dan shaughnessy

Don’t forget about the Patriots’ mojo factor

Pittsburgh, PA 12-16-18: The final score is visible as the final seconds tick off the clock in New England's 17-10 loss. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12,left) heads to midfield to meet with Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, with teammate J.C. Jackson (27) is at right. The New England Patriots visited the Pittsburgh Steelers in a regular season NFL football game at Heinz Field. (Jim Davis/Globe Staff)

jim davis/globe staff

Just when all hope is lost, the football gods shine on the House of Kraft.

nick cafardo | on baseball

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/07/29/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/lee_072918_soxtwins20_spts.jpg The shift is on, frustrating power hitters and fans

Maybe the art of shifting makes the front offices look smart, but nobody comes to games to watch the front office.

gary washburn | on basketball

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/10/03/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/Lee_100218_celticscavs12_spts.jpg Celtics’ Kyrie Irving’s unique views must be respected

He says it’s unfair when athletes have their intelligence doubted for questioning common assumptions even as their opinions are blasted across the Internet.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/19/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/1030068890-25096.jpg Chargers lead Pro Bowl selections with seven players

Tom Brady and Stephon Gilmore were the only two Patriots named to the game, which will be played Jan. 27 in Orlando.

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) looks to the sideline before huddling with teammates in the second half of an NFL football game against the Oakland Raiders, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Nick Wass/Associated Press

BEN VOLIN | ON FOOTBALL

The Patriots better watch out for the teams below them in the AFC playoffs

The Ravens, Colts, and Titans are all 8-6, and the suddenly wide-open AFC race is where we start our Week 15 Review.

patriots notebook

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/17/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/davisnepit14Bspts.jpg J.C. Jackson has answered the challenge

Undrafted rookie cornerback showing steady improvement.

NFL NOTEBOOK

Ray Rice, wife talk domestic violence

Boston MA 12/10/18 Boston Celtics Jaylen Brown drives to the basket on New Orleans Pelicans Jrue Holiday (right) and Soloman Hill during first quarter action at TD Garden (photo by Matthew J. Lee/Globe staff) topic: 16allschopics reporter:

CHAD FINN

Playing on a much more talented roster, Jaylen Brown is struggling to shine

Brown remains the chief enigma on a Celtics team that is now succeeding in spite of him or without him more than it does because of him.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/09/13/BostonGlobe.com/Metro/Images/Walker_091318_14birdpic_9510x.jpg Here’s the latest on Jabari Bird

He appeared appeared for a pretrial hearing Tuesday morning at Brighton Municipal Court.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/09/21/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/tlumacki_bruinspractice_sports113.jpg Bruins’ Zdeno Chara finds new way to communicate

He keeps fans posted on his recovery from a left knee injury with Instagram updates.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/18/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/94e93df3807942f5bdb54a06b90409c2-94e93df3807942f5bdb54a06b90409c2-0.jpg Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara expected to return to practice Wednesday

Assuming he is cleared for contact, Bergeron (rib/sternoclavicular) could play this weekend.

Ben Volin | on football

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/17/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/davispatslose16Aspts.jpg What’s wrong with the Patriots this year?

Why are they limping to the finish line? Here are five areas that help explain their struggles.

Boston Bruins goaltender Jaroslav Halak (41) stops Montreal Canadiens left wing Tomas Tatar (90) during first period NHL hockey action in Montreal, Monday, Dec. 17, 2018. (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press via AP)

Bruins 4, Canadiens 0

There wasn’t much for the Bruins to complain about after this one

Joakim Nordstrom, Colby Cave, David Krejci, and Brad Marchand scored, and Jaroslav Halak stopped 22 shots

Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press via AP

Bruins notebook

Jaroslav Halak was barely challenged by the Habs

The Bruins goalie played his first four NHL seasons in Montreal.

jim mcbride | patriots film study

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/17/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/davisnepitt22.jpg Breaking down the Patriots’ struggles defending the run

One play early on was a microcosm of New England’s troubles slowing opposing ground games.

Patriots notenook

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/18/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/line%20flags%20896e-ce2015b2fd5a4b91b5474f406de7896e-0.jpg Watching back all the penalties was painful for the Patriots offensive line

The 14 penalties called against the Patriots were one shy of the most in any game in the Bill Belichick era.

Pittsburgh, PA 12-16-18: Patriots quarterback Tom Brady screams at an official after a fourth quarter penalty was called against New England. The New England Patriots visited the Pittsburgh Steelers in a regular season NFL football game at Heinz Field. (Jim Davis/Globe Staff)

jim davis/globe staff

tara sullivan

There are no easy conclusions in debate over Tom Brady’s performance

For every charge against him, there is a countercharge in his favor.

Chad Finn

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/17/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/davispatslose12spts.jpg Should Patriots be worried about the Bills and Jets?

After losing two in a row, the Patriots cannot afford to overlook anyone right now.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/17/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/davisnepitt3spts.jpg Tom Brady explained what happened on the final plays against the Steelers

“We just had too many missed opportunities,” said Brady of the loss in Pittsburgh.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/17/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/davisnepit14spts.jpg Patriots-Steelers was highest rated NFL game of the season

The game earned a 16.5 household rating and 32 share nationally.

