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Tom Brady: ‘Hopefully our best is yet to come’

01.19.15 at 4:26 am ET
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Tom Brady is heading to the Super Bowl for an NFL record sixth time. (Getty Images)

Tom Brady is heading to the Super Bowl for an NFL-record sixth time. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

FOXBORO — It wasn’t Tom Brady‘s best performance, going 23-for-35 with 226 yards, three touchdowns and an interception in the Patriots’ 45-7 romp of the Colts in the AFC championship game, but it was enough to lead the Patriots to their sixth Super Bowl in Brady and Bill Belichick‘s time in New England.

Sunday’s win was the 21st postseason win for Belichick as a head coach, which passed Tom Landry for No. 1 on the all time NFL list. Brady was asked how impressive of a record it is after the game, but the quarterback wasn’t ready for a historical perspective on things, he was more focused on the win.

“I haven’€™t had much time to reflect. I think we’€™re right in the middle of it. It was a great team win,” Brady said. “We needed it from all three phases and to make it to this point is a great accomplishment for our team. Hopefully our best is yet to come.”

The Patriots offense was led by their running game, going up against a poor Indy run defense, but when Brady did throw the ball, he did so fairly effectively — aside from his interception in the first half, which led to the only Colts points of the game.

Brady’s first touchdown pass was to fullback James Develin on the goal line, a 1-yard touchdown pass with 1:20 left in the opening quarter to give the Patriots a 14-0 lead. His second touchdown pass may have been the most exciting play of the game — a 16-yard touchdown pass to tackle eligible Nate Solder on the first possession of the second half. Brady closed out his scoring with a 5-yard hook up with Rob Gronkowski with 3:19 left in the third quarter, extending the Patriots’ lead to 31-7 at the time.

It was Brady’s seventh career three touchdown game in the postseason, which is second all-time to Joe Montana‘s nine. He tied Brett Favre for the most all-time multi-touchdown pass games in the postseason with 15.

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Read More: 2015 playoffs, Tom Brady,

Brandon LaFell says Patriots ‘still have applications’ for fans to join Super Bowl bandwagon

01.19.15 at 4:22 am ET
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Brandon LaFell sheds Greg Toler during Sunday's AFC championship (Getty Images)

Brandon LaFell sheds Greg Toler during Sunday’s AFC championship (Getty Images)

FOXBORO — Brandon LaFell understood the early-season skepticism of the Patriots. But he never doubted his decision to come to New England and he certainly never doubted the ability of Tom Brady.

The Patriots receiver, who had the game-winning touchdown catch against the Ravens in the divisional round, was more in the background Sunday but still could appreciate his first trip to the Super Bowl after a 45-7 rout of the Colts in the AFC championship.

But what was very clear in listening to LaFell talk in front of his locker stall next to Brady was the team unity that formed after the 41-14 loss to the Chiefs in Week 4.

“You have no idea, man. We’ve grown a lot,” LaFell said. “We had a little talk before we got on the plane, made sure we left that loss in Kansas City, came back, watched film and we were hard on ourselves that week in self evaluation. We asked, ‘were you doing enough for this team to win?’ Or if you were the coach, would you put yourself out there?

“We came back, we stayed together, didn’t listen to the media, practiced our tails off, worked on our individual game, worked on us as a team, got better and we just started putting together good games back to back to back. When you’re a good team, you get some confidence in your game, and you start rolling like that, it’s hard for a team to beat you.”

As for Brady, who was hearing criticism after the loss to the Chiefs, LaFell said he never doubted for a moment that the Patriots quarterback still had what it took to lead the Patriots back to the Super Bowl. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: 2015 playoffs, AFC Championship, Brandon LaFell, Indianapolis Colts

Former Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes takes swipe at Patriots on social media for celebrating win in AFC title game

01.19.15 at 4:11 am ET
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For some reason, Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes took an unprovoked swipe at the Patriots Sunday night in the wake of their win in the AFC title game over the Colts. Tynes, who was a part of the 2007 Giants team that knocked off the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII, referenced New England’s loss to New York in that contest in Glendale, and appeared to predict a Seattle win in Super Bowl XLIX.

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Read More: 2015 playoffs, Lawrence Tynes,

Report: NFL investigating Patriots for deflating game balls

01.19.15 at 2:16 am ET
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The NFL is reportedly looking into whether the Patriots intentionally deflated game balls Sunday. (Getty Images)

The NFL reportedly is looking into whether the Patriots intentionally deflated game balls Sunday. (Elsa/Getty Images)

FOXBORO — It wouldn’t be a trip to Glendale for the Super Bowl without a controversy following the Patriots.

Sunday night, after the Patriots throttled the Colts, 45-7, in the AFC championship, Bob Kravitz of WTHR.com reported that the Patriots are under investigation for intentionally deflating game balls.

Kravitz, quoting an NFL source, says the league is taking the subject seriously.

“I’m told at one point the officials took a ball out of play and weighed it. Should hear more tomorrow on this subject,” Kravitz tweeted.

Kravitz also suggested the Patriots could lose draft picks if it’s determined they deflated balls used in the game.

Neither the Patriots or Colts addressed the story postgame as it didn’t become a story until several hours after the final gun.

