: OK now....you can unclench.
In the end, it looked like the Patriots wanted to give it away, but the Chargers were having none of it.
The Chargers were headed into week 7 hosting the Patriots in a must-win scenario after dropping two in a row. With 4 turnovers by the Chargers in the first half- including a botched lateral that nearly everybody on the field walked away from before realizing it was a live ball and rookie Richard Goodman leaving the ball on the field after his first career reception (a 25 yard pickup) San Diego was fortunate to be trailing New England by a 13-3 margin at halftime.
The Patriots opened up the second half with an eight minute drive culminating in a Ben Jarvus Green-Ellis TD run from the San Diego 1 yard line to make it a 20-3. But as badly as San Diego played in the first half, the came on strong in the 4th quarter, moving the ball down the field efficiently and outscoring the Pats 17-3. New England got the ball back at their own 40 after the Charger's kickoff went out of bounds, but couldn't convert on 4th and 1, turning the ball over on downs. San Diego was able to get the ball as far as the Patriots 27, running the clock down to 28 seconds in regulation in the process. However, a procedural penalty against the offense forced newly-signed San Diego kicker Kris Brown to attempt the field goal from mid-field. The 50-yard attempt hit the post and New England barely
holds on to win by a final of 23-20 on the road.
The Chargers fall to 2-5 while the Patriots have a fairly spiffy 5-1 record. New England has an identical record with the idle Jets, while elsewhere in the AFC East Miami fell to 3-3 with a 23-22 loss to the Steelers in South Florida Sunday afternoon. Tom Brady went 19-32 with 159 yards and a touchdown. Pretty quiet day from Wes Welker, although on special teams Zoltan Mesko acquitted himself fairly well after a couple of bad snaps (including some one-hoppers).
I think when all is said and done, I'm going to have to nominate the right upright of the goal post at Qualcomm stadium as Sunday's MVP for the Patriots.
Next weekend, the Pats will be reunited with Randy Moss at Foxboro as the Vikings come in to town fresh off their Sunday night loss to Green Bay at Lambeau Field.
A picture's worth a thousand words- BWA HA HA HA HA HA!!!MLB
: So....has anybody gone with the 'Steers & Queers'
World Series moniker yet?
All I can say is remember when a starting pitcher signing with or getting traded to the Rangers was more or less a career death sentence?
The Texas Rangers had Cliff Lee ready to go for Game 7 should the ALCS get that far. As it turned out, there was no need. With the Rangers heading back to Arlington, TX holding a 3-2 advantage in the ALCS, Colby Lewis got the start for Texas while Phil Hughes was given the start for New York in a do-or-die situation.
If you had heard of Colby Lewis prior to the 2010 ALCS and aren't from the Lone Star state, raise your hand. In which case, I'm probably going to say you're full of crap (altho' I had heard of him in passing after losing against the a close game Sox back in August). On Friday night, the journeyman Rangers starter went eight innings, giving up only one earned run and striking out seven with the growd chanting 'Col-by!'
as the innings progressed. The only run allowed by Lewis came on a wild pitch (that apparently hit Nick Swisher) that brought Alex Rodriguez in from third to tie the game at 1-1 in the top of the 5th inning.
That was as close as the Yankees would get.
Rangers 1B Mitch Moreland led off the bottom of the 5th with a single before moving to third on back-to-back groundouts. The Yankees decided to pitch around Josh Hamilton to get to Vlad Guererro with two on and two away. Vlad would make the Yankees pay with a booming double to center field. That was the end of the night for Phil Hughes, but the first batter David Robertson would face was Nelson Cruz, who homered to center to make it a 5-1 game. After an Ian Kinsler sac-fly in the 7th to make it a 6-1 game, there was no looking back.
Unlike Game 1, there would be no furious comeback by the Yankees. Neftali Feliz would close out the top of the 9th 1-2-3 (A-Rod was caught looking to end the game and series) good for the Ranger's first-ever World Series appearence and copious amounts of ginger-ale being sprayed everywhere.
Outfielder Josh Hamilton was named ALCS MVP after hitting .350 and belting 4 homers.
The Rangers would have to wait at least until Saturday to find out who they'd be facing in the World Series, with the Giants taking on the Phillies for Game 6 in the city of brotherly love.
Things were looking good for the Phillies as they managed to get two runs off of Giants starter Jonathan Sanchez in the first inning. The Giants would come right back with two of their own in the top of the 3rd, including Aubrey Huff reaching home safely after a fielding error by Phillies 1B Ryan Howard. Sanchez would get pulled and the benches cleared in bottom of the 3rd after hitting Chase Utley with a pitch.
San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy would go to the bullpen early and often, with Jeremy Affeldt, Madison Bumgarner, ex-Red Sox pitcher Javier Lopez and starter Tim Lincecum combining for a shutout before Juan Uribe gave San Francisco the go ahead run on a solo shot.
New Hampshire's own Brian Wilson came on in the 8th to close things out- he got Ruiz to line out into a double play to end the 8th, but was in for a hairy and somewhat wild 9th, where he had two runners on with two away and managed to strike out Ryan Howard to end the game and the NLCS with a 3-2 Giants win. Despite the electric and attention-grabbing start to the playoffs, it's all over for Philly as the Giants won the series 4-2. Neither defending pennant winner has advanced to the World Series this year.
Game 1 of the World Series is set to take place in San Francisco Wednesday night at 7: 57 ET. A well rested Cliff Lee gets the start against Tim Lincecum and the game will be televised on FOX.
So in either case, the 2010 World Series will end a long run of futility for the Rangers (who have never been) or the Giants (who haven't won a title since moving out to San Francsico in 1958).ELSEWHERE IN MLB
: Former Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell was named the new manager of the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday. Farrell will replace the outgoing Cito Gaston, who retired at the end of the season last month. Toronto finished the season 85-77, good for 4th place in the very difficult AL East in 2010.NHL
: After downing the Capitals 4-1 for their home opener, the Boston Bruins lost to the NY Rangers by a 3-2 score at the TD Banknorth Garden on Saturday. New York's Henrik Lundqvist stopped 35 total shots and held off the Bruins to win by a 3-2 final, handing the Bruins their first loss on American soil this season. Tukka Rask got the start and stopped 27 of 30 shots faced in the loss while Zdeno Chara and Nathan Horton had the only tallies for the B's.
The Bruin's record is now 4-2-0 and they next face the Maple Leafs, who are off to a 4-2-1 start, on Thursday night at the Garden.NCAA FOOTBALL
: Not a good weekend for New England's Division 1 schools.
BC Safety Wes Davis was strapped to a backboard after laying motionless on the turf for nearly 10 minutes on Saturday's game against Maryland before being wheeled to an ambulance. The school said that Davis had 'full motion', but remained hospitalized for observation.
After falling behind to the Terrapins 24-7 in the third, BC managed to score two unanswered TD's in the 4th quarter, but successive drives late in the quarter stalled in the 4th when the ball was turned over on downs. Maryland wins by a final of 24-21 in Chestnut Hill. Montel Harris had 27 carries for 116 yards and 2 TDs in the losing effort for the Eagles. This makes it 5 losses in a row, and things aren't looking too good for next week when the Eagles host the Clemson Tigers.
UConn actually did worse, getting shut out 26-0 by Louisville on Saturday. The Huskies will host the West Virginia Mountaineers this Saturday.ELSEWHERE IN THE NCAA
: The New Jersey Nets announced that they would be donating $75,000 towards a fund for paralyzed Rutgers player Eric LeGrand
. LeGrand has shown no signs of improvement since being hospitalized.