Melrose, MA 12-18-18: Woburn's Marina Rufo (left) has her hair flying up as she battles for position under the boards with Melrose's Sm Dewey (right). Woburn visited Melrose for a girl's High School basketball game. (Jim Davis/Globe Staff)

Jim Davis/Globe Staff

TUESDAY’S SCHOOL ROUNDUP

Melrose girls’ basketball finally KO’s Woburn

Melrose’s senior captains — Lily Cunningham, Abby Cunningham, Peri MacDonald, and Samantha Smith — were winless against their Middlesex League rival

ADAM HIMMELSBACH

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/17/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/1073351190.jpg Seven things the Celtics should still be concerned about

Boston still has imperfections and concerns that may have been masked by the eight-game surge. Here are some of them.

Sports log

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/18/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/premier.jpg Manchester United fires Jose Mourinho

The Premier League team said it will not hire a permanent replacement until the offseason.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/10/01/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/kleinr_Revolution_07.jpg Revolution trade away Kelyn Rowe after seven years

Rowe was named the Revolution’s Humanitarian of the Year four years straight (2014-17).

Matt Slocum/Associated Press

joe sullivan | ON college basketball

‘This team has really surprised me’: How Penn has become the Ivy League favorite

Projected to finished second in the Ivy, the Quakers exceeded expectations with a 9-2 record, an upset of Villanova, and a decisive win over Miami.

Frank Dell’Apa | SOCCER NOTES

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/03/10/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/lee_031018_revolution1_spts.jpg What you need to know about Juan Fernando Caicedo, expected to be the Revolution’s next signing

Caicedo can perform as a “No. 9” target forward, as well as striker, adept at finishing and also setting up teammates

Foxborough MA 9/21/18 New England Revolution Juan Agudelo has the ball slide tackled away by Chicago Fire Bastian Schweinsteiger during second half action at Gillette Stadium. (photo by Matthew J. Lee/Globe staff) topic: reporter:

matthew j. lee/globe staff

Juan Agudelo signs multi-year contract with Revolution

The 26-year-old has scored 32 goals and 14 assists in 128 games with New England.

BROOKLINE, MA - APRIL 16: Sarah Sellers of the United States crossed the Boston Marathon finish line in second place with a time of 2:44:04. Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

Scott Eisen/Getty Images

Sarah Sellers among top American women entered in 2019 Boston Marathon

The surprise runner-up joins defending champion Desiree Linden on the John Hancock US Elite Team.

Saints 12, Panthers 9

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/18/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/1074342516.jpg Saints clamp down on Panthers

The Saints (12-2) took a one-game lead in the NFC over the Rams.

MONDAY’S SCHOOL ROUNDUP

Rachael Johnson’s halfcourt prayer lifts Coyle & Cassidy girls’ basketball over Nauset

Johnson capped an end-of-game 13-3 run for ninth-ranked Coyle & Cassidy with her last-gasp 3-pointer in a 56-55 win over No. 6 Nauset.

18bhoopnotes - Belmont Highs Danny Yardemian (right), with coach Michael Crotty, after winning MVP honors in the Comcast tourney. (Marauder Basketball Association)

Marauder Basketball Association

HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL NOTES

Belmont’s Danny Yardemian setting a fast pace

The 5-9 point guard plays, officiates, and coaches, too.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/10/26/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/davis_drspre1_spts.jpg Tim Neverett will join the LA Dodgers broadcast team

He will call a select number of games on radio and television.

NFL notebook

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/17/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/Gore%207be8a1c26765-0.jpg Dolphins’ Frank Gore may be done for year

The NFL’s leading active rusher, who suffered a sprained foot Sunday, has played in 126 consecutive games

Sports Log

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/17/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/accd12e1fa67438e999d0d480e7d9cba-accd12e1fa67438e999d0d480e7d9cba-0.jpg Flyers fire coach Dave Hakstol, name former Boston College star Scott Gordon interim coach

GM Chuck Fletcher announced the move Monday after the Flyers had lost four in a row and 11 of their last 14 games.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/17/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/davispatslose1spts.jpg Patriots can kiss No. 1 seed goodbye, but there is a silver lining

If the Patriots finish as the No. 3 seed in the AFC, they wouldn’t have to play the Chiefs or Chargers until the AFC Championship.

Ben Volin | On Football

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/17/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/davisnepitt5spts.jpg How the Steelers (finally) wrangled Rob Gronkowski and Tom Brady

The Steelers’ defensive backs were aggressive and the team threw a few new wrinkles at Tom Brady in a huge victory.

Foxborough MA 11/30/18 North Andover team after they defeated King Philip 6-0 capturing the MIAA Division 1 State Championship at Gillette Stadium. (photo by Matthew J. Lee/Globe staff) topic: 01schbowl reporter: Nathaniel Weitzer

Matthew J. Lee/Globe staff

Here are the Globe’s 2018 fall All-Scholastics

We highlighted the athletes and coaches who stood out above the rest this fall.

Kevin Paul Dupont

/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2014/03/05/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/dupont-13978.tif More from Dupont

Read his recent “On Second Thought” columns and more features from the longtime Globe writer.