Look, if NFL owners get their way and there's an 18-game season sometime in the future, just forget this blog ever happened. I mean, I'm sure there were bloggers all over the joint back in 1976 saying, "Know which record's never gonna fall? The Juice getting 2,003 in '73. And you know what, when I think of O.J. Simpson I think America's gota real role model there!" And then the NFL expanded its season to 16 games in 1978 and, six years later, down went O.J.'s record (10 years after that, down went O.J.'s life and reputation). It was trampled by the Rec-Spec goggled, neckroll-wearing Eric Dickerson. He went for 2,105 yards in 1984 and the closest contender since was Jamal Lewis (2,066 in 2003). The only other recent attack was lodged by Chris Johnson in 2009 when he ran for 2,006. And I just don't see how this record's going to fall in a 16-game season. Not with the league trending further and further to a pass-first, pass-second, run-third league. Check the list of single-season rushing leaders on the indispensable website Pro Football Reference. Lewis and Johnson are the only players since 1998 (Terrell Davis, 2,008) to come within 100 yards of Dickerson's record. And there have only been six 2,000 yard seasons in NFL history (Barry Sanders had 2,053 in 1997). In terms of on-field statistics - not coaching longevity or career wins -- I think Dickerson's record is the toughest one to break. What do you people think? And if you're curious, the highest Patriots on the single-season rushing records list are Corey Dillon (44th with 1,635 in 2004), Curtis Martin (83rd with 1,487 in 1995) and Craig James (247th, 1,225 in 1985).
Tom E. Curran, Phil Perry, and Mike Giardi discuss the possibility of Josh McDaniels leaving after this season, and what would say about Bill Belichick.
NEW YORK -- John Farrell isn't necessarily alarmed by Craig Kimbrel's poor outing Wednesday night, viewing it as an aberration. But just the same, he'd like to get his closer into a game on the final weekend to flush the bad taste of Wednesday's ninth.
Until the clincher, Kimbrel had allowed just two hits in the previous 23 at-bats (.087) since Sept. 4. And since being re-instated from the DL on Aug. 1, Kimbrel was 13-for-13 in save opportunities with 32 strikeouts in 18 innings pitched and a .113 batting average against.
Kimbrel was brought into the game in the bottom of the ninth and allowed a leadoff single to Brett Gardner before issuing three straight walks, the last of which forced in a run.
He threw 28 pitches and didn't record an out before being lifted in favor of Joe Kelly, who allowed Mark Teixeira's walk-off grand slam in a 5-3 Yankees victory.
"He was erratic, there's no doubt,” said Farrell. "The command was not there. The power was there, obviously, but the command was not. It turned into a situation where he gets to [almost] 30 pitches. Could we have let him go further, or could the decision have been made to leave him in the game? Sure
"But [Wednesday] night was more of an aberration. Certainly, since he's come off the DL, he's been stingy in those situations. That was a one-time outing last night [given the unusual circumstances].”
Farrell said it's "important” to get all of the Red Sox relievers into games before the season ends Sunday.
"How often, how high stress...the games will dictate that,'' Farrell said. "But yeah, it will be important to Craig back on the mound before we end, regardless of whether it's a save situation.”