Tag Archives: new orleans saints

Ridley & Mayo OUT for the Year

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There were lots of positives to be taken from the Patriots 37-22 victory over the Bills on Sunday. However, that big win came with a huge price tag, as both Stevan Ridley, and Jerod Mayo were injured during the game.

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After further tests were performed today, it is being reported that both will miss the rest of the season.

For Ridley, it was a torn ACL and MCL that he suffered during one of his 10 rushes in the win, and its disappointing to see since it looked like he was finding his stride this year along with the other running backs on the Patriots. Known for his amount of fumbles, its should be noted he didn’t have 1 fumble in his 6 games this year.

Jerod Mayo will be placed on the Injured Reserve almost a day to the year since he was last year, when he got injured versus the New Orleans Saints in week 6 last year. Mayo loss was felt by the defense last year, and there’s no question it will be felt this year instead.

For the next 10 weeks, the Patriots will need other guys to step up and fill the holes left by both Mayo, and Ridley.

Gone In 73 Seconds: Patriots Last Gasp Victory Ends Saints’ Unbeaten Run

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A half empty Gillette Stadium witnessed one of the greatest ends to a game in recent memory. With 73 seconds left and no timeouts remaining who else would you want leading your offense in to the last chance saloon other than Tom Brady. After all it was Terrific Tom who rallied the Patriots to victory in Louisiana at Super Bowl XXXVI when the team had no timeouts and just 1:30 left in regulation.

After turning the ball over on downs deep in their own half a Garrett Hartley field goal put New Orleans up 27-23 leaving the Pats needing a touchdown. Brady gathered the troops but then threw an interception on the first play of the drive shortly before the two minute warning which appeared to confirm defeat for Bill Belichick’s team. The Saints offense was thwarted by New England’s defense with their big stops giving Tom Brady and co had a chance to win the game.

The offense moved with urgency with the first pass completed when Brady hit Edelman in the middle of the field on a 23 yard play before throwing over the middle again on the second play of the drive to Austin Collie for the 15 yard reception. With time ticking away the team hurried to line but Brady was as composed as ever as he completed an important 6 yard pass to Aaron Dobson on the sideline with the rookie wideout being dragged out of bounds forcing the clock to stop.

At this point it appeared anything could happen but after two incomplete passes it looked like the Saints may hold out for the win as arguably the most crucial moment of the drive came up with the Patriots needing 4 yards to keep their hopes alive; Brady hit Collie on the left side for 9 yards to get the first down. The team spiked the ball after quickly lining up in formation meaning that with 10 seconds to go the team realistically had two shots at the end zone to win the game.

But the Patriots only needed one attempt with Brady showing why he is one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time by keeping calm and composed as he hit Thompkins in the left corner of the end zone with a perfect throw over the arms of the helpless defensive back Jabari Greer. The three-time Super Bowl champion had done it; his 342nd career touchdown pass, tying him with Fran Tarkenton for fourth all-time, was one fans of the Patriots will remember for years to come as getting a win with 5 seconds to go against very good opposition is something you don’t forget quickly.

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A picture perfect throw!

It’s the 37th time Tom Brady has led the Patriots to victory from a fourth-quarter deficit or tie as well as the fifth game in his illustrious career in which Brady threw a game-winning TD pass in the final minute to turn a New England deficit into a win. The win over New Orleans will give Bill Belichick’s men a new found belief and confidence in themselves especially the young guys. This is extremely valuable as soon they will be approaching the business end of the season and will want to claim a bye in the playoffs so to get a momentous win like this can only be a good thing.

The Patriots are now 5-1 are now tied for the second best record in the league and are heading in to a big divisional rival matchup against the Jets on Sunday at MetLife Stadium which will host the upcoming Super Bowl in around 4 months. The young guys will get a feel and taste of a stadium which will host the big game come the end of the season so a memorable win over the Jets may even inspire the team to push even harder to go one step further and have a shot at creating an even more memorable experience by getting back to MetLife in February.

Unfortunately for New England the injuries are piling up with defensive captain Jerod Mayo officially being placed on injured reserve yesterday meaning he joins Vince Wilfork on the sidelines for the rest of the 2013 season. Cornerback Aqib Talib also sustained a hip injury on Sunday which is not good news considering he is one of the best shutdown corners in the league and was instrumental in keeping Saints tight end Jimmy Graham at bay as he finished the match with no catches; thankfully Dennard, Arrington and McCourty all contributed in making sure Graham was kept quiet by doing their part defensively.

