With a one-point victory, Turkey moves on to the Quarterfinals. (Gary M. Stolz/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

1. Patriots Preview:

* Lions are 4-6 against Patriots lifetime

* Movie Paper Lion about writer George Plimpton who workied out with the Lions in exhibition season starred Alan Alda and Lauren Hutton – it grossed $1.7mm at box office

* Bobby Layne was QB for eight years (1950-1958) and number is retired- threw for 118 TD and 142 INT

* Heisman Trophy winner that played for Detroit – Barry Sanders, Steve Owens, Doak Walker, Billy Sims, Leon Hart, Andre Ware

* Steve Belichick ran for 118 yards and 2 TD’s for the Lions in 1941

* Best draft pick – kicker Eddie Murray with the 166th pick in 1980 played in 250 games

* Hope boy named Suh doesn’t get near Brady’s knees

* Kicker Matt Prater is capable of 60 yards and more and might hit the concession stand between kicks Continue reading Connelly’s Top Ten: Best Holiday Around the Corner! »

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Bill Belichick jumped at the chance to bring back LeGarrette Blount after he was released by the Pittsburgh Steelers on Tuesday. (US Presswire)

Cue up the AC/DC: The New England Patriots are back in Blount.

Even having galloped over the Indianapolis Colts in last year’s playoffs, which earned him a Sports Illustrated cover with his record setting postseason performance, running back LeGarrette Blount left the Patriots this past offseason to sign with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

But after departing from the field early during the Steelers’ 27-24 on Monday Night Football, however, Blount was released amid reports of being malcontent with his role. Reports indicate Blount is at Gillette Stadium just two days later, and has signed with the team for two years after clearing waivers. The deal is for the veteran minimum, plus incentives, according to an ESPN report.

Continue reading Back in Blount: Patriots Sign LeGarrette Blount »

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Pablo Sandoval (galleryhip.com)

According to a source close with the team, the Red Sox are close to signing free agent 3B Pablo Sandoval to a 5 year, $100 million dollar contract with an option for a 6th year. This is not done yet, but in the words of the source, “90% he comes here.”

This is an interesting deal, if it turns out to be true. Sandoval is a proven playoff performer and he is surprisingly reliable in the field for his size. However, that’s a lot of money being thrown at someone his size and that money could be better spent on pitching. Either way, Sandoval will be a fan favorite very quickly if he can stay healthy and produce the way he has in San Francisco.

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When the Patriots face the Lions on Sunday at Gillette Stadium, they will have to defend the NFL’s best wide receiver Calvin Johnson. Johnson is in his eighth season and has been dominant in each of them. He has had over 1,000 yards in 5 of his previous seven seasons and has 520 yards and three touchdowns this season despite only playing seven games due to injury. His best season was 2012, in which he had 122 receptions for 1,964 yards and five touchdowns. He is a big play machine who is averaging 16 yards a catch and has averaged the same number through the course of his career.

Johnson is routinely double and tripled teamed and is always the focal point of his opponent’s defensive game plan. He is 6’5” tall, 236 pounds, and is one of the fastest receivers in the league. He has great hands and high football intelligence, meaning that he is rarely out of position and does not make many simple mistakes that hurt his team.  In the GIF below, one of Johnson’s best plays of his career is shown. He is triple covered in the end zone and is still able to come up with the catch. The special piece about Johnson is plays like this are not once-in-a-career plays, but rather plays that he can make regularly. Continue reading All-World Receiver Calvin Johnson Will Be a Handful for Patriots Pass Defense »

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pablo

The Boston Red Sox are “all in”  and “making a big push” to bring free agent Pablo Sandoval to Boston according ESPN reporter Gordon Edes. Sandoval and his agent have discussed 5-year, $80 to $90 million contracts with both the San Francisco Giants and the Red Sox, reports Jerry Crasnick of ESPN via Twitter.

Sandoval, who played for the 2014 World Championship Giants, told a reporter that he “loved being here,” enjoying the city and the Red Sox representatives he met with on Monday.

Continue reading Red Sox “All-in” on Pablo Sandoval »

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Kim Clement/USA TODAY Sports

After Rajon Rondo went 0-for-2 from the free throw line at one point eary in the game, I though to myself, “the games this year have been so close, poor free throw shooting will likely decide this one.” Sure enough, down four with 2.6 seconds on the clock, Rondo was shooting three free throws after Alex Len fouled him. If Rondo could just make two and miss the third, the Celtics could potentially tie the game seeing as they had one timeout left with enough time to execute a catch-and-shoot. Rondo, who went 2-for-10 from the stripe last night, missed all three, bringing the Celtics down to a 3-6 record.

With two fast-paced offensive teams squaring up, it was no surprise to see the both teams’ final scores exceed 100 points. The common problem these two teams share are their weak defenses. With the Suns missing their defensive anchor in P. J. Tucker and the Celtics simply missing a defensive anchor, both teams scored at will. Thus, it was the turnovers and free throws that decided the game. In this case, the Suns were victorious in a game where they beat the Celtics just as much as the Celtics beat themselves. Continue reading Free Throw Shooting the Difference as Suns Edge Celtics in Nail-Biter »

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Photo Courtesy of SI.com

Many Red Sox fans have been dreaming of free agent third basemen, Pablo Sandoval since August. Those dreams only intensified after he put together an extraordinary post-season. There have also been rumors circulating that the Red Sox are “all in” on the powerful switch hitter.  And various reports have indicated that Sandoval is in Boston to meet with Red Sox management.

After a terrible season and a flurry of trade-deadline roster moves Sox fans are anxiously awaiting the announcement of splashy free agent singings. Plus, with news of Giancarlo Stanton signing one of the most lucrative deals in the history of sports, the Braves and Cardinals swapping stars, and the rival Blue Jays locking up catcher, Russell Martin—Sox fans are now desperately awaiting any sort of positive news from the free agent front.

But can Sandoval help the Sox contend in 2015? Continue reading Why the Red Sox DON’T Want Pablo Sandoval »

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