Black Monday hits the NFL

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Black Monday hits the NFL

This afternoon, President Obama addressed the country with an update on the fiscal cliff, meanwhile across the NFL a collection of coaches have been thrown off a cliff.

Rim shot!

(Awkward silence.)

(Regret.)

As I type, seven head coaches have already been axed this afternoon Romeo Crennel, Chan Gailey, Andy Reid, Norv Turner, Lovie Smith, Ken Whisenhunt and Pat Shurmur while three others (Jim Schwartz, Ron Rivera and Mike Mularkey) cling for dear life. On top of the coaches, three GMs (Mike Tannenbaun, Tom Heckert and Gene Smith) are out of work and we can expect at least one more (old pal Scott Pioli) to join that club in the very near future.

Its a tough a day for a lot of people in NFL circles. Its really indicative of the cutthroat nature of the league and professional sports in general. And lets have a brief moment of silence . . .

OK.

Now on the other hand: Its not a bad day to be a Patriots fan.

Heading into Week 17, while there was always a possibility that they would sneak into one of the top two seeds, it was still unlikely. Houston was favored by a touchdown. The Colts had nothing to play for! But as always, the Texans only know one way to jump into the playoffs and thats ass-first. And thats perfect for the Patriots.

The question is: What do they do now? How do they treat this unexpected gift from the Bye Week Gods?

I have a friend who's adamant that Belichick should just move the team to Denver for three weeks. To live and train in that environment every day, only coming back for the Texans game on the 13th. And he may be on to something but I doubt Belichick will buy in.

After all, nothing screams looking past an opponent like moving your team to the presumed site of the AFC Championship a week before the wild card round.

But whatever, there are worst problems to have than how to spend a week off when you're two games away from the Super Bowl.

There are a lot of newly former NFL coaches out there who can certainly attest to that.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Royer's late goal rallies Red Bulls past Revolution, 2-1

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Royer's late goal rallies Red Bulls past Revolution, 2-1

HARRISON, N.J. - Daniel Royer finished a nice sequence in the 74th minute, Luis Robles made a diving save in the closing minutes and the New York Red Bulls rallied to beat the New England Revolution 2-1 on Saturday night.

Felipe sent the ball left to Kemar Lawrence alongside the box and he put a cross to Royer on the back post for an easy finish on his fourth goal.

Robles, who only allowed Lee Nguyen's penalty kick in the ninth minute, preserved the win with his fourth save, diving to his left to block Diego Fagundez's shot from outside the box.

Bradley Wright-Phillips tied it for New York (6-6-2), which was winless in its last four matches, when he pounced on a loose ball and backheeled it into the net. New England goalkeeper Cody Cropper had pounced on a cross by Kemar Lawance, but Cropper could hold on and Wright-Phillips was there to clean up for his sixth goal.

Damien Perrinelle fouled Fagundez in the penalty area after a great pass from Kei Kamara, allowing Nguyen to step up for his sixth goal. New England (4-5-4) had won two straight and lost just one of its previous six. It is 0-5-2 on the road.