Why Tedy Bruschi Believes Patriots Will Take Down Vikings In Week 13 Clash

The New England Patriots will face one of their toughest tests of the season Sunday afternoon when they welcome the Minnesota Vikings to Gillette Stadium.
Save for the Chicago Bears, the Vikings arguably feature the strongest defense the Patriots will see in the regular season. But despite Minnesota’s defensive prowess, Tedy Bruschi still believes his former team will come out victorious in Week 13.
“I’m going to take the Patriots in this one,” Bruschi said during Friday’s edition of “NFL Live” on ESPN. “The Vikings have a great defense, there’s no doubt about that. The players that they have, the pass rush that they have. I just think that the short and intermediate throws, the completions to (Julian) Edelman, to (James) White, those type of throws are what Tom Brady is going to lean on heavily. So I’m going to take the Patriots.”

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The Vikings aren’t nearly as strong against the pass as they are against the run, so Bruschi’s logic is fairly sound. The former linebacker also believes a healthy Rob Gronkowski will pay dividends, as Brady now has his full arsenal of weapons including Rex Burkhead, who recently was lifted off injured reserve.
Not all NFL analysts are rolling with the Patriots this Sunday, however. Bruschi’s co-panelist, former head coach John Fox, believes the Vikings’ desire to stay in the NFC North title hunt will lift them to a road win, while Ray Lewis also is picking Minnesota.

Tom Brady Reaches Out To Patriots Fan Who Lost House In California Fire

Sometimes a simple gesture goes a long way.
There have been countless heartbreaking stories coming out of the fires that devastated the state of California, including one New England Patriots fan named Christian, who’s story grabbed the attention of Tom Brady.
The Patriots quarterback took to Instagram on Thursday looking for Christian after the fan posted that he lost his Paradise, Calif., home in the fire and only was able to save his Brady jersey. Brady asked for help in locating Christian so he could send him a game ball to go along with his jersey.
In his press conference Friday, Brady told reporters he got a hold of the fan and he was in the process of sending him the ball.

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“I think you just feel the pain but also you know that they could grab something – but I mean, I can’t imagine losing my house and everything I own,” Brady said, per Boston.com. “That would be very difficult.”
The 41-year-old Bay Area native noted how stories like Christian’s put things in perspective for athletes.

“You lose a game and you feel like, ‘Man, the whole world’s caving in,’ but it’s really – keeping things in perspective, you realize there’s a lot of people dealing with a lot of things that are very tough,” Brady said. “And just to be able to provide support, I think for us as athletes, is pretty cool and important in what we do.”

MLB Rumors: These Two Teams ‘Leading Contenders’ In Nathan Eovaldi Sweepstakes

No one could have imagined early in the 2018 Major League Baseball campaign that Nathan Eovaldi would be one of the most highly sought after free-agent pitchers in the offseason. But here we are.
After being acquired by the Boston Red Sox in a mid-season trade with the Tampa Bay Rays, Eovaldi turned in an absolutely stellar playoff run, totaling a 2-1 record with a 1.61 ERA and 16 strikeouts over 22 1/3 innings. The right-hander was especially sharp in the World Series, collecting a 1.13 ERA with six strikeouts over eight total innings in Boston’s five-game win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Given his performances in October, coupled with his ability to seamlessly transition from a relief role to starter, it comes as no surprise that Eovaldi reportedly is drawing league-wide interest in free agency. But according to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, it might truly be a two-horse race for the flamethrower.

Source tells me the Nathan Eovaldi market is heating up, with Red Sox and Astros viewed as two of the leading contenders. Other teams remain in the mix, as well.

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— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) November 30, 2018

Both the Astros and Red Sox are in danger of losing key arms on the open market, as Dallas Keuchel, Charlie Morton, Craig Kimbrel and Joe Kelly all are free agents. It’s worth noting that Eovaldi is an Alvin, Texas native, but the righty also has previously mentioned it would be “hard” to leave Boston after its memorable run to a championship.
This offseason very well could be Eovaldi’s greatest opportunity to secure a lucrative contract, though, so it would be tough to blame the 28-year-old for going with the highest bidder.

Patriots Now: Roster Gets Healthy As Hunt For The No. 1 Seed Heats Up

The New England Patriots are rounding into form.
After trouncing the New York Jets in Week 12, the Patriots now welcome the Minnesota Vikings into Gillette Stadium. NESN.com’s Michaela Vernava details the state of the Pats as they chase the Kansas City Chiefs for the No. 1 seed in the AFC in this week’s episode of “Patriots Now.”

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The Patriots roster also looks as healthy as it has since Week 1 with only tight end Dwayne Allen listed on the injury report heading into game day.
Watch the full episode in the video above.

Celtics Vs. Cavs Live Stream: Watch NBA Game Online

The Boston Celtics haven’t gotten off to the start most predicted, but Brad Stevens’ club can continue to right the ship Friday night at TD Garden.
After finishing their three-game road trip with a win over the New Orleans Pelicans, the C’s return home to take on the struggling Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night.
Without LeBron James, the Cavs have sunk to the bottom of the Eastern Conference at 4-16. Rookie point guard Collin Sexton has been playing better of late, but that’s really all the Cavs have to hang their hat on.

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Here’s how you can watch Celtics-Cavs online:
When: Friday, Nov. 30, at 7 p.m.
Live Stream: NBC Sports Boston

Here’s What Kevin McHale Believes Is Main Reason For Celtics’ Struggles

Through 21 games, the Boston Celtics have yet to look like the championship-caliber team many believed they would be before the season began.
Boston sits at a mediocre 11-10. The C’s offense has been borderline offensive at times, and while the defense looks good on paper it has been torched by a number of guards, from Jamal Murray to Trey Burke.
So, what’s the problem with the Green? Kevin McHale thinks he has an idea.
The Celtics legend spoke with the Boston Herald’s Steve Bulpett and explained why head coach Brad Stevens is in a tough spot.
“I think they’re in a spot where they’re trying to keep a lot of players involved and a lot of players happy and catching a rhythm for a lot of players,” McHale told Bulpett. “That’s always really hard. I’ve always believed that you need to make sure, as a coach, that your three or four top guys are in a great rhythm, and then after that you’re going to have to have guys that fill in and play. You can’t make everybody happy all the time. That’s a tough thing.

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“And granted, I think with Boston, one of the toughest things for Brad (Stevens) might be deciding who his top three of four guys are. There’s a lot of guys on that team that can really play. But at some point, you’ve got to go to guys and say, ‘Look, I’m going to run my offense and these certain guys are going to get a few more shots. I’ve got to make sure they get going. I’m going to give them a few more minutes.’”
McHale noted the C’s are facing an issue most teams don’t have to think about.
“But it’s a tough, tough situation, because at some point you’re going to have to bruise some egos and sit some people down. I’ve never seen any coach be capable of keeping 10 or 11 guys all happy, especially when they’re all really good. I mean, it’s one thing to keep your 11th man happy when he knows he’s not going to ever play; he’s just happy to be in the league. That’s not the case in Boston.”
Stevens already has made a tough decision by sending forward Gordon Hayward to the bench and inserting Marcus Morris into the starting lineup. The head coach likely will have another difficult call in front of him when Jaylen Brown returns from his bruised tailbone. The Celtics played well with Marcus Smart in the starting lineup in a win over the New Orleans Pelicans and some believe the defensive maven should stay in the starting five even when the struggling Brown returns.
The Celtics have a favorable schedule in front of them which could allow them to right the ship, but if they don’t take advantage of lesser opponents it will be time to sound the alarm at TD Garden.

People’s United Bank Goal Of The Month: Pick Best Bruins Goal From November

November was a successful month for the Boston Bruins, all things considered.
The Bruins were ravaged by injuries throughout November but still managed to post a 7-4-2 record for the month. This was due in large part to a handful of timely goals, resulting in a few thrilling finishes.
As exciting as a number of November games were, Bruins fans now have even more to be excited about because NESN and People’s United Bank are partnering up for the “People’s United Bank Goal of the Month”sweepstakes.
Below are three of the Bruins’ top goals from the past month. Choose the one you think is the best of the bunch and enter to win a personal VIP tour of the NESN studio and watch the hockey pre-game show live!
Here are this month’s nominees:

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Goal 1: Brad Marchand’s Overtime Tally Vs. Stars
It looked as though the Bruins were bound for a shootout in their second game of November, but the overtime king had other plans. After receiving a crisp pass from David Krejci in the final minute of sudden death vs. Dallas, Marchand slowly crept toward former Bruin Anton Khudobin before rifling home the game-winning goal.
Goal 2: David Pastrnak Completes Hat Trick Vs. Maple Leafs
Netting a hat trick is a great feat regardless of the opponent, but it’s certainly a little sweeter when it comes against a longtime division rival. Pastrnak finished off a picture-perfect give-and-go with Brad Marchand for his third goal of the game against Toronto, marking his third career hat trick.
Goal 3: John Moore Pots Game-Winner Vs. Canadiens
The veteran defenseman couldn’t have picked a better time to score his first goal in a Bruins uniform. With Boston and Montreal deadlocked at 2-2 with roughly three minutes to play, Moore capitalized on an opportunistic rebound, breaking the tie on the power play to help lift the B’s to a hard-fought road win.
First, make sure you read and agree to the official rules (https://nesn.com/goal-of-the-month-official-rules/). Then cast your vote and completely fill out the form below and you will be entered into our monthly drawing for a chance to win a personal VIP tour of the NESN studio and watch the hockey pre-game show live in studio.

