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Mitch's Sports Report: Bad On Field Behavior Found In Patriots Win And Chiefs Loss

The New England Patriots are in a stretch of their schedule playing games they're supposed to win, and so far, all is going according to plan as the Pats easily beat the Buffalo Bills in upstate New York yesterday without even getting a touchdown pass from Tom Brady.

The Pats beat the Bills 23-3 by running the ball early and often and the Bills had no answer for Dion Lewis, who rushed for 92 yards, and Rex Burkhead, who gained 78 on the ground while finding the end zone twice.

The loss was a double blow for the Bills, who are trying to make the playoffs for the first time since 1999 and fall to 6-6 with the defeat, but perhaps more critical for their post season hopes they lost starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor to an injury when he left the game after wrenching his knee early in the fourth quarter. If that becomes a serious injury the Bills will be hard pressed to get into the tournament.

As for the Patriots, it was their eighth win in a row, but it didn't come without controversy, as all-pro tight end Rob Gronkowski was guilty of a very cheap shot late in the game when he couldn't haul in a pass and felt he was interfered with on the play by Buffalo's Tre'Davious White, who was lying on his stomach near the sideline after the play and Gronkowski in frustration drove his shoulder into the back of White's head.

Gronk was penalized for the hit but was not thrown out of the game as he should have been. Don't be surprised if a league review follows and he's handed out a suspension, which would be well-deserved. To his credit, Gronkowski was remorseful after the game, admitting what he did and expressing hope that White is OK but it was a very dangerous hit on a player in a vulnerable position and Gronk should know better, especially as a player well acquainted with injuries that have interrupted his career on many occasions. Here's hoping White does not have any concussion symptoms and that Gronkowski doesn't let his emotions on the field get the better of him in the future.

Remember when the Kansas City Chiefs got off to a 5-0 start to the season, including a stunning opening day rout of the New England Patriots at Foxboro? I'm not sure what happened to that team, but the team in red and white jerseys playing right now have lost six of their last seven and bear little resemblance to that powerhouse squad. Their latest debacle was a 38-31 loss to the NY Jets that was marred by the kind of undisciplined, emotional and sloppy play that Gronkowski demonstrated neat the end of that Patriots game.

The Jets had gone ahead on a field goal late in the game but got a chance to score a touchdown instead when the Chiefs were flagged for a personal foul on the long snapper and that kept the drive going before Josh McCown burrowed in from one yard out to give the Jets a five point lead. The Jets then went for a two point conversion and that's when things got really weird because on the play McCown scrambled away from te rush, twisting and turning and delaying his throw before tossing a ball toward the end zone for an incomplete pass. But a Chiefs defender was called for holding on the play, which so enraged the Chiefs' Marcus Peters that he picked up the yellow flag and tossed it into the stands. The Zebras don't tolerate that sort of behavior and the action gave the Jets another shot at the two point conversion and they were successful. Peters, for his part, marched off the field even though he had not been thrown out of the game. That's not going to fly well with the Chiefs coaching staff but the larger problem for head coach Andy Reid is why his team is now looking at a record of 6-6, which, if they didn't play in such a weak division, would put them on the playoff bubble, but in the AFC west, it means they are in a three way tie with Oakland and the L.A. Chargers for first place.

In Oakland, the NY Giants played their first game since 2004 without Eli Manning as their starting quarterback, benched in favor of Geno Smith, who couldn't change New York's fortunes, fumbling twice and finishing with a tepid line of going 21 for 34 for 212 total yards in the Giants 24-17 loss to the Raiders. Marshawn Lynch had his first 100-yard rushing game since coming out of retirement and a 51-yard touchdown run was part of that effort.

The Philadelphia Eagles no longer own the best record in the NFL after suffering a 24-10 upset loss to the Seahawks in Seattle. Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson was terrific in this one, throwing three touchdown passes, including a 15-yard strike to J.D. McKissic late in the fourth quarter to salt the game away as the Seahawks improve to 8-4 and the Eagles lose for just the second time all year against ten wins.

The University of Vermont women's hockey team skated to a 2-2 tie with the University of Maine Black Bears in Orono yesterday. The Catamounts got goals from Kourtney Menches and Taylor Willard, making the most of their chances because they put just 17 shots on net. The Black Bears more than doubled that, sending 39 pucks UVM goalie Sydney Scobee's way, but she stood tall and turned away 37 of those shots to earn the tie, UVM's third of the year against five wins and eleven losses.

The UVM women were not as fortunate in basketball, losing 54-41 to Boston College at Patrick Gymnasium, despite a 21 point effort from Hanna Crymble. The Terriers improve to 5-2 with the win while the Catamounts fall to 2-7.

In men's college hoops, the Norwich Cadets went down to the wire in their effort to take third place in the Ed Hockenberry Classic against Worcester State yesterday. With the Lancers up by three and time ticking down the Cadets pushed the ball up court and got the look they wanted, with Joe Bertrand getting off a three point attempt that fell just wide of the mark with one second left on the clock, and Worcester State came away with an 83-80 victory. The Lancers were led by a career high 37 points from Will Watkins, Jr., while Norwich turned to Lithuanian native and senior Cadet Zygimantas Sirvydas, who netted 17 points and dished out 8 assists in the narrow loss.

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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