On offense Danny Amendola suffered a nasty head injury leaving him with a concussion which is not good news for an already thin New England receiving core. After some key catches on Sunday during that final drive Austin Collie could play against the Jets while Dobson and Thompkins continue to get better and better week by week as well as the fact that the Patriots are still waiting on superstar tight end Rob Gronkowski to make his long awaited return to the field. Stevan Ridley had his best performance of the season with two touchdown runs for 110 yards so the offense is clearly progressing.

Despite the defensive injuries mentioned already the team re-signed DT Andre Neblett whilst Dont’a Hightower could possibly take over Jerod Mayo’s role; arguably it would suit it more than his current role considering that is where he played most at Bama. Fellow Sophomore Chandler Jones is becoming extremely valuable to the D and came up with a big sack against the Saints whilst rookie Jamie Collins will see more game time due to the teams injuries. New England’s defense has forced a turnover in 33 straight games which is the longest active NFL streak.

The Patriots have faced adversity early on in the season but 5 wins out of 6 is extremely impressive. There are many more challenges ahead but the old saying of ‘next man up’ is working for the team with the roster helping each other win games as a team through hard work and determination. There are trade rumours swirling regarding a wideout with Kenny Britt, Josh Gordan, Emmanuel Sanders and even Hakeem Nicks all possibilities for the Patriots offense. Regardless of that the Pats’ defense and offense have proved their worth throughout these opening six games by helping each other grind out wins with quality performances which makes it clear to see that New England remains as one of the best teams in the National Football League.

Unlucky Rob

Unlucky Rob

Celtics Tweets of Interest: MarShon Brooks Appreciates Pats’ Win; Kelly Olynyk Celebrates Thanksgiving

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The local sports talk in Boston over Columbus Day weekend has centered on the astonishing come-from-behind victories by the New England Patriots and Boston Red Sox on Sunday. The Boston Bruins are just five games into the 2013-’14 regular season. Then there are the Boston Celtics who continue to work in anonymity as the preseason winds down.

Currently, the Celtics are the bottom feeders in Boston sports because they sent Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Jason Terry to the Brooklyn Nets. Doc Rivers left Boston to chase a championship with the Los Angeles Clippers. Rajon Rondo is rehabbing from a torn right ACL that he underwent surgery on in February. The Celtics are left having to rely on holdovers such as Jeff Green, Avery Bradley, and Brandon Bass while they hope the newcomers (Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries, MarShon Brooks, and Vitor Faverani) can integrate themselves into the organization. There is uneasiness about rookie forward Kelly Olynyk because he looks like he can become another Dirk Nowitzki,with his ability to shoot from the perimeter, but he played at Gonzaga and he is not seen as a great defender. Olynyk is not seen as a franchise cornerstone, but he is a building block. New head coach Brad Stevens has never coached in the NBA and he is jsut 36-years-old.

The Celtics are 1-3 in the preseason. They played awful in losses to the Toronto Raptors and the Philadelphia 76ers. The Celtics nearly finished a comeback victory against the New York Knicks and then they blew out the Knicks.

With the regular season opener just two weeks away, the Celtics’ players are using Twitter to have discussions with their fans and expressing their personalities.

Brooks is a fan of the Atlanta Falcons and he was one person among many Patriots’ fans who was cheering for Tom Brady and the Patriots to score on their final drive. Since Brooks moved to Georgia when he was six years old so it makes sense that he grew up as a fan of the Falcons. The Falcons and the New Orleans Saints are both in the NFC South. The (1-4) Falcons will need to win several more games to catch up to the Saints (5-1). Also, the Falcons already lost to the Saints in Week 1 and they are missing key players, including Julio Jones who is out for the season.

While people celebrated Columbus Day in Boston, this day is a different holiday in Canada. Canadians enjoy Thanksgiving in the middle of October and Olynyk is a native of Toronto. Thanksgiving is celebrated in October in Canada because Canada has an earlier harvest season as their crops are harvested by mid-October.

Patriots Pulse: Brady Shocks Brees, Saints With Last-Second Touchdown Pass

Kenbrell Thompkins skies to hang on to the game-winning touchdown pass and the Patriots held on to improve to 5-1 on the year.

Kenbrell Thompkins skies to hang on to the game-winning touchdown pass and the Patriots held on to improve to 5-1 on the year.


In a back-and-forth game at Gillette, when the leaves seemed to be a little redder at the end than they were at the start, Tom Brady once again reminded everyone in New England just exactly why he is one of the greatest of all-time. And it was one of his rookies, Kenbrell Thompkins, that was on the receiving end of the 17-yard pass as he jumped up and came down with the ball between his hands just above the outstretched defender in the corner of the endzone and all but locked up the 30-27 come-from-behind win over the previously undefeated Saints.

Trailing by four with just over a minute left, Brady drove the Pats 70 yards after the defense forced a New Orleans punt and left enough time by burning their three timeouts. He went 5-for-7 on the drive, utilizing Julian Edelman, Austin Collie and then Thompkins for big gains and also passing Vinny Testaverde for eighth on the all-time passing yards list.

“Guys made big time catches,” Brady said of his new receivers’ play on the final drive before adding that no matter what, he has confidence in his targets.

The Pats jumped out to a 17-7 halftime lead behind two rushing touchdowns from Stevan Ridley, who was back in the lineup after missing last week’s contest with a knee injury. A Stephen Gostkowski field goal on their first possession had made it 3-0, Pats. Drew Brees would keep his team in it, however, as he utilized some new targets to put up some points.

New England fell behind, 7-3, as Brees got the Saints on the board with a late touchdown pass in the first to Travaris Cadet from three yards out. Ridley would score the next two, though, and the Pats went into the dressing room with a 10-point lead despite no touchdown passes from Brady for the sixth straight quarter.

After deferring to the second half, the Saints came out with the first 10 points of the third quarter as well with a 28-yard field goal from Garrett Hartley first and then a three-yard run from Khiry Robinson, who was in there with Mark Ingram inactive for the contest. Gostkowski then broke the 17-17 tie with 1:36 left in the third and added his third of the day six and a half minutes into the fourth to make the score 23-17 Patriots with 8:34 to play.

Again, Brees answered, however, finding Kenny Stills with a 34-yard pass that Alfonzo Dennard appeared to have a beat on, but was unable to bat down in the corner of the endzone. Stills came down with both feet in and the Saints led, 24-23, with 3:29 to play. Plenty of time remained for Brady, but No. 12 couldn’t get anything going and New England was forced to punt. Hartley would then add three more and force the Pats to drive down the field needing a touchdown with 2:24 left.

Brady then threw a deep interception on the first play as he tried to connect with Edelman down the right side and it would be up to the defense to get the ball back. They held and with the help of the two-minute warning and their final timeout, were able to get the ball back into Brady’s hands.

He opened the game-winning drive with a 23-yard completion to Edelman before finding Collie for 15 more on the next play. Instead of clocking it with 39 seconds remaining, Brady faked the spike and fired to Aaron Dobson, who not only picked up six huge yards, but got out of bounds to stop the clock. After failing to connect with Edelman on each of the next two plays, including once at the goal line, Brady then found Collie again, who got to the New Orleans 17 with 10 seconds left on the scoreboard clock.

Then, Brady found the rookie, who made his third catch of the game to cap off the thrilling no-huddle drive and shock the undefeated Saints. Brady finished the game .25-of-43 for 269 yards and the one huge touchdown pass that sent his team to 5-1 on the year, while out-passing Brees.

“What more can you ask out of your leader?” Ridley said. “He put the team on his back.”

Danny Amendola, Dan Connolly and Aqib Talib all suffered injuries in the game, but despite hurting his hip, Talib was able to help contain tight end, Jimmy Graham, who had just zero catches for zero yards on six targets and failed to become the first tight end ever with five straight 100-yard receiving games.

Dobson was solid on the day and led the Pats with six catches for 63 yards and Ridley finished with 96 yards on 20 attempts. Edelman had five for 57 and a tight end actually snuck into the offense as Michael Hoomanawanui caught four balls for 57 yards. Joe Vellano led the team with eight tackles.

The touchdown pass to Thompkins would have tied Brees’ NFL record for consecutive games with a touchdown pass had Brady’s streak not come to an end a week ago. Rob Gronkowski was inactive for a sixth straight game.

New England (5-1) remains alone atop the AFC East and will take on the Jets for the second time this season next Sunday afternoon while New Orleans, who fell to 5-1, will host the Bills.

 

Follow me on Twitter @RealAndyLarmand.

