Todd:  You know the drill by now…time again to clean more files off the sports hard drive while figuring out where is the best place to get apple cider doughnuts? Seriously, I could care less about pumpkin-flavored everything this time of year. Give me those fresh crispy hot little treats any day of the fall.

Not a great start for the Boston Bruins last night, but I think they’ll be ok over the long haul. Yes, they’ve lost a few veterans from last season and their defense currently looks scarily thin. But this is a franchise that traditionally has overachieved by outworking opponents who typically have more big-name star power. They should be fine and will likely reach at least the second round of the NHL playoffs, just as long as Tuukka Rask stays healthy.

So much for the Miami Dolphins being the AFC East rival ready to challenge the Patriots. Talk about your big hot messes…how can a team with their talent be so disappointing? What happened to Ryan Tannehill’s development? How much is he missing his TE Charles Clay? What happened to Miami’s supposedly vaunted defense? Is canning HC Joe Philbin and DC Kevin Coyle after just four weeks enough to turn around their season?

BTW which was the worse off-season acquisition: Hanley Ramirez or Ndamukong Suh? Different sports I know, but both guys possess million-dollar talent and ten-cent attitudes, with neither turning out to be a good fit with their new team. Perhaps the better question between these two is which player/contract is easier to unload.

Staying on the gridiron, who knew the Colts needed less Luck to have more luck? Wordplay aside, what an effort by 40-year old Matt Hasselbeck, who earlier this week was hooked up to an IV dealing with a bacterial infection, put in zero practice time and then went out last night and threw two touchdown passes to help the Colts win their second game in five days. Heck, until last week I thought Hasselbeck had retired. More Colts talk next week.

Some MLB playoff thoughts: So sad seeing the Yankees go down with a whimper, shutout by the Houston Astros (who I’m still trying to get used to playing in the American League). Red Sox look smarter by the day not trying to match the 7-year, $153M contract the Yankees gave to Jacoby Ellsbury, who hit only .220 after the All-Star Break and didn’t start in Tuesday night’s Wild Card game.

Thankfully the Cubs won Wednesday’s NL Wild Card game, thus preventing the fabric of the space-time continuum from unraveling. I still remember Jake Arietta as a fairly mediocre starting pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles. Old friend GM Dan Duquette dealt him to Theo Epstein’s Cubs, and all the 29-year old has done is go 12-0 in his last 14 starts, allowing just six earned runs. Jon Lester will try to keep the Cubs’ success going in Game 1 of the NLDS against the rival Cardinals—Sox fans might want to check out this pitching matchup: Lester v. Lackey.

Final baseball thought, some words for Dave Dombrowski. Dave, I know you really like David Price and there’s no question his career regular season numbers are impressive. But is it worth paying close to $30M annually for a guy who is now 1-6 with a 4.79 ERA in 11 postseason games? And 0-6 in six playoff starts? I wonder.

Here’s all you need to know as the Patriots head to Big D this week to play their first-ever game at the House that Jerry Jones Built. The Pats are an NFL-best 42-10 against the NFC since 2002 and are an NFL-best 45-16 in October in the Bill Belichick era. The Pats are also 11-4 coming off the bye week under Belichick. On the other side, there’s no Romo, no Dez and QB Brandon Weeden has lost his last ten starts. Plus, the only player who might have a chance at covering Rob Gronkowski—linebacker Sean Lee—is dealing with concussion symptoms this week.

Probably more a coincidence than a meaningful factoid, but the last two times the Pats faced Dallas they’ve gone on to play in February. For those of you who want to compare the 2015 Pats to the 2007 squad, those guys played at the old Texas Stadium and won 48-27. While many think they’ll score more points this time around, I’m just predicting a blowout win: Patriots 35, Cowboys 14.

Week 5 Picks (1-2 last week, 9-3 season):  Should I be shocked that picking three teams last week that have a combined zero Super Bowl wins produced my first losing week of the season?  Let’s try picking some Super Bowl winners this time: Chiefs over Bears, Packers over Rams and for my upset special, Raiders over Broncos.

Mike:   I'm going to keep things short and sweet this week, as we get ready for the Town of Terror, which, come to think of it is a pretty apt metaphor for the Red Sox season in 2015.

I'm thinking the Pats revenge tour continues this week, as they catch a break and get the reeling, injured Cowboys at JerryWorld (I've toured the stadium BTW, and it's as amazing in person as it looks on TV). But the stadium will be about the only thing amazing this Sunday as the Pats will win 42-17. And BTW, that will be nothing compared to what they are going to do to the Colts next week to pay them back for the whole Deflategate mess.

Week 5 Picks (2-1 last week, 5-7 season):  Looks like I had a bit better of a week last week, let's see if I can keep it going....first, I have to go against Todd and take the Broncos over the Raiders, as for my other games, Cardinals over the Lions and Bills over Titans.

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