Tag Archives: Super Bowl

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

Patriots Pulse: Rex Ryan Has His Own Version Of Fantasy Football (PHOTO)

While one confident member of the Jets has already predicted a win for his team tonight, let’s take a look at something a bit more realistic. It is always bold for a random member of the underdog (or any team) to guarantee a victory, but Muhammad Wilkerosn‘s guarantee earlier this week was a bit of a fantasy.

And, according to this clever online picture, Rex Ryan knows a thing or two about fantasy football. No, he isn’t a successful manager in his personal league. He’s more like another delusional believer that his team will be the last one standing. Of course this is all in good fun, but it had to be posted on the afternoon of the first Pats-Jets game of the season.

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Though his team is undefeated (as of now), Ryan getting to touch that trophy on his home field come February sure seems like an accurate description of a fantasy. This one, however, is a lot easier to get on board with.

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The Patriots and the Jets kick off at 8:30 tonight.

 

Follow me on Twitter @RealAndyLarmand.

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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Ravens Shock Patriots, Return To Super Bowl

Tom Brady sits on the ground following the interception that sealed the game for the Ravens.

Tom Brady sits on the ground following the interception that sealed the AFC Championship game win for the Ravens.

Remember when Tom Brady in the postseason was as sure as death or taxes? His 9-0 start to his postseason career had people all over New England thinking that this late-round diamond in the rough could never do any wrong. Three championships in his first four seasons.

None in his last eight.

Maybe it was payback. Maybe it was destiny. Whatever it was, Joe Flacco outplayed Brady, the Ravens defense outplayed that of the Patriots and as banged up as Baltimore  had been this year, it was the home team and favorite that felt the blows when it mattered most. Oh, and Ray Lewis, with the help if his good friend, God, has lived to play another day – and for the Super Bowl.

From the moment the coin hit the ground in favor of the Ravens and they deferred to the second half – stealing the Patriots’ bread and butter on their home field – it just seemed like it wasn’t meant to be. They committed fewer penalties, made less mistakes and completed a higher percentage of their passes. Most importantly, their zero turnovers, compared to three from the Patriots, were nothing less than huge. They were the team that executed better on Sunday.

Like it did towards the end if the regular season, the Patriots offense struggled to capitalize when their defense set them up with good field position and scored just 13 points – their lowest total of 2012. As the league’s No. 1 offense, the fewest points they had scored this year before yesterday were 18 in the Week 2 loss to the Cardinals.

The windy conditions at Gillette Stadium forced both teams to play conservatively and cost the Pats a couple chances at field goals they would normally attempt.

Their opening drive looked promising, but Wes Welker couldn’t haul in a deep pass from Brady when he had his defender beat by a couple if steps. They then almost caught the Baltimore special teams off guard, however, as Ryan Mallett snuck into the punt formation and forced the Ravens to burn a timeout.

A quick three-and-out by Baltimore gave New England the ball back, but only after a holding penalty called on Aqib Talib backed them up to their own 21. They had to settle for a 31-yard field goal from Stephen Gostkowski and took a 3-0 lead on their 32nd straight red zone possession that resulted in points.

The next Baltimore drive ended quickly as well, but came at a cost as Talib hurt his thigh while breaking up a pass on third and long. Some production from last week’s star Shane Vereen on the ensuing drive and a 15-yard personal foul penalty called on Lewis were for not as Brandon Lloyd ended up dropping a tough catch on third down.

Flacco then missed an open Dennis Pitta down the field and New England couldn’t convert following a 28-yard punt return from Welker as Paul Kruger influenced the Brady pass. The Pats D allowed just one completion in the first quarter and the Ravens went 0-for-3 on third down. New England led the Ravens 3-0 after one quarter of the AFC Championship game for the second consecutive year.

As the second quarter began, Flacco would lead a 90-yard drive in his first Title Game win to put the Ravens on the board with a two-yard run by Ray Rice. Jerod Mayo and Dont’a Hightower both missed tackles on the back as he then walked into the endzone on second down. Pitta had an 18-yard reception on third and four and Flacco took advantage of Talib’s absence, hitting Torrey Smith on a 25-yard pass to the New England 15.

Brady would answer right away, however, aided by another personal foul penalty, this time on Dannell Ellerbe. A 24-yard pass to Welker set the Pats up in good position and Brady found him again from a yard out to make it 10-7 Patriots with 4:18 left in the opening half.

