According to the computer, Sox have had a pretty good winter


According to the computer, Sox have had a pretty good winter

On Thursday's Felger & Mazz, the Red Sox' offseason moves were a subject of considerable debate.

But -- if you're to believe a computer analysis conducted by ESPN's Jayson Stark -- the Sox have had a pretty good winter.

Using the ZiPS projection system of ESPN Insider's Dan Szymborski, the Red Sox have increased their projected win total by nine games -- from 76 to 85 -- with the free-agent additions of pitchers Ryan Dempster and Koji Uehara, catcher David Ross, shortstop Stephen Drew, outfielders Shane Victorino and Jonny Gomes and, perhaps, catcherfirst baseman Mike Napoli. That's the second-highest total in baseball behind the Blue Jays' 15-game improvement (from 78 to 93).

Stark also polled some baseball executives to see what they thought. While one of them noted the Sox "had to add a lot, because they had so many holes," their many acquisitions -- for the most part -- received good marks.

"They've brought in a bunch of guys who can play in Boston," said one.

Another, however, added: "To me, they've spent a lot of money to be mediocre."

Hogan 'feeling good' as he recovers from thigh injury


Hogan 'feeling good' as he recovers from thigh injury

FOXBORO -- Patriots wideout Chris Hogan indicated after Saturday's divisional round win over the Texans that he'd be OK, and he doubled down on that stance when meeting with reporters Tuesday. 

The veteran receiver, whose first season with the Patriots has brought his first career postseason experience, injured his thigh against Houston. He left in the third quarter and did not return. 

"Feeling good," Hogan said. "Just had a little minor setback in the game. I'm working back every single day and feeling better every day."

Hogan had an awkward collision with Texans defensive lineman Jadeveon Clowney at the end of the first half on a play at the goal line. To that point, he had reeled in four passes for 95 yards as the team's primary deep threat. With Hogan out, Brady relied upon Julian Edelman and Michael Floyd as wideouts.

Hogan explained that he was expecting to practice this week.

"I'm just gonna go day by day," he said. "Come in here tomorrow. Everything's been feeling better day by day. I'm looking forward to getting out there and practicing this week."

Strahan picks Steelers to upset Patriots in AFC Championship

Strahan picks Steelers to upset Patriots in AFC Championship

Michael Strahan saw the Patriots lose a Super Bowl first-hand, but he doesn’t think they’ll lose Super Bowl LI. That’s because he doesn’t think they’ll be participants. 

Appearing on The Tonight Show, the former Giants defensive end and current Person Who is Frequently on Television said that he expects the Steelers to upset the Patriots in Sunday’s AFC Championship.

“I think in the AFC, I think Pittsburgh might pull the upset this year,” Strahan said. 

When Jimmy Fallon objected, Strahan said Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers’ pass rush would be enough to beat the Pats if New England plays the way it did in the divisional round. 
“If you watched the Houston Texans, they had a shot; they just turned the ball over,” he said. “And the Houston Texans offense is in no way, shape or form near what Pittsburgh has. They don’t have the quarterback that [Pittsburgh has]. Defensively, Houston had the really good defense, but Pittsburgh [puts] the good pressure on the quarterback. And from my Super Bowl experience, Tom Brady does not like pressure. I’m just saying I feel like if there’s anybody who’s going to pull an upset, it will be them.” 

As for any rooting interest, Strahan said that he hopes the Falcons win the Super Bowl, citing Matt Ryan being overdue for a title and Julio Jones having a Brady-like quality of putting team goals before his own legacy.