Tag Archives: New England

Brady Picked In End Zone As Dolphins Hang On To Top Pats

Michael Thomas of the Dolphins celebrates his game-ending pick with the rest of the Miami defense.


The Patriots have been nothing shirt of dominant in the moth of December for the past few seasons. The Miami sunshine must have confused them.

With a chance to take advantage of Denver’s Thursday night loss at the hands of the Chargers, the Pats could not pull off their fourth straight gut-check win. Trailing the Dolphins, 24-20, Tom Brady was picked off by on a fourth-down play in the end zone by Michael Thomas, fresh of the 49ers‘ practice squad, as time expired.

The Miami win kept their hopes for the AFC East alive as they improved to 8-6 and the Patriots lost for the first time since the Monday Night game against the Panthers. It was their first win against New England in eight games and their third straight overall.

“We didn’t do a good job in the red area,” Brady said after the game.And didn’t do a good job finishing drives. We came up on the short end of the stick. It wasn’t a good day. Just couldn’t make enough plays.”

Brady did throw two touchdowns to Michael Hoomanawanui and Julian Edelman, but his only mistake of the day at best prolonged New England’s 11th division title in the last 14 seasons.
Miami’s Ryan Tannehill threw the game-winning touchdown pass – his third of the day – to Marcus Thigpen with 1:15 remaining in the fourth, leaving just enough time for Brady to get within striking distance thanks to a couple of big conversions.
The Pats went into the half up 10-0 thanks to a botched Miami field goal attempt, but quickly saw their halftime lead turn to 10-7 to start the third and then 17-10 after a field goal and another TD pass.

They would come back to score the next 10, however, with a Stephen Gostkowki field goal from 23 yards out and a 24-yard pass from Brady to  Edelman with 4:07 left in the fourth quarter. Gostkowski had missed his first attempt earlier in the game.

Again, however, the Pats’ makeshift D gave up the go-ahead score despite Miami facing a 3rd-and-16 to begin the drive. Tanehill would complete two straight and pick up the first down as the clock kept rolling. After mostly short and intermediate throws, he then connected with Rishard Matthews for a 24-yard gain to the New England 14 and then hit  Thigpen on the next play to put the ‘Phins up, 24-20, with 1:15 to go. Gostkowski’s kickoff had gone out of bounds, which set Miami up at their own 40.

Then, facing a 4th-and-8 at his own 33, Brady threw a pea to Danny Amendola for one of his 10 catches, to pick up 12 yards with 52 seconds left. On the next series, Brady connected with Edelman for one of his 13 catches to pick up 16 on 3rd-and-10 now with 27 to play. And the Pats were in the red zone.

A Dolphins’ offsides set the Pats up at the 14, but Brady tried three times to get in the end zone and failed. The first was to Edelman, the second to Hoomanawanui and then his fourth-down pass intended for Austin Collie was intercepted by Thomas in the end zone to end the game.

“I knew being the new guy that Tom Brady would come after me,” Thomas said. “He’s a great quarterback, and he’s going to exploit any weaknesses.”

Danny Amendola's potential game-winning catch slipped through his finger tips.

Danny Amendola’s potential game-winning catch slipped through his finger tips.

Brady finished the day 34-of-55 for 364 yards – his fourth straight 300-yard game. Edelman caught 13 for 139 yards and a score while Amendola snagged 10 for 131 of his own, but couldn’t haul in the game-winner in the end zone despite having both hands on the ball on the final drive. Both were huge in the comeback bid that fell just short while Shane Vereen mustered only 21 total yards on five touches for the day. Neither team ran for 100 yards.

The loss dropped the Patriots to 3-4 on the road this season while they are a perfect 7-0 at home. Fourteen fourth-quarter points allowed had a lot to do with that.

“We were short in every area [today],” Bill Belichick said, noting that special teams play had a lot to do with it.

Miami coach, Joe Philbin, said after the game that he might go home and jump in his pool for the second time since moving to Florida, referring to a celebratory swim.

The Pats will host the 7-6 defending champion Ravens in the late game next Sunday while the Dolphins look to bolster their playoff chances against the Bills at Ralph Wilson.

 

Follow me on Twitter @RealAndyLarmand.

Patriots Score Twice In Final Two Minutes For Third Straight Comeback Victory

Tom Brady celebrates taking the lead late in the fourth quarter with Ryan Wendell.

 

For the third straight week, the Patriots offense got off to a slow start, and for the third straight week, led by Tom Brady, they found a way to dig themselves out of the hole. Trailing 26-14 with two minutes left after Cleveland made it a two-possession game, Brady led the team to not one but two touchdowns to give them the improbable victory, 27-26.

Unlike the previous two times, however, it took two touchdowns in the final two minutes to earn the victory. Not to mention recovering an onside kick and keeping the Browns and kicker Billy Cundiff just far enough away so that his 58-yard attempt came up just short as time expired.

“That was awesome,” said Brady after the game. That was awesome. What a game. I’m just proud of the guys. We fought through a lot of adversity. A lot of mental toughness. We grinded it out, so it was pretty sweet.”

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Patriots Stun Broncos With Biggest Comeback In Team History

Julian Edelman leaps into the end zone to give the Patriots the lead in the fourth quarter.

It was fitting that the coldest regular-season game played in Foxboro in the last 20 years (22 degrees) was also (one of) the best regular-season games played in Foxboro in the last 20 years. For the 10th time in 14 career meetings with Peyton Manning, Tom Brady got the best of the other best quarterback of our era after Denver dominated the home team in the first half, but just the first half, scoring the first 24 points of the game and forcing three turnovers.

It was the final turnover, however, that was the biggest one. Denver special teams player, Tony Carter, allowed the ball to hit him after Wes Welker, back to return the kick with three minutes remaining in overtime, may have made the “get away” call just a little too late. New England recovered and three plays later, Stephen Gostkowski capped the biggest comeback in Patriots’ history with a 31-yard field goal to beat the Denver Broncos, 34-31.

If you’re going to turn the ball over three times in a game, you might as well get them all out of your system in the first half.

“The weather conditions get a little tough [and] things can turn quickly,” said  Brady, who finished 34-of-50 for 344 yards and three touchdowns, of the second-half turnaround.

Despite only one touchdown pass from Manning in the first half, Denver jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead thanks to Patriots’ fumbles on each of their first three possessions. Von Miller returned the first 60 yards for a touchdown 4:53 into the game and Kowshon Moreno plowed in from two yards out just over a minute later following a Brady fumble that was returned to the New England 10. They were two of his 224 rushing yards on the night, easily a career-high.

Then, LeGarrette Blount put the ball on the ground, leading to a field goal and quick 17-0 lead before Manning threw his first touchdown pass to in the second quarter to make it 24-0 all before the break.

It seemed like it would be a laugher after the first 30 minutes, but Brady drove the Pats down the field after receiving the second-half kickoff and after just eight plays, hit Julian Edelman from five yards out to make it 24-7. Then, after five straight draw plays to begin their first drive of the half, Moreno put the ball on the ground as Dane Fletcher jarred it out and Brandon Spikes got the recovery. Six plays after that, Brandon Bolden ran it in from a yard out and just like that it was 24-14. By the end of the third, it was 24-21 as Brady hit Rob Gronkowski on 3rd-and-6 to bring the Pats within three.

It kept going after that. Manning threw just his sixth interception of the year into the arms of Logan Ryan and three plays later, Brady hit Edelman for their second scoring connection of the night to cap the 30-yard, 78-second drive and somehow give the Patriots the 28-24 lead.

After Wesley Woodyard dropped a tipped interception that he had both his hands on and a would-be 2nd-and-20 was negated by an illegal hands to the face penalty, Gostkowski hit his 20th consecutive kick to give the Pats the seven-point lead with just over seven and a half remaining.

When it looked like it could be over on the next Denver drive, Aqib Talib, who had completely shut down Demaryius Thomas all night, was called for holding and negated his own interception, giving the Broncos some hope. Then Manning started converting third downs and Thomas started catching passes. And the Patriots started committing penalties. With 3:06 left, Manning hit Thomas from 11 yards out to tie the score at 31 after Denver picked up two first downs from penalties on the drive, including a pass interference call on Rob Ninkovich on 3rd-and-7 in the red zone. Brady would then go three and out and Ryan Allen was called to punt the ball to Welker with 1:45 remaining.

Denver took over at the 33-yard line, going into the wind. Then, Manning went three and out with a near sack from Andre Carter, a pass break-up from Kyle Arrington and an incomplete floater to give Brady one more chance from his own 11-yard line with 28 seconds left and two timeouts. Just a screen and a draw would take Brady and Manning to overtime, though.

After winning the coin toss, the Pats elected to forego possession and select the side of the field with the wind at their back, giving Manning and the Broncos the ball first. Both teams would trade possessions with New England’s ending on a long incomplete sideline pass on 3rd-and-4 after everyone thought Kenbrell Thompkins was interfered with on the previous throw, forcing the Pats to burn their first timeout to cool off.

When it seemed the Pats would be playing for a tie at best, the only thing that hadn’t happened in the game happened. Nate Ebner recovered the loose ball at the 18 and with 6’8’’ backup quarterback Brock Osweiler in the game to try to get the block, Gostkowski sent those who stuck it out home happy with a little bit of history to take with them.

Special teams players pile on Nate Ebner after he recovered the botched punt to set up the winning field goal.

Special teams players pile on Nate Ebner after he recovered the botched punt to set up the winning field goal.

“We just calmed down and each played one play at a time,” said Edelman, who finished with nine catches for 110 yards and the two huge touchdowns. “We didn’t turn the ball over in the second half.”