There was a strange delay at the start of the game, as officials appeared to swapping out game balls before Andrew Luck went under center. With rain falling at the start of the game, the initial thought was that the officials were trying to get a dry ball. The report from Kravitz leads to another possibility.

The day started with a report from Adam Schefter that tampering charges were being filed against the Jets and owner Woody Johnson for comments he made about wanting Darrelle Revis back, despite still being under contract with the Patriots.

Read More: AFC Championship, BallGate, Indianapolis Colts, New England Patriots

Patriots, led by Bill Belichick, set postseason records in win over Colts

01.19.15 at 2:08 am ET
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LeGarrette Blount became the Patriots' all-time postseason touchdown leader with seven. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

LeGarrette Blount became the Patriots’ all-time postseason touchdown leader with seven. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

FOXBORO — Sunday’s 45-7 blowout win over the Colts in the AFC championship may have seemed like another playoff win for Bill Belichick and the Patriots, but it was a very historic one.

With the win, Belichick now has earned the most wins postseason in NFL history, as he passed Tom Landry with 21. He also tied Don Shula for the most conference titles in NFL history during the Super Bowl era with six. He and quarterback Tom Brady have now combined to win six conference titles together, the most in NFL history — two ahead of Roger Staubach and Tom Landry.

“That was a great win for our football team today,” Belichick said after the game. “It’€™s all about the players. They did a tremendous job in all three phases. We made plays in the kicking game: we had a turnover, we had a couple returns. We scored a lot of points offensively; had some turnovers on defense. The players played great, like they have all year. This is really a good group, it’€™s a hardworking group. They work with each other, they try to help each other get better and I couldn’€™t be happier for this group of guys.

“This has really been a good team to coach and guys deserve the success that they had there tonight. [I] just can’€™t say enough about what they did and how well they did. We needed them to play good and step up and play big tonight and they did. We got it from so many guys. That was really the story of the game in my opinion.”

The 45 points scored tied the franchise record for most in a playoff game, tying their output in the 2011 divisional round against the Tim Tebow led Broncos. The 38-point margin of victory was the most in franchise history. The Patriots finished with 177 yards on the ground, which marked the fifth time in the 45 playoff games in franchise history that they have done so.

LeGarrette Blount totaled 148 yards on 30 carries and three touchdowns. The 148 yards are the second-most in franchise playoff history, trailing his own 166 yards that he had in last year’s divisional round game against the Colts and Curtis Martin’s 166 yards against Pittsburgh in 1996. Blount is now the Patriots’ all-time postseason rushing touchdown leader, as he now has seven — with all seven coming in the previous two seasons.

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Read More: 2015 playoffs, Bill Belichick,

Vince Wilfork: ‘To be a champ, you’ve got to beat the champ’

01.19.15 at 1:27 am ET
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Vince Wilfork (right) will be playing in his fourth Super Bowl. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Vince Wilfork (right) will be playing in his fourth Super Bowl. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

FOXBORO — Ric Flair was on the Colts’ side this past week, as Sergio Brown did an impression of him in the locker room following Indianapolis’ divisional round win over the Broncos last week and then he supported the team with a special message offering support later in the week.

Vince Wilfork may or may not have been taking a shot at Flair and the Colts in one of his comments following the Patriots’ 45-7 win over the Colts in the AFC championship when talking about the Seahawks and the Patriots’ upcoming matchup against them in the Super Bowl.

“To play this good in the AFC championship, it gives you some confidence going into the Super Bowl, where we know if we play like this, teams will have problems with us, and we know if we play like this we give yourselves a good shot at winning,” Wilfork said after the game. “So that’€™s what it is. We got the Seahawks. To be a champ, you’ve got to beat the champs, and they’re sitting right there waiting for us. So it’s going to be a good game. They played some great football. They’re champs, they are the champs. They are the defending champs, and they’re coming. They’re going to try and protect that, and our job is to go and try and take it away from them.

“I think you’ve got the best two teams playing in this game. I think from a staff standpoint, you can’t ask for a better game than this. From the NFC, AFC … two good organizations, two good teams being able to slug it out for one champion, and that’s what it’s all about. So we got to get ready to go. It’s going to be tough, but like I said, to be a champ, you got to beat the champ.”

While the Patriots have 45 players with playoff experience, only 17 of them have Super Bowl experience. Most of the experience comes from the 2012 loss to the Giants, with only Tom Brady and Wilfork are the only ones left from the 2005 winning team.

Wilfork says the inexperience of winning the big game and sour taste in their mouths from their last appearance won’t play a role in this year’s game, as it is a new group of players and coaches.

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Read More: 2015 playoffs, Vince Wilfork,

Mike Petraglia, Chris Price break down Patriots’ demolition of Andrew Luck, Colts in AFC title game

01.19.15 at 1:14 am ET
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FOXBORO — WEEI.com’s Mike Petraglia and Chris Price break down how the Patriots dismantled Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts, 45-7, Sunday in the AFC Championship at Gillette Stadium. Tom Brady threw three touchdowns and became the first quarterback in history to reach six Super Bowls while LeGarrette Blount ran for 148 yards and three touchdowns on 30 carries. The Patriots advance to Super Bowl XLIX where they will face the Seattle Seahawks on Feb. 1 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.

Read More: 2015 playoffs, AFC Championship, Chris Price, Indianapolis Colts

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