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NBA Rumors: Wizards’ Otto Porter Jr. Eyed By This Team For Potential Trade

The Sacramento Kings reportedly are willing to rescue Otto Porter Jr. from the Washington Wizards’ crumbling fortunes.
The Kings are monitoring the Wizards’ situation with the idea of trading for the small forward, The Atlantic’s Jason Jones reported Friday, citing NBA sources. The Wizards reportedly are prepared to make every player available for trade if their results don’t improve, and the Kings are willing to use the opportunity to pursue Porter, whom they unsuccessfully tried to sign as a restricted free agent in 2017.

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Sacramento has started surprisingly well, and adding a talented small forward might push the 10-11 Kings further into playoff contention in the Western Conference. Porter is averaging 11.8 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game this season, and the Kings have enough salary-cap flexibility to add the $26.5 million annual wages of a player who might fit their needs.
Bringing about that scenario would depend, of course, on how hard a bargain the Wizards will try to drive with the Kings.

How Julian Edelman Balances Playing Smart With Desire To ‘Go 120’

FOXBORO, Mass. — Julian Edelman went airborne multiple times during last Sunday’s win over the New York Jets, crashing hard to the MetLife Stadium turf on two separate occasions.
The New England Patriots wide receiver, who’s made a living absorbing bone-crushing hits from much larger defenders, was asked Friday whether he ever thinks about preserving his body when he’s on the field. Is it the best idea to allow yourself to be cartwheeled through the air like that?
His answer was enlightening.
Edelman, who missed all of last season with a torn ACL, said he’d much rather deal with an awkward fall if it means avoiding another potential knee injury, especially following the NFL’s ban on hits to the head.
“I mean, sometimes you feel like you’re preserving yourself (when you go airborne),” he said, “because with the new rules, they’re not going to hit you high. So I’d rather tumble and fall on a back or a shoulder than have my knees taken out, which is the route this league’s going. So sometimes, that is that kind of decision.”

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Edelman knows, though, that there’s danger on every play in the NFL, especially when you play the perilous position of slot receiver.
“The game is unpredictable,” the 32-year-old said. “You try to control the chaos, but you can’t always control the chaos. Sometimes, you bite your lip. Sometimes, you just jump. And when you’re in that air, you’re by the grace of God. So I don’t know.”
Since returning from suspension in Week 5, Edelman ranks second among Patriots pass-catchers with 44 receptions for 510 yards and is tied for the team lead with three receiving touchdowns. He’s been limited with foot, heel and ankle injuries at times but was removed from the injury report ahead of Sunday’s matchup with the Minnesota Vikings.
“I’m going to go out there, and I’m going to play hard,” Edelman said. “And obviously, you’ve got to play smart the older you get in this league. But I go 120 (miles per hour). That’s just what I do. Unfortunately, it’s a strength and a weakness.”

NESN Soccer Podcast: Greg Berhalter New USA Coach? Copa Libertadores Chaos

After running the inside track for months, Gregg Berhalter appears to have won the race to become the next coach of the United States men’s soccer team.
Berhalter will leave his job as the Columbus Crew’s head coach for a similar role with Team USA as soon as next week, according to CBS’ Roger Gonzalez, whose reporting seemingly confirms U.S. soccer’s most open secret. After 13 months of body-and-soul searching, the U.S. men’s national team finally will hire a coach to take it forward.
In the latest episode of the “NESN Soccer Podcast,” Marc DiBenedetto and Marcus Kwesi O’Mard offer their first reactions to Berhalter’s presumably imminent hiring as U.S. coach and try to answer questions about why the U.S. Soccer Federation might have opted to appoint him.

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O’Mard and DiBenedetto next turn to the chaos surrounding the 2018 Copa Libertadores final. The second leg of the Boca Juniors versus River Plate matchup was supposed to take place last Saturday, but an attack on Boca Juniors’ team bus started a chain of events, which ended with CONMEBOL ultimately deciding to stage the game Dec. 9 in Madrid, Spain.
Finally, they preview Arsenal versus Tottenham, Liverpool versus Everton and the other biggest games of the coming weekend.
Listen to the latest episode below on Soundcloud or here on the NESN Podcast Network.