Celtics

Black Monday hits the NFL

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Black Monday hits the NFL

This afternoon, President Obama addressed the country with an update on the fiscal cliff, meanwhile across the NFL a collection of coaches have been thrown off a cliff.

Rim shot!

(Awkward silence.)

(Regret.)

As I type, seven head coaches have already been axed this afternoon Romeo Crennel, Chan Gailey, Andy Reid, Norv Turner, Lovie Smith, Ken Whisenhunt and Pat Shurmur while three others (Jim Schwartz, Ron Rivera and Mike Mularkey) cling for dear life. On top of the coaches, three GMs (Mike Tannenbaun, Tom Heckert and Gene Smith) are out of work and we can expect at least one more (old pal Scott Pioli) to join that club in the very near future.

Its a tough a day for a lot of people in NFL circles. Its really indicative of the cutthroat nature of the league and professional sports in general. And lets have a brief moment of silence . . .

OK.

Now on the other hand: Its not a bad day to be a Patriots fan.

Heading into Week 17, while there was always a possibility that they would sneak into one of the top two seeds, it was still unlikely. Houston was favored by a touchdown. The Colts had nothing to play for! But as always, the Texans only know one way to jump into the playoffs and thats ass-first. And thats perfect for the Patriots.

The question is: What do they do now? How do they treat this unexpected gift from the Bye Week Gods?

I have a friend who's adamant that Belichick should just move the team to Denver for three weeks. To live and train in that environment every day, only coming back for the Texans game on the 13th. And he may be on to something but I doubt Belichick will buy in.

After all, nothing screams looking past an opponent like moving your team to the presumed site of the AFC Championship a week before the wild card round.

But whatever, there are worst problems to have than how to spend a week off when you're two games away from the Super Bowl.

There are a lot of newly former NFL coaches out there who can certainly attest to that.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Jayson Tatum vs. Markelle Fultz debate

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BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Jayson Tatum vs. Markelle Fultz debate

0:41 - Michael Holley, Tom Giles, and Kayce Smith give their reactions on the Celtics getting their first win of the season and a comparison between Isaiah Thomas and Kyrie Irving in the 4th quarter.

7:17 - Phil Perry joins BST to break down the tale of the tape between the Falcons and the Patriots as he breaks down the quarterbacks, offense, defense, coaching, and intangibles between the two teams.

11:57 - Our crew on BST discuss number 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz and number 3 overall pick Jayson Tatum going up against each other and debate who seems like the better pick so far. 

16:35 - In this segment of Irrelevant Questions, Tom Curran interviews Patriots WR Phillip Dorsett as he asks him a bunch of random questions. 

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

ALCS: Verlander, Astros beat Yankees 7-1 to force Game 7

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ALCS: Verlander, Astros beat Yankees 7-1 to force Game 7

HOUSTON -  Justin Verlander remained perfect with Houston, pitching seven shutout innings when the team needed him most, and Jose Altuve homered and drove in three runs as the Astros extended the AL Championship Series to a decisive Game 7 with a 7-1 win over the New York Yankees on Friday night.

Acquired in an Aug. 31 trade, Verlander has won all nine outings with the Astros. And with his new club facing elimination in Game 6 against the Yankees, he delivered again.

After striking out 13 in a complete-game victory in Game 2, Verlander threw another gem. The right-hander scattered five hits and struck out eight to improve to 9-0 with 67 strikeouts since being traded from Detroit. George Springer helped him out of a jam in the seventh, leaping to make a catch at the center-field wall and rob Todd Frazier of extra bases with two on and Houston up 3-0.

Game 7 is Saturday night in Houston, with the winner advancing to the World Series against the NL champion Los Angeles Dodgers.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE