FOOTBALL

The defending NFL Champion New England Patriots will face the Philadelphia Eagles at the Super Bowl on Feb. 4 in Minnesota — setting the teams up for a rematch of their 2005 league championship contest and giving Philadelphia a chance to avenge the sting of that loss.

New England quarterback Tom Brady rallied his team in the final minutes for a comeback victory against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the American Football Conference championship. Brady threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Danny Amendola with just 2:48 left on the clock, putting the Patriots at 24-20.

A demonstrator at a women's march in Jan. 2017.
bones64 / Creative Commons

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker pitched his newest opioid bill to state lawmakers this week. It calls for dozens of provisions to overhaul treatment, tightening restrictions on prescribing, with a focus on educating young people on the dangers of opioids. 

While reporters and cameramen wait for big names like Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, Devin McCourty and Danny Amendola to appear in the Patriots locker room, an undersized offensive lineman sits about 40 feet away and goes quietly about his business.

It’s practice player James Ferentz. And by way of introduction, he says, “I’ve been kicking around, trying to hang on, and chasing the dream.”

That dream is a spot on the active roster of an NFL team, a chance to play in packed stadiums on Sunday afternoons.

But the Patriots practice squad comes pretty close.

The Boston researcher who examined the brain of former football star Aaron Hernandez says it showed the most damage her team had seen in an athlete so young.

Hernandez, whose on-field performance for the New England Patriots earned him a $40 million contract in 2012, hanged himself in a prison cell earlier this year while serving a life sentence for murder. He was 27 years old.

The brain of former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez showed severe signs of the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy, referred to as CTE, according to doctors who conducted tests after he committed suicide in April while imprisoned for murder.

The Patriots' grand entrance to Super Bowl XLVI in 2012. They lost to the Giants.
SAB0TEUR / Creative Commons

After a horrific season opener, the New England Patriots are looking to get back on track this Sunday against the New Orleans Saints.

Anthony Gulluni is the district attorney for Hampden County, Mass.
File photo / The Republican

What made The Short List this week?