Tag Archives: troy brown

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.

peyton_AP omeara

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

Vereen Leads Patriots Past Texans, Back To AFC Title Game

Dual threat: Shane Vereen scored three touchdowns (two receiving, one rushing) to lead the Patriots past the Texans and back into the AFC Championship game.

Dual threat: Shane Vereen scored three touchdowns (two receiving, one rushing) to lead the Patriots past the Texans and back into the AFC Championship game.

Remember just over a month ago when the Texans were the best team in the AFC? With the best defense in the league? Yeah, I’m having a little bit of trouble recalling that too. It seems just a bit far-fetched right about now.

It wasn’t quite like the first time around, but the Texans still gave up 40 points, J.J. Watt still didn’t bat a pass, Rob Gronkowski still ended up missing the majority of the game (more on that a little bit later) and the Patriots still scored 40-plus points. They also won and believe it or not, it is the first time in the Brady-Belichick era that the team has won a playoff game that was a rematch of a regular season game (1-6).

In the final game of the weekend, Tom Brady became the winningest quarterback in NFL history as he passed his idol Joe Montana with his 17th career postseason victory to set up a rematch with the Ravens at Gillette Stadium on Sunday following the 41-28 victory.

The Texans won the toss and, perhaps to the delight of the Patriots, elected to receive as the temperature reached 51 degrees in a January heat wave in Foxboro. The teams were each at full strength and it was time to see whether the game five weeks ago was a fluke or a preview.

What happened when the ball came down in the hands of Danieal Manning six yards deep in the endzone shocked everybody, however. After taking over the kick return duties just last week, he found a seam and took off running. It looked like he was gone until Devin McCourty caught him from behind at the 12-yard line of New England.

The Pats defense held and after fullback James Casey dropped a likely touchdown pass, Houston was forced to kick a field goal, which was good from 27 yards out by Shayne Graham. Following just eight yards on their first drive, however, Zoltan Mesko was on the field as the Patriots went three-and-out, but a monster punt and good coverage set Houston up back at their own 17-yard line.

Houston punted the ball back, but on a second-and-long, Gronkowski landed on his injured left arm while trying to catch a pass and looked to be in some serious pain. A conversion on third and 11 kept the drive going, but then Wes Welker, who took a big hit to move the chains on the previous third down, dropped a relatively easy pass on third and eight and the Texans got the ball back, still leading 3-0 with 5:49 left as Gronkowski went to the locker room. Again, Houston punted though after Aqib Talib nearly picked off a second-down pass and Arian Foster dropped one on third down.

Brady then led the Pats on a 65-yard drive following a poor punt by Donnie Jones. The six-play drive utilized Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen for five of the plays. A 13-yard reception by Ridley and a 25-yarder by Vereen set them up in the red zone. Vereen then took it in from a yard out and gave the Patriots the lead with 1:28 left in the first on the first postseason rushing touchdown of his career. After kicking the extra point, Stephen Gostkowski made sure to get all of the ball on the kickoff to keep Manning from running another one back deep into their territory. New England led 7-3 after one.

Houston picked up a few yards, but stalled again. Jones’ third punt of the day gave New England the ball back, but a good-looking drive stalled when Brandon Lloyd made a pretty big mistake in his first playoff game. He was called for a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty in the red zone for throwing the ball at the official with a bit too much force, but again, Vereen looked very solid, picking up 48 yards on the drive, including a 22-yard run and a six-yard run on third and two in which he made Connor Barwin look pretty foolish. Gostkowski nailed a 37-yard field goal to extend the home team’s lead to 10-3 with just over 10 minutes left in the half.

Same story on the next Houston drive. After a solid start and the first good run from Foster on the day, Dont’a Hightower blew up a play in the backfield and Steve Gregory made a nice open-field tackle on third and 12 to force another punt. Gregory also made another play earlier in the drive to kill a little momentum with a pass break-up following a 24-yard hook-up between Matt Schaub and DeVier Posey.

With a chance to really grab momentum, the Patriots did just that with an 80-yard touchdown drive that included a 13-yard reception by Welker on third and 11 and a 47-yard, one-handed catch by the little guy to set up first and goal. Again, Vereen got into the endzone, this time on a Brady pass from eight yards out and just like that, it was 17-3 Patriots. Lloyd caught the first pass of his postseason career for seven yards earlier in the drive and Welker became the team’s all-time leader in playoff receptions on the 47-yarder. He broke Troy Brown‘s old record of 58 and at the end of the game, had 61.

Another impressive kick return from Manning forced Gostkowski to try to stop him, but he committed a horse-collar tackle that set the Texans up at the New England 47-yard line. They then rode Foster, who, on five carries in five plays, got the first Texans touchdown of the day. After review, the touchdown was confirmed and the New England lead was cut to seven. Foster now has scored a rushing touchdown in all four of his career playoff games.

