Category Archives: Sports

Patriots-Chiefs AFC Championship Matchup

By Norm Elrod (CBS Boston/CBS Local) — One of these days everyone will pick against the New England Patriots, and they’ll be right. Certainly last Sunday wasn’t that day. The Patriots blasted the Los Angeles Chargers, who many had predicted could run the table as a wild card. On their first four possessions, Tom Brady methodically moved his offense down the field for touchdowns. The score was 35-7 at halftime. The game was essentially already over. The Kansas City Chiefs are not the Chargers. And while it’s hard to claim the Chiefs were really any better in the regular season — the AFC West foes had 12-4 records and split head-to-head matchups — they certainly looked better in the divisional round. The Chiefs stifled the red-hot Indianapolis Colts 30-13, and they did it with help from the defense. Patrick Mahomes was his usual productive self, spreading the ball around to his many weapons. But the Chiefs’ bemoaned defense, which contained Andrew Luck, was the real story. The AFC’s two top seeds will meet each other in Kansas City to determine which team moves on to Atlanta for Super Bowl LIII. This is a rematch from Week 6, when the Patriots beat the Chiefs in a shootout in Foxboro. Brady went 24-35 passing for 340 yards and touchdown in that game; Mahomes went 23-36 passing for 352 yards and four touchdowns. The AFC Championship could very well play out the same way. Stream the AFC Championship LIVE on CBS All Access across devices. Start your free trial now!
Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots throws during the third quarter in the AFC Divisional Playoff Game against the Los Angeles Chargers at Gillette Stadium on January 13, 2019 in Foxborough, Massachusetts.

Tom Brady (Photo Credit: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Brady showed last week that at 41 years old, without his usual arsenal of weapons, he can still get it done. The Patriots offense relies on between-the-tackles runs and short, quick passes, and the strategy worked well against the Chargers. Rookie Sony Michel picked up 129 yards and three touchdowns on 24 carries. James White had 15 catches out of the backfield, and slot receiver Julian Edelman added nine more. Rob Gronkowski, who had one catch for 25 yards in his latest disappearing act, wasn’t a factor. Still, the Patriots seemed to move the ball at will, especially in the first half. Brady meets Mahomes this week, in what may seem like a sort of passing of the torch. Kansas City’s second-year quarterback is a natural passer and a natural athlete, who seems to create highlight-worthy clips on a weekly basis. He had his fair share against the Colts, en route to another win, including a sidearm pass under pressure to Travis Kelce. What will he do this week to electrify fans? Surrounded by outstanding playmakers, Mahomes will certainly have options. Damien Williams racked up 129 yards on 25 carries last week, and provides enough of a threat to force defenses to respect the run. Kelce has become the new Gronk, pulling in seven catches for 108 yards. Tyreek Hill, who had eight catches for 72 yards, and Sammy Watkins, who added six more for 62 yards, can get behind defenses seemingly at will.
Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs begins to throw a pass against the Indianapolis Colts during the first quarter of the AFC Divisional Round playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 12, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri.

Patrick Mahomes (Photo Credit: Peter Aiken/Getty Images)

What can these defenses do to slow down these offenses, if anything? That will very likely be the difference. The Patriots defense did a better job against the Chargers than the score indicates. Most of the Chargers’ yardage and points came in the second half, with Philip Rivers in comeback mode. New England also controlled the line of scrimmage early, limiting Melvin Gordon and forcing Los Angeles to abandon the run in favor the pass. The Patriots were much better against the run than the pass in the regular season. They still pressured the immobile Rivers enough to force mistakes. Mahomes, however, is often at his best when forced from the pocket. The Chiefs defense this season was almost as bad as the offense was good, ranking near the bottom of the League against the run and the pass. But these much talked-about deficiencies are actually a little misleading. Part of the problem was that their offense jumped out to leads, forcing opposing offenses to play catch-up. The Chiefs actually tied for the NFL lead in sacks during the regular season. The unit has improved of late, and looked downright dominant against the Colts, setting the tone with three-and-outs on the Colts’ first four possessions. The Chiefs defense is much weaker than the offense, but it is capable of making a difference. What does all of this mean?
Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots looks on during the Divisional playoff game against the Los Angeles Chargers at Gillette Stadium on January 13, 2019 in Foxborough, Massachusetts.

