Matt Cassel threw for more than 400 yards for the second straight week as he continues to help New England Patriots fans forget about Tom Brady after a 48-28 thrashing over the Miami Dolphins in the NFL.

Besides 415 yards passing, Cassel tossed three touchdowns and ran for another at New England improved to 7-4 just one game behind the New York Jets in the AFC East. It was the second straight game in which the Patriots amassed more than 500 yards of offense.

New England wide receiver Randy Moss caught three touchdowns from Cassel and said afterwards of Tom Brady’s replacement: “Matt is getting in the comfort zone. He’s playing some hellified ball.”

New England rebounded from its over-time loss on November 13 against the Jets but face an enormous test next week when it welcomes the AFC North-leading Pittsburgh Steelers to Foxboro.

Cassel will need to have another outstanding performance for the Pats to keep pace with the Jets.

Heading back to Europe for some Euroleague basketball. Italian team Lottomatica Roma is one of three teams with a 3-1 record in Group C. And one of five players players to be scoring in double figures is Brandon Jennings.

The 19-year-old rookie point guard has collected 10.5 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.5 assists compared to 1.3 turnovers. But Jennings of course is making headlines for making a strong transition as the first American to begin his professional career in Europe instead of in college. Here is a fine piece – and video – about Jennings by Chris Broussard. Jennings suggested to other high school grads thinking about coming over to Europe not to do it for the money and when asked what is next to come, he answered: “The NBA man.”

The NBA is next here as well. From the no-surprise-here category, the Oklahoma City Thunder fired coach P.J. Carlesimo after the team’s 1-12 start. The Thunder is clearly the worst team in the NBA and poor Scott Brooks – Carlesimo’s assistant – has to take over this troop. If only he could bring along some more talent to help Kevin Durant.

And one more from the ole no-surprise-here category, Jermaine “The Brain” O’Neal went down injured for the Toronto Raptors, strained his surgically repaired left knee. O’Neal, who was acquired by Toronto for T.J. Ford in the off-season, has played more than 69 games just one in the last four seasons. It doesn’t look like he will make it there this season either.

Finishing the day off with – what else? – the Chicago Cubs. Rumors have once again re-surfaced about the Cubs being interested in the Kansas City Royals outfielder Mark Teahen – supposedly as the left-handed bat the lineup needs. While Teahen’s versatility of being able to play first and third base is not bad, the Cubs however, are looking for a big bat. So why not go after Raul Ibanez (sorry that was the broken record player again).



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