The evil empire that is the Patriots works its magic again

Bill Belichick is at it again.

Last week I posed the question: Why do these things keep happening to the Patriots? That was in response to the Steelers touchdown that was overturned that led to a New England victory. Well.. I ask again...

First came another touchdown against the Pats that was AGAIN overturned. This time Bills receiver, Kelvin Benjamin, appeared to make a great catch and a perfect toe drag in the endzone for six points.

Upon further review.. and there were plenty.. like forever.. like it seemed the suits in New York wanted to reverse the touchdown. Benjamin was ruled out of bounds. No touchdown. To be fair.. the Pats won the game 37-16. So it’s not like the call cost Buffalo the game.

Now if I remember correctly.. the point of replay was to right a wrong. A call the was so badly missed by an official that the replay upon review showed the mistake. This wasn’t the case. Multiple angles really couldn’t give you a definitive look to overturn the call. And that’s the point of the rule right? If it’s so obvious a wrong call, replay will show it and it will be corrected. It seems like the guys and gals at the league office are now trying to find whatever they can to make sure a call is correct. In principle, that’s a good idea. But so was Communism. We saw how that turned out.

Bottom line: if the evidence isn’t clear to overturn the call, whatever the call may be, it must stand. Let the players play. Let the referees officiate. Brutal.

Meanwhile, this James Harrison thing is getting crazy. If you believe his ex-Steeler teammates, Harrison orchestrated his exit to sign with the Patriots. "Trust me, if if I wanted out, I wouldn't let the team take the blame for it," said center Maurkice Pouncey.

Yes, Harrison’s role had been diminished. Playing 40 snaps in 14 games with only one sack for the franchise leader. But really.. .asking to be cut and then blaming the team? And signing so quickly with the Patriots? Very, very, very curious. ‘He erased his own legacy here, let's be serious," Pouncey said. “It's crazy. It blows my mind."

And for those who think the Pats are once again up to some chicanery...I agree with Pouncey. Let’s be serious. Don’t give me any of this that "he’ll tell the Pats everything they need to know about Pittsburgh’s playbook." Last I checked, New England had little trouble beating the Steelers.

This is classic Bill Belichick head games. Maybe Harrison still has one more big sack in him. Maybe. But if the Steelers and Patriots do meet again with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line, the dark overlord (that’s Belichick) is counting on a bunch of Steelers, especially on the defensive side of the ball, thinking about Harrison. Hey, worth a shot right?

They say Vince McMahon is thinking about kickstarting the XFL again. They say he might be interested in buying the Carolina Panthers. The is storyline sure smells like what The Rock Is cooking.

Picture this, Steelers driving in Foxborough.. final play of the game... Big Ben under pressure.. here comes Harrison about to make the sack.. and suddenly stops. Roethlisberger then throws the game winning touchdown to send the Steelers to the Super Bowl. Harrison peels off his Patriots jersey to reveal...a Steelers shirt!!

Baw Gawd! Baw Gawd.. not this way! .. not this way!

You can listen to my radio show, The Sports Bosses , weekdays at 10amET on SBNation Radio. Twitter: @mediarodriguez

Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

Houston can win series on Sunday

Timely hitting helps Astros edge out D-backs to even series

Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

The Astros had two losses over the last 24 hours; one a game against the Diamondbacks in the series opener on Friday night, the other the news that their recovering ace, Justin Verlander, announced Saturday afternoon that he is opting to undergo Tommy John surgery. The decision and surgery will likely sideline Verlander through 2021 when his current contract with Houston ends.

With that, the Astros headwinds continued to increase, meaning a win to even the series with Arizona on Saturday would be a much-needed pick-me-up. Here's how they did:

Final Score: Astros 3, Diamondbacks 2.

Record: 26-26, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Enoli Paredes (3-2, 2.84 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Luke Weaver (1-8, 6.51 ERA).

D-backs score two on Javier who is pulled early

Kole Calhoun, who drove in four runs, including a home run in Friday's game, would start the scoring on Saturday with a solo home run off of Cristian Javier in the top of the second, giving Arizona an early 1-0 lead. Javier allowed another run in the top of the third, giving up a leadoff single that would move to third on a groundout then score on a sac fly, doubling the lead to 2-0.

Javier finished the third and tossed a 1-2-3 fourth, but whether it be due to a pre-determined pitch count or other situation, he would not go any further, ending his night there on just 77 pitches. His final line: 4.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 1 HR, 77 P.

Astros grab a lead in the sixth

The Astros were able to cut the lead in half in the bottom of the third, getting a leadoff single by Josh Reddick, who would move to third after a walk and fielder's choice before scoring on an RBI-groundout by Jose Altuve, making it 2-1. Enoli Paredes was first out of Houston's bullpen, taking over for Javier in the top of the fifth and retiring six straight batters for two perfect frames.

Houston would get to Luke Weaver in the bottom of the sixth, getting a leadoff single by George Springer, who would score from first on an RBI-double by Altuve to tie the game. Altuve would come around as the go-ahead run later in the inning on an RBI-single by Kyle Tucker, knocking Weaver out of the game as the Astros took their first lead of the game, 3-2.

Houston evens the series and moves back up to .500

Josh James was the next reliever for Houston in the top of the seventh, and despite getting into a jam by issuing a one-out walk and hitting the next batter, he was able to get out of it. It was thanks to a great play by Michael Brantley, who started a double play by catching a lineout and throwing a runner out at second to end the inning.

Brooks Raley had the eighth and erased a one-out walk by retiring the next two batters to maintain the one-run lead. After a scoreless bottom of the eighth, the Astros turned to closer Ryan Pressly to get another save and finish the one-run game. Pressly would do so, as Houston would move back up to .500 and even the series 1-1 heading into the rubber game on Sunday.

Up Next: The finale of this series between Houston and Arizona, and Houston's last regular-season home game of 2020, will get underway at 1:10 PM Central on Sunday. Madison Bumgarner (0-4, 8.53) ERA will be on the mound for the D-backs, while Jose Urquidy (1-1, 2.70 ERA) will start for the Astros.

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome