Patriots romp past Jets, 49-19

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Patriots romp past Jets, 49-19

Rex Ryan arrived in New York four years ago promising -- with colorful, I-didn't-come-here-to-kiss-Bill-Belichick's-rings language -- to put an end to the Jets' role of nail to the Patriots' hammer. And for a while, he delivered.

There was New York's upset victory over New England at the Meadowlands in 2009 in Ryan's second game as coach. Then there was the Jets' playoff win in Foxboro the following season, Ryan's third conquest of Belichick in five meetings . . . and one which propelled his team to its second straight AFC Championship Game.

The Jets would lose that AFC title game, just as they did the year before, and it's been mostly downhill since then. And on a mild Thanksgiving night at MetLife Stadium, the ride may have come to an end, if not now then certainly at the end of the season, for Rex Ryan . . . at the hands of the man whose rings he hadn't come to kiss.

Belichick's Patriots humiliated Ryan's self-destructing Jets on national television, taking advantage of four New York turnovers and scoring three touchdowns in a span of 52 seconds in the second quarter as they raced out to a 35-3 halftime lead. The eventual 49-19 pounding probably ended the Jets' playoff hopes and may have sealed Ryan's fate.

Owner Woody Johnson has already expressed his displeasure at how New York's season has unfolded, and Thursday night's outcome -- which drops the Jets' record to 4-7, four games behind the 8-3 Pats with five to play -- could mean the end of the reign of Ryan and general manager Mike Tannenbaum. A new era will begin, replacing one that started so promisingly back in '09.

And ended so horribly in '12.

The carnage began in routine enough style, with a two-yard scoring pass from Tom Brady to Wes Welker on the first play of the second quarter capping a six-minute, 15-play, 84-yard drive that gave New England a 7-0 lead. The Jets drove into Patriots territory on their next possession, but -- in a harbinger of things to come -- the Pats stuffed Bilal Powell on a fourth-and-one from the 31 and Powell coughed up the football. It rolled a little more than 10 yards and Steve Gregory recovered on the 17.

What followed was the most amazing 52 seconds of this long and sometimes bitter rivalry:

On the next play, Brady hit Shane Vereen with a screen pass in the left flat and -- amazingly -- Vereen raced untouched 83 yards down the sideline for a touchdown. Speaking on CSNNE.com's Web-only halftime show, ex-Patriots star Troy Brown said he'd never seen, at any level of football, a player run 80 yards on a swing pass out of the backfield without anyone laying a hand on him.

On the second play of the next series, Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez tried to make something of a broken play by taking the ball himself up the middle. But he ran into the backside of his own guard, Brandon Moore, fumbled, and Gregory scooped the ball and raced 32 yards for a touchdown.

Then, on the ensuing kickoff, Joe McKnight lost the ball at the 20-yard line when he was hit by Devin McCourty. Julian Edelman plucked it out of the air and ran it in from 22 yards out.

In 52 seconds, the Patriots had increased their lead from 7-0 to 28-0. They would make it 35-0 when Brady found Edelman behind the Jets' secondary for a 56-yard touchdown with 3:08 to play in the half.

Game. Set. Match.

There were still 33 minutes or so to go, and the Jets managed to score the next 12 points to regain a little self-respect at 35-12 in the third quarter. That self-respect disappeared when the Pats scored twice in the final period, on a one-yard sneak by Brady (capping an 87-yard drive) and a nine-yard run by Stevan Ridley (after yet another Jets fumble) to make it 49-12. New York scored one final TD for the 49-19 final.

When it was over, it was hard to remember a time -- and just two years ago, no less -- when these Jets were considered to be not only the Patriots' equal, but even their successors as the powers of the AFC East.

It was fun while it lasted. But in the end, the hammer always wins.

Celtics engaged in talks with Pacers for Paul George

Celtics engaged in talks with Pacers for Paul George

BOSTON – Jayson Tatum was all smiles after hearing his named called by NBA commissioner Adam Silver as the number 3 pick by Boston in Thursday night’s NBA draft.

And as he made his way towards the commissioner and put on the customary Celtics hat, a bright future surely awaited him.

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But is it going to be in Boston?

CSNNE.com confirmed an earlier report by Yahoo Sports! the Vertical that the Celtics were indeed engaged in trade talks with the Indiana Pacers for Paul George.

Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge is no stranger to taking chances that most GMs would not consider or take a pass on.

Trading for George, who informed the Pacers that he would not re-sign a long-term deal with them and would instead prefer to play for the Los Angeles Lakers when he hits free agency in the summer of 2018, is a huge risk.

While the particulars of the possible trade are still being discussed, Boston will likely have to include the number three pick – Jayson Tatum – in a deal for George.

Ainge appears willing to gamble that a season in Boston will be enough to convince George to re-sign a long-term deal in the summer of 2018 which would be a win-win in terms of bolstering their chances to compete with Cleveland for Eastern Conference supremacy, and keep him away from the Lakers.

Jayson Tatum: Coach K was effusive in praise of Brad Stevens

Jayson Tatum: Coach K was effusive in praise of Brad Stevens

Celtics draft pick Jayson Tatum will go from one highly regarded coach to another, and he said shortly after being drafted that Mike Krzyzewski had nothing but good things to say about Brad Stevens. 

Tatum said Coach K’s praise for Stevens came after the Celtics traded the first overall pick, thus establishing they would not be selecting Markelle Fultz. 

“He called me and talked about that Boston was wanting me to come up there for a workout. He was just ranting about how great of a person Brad Stevens is, and [that] Coach K would love the opportunity if they would pick me and he really wanted me to go up there and work out for them,” Tatum said. “I was all for it. It worked out. I had a great time up there on my visit and obviously they enjoyed me.”

Krzyzewski and Stevens coached against each other in the 2010 national championship, which Duke won by two points when Gordon Hayward’s potential game-winning half-court shot nearly went in, but hit the rim. Hayward and Stevens could be reunited this offseason given that the veteran forward will be a free agent.

Tatum spent one year at Duke, averaging 16.8 points and 7.3 rebounds per game.