Curran: 34 lines about 17 issues


Curran: 34 lines about 17 issues

Seventeen thoughts in 34 lines . . .

Bodog is an on-line gambling site that releases odds on anything you could possibly want to wager on and a few things you probably wouldnt. Anyway, the Patriots remain steady this week at 4-to-1 to win the Super Bowl in February.

Green Bays odds got a little shorter this week theyre at 3-to-1. Easiest play on the Bodog board has got to be the over on the total number of interceptions Carson Palmer will throw (.5).

On Thursday, Tony Romo divulged his theory for why Jason Garrett went conservative at the end of Sundays game against the Patriots. He believed Garrett believed in his defense.

It hasnt been the vogue opinion the notion that Garrett didnt trust Romo has had more traction but I agree with it. If Dallas ran once then twice threw incomplete, Garrett would have been labeled a moron for stopping the clock and not forcing the Patriots to use timeouts.

The Patriots were supposed to be in the hunt for Brandon Lloyd, the wideout who ultimately was traded to St. Louis. In trying to determine the level of Patriots interest before the trade was announced, Im not sure they were even in the mix.

Hows that happen? Team executives or agents trying to drum up interest and make the perceived trade market seem hotter than it really is.

So what does that do to the perception the Patriots were in the running for Lloyd because they were giving up on Chad Ochocinco? It kinda kills it.

If you want to be a successful New England Patriot (and who wouldnt?!?!), dont get drafted by the team in the second round. Bethel Johnson, Eugene Wilson, Marquise Hill, Terrence Wheatley, Sebastian Vollmer, Darius Butler, Ron Brace, Patrick Chung, Brandon Spikes, Jermaine Cunningham, Rob Gronkowski, Shane Vereen and Ras-I Dowling are the picks since 2004.

Wilson, Vollmer, Chung and Gronkowski are the four you can say, Yeah, pretty much worth spending a pick that high on. And 4 out of 13 in the second round doesnt seem a real high yield (although all evidence is not yet in on Brace, Spikes, Cunningham, Vereen and Dowling).

Teams play dumb against the Patriots. So far this season, New Englands accepted 50 penalties for 432 yards against their opponents in six games.

The only team benefiting more from their opponents lack of discipline? The Lions theyve accepted 60 penalties for 445 yards so far.

Another interesting statistic is passes not caught on which a player was targeted. Surprisingly, Wes Welker is tied for fifth with Brandon Marshall in that category with 24.

That Welker leads the NFL with 51 catches for 785 yards - numbers that lead the No. 2 guy by 12 catches and 110 yards, respectively and had 24 more throws his way with which he could have augmented those stats is pretty amazing.

One more interesting Welkerian stat? He leads the NFL in yards after catch with 397 (Matt Forte is second with 347) and the next seven YAC leaders after Welker are all running backs.

Meanwhile, while its important to highlight the fact Welker is relatively underpaid for his production, the question of why hes steamrolling toward free agency wont be fully filled in until two things are known: One, what are the Patriots offering; two, what is Welker expecting?

The success of the Patriots and the style in which both the organization and Bill Belichick operate invites scrutiny and judgment. Of everything.

You know it wears him out, and after he alluded to that on WEEI earlier this week I tried to flesh out that story a little more by asking him about the sensationalism of media now compared to years gone by. Look, its the way of the world were all living in it, was the thrust of the answer.

Well try that one again. Enjoy the bye, bye.

THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Raiders score on final play for 31-30 win over Chiefs


THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Raiders score on final play for 31-30 win over Chiefs

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Wins have been so hard to come by for the Oakland Raiders that it took three tries at the final play for them finally to pull this one out and possibly save their season.

Derek Carr threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Michael Crabtree on the final play after the game was extended by two straight defensive holding calls and the Raiders snapped a four-game losing streak with a 31-30 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday night.

"We didn't give up," Crabtree said. "We got a team full of fighters. We believe. ... No matter how hard the game was, we believed. We came out with the W and I'm excited. It's a good way to win, a great way to win."

With their season on the line following the recent slump, Carr led an 85-yard touchdown drive in the final 2:25 to give the Raiders (3-4) the thrilling comeback in a game they trailed by nine points heading into the fourth quarter.

Carr finished 29 for 52 for 417 yards and three touchdowns, with Amari Cooper catching 11 passes for 210 yards and two of the scores. The Raiders had struggled to get the ball downfield while being held to 17 or fewer points in four straight games but Carr repeatedly beat the Chiefs with deep passes.

"No. 4 kept making plays," coach Jack Del Rio said. "This is a special, special win."

Alex Smith threw for 342 yards and three touchdowns but it wasn't enough for the Chiefs (5-2). They lost consecutive games for the first time since Oct. 11-18, 2015, and had their 12-game winning streak in the AFC West snapped in a thrilling finish.

"I've never been part of a game that came down so dramatic," linebacker Derrick Johnson said. "But, still had a chance to win. Period. Just have to make a play. One play. One play."

The Raiders had an apparent go-ahead touchdown pass to Jared Cook with 18 seconds left overturned when replay ruled he was down at the 1. An offensive pass interference on Crabtree wiped out another touchdown on the next play.

But holding calls on Ron Parker and Eric Murray set the stage for the final play. Carr hit Crabtree in the front corner of the end zone to tie it at 30. Giorgio Tavecchio won it with the extra point , setting off a celebration on a wild night that included Oakland running back Marshawn Lynch getting ejected in the second quarter for shoving an official.

HOT TEMPERS: The game took an odd turn midway through the second quarter after Kansas City's Marcus Peters hit Carr late, angering the Raiders. Offensive linemen Kelechi Osemele and Donald Penn confronted Peters and Lynch sprinted off the Oakland sideline to join the fray. Lynch, a close friend of Peters, ended up shoving line judge Julian Mapp and getting ejected . Peters also was called for a personal foul on the play. Lynch congratulated his teammates in the locker room after the game but didn't speak to reporters.

"I was disappointed he ran out because I knew we had a 15-yard penalty and we'd be in good shape," Del Rio said.

LONG DRIVE: After Marquette King pinned the Chiefs at their own 1 with a perfect punt early in the second quarter, Kansas City needed little time to turn the momentum. Smith hit Demarcus Robinson on a 33-yard pass on the first play of the drive. After a short run, Tyreek Hill beat David Amerson for a 64-yard touchdown pass that gave the Chiefs their first 99-yard drive since doing it Dec. 3, 2006, against Cleveland.

DEEP CONNECTION: Carr had not connected on a single deep ball to Amari Cooper all season before the two teamed twice for long TDs in the opening quarter. On the first, Cooper appeared to push Terrance Mitchell but the officials picked up the flag and gave Cooper the 38-yard TD . Later in the quarter Carr and Cooper connected on a 45-yard score, making Cooper the first Raiders receiver with two TD catches in the first quarter since Mervyn Fernandez in 1989.

KICKING WOES: The Raiders were hurt last week when a bad snap by Jon Condo led to a missed extra point by Giorgio Tavecchio in a 17-16 loss to the Chargers. That was Tavecchio's first missed kick of any kind this season but he then had a 53-yarder blocked and missed a 45-yarder wide left in the second quarter. Tavecchio also had a false start on an extra point in the third quarter.


Chiefs: Host Denver on Oct. 30.

Raiders: Visit Buffalo on Oct. 29.