Quarterbacks Tom Brady and Peyton Manning shake hands after Brady led his team back from a 24-0 deficit in a shocking win against the Broncos. Brady will be looking for another victory this weekend against his rival. (Getty Images)

1. Patriots win – Bring on Peyton and the Un-spiral:

MISC

* How nice was it to see Gronk, Amendola and Edelman in the first huddle
* Red seats empty to start the second half in a playoff game
* I’ve always thought in any team sport if you get to the championship game of your conference the season was a huge success
* No superstar in the history of sports (I don’t think this is hyperbole) gets cheap shot more than Tom Brady (maybe Orr with stuck out knees)
* Lucky for the NFL that Chandler Jones wasn’t the Patriots nominee for the Walter Payton award

OFFENSE

* Amazing audible by Brady to flip play to stop and go for Gronk TD
* What a message to the team when Brady is sacrificing his body for the greater good
* I think they can get rid of the fake end around and lob pass into the flat
* Scott Chandler along for the ride
* Almost saw Brandon LaFell’s head blow up when Brady try to audible at the end of the third quarter Continue reading Connelly’s Top Ten: Peyton-Brady — What Could be Better? »

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Patriots, Chiefs

1.Patriots – KC Preview:

* First time Patriots ever played the Chiefs in postseason – look at #4 below

* During 11 game winning streak – 8 wins against non-playoff teams

* KC Interceptions 22 to 7 (ranked 2nd / ranked 1st)

* Completion %: 66% to 57%

* Alex Smith has less rushing TD’s than Brady 2-3

* No return for TD’s

* Kicker Cairo Santos – 13-19 from 40 yards out (missed two extra points)

* Seven defenders with at least four sacks (get ready Tom)

* Defender Marcus Peters has 26 deflections – seems like a lot

* Kelce killed Pats last year (8 receptions / 93 yards / 1 TD) Continue reading Connelly’s Top Ten: Hank Stram Not Walking Thru that Door »

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Chandler-jones

According to police records and several media outlets, Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones was hospitalized on Sunday due to a medical emergency. The cause of the hospitalization has not been made public.

Jones arrived at the Foxborough police department on Sunday morning and was evaluated by five officers and subsequently taken to the hospital. An officer was also sent to Jones’ home in order to “secure the residence.”

While acknowledging that Jones had been to the hospital, the Patriots said in a statement that Jones had shown up for work on Monday and not missed any meetings or practice.  The Foxborough Police Department initially did not acknowledge that it dealt with Jones but later did and added that it was due to a “medical call.”

At this point, details are not easy to come across and it does not appear that this incident will affect Jones’ status for the team’s playoff game on Saturday. Things could change between now and then and this story bears monitoring over the next several days.

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Bill Belichick

1. Around the NFL Playoffs:

* All four road teams win – yikes

* Actually felt bad for Hoyer yesterday (are we sure JJ Watt is a little bit over-rated?)

* Goodell at Minnesota – checking on PSI?

* Watching the NBC game with no rooting interest – I must admit that Collinsworth is the best analyst

* How lucky is Seattle in the playoffs – Green Bay drops onside kick last year / this year Minnesota kicker misses chip shot

* Punk Joey Porter who is the linebacker coach made the biggest play of the year for the Steelers going out on the field for no reason and baiting the Bengals into a 15 yard penalty

2. Bad Karma:

* Burfict is an animal (Dale Hunter x 2) – he will go down as the most out of control player in sports history and will forever be remembered for Saturday night Continue reading Connelly’s Top Ten: Another Bad Weekend for Patriots »

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Julian Edelman

There’s good news on the injury front for the Patriots, according to WHDH Sports Director Joe Amorosino.

Wide receiver Julian Edelman has been cleared to play in Saturday’s game against the Chiefs. Continue reading Julian Edelman Cleared to Play Against Chiefs »

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www.rantsports.com

Saturday afternoon the Patriots, with a #2 seed bye, had the opportunity to watch their next opponent, the red hot Kansas City Chiefs, who annihilated the Houston Texas during the first game of Wild Card Weekend with a final score of 30-0. The Chiefs were dominant on defense and forced a shaky Houston offense into a borderline embarrassing performance. Kansas City was able to get after Houston quarterback Brian Hoyer forcing a fumble and four interceptions. Despite the pressure put on by the Chiefs defensive line Hoyer was also his own worst enemy making terrible decisions, particularly in the red zone. Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith and the KC offense was efficient against a tough Houston defensive that held them to just six points in the first half however they led 13-0 at the break thanks to a 106-yard kickoff returned for a touchdown by Knile Davis to start the game. In the second half the Chiefs were able to open up the lead as Hoyer and the Texans continued to shoot themselves in the foot. Kansas City, playing on the road, was not phased by the 71,000 screaming  fans or defensive stud J.J. Watt who they avoided with quick hitting pass plays, screens, sweeps and extra manpower. Alex Smith finished the day 17 of 22 for 190 yards with a touchdown and a rare interception, coach Andy Reid’s experience and game plan worked perfectly. Kansas City is now riding an 11-game win streak coming into Foxborough for next week’s divisional round playoff match up and should be as confident as ever.

One key problem for the Chiefs is the status of star receiver Jeremy Macklin who has been a go to guy for Alex Smith all season. Macklin suffered and injury to his ACL late in the second half of the win in Houston and did not return. He is due to have an MRI today to assess the extent of the damage, KC fans will be crossing their fingers in hopes that Macklin does not have a tear in that right knee. Maclin caught 87 passes for 1,088 yards and eight touchdowns during the regular season. Also banged up coming into the game against the Patriots will be Tamba Hali with a thumb and knee injury who had limited action against the Texans but is a key figure in the pass rush for KC that will be essential to getting pressure on Tom Brady, the formula for disrupting the flow of the Patriots offense. Linebacker Justin Houston also seemed to tweak his knee which has been a lingering injury for him this season causing him to miss five games. Continue reading Pats Draw Streaking Chiefs For Divisional Round Playoff »

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1. Around the NFL:

* Amazing all four road teams are favored (I go with Houston, Washington, Seattle and Pittsburgh)

* Revis not going to the White House this year

* Welker in 8 games in St. Louis – 13 receptions / He would have had 50 receptions in New England – ugh

* 7 of the top 10 teams in hitting the quarterback did not make the playoffs

* Brady went 598 passes without getting hurt before the punk Suh jumped on his leg two weeks before playoffs

* So the press are hands off with Peyton because he didn’t do anything – it was his wife / neither did Brady – they claimed it was McNally

* Someone called talk radio and said apply same measurement to Peyton as Brady – Reasonable doubt

2. Isaiah Thomas 2015 vs. Antoine Walker 2002:

* Thomas season pace shooting threes: 159-486 (.327) / Turnovers 234 Continue reading Connelly’s Top Ten: Go Steelers! »

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