Jets loss is another win for Pats


Jets loss is another win for Pats

In February, Rex Ryan said, "I guarantee we win it this year."In November, with a 245-pound quarterback bearing down on him and a choice between fight or flight, one of Ryan's prized defenders stepped aside and let the quarterback score. And the Jets dropped to 5-5. (Thanks to the disturbingly insightful Jerry Thornton at Barstool for noting this tidbit that Mike Mayock ignored). You can't blame Antonio Cromartie for being Antonio Cromartie when the 'stuff' is hitting the fan in front of him. But the Jets' collapse is eye-opening. And the fact is, this teamisno longer imbued by Ryan's blustering arrogance anymore.
From watching Mark Sanchez turtle multiple times in the face of the Denver pass rush Thursday night, to the special teams mistakes of the past week, to the absurd blitz call that blew up in the Jets faces when Tim Tebow was allowed to run for the game-winning touchdown with precious little football technique or resistance, it looks like Ryan is losing his Jets. And the Jets may have lost any shot at competing in the postseason. The Patriots are winning even before the weekend begins. With sliding Buffalo playing at suddenly surging Miami on Sunday, the Patriots will have a clean look at the AFC East landscape and the suddenly clearing AFC playoff picture by nightfall Sunday. The Jets are now 10th in the AFC playoff race. They're 2-2 in the AFC East with a game against the Bills next Sunday looming. Even worse, they're 4-5 in the conference. Why's that worse? Because if the Jets don't win the division -- which looks a likely scenario -- their way to the playoffs is the Wild Card and conference record matters heavily there. The Bills, meanwhile, still need to be paid attention to. They are just 1-1 in the division (New England's 3-1) and 5-4 overall. Because of their early-season win over the Patriots, the season-finale between the Bills and Patriots at Foxboro has the potential to be a win-to-get-in situation. Say Buffalo's 10-5 going into that game and New England's 11-4. A Buffalo win tie them with the Patriots and a season sweep of the series and head-to-head is the first tiebreaker. In other words, the Jets are -- at this point -- merely a curiosity for Patriots fans. The Bills? Still a mild concern.

A hungry ballplayer: Ex-Sox prospect Moncada sometimes eats 85 Twinkies a week

A hungry ballplayer: Ex-Sox prospect Moncada sometimes eats 85 Twinkies a week

This isn’t your average young and hungry player on the brink of the big leagues.

Yoan Moncada, the ex-Red Sox prospect who was one of the principal pieces in the trade for Chris Sale, has sometimes eaten as many as 85 Twinkies in a week, his agent told ESPN The Magazine

He's still in great shape. Moncada had a huge spring training with the White Sox after a disappointing major-league debut with Boston in September. 

"It's fair to say that Yoan took it as a very personal rejection," his agent, David Hastings, told ESPN The Magazine.

The 21-year-old third baseman has been optioned out of big-league camp, so he’s slated to start the year in Triple-A. But he hit .317 with a .391 on-base percentage and .683 slugging percentage and 3 home runs in 41 at-bats.

Moncada took a $31.5 million signing bonus from the Red Sox, money that the Sox turned into Sale. Moncada, meanwhile, didn’t exactly invest every cent.

Twinkies weren’t his only overindulgence. Per the ESPN The Magazine story, Moncada placed a call in 2015 inquiring about 10 customized cars. 

More from the story: 

Moncada had money to spend on drones, video games, toys and clothes. He sometimes spent $1,500 or more during nights out, David says. After he purchased the second $200,000 car, Josefa [Hastings, David’s wife] tried to talk some sense into him.

"You are being an idiot, just wasting all this money," she told him. "What are you even thinking?”

"Go big or go home," he told her with a smile.

Belichick headlines big-name crowd in attendance at Ohio State pro day


Belichick headlines big-name crowd in attendance at Ohio State pro day

Bill Belichick has counted both Urban Meyer and Greg Schiano among the list of coaches he trusts. On Thursday, the Patriots coach was in attendance at Ohio State's pro day to watch players who've been coached by both. 

Belichick has been closely tied to both Meyer and Schiano over the years, drafting multiple players from their programs when Meyer was at the University of Florida and Schiano was at Rutgers University. The Schiano connection has been particularly strong in recent years as Belichick's son, Steve, played for Schiano, and the Patriots had three key players in their secondary -- Devin McCourty, Duron Harmon and Logan Ryan -- for the last four seasons who studied under Schiano. 

Now the head coach and associate head coach/defensive coordinator, respectively, Meyer and Schiano have tutored some of this year's top draft prospects. Here's a quick breakdown of some of the top-tier talent hailing from Columbus this year . . . 

Malik Hooker, safety: The 6-foot-1, 206-pounder is expected to be the first true free safety off the board. His impressive ball skills made him a turnover waiting to happen in the Big Ten. 

Marshon Lattimore, corner: With a 38.5-inch vertical and a 4.36-second 40-yard dash time, Lattimore is one of the best draft-eligible athletes this year. He was hampered by hamstring injuries in college, but he's still projected to be one of the first defensive backs taken. 

Gareon Conley, corner: Among the draft's fastest risers after putting together a strong combine (4.44 40-yard dash, 6.68-second three-cone), Conley will give his next team good size (6-feet, 195 pounds) and length (33-inch arms). He may not be as polished as Lattimore, but still could very well be a first-round pick.

Pat Elflein, center: This smart, hard-working pivot may not have the world's best footwork, but he should be among the first players taken at his position. Elflein (6-foot-3, 300 pounds) is a former wrestler who has experience at both center and guard. 

Curtis Samuel, receiver: A true all-purpose threat in college (AP All-American, first-team All-Big Ten), he could have trouble adapting to life as a full-time receiver in the NFL. At 5-11, 196 pounds that's probably where he'll end up.

Raekwon McMillan, linebacker: At 6-2, 240 pounds McMillan was a second-team All-American and a first-team All-Big Ten choice. He's instinctive, but there's some concern as to whether or not he has the strength to hold up inside at the next level. The Patriots, as we've noted, have been looking at the linebacker position throughout the pre-draft process.