Why the Patriots Will Go Undefeated

With immediate family in the Boston area, I was fortunate enough to grow up watching my favorite sports teams win multiple championships. Beginning in 2001 with the Patriots, the championships kept flowing into Titletown, USA with the Pats winning Super Bowls in ’01, ’03, ’04, and ’14 (with 2 heartbreaking losses in the title game to the New York Football Giants mixed in there), the Red Sox taking home the title in ’04, ’07, and ’13, and even the Celtics and Bruins taking home championships in ’08 and ’11 respectively. Yes, life as a Boston sports fan has been good to me in my 21 years, but the Patriots have been the constant winner out of all the recent Beantown dynasties, and I believe that they have what it takes to complete the 3rd perfect regular season in NFL history, and heres why:

 

1st in Points Scored– Through 10 weeks, New England leads the league in points scored. This offense rivals that of 2007, which had Randy Moss on it, and leads leads the league in passing yards as well. They are playing like a well oiled machine and at the helm of said machine is an angry Tom Brady. You won’t like him when he’s angry.

Terrific Tom- Brady has looked at his most prolific, leading the league in touchdown passes with 24 while only throwing 3 interceptions, which is the least in the league among qualified “starters”. He also is 3rd in completions, trailing only Phillip Rivers and Drew Brees, who are the highlight of their team’s offenses.

Stout Run D- Not since 2004 has the Pats D looked this good. the passing stats against them are a little skewed because of their “bend but don’t break” defense that gives any fan a heart attack near the ends of games, but don’t be fooled; the Patriots are legit at stopping the run. They have allowed 1 more yard than the 1st place New York Jets and are 4th when it comes to allowing points. Chandler Jones is looking the best he has in his entire career, and 1st round pick Malcom Brown is beginning to emerge, making this defense even more scary going down the stretch.

 

 

Royals Rally: Now In Position to Take the Crown

hi-res-59333ad1ffd140e54972dfb0a3d24a27_crop_north (via Bleacher Report)

 

A fairy tale postseason for Daniel Murphy took a negative turn when he did not hit a home run in his 7th straight postseason game earlier in this World Series, and took another, more drastic one when he made an error on what seemed to be a routine ground ball hit by Eric Hosmer in the top of the 8th inning that allowed the Royals to score 3 runs in the frame and take Game 4 by a score of 5-3. The late comeback was the Royals’ 7th out of their 10 wins this postseason, including 6 when down by multiple runs, a postseason record. 

“What they did tonight is what they’ve been doing the whole playoffs,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “It’s a group of guys that have the utmost confidence in themselves. I don’t think at any point these guys thought that they were going to lose tonight,” he said.

Game 5 is tonight, with the Royals 1 win away from their first World Series championship in 30 years, and they hope to ride the hot arm of reeling right hander Edison Volquez. Volquez returned to the team on Saturday after a trip to the Dominican Republic to be with his family after his father’s death on the morning on Game 1. The pitcher said he knew his father would be proud of him for pitching tonight, and the municipality of Kansas City would be especially proud of him and the team with a World Series victory tonight.

New York Dreams: Do the Mets Need a Miracle?

As the World Series shifts to New York after the Royals took both games at home to jump out to a 2-0 lead in the 2015 World Series, the mood in the Mets clubhouse is much different than it was just a week ago. After a Game 2 effort that included but 2 weak hits whose combined speed wouldn’t warrant a speeding ticket, they now know just why the Royals dealt 3 left handed pitching prospects to the Reds for Johnny Cueto and what makes him so dominant. Cueto’s complete game, 2 hit effort featured just 4 strikeouts and 3 walks on 122 pitches; only 70 of which were strikes.

 

What do these numbers mean? They mean that Cueto was excellent, but not his normal dominant self. In fact, he was in some trouble in the middle sections of the game, in which he allowed his lone run of the evening on a cue-shot single by Lucas Duda in the top of the 4th that scored Daniel Murphy. This was immediately followed by 1-2-3 innings in the fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth innings, showing the mindset Cueto locked himself into while feeding off of the raucous 41,000+ fans in attendance. After asking manager Ned Yost for permission to pitch the final inning, Cueto became the first Dominican born pitcher to toss a complete game in the World Series, and the first player in general to accomplish the feat with 2 or less runs allowed since Greg Maddux in 1995. When you find your name mentioned alongside that of Maddux, you know you’re in some historic company.

 

When the series returns to Citi Field, the Mets must do one thing better and one thing only: HIT THE BALL. The pitching will be back to its normal, dominant self, with Noah Syndergaard toeing the rubber (and we all know what he usually does), but offense must be of paramount importance. After an 11 hit performance in Game 1, the Mets’ bats went quiet. With Yordano Ventura throwing for the opposition, the Mets hitters have to find a way to make Ventura throw extra pitches by employing the Royals strategy for Game 2; fouling off pitches as a strategy. They fouled off 24 of Jacob deGrom’s 95 pitches, forcing him to exit early. The backside of the Royals bullpen is their obvious strength, so Terry Collins’ club has to try and attack Ventura and get to the bullpen as early as possible in Game 3.