Bill Belichick (Photo Credit: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

This will be another high-scoring game, though probably less so than their previous matchup. The Over/Under is currently 56, and that seems a little low. Tom Brady and Bill Belichick will pick apart the Chiefs defense. Their pass rush won’t be a factor for a couple reasons. The effective Sony Michel forces the defense to respect the run, meaning they can’t just attack the quarterback. And with all the short passing plays, Brady won’t have the ball long enough for defense to touch him; he knows where to go with ball before he has it. Mahomes will light up the Patriots defense as well. The Chiefs just have too much firepower for the Patriots to counter. The Patriots were 3-5 on the road during the regular season, and Tom Brady hasn’t won a road playoff game in 12 years. The Chiefs, on the other hand, are 8-1 at home this season. The cold weather won’t be a huge factor. But this is Mahomes’ first postseason, while Brady has won five Super Bowls in his many trips to the playoffs. The pressure of moment will matter. The Patriots come in as three-point underdogs this week and have a big chip on their shoulder. Belichick will find a way to limit Mahomes just enough to get the win. SportsLine analyst Adam Thompson also sees the Patriots having the advantage where it matters most… Patrick Mahomes is a superstar and the game is in Kansas City. But if this game, in frigid conditions, comes down to the run game, the Patriots have a considerable edge. If it comes down to needing a big play on defense, the Patriots have more playmakers to get it done, and a much-better overall unit. If it comes down to experience, then Tom Brady is unrivaled. KC looked great last week against the Colts, but it still had the worst pass defense in the regular season. It’s not impossible to think a torch will be passed Sunday, but Bill Belichick will have his team ready — just like last week.

Patriots-Chiefs AFC Championship Matchup

By Norm Elrod (CBS Boston/CBS Local) — One of these days everyone will pick against the New England Patriots, and they’ll be right. Certainly last Sunday wasn’t that day. The Patriots blasted the Los Angeles Chargers, who many had predicted could run the table as a wild card. On their first four possessions, Tom Brady methodically moved his offense down the field for touchdowns. The score was 35-7 at halftime. The game was essentially already over. The Kansas City Chiefs are not the Chargers. And while it’s hard to claim the Chiefs were really any better in the regular season — the AFC West foes had 12-4 records and split head-to-head matchups — they certainly looked better in the divisional round. The Chiefs stifled the red-hot Indianapolis Colts 30-13, and they did it with help from the defense. Patrick Mahomes was his usual productive self, spreading the ball around to his many weapons. But the Chiefs’ bemoaned defense, which contained Andrew Luck, was the real story. The AFC’s two top seeds will meet each other in Kansas City to determine which team moves on to Atlanta for Super Bowl LIII. This is a rematch from Week 6, when the Patriots beat the Chiefs in a shootout in Foxboro. Brady went 24-35 passing for 340 yards and touchdown in that game; Mahomes went 23-36 passing for 352 yards and four touchdowns. The AFC Championship could very well play out the same way. Stream the AFC Championship LIVE on CBS All Access across devices. Start your free trial now!
Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots throws during the third quarter in the AFC Divisional Playoff Game against the Los Angeles Chargers at Gillette Stadium on January 13, 2019 in Foxborough, Massachusetts.

Tom Brady (Photo Credit: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Brady showed last week that at 41 years old, without his usual arsenal of weapons, he can still get it done. The Patriots offense relies on between-the-tackles runs and short, quick passes, and the strategy worked well against the Chargers. Rookie Sony Michel picked up 129 yards and three touchdowns on 24 carries. James White had 15 catches out of the backfield, and slot receiver Julian Edelman added nine more. Rob Gronkowski, who had one catch for 25 yards in his latest disappearing act, wasn’t a factor. Still, the Patriots seemed to move the ball at will, especially in the first half. Brady meets Mahomes this week, in what may seem like a sort of passing of the torch. Kansas City’s second-year quarterback is a natural passer and a natural athlete, who seems to create highlight-worthy clips on a weekly basis. He had his fair share against the Colts, en route to another win, including a sidearm pass under pressure to Travis Kelce. What will he do this week to electrify fans? Surrounded by outstanding playmakers, Mahomes will certainly have options. Damien Williams racked up 129 yards on 25 carries last week, and provides enough of a threat to force defenses to respect the run. Kelce has become the new Gronk, pulling in seven catches for 108 yards. Tyreek Hill, who had eight catches for 72 yards, and Sammy Watkins, who added six more for 62 yards, can get behind defenses seemingly at will.
Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs begins to throw a pass against the Indianapolis Colts during the first quarter of the AFC Divisional Round playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 12, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri.