It was just the third touchdown for the Texans in their last 13 red zone appearances. With just over a minute left, Brady and the Patriots took the field, but like Peyton Manning the night before, appeared content to get to the next quarter. He was hit again on third down and Houston got the ball back with 24 seconds left and three timeouts. Mesko’s punt was nearly blocked and the Texans set up at their own 38-yard line.

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Fan Favorite Troy Brown Named To The Patriots Hall Of Fame (VIDEO)

Troy Brown Is Now A Member Of The Patriots HOF

The New England Patriots announced that Troy Brown will be inducted into the team’s HOF. Brown edged out former Patriots coach Bill Parcells and safety Fred Marion. He will be inducted during the upcoming season.

Owner Bob Kraft and Head Coach Bill Belichick released statements today:

“Troy Brown will always be special to me, as he was my sweetheart’s favorite player during his career,” said Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft. “Clearly, a lot of Patriots fans shared her sentiment and I am proud that we will honor Troy with his induction into the Patriots Hall of Fame this fall.

“To me, Troy was the consummate Patriot who always put team goals ahead of personal ones. His height and speed made him a proverbial underdog in a league that always featured taller and faster players. But, his heart and perseverance made him a champion and a fan favorite. The Patriots record books will always show that Troy was one of the greatest receivers and punt returners in franchise history, but Patriots fans know that he was so much more than that. His selfless contributions to the success of the team on offense, defense and special teams made him unique as a player and helped deliver three Super Bowl titles. For 15 years, Troy personified what it meant to be a Patriot, both on and off the field. With his induction into the Patriots Hall of Fame, his legacy will be preserved for generations to come.”

“Troy Brown is the ultimate team player and one of the greatest competitors I have ever had the privilege of coaching,” said Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick. “Offense, defense, special teams – if there was a job to do, Troy embraced it and did it at a championship level. No matter the situation or conditions, Troy raised the bar of excellence and helped create a winning tradition we strive to uphold. The bigger the game, the more Troy stepped up. There is no more deserving player of any accolade that comes his way than Troy Brown.”

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Patriots Use Franchise Tag on WR Wes Welker

Wes Welker has caught 554 passes for 6,105 yards and 31 touchdowns as a member of the New England Patriots.

Whether you look at him as the guy who led the NFL with 122 receptions last year or the man who dropped a catch that could have led to a Super Bowl XLVI victory — one thing we do know is that Wes Welker is the core of the Patriots offense.

On Monday, the Patriots placed a franchise tag on the 30-year-old wide receiver, as expected. The tag guarantees him at least one more year in New England, earning about $9.4 million.

The organization released this statement earlier:

“Wes Welker is a remarkable football player for our team and has been a vital component to our offense and special teams since we traded for him in 2007. Utilizing the franchise designation allows both sides more time to try to reach an agreement, which is the goal. Wes remains a contractual priority and we are hopeful that he will remain a Patriot for years to come.”

The Pats and Welker now have more time to agree on a deal by July, as was the case with Vince Wilfork (2010) and Logan Mankins (2011), the last two players who were franchise tagged then signed by the Patriots.

Since Welker was acquired by New England in 2007, he has caught 554 passes for 6,105 yards and 31 touchdowns. Welker — who is entering his sixth season as a Patriot — is 262-yards shy of passing Troy Brown — who played 15 seasons in New England — as the second all-time leader in receiving yards for the franchise. Hall of Fame WR Stanley Morgan leads that category with 10,352 yards throughout his 13 seasons with New England.

And the stats continue.

Welker was one of the three wide receivers to get franchise tagged on Monday.

Welker is also just four receptions shy of passing Brown as the all-time leading Patriot in receptions. Last year marked his fourth season with at least 100 receptions, tying Marvin Harrison and Jerry Rice as the only other wide receivers to do so. Welker also joined Cris Carter as the only wide receivers to have two 120-plus receptions seasons.

Some are saying that placing the franchise tag on Welker wasn’t the correct move, but those are probably the same people that are still bitter about the results of the Super Bowl. For Welker to even be mentioned with all these great wide receivers – especially within the franchise – truly proves his value to team and league.

If you need any reminder of why Pats fans love Welker, here it is:

And just to think, the Patriots only gave up their second and seventh round draft picks in 2007 for him.

In 2004 after releasing Wes Welker, former Chargers head coach Marty Schottenheimer called it “the biggest roster mistake [he] has ever made.” Well, Marty, I’m sure all of New England is now thanking you for that mistake.

And now, the wait begins.

