Christian relays a few stories about what it's like to play in a week 17 game that truly means nothing, and the time he got in Bill Belichick's doghouse for talking to the media about it.

[0:05:02] ... bad and ugly. So one and it could Google guy you want Tom Brady and at the little players. That three week. Between game three weeks. A lot Connie yeah no they're they're going to be ...
[0:08:59] ... has come along the most as a player your rise on this football team. Well while might throw a direct question. Why it's not going to be easy on the show this is not you know ...
[0:12:39] ... like next week you'll see on MF eight. Thanks Christian take your Christian Fauria from a from an FBI think he's in this week at integrity of the data he's they're too. This week during the ...





Even though most leagues are over, there's still FanDuel and Draft Kings, and Pete Davidson is here to talk about some waiver wire pick-ups that can be productive due to valuable players being benched.

[0:05:04] ... draft pick that sort of thing sure I mean you just mentioned. Peyton Manning and and and I know a lot can change. Depending on how the playoffs going in how he looks but that are just basically where we're at your before week seventeen. We're what you media hesitant to spend a number one pick or first round pick I should say on Peyton Manning next season. I was pretty hesitant to use. Personal picks on quarterbacks but. Mean yeah it really eight outside Iraq to meet ...
[0:07:13] ... tide in position was not to like you know I I guess. Antonio Gates surprised a lot of people. Obviously. Donovan Warren of immigrants the all the solid year but other than that I. Graham was ...
[0:12:00] ... foreign. And I actually had a pretty good year to work for Adrian Peterson by I might add one of the better seasons together at my life but Peterson luckily. Kept my ego in check. So ...
[0:13:16] ... number two of NFL Sunday work our way of our number three Christian Fauria. He is straight ahead. Chris is here Steve is feared Greg is here and you guys you here's were in Foxborough across ...






Over the final days of the year, WEEI.com will count down the top 14 stories of 2014 in Boston sports. This is No. 6: Patriots lose to Broncos in AFC championship game. To read other stories in this series, click here.

Alfonzo Dennard and the Patriots couldn't keep up with Demaryius Thomas and the Broncos in the AFC title game. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Alfonzo Dennard and the Patriots couldn’t keep up with Demaryius Thomas and the Broncos in the AFC title game. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

The Patriots’ 2013 season was not quite like the ones fans are used to.

Sure, New England boasted a solid 12-4 record, clinched the AFC East well before season’s end, earned a first-round bye and breezed past its divisional-round opponent to reach its third straight AFC championship game. But this Patriots team limped its way through the season as a group pillaged by losses to a number of key players.

It started with tight end Aaron Hernandez, who was arrested weeks before training camp and subsequently released by the team before being charged with murder. But that was just the start of the Pats‘ woes, as the likes of Vince Wilfork, Jerod Mayo and Rob Gronkowski were lost for the season with major injuries.

However, fans still sought that coveted fourth Vince Lombardi trophy after the Patriots won five of their last six regular-season games to win their fifth straight division title, then crushed the Colts, 43-22, led by 166 yards and four touchdowns from LeGarrette Blount.

Up next, as expected, was Peyton Manning and the top-seeded Broncos. It would be the 15th time Tom Brady and Manning would square off, the fourth time they would meet in the playoffs and their second matchup of the season.

The Patriots rallied from a 24-0 halftime deficit to beat the Broncos, 34-31, in overtime at Gillette Stadium in the regular season. But with a 13-3 record to end the year, the Broncos hosted the Jan. 19 meeting for the right to play in the Super Bowl.

With all that was unique and difficult about the Patriots’ season, one thing was similar to the year before: It ended with a disappointing loss in the conference title game.

This time, the Broncos manhandled the Patriots defense for 507 total yards in a 26-16 beatdown in a game that wasn’t as close as the scoreboard read.

“You can’t win when you can’t get off the field,” defensive end Rob Ninkovich said after the game. “That’s basic fundamental football. They do a good job of keeping the sticks moving with various formations.”

Manning torched the Pats secondary for 400 yards and two touchdowns while completing 32 of his 43 passes. The task of slowing down Manning and his arsenal of weapons that included Demaryius Thomas, Julius Thomas, Eric Decker and former Patriot Wes Welker became even more difficult when cornerback Aqib Talib left the game early in the second quarter with a knee injury on an apparent pick play by Welker across the middle of the field.

It would be Talib’s last play in a Patriots uniform, as he signed a six-year deal with the Broncos in the offseason.

Talib, who was assigned to cover Demaryius Thomas, certainly was missed, as Thomas made seven catches for 134 yards and a touchdown midway through the third quarter that gave the Broncos a commanding 20-3 lead.

“€œI feel badly for Aqib, the way the play turned out,”€ Patriots coach Bill Belichick said the next day. “I went back and watched it, which I didn’t get a chance to do yesterday. It was a deliberate play to take out Aqib. No attempt to get open. I’€™ll let the league handle the discipline on that. It’€™s not for me to decide, but it’€™s one of the worst plays I’ve seen. And that’€™s all I am going to say about that.”

Said Welker after the game: “It was one of those plays where it’€™s kind of a rough play, and I was trying to get him to go over the top, and I think he was thinking the same thing and wanted to come underneath and we just kind of collided. It wasn’t a deal where I was trying to hit him or anything like that.

“I hope he’€™s OK — he’€™s a great player and a big part of their defense.”

The Pats struggled offensively as well. The dangerous running attack from the week before was held to just 64 total rushing yards while Brady completed 24-of-38 passes for 277 yards and a touchdown. Ten of those completions went to Julian Edelman.

“They played better than we did,” offensive lineman€ Logan Mankins said. “€œThey were good against the run, good against the pass. They just took advantage of our offense today. We didn’t do a good enough job today, in any aspect.”

The Patriots posted five fourth-quarter comebacks during the regular season, but a 23-3 deficit with 12 minutes to play proved too much to overcome against the AFC’s top team.

Brady connected with Edelman for a 7-yard touchdown to cut the Denver lead to 23-10 with 9:26 to play. After a Matt Prater field goal made it 26-10 Broncos, the Pats scored again on a 5-yard touchdown run by Brady with 3:07 left. But Shane Vereen failed to convert the two-point conversion run, and time eventually ran out on the Patriots.

“There were a lot of opportunities in the game that, if we were able to coach better, play better, execute better in any of those areas, it would have given us a chance,” Belichick said.

The Broncos were crushed by the Seahawks, 43-8, in Super Bowl XLVIII two weeks later.

Blog Author: 
Nick Canelas
Sunday's game has no real impact for either team, but certain players like Julien Edelman, Vince Wilfork, and Michael Hoomanawanui have contract incentives. Also, a guy like Rob Gronkowski might want to play simply to prove he was active and played in a full 16 game season.

[0:02:59] ... okay it was just cores but as a PSA don't let your dog. Eat grapes or reasons I never knew that. Approval rates in the race America records lawsuits that went to grow on music into ...
[0:04:58] ... number of guys it's. You just don't know you never know with Bill Belichick can never know what he's thinking what's best for his team had never understood you never know. What's in his could come ...
[0:19:28] ... and killed so I agree there's been a lot of things for Bill Belichick think about. And fortunately for us. In the media we've got. All sorts of angles and any number of ways which it won the one thing I keep seeing on the Twitter machine and and listening on both sports radio and and on some of the national shows as. Bill Belichick. Will do will play his players because he wants to prove everybody wrong because he wants to show you the smartest men football or whatever. I really don't think the Bill Belichick thinks that small thing keep things in Big Ten big picture now do you agree with everything he says. Lower than he does probably not over his plea of second guessing this was so great about the NFL the second guessing almost on every scenario. But the idea that the votes are doing this because reaction to. Media or fans want you know he wants to prove them wrong once shall lose more movement as absolutely nothing to do with the way he approached this game. We a lot of stuff coming up between now and 1 o'clock kick off patriots. And the Buffalo Bills. NFL Sunday presented by complaints the insurance they shops the UC. A complaints he dot com and brought to you by Anderson ...





It's the season finale, for the NFL, AND for Jim and Pete's Fantasy Football hour. While many leagues are over in Week 16, some of them extend it out until the very end. The guys talk about some crucial players who will be sitting out the final week (think Rob Gronkowski) and others whose team has a lot to play for. They also took a look at some of biggest surprises, positive AND negatives that likely impacted your season. And of course, there's the daily leagues which are becoming more and more popular across the country.

[0:06:29] ... ball the concern me Arctic side. Against the jets last week when Dan Connolly. Is an on that and interior sidelined the patriots you know he presents problems and he's questionable you know. With the somewhere out there that was that area of concern. For the patriots jets richest. It was a floodgate devil mulling and so you know he's ready to go rather make him available for the big picture so he's on my list. On the other side of the ball you know Chandler Jones and Rob Ninkovich or are both questionable. Huge impact players Kyle Arrington to another one like I you know he's important in your Browner and ...
[0:15:25] ... playoffs are on the line in the positioning and a plan so. Cam Newton's potential start as a general officer and then there's the teams like the giants who. Have showed knew that OK then the ...
[0:19:26] ... the playoffs but right let's say you are seven and nine. And Green Day is eleven and five you maybe and that's an error you have a something look if you were to division but they're ...





It's the season finale, for the NFL, AND for Jim and Pete's Fantasy Football hour. While many leagues are over in Week 16, some of them extend it out until the very end. The guys talk about some crucial players who will be sitting out the final week (think Rob Gronkowski) and others whose team has a lot to play for. They also took a look at some of biggest surprises, positive AND negatives that likely impacted your season. And of course, there's the daily leagues which are becoming more and more popular across the country.

[0:06:29] ... ball the concern me Arctic side. Against the jets last week when Dan Connolly. Is an on that and interior sidelined the patriots you know he presents problems and he's questionable you know. With the somewhere out there that was that area of concern. For the patriots jets richest. It was a floodgate devil mulling and so you know he's ready to go rather make him available for the big picture so he's on my list. On the other side of the ball you know Chandler Jones and Rob Ninkovich or are both questionable. Huge impact players Kyle Arrington to another one like I you know he's important in your Browner and ...
[0:15:25] ... playoffs are on the line in the positioning and a plan so. Cam Newton's potential start as a general officer and then there's the teams like the giants who. Have showed knew that OK then the ...
[0:19:26] ... the playoffs but right let's say you are seven and nine. And Green Day is eleven and five you maybe and that's an error you have a something look if you were to division but they're ...





Real Admiral from Barstool Sports, joins Danny Picard to talk about what kind of trades the Bruins could be up to and what their chances are of making the playoffs this season.

[0:00:21] ... admiral from possible sports and hostels sports dot com. He covets the Boston Bruins and we cannot forget about the beast they don't. Play on Christmas Day had thicker Thursday is an NBA game the NHL ...
[0:03:41] ... some and it seemed like a lot he would admit that shot Kerry Wood that you would it grew up where additionally. He kind of account legal pot bellied what went in and don't score the ...
[0:08:23] ... also known as a rear admiral from possible sports. We're talking some Bruins hockey right now and it brought one guy that we talk about potential trades in major moves of people so. I hear a ...
[0:09:34] ... You gonna throw quite that indeed legislatively but it. Who sit alongside Mario LeMieux with the eighty's you know. Those guys numbers went through the roof. Fire Lucci I thought he looked lost earlier in the ...






The obnoxious sports fan, joins Danny Picard in-studio to talk about yesterday's Celtics-Nets game. Also, is Marcus Smart ready to run the Celtics offense?

[0:00:00] ... Gerald Wallace suffered through. Walls financial. Time. It's a. Every guy that. Perhaps the final time meeting regarding the. I that was Jared sell ...
[0:05:41] ... story. Can build I don't get to know. Well first oval like Brett Steven got in the this guy seems completely lost. Soul would rub it was straight okay at a point cut. He looks so ...
[0:07:37] ... That's why I think that the next move is straightened piece like Jeff Green. Not Italian and I I enjoy watching Jeff Green and his team and they certainly don't. Because he helped tease you with a very good game Ortiz with a very good half. And then you'll be wondering if you know he's even paying attention that are threats and again. So on all sat with Jeff Green honesty and I think that's the next piece to gulp he do you agree that while he's like I am. You know we've we've talked about this a lot when you've had me on hero but when I'm down home and found. And it's interesting because I I think would Jeff Green it's almost the same mindset as it was were Rondo. You know what the what can you get the list. Ike I can't imagine being he has turned down a reasonable offer for Jeff Green I just don't think he's got one yet but he's comfortable make it was there are trade last year and you know lot I think Josh way won't almost as well. He's a big Celtics guy I believe in my book I talk to them last week about this there was a trick last year with all air crashed. I think around this time December January all of our magic was with Houston. Joe's way right was there are trade debts that we thought agreed to Jeff Green and asks. Asher yup drastic and I love Ashok I'd love his game. But you still wanted to it's a drastic out of the deal the Dow's does that that's what does the talks stalled it that's what I felt like what they itself is there is right there of at this point I mean it's I think David try to mold this guy probably as long as try to move Rondo at. Seems like that now you'll have to move on to a team delectable new team that that she's Jeff Green where he should be. Which is coming off the bench and which I think if Jeff green is coming off the bench for a playoff team. I think that he isn't. A very good piece Tia T I think ...
[0:12:24] ... to trade grain. You can now add the deadline flip right and Jameer Nelson. I yacht expiring contracts you can try to get rid of which trade exception and so on so forth. And net. What ...






Danny opens his show talking about why he believes the Patriots should play their starters against the Bills in tomorrow's last game of the season.

[0:03:19] ... play one half. Should at least play one half. Right we get Rodney Harrison on yesterday Ifill then opt for the Dennis and Callahan morning and he sort of said the same thing and we've asked him a bulk rock. What would you do would drunk. Look at me personally. I would I would play grunt. I can grow up want to let Rodney Harrison said the same thing he said dropped one of the boy she's one of the gods in this team I've got a ...
[0:06:47] ... those games are going to be close it came down to a Vince Wilfork blocked field all you want again. And because of that when combined with Denver's loss on Monday night against the angles here ...
[0:18:01] ... game if they even want to get the conference championship game against Denver Broncos and yes. I set against the Denver Broncos. I'm amazed at how many people are Null just oval looking down. I'm not stranded Denver's gonna comment did you let land ...
[0:18:50] ... but if Baltimore can get and bellows. I tell you right off Peyton Manning did not look good against Cincinnati I think this Sutton all on the but. If you think that the Broncos with who ...






Over the final days of the year, WEEI.com will count down the top 14 stories of 2014 in Boston sports. This is No. 8: Red Sox bolster offense with signings of Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez. To read other stories in this series, click here.

Pablo Sandoval comes to Boston after helping the Giants win their third World Series in five seasons. (Elsa/Getty Images)

Pablo Sandoval comes to Boston after helping the Giants win their third World Series in five seasons. (Elsa/Getty Images)

The Red Sox made some big splashes early this offseason when they acquired veterans Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez.

Boston looked for offensive help after the team finished the 2014 season with 634 runs, 18th fewest in baseball. Especially at third base, the Red Sox saw inconsistency and instability from former prospect Will Middlebrooks. After starting a promising career with 15 home runs in 75 games in 2013, Middlebrooks finished this past season with two home runs and a .191 batting average.

Even before the season ended, analysts saw a potential fit for Sandoval in the Boston lineup. ESPN’s Buster Olney said the Giants were worried a team would make a push for the third baseman, who averaged 20 home runs and 86 RBIs per season since his debut in 2008.

“I saw the Giants the last couple of nights, and there’s a lot of anticipation within that organization that someone’s going to make a run at Pablo Sandoval. That team could turn out to be the Red Sox,” Olney said on Sept. 24. “He would fit them in a lot of regards. When I talked to some people with the Giants about that, they were nodding their heads and said, ‘You know what? He’d be a really good fit.’ Because he could play third base, and he had a good year defensively.”

Sandoval went on to have one of the greatest offensive postseasons of all time, collecting 26 hits over 17 playoff games. In the World Series, Sandoval finished with 12 hits and four RBIs in the seven-game set. All eyes were upon him as he grabbed the last out of Game 7.

A few teams emerged as possible suitors for Sandoval as free agency commenced, with the Red Sox and Giants at the top of the list. Sandoval visited Boston for the first time in the middle of November. The Red Sox and the player reportedly discussed a multi-year contract in the $90 million range.

Soon after his initial visit, Sandoval made his final decision: He would be a a member of the Boston Red Sox. He signed a reported five-year, $95 million deal that included a team option for a sixth season. The third baseman said it was time for a different adventure after spending the first half of his career with the Giants. He also said he was eager to play with his new teammates.

“I want a new challenge,” Sandoval said. “I made that choice to be here in Boston because I need a new challenge. The legacy they have here. To show them the fan support they have here. That’s what I wanted to make sure I made the right decision. It took me a long time, but I’m happy to show the fans all the support they gave to this team. Now I want to show I came here to give them the support to go into the postseason again.

“It’s exciting for me to be with Hanley and David Ortiz. Like everyone says right now in media relations, it’s the ‘Three Amigos.’ It’s just exciting to be part of this lineup and this organization.”

General manager Ben Cherington said the team gave ample chances to players like Middlebrooks to succeed at third base. The time was now to make a change.

“Third base has been a position we’ve been trying to figure out now for a couple of years,” Cherington said. “We had some talented players that I’ve been involved in at third base that we’ve given opportunities, but this is an opportunity to add just a really good player, a great person, and a great fit for our team in a position of need.”

But the Red Sox felt third base was not their only position of need, and so at the same time, they pursued a former Boston prospect in Ramirez. Since his trade from the Sox to the Marlins before the 2006 season, Ramirez has become one of the best hitting infielders in the game. He had a .300 average with an .873 OPS and 191 home runs in 10 seasons between the Marlins and Dodgers. But with the Sox having Xander Boagerts entrenched at shortstop, the Red Sox went after Ramirez for a completely different position — left field.

After Ramirez inked his five-year, $90 million deal, Cherington said the newest outfielder would not be perfect on the first day of spring training. However, Ramirez had a strong willingness to get better at the position, which made the decision much easier for the Red Sox.

“I think it’s really a combination of two things. One is his desire to do it and his openness, the willingness to do it in the context that he had opportunities,” Cherington said. “He could’ve gone places and played the infield. He wanted to do it because he wanted to be here. There’s a desire, there’s a willingness to work at it. He’s already agreed to get down to Fort Myers early; we’ll have a dedicated coach with him.”

Many were surprised the Red Sox would spend so much money on older players in free agency. Earlier in 2014, it was reported the Sox most likely would avoid older, expensive free agents. Owner John Henry said his words were misconstrued.

“That was really overblown because one comment quoting a study which says more about the structure of major league compensation,” Henry said. “Players aren’t compensated that well in their 20s. They have to get to free agency, so almost by definition you’re going to get more bang for your buck when a player is in his 20s. That’s just the way the structure is set up. That doesn’t mean you’re not going to go out and sign 30-year old players. You can’t win unless you engage in free agency.

“We always engage in free agency.”

With the acquisitions of middle-of the-order hitters in Sandoval and Ramirez, the Red Sox are expected to improve offensively in 2015. Olney said a weak offense will immediately get a boost from these two.

“So for the Red Sox to land both those guys,” Olney said, “it’s going to be a very different-looking offense than last year when it always seemed like they were bringing a knife to a gun fight.”

Blog Author: 
Andrew Battifarano