Patriots Match-Up Mania: Gronk vs. Graham?

There probably won't be any Gronk this Sunday.

There probably won’t be any Gronk this Sunday.


The October 13 game involving the New Orleans Saints and New England Patriots looked to be one of the games to remember from the NFL’s 2013 calendar. Tom Brady. Drew Brees. Touchdowns galore. Oops.

Now, it could be something else. The title of this piece this week represents the change that has taken place. Saints TE Jimmy Graham has surpassed Rob Gronkowski as the league’s prototype tight end. He’s got six touchdowns already and has led the Saints in catches two straight years. Bill Belichick is aware that his defense has to deal with Graham, Brees and the entire Saints offense to have a chance to win. BB on Graham:

Treat him like whatever you want, but he is what he is. Everybody has tried everything. (They’ve) tried to jam him at the line, at times he’s had linebackers on him, safeties on him, double cover him. He’s seen all of it. He’s quick, he’s a big target, he’s a hard guy to cover, no question. He’s not always in the normal tight end position. Sometimes he’s extended in a receiver type of look.

Sounds like a job for Aqib Talib, or pretty much anyone the Patriots can find. Dont’a Hightower also says they can’t just focus on Graham.

He’s one of their go-to-guys. But we don’t just have to try to stop him. They have other guys. . . . Drew Brees is a great quarterback. (Coach) Sean Payton does a great job spreading the ball around. We just have to go out there and execute.

While Graham and Brees are gearing up for another onslaught, Brady must be wondering who’ll be able to suit up. According to WEEI.com, Gronk is focused on the “integrity of the bone” in his allegedly surgically repaired arm. That sounds really bad, doesn’t it? It sounds like this week is out and that future weeks are doubtful, too.

BST&N’S 2013 NFL Predictions From The Playoffs To Individual Awards

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It’s almost here, but if you weren’t excited enough about the NFL returning in a couple weeks, here are a few more reasons. It’s time to make some predictions that will inevitably have clear cut outomes and boggle the minds of some while sparking some pretty intense debates. I think I have them all right, though. Here are my picks for all eight division winners, the four Wild Card teams, each conference’s championship matchup, the Super Bowl, league leaders and major award recipients.

AFC East (2): Patriots – Nine straight division titles when the team has been quarterbacked by Tom Brady? Yeah, make it 10 for New England. While they undoubtedly will be transitioning on the field this season, they are still fairly high above the other three teams in the division. Plus, their quarterback never runs into butts.

AFC North (4): Bengals – Get used to hearing “Dalton to Green” and get used to seeing the Bengals in the postseason (even if it is just for one game) for the third straight year. Cleveland will probably finish fourth.

AFC South (3): Colts – The Colts made an unbelievable turnaround in 2012 and it seems to me they are not done improving. Eleven wins last season was good, but I see them hitting at least 12 this year, including making a push to overtake the Texans late in the year with a huge win over them in Week 15.

AFC West (1): Broncos – Obviously. This one will probably be the biggest division win by any team this season. I say 14-2 for Denver with San Diego the closest to them at 7-9. Welker…and Decker…and Thomas might play a role in their success as well.

Peyton Manning wil lead the Broncos to another division title.

Peyton Manning wil lead the Broncos to another division title.

AFC Wild Card (5): Texans – Houston has three of the best players in the league in Arian Foster, Andre Johnson and J.J. Watt. The supporting cast is not bad either and Matt Schaub obviously has what it takes to lead a team to the postseason. I just think the Colts will steal the division from them sooner or later and Houston will wind up in the five-spot.

AFC Wild Card (6): Ravens – Though their defense is gong to look quite different, the Ravens should be able to get enough out of Joe Flacco to back in to the playoffs as the conference’s No.6 seed. From there, I wouldn’t be surprised if they were bounced immediately as I’m a little wary that Flacco might have nothing left to motivate him.

NFC East (3): Redskins – As long as RG’s knee can hold up for 16 games, the Redskins are poised to repeat as NFC East champs. He will be an x-factor for them this season, leading them to big wins over the Packers, Falcons and Giants and clinching this division before the final night of the season.

NFC North (4): VikingsAdrian Peterson will carry them to the division title in 2013. That’s really the only way I see that happening for the Vikes, who will have to contend with the Packers and maybe even the Lions or Bears. Green Bay finishes a very close second, but will be on the outside of the playoff picture looking in.

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