HEY, no one said they all had to be Picassos.
The Patriots won ugly in Philadelphia Sunday. But they won. They responded to a 95-yard drive by shutting down the injury-riddled Eagles for the rest of the game. They’re 9-1 with the Cowboys coming to Gillette Stadium next Sunday.
They survived a game where Tom Brady threw 14 incompletions in the first half, a personal worst for his career. He had 21 incompletions for the game. WEEI’s Ryan Hannable noted there had been 15 previous occasions where Brady had at least 15 and the Patriots were 4-11 in those 15 games.
The defense shut the door, against a team that was missing its wide receivers, among others. The only Patriots TD of the game was on a pass thrown by former college quarterback Julian Edelman. “He made a great throw,” Brady said. “It was a great play. We needed it.”
When this hammer and nails game was over, it was clear Brady didn’t want to talk about it. His media session was brief. It lasted a minute and 45 seconds, during which TB12 said exactly 146 words. He would talk more on the radio the next day, but it was clear he wasn’t happy.
They’re 9-1 with the loss to the Ravens, who are gathering steam every week — so much steam that NBC’s Chris Simms said, “Ever since that Sunday Night Football game, I think they’ve proven that they’re the cream of the crop. They’re the best team in the NFL … Lamar Jackson is a human highlight reel right now.”
We shall see.
Remember that Kawhi Leonard shot that bounced, bounced and bounced some more to win a playoff series last spring? Marcus Smart had one of those Sunday in Sacramento, but the ball fell off the rim and the Celtics’ 10-game winning streak was over.
They lost to a hustling group of guys missing De’Aaron Fox and Marvin Bagley III from the active roster.
They didn’t play great and Buddy Hield again lit them up (he’s averaging 20.6 in seven career games against Boston). But Smart’s floater came … SO close to the Celtics becoming the first team ever to lose their opener and then win 11 straight (the ’79-80 Bucks did what the Celtics did).
“The ball just sat on the rim forever,” he said. “I thought it was going in. I think everybody thought it was going in.”
Jaylen Brown had another view, saying “That ball was just sitting on the rim — and we didn’t deserve it.”
Semi Ojeleye, who came into Sunday with 14 points on the season, had 11 in 21 minutes Sunday.
Oh, and Daniel Theis suffered his first career loss as a starter after 13 wins.
The Bruins fell to 0-5 on the season in extra time and 0-4 in shootouts when they fell to the Caps Saturday night. To make it worse, Washington forced OT with a T.J. Oshie goal with Braden Holtby pulled.
The B’s are 0-4 in shootouts, scoring just twice in 16 attempts. And it’s still stunning to me that David Pastrnak is 3-for-20 and has combined with Brad Marchand to go 12-for-61.
Jaroslav Halak, who played great Saturday, and Tuukka Rask are both 0-2 in shootouts.
The Bruins have lost eight games by a total of 11 goals.
This loss was painful, even though the Bruins did get three of a possible four points in the back to back.
Saturday was one of two days on the NHL schedule with 15 games (only one team not playing) and there were all kids of special feats, such as:
Steven Stamkos scored his 400th career goal. He did it in 763 games, second only to Alex Ovechkin, who reached 400 in 634. …
Jeff Carter became the 338th player to play in 1,000 games (25 active) and only the 11th ever to score the winning goal in Game 1,000. …
The Islanders moved to 13-0-1 in their last 14 games, the longest since a Cup year in 1982, and Tuesday night they can set the club record of 15 straight games with a point.
Here’s a painful one for local fans: We know the Caps own the Bruins, right? Well, Nicklas Backstrom is 23-0 the last 23 times he’s been on the ice against Boston. …
Joel Quenneville, now coaching in Florida, joined Scotty Bowman as the only NHL coaches with 900 wins. Quenneville will NOT catch Bowman, who has 1,244 victories. …
Erik Karlsson moved past Borje Salming into 12th place on the list of players with at least 579 points in their first 700 games. The leader atop that list? Bobby Orr — but he played in just 657 games in his special career; and had 915 points.
Sunday NFL leftovers
Londonderry High grad Ryan Griffin, identified by Kenny Albert as the only player in the NFL from New Hampshire, had a great day for the Jets in Washington Sunday: five catches, 109 yards and a touchdown, the TD his fourth of the season, the 11th of his career. …
The Jets are 0-6 against the AFC but 3-1 against the NFC East. …
The Lions, again starting former Red Sox draft pick Jeff Driskel playing for the injured Matthew Stafford, wore white uniforms at home for the first time since 1970. …
The Redskins ended their longest no-touchdown streak ever by scoring in the fourth quarter against the Jets. The streak lasted 16 quarters. Earlier in the game, when they reached 14, it was the longest streak since the 1936 BOSTON Redskins, who played at Fenway Park. …
NFL coaches were 1-for-20 challenging offensive pass interference calls coming into Sunday, but the Jets were successful in their loud win. …
Seems a bit weird that the Patriots could do no better than a No. 7 in the NFL Network’s list of the top 100 teams in the 100 years of the NFL. Miami’s 1972 undefeated champs were No. 1 and the ’85 Bears who hammered the Pats in Super Bowl XX were No. 2. But all six of New England’s title teams were 79 or higher: the 2007 team No. 7, the ’16 team coming in at 21, the ’03 winner at 32, the 2014 champs at 46,the ’01 first title at 51 and last year’s team coming in at No. 79.
Mike Shalin covers Boston pro sports for the New Hampshire Union Leader and Sunday News. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @mscotshay.