The Patriots prepare to take on the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, and Tom E. Curran checks in with the keys to a New England victory.
First on the list - The Patriots have to be tough in the red zone. Jacksonville has a number of weapons who can hurt the Pats on a short field. Cecil Shorts is a dangerous receiver and the Patriots should know where he is at all times. When in the red zone, the Pats must force the Jags to walk away with three points instead of seven.
Second, the Patriots need to keep Tom Brady upright. The Jacksonville pass rush will be aggressive and they have nothing to lose. The Jags are a 2-win team with an opportunity to make a statement against a premier opponent. Don't give them that chance, and don't let your franchise QB hit the dirt against a lower-tier opponent.
Finally, the Patriots must kill all hope early. The last thing the Pats need, is a Jacksonville team that has a chance to win it late in the game. The Jags have a number of players auditioning for spots on the 2013 roster so they'll be playing hard and looking to impress. The Patriots need to make sure the game is sealed early.
If the Patriots can do those three things, they should leave Florida with a win.
Mike Felger, Dan Shaughnessy and Glenn Ordway wonder why the Celtics are even getting a meeting with Kevin Durant when free agency begins. Does it mean they have a legitimate chance of signing him?
CSNNE.com Bruins Insider Joe Haggerty joins Toucher & Rich to discuss which defenseman the Bruins should go after this offseason, factoring in the cost and age of the players available.
Bill Belichick released a statement on Buddy Ryan's passing Tuesday afternoon.
"Today is a sad day in football due to the passing of Buddy Ryan," Belichick said. "It was always very challenging to compete against Coach Ryan, who was father to a great football family that carries on his coaching and defensive tradition. My condolences are with the Ryan Family."
Belichick is certainly very familiar with Ryan's legacy and the tradition Ryan passed down to his sons Rex and Rob. The Patriots coach has competed against all three.
Rex Ryan has squared off with Belichick during his time as head coach for the Jets (2009-14) and Bills (2015-present), and their matchups go back to Rex's days with the Ravens (1999-2008) when he was a defensive line coach and then defensive coordinator.
Rob Ryan, like his brother, got his first NFL break when his father was the head coach of the Cardinals in the mid-1990s. His second break, though, came from Belichick. He joined the Patriots staff during Belichick's first year as head coach in 2000 and coached linebackers for four seasons in New England. He has since competed against Belichick as a defensive coordinator for the Raiders, Browns, Cowboys and Saints. Rob joined Rex in Buffalo this year to serve as an assistant on the staff there.
For Belichick's thoughts on the impact of Buddy Ryan's famous "46" defense, we dug up some of his comments from a 2012 press conference that you can find here. He called the combination of Ryan's scheme and the talented players Ryan had at his disposal as defensive coordinator of the 1985 Super Bowl champion Bears "pretty unblockable."