For Brady, it was his 33rd game-winning drive in the fourth quarter or overtime and this was certainly one of the bigger ones as New England now controls its own destiny in its hunt for a first-round bye in the playoffs.

Denver turned the ball over four times in the second half while the Patriots played mistake-free and scored on all five of their possessions, including 21 points in the third quarter, 10 in the fourth and, of course, the three in overtime. Manning finished with just 150 passing yards while Brady put up 344. It was the Pats’ ability to score touchdowns and not having to settle for field goals that gave them a chance to get back in the game.

While they did fumble the ball six times, they only losy three. Welker finished his return to Foxboro with just four catches for 41 yards and, of course, it wouldn’t be a Welker outing at Gillette without a big drop.

“We had a lot of guys step up here,” said Bill Belichick after the game. “You could rattle off 35-40 guys.”

After the improbable victory, New England will move on to the disappointing Texans (2-9) while the Broncos will take on the Chiefs for the second time in three weeks.

Follow me on Twitter @RealAndyLarmand.

Big Second Half Lifts Patriots Past Dolphins

Brandon Bolden celebrates his third-quarter touchdown that tied the game at 17 apiece.


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For pretty much all of the first half, it looked as though Week 8 against Miami would mirror the dreadful finish in the Week 7 loss to the Jets as the offense could get nothing going, the Dolphins were running through the injury-depleted defensive front and Tom Brady’s hand had swelled up to the size of a balloon. Patriots Nation was certainly frustrated for a bit as their team found themselves down 17-3 at halftime, before Brady, doing all he could to keep his throwing hand functioning, led them back in the second half for the 27-17 win with 24 unanswered points despite not picking up a first down until the final minute of the first quarter.

We can skip the majority of the first half lowlights, like Brady getting picked on his first attempt while throwing for only 25 yards, and just give the ugly particulars. A Brandon Gibson reception after three third-down conversions and a Daniel Thomas run put the ‘Phins up, 14-0, just five minutes into the second and rookie kicker Caleb Sturgis made it 17-3 before the half, but it was his miss in the third quarter, after the Patriots had gone three-and-out with just a miserable drive, that gave the home team some momentum back. Dont’a Hightower sacked Ryan Tannehill on third down and Sturgis’ kick hit the upright from 46 yards away.

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Patriots Pulse: Wilfork Likely Out For Season With Torn Achilles

Vince Wilfork leaves the Georgia Dome on a cart following the game.

Vince Wilfork leaves the Georgia Dome on a cart following the game.

 

The Patriots have suffered a huge loss following their Sunday night win over Atlanta as five-time Pro Bowl nose tackle Vince Wilfork has reportedly torn his right Achilles, according to Shalise Manza-Young of the Boston Globe, and is believed to be out for the remainder of the season. League sources have since confirmed the report.

Wilfork left the game in the first quarter and it was originally reported that he had suffered an ankle injury. He was taken off on a cart and was seen leaving the stadium with a boot on his right foot. Bill Belichick was also reportedly seen talking with Wilfork’s wife outside the New England locker room following the game. Leading up to the Week 4 meeting with the Falcons, Wilfork appeared on the Patriots’ injury report with what was listed as a foot injury.

 

Wilfork has missed only six games in his 10-year NFL career and played in all 16 in each of the last three seasons. The 325-pounder has been a longtime staple in the team’s run defense that is 13th in the league after four weeks this season, allowing 105 yards per game.

 

Surgery is likely to happen in the next few days and the team is left with young and unproven guys in the middle including Tommy Kelly, Joe Vellano and Chris Jones at an already thin defensive tackle position.

 

Wilfork had nine tackles in four games this season. He will be 32 next month and presuming he returns in time for the 2014 season, it will be a contract year for him.

 

Follow me on Twitter @RealAndyLarmand.

Patriots Force Four Turnovers, Hang On To Top Jets, 13-10

Julian Edelman's career night helped the Patriots improve to 2-0 with an ugly win over the Jets.

Julian Edelman’s career night helped the Patriots improve to 2-0 with an ugly win over the Jets.

Just four days removed from their season-opening win in Buffalo, the Patriots kicked off their home season against the always confident Jets. In one of the more ugly games in recent memory – not helped by the torrential downpours coming down in the second half – the Patriots rode three forced turnovers from Aqib Talib to survive the Jets’ attack and improve to 2-0 with a 13-10 victory.

After electing not to practice during the short week, all looked fine at the beginning as Tom Brady provided the team with a 39-yard Aaron Dobson touchdown catch to open the game. In the tight formation, Brady executed a perfect play fake and lobbed the ball to the wide-open Dobson, but then the offense stalled as they did on Sunday and Brady began showing his frustration with his group of young receivers. It was far from pretty, but a late interception from Geno Smith, the Jets’ fourth turnover of the game, gave the Patriots their second win of the season by a combined five points.

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