FOXBORO, Mass. — The Patriots have some life.
New England allowed the Kansas City Chiefs to score 23 unanswered points after the Patriots’ opening-drive touchdown in the first quarter. And the home team finally began to chip away at its deficit in the third.
After Nate Ebner blocked a punt to give New England prime field position, Tom Brady passed the ball off to Brandon Bolden who ran it 10 yards to the house to make 23-13 Chiefs with 4:23 left in the quarter.
Check it out:
[email protected] capitalize on the blocked punt with a Brandon Bolden TD! #GoPats @BB_HulkSmash
: #KCvsNE on CBS: NFL app // Yahoo Sports appWatch free on mobile: https://t.co/D5AfU98qAh pic.twitter.com/CSwDDFakde
— NFL (@NFL) December 8, 2019
And just like that, the Pats are back in it.
Skip Bayless seems to believe the Patriots had us all fooled early in the season.
The reigning Super Bowl champions were looking like world-beaters to start the campaign, but it’s been quite the opposite thus far in the second half. New England’s offense, quite frankly, was nonexistent the past four weeks, and even the vaunted defense has begun to show some cracks.
The Patriots’ woes continued early Sunday evening as the Kansas City Chiefs jumped out to a 20-7 halftime lead at Gillette Stadium. Bayless, who typically defends New England, wasn’t at all impressed with what he saw from Bill Belichick’s squad through two quarters and took to Twitter to offer the “truth” about the Patriots.
Shannon Sharpe has said all year the Patriots' defense is overrated. He's right. Brady doesn't even have a defense that can have his back. The truth is, the Patriots aren't a very good football team outside their quarterback.
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) December 8, 2019
Yeah, that feels a bit dramatic.
The fact of the matter is, the concern in New England would be at an even greater level if it weren’t for the defense, which now is tasked with playing at an even higher level as the offense continues to be unimpressive. As for Brady, it’s been a pretty mediocre campaign to date, and the lack of weapons line of reasoning only can go so far.
One thing is for sure, though. New England has quite a bit of work to do if it wants to stage a deep playoff run.
The Boston Celtics could regain a key player Monday night.
Gordon Hayward (left hand fracture) has been upgraded to “questionable” for the Celtics’ matchup against the Cavaliers at TD Garden, the team announced Sunday afternoon. The star has been rehabbing from surgery he had after fracturing his hand during Boston’s 135-115 victory over the San Antonio Spurs. on Nov. 9
Robert Williams (left hip soreness) has been downgraded to “out.” Romeo Langford remains out with a right ankle sprain.
#NEBHInjuryReport for tomorrow vs Cleveland:
Gordon Hayward (left hand fracture) – QUESTIONABLERomeo Langford (right ankle sprain) – OUTRob Williams (left hip soreness) – OUT
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) December 8, 2019
Hayward appears optimistic about making a return sooner rather than later, telling reporters he could potentially return as early as Monday hours before the injury report was released.
“See how you feel when you wake up, go through shootaround,” Hayward said, per The Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn. “We’ll see how it goes.”
This news surely will have Celtics fans on the edge of their seats for the next 24 hours. Monday’s tip-off is slated for 7:30 p.m. ET.
The Los Angeles Rams by no means are out of the playoff picture, and they’ve got a chance this week to prove they belong in the postseason.
L.A. Coliseum on Sunday will play host to the Rams and Seattle Seahawks in the Week 14 “Sunday Night Football” matchup.
At 7-5, the Rams entered the week one spot out of the second wild card in the NFC, while the 10-2 Seahawks would own a bye as the No. 2 seed if the postseason started today. This is the second meeting between the two division foes, with the Seahawks besting L.A. 30-29 in Seattle back in Week 5.
Here’s how to watch Seahawks vs. Rams:
When: Sunday, Dec. 6, at 8:20 p.m. ET
Live stream: FuboTV — free trial | NBC
The Patriots have had a rough go of it in the kicking department this season, to say the least.
It’s become somewhat of a revolving door at the position following Stephen Gostkowski’s season-ending injury. Mike Nugent failed to last a month in Foxboro, Nick Folk underwent an emergency appendectomy last week and Kai Forbath was forgettable in his lone game with the Patriots.
New England turned back to Folk after he recovered from surgery, but his return to action Sunday was met with a sour note. Folk’s 41-yard field goal attempt in the first quarter at Gillette Stadium was blocked, and the Kansas City Chiefs capitalized on the favorable field position with a go-ahead touchdown.
The responses on Twitter to Folk’s blocked boot were predictable.
Note to self: do not pick a Patriot kicker for your fantasy football team.
— Sir Huntsalot (@thehunter7882) December 8, 2019
Patriots are about to use their 5th kicker huh
— Christian Cortave (@CCortave24) December 8, 2019
@Patriots could we get like Ronaldo or somebody to be our kicker?
— Yohnny Yee (@_TheRealJohnnyG) December 8, 2019
2019’s best comedy: the Patriots’ kickers.
— megan mcmahon (@meganmcface) December 8, 2019
It feels like the Patriots are playing a season long version of who wants to be an NFL kicker.
— kim (@kymberly80) December 8, 2019
We wonder how Stephon Gilmore would evaluate the difficulty of the kicker position.
Michael Irvin believes Tom Brady needs to redirect his frustration.
Brady wasn’t pleased with his receiving corps early in the Patriots’ Week 13 loss to the Houston Texans and urged the group to up their play. But upon taking another look at Patriots-Texans, Irvin came to the conclusion that Brady deserved some of the blame for New England’s offensive woes.
As such, the Hall of Fame wide receiver seems to believe Brady needs to hold himself more accountable as the Patriots try to right the ship.
“Those guys were open. I mean, what do you have to trust? Just throw the ball. Throw the ball. Those guys are open. He’s not practicing. Why is he coming over and yelling at somebody else? I need him to have a mirror on the sideline. When he misses a throw, come look at the mirror and say, ‘C’mon Tom! You gotta make a better throw than that!’ I’m sick and tired of you getting on these receivers. Looking right in the camera, telling the receivers, ‘Move quicker. Be faster.’ He doesn’t even know what quick and fast is. I need him to have a mirror and talk to Tom Brady about getting on the practice field and making sure he hits the open man so we can stop always making excuses because we’ve seen such greatness out of Tom Brady. Hopefully we’ll see more greatness out of Tom Brady, but maybe we should be prepared that if they’re going to get to the Super Bowl, they will win this with defense and special teams because Tom Brady — elbow, age, missing plays, whatever — is not the same Tom Brady that he’s been in his whole career.”
"I NEED HIM TO HAVE A MIRROR ON THE SIDELINE!"@michaelirvin88 has a message for @TomBrady pic.twitter.com/XNzbV9Bw4F
— NFL GameDay (@NFLGameDay) December 8, 2019
As Irvin touched on, Brady’s limited practice availability hasn’t helped his effort to get more on the same page with his receivers. However, this reportedly has led to an uptick in behind-the-scenes work between Brady and his young wideouts. So while Brady and Co. surely would like to have more practice reps, it seems like the group is making the best of the hand they’ve been dealt.
But the clock is ticking, and these final four regular-season games will be vital for the Patriots as they try to form a true identity ahead of the playoffs.
Steven Kampfer is on the move.
The Bruins defenseman was placed on waivers Sunday for the purpose of assigning him to Boston’s AHL affiliate in Providence, the team announced Sunday.
The 31-year-old appeared in just four games for Boston during the 2019-20 season.
Kampfer, who’s spent the majority of his eight-year NHL career in Boston, had six points (three goals, three assists) in 35 games for the Bruins during the 2018-19 regular season. He had one goal (a crucial one, at that) in just three postseason games.
The blueliner has played in 205 NHL games, amassing 32 points (13 goals, 19 assists) along the way.
FOXBORO, Mass. — The Patriots had a few tricks up their sleeves and made their opening drive count Sunday night.
New England marched down the field with five plays, two defensive third-down pass interference and 83 yards to get on the board first against the Kansas City Chiefs at Gillette Stadium. Tom Brady handed the ball off to James White who then flipped it back to Brady. The 42-year-old quarterback then threw it 37 yards and connected with Julian Edelman to complete the flea-flicker touchdown.
Check it out:
[email protected] to @Edelman11 on the flea-flicker: 37-yard TOUCHDOWN! #GoPats
: #KCvsNE on CBS: NFL app // Yahoo Sports appWatch free on mobile: https://t.co/D5AfU98qAh pic.twitter.com/bx5zplmxga
— NFL (@NFL) December 8, 2019
This was the first opening-drive TD since Week 7 against the New York Jets.
The extra point from Nick Folk was good to make it 7-0.
Mohamed Sanu and Devon Still played alongside each other in Cincinnati with the Bengals from 2012-14. And it’s clear the duo still remain close.
The New England Patriots wide receiver honored Still’s daughter, Leah, with a pair of awesome cleats for the “My Cause, My Cleats” campaign this weekend in the NFL. Sanu’s cleats feature Leah the words “Still Strong” written on them to raise awareness for childhood cancer.
Check them out:
Patriots' WR Mohamed Sanu will wear "Still Strong" game cleats today in honor of his former teammate Devon Still's daughter Leah Still
(via @Dev_Still71) pic.twitter.com/Rke2tHbgkR
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) December 8, 2019
Leah was battling Stage 4 neuroblastoma during Sanu’s time in Cincinnati. She now is nine years old and in remission.
Ben Watson is on Michael Vick’s side.
As you probably know, Vick was named one of the four 2020 NFL Pro Bowl legend captains and there was plenty of people unhappy with that decision. The former quarterback pleaded guilty in 2007 for running a dogfighting ring and was sentenced to 23 months in a minimum-security federal prison in Kansas. Vick was released after 18 months and completed the sentence under home confinement in May 2009.
Because of his role in the brutal dogfighting operation, fans started a petition to have Vick removed from the Pro Bowl. It has garnered over 200 thousand signatures, according to CBS.
But Watson isn’t a fan of the petition. The New England Patriots tight end took to Twitter on Saturday night to voice his support for Vick, saying he “paid his debt” and everything was “over a decade ago.”
Michael Vick has paid his debt. 17 months in Leavenworth. Over a decade ago.
The names on this petition are unaware or more likely unconcerned with justice and truth. https://t.co/wo0alQLirm
— Benjamin Watson (@BenjaminSWatson) December 8, 2019
The Pro Bowl kicks off Jan. 26 in Orlando, Fla. and Vick, along with other honorary captains Terrell Davis, Darrell Green and Bruce Smith, will take part in in activities leading up to the game.