BOSTON Teams

play
Tatum shows off handles on pull-up jumper (0:25)

Matt Bowen ESPN Staff Writer 

One more Patriots route to look at vs. the Jags Cover 3 defense (see example below). Here, New England can run the post-wheel concept to clear some space for the underneath out route. With Chris Hogan (Z) running the post (pushing the CB down the field) and Brandin Cooks (W) releasing on the wheel (removing the curl defender), Danny Amendola (X) now has room to break on the out route. Work to the vacated zone on a high-percentage throw for QB Tom Brady. Good call on third down to move the sticks.

play
Theis throws down one-handed dunk on Davis (0:16)

Matt Bowen ESPN Staff Writer 

The Patriots can also use the play-action seam (see example below) in the AFC Championship vs. the Jags. By reducing the split of the Z receiver (run-alert for the defense), and pulling the guard on play-action, the Patriots can force the linebackers to attack downhill. And that creates an open window for QB Tom Brady to hit Rob Gronkowski (U) on the quick seam route.

Matt Bowen ESPN Staff Writer 

Would expect the Patriots to run a bunch of Cover 3 beaters (three-deep, four-under zone) versus the Jags in the AFC Championship. This example (see below) allows QB Tom Brady to work the inside seams (Rob Gronkowski and Chris Hogan) with the shallow cross underneath (Brandin Cooks). The outside receivers? Basically decoys to hold the CBs (open up the windows to target the seam routes).

Chris Forsberg ESPN Staff Writer 

Celtics coach Brad Stevens had Gordon Hayward shoot a free throw to determine if team did a final drill at a recent practice. He made it. Stevens: “[Hayward is] doing some spot shooting. Very, very light. … He's doing all that he can right now … We all know it's a long road ahead."

Scott Lauber ESPN Staff Writer 

Sixteen non-roster invites to spring training for the Red Sox.

Mike Reiss ESPN Staff Writer 

Clete Blakeman has been assigned as referee for Sunday's AFC Championship Game. Blakeman is highly rated, having worked Super Bowl 50.

Play

Are the Rockets and Clippers rivals?

Tim MacMahon, Andrew Han, Bobby Marks, Chris Forsberg and Nick Friedell break down the postgame fracas in LA (2:10), officiating difficulties (11:05), most calculated players (20:30) and if the Clippers and Rockets are rivals (25:05). Plus, Kevin Pelton, Kaileigh Brandt and Han answer listener questions (36:05).

play
Will Patricia, McDaniels fail without Belichick? (2:06)
Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images
11hGreg Wyshynski

Regrading every NHL team's offseason

We weren't sure what to make of Tampa Bay's summer moves during the preseason. Now? It looks like another brilliant set of transactions by GM Steve Yzerman, Julien BriseBois & Co. Here's how every team's offseason acquisitions look now.

Mike Reiss ESPN Staff Writer 

Tom Brady previewed Patriots-Jaguars on his weekly interview on sports radio WEEI: "It's been a busy couple days. We practiced against them in training camp and we haven't seen much of them all year. Yesterday was a ton of film. It was good because it really kind of gets you focused on where you need to be. This is the biggest challenge we've faced all year. We've had a good offense. They've had the best defense. And that's always a challenge when you go up against those guys. When you watch them play over the course of the season, you can see why. There is not a lot of time for the quarterback to throw, and I think the whole secondary knows it. The linebackers know it. And they're aggressive. They take chances. They get a lot of turnovers. They have a really good scheme, and the quarterback is just under pressure all day."

ESPN Illustration
14hMike Sando

Re-grading every NFL team's 2017 offseason

Few paid much attention last March when the Minnesota Vikings signed Case Keenum to a one-year contract for $2 million -- but that move became one of the most pivotal of the 2017 season. Here's how every team's offseason acquisitions look now.

Chris Haynes ESPN Staff Writer 

From Elias: The 2017-18 Warriors are the 3rd team in NBA history to win at least 20 of their first 23 road games of a season: 1971-1972 Los Angeles Lakers 21-2 1964-1965 Boston Celtics 20-3

play0:59

Michael Collins ESPN Senior Writer 

Country star Colt Ford said he could average 1.1 points a game in the NBA today. Hall of Fame candidate Ray Allen has a hard truth for the short fat hoop dreamer.