|10.27.14 at 11:06 am ET|
The NFL is a dangerous game, apparently even when celebrating.
Late in Sunday’s game against the Patriots, Bears defensive end Lamarr Houston was proud of his sack of backup quarterback Jimmy Garappolo. Despite his team being down by 20-plus points, Houston jumped in the air after he brought the quarterback to the ground.
As he came back down to earth, Houston’s knee gave out. He immediately fell to the ground and grabbed his right knee. Houston was helped by the training staff and was carted off the field. Bears coach Marc Trestman said he was “disappointed” for his defensive end.
An MRI on Monday revealed that Houston ruptured the ACL in his right knee; Houston will require season-ending surgery, an injury that marks the second time in 2014 that a celebration went awry.
Lions linebacker Stephen Tulloch tore his ACL earlier this year after he celebrated a tackle. Tulloch’s injury will force him to miss the rest of the season.
|10.27.14 at 10:59 am ET|
FOXBORO — After her hubby put forth one of the most efficient and precise performances of any quarterback in NFL history, Gisele couldn’t help but show some love.
In the players parking lot after the Patriots’ 51-23 win over the Bears at Gillette Stadium, Gisele Bundchen posed for a picture with husband Tom Brady. She even wore an old-school “Pat Patriot” ski cap, presumably worn during the game played in chilly, blustery conditions in Foxboro.
“So happy for my love!!! Go Pats!!! 51 points!!!” is what Gisele posted on her official Instagram page. It was liked by over 185,000 of her 3.1 million followers.
Brady was 30-of-35 on the day, with five touchdown passes, no interceptions and 354 yards passing. He matched his own NFL record of 85 percent passing (minimum 30 attempts), at least 350 yards and five touchdowns. No other quarterback has accomplished the feat even once.
|10.27.14 at 9:40 am ET|
ESPN NFL analyst Tim Hasselbeck joined Dennis & Callahan on Monday to discuss the Patriots’ big win over the Bears and next week’s battle against the Broncos. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
New England’s offensive outburst and Brady’s 30-for-35 passing performance has given the Patriots a lot of confidence heading into the second half of the season. Next Sunday the Patriots will face off against Peyton Manning‘s Broncos, a game that will pose another midseason challenge.
Said Hasselbeck: “It doesn’t need hype. … In terms of the tune-up, with the way [the Patriots] played offensively, just the points they had, they end up with over 50 points in that football game. So now everyone looks at it as if New England has solved all of the offensive woes that they had early in the season. And now it’ll be billed as a big shootout between the two star quarterbacks.”
New England’s wide receiving corps and Brady’s supporting cast during Sunday’s win, and over the last few weeks, have stepped up since the early part of the season. The hosts wondered whether it’s time to stop talking about the possibility that they are a weak group.
“I don’t know if a couple of weeks changes it,” Hasselbeck said. “Now, [Rob] Gronkowski is healthy, I think that all of us would agree, Gronkowski’s healthy versus what we saw from Rob Gronkowski after very little work in the preseason and playing about 30 snaps a game at the beginning of the year, versus what we saw yesterday is totally different. Tim Wright, I think we’ve seen very little from Tim Wright. They threw him a touchdown pass down near the goal line, but you probably could’ve taken Jim Dray from the Cleveland Browns and had it sneak out. I don’t that that was a matchup that was won necessarily by Tim Wright. Shane Vereen‘s a nice player, but he’s not Le’Veon Bell.
“I still don’t look at the supporting cast as this unbelievable group surrounding a very good quarterback. I see a very good quarterback making a pretty good supporting cast look a lot better than they did earlier in the year.”
|10.27.14 at 8:00 am ET|
Coming off his best game of the season, Tom Brady made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show Monday morning to discuss Sunday’s rout of the Bears and preview next Sunday’s showdown against the Broncos. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
Brady completed 30-of-35 passes for 354 yards and five touchdowns in Sunday’s 51-23 dismantling of the Bears.
“I think there’s always room for improvement,” he said. “But truthfully, the guys make it easy for the quarterback when all those guys play the way they did yesterday. It makes it easy for me — not to say playing the Bears defense is easy, because it’s not — but when the guys around you play the way they did, it makes it easy for the quarterback.