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Tom Brady Has Chance To Rewrite History For Patriots, NFL

 

Mr. Consistency: While his looks have changed over the years, his play on the field has not and the many faces of Tom Brady are just another piece of the legacy he is still writing.

Mr. Consistency: While his looks have changed over the years, his play on the field has not and the many faces of Tom Brady are just another piece of the legacy he is still writing.

When you think of some of the greatest men to ever lead our country, the same names instinctively come to mind time and time again. Household last names, that don’t require a first name, a middle initial or anything else, like Jefferson, Lincoln, Roosevelt and, of course, Washington.

The same can be said for NFL quarterbacks. If 100 random people were surveyed on a busy city street regarding who they believed the best quarterback of all-time to be, many of the answers would definitely be repeated.

Some would gravitate to the original greats like Johnny Unitas or Bart Starr. Others might lean on those with the greatest stats like Brett Favre or Dan Marino.

But, then there would be those fans smart enough not to look at what the quarterback has done for himself, but to look at what the quarterback has done for his teammates.

And coaches.

And ownership.

And his city.

But, most importantly, they would look at what he has done for, well, them. And what can a professional athlete do for the hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of fans who follow his career, idolize all his triumphs and pick him up when he should make a mistake?

Bring a Lombardi Trophy back home, of course.

That’s what the real greats have done in the past, what others are trying to emulate in the present and what still others, some who may not even be born yet, will compare themselves to while striving to overtake them.

While there are undoubtedly other factors in determining who the greatest of all-time ultimately is, there is no denying that if a quarterback does not have multiple championships under his belt, he cannot be in the discussion. That is because there are those like Joe Montana, like Terry Bradshaw, like Troy Aikman and like Tom Brady, that have all hoisted the Lombardi Trophy three or more times during their playing careers.

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Beating the Ravens Will Be No Easy Task for the Patriots

For the second consecutive year, the Patriots will host the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship in Foxboro. Last year the Patriots barely got by the Ravens to advance to the Super Bowl, and although the Ravens don’t seem to be as good as they were last year, and the Patriots seem better than they do last year, I think this year’s AFC Championship game will be even tougher than last year’s.

Tom Brady Ray Lewis

Over the past week the term “Team of Destiny” has been used by many analysts and sports talk radio hosts regarding the Baltimore Ravens. The term makes most people feel nauseous, as it should, but if you think about it the Ravens really are playing like they are the team of destiny.

A win in Foxboro on Sunday would avenge the loss of year. Last year was no ordinary loss. The Ravens had a chance to win the game when Joe Flacco threw what would be a touchdown to Wide Receiver Lee Evans. That pass which was in Evans in hands was knocked out by Sterling Moore at the very last second. The Ravens as we all know then tried to tie the game with a 32 yard field goal. The easy field goal was missed by Kicker Billy Cundiff.

To lose a game like that is something teams don’t forget. Sure, this year is a different team for the Ravens, but those players who were on the field last year surely haven’t forgotten about this. Every player has been fighting all year to get back to where they got last year for a chance at redemption.

Along with the storyline for avenging last year’s loss, throw in Ray Lewis, who is playing in his final season. Every player on the field knows how important it is to show up and win for the team leader, to extend his career one more game. Although Ray Lewis is one of the best motivational speakers and teammates, you have to wonder when the “Lets win one for the Gipper” speech gets old and starts to fade for players. They won one for “the Gipper” (In the case Lewis) in the Wild Card round against the Bengals, and then they went out and won ANOTHER one for the Gipper against the Denver Broncos.

On Sunday the Ravens won’t be the only team trying to avenge a loss. The Patriots haven’t forgotten about losing to the Ravens in week 3 on primetime. That game was an even closer game than the AFC Championship game last year with the Ravens defeating the Patriots 31-30 by kicking a game winning field goal as time expired. In that game, the biggest story was the replacement officials.

Here’s a recap of that game: http://boston.sportsthenandnow.com/2012/09/24/patriots-vs-ravens-recap-five-reasons-the-patriots-lost-sunday-night/

Of course there’s a lot to play for in the AFC Championship. Most of the sports media will be hoping for a Ravens win to create better storylines, but the Patriots will try to stop that, and make things harder on the media by making them report on meaningful stories pertaining to football. With everything on the line on Sunday, and with the recent history between these two teams, this game will be no walk in the park for the Patriots.

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