Tag Archives: patriots

Celtics Tweets of Interest: Boston Stronger Than Ever

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The Celtics wrap up their expected, yet disappointing 2013-’14 campaign tonight. They have a 25-56 record and currently hold the fifth worst record in the league.

Concurrently, yesterday marked the one-year anniversary of the bombings at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. The Celtics will certainly pay tribute to the victims, the first responders, and the people of Boston. Last year the citizens of Boston grieved for the deaths of Krystle Campbell, Sean Collier, Lingzi Lu, and Martin Richard. This year Boston is running in their honor and all of the others who suffered injuries because we are resilient and we are prideful. An attack on Boston only brought its people together. On Marathon Monday, we will cheer louder than ever for all of the runners in the beloved 26.2 mile race. Today Boston continues to recover after a year, yet we remain strong and defiant to the acts of terrorism. We will never give in to hatred because like Boston.com’s Chad Finn said, Boston is a family. Like their fans, the Celtics hope they can pick themselves up because in April 2015, the fans want to be able to see the Celtics fight for a playoff berth. Here are the tweets commemorating the city of Boston:

The city of Boston will never forget the tragic day of April 15th, 2013. The Celtics sent this tweet on Tuesday uniting the fans of Boston. Boston is known for their traditions, which include their sports teams and the deep-rooted passion from the fans of the Bruins, Celtics, Patriots, Red Sox, and Revolution. The Celtics recognized the unity between all of the teams with this message.

Celtics captain Rajon Rondo changed his Twitter avatar to the Boston Marathon ribbon. He shared the slogan that galvanized the city of Boston.

Patriots Pulse: Aqib Talib Signs With The Broncos

Just like last year, the Patriots top free agent signed with the teams’ now biggest rival, the Denver Broncos. Late Tuesday night it was reported that star Cornerback Aqib Talib was signing a 6 year deal with Denver worth $57 Million.

Talib

Talib is just the latest player the Patriots have let walk and go to a rival. Of course last year the big story was Wes Welker signing with the Broncos after the Patriots wouldn’t pay him nearly what he wanted.

Talib played a huge role for the Patriots in the 2013 season especially with the injuries they faced all year on defense. If it wasn’t for Talib, the Patriots may not have won as many games as they did last year. In the 13 games he played in for the Patriots, Talib had 4 interceptions, and made quarterbacks think twice before targeting a receiver that Talib was covering.

If the season were to start today, the Patriots top Corner would be Logan Ryan, and despite a decent season from him this year it hard to tell what he’ll do in his second year in the league. Ryan also had it easier because Talib did such a good job on his coverage’s, Quarterbacks were able to target receivers covered by Logan Ryan more because he was the easier target to try and beat.

There’s still plenty of time for the Patriots to pick up a decent Cornerback before the season starts, but nothing they have done in years past would indicate that they are willing to spend money on a good free agent. The best Corner out there is Darrelle Revis, but he still belongs to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the price to trade for him would be pretty high.

One concern the Patriots may have had about Talib was his ability to stay healthy. He missed three games this season, and left the AFC Championship game early for the second year in a row after getting injured. Although Talib may not have been the difference maker against the Broncos, he could have at least kept the conference championship game closer than what it was.

Talib was acquired from Tampa Bay during the 2012 season and immediately became a force on the Patriots defense. He accepted a one year deal from the club after the 2012 season, and that turned out to be a good move for him, because he wouldn’t have gotten a deal anywhere near as good as he got from the Broncos.

As the Bronco’s continue to improve on both defense and offense, the Patriots will need to make some good, smart moves to stay in the race in the AFC.

Tom Brady Still Better Than Peyton Manning When The Game Matters Most

The dust has settled on another football season, and like most years, it ended for Peyton Manning in the same manner. Despite being the best offensive player during the regular season, Manning let up in the most crucial game where it meant the most. Before the Super Bowl sports pundits discussed for two weeks how this game would be a legacy game for Manning, and Peyton did make a statement about his legacy. That legacy being that he is not a good playoff quarterback.

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The Super Bowl loss made his playoff record sub .500 again, like it had been until he defeated the Patriots in the AFC Championship this year to reach .500 at 11-11. Now standing at 11-12 lifetime in the postseason with just one Super Bowl title, the discussion of Peyton being the greatest quarterback of all time can now be stopped. In three Super Bowls he’s now 1-2, and his first Super Bowl appearance didn’t come until his 8th season in the league.

Tom Brady, despite recent struggles, has the most playoff victories of all time with 18, and has just 8 losses. He hasn’t won a title in 9 seasons now, but he’s led the Patriots to 2 Super Bowls in that span, and only got knocked out of the first round of the playoffs twice. Even if Brady never wins another title, he’ll be remembered as one of the best playoff quarterbacks of all time, which is the opposite of Peyton. The only other quarterback to start 5 Super Bowls was Joe Montana for the 49ers.

If you compare Peyton and Brady, it’s important to also realize who each quarterback had as offensive weapons. With the Colts, Manning always had Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne, and Dallas Clark, all of whom were elite receivers for Manning to throw to. When Brady won his three championships, he had relative unknowns he was passing to. Some of the biggest names Brady had was Troy Brown and Deion Branch. Had Brady had the core that Peyton did during his Colts days, he may have an extra championship or two. Read more

AFC Championship Preview: Patriots @ Broncos

Two HOF quarterbacks will be facing off in the greatest rivalry of the past decade


For the third straight year, the New England Patriots are just one win away from another trip to the Superbowl. Are you surprised? This has been a roller-coaster of a year. Who’s standing in the way this season? Old nemesis Peyton Manning and his record-breaking 55 TDs and 5,477 yards will host the quarterback with the most wins (18) in NFL Playoff history, Tom Brady. Peyton Manning is 10-11 in the postseason.

In the Superbowl era, Belichick & Brady have had more games together (191) as starting QB and head coach then Shula & Marino (184) and Noll & Bradshaw (158). The Patriots have gone 148-43 (.775) since 2001, an incredible accomplishment. Their improbable 12-4 regular season record is a true reflection of the “system” Belichick has put in place for the past dozen years. It’s no secret that rookies and reserves have stepped up in absence of multiple key starters being lost for the season (Wilfork, Mayo, Vollmer, Gronk, Welker, Hernandez). While Brady versus Manning is still the main attraction of Sunday afternoon, there are a bunch of impactful story-lines and keys to victory in this matchup of epic proportions. In the past 62 games, the Patriots have only been outscored by 8 points or more in just 2 games (Steelers 2011 and Ravens AFC Championship 2012). This will be a tight game with a small margin for error on both sides of the ball. Check out my collection of notable areas to keep an eye on during the AFC Championship:

1) Red Zone Efficiency: The Broncos are 1st in the NFL having scored a touchdown in 76.6% of their trips inside the 20-yard line compared to the Patriots’ 57.8% clip. Holding Denver to a few field goals is integral for New England. Manning lead his squad to a NFL record 606 total points for, averaging out to 37.1 PPG. Despite being held to 13 against the Jets and 6 points against the Bengals, the Patriots rounded off the year averaging 28.6 PPG and 35.1 PPG over their past 9 games – Indianapolis included. If the New England defense can make a few plays in their own territory with their backs against the wall, it will bode well for another chance at snagging the Lombardi trophy. Assuming the Broncos receive the opening kick-off, going down a few touchdowns on the road is not a good look.

2) Time Management: Keeping the ball out of Peyton’s hands is inevitable; however, controlling the clock is not. The Patriots have developed a signature style of smash-mouth football over the past few weeks lead by impressive performances from the ever-consistent offensive line and LeGarrette Blount. The Patriots are 3rd in the NFL in 4th quarter time-of-possession at 55.1%, compared to the Broncos’ 50.8%. New England and Denver both score the most at 11.2 points per 4th quarter, which is interesting considering the Pats are 23rd in the NFL in the 2nd quarter scoring an average of 6.5 compared to the Broncos’ 9.7. Time management is crucial but Demaryius Thomas can break one at the blink of an eye. The key is for the defense to put the offense in a position to pound the rock and burn the clock.

3) Special Teams: A wild sequence of events lead to a Colts safety, Ryan Allen injury, Brady PAT holding and Gostkowski’s first career punts. In an analysis put together by Dallas News’
Rick Gosselin, the Patriots rank 1st overall in Special Teams. The stat includes 22 different categories but this is no surprise to the New England faithful. Belichick preaches execution in all three aspects of the game every week. Gostkowski had a career year kicking38/41 FGs and stepped up admirably averaging 41.8 YPP on 5 punts and a long of 53 yards in the Divisional Round. Ryan Allen is back to practice and is expected to play on Sunday. Football is a game of inches and whether it’s a punt pinned inside the 5 or a PAT hold, every play matters. A clean special teams performance will put less pressure on the offense and defense.

Stay tuned on game day for part two of my preview and a final score prediction!

Running Game Has Patriots More Fit For AFC Championship Than Last Year

Okay Patriots fans this is their third straight appearance in the AFC Championship Game, but this time it is on the road. The Patriots have not won a road playoff game in what feels like forever, really 2006 in San Diego but I digress. I feel like the talk of Brady vs. Manning has been dialed down this week as there was so much time spent on it during the regular season. Peyton now has all the stats, as he took Brady’s single season touchdown record this season, as well as Drew Brees’ yards record. While Brady still has more rings.

LaGarrette Blount was a force last weekend against the Colts.

LaGarrette Blount was a force last weekend against the Colts.

Brady did not need to have to have a lights out game last weekend against the Colts as he mainly handed off the ball and kept the Colts offense off the field and when they were on the field the defense stepped up. Josh McDaniels always has something up his sleeve that really makes me scratch my head, so I hope they stick to the run this week in Mile High and continue to keep the opposing teams offense off the field.

After all the Broncos offense is a well oiled machine with Manning having Welker, Decker, and the Thomas’ to throw to. All four had double digit touchdowns this season. We remember Peyton had plenty of weapons in Indianapolis and only won one Super Bowl so here is hoping he will not come up in the big game again. His arm strength has declined but now he has Welker in the slot and Thomas on those screen passes.



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The Chargers played the Broncos three times this season including last weekend’s Divisional matchup. Each time the Chargers defense held the Broncos under 30 points but unfortunately only won one of those games. The Broncos can win the shootout type games going up and down the field without question but when it comes down to it I don’t think they can win another time controlled game where the opposing team tries to eat the clock leaving the Broncos offense impatient. Also Tom Brady has had great success against Jack Del Rio defenses, the Broncos defensive coordinator and this year was no different as he lead the Patriots back in the second half of that great Sunday night thriller.

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Patriots Embarrass Ravens In Baltimore

Last year, the Patriots lost to the Ravens twice. Once on a Monday night in Baltimore, and again in the AFC Championship game at Gillette that ended the Patriots season. Every time the Patriots play the Ravens they seem to struggle. Not on Sunday. For the first time all season, the Patriots played good football for a full 60 minutes, and blew out Baltimore 41-7.

LeGarrette Blount



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Before the game started the Patriots clinched the AFC East title for the fifth straight year when the Miami Dolphins lost to the Buffalo Bills, and they put themselves in position for a first-round bye with the win over the Ravens. All the Patriots need to do is win next week in order to get the first round bye.

After going 3 and out on the first drive of the game, the Patriots forced the Ravens to punt, and on the next drive, the Patriots scored a touchdown on a 1 yard run by LaGarrette Blount, that was set up by a Pass Interference call on the Baltimore defense when Tom Brady tried to go deep down the field to Julian Edelman in the end zone.

Ravens Quarterback Joe Flacco threw a pass intercepted by rookie, Logan Ryan on the next drive, and six plays later, Brady found Shane Vereen for a 4 yard touchdown to make it 14-0. That would be all the scoring the Patriots would need to defeat the Ravens, thanks to the great defense that stepped up for the Patriots.

Down 17-0 early in the 3rd quarter, the Ravens attempted a 4th conversion on 4th and 3 from the Patriots 39, but the Patriots Defense denied the Flacco, and on the next Ravens drive, Logan Ryan again came up with another interception to keep the Ravens off the scoreboard. After another Patriots field goal, the Ravens went for another 4th down conversion and again failed to convert.

On 4th down at the Patriots 19 yard line in the 4th quarter, the Ravens finally decided to try to get on the board with a field goal, but Kicker Justin Tucker, who broke the longest field goal record last week, missed an easy field goal, and the Patriots again got the ball back without the Ravens scoring.

Despite the dominance from the Patriots defense, the team still let the Ravens hang around as it was still just a 3 possession game, and after the Patriots were forced to punt, Flacco rushed for a touchdown after a questionable pass interference penalty was called on the Patriots. That made the game just a 13 point game with still over 9 minutes to play.

The Ravens forced the Patriots 3 and out, but the Ravens couldn’t score on the next drive again failing to convert on 4th down. From there the Patriots finally got into the end zone for the first time since the 1st quarter when Blount rushed for a 7 yard touchdown making the score 27-7 with just 2:05 to play.

On the ensuing kickoff, Jacoby Jones ran the ball out of the end zone and was stopped at the 3. However Baltimore challenged that Jones’ foot was out of bounds when he caught the kickoff, and they won the challenge to get the ball at the 20 yard line. With the Ravens wasting everybody’s time by challenging in a game that was already over, karma came and bit them hard.

On the 1st play, the backup Quarterback Tyrod Taylor fumbled the ball and Chandler Jones fell on the ball in the end zone for another Patriots TD. With the Ravens still throwing the ball on the next drive, Tavon Wilson picked off Taylor and returned it to the end zone to make it 41-7.

It was a sweet tasting victory for the Patriots since they always seem to struggle against the Ravens. The blowout was the biggest Ravens loss at home in franchise history, and put the Ravens playoff chances in jeopardy.

Next week the Patriots need to win to guarantee a first round bye. If they don’t win, and Cincinnati defeats the Ravens, the Patriots will have to play in the wild card game the following week.

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