Patrick Mahomes (Photo Credit: Peter Aiken/Getty Images)

What can these defenses do to slow down these offenses, if anything? That will very likely be the difference. The Patriots defense did a better job against the Chargers than the score indicates. Most of the Chargers’ yardage and points came in the second half, with Philip Rivers in comeback mode. New England also controlled the line of scrimmage early, limiting Melvin Gordon and forcing Los Angeles to abandon the run in favor the pass. The Patriots were much better against the run than the pass in the regular season. They still pressured the immobile Rivers enough to force mistakes. Mahomes, however, is often at his best when forced from the pocket. The Chiefs defense this season was almost as bad as the offense was good, ranking near the bottom of the League against the run and the pass. But these much talked-about deficiencies are actually a little misleading. Part of the problem was that their offense jumped out to leads, forcing opposing offenses to play catch-up. The Chiefs actually tied for the NFL lead in sacks during the regular season. The unit has improved of late, and looked downright dominant against the Colts, setting the tone with three-and-outs on the Colts’ first four possessions. The Chiefs defense is much weaker than the offense, but it is capable of making a difference. What does all of this mean?
Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots looks on during the Divisional playoff game against the Los Angeles Chargers at Gillette Stadium on January 13, 2019 in Foxborough, Massachusetts.

Bill Belichick (Photo Credit: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

This will be another high-scoring game, though probably less so than their previous matchup. The Over/Under is currently 56, and that seems a little low. Tom Brady and Bill Belichick will pick apart the Chiefs defense. Their pass rush won’t be a factor for a couple reasons. The effective Sony Michel forces the defense to respect the run, meaning they can’t just attack the quarterback. And with all the short passing plays, Brady won’t have the ball long enough for defense to touch him; he knows where to go with ball before he has it. Mahomes will light up the Patriots defense as well. The Chiefs just have too much firepower for the Patriots to counter. The Patriots were 3-5 on the road during the regular season, and Tom Brady hasn’t won a road playoff game in 12 years. The Chiefs, on the other hand, are 8-1 at home this season. The cold weather won’t be a huge factor. But this is Mahomes’ first postseason, while Brady has won five Super Bowls in his many trips to the playoffs. The pressure of moment will matter. The Patriots come in as three-point underdogs this week and have a big chip on their shoulder. Belichick will find a way to limit Mahomes just enough to get the win. SportsLine analyst Adam Thompson also sees the Patriots having the advantage where it matters most… Patrick Mahomes is a superstar and the game is in Kansas City. But if this game, in frigid conditions, comes down to the run game, the Patriots have a considerable edge. If it comes down to needing a big play on defense, the Patriots have more playmakers to get it done, and a much-better overall unit. If it comes down to experience, then Tom Brady is unrivaled. KC looked great last week against the Colts, but it still had the worst pass defense in the regular season. It’s not impossible to think a torch will be passed Sunday, but Bill Belichick will have his team ready — just like last week.

