One interesting aspect of Sunday’s game between the Patriots and the Chargers is the two premier tight ends that will be featured. San Diego boasts perennial star Antonio Gates while New England fashions superstar Rob Gronkowski. When two top-tier players at the same position play in the same game, it is always interesting to hear what they say about each other. When asked this week, Gates wasn’t short on his praise for Gronkowski.

“[Gronkowski's] one of the young guys that I look at — him, Jimmy Graham, Julius Thomas — those are the guys that are kind of keeping the tradition going at the tight end position.” Continue reading Antonio Gates has High Praise for Gronk »

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Tom Brady: telemarketer and mullet aficionado. (Boston Globe)

Thank Belichick that Tom Brady recovered from his early season swoon to quiet all the calls for him to be traded, cast off, sent sailing into the sunset of retirement to thereby save us all from seeing a Hall of Fame quarterback in decline.

I say this not only as a New England Patriots fan (too) heavily invested in how my football team fares, but also as someone glad to avoid what Brady’s alternative, post-football career potentially would have been.

Because if the DailyMVP commercial starring Brady even approaches half-truth, we’d be looking at Gary the Telemarketer, daily fantasy football MVP and office champion, instead of Tom Brady, two time NFL MVP and three time Super Bowl champion:

Continue reading Video: Tom Brady, Professional Telemarketer and Part-Time Fantasy Trash Talker? »

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Cardinals vs Patriots: Week 13's prediction for the Super Bowl

Just a month remains in the season. Nobody has clinched a spot yet, though Denver and Indianapolis will get the first chances next week. Cincinnati suddenly has some breathing room in the still highly competitive AFC North. Atlanta and New Orleans continue to lead the NFC South at 5-7, where even 2-10 Tampa still has a shot at the postseason and where talk for playoff reseeding continues to fall on the NFL’s deaf ears. The NFC’s top spot has a three-way tie going, and after a rough patch, Seattle all of a sudden could easily wind up as #1 by season’s end again. With so many ways the season could go in the last four games, let’s look at what would happen if the playoffs started as of Tuesday, December 2: Continue reading If the Playoffs Started Today – NFL Week 13 »

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Jordy Nelson's late first half 45-yard touchdown proved to be the difference in Sunday's showdown. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)

The heavyweight showdown of the year delivered as advertised on Sunday. While the Patriots did come up on the short end of the five-point stick, they kept a rolling Packers offense limited to just 26 points. Unfortunately the offense missed far too many opportunities while the Packers took advantage of the chances they were granted. In the end the difference was a defensive breakdown leading to a late first half 45-yard touchdown from Jordy Nelson, and a rare Rob Gronkowski drop in the endzone. 

- To start off, credit has to be given to the Packers, especially the defense. With all the love thrown around for Aaron Rodgers, deservedly so, the defense stepped up in a big way. They pressured Tom Brady for the majority of the game causing him to look more like weeks 1-4 Tom Brady than the Brady who’s been tearing up the field. Granted, Brady didn’t have a terrible game going 22-35 for 245 and two touchdowns. However, he looked uncomfortable throughout and missed targets more often than usual. There was simply no consistent rhythm to speak of at any point in the game.
-A huge problem I have with Sunday’s game is the lack of running attack. Going into Sunday, Green Bay was ranked 30th against the run. The Patriots have shown they have the talent at running back to sustain a successful running game. LaGarrette Blount had 58 yards on only 10 carries. When they ran the ball they kept pushing forward for more yards, but the problem was they only ran it 18 times. It’s not like it was a blowout either. Sunday was a game that the running game needed to be featured, and for whatever reason it wasn’t.

Continue reading Notes and Observations Week 13: Packers Hold on to Beat Patriots 26-21 »

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When the Patriots travel to Green Bay on Sunday they will face a Green Bay Packers team that has been dominating opponents in what could prove to be a Super Bowl preview. Both teams are red hot and come into the game playing their best football. The Packers (8-3) have recovered from a slow start and have hung 50+ points on two of their last three opponents, including a 53-20 demolition of the NFC East-leading Philadelphia Eagles.

The Patriots have won seven straight, a streak that has consisted of three straight wins against division leaders by at least 20 points. Each team also starts fast, with the Patriots being a +118 in the first half in point differential and the Packers checking in a +117 in the first half. Both teams will have to play their best tw\o win and for the Patriots, that task will prove a bit tougher on the road. Continue reading Patriots vs Packers Provides Possible Super Bowl Preview »

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14 years to the day of Brady's debut losing to the Lions 34-9, the Patriots turn the tables with a 34-9 victory of their own. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Another week goes by and another division leader falls at the hands of the New England Patriots. After the beginning of the season if you told most people the Patriots would come out of their current six-game stretch with a 3-3 record, most people would have taken that as a plus. Fast forward to the week of Thanksgiving and there is a legitimate chance the Patriots don’t lose a single game of their difficult mid-season schedule. They’ve already handled the likes of the Bears, Broncos, Colts, and Lions. All that remains are trips to Green Bay and San Diego. Even if they lost one of those games, going 5-1 after most expected them to break even is a massive accomplishment. Personally, I don’t see how this Patriots team loses another game this season.

- There really aren’t enough good things to say about this defense. Granted the Lions haven’t been lighting up  the scoreboard but they do have terrific talent who can easily find the endzone. Thanks to another standout game from the secondary, all the Lions could muster was three field goals. The only real big plays came when the Patriots were in zone defense, i.e. Golden Tate’s 42-yard catch. Jamie Collins had Tate in coverage and got turned around allowing Tate to be wide open. Other than that, there were few mistakes made by Matt Patricia’s defense.  Continue reading Notes and Observations Week 12: Patriots Continue Stretch of Dominance, Defeat Lions 34-9 »

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Coming in to Sunday’s matchup against the Detroit Lions, the Patriots’ offensive line was a focus point. The Lions boasted a top defense and were number one against the run entering the day. They had also not given up more than 24 points in a game all season. The offensive line was part of an offense that passed the test in spectacular fashion, winning 34-9.

Tom Brady dropped back to pass 53 times against Detroit and was sacked zero times. Part of this was due to some smart pocket presence and feet movement by Brady but a larger portion of the credit is due for the offensive line. Brady had time to find open receivers and was able to go through several reads without being forced to get rid of the ball for most of the game. Continue reading Patriots Offensive Line Passes Another Test Against Lions »

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