Since trading Randy Moss early in the 2010, the one question that has persisted for the Patriots offense is the lack of a deep threat wide receiver. When New England drafted Aaron Dobson in 2013, they took a player they believed would solve that issue. He was inconsistent in a rookie campaign that saw him make big plays (81 yard touchdown catch vs. Pittsburgh) and some frustrating drops, especially early in the season. Despite averaging 14 yards a catch he was not a consistent game changer his rookie year. Dobson was also not on the field throughout 2013 as he had a foot injury that required offseason surgery.

The injury carried over into 2014 causing Dobson to miss most of training camp and the first game against Miami. In his first active game against Minnesota, Dobson was quiet. He only had one catch for 13 yards and when Tom Brady did look deep, it was in the direction of Julian Edelman. Continue reading Why Aaron Dobson Could Hold the Key to the Patriots Offense »

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Rusney Castillo is excited to make his major league debut on Wednesday, and even though the 2014 Red Sox have convinced you otherwise, you should be too. (Boston Herald)

Mercifully, the New England Patriots are in the win column, and the 2014 season for the Boston Red Sox is in its final weeks.

Unfortunately, the Patriots only play once a week (hopefully more like Week 2 than Week 1), and there still isn’t any Celtics basketball or Bruins hockey to fill the space between each Sunday.

So even though I gave up on the Red Sox eons ago, I’m going to put myself through an exercise in futility and try to come up with reasons from here on out for why to watch the Red Sox in their final September death throes. If only because answering the question, “Is there a reason to watch the Red Sox anymore?” with a singular “No” would make for an unsatisfactory (albeit accurate) post.

Fittingly, we’ll start with the best (only?) reason of all to watch the Red Sox for the remainder of this wretched season: the unknown free agent out of Cuba, Rusney Castillo, who will make his debut on Wednesday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Continue reading Why Watch the Red Sox? For the Cuban Missile Rusney Castillo »

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Chandler Jones had a career game and pressure Cassel all day on his way to two sacks. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)

Following last week’s woeful performance in Miami, the Patriots were going into a real no win situation against the Vikings. If they won people would react with “so what, it’s the Vikings.” Yet if they lost on Sunday then everyone in New England would be in full-on panic mode just two weeks into the season. Luckily for us the Patriots handled their business as they should have and walked out of Minnesota with an impressive 30-7 victory.

- After the first couple of drives, it had the feel of “here we go again.” The Vikings looked unstoppable on their first possession. They converted on third down twice and killed the defense with crossing patterns which is exactly what Miami did last week. On the touchdown to Matt Asiata, no one picked Asiata up coming out of the backfield and he went untouched for 25 yards for the touchdown. It was definitely frustrating watching the defense be so clearly over-matched on the same types of plays, but luckily they made the correct adjustments and this was the only Vikings score of the game.

Continue reading Notes and Observations, Week 2: Defense Shines as Patriots Defeat Vikings 30-7 »

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1. Patriots – Minnesota:


* I know they won but that was a real bad opponent

* Crazy amount of penalties – 22 accepted for 221 yards

* Bill went with blue hoodie

* Why even watch kickoffs which are touchbacks, extra points and now field goals must be at 90% under 50 yards (Old Patriot John Smith was 28 for 63 from over 40 yards / 1-5 from 50 yards plus – Gostkowski is 12 for 16 from 50+)

* Jenny Dell in the house – in the CBS truck there were certainly calling for the camera man to pan out Continue reading Connelly Top Ten: Patriots Average Team – 10-6 »

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Coming in to the season, strong safety was one of the biggest question marks for the Patriots. After bringing in Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner to go along with Devin McCourty, Alfonzo Dennard, Logan Ryan, and Kyle Arrington, the Patriots looked impressive at every secondary spot except strong safety.

After two games, the picture has become clearer. In the opener against Miami, the Patriots used several different players at strong safety. Patrick Chung played 47 snaps, Tavon Wilson played 22 snaps, and Duron Harmon (the offseason favorite to win the job) played a mere four snaps. Nate Ebner also played one snap at strong safety*.  Chung played the majority of early down snaps, getting relieved for third down duties and in certain defensive sub packages. The Patriots were clearly most comfortable with Chung, but his overall durability leads to some concerns about depth at the position. Continue reading Analyzing the Patriots Strong Safety Rotation »

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Tyler Murphy (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

#9 USC, 31; Boston College, 37

Boston College rebounded from a week 2 home loss to Pittsburgh with an upset of ninth-ranked USC (2-1), the Eagles’ first win over a top 10 team since 2004. BC came back from a double-digit deficit to knock off the Trojans, who fell to 17th in the AP rankings. They also got their revenge for a 28-point beatdown in California last season.

USC took the lead halfway through the first quarter with an eight-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Cody Kessler to wide receiver George Farmer. Kicker Andre Heidari extended the advantage to 10-0 with a 52-yard field goal, and the Eagles punted in each of their first three offensive drives. Continue reading College Football Week 3 Roundup: BC Upsets USC, UMass Loses Heartbreaker »

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Patriots Top Vikings 30-7

September 14, 2014 at 7:42pm in Featured, Patriots, Top Story
Tom Brady will need more time in the pocket on Sunday (Steve Mitchell, USA Today Sports).

Well, Week 2 of the New England Patriots season is officially over. Coming off a tough loss in Week 1 to the Miami Dolphins, the Patriots looked like a completely different team in their Week 2 win over the Minnesota Vikings 30-7.

Defense wins championships

The Patriots defense looked solid with 4 interceptions against the former Patriot QB Matt Cassell, one each coming respectively from Darrelle Revis, Devin McCourty, Dominique Easley and Logan Ryan. The Patriots limited Cassell to 202 yards of passing and effectively eliminated Cordarelle Patterson from the equation altogether.

Additionally, Chandler Jones was stellar during his 70-yard FG block and return for a touchdown, which helped the Patriots increase their lead just before halftime. Continue reading Patriots Top Vikings 30-7 »

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