Morning sports update: Breeland Speaks explains why he let Tom Brady slip away on his touchdown run

"We're in New England. Tom's going to get the call."

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) runs past Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Anthony Hitchens (53) and defensive tackle Chris Jones (95) for a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
Tom Brady runs past Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Anthony Hitchens (53) and defensive tackle Chris Jones (95) for a touchdown during the second half. –Michael Dwyer / AP

Not a bad night for Boston sports fans.

With a couple of fortunate Fenway Park bounces, the Red Sox pulled it out in Game 2, beating the Houston Astros, 7-5, and leveling the American League Championship Series, 1-1. The team will now head to Houston for the next three games, beginning with Game 3 on Tuesday afternoon.

Meanwhile, the New England Patriots outlasted the Kansas City Chiefs, 43-40, in an explosive Sunday night thriller. Stephen Gostkowski’s game-winning 28-yard field goal as time expired gave Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs their first loss of the season.

Here’s the latest from Boston’s big night:


A Chiefs linebacker was worried about being called for roughing the passer on Brady’s touchdown

Tom Brady has proven to be subtly elusive in the pocket, but the 41-year-old quarterback is hardly known for breaking tackles. And yet: Down by three, on third-and-goal with five-and-a-half minutes to go, Brady broke free from Chiefs linebacker Breeland Speaks to gallop for a critical four-yard touchdown run.

Replays showed that Speaks appeared to have the Patriots quarterback wrapped up, before bizarrely relenting.

“Breeland Speaks has him,” NBC color commentator Cris Collinsworth exclaimed on the broadcast after the touchdown. “I’m not sure if he thought the ball was maybe already gone and let him go, but Tom Brady took full advantage.

Collinsworth was correct in his assumption, but that explanation was only half the story. After the game, Speaks told reporters that he indeed thought Brady had already thrown the ball.

“Because I thought the ball was gone, I ain’t taking him to the ground,” he said. “It sucks. It sucks. Supposed to finish plays like that.

Speaks said he worried about being called for roughing the passer, especially given the league’s increased emphasis this season on protecting quarterbacks.

“It was definitely on my mind,” Speaks told NFL Network’s Mike Giardi. “It sucks.”


The rookie linebacker also suggested that the refs would be particularly protective of Brady in his home stadium.

“Especially in New England,” Speaks told the Kansas City Star‘s Sam Mellinger. “We’re in New England. Tom’s going to get the call.”

The latest from on the Patriots’ win:

… and from the Sox’ win against the Astros in Game 2:

Brock Holt is providing an example for the Celtics

Celtics coach Brad Stevens is using the Red Sox utility man’s contributions — and subsequent non-disciplinary benching — as a model of selflessness for his own players. Stevens said Sunday that Holt’s willingness to go back to the bench in the Sox series against the New York Yankees after hitting for the cycle is “how you win.” []

Buy Tickets

Kyle Van Noy is OK with criticism, but not personal attacks

The veteran Patriots linebacker is brushing off the recent personal insults lobbed his way by a local radio host: “You can’t get mad at them, you just kind of laugh. But when they come at your personality or think they know who you are — to me that’s crazy. Especially when they wouldn’t say it to my face.’’ [The Boston Globe]

Chris Sale admitted to Mass General for stomach illness

It turns out something is “off” with the Red Sox ace, but it wasn’t because of his relief appearance against the Yankees. Following his struggles Saturday night against the Astros, Sale was admitted to Massachusetts General Hospital on Sunday to be treated for a stomach illness and stayed there overnight for evaluation. []

Why did the Patriots let up so many big plays against the Chiefs?


Despite the win, the Patriots’ leaders on special teams and defense are looking for answers after allowing Tyreek Hill, Kareem Hunt, and Tremon Smith to put up some big-yardage plays Sunday night. “I think we’re a lot better than what we’ve played out there, so we better figure it out quick,” Matthew Slater said after the game. [NESN]

Highlight of the night: Unless you’re Ron Parker.