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Josh McDaniels on weekend head coaching interviews: ‘I am back to focusing on the next task at hand for us’

01.05.15 at 11:09 am ET
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Over the weekend Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels reportedly interviewed for the open head coaching jobs with the Falcons and 49ers in New England. On a conference call Monday morning, McDaniels said he has already moved on from those and is entirely focused on the Ravens and this upcoming Saturday’s divisional round game at Gillette Stadium.

“They were fine,” said McDaniels. “This part of the process always — obviously privileged that anyone wants to speak to you about anything like that. At this point I have moved on and hopefully I can help us put together a great plan for our guys heading into this week.”

The offensive coordinator was later asked a follow up question to his comments and whether or not he removed his name from consideration like he did with the Browns last season. McDaniels said the meetings were just “initial meetings” and nothing went any further than that as of now.

“Honestly, it was just an initial meeting with them and it hasn’t really gone any further in either direction, so again, I am back to focusing on the next task at hand for us, which is the Ravens, and I am sure they’ll do what they need to do on their end,” said McDaniels. “I am sure those things will take care of themselves in the future.”

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

Read More: 2015 playoffs, Josh McDaniels,

Tom Brady on D&C dismisses talk of past struggles vs. Ravens: ‘Everything’s different at this point’

01.05.15 at 7:54 am ET
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Patriots quarterback Tom Brady checked in with Dennis & Callahan for his weekly Monday morning chat and talked about the team’s preparations for the upcoming playoff matchup with the Ravens. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

The Patriots will meet a familiar foe after Baltimore went into Pittsburgh and knocked off the Steelers on Saturday. The Ravens beat the Patriots in the postseason two years ago en route to a Super Bowl title, and Baltimore also beat New England in Foxboro in the 2009 postseason. However, Brady dismisses talk about the Patriots’ recent playoff struggles against this franchise.

“Everything’s different at this point,” Brady said. “We can never change anything that’s happened in the past, nor can they. You can’t bring players out of retirement, they can’t either. It’s the guys we’ve got vs. the guys they’ve got, which that’s an entirely new team that we have and an entirely new team that they have. There’s some carryover, there’s some characteristics that are the same, but these teams have established their own identities. It’s going to be the Patriots’ 2014 version vs. the Ravens’ 2014 version and we go from there.

“We’ll be able to evaluate some stuff scheme-wise that they could possibly do vs. us, that’s always helpful. But it will be determined by what happens on the field Saturday night, not anything that’s happened in the past.”

The Ravens are led by a defensive front that is sure to present issues for a Patriots offensive line that has had some problems this season.

“They’ve got a good front,” Brady said. “We’ve faced quite a few teams that have good fronts this year. Obviously [Elvis] Dumervil‘s had a phenomenal year. He’s been a great player since he’s been in the league, that’s why Baltimore signed him [as a free agent before the 2013 season]. [Terrell] Suggs is as good as they get. [Haloti] Ngata’s as good as they get. [Pernell] McPhee’s had a good year. And then they rotate some other guys in there, Brandon Williams is a really good player. So they’ve got a good front.

“They’ve got good linebackers, probably one of the defensive rookies of the year at linebacker [C.J. Mosley]. And Lardarius Webb in the secondary. They’ve had a few injuries in the secondary but they’ve been pretty settled there for a while now. It’s a hard-hitting secondary, it’s a hard-hitting defense. Like I said, they don’t give you anything. We’ve got to go out and try to earn it.”

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Read More: Dean Pees, Josh McDaniels, Terrell Suggs, Tom Brady

Tom Brady used his bye week to make pancakes

01.04.15 at 11:50 pm ET
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Thanks to Gisele Bundchen, we know (just about) every move her husband, Tom Brady, makes during his free time. Sunday, according to Bundchen, morphed into the “Pancake Master” for the couple’s kids.

Believe it or not, this is the second time this season we have evidence of Brady’s love for pancakes. (“Pancakes. Let’s do this.”)

Read More: Gisele Bundchen, Tom Brady,

Cowboys come back to beat Lions after controversial call in fourth quarter

01.04.15 at 7:51 pm ET
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Tony Romo led a second half comeback for the Cowboys in their win over the Lions. (Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Tony Romo led a second-half comeback for the Cowboys in their win over the Lions. (Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

In what was the most entertaining game of wild card weekend, the Cowboys came back from 13 points down in the second half to beat the Lions, 24-20, at home in an NFC wild card matchup.

Down by 13 with 8:41 left in the third quarter, the Cowboys scored the next 17 points to come away with a four-point win.

DeMarco Murray had a 1-yard touchdown run with 2:54 left in the third to get the comeback started. A Dan Bailey 51-yard field goal cut the deficit to six, 20-14, with 12:16 left in the game. Dallas finally was able to take the lead on a Terrance Williams 8-yard touchdown catch with 2:32 left.

It came on a drive following a Lions possession that ended on a controversial call. On third down, defensive pass interference was called, but the flag was picked up late, forcing a Detroit punt. The officials also ignored Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant running onto the field to argue the initial call.

The Lions jumped out to a 14-0 lead and a 17-7 lead at the half, as they scored two first half touchdowns — a 51-yard touchdown reception by Golden Tate early in the first quarter and then a Reggie Bush 18-yard rush with 1:57 to play in the opening quarter.

Romo finished the game 19-for-31 with 293 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. The NFL’s leading rusher, Murray, had 75 yards on 19 carries, to go along with a touchdown. For Detroit, Matthew Stafford was 28-for-42 with 323 yards to go along with a touchdown and an interception. Calvin Johnson was limited to five catches and 85 yards.

With the win, the Cowboys will travel to Green Bay next Sunday.

For more playoff and Patriots coverage, visit weei.com/patriots.

Read More: 2015 playoffs, Dallas Cowboys, detroit lions,

Colts overwhelm shorthanded Bengals, advance to play Broncos

01.04.15 at 4:10 pm ET
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Adam Vinatieri kicked four field goals Sunday in a playoff win over the Bengals. (Getty Images)

Adam Vinatieri kicked four field goals Sunday in a playoff win over the Bengals. (Getty Images)

The story remains the same.

For the fourth straight season, the Cincinnati Bengals reach the playoffs and for a fourth straight season, they are one-and-done.

Andrew Luck threw a 36-yard touchdown pass to Donte Moncrief and Adam Vinatieri kicked four field goals as the Indianapolis Colts beat the Bengals, 26-10, in an AFC wildcard game Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium.

The Colts advance to play Peyton Manning and the Broncos in the AFC divisional round next Sunday at Sports Authority Field in Denver. It will be the first time Manning has faced his former team in the playoffs.

Luck finished 31-of-44 for 376 yards for the Colts, who outgained the Bengals, 482-254.

Without injured star receiver A.J. Green (concussion) and tight end Jermaine Gresