A few random thoughts while I wonder what DC suburbs Kyrie Irving was nailing shots from last night ...
- My biggest takeaway from Sunday's game was not the flukey final play but Tom Brady's health. No breaking news that if Brady isn't healthy, the Patriots don't have much of a chance. But this is a little different.
- The Patriots' passing offense has not been as good as last season. You can either acknowledge that fact, or you can be a truther about it try to bend all sorts of numbers to execute your point. It just hasn't.
- To this point, I thought most of the issues came from all the personnel issues this season and Brady's lack of confidence in it as a result. But what happened Sunday changed my mind.
- The offensive personnel was the same from the first to the second half. The Dolphins' defense was still the same sucky defense in both halves. Yet the Patriots' offense, especially the pass part of it, fell off a cliff. So it had to be Brady.
- If it was Brady, that means that either a) he came into this season unprepared and it has carried over, b) he's feeling his age and the decline has started, or c) he's been hurt all season and how much it limits him comes and goes.
- With Sunday's context, I'm going with C. And that game showed us these Patriots aren't going very far unless Brady is 100 percent, like he was for most of the first half.
- Kyrie Irving was just ridiculous last night. That was a fun one to watch.
- Marcus Smart is really showing his value ... and he should never be removed from the starting lineup.
- Sometimes I think Dave Dombrowski just lives in an alternate reality ... his own. It was mockable until last season. Now I just have to shut up.
- The Sox are against changing the rules about the shift. This is the least shocking news ever. #NerdSox Please ban the shift.
- ATTENTION BSJ MEMBERS: Your gift special is now operational. Thanks for spreading the word!
Tis the season: GIFT SUBSCRIPTIONS
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Time to hit the links...
Bedard’s Breakdown: Sunday showed us Patriots’ fortunes are tied to Brady’s tenuous health
View From Pittsburgh: Steelers safeties must (finally) prove worth vs. Patriots
First and 10: Patriots can clinch division for second straight season Sunday in Pittsburgh
Podcast: Price talks Patriots-Steelers with Tim Benz of ESPN Pittsburgh 12.12.18
Danny Shelton on being a healthy scratch: ‘All I can do is just be prepared every week’
Patriots Notebook: Despite Steelers’ losing skid, Belichick believes New England will see their best Sunday
Tracking Patriots’ incentives after Week 14: Loss to Miami eliminated a possible financial incentive for Julian Edelman
Dr. Flynn: Checking in on Gronkowski, Edelman and Brady after Miami
Dombrowski rejects notion that Red Sox ‘window’ will soon close
Red Sox Notebook: Dombrowski, Cora weigh in on potential rule changes
Hot Stove Lunch: Cora successfully turns the page on 2018; Yankees nearing deal with Happ
Marcus Smart showing why he should be in line for an All-Defensive nod
BSJ Game Report: Five takeaways from the Celtics’ 130-125 overtime win over the Wizards
Live Q&A: B-Robb on Celtics/NBA at 5 p.m. Thursday
Final: Celtics 130, Wizards 125 (OT) — Clutch Kyrie delivers seventh straight win
Analysis: Al Horford shut down for ‘at least a few games’ with jumper’s knee
Robert Williams is ahead of schedule
5 p.m.: BSJ Live Q&A — B-Robb on Celtics/NBA
7 p.m.: MCBK — Dartmouth at BU (NESN)
8:20 p.m.: NFL — Chargers at Chiefs (FOX/NFLN/Amazon)
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