Patriots-Chiefs AFC Championship Matchup

By Norm Elrod (CBS Boston/CBS Local) — One of these days everyone will pick against the New England Patriots, and they’ll be right. Certainly last Sunday wasn’t that day. The Patriots blasted the Los Angeles Chargers, who many had predicted could run the table as a wild card. On their first four possessions, Tom Brady methodically moved his offense down the field for touchdowns. The score was 35-7 at halftime. The game was essentially already over. The Kansas City Chiefs are not the Chargers. And while it’s hard to claim the Chiefs were really any better in the regular season — the AFC West foes had 12-4 records and split head-to-head matchups — they certainly looked better in the divisional round. The Chiefs stifled the red-hot Indianapolis Colts 30-13, and they did it with help from the defense. Patrick Mahomes was his usual productive self, spreading the ball around to his many weapons. But the Chiefs’ bemoaned defense, which contained Andrew Luck, was the real story. The AFC’s two top seeds will meet each other in Kansas City to determine which team moves on to Atlanta for Super Bowl LIII. This is a rematch from Week 6, when the Patriots beat the Chiefs in a shootout in Foxboro. Brady went 24-35 passing for 340 yards and touchdown in that game; Mahomes went 23-36 passing for 352 yards and four touchdowns. The AFC Championship could very well play out the same way. Stream the AFC Championship LIVE on CBS All Access across devices. Start your free trial now!
Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots throws during the third quarter in the AFC Divisional Playoff Game against the Los Angeles Chargers at Gillette Stadium on January 13, 2019 in Foxborough, Massachusetts.

Tom Brady (Photo Credit: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Brady showed last week that at 41 years old, without his usual arsenal of weapons, he can still get it done. The Patriots offense relies on between-the-tackles runs and short, quick passes, and the strategy worked well against the Chargers. Rookie Sony Michel picked up 129 yards and three touchdowns on 24 carries. James White had 15 catches out of the backfield, and slot receiver Julian Edelman added nine more. Rob Gronkowski, who had one catch for 25 yards in his latest disappearing act, wasn’t a factor. Still, the Patriots seemed to move the ball at will, especially in the first half. Brady meets Mahomes this week, in what may seem like a sort of passing of the torch. Kansas City’s second-year quarterback is a natural passer and a natural athlete, who seems to create highlight-worthy clips on a weekly basis. He had his fair share against the Colts, en route to another win, including a sidearm pass under pressure to Travis Kelce. What will he do this week to electrify fans? Surrounded by outstanding playmakers, Mahomes will certainly have options. Damien Williams racked up 129 yards on 25 carries last week, and provides enough of a threat to force defenses to respect the run. Kelce has become the new Gronk, pulling in seven catches for 108 yards. Tyreek Hill, who had eight catches for 72 yards, and Sammy Watkins, who added six more for 62 yards, can get behind defenses seemingly at will.
Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs begins to throw a pass against the Indianapolis Colts during the first quarter of the AFC Divisional Round playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 12, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri.

Patrick Mahomes (Photo Credit: Peter Aiken/Getty Images)

What can these defenses do to slow down these offenses, if anything? That will very likely be the difference. The Patriots defense did a better job against the Chargers than the score indicates. Most of the Chargers’ yardage and points came in the second half, with Philip Rivers in comeback mode. New England also controlled the line of scrimmage early, limiting Melvin Gordon and forcing Los Angeles to abandon the run in favor the pass. The Patriots were much better against the run than the pass in the regular season. They still pressured the immobile Rivers enough to force mistakes. Mahomes, however, is often at his best when forced from the pocket. The Chiefs defense this season was almost as bad as the offense was good, ranking near the bottom of the League against the run and the pass. But these much talked-about deficiencies are actually a little misleading. Part of the problem was that their offense jumped out to leads, forcing opposing offenses to play catch-up. The Chiefs actually tied for the NFL lead in sacks during the regular season. The unit has improved of late, and looked downright dominant against the Colts, setting the tone with three-and-outs on the Colts’ first four possessions. The Chiefs defense is much weaker than the offense, but it is capable of making a difference. What does all of this mean?
Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots looks on during the Divisional playoff game against the Los Angeles Chargers at Gillette Stadium on January 13, 2019 in Foxborough, Massachusetts.

Bill Belichick (Photo Credit: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

This will be another high-scoring game, though probably less so than their previous matchup. The Over/Under is currently 56, and that seems a little low. Tom Brady and Bill Belichick will pick apart the Chiefs defense. Their pass rush won’t be a factor for a couple reasons. The effective Sony Michel forces the defense to respect the run, meaning they can’t just attack the quarterback. And with all the short passing plays, Brady won’t have the ball long enough for defense to touch him; he knows where to go with ball before he has it. Mahomes will light up the Patriots defense as well. The Chiefs just have too much firepower for the Patriots to counter. The Patriots were 3-5 on the road during the regular season, and Tom Brady hasn’t won a road playoff game in 12 years. The Chiefs, on the other hand, are 8-1 at home this season. The cold weather won’t be a huge factor. But this is Mahomes’ first postseason, while Brady has won five Super Bowls in his many trips to the playoffs. The pressure of moment will matter. The Patriots come in as three-point underdogs this week and have a big chip on their shoulder. Belichick will find a way to limit Mahomes just enough to get the win. SportsLine analyst Adam Thompson also sees the Patriots having the advantage where it matters most… Patrick Mahomes is a superstar and the game is in Kansas City. But if this game, in frigid conditions, comes down to the run game, the Patriots have a considerable edge. If it comes down to needing a big play on defense, the Patriots have more playmakers to get it done, and a much-better overall unit. If it comes down to experience, then Tom Brady is unrivaled. KC looked great last week against the Colts, but it still had the worst pass defense in the regular season. It’s not impossible to think a torch will be passed Sunday, but Bill Belichick will have his team ready — just like last week.

4 Surprise NBA Teams

By Norm Elrod (CBS Denver/CBS Local) — Don’t look now, but the Denver Nuggets sit half a game out of the Western Conference lead, and the Milwaukee Bucks are half a game up on the Toronto Raptors for the lead in the Eastern Conference. Will it last? Possibly, maybe. Alright, who the heck knows? But halfway through the season, the Nuggets and the Bucks, who both had solid 2017-18 campaigns, seem to have taken the next step.
Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets plays the Toronto Raptors at the Pepsi Center on December 16, 2018 in Denver, Colorado.

Nikola Jokic (Photo Credit: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Denver Nuggets The Nuggets, one of the NBA’s youngest teams, finished last season 46-36 and just one game out of the playoffs. The difference this season has been Paul Millsap’s health (though the team has endured injuries to other players) and Nikola Jokic’s defense. Millsap has already almost equaled his game total from last season, which saw him miss months with a wrist injury. That alone has paid dividends at both ends of the court. Jokic, an elite scorer who isn’t the most athletic of players, is figuring out how to use his high basketball IQ to better defend as well. Milwaukee Bucks The Bucks have Giannis Antetokounmpo, which alone elevates them to contender status in the LeBron-less East. The Greek Freak puts up 26.4 points and 12.5 rebounds per night, putting him in the MVP conversation and making Milwaukee tough to beat, especially at home, where they’re 20-4. Without him, the Bucks drop winnable games to bottom-dwellers like the Washington Wizards. Still, there’s more to this top NBA offense than Giannis. Khris Middleton, who’s averaging 17.5 points, and Eric Bledsoe, who’s averaging 15.3 points, both put up double-doubles in Giannis’s return against the Atlanta Hawks. New coach Mike Budenholzer deserves credit for improving an already good offense by efficiently positioning all the shooters around Giannis. Budenholzer also turned a middling defense into one of the NBA’s best. Brooklyn Nets The Brooklyn Nets have climbed to .500, and are currently the seventh seed in the playoff race. This would mean a whole lot more if it were now early April rather than mid-January. But for the Nets to be this high in the standings halfway through the season is certainly saying something. This team has already topped its win totals for two of the last three seasons. What explains the return to respectability? Their rebuilding project is starting to pay dividends. D’Angelo Russell is averaging 18.5 points in his second year with the team; Spencer Dinwiddie is putting up another 17 in his third. Last year’s first-round pick, Jarrett Allen, is developing nicely, and Caris LeVert looks poised to return from his foot injury. The Nets are playing unselfish team basketball, and it’s showing up in the win column. Sacramento Kings The Sacramento Kings also find themselves toying with relevance more than halfway through the season. The Kings last playoff appearance happened after the 2005-2006 season, when they finished 44-38 to earn the eighth seed in the West and first-round exit. They haven’t had a winning season since. They haven’t even been good enough to raise expectations and then disappoint. They’ve just been bad… until now. The Kings are sitting a game above .500 and a game and a half out of the eight seed in a difficult Western Conference. They knocked off the Portland Trail Blazers earlier this week and have played the Golden State Warriors tough twice in recent weeks. Inconsistency remains a big issue, but their core of De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, Bogdan Bogdanovic and Marvin Bagley III is actually pretty good.