“I’m proud of the way those guys — all of them, Julian [Edelman] and Gronk [Rob Gronkowski] and Danny [Amendola] and the offensive line especially, Tim Wright played great, we got off to a great start in the run game. All those things, they all have a cumulative effect on the offense. You’re trying to move the ball down the field, score points, and when the guys around you are playing at the level they played at, for me, then I just read the defense and make the throw and those guys are making all the plays. It was a great day for us.”
The oft-injured Gronkowski appears to have returned to form, as he finished with nine receptions for 149 yards and three touchdowns.
“He was phenomenal,” Brady said. “He’s been such a great player for our offense and our team. I love playing with him. He brings such an energy to the team. He’s a great player. He certainly played as well as he’s ever played yesterday — three touchdowns through 2 1/2 quarters was pretty awesome. He’s making all the catches, making all the catch-and-runs. He’s just playing fearlessly. The guys really take a cue from him. He’s just a great player.
“When he plays like that — and like I said, [Brandon] LaFell plays like that, Julian’s been one of our most consistent players for the last two years, he’s just been phenomenal for us. Danny made a couple of plays, Tim Wright, the offensive line, the run game. When one guy’s doing well it just helps another guy do well and then helps another guy do well. You see some of the great offenses around the league week in and week out, it’s those types of performances that lead to team success.
“It’s been good, we’ve made some great improvements here from what we talked about over a month ago. But look, we’ve still got to get better. Our whole season’s in front of us. We’ve got to get back to work today and we’ve got obviously the biggest game of the year coming up.”
|10.26.14 at 11:49 pm ET|
“It’s pretty sweet,” Brady said. “He was a big-time player today. It was great to get him going like that. Certainly running the ball was great. The guys up from played awesome. A lot of guys contributed. We got great play defensively. There were a lot of big plays and we got a lot of momentum, so it was a fun day. Those don’t happen like that very often.”
Don’t just take Brady’s word for it. Brandon LaFell had a career high 11 catches for a career best 124 yards and a touchdown. With Gronkowski covered in the second quarter, Brady found the other tight end – Tim Wright – racing the other way across the back line of the end zone for an easy touchdown.
Nothing symbolized Gronkowski’s dominance on Sunday than his 46-yard ramble through the Bears secondary for his third touchdown of the day. He disposed of three would-be tacklers on his way to pay dirt.
“Sometimes you see Gronk go out there and make a play like he made and you turn into a fan real quick, so it was a lot of fun today,” LaFell said.
It would be his last catch of the day as he left with dehydration. “Just have to drink more,” Gronkowski said with a wide smile that broke into a giggle when he realized the delicious irony of his words.
|10.26.14 at 8:06 pm ET|
FOXBORO — WEEI.com’s Mike Petraglia and Chris Price break down Patriots romp over Bears, as Tom Brady throws for 354 yards and five touchdowns in a 51-23 win at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots are now 6-2, and face Peyton Manning and the 6-1 Denver Broncos next Sunday for the top spot in the AFC.
|10.26.14 at 7:50 pm ET|
FOXBORO — It was a crazy week for Patriots linebacker Akeem Ayers.
Last week at this time Ayers was a member of the Titans, but he was officially traded to the Patriots on Wednesday. He was able learn everything he needed in four days and capped off the week by recording a sack in Sunday’s 51-23 blowout of the Bears.
“[There] was a lot going on,” Ayers admitted after the game. “Me having to get situated moving, meeting guys around the building, learning the playbook, meeting teammates, the schedule — everything was difficult early on, but everyone around here made it easy for me and they really worked with me. It made the transition a lot easier.”
The Patriots were leading 24-7 with Chicago having the ball at its own 15-yard line with 1:47 left in the half. The 6-foot-3, 255-pounder was able to get through the line on the right side — after lining up in a hybrid defensive end position — and sack Bears quarterback Jay Cutler for a nine-yard loss.
Chicago punted two plays later, and after a great Julian Edelman return, the Patriots scored on their first offensive play — the second touchdown of a three touchdown in 57 second span late in the first half to blow open the game.
“That was a great feeling and was a real momentum builder,” Ayers said of the sack. “Something I can build off of and continue to work.”
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