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Mitch's Sports Report: Patriots Win Ugly In Pittsburgh; UVM Women Net Last Minute Soccer Win

The New England Patriots started hot, faltered and sagged in the middle a bit, but finished strong in a 27-16 win over the Steelers in Pittsburgh yesterday.

The Steelers were without starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, and the Pats pulled out to an early 14-0 lead and it looked like a blowout was on the way. But back-up Landry Jones started to find his game and Pittsburgh closed the gap to 14-13 early in the 3rd quarter before LaGarette Blount started finding holes and breaking off big runs as part of his 127-yard, two touchdown performance, and the Patriots defense came alive in the fourth quarter to end any hopes of a Steeler upset. Rob Gronkowski also had a big day after a slow start, hauling in four catches for 93 yards and a touchdown. Tom Brady even showed off his wheels, rushing--if you can describe his 39-year old lumbering as such-- for thirteen yards, but that included making three first downs out of that scant yardage. He also threw for 222 yards on the day, two touchdowns and no picks, as the Pats improve to 6-1 with the win.

Over in merry old England the NY Giants were only too happy to have L.A. Rams quarterback Case Keenum throw four interceptions that led to a 17-10 Giants victory. Keenum's most egregious pick was thrown with just under a minute to go and the Rams with the ball on the Giants' 15 yard line, trailing by a touchdown. He lobbed a pass into the corner of the end zone that was easy pickings for Dominique Rogers-Cromartie and the G-Men are now a game above .500, 4-3 on the year.

The NY Jets had benched quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick after a couple of rough starts and had Geno Smith in his stead yesterday against the Baltimore Ravens, but it was Fitzpatrick who ultimately came to the rescue for the Jets, replacing Smith after he got injured in the second quarter and leading the Jets to a 24-16 win. The Jets snapped their four game losing skid, picking up just their second win of the season.

The weirdest game of the day, however, was the Seattle Seahawks-Arizona Cardinals tilt, which ended in a 6-6 tie because the field goal kickers on both teams missed chip shot attempts in overtime, both of which would have won the game for either side. Chandler Catanzaro went first for the Cardinals, hitting the upright on a 24-yard attempt, and then a few minutes later Seahawks kicker Steven Hauschka hooked a 27-yarder wide left to secure the NFL's first tie game result since 2014.

In womens' college soccer, a dramatic last minute victory for the University of Vermont has launched the Catamounts into the America East playoffs. Playing in their regular season finale against Binghamton yesterday, senior Nikki McFarland scored the game winner and only goal of the game in the final minute of regulation to beat the Bearcats 1-0. The Catamounts finish their season with a record of 7-7-3 and will head out on the road take on Stony Brook in the America East quarterfinal round Thursday.

On the mens' pitch the Castleton Spartans scored a 2-0 victory over Maine Maritime on a first half goal by Thomas Kirk and a second have strike by Josh Matthews. Big win for the Spartans who get a first round bye in the upcoming NAC Championship tournament, finishing the season with a 7-2 record and the number two seed in the playoffs.

The Castleton women lost to their Maine Maritime counterparts 1-0 in overtime, but still clinched the fifth seed in the NAC tournament on the strength of a 5-2-2 record. They'll take on those same Mariners in the first round of the tournament beginning October 30th.

In college field hockey Albany shut out UVM 3-0.

And you may have heard by now that the Fall Classic is set, featuring two teams with fan bases that have waited quite some time to see their teams play for a world championship. The Cleveland Indians haven't won it all since 1948, but at least they played in a world series as recently as 1997. The Chicago Cubs haven't been in the big show at all since 1945 and the last time they won it was 1908. It all starts tomorrow night in Cleveland and one of the great things about this series is that someone has to actually win. The call here is Cubs in five. It's just time to put talk of billy goat curses to rest, and to let Steve Bartman show his face again in the windy city, even though he never should have had to hide it in the first place.  


A graduate of NYU with a Master's Degree in journalism, Mitch has more than 20 years experience in radio news. He got his start as news director at NYU's college station, and moved on to a news director (and part-time DJ position) for commercial radio station WMVY on Martha's Vineyard. But public radio was where Mitch wanted to be and he eventually moved on to Boston where he worked for six years in a number of different capacities at member station a Senior Producer, Editor, and fill-in co-host of the nationally distributed Here and Now. Mitch has been a guest host of the national NPR sports program "Only A Game". He's also worked as an editor and producer for international news coverage with Monitor Radio in Boston.
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