Morning Sports Update

Rex Ryan thinks Bill Belichick is doing the ‘best job coaching in his entire career’

Also, one analyst thinks Mac Jones "is going to be the rookie of the year."

Belichick Titans
Bill Belichick during the Patriots-Titans game. Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images

The Patriots scored a decisive 36-13 victory over the Titans on Sunday, winning the turnover battle in the game 4-0.

New England, riding a six-game winning streak, will face the Bills in Week 13 in a crucial Monday night matchup.

Also on Sunday, the Bruins defeated the Canucks 3-2. And the Celtics won 109-97 against the Raptors.

On Tuesday, the Revolution will host New York City FC in the Eastern Conference Semifinal of the MLS Cup playoffs at 7:30 p.m.

The latest analysis of the Patriots: After defeating the top team in the AFC on Sunday, the Patriots have completely turned around what was once a disastrous 2-4 start to the season.


All of it has been done with rookie Mac Jones at quarterback. Reacting to the latest win, ESPN football analyst (and former NFL head coach) Rex Ryan continued his praise of Bill Belichick’s coaching performance in 2021.

“This, I think, is his best job coaching in his entire career,” said Ryan. “Part of his [with Mac Jones], he doesn’t ask him to do the things that aren’t his strengths. So he’s got a guy, a rookie quarterback, looking like he’s played in the league for 10 years.

“But let’s make no mistake why New England is where they’re at,” Ryan continued. “[It’s] because they can play defense. Look, they’re number one currently in the NFL. Bill Belichick, five times in his career in the NFL as a head coach, has been number one in the NFL on defense. And by the way, they’ve been number two in the NFL in defense five times also.”

“This team right here is going to go places because of their defense,” Ryan concluded.

For fellow ESPN analyst (and former NFL safety) Ryan Clark, Jones’s contribution in his first season has put him at the top of the list for an end-of-season award.

“Mac Jones is going to be the rookie of the year,” said Clark. “Many times when we see these quarterbacks that are rookie of the year—you look at Justin Herbert, it was all about talent, Cam Newton when he won it, it was all about talent—and we always go, ‘When he gets some of these [other] things, he might be the MVP of the league.’


“Mac Jones has all of the sum of these things,” Clark added. “The anticipation, the intelligence, the understanding of defenses, how to execute, how to attack it, and the New England Patriots use that to the best of their ability, and that’s why they’re successful offensively.”

Trivia: Though the Patriots won on Sunday, it came despite allowing 270 rushing yards to the Titans. New England hasn’t allowed that much on the ground since a famous 2013 regular season comeback win over the Broncos (when New England rallied from a 24-0 deficit to win, 34-31).

Who led the Broncos in rushing that day?

(Answer at the bottom).

Hint: He was drafted out of the University of Georgia.

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Mikaela Shiffrin won the Killington World Cup slalom event yet again: In doing so, Shiffrin tied Ingemar Stenmark’s 32-year-old World Cup record for most wins in a single discipline with 46.

Buccaneers defensive tackle Vita Vea lost a tooth during a play on Sunday: He smiled after the play, and posed for a postgame photo.

On this day: In 1998, the Patriots needed a miracle to beat the Bills. Trailing 21-17 with six seconds remaining, Drew Bledsoe launched a Hail Mary pass to the end zone from the Buffalo 26-yard line.


Though it fell incomplete, officials ruled that the Bills had committed pass interference on the play, meaning the Patriots got the ball at the one-yard line with a chance to run one final play despite no time remaining on the clock.

Bledsoe connected with Ben Coates for a winning touchdown. And because the Bills simply walked off the field following the score, Adam Vinatieri was able to walk on for a celebratory two-point conversion:

Here’s how the Boston Globe sports section looked the following day:

1998 Patriots Boston Globe

Daily highlight: In a pivotal moment on Sunday, Devin McCourty’s tip and J.C. Jackson’s interception ended the threat of a Titans touchdown.

Trivia answer: Knowshon Moreno

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