Here’s the final list of the 21 players who were franchised tagged by Monday’s deadline:

QB: Drew Brees (Saints)

RB: Ray Rice (Ravens), Matt Forte (Bears)

WR: Dwayne Bowe (Chiefs), Wes Welker (Patriots), DeSean Jackson (Eagles)

TE: Fred Davis (Redskins)

DE: Cliff Avril (Lions), Robert Mathis (Colts), Calais Campbell (Cardinals)

LB: Anthony Spencer (Cowboys)

CB: Brent Grimes (Falcons)

S: Dashon Goldson (49ers), Michael Griffin (Titans), Tyvon Branch (Raiders)

P: Steve Weatherford (Giants)

K: Mike Nugent (Bengals), Phil Dawson (Browns), Matt Prater (Broncos), Josh Scobee (Jaguars), Connor Bath (Buccaneers)

Patriots-Steelers: Ten Year Anniversary Of A Title

 

10 years ago the Patriots and Steelers hooked up in the first of two battles for the AFC Championship.

New England makes a visit to Pittsburgh today, a matchup that’s gotten very familiar to fans of both teams, as the Pats and Steelers have been consistent contenders at the top of the AFC. Ten years ago they played the first of two matchups for the AFC title at Heinz Field. Today, BST&N looks back at the game that gave New England its third trip to the Super Bowl in franchise history and ultimately it’s first NFL title.

Both teams were riding in off of redemptive regular seasons and emotional playoff wins. Bill Belichick was in his second year in Foxboro and after a rough 5-11 start to his tenure, 2001 had produced an 11-5 campaign and an AFC East title. Pittsburgh had missed the playoffs for three straight years and the season began with questions over whether their own coach Bill Cowher could keep his job. The Steelers stormed to a 13-3 record and the #1 seed. Pittsburgh had to beat archrival Baltimore—the defending Super Bowl champ and still considered the team to beat as long as they were breathing—in the divisional round. New England had beaten Oakland in the controversial “Tuck Rule” play to escape with an overtime triumph in the snow.

The AFC title game wasn’t the hyped matchup of the day, at least in the way that these teams’ 2004 game would be, or either of the Brady-Peyton battles of 2003 and 2006 would be. The media focus was in the NFC where the St. Louis Rams were the “Greatest Show on Turf”, with Kurt Warner pulling the trigger, Marshall Faulk in the backfield and Mike Martz calling the plays and aiming at their second Super Bowl win in three years. The Rams would host the Eagles in the late afternoon game, while the Pats & Steelers kicked off at 1 PM ET (it would be two years later that the NFL began to schedule conference title games at 3 PM & 6:30 PM).

Another reason the AFC Championship Game wasn’t getting a lot of media love was that it was seen as a foregone conclusion. Pittsburgh was a nine-point favorite, something Belichick pointed out later was the same line that had been posted when the Steelers played the 1-12 Lions in December. I lived in Pittsburgh at this time and can attest that the town itself was thinking about a Super Bowl crack at the Rams, and from a media standpoint seeing if the Pittsburgh defense could be the one to derail St. Louis did seem like the more interesting storyline. As hard it is to believe, the prospect of Tom Brady and Kurt Warner in the Super Bowl didn’t really inspire anyone.

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A Great Night at the Mayo Bowl

Site Director Joe Gill, Vince Wilfork, and I.

Jerod Mayo and Blue Sky Sports and Entertainment hosted the second annual Mayo Bowl last night at Kings Bowling Alley in Dedham. The event benefited two great Boston causes, Pitching in for Kids and the Boston Medical Center.

Over thirty current and former Patriots players made the trek up Route 1 from Gillette Stadium to help each of these causes that provide care and solutions for children who cannot provide for themselves. There were also well over 150 attendees who came to Kings not only to see their beloved New England Patriots players, but to bid on live and silent auction items, as well as participate in the raffle with all proceeds going to charity.

A cocktail hour kicked off the event while site director Joe Gill and I enjoyed meeting fellow media in attendance including Brian Lowe from Patriots.com and Chris Gasper from The Boston Globe. As bloggers, this was exciting for us because our hobby and labor of love is their profession. Each were very nice and we will have them on our weekly radio show The BST&N Beantown Breakdown.

The event had a friendly aura to it, as the players were more than willing to stop and take pictures with their adoring fans. Comcast Sports Net New England, one of the official sponsors, also provided a great service by taking and printing the pictures on site for people to take home (as seen above).

Kevin Karlson and Pete McKenzie from Karlson and McKenzie on Classic Rock 100.7 WZLX introduced each player in attendance as they headed to their bowling lanes. The players were in great spirits just twenty-four hours from their hard fought victory over the San Diego Chargers. It was evident they didn’t have to be there, but that they wanted to. Whether it was veterans Matt Light and Vince Wilfork, newcomers Chad Ochocinco and Albert Haynesworth, or youngsters Rob Gronkowski and Sergio Brown, each were enjoying their themselves.

Following the bowling portion of the event, a live auction took place with some great items including Patriots, Celtics, Red Sox, and Bruins tickets. Troy Brown and Zoltan Mesko added some humor as the auctioneers; they certainly assisted in helping drive the prices up for the charities.

As is obvious by our account of the evening, Joe and I had a fantastic time at the Mayo Bowl. Great causes, great company, great fun. We look forward to the event next year and you should too!

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