Things to consider while reminding everyone that our BB unit is still the smartest, most capable coaching droid in the galaxy:

— To be clear, I would rather sit through a New Year’s Day marathon of diabetic foot nerve pain ads than have to write about an excruciating loss to the Jets on a controversial call by Bill Belichick. But this is the business I’ve chosen. And it’s after the tough losses like this that we separate the fanboy bloggers from the professional fanboy bloggers.

— Simply put, I disagreed with Belichick’s call to kick off in overtime. I would have preferred the ball at the start if for no other reason than a touchdown wins the game. That alone makes it the safe, logical, conventional wisdom choice.

— But at the same time, I can respect the decision. Because it comes from the same unsafe, illogical, unconventional wisdom that has defined this dynasty. Most of us wouldn’t have kicked in the same way we wouldn’t have given the ball to Peyton Manning in OT three years ago. Or taken the intentional safety in Denver back in the day. Or run the ineligible receiver plays that beat Baltimore in the playoffs last year. Or replaced Adam Vinatieri with Stephen Gostkowski. Or drafted Sebastian Vollmer in the second round. Or any of a million other risky, against-the-grain decisions that have made this team great for 15 years. Playing it by the book is for other, lesser teams. Patriots fans will support Belichick when these gambles fail because they respect that the same thought process that made the call to kick is the one that opted not to call time out in the Super Bowl with Seattle second-and-goal from the 1. It won’t always work out. But we understand that like with all belief systems, our deity works in mysterious ways and it’s times like these that you need to keep your faith.

— And besides, this is what genius does. Every once in a while true, creative genius will leave you sitting there saying “WTF was that all about?” No one ever appreciated a stupid fart joke the way Mozart did. Ben Franklin believed in taking “air baths,” where he’d just walk around bollocky in front of open windows in the middle of the day. Francis Ford Coppola is responsible for the last 20 minutes of “Apocalypse Now.” Michael Jackson … well, you get my point. Belichick will get an ‘F’ in every report card this week. But New Englanders still will respect that we are dealing with a man who’s not doing Next Level thinking, he’s operating at the level above Next Level. And we’ll accept it, even when we don’t understand it.

— The one thing we can grasp, because it’s so obvious at the moment, is that the coaches have little to no faith in the offense right now. It’s the only explanation for why they’ve chosen to bleed the clock at the end of halves. And why they trusted the defense to win a field position battle in overtime rather than give Tom Brady the ball.

— And it’s hard to blame them, given the state of things. Every week they’re paying for yards with lives. I feel like Josh McDaniels made every adjustment he could make against the Jets, but when every time your quarterback takes a five-step drop he’s in the bear rape scene from “The Revenant,” your options are fairly limited.

— That explains all the gadget plays in the second quarter. They weren’t out of arrogance or McDaniels auditioning for a head coaching job. It was pure practicality. Nothing else was working, especially after Vollmer went out. So there was no choice but to dig deep into the back of the playbook where you keep the stuff you really only drew up to use in Madden. The jet sweep to Brandon LaFell with Brady blocking. The I formation where Brady splits out and it’s a direct snap to the upback. And the flea-flicker, which almost worked. In spite of the fact Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts made it out like Darrelle Revis had blanket coverage on the play, Rob Gronkowski had a step and Brady could have connected. And if he had, we’re not talking about coin flips and making lame Matthew Slater-Steve Harvey jokes.

— One play I can live without, though, in addition to anything that includes Tom Brady road grading upfield on a reverse, is that third-and-1 handoff to the fullback. The Patriots tried it with Joey Iosefa in the first, and it extended its own Most Consecutive Attempts Without Ever Converting the First Down streak, which now stands at 2,482. I’m going to hack into their files and delete that play if I have to get a job with the St. Louis Cardinals to do it.

— Without Sea Bass, Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola, with no real push from the offensive line and with almost no time to throw, the Patriots offense was limited to trying to stretch the New York defense horizontally, which wasn’t working. The Jets’ screen recognition was outstanding and there was nothing there all game. So the Pats adjusted by having the receivers start sitting underneath zones. That moved the ball well enough, but it severely limited their yards after catch and made for a lot of third downs they couldn’t convert.

— The sad fact of the matter is that as currently constituted, the McOffense only does a couple of things well — hit the intermediate passes and get Gronk up the seam on occasion. That’s not an offense. It’s two pages of a playbook. It’s what you hand a Tim Tebow or some street free agent QB you signed in an emergency. I’m not saying the situation is dire. But the Pats need to get healthy, fast. Even if it means hiring Ashley Manning as team pharmacist.

— The movie looks like hot garbage, but that “Dirty Grandpa” trailer raises two philosophical questions that have vexed me for years. One, when was the exact moment that Robert DeNiro stopped caring about his career? And two, is Aubrey Plaza hot or not? I feel like she’d be a Dorchester 6, but for some reason is a Hollywood 8, which defies all natural laws. Still, I won’t see the movie to settle either issue.

— This might sound bananas, but I sneaky feel like the guy the Patriots missed most was Pat Chung. Without Chung at the big nickel spot, the Jets were able to gash the Pats’ 4-2-5 base. For at least the first three quarters, Jets offensive linemen were getting up to the second level and sealing off the Pats safeties and linebackers. And Chung at that spot allows them to play a lot more man coverage, which I think they had to get away from at times. Take the 25-yard completion to Eric Decker early on. It looked like the Pats were in a Cover-3 “sky” with Malcolm Butler covering the deep third of the field and Decker got free in front of him. Maybe that’s an example of them missing Devin McCourty more, but I still think Chung has become the indispensable man on that defense. And four years ago I never thought I’d be typing those words.

— Every time Kenbrell Thompkins converts a first down and does his weird, goofy, inexplicable hand-gesture dance, an angel dies.

— By no means did I want to see Thompkins get injured, mind you. But I didn’t want Belichick shaking hands with him. Respect is fine. We just don’t need his magical healing touch helping the opposition.

— The damned shame of that overtime meltdown is that it renders moot one of the ballsiest comeback performances in an era full of them. That fourth-and-9, 26-yard strike to Gronk in bracket coverage was one for the ages. And the way Gronk bounced off that kill shot from Calvin Pryor would be the highlight of the week if there was any justice in the world.

— What keeps bothering me most every time I see that coin flip video has nothing to do with the decision to kick. It’s that when Clete Blakeman says, “Gentlemen, here’s the situation …” no one jumps in to say, “My parents went away on a week’s vacation. And they left the keys to the brand new Porsche. Would they mind? Hmm. Well, of course not …” You only get one chance of that in this life, team captains. And you blew it.

Jon Gruden Nickname of the Week: “I gotta tell ya, I love this Ryan Fitzpatrick. Did you know he went to Harvard? And he’s got that wild beard, man. And he’s real hard to chase down. That’s why I call this guy ‘Unabomber.’ And he’s doing some real damage to New England, man.”

— As if losing to the Jets isn’t bad enough, this was the week to rub their tampering, conniving little noses in the fact that Butler and Logan Ryan have been outplaying Revis all year. Instead Revis intercepts Brady (a total miscommunication; Revis caught it with all the athleticism of a kid getting a foul ball handed to him by the ball boy) and Butler and Ryan played arguably their worst games of the year. Brandon Marshall had Ryan in a glass case of emotion, and if they never have to meet in the playoffs it’ll be too soon.

— And it’s made worse by the fact that they couldn’t pick off Fitzpatrick, who throws his touch passes like a guy playing the football toss at a Dave & Buster’s.

— This Week’s Applicable Movie Quote: “Certainty of death. Small chance of success. What are we waiting for?” — Gimli, “Return of the King”

— I hope this Knee Jerk doesn’t come off as too dark and tragic. But losing to the Jets does things to me. The bigger picture is that if the Pats can clinch home field and spend the playoff bye getting relatively healthy, none of this matters. The Japanese have an art they call kintsukuroi. It involves taking a broken piece of pottery and gluing it back together with molten gold. Thus improving upon what it was originally. Give them Edelman, Amendola, Chung, McCourty and some semblance of an O-line and watch this coaching staff kintsukuroi the hell out of the AFC in the playoffs.

— I don’t want to seem like a sore loser, so I want to congratulate the Jets on winning their every-other-year Super Bowl. Enjoy it as you usually do.


DraftKings DraftKings has your shot to play for FREE in the $1 Million Fantasy Football Contest THIS SUNDAY! First place takes home $100,000! FOR FREE ENTRY, CLICK HERE.

Blog Author: 
Jerry Thornton
Dino, Buck, and Andy Hart talk about the Al-Jazeera America report that produced HGH allegations against Peyton Manning.

[0:02:14] ... be that low key year when it's weird happens Houston with his Super Bowl something now that Alley it's that weird that that don't quit but you might Elvis on the Kansas City for example ten won whatever they want to have to sit struggled to beat Cleveland in Kansas City yesterday. But instincts that's that's my number five upset number three would be Atlanta beat Carolina at the mocked him off. I you know and I know Arizona is good and I know Green Bay is bad I didn't know the cardinals were this good and the Packers were that bad 388. Tom Brady running for you out but that's the of the patriots annihilated Arizona in the snow. Yes yes and then they went in like a month later they're in the suitable and it wasn't snowing. Was no point and a Arizona has quietly just sort of taken over control of they might be the best team they might be the the most sure fire Super Bowl pick and safety of the team no one has talked about all year as a suitable content yeah they are now again ...
[0:04:32] ... yeah. Al-Jazeera reported an entry for this by now that in 2011. Peyton Manning used HGH performance enhancing drugs each GH. As he was trying to recover from his neck injury here is a little bit ...
[0:05:14] ... record this guy. He since recanted it here's the Al-Jazeera report and Peyton Manning refuting yesterday. Johnny slice claims would angels many all the top play is. It is nice to astonishing allegation in a sense ...
[0:06:12] ... guy who secretly recorded conversations with the supply guys says. All love Peyton Manning he was a nice guy he sat Della talked with us he thanked us for helping him with his neck surgeries. But I am just in us shoved this year of right between his shoulder blades in the middle is back. You silica for a victim no no not at all like it just I mean doesn't lets out a lot like someone who's in turn may have once. Done something that's something out but I mean if the answer the question what kind of guy was Peyton Manning he missed jerk. He yelled that is he would even look at it he told we can't make eye contact that I might see this like I would say wait we get back at Peyton Manning. And tell you a story about what Peyton Manning was really here at the dire and so to be Peyton Manning but now doesn't know he's talking to Al-Jazeera. This is a secret recording right. I don't have if we continue. Do not ...

Tim Hasselbeck joined Dino, Buck, and Andy Hart to discuss what happened yesterday with the overtime coin toss, the Peyton Manning allegations, and Coaches getting "Vitamin T".

[0:00:12] ... yards deep Buckley and never fear Dino is here and so does Tim Hasselbeck. A conversation with him is brought to you why friendlies the Sheba business solutions. And by wrapped up good morning to Massa ...
[0:03:36] ... about quarterback do juror of the yeah. The Cleveland Browns this is Tom Brady and my point is the only choice bill could have made that might. Prevent Tom Brady from touching the football. Was the choice that late and that would be to kick off. Andy Kennedy saying he has more ...
[0:10:45] ... last year no time out yet should call timeout I still believe Bill Belichick screwed that up should've called timeout did not and 100. But it stick approach from a political perspective the truth of the ...
[0:15:40] ... in what is called floor. They without trying to predict and read bill Belichick's mind about a hypothetical was not gonna take place meaning they don't need to win next week against Miami and Miami because ...

Dino, Steve Buckley, and Andy Hart have their flak jackets on as Pats fans react to yesterday's game

Welcome to Monday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

Welcome to Monday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NFL: Bengals at Broncos, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: Military Bowl, Navy vs. Pittsburgh, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: Quick Lane Bowl, Central Michigan vs. Minnesota, 5 p.m. (ESPN2)
NBA: Raptors at Bulls, 8 p.m. (NBATV)
College basketball: Lowell at Rutgers, 7 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: UNC Greensboro at North Carolina, 6 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Penn at Villanova, 7 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Elon at Duke, 8 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Coppin State at Creighton, 9 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Women, Maryland vs. UConn, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
College hockey: Ohio State vs. Boston College, 7 p.m. (WEEI-AM)
Soccer: Premier League, Chelsea at Manchester United, 12:30 p.m. (NBCSN)


— Globetrotters legend Meadowlark Lemon, known for his wisecracking ways as the team’s chief prankster for more than two decades, died Sunday at the age of 83, the club announced Monday morning.

A 2033 inductee into the Basketball Hall of Fame, Lemon joined the Globetrotters in 1954 as a 22-year-old shortly after a two-year stint in the Army and claims to have made more than 16,000 appearances in 24 years with the team. He helped the team transition from a competitive squad into one that focused on entertaining with comedic routines. He left in 1978 amid a contract dispute and started his own traveling team, continuing to play into his 70s.

Lemon, whose feature was a halfcourt hook shot, is one of five men to have their number retired by the team, along with Wilt Chamberlain, Curly Neal, Goose Tatum and Marques Haynes, who also died this year.

Lemon, who made numerous television appearances in the 1960s and ’70s, became an ordained minister in 1986 and founded Meadowlark Lemon Ministries in 1994.

— The Panthers are undefeated no more, and once again they are being criticized by an opposing player for their arrogant behavior.

Falcons linebacker O’Brien Schofield said the Panthers demonstrated poor sportsmanship the first time the teams played (a 38-0 Carolina rout). And on Sunday, quarterback Cam Newton left the field after speaking only with his counterpart, Matt Ryan, apparently upset that the Falcons were doing his touchdown dance, the “dab.”

“If you handle yourself with class, you don’t have to worry about that,” Schofield said. “But you see, they didn’t handle themselves with class the first time we played. So I didn’t care about how they were feeling after this game. I was ‘dabbing’ all in their faces.

“They took a picture during the game and posted it on social media the first time we played. It was a whole team picture. And Cam was running up and down the sidelines. There wasn’t none of that today. We played a football game today. I’m not even a trash talker, but when someone disrespects you and you get payback and then they can’t handle it, that’s glorious. If they could handle it, it would be cool. I probably wouldn’t have even ‘dabbed.’ But I was ‘dabbing’ in front of everybody.”

Panthers cornerback Josh Norman, who has been the subject of some criticism as well, downplayed the controversy.

“Ain’t no disrespect. They made one play that put them over in this game, and that was kind of a throw up,” Norman said, referring to Julio Jones‘ 70-yard touchdown reception. “We played our game, they played theirs. And they just had one more play than we did. That’s what it came down to. They had energy, and there was a little bit of luck. Those things happen.

“The first time, they were on our field. We came to their field. Hats off to those guys. They get paid, too. I have no comments about them. Julio is an amazing talent. I love playing against him — two of the best.”

— Sabres forward Evander Kane is being investigated by Buffalo police for a possible sex offense, the team confirmed Sunday.

“We take the allegation made today against Evander Kane very seriously,” the Sabres said in a statement. “We are gathering facts and have been in touch with the NHL and Evander’s representatives. Until we have more information we will not have any additional comment.”

The Buffalo News reported that the investigation is related to an alleged incident Sunday morning at a downtown hotel room.

Kane scored a goal in Sunday’s 6-3 victory over the Bruins at TD Garden. He has eight goals and five assists in 25 games this season.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Dec. 28, 1963, which Red Sox infielder was named Comeback Player of the Year?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “My face lit up, like ‘€˜You really want to kick the ball?’ I don’t know, but I am glad they did choose to kick.” — Jets captain Calvin Pryor, on the Patriots’ decision to kick off after winning the overtime coin toss in Sunday’s 26-20 New England loss

STAT OF THE DAY: 37.1 — Shooting percentage for the Knicks on Sunday as the Celtics captured a 100-91 victory

‘NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): Stars forward Jamie Benn puts on a couple of nifty moves before Patrick Sharp scores against the Blues.

Blues goalie Brian Elliott makes an impressive glove save against Stars forward Ales Hemsky.

While his daughters participate in a puck-shooting contest between periods at Saturday’s Lightning game, their father, on leave from the Navy after a year away from home, gives them a surprise reunion.

TRIVIA ANSWER: First baseman Dick Stuart, who hit 42 home runs with a league-high 118 RBIs in his first season in Boston after coming over from the Pirates

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Former Box Tops lead singer Alex Chilton, who died in 2010, was born on this day in 1950.

Blog Author: 
Jerry Spar
Tom Brady joined Dino, Buck, and Andy to talk about yesterday's OT loss to the Jets, and he supports his friend, Peyton Manning

[0:00:31] ... that kind of competitive spirit continues to. Course through your veins. What Tom Brady in overtime want. The chance to have the ball first before everybody else I know you're locked in through your coach on ...
[0:01:05] ... don't think any you know as far as offense goes. As an epic game wasn't like we early track of the ball opened on the field so. Hard that inspired your coach. I don't you know ...
[0:10:48] ... winnable game. You know you don't agree that your. That that if Mike York team prepped the team's. Outlook going into this game is different as a result of what happened yesterday. So in that if ...
[0:21:15] ... sort of railroaded in his own controversy over the last year. Different Peyton Manning seems like he may be going down that same road. After a report over the last night from the Al-Jazeera network I'm ...

Dino, Buck, and Andy Hart talk Star Wars' mega record, and with what percentage of Norovirus infected employees are you comfortable?

[0:05:59] ... he'll do it again a while ago I read this quote. Roman National Football League head coach and I wish I knew who was it might have been Belichick. But I don't think was I would recall ...
[0:08:01] ... and that was the the staunch defense that he chose over putting Tom Brady on the field a defense that had Leonard Johnson to Von Wilson Richards and Coleman. In the defensive back this isn't exactly ...
[0:10:54] ... is saying. We did what was in the best interest of the football team as there are different take on that yeah I will say one other factor here that I think is important is he ...
[0:12:17] ... it is when Tompkins got hurt. Bill went over. And shook as Hanik Milligan pat said hang in there it was usual right definitely noteworthy not gonna say unprecedented but I definitely noteworthy even more so ...

Dino, Steve Buckley, and Andy Hart have their flak jackets on as Pats fans react to yesterday's game

[0:00:11] ... walked in here that what have you would be it's honestly. In bill Belichick's corner that what have you. Would. Offer a robust defense of what build it when they won the coin toss yesterday and ...
[0:00:43] ... only thing built could have chosen to do that might have prevented Tom Brady from ever touching the football game in overtime is what he did net shoes to up to detect. Here's the other thing I talk a little bit about field position because I think we are just sort of trying to read and listen between the lines when bill says we did what we thought was best at that time. That he was looking to create a little field position for his team since his defense out there and -- short field. Which with which Tom Brady could be in a little bit and Gostkowski kicked the game winning field. That's sort of the general theme on Twitter that's ...
[0:02:18] ... have all the confidence in. Why can't they stop the jets after Tom Brady punts just like you expect them to stop the jets rank and overtime yes exactly put another way if Bill Belichick trusted his defense so much. What difference would it make to the patriots had they taken the field after Tom Brady had a chance to score three or 70 thanks the only difference. That's in the discussion is. If you take the ball ...
[0:06:20] ... possession. He assumed they were gonna stop Ryan Fitzpatrick and you assume Tom Brady could win with a few local and and by the way you know for for everything the defense was able to accomplish yesterday. Fitzpatrick was 25 a 41. Almost 300 yards. No interceptions and Brandon Marshall had eight catches. 115. Or so it's like their offense wasn't getting something done and they also run the ball with efficiency ...

Mike Mutnansky fills in for Mikey Adams and talks about the Al Jezeera report of HGH use in the NFL and with Peyton Manning in particular.

[0:00:01] ... for the week back next Monday mark what do you up until Monday Night Football right here on W the obvious final Monday of the year hope you had a great Christmas. Our holiday whatever you celebrate ...
[0:02:06] ... leap Peyton Manning. A break break came out and denied if placate Mark Brunell sort of crying on ESP answer like five minutes later. Peyton Manning tonight to Lisa salters and Tom Jackson is ready to ...
[0:04:06] ... up here at Sports Radio WEP I'd take you right up until Monday Night Football Bengals and Broncos hiding. They with the money children's expense. We had to order Claudia. Not a Peyton Manning training anyway obviously. ...
[0:08:29] ... us burger and Antonio Brown who's just sick. Mark KV is Bryant Heath Miller gets every third down conversion the world that seems like. They seem pretty formal two. But the jets from yesterday jets. The ...