1. Patriots vs. Titans:

* Remember the Titans over-rated / Varsity Blue under-rated

* Last time the Patriots played Tennessee in the cold – 59-0 / Titans quit / Brady 5 TD passes in one quarter

* Skilled players Brady has lost this year – Lewis, Edleman, Blount, Gronk, Amendola, Dobson

* Tennessee has a – 9 takeaway differential

* Mariota sacked 35 times – maybe Chandler Jones can fall on him and get a 1/2 sack

* Titan punter Brian Kern has punted 68 times this year

2. Update on the local teams:

* Patriots on pace to go 13-3 / Superbowl Odds 4 to 1 (1st) Continue reading Connelly’s Top Ten: Remember the Titans – Stink »

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There was no one happier to see Rob Gronkowski back than Tom Brady as the two connected on a touchdown pass.(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

After losing two games in a row you knew there was no way the Patriots were going to lose Sunday against the Texans. With Belichick and Tom Brady involved the Patriots haven’t lost more than two games in a row since 2002. Offensively the team is still banged up but the return of Rob Gronkowski made an immediate impact. Julian Edelman returned to the practice field much earlier than anyone expected, granted it was light work but still a positive sight nonetheless. Both of those only added to the fact that the Bengals lost the game and Andy Dalton for potentially the rest of the season and the Broncos blew a 12-0 lead at home against the Raiders. The Patriots took the opening and now control their own destiny.

– Sunday night was the most balanced offensive game plan that they’ve used all year. Tom Brady finished with 30 pass attempts while the team as a whole ran the ball 31 times. They finally decided to stick with the run and it paid dividends. LeGarrette Blount looked to be having his most productive game of the season rushing 10 times for 53 yards. Unfortunately his day and season were ended early. Brandon Bolden showed a good burst for his first extended look of the season finishing with 51 yards on 16 carries. James White started to make more of an impact in the passing game gaining 27 yards on a screen pass. It’s a shame that one of the best rushing games for the year is marred by the loss of Blount. Continue reading Notes and Observations Week 14: Patriots Take Control of The AFC, Defeat Texans 27-6 »

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1. Patriots – Texans:

* MISC

* Great day for Patriots – they win, Denver and Cincy lose (and Rex)

* The curse of Houston’s turf which ate up Wes Welker’s knee – Freeney, McCourty, Chung, Easley, Blount

* Patriots have a higher winning percentage when Ebner doesn’t kick off

* Brady should have overthrew a receiver and buzzed Houston owner McNair like Ebby Laloosh hitting the bull or Burt Reynolds throw into the lower region of prison guard Bogdanski (played by Ray Nitschke) in the Longest Yard

* Why was Gronk catching a seam pass up 27-6 late in the 4th quarter?

* What makes the Patriots great – special teams players Slater and King despite the ball going through the end zone still sprinted the entire length of the field to see who was first to touch the returner

* Vince looks heavier

* REFS

* Took away two touchdowns on the first scoring drive and they still scored Continue reading Connelly’s Top Ten: Patriots Get Business-Like Win in Houston »

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Carson Smith (Otto Greule Jr./Getty Images)

The Red Sox made headlines early in the offseason with their blockbuster acquisition of All-World closer Craig Kimbrel, who basically makes a ninth inning lead an automatic win. There is no question that Kimbrel immediately stabilized what was one of the worst relief corps in the Majors last season, but another trade for a reliever could be just as important for the Red Sox. Sending Wade Miley and Jonathan Aro to Seattle for Carson Smith and Roenis Elias will likely be almost as beneficial to the Red Sox bullpen as acquiring Kimbrel in an effort to shorten games.

It might have been easy to miss Smith’s brilliance on the West Coast last season, but he dominated from wire to wire and ended up closing games for the Mariners. He only ended up saving 13 games, but every other statistic was outstanding for Smith: strikeout rate (11.83 K/9), walk rate (2.83 BB/9), homerun rate (0.26 HR/9), average against (.192), ground ball rate (64.8%), ERA (2.31), FIP (2.12), and xFIP (2.36). All of this success occurred without a blazing fastball (90.5 average fastball, 92.5 average sinker), which lessens his reliance on the strikeout to be effective. Further, those numbers were achieved without any help in luck-based stats like BABIP allowed (.292) or strand rate (78.5%). This suggests that Smith’s outstanding performance in 2015 is repeatable, and that he can be a versatile setup ace in front of Kimbrel and Koji Uehara.

Continue reading Carson Smith Reshapes Red Sox Bullpen »

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1. Patriots – Texans preview:

* Patriots connections – Vince Wilfork, Bill O’Brien, Brian Hoyer, Mallett before he got fired

* Don’t forget Houston owner Bob McNair ripped Tom Brady for phone destruction – McNair made much of his money selling his company to ENRON

* One of the most popular destinations for tourists in Houston – Waugh Bridge where 250,000 bats live

* JJ Watt broke his hand picking up that Papa John’s slice?

* Welker blew out his knee in Houston – ugh

* Patriots beat Panthers in Super Bowl in Houston

* Top six in endorsements in NFL per Forbes: 6. Brady ($7mm) 5. Watt ($7.5mm) 4. Rodgers (7.5mm) 3. Eli ($8mm) 2. Brees ($11mm) 1. Peyton $12mm

* Marcus Cannon vs. JJ Watt – United States vs. Grenada Continue reading Connelly’s Top Ten: JJ Watt is not Slick »

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In Dave Dombrowski We Trust

December 9, 2015 at 7:49pm in Featured, Opinion, Red Sox, Top Story
dombrowski gammons daily

Too many cooks spoil the soup.

Dave Dombrowski is the only cook we need. He has proven he has the trust of the owners. He has the experience and the proven track record to boot. Most importantly, though, is the trust, something Ben Cherington most likely never really had.

As a Red Sox fan, I sat back and watched Cherington, time after time, not pull the trigger on a player. I ultimately came to the conclusion that a committee comprised of owners and front office staff made all trades and acquisitions.

More people mean more opinions. Too many cooks left us finishing dead last in back-to-back seasons. Continue reading In Dave Dombrowski We Trust »

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The blocked punt for a touchdown at the end of the first half gave the Eagles all the momentum they needed to upset the defending Super Bowl Champions. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Losing twice in a row is not something we are accustomed to as fans of the New England Patriots. Since Bill Belichick has been the coach of the team they’ve only lost two games in a row 11 times, including Sunday’s game. It’s a luxury most teams in the NFL have not been afforded. When it happens in New England it’s easy to expect doom and gloom from all the talk shows because something must be wrong, right? The good news about Sunday’s game is that it can easily be chalked up to an anomaly.

– Let’s start off with that absolutely stupid fake, drop kick that they made Nate Ebner attempt. I definitely understand trying to practice these trick plays in real game scenarios which is why I was 100% in agreement with the onside kick against the Redskins. Obviously it’s easy to look at the onside kick against Washington with positive eyes since the play worked. Even if that play failed they were firing with a loaded gun on offense with Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, Rob Gronkowski, and Dion Lewis all healthy and playing. If the onside kick fails and the Redskins score, the Patriots still had their full offense to gain the points back. On Sunday they were playing without Lewis, Edelman, Gronk, and Amendola has been hobbled with a bum knee. What is the point to trying that play in that situation? The only thing it did was anger the Eagles for “disrespecting” them and it gave life to a team that was down 14-0, on the road, and has already shown a track record for giving up in the middle of games.  Continue reading Notes and Observations Week 13: Patriots Embarrass Themselves at Home, Lose to Eagles 35-28 »

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