they might benefit.

Koji Uehara:

Kimbrel’s acquisition comes with an automatic demotion for Uehara, who has been brilliant for just about his entire Red Sox career, including their World Series run in 2013. But his “demotion” only comes through the fact that Kimbrel is the best closer in the game, not by any fault of his own. Uehara maintained great strikeout (10.49 K/9) and walk (2.01 BB/9) rates into the latest stage of his career, even as his velocity has started to disappear (87.0 average fastball velocity in 2015). If he can manage to sustain his effectiveness even somewhere close to his current level, he will turn out to be an invaluable setup man for the eighth inning, and can combine with Kimbrel to shorten a game to seven innings.

Continue reading Kimbrel’s Effect on the Red Sox Bullpen »

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Dave Dombrowski announced the start of his presidency by acquiring closer Craig Kimbrel from the San Diego Padres. (MLB.com)

The Boston Red Sox held a press conference back in August to introduce Dave Dombrowski as the new president of baseball operations, in the midst of (another) failed season en route to a third last place finish in four years. But throughout the remainder of the season, Dombrowski’s presence was more felt than seen or heard – assessments of the 25-man roster, speculation on what he’d do with Clay Buchholz’s option, expounding on his team-building philosophies, and finalizing his front office. He seemed more of a looming figure in the owner’s suite than the president of baseball operations.

All that changed when Dombrowski shipped four prospects to the San Diego Padres in a blockbuster trade for All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel. (So much for those Aroldis Chapman rumors!) With that announcement, Dombrowski has put his fingerprints on the 2016 Red Sox with the acquisition of a single player, and that more than any press conference announces his arrival as the president of baseball operations for the Red Sox.

Continue reading Dombrowski Announces His Arrival to Red Sox with Trade for Kimbrel »

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1.Patriots vs. Giants Preview:

* Wall Street Journal analyzed probability of undefeated season: Pats 13.4% / Bengals 3.7% / Carolina 2.1%

* Patriots are 5-4 against Giants lifetime in regular season / 0-2 post season

* Giants are PLUS 11 on takeaways which is first / Patriots are second with PLUS 7

* Giants are last in sacks with 9

* The Jimmy Hoffa buried in Meadowlands theory was debunked

2. Patriots Leaders by touchdown type:

Receiving………..Morgan (67), Gronk (61), Coates (50) Continue reading Connelly’s Top Ten: David Tyree Worse Than Bucky Dent »

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Tom Brady goes to celebrate with Brandon Bolden after he hauled in a nice touchdown catch replacing the injured Dion Lewis. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Last week I talked about how spoiled we are in New England basically being able to pencil the Patriots into the AFC Championship every year. This week was another prime example of just how good we have it here. The Patriots handled the Redskins all game and the win was never in doubt. Tom Brady finished just one yard shy of 300 for the day and threw for two more touchdowns. The defense played as good as they have been the past few weeks. Even with all that it was a bad game by Patriots’ standards.

– Tom Brady put up another solid performance with 299 yards, going 26-39 with two touchdowns. He had a very uncharacteristic interception that made me do a double take to make sure it was Brady throwing the ball. It was a rare instance where he didn’t read the defense correctly and just never saw linebacker Keenan Robinson playing zone. Credit to Robinson for reading the play and making the interception, but that was a bad pass by Brady. Again, that’s how great it is to be a Patriots fan. These awful plays are so few and far between that it’s actually shocking when it happens. Continue reading Notes and Observations, Week 9: Patriots Beat Redskins 27-10 to go 8-0 for 2nd Time in Team History »

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Dave Dombrowski made a detour on the way to Winter Meetings to meet with Hanley Ramirez in Boca Raton, Florida.

Dombrowski hoped to speak to Ramirez about expectations for next season. The Red Sox would like to see Ramirez lose 15 lbs of muscle mass, so he can become a better run producer behind the plate and more athletic on the field, according to reporting by Peter Abraham by the Boston Globe. 

Continue reading Dave Dombrowski Meets with Hanley Ramirez »

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