The Patriots and Chiefs have played five times since Reid took over the Chiefs, and while the Patriots are 3-2 in those games, Kansas City has scored an average of 34.8 points per game that has made the New England defense look like the French army. And with Patrick Mahomes at quarterback, Kansas City has scored 71 points in the last two games against the Patriots, including 40 in Foxboro last year.
Upon closer inspection, one can’t help but wonder if the Patriots defense is a little overrated. Against Baltimore and Houston, the Pats allowed 65 points while opponents went a combined 12-for-22 on third and fourth downs – a whopping 55 percent. Kansas City steps up to bat this week - in Foxboro.
But again, back to the question: would Belichick have turned Jackson loose like this? Would anyone other than John Harbaugh, who has altered his entire operation to accommodate one singular talent? No way. At least not Belichick, whose entire philosophy is built on system and team … maybe to a fault.
Mazz: Why don't we have an answer yet on Chris Sale - and is he the linchpin of the Red Sox offseason?
So what’s going on here? Is Sale OK and are the Red Sox looking to trade him after foolishly signing him to a five-year, $145-million contract that has yet to even begin? Or is Sale injured and are the Red Sox busy trying to find ways to completely rebuild their starting rotation as a result?
The big news, as it turns out, is that Gronk is hosting a Super Bowl party. So there you go. Can we now stop with all the nonsensical and downright selfish talk of a comeback?
While other sports launch free agency with a frenzy of moves, news leaks and announcements, baseball is still delivering its mail via the Pony Express. And meanwhile, you end up spending Christmas focusing on something else.
While the Celtics were defeating the upstart Dallas Mavericks for their eighth straight win last night, Tatum was having arguably the worst shooting night in Celtics history. Let me repeat that: Last night, TATUM HAD ARGUABLY THE WORST SHOOTING NIGHT IN CELTICS HISTORY. And if that sounds like an exaggeration, it isn’t.
Let’s remember that the Red Sox are in a fairly tight predicament. They want to shed about $30 million or more in payroll while addressing needs at first base, second base and on the mound. They have a thin farm system. And they want to contend at the time.
Somebody - or somebodies - must go. And we mean somebody (or more than one) from the group of Nathan Eovaldi ($17 million), David Price ($31 million), Chris Sale ($25.6 million) and, yes, Mookie Betts, the last of whom has a projected salary of $27.7 million next summer and will be a free agent at the end of the 2020 season.
Does that mean the Patriots erred in trading away the man whom many (including Belichick) deemed Brady’s successor? No. Garoppolo still comes with lots of questions, durability first among them. But if there’s anyone out there still suggesting that Garoppolo was some sort of flash in the pan … stop. Don’t embarrass yourself. He can play.
Let’s not pretend that we know what Chaim Bloom is – or will be – because the truth is that we don’t have a clue. Sometimes, there is just no way to know how someone will perform until he is in the actual position.
Under Brad Stevens, the Celtics never won a playoff series without Al Horford. In meaningful games, they lost convincingly. So it's fair to wonder if Horford, not Kyrie Irving, was the bigger loss for the team.
The Cleveland Browns are the next victims, who are scheduled to face the Patriots at Gillette Stadium late Sunday afternoon in what may very well the greatest coaching mismatch in NFL history. Once that happens, we can earnestly begin talk of another undefeated Patriots season because what the Patriots are doing right now is making a mockery of the entire NFL.
New from Mazz: The Astros and Nationals' dominance in the league championship series are showing why starting pitching still matters in October.
Incredible as it seems, the AFC race is over. The only way the Patriots will fail to host the AFC Championship Game is if they blow it.
Know what I think? I think the Red Sox knew a year ago – or more – that Friedman was entering the final year of his contract and that he might want to come to Boston. Heck, they probably talked to him – or someone close to him – while the Red Sox were cleaning up on the Dodgers in the 2018 World Series. And that is probably why Friedman hasn’t agreed to new terms with the Dodgers.
A great deal has to happen between now and February for Brady and Garoppolo to meet in the Super Bowl. But it's also fun to discuss.
Beginning with last year’s Super Bowl – a game won on defense – the Pats are now 2-0 in their last two games when scoring fewer than 20 points. If you think that sample isn’t big enough, you might be right. But while we’re waiting for more evidence, let’s also tell you that the 2003-04 Patriots went 7-0 in their final seven games when scoring fewer than 20 points.
Rick Porcello's Red Sox career is probably over, barring moves in the offseason. Tony Massarotti asks the question, was Porcello worth it? Watch as Mazz breaks down the numbers.
But if Epstein can’t get by whatever issue he had (or has) with Henry, well … forget it. Ditto for Jed Hoyer, the Cubs general manager who has been by Epstein’s side for much of his career. Sniping at Henry is easy for all us, to be sure, but Epstein has had enough failures now that we can question the size of his ego, too.
The Red Sox have some highly paid starting pitchers, but when it comes to ERA, they're in the basement. Tony Mazz has the numbers - is the team getting what it pays for?
Mazz: With Next Hire, Henry And The Red Sox Need Experience and Stability - And To Stay Out Of The Way
Today, the Red Sox find themselves in the unfortunate position of having significant needs while also possessing very little payroll flexibility and a decrepit farm system. It’s not an easy job. And the idea that Red Sox owners want “a more collaborative model between ownership and their next head of baseball operations” scares the bejeezus out of me for obvious reasons.
The Boston Red Sox need to trim the payroll in order to get under the luxury tax threshold, and that means we could be looking at some departures that we aren't ready to say goodbye to.
Make no mistake, what Dombrowski’s Sox achieved this year was every bit as extraordinary as in 2018: for the first time in a long, long time – maybe ever? – the Red Sox played a season in which they were largely irrelevant.
Over a quarter of Mookie Betts' home runs this year have come in just three games, leaving the rest to be balanced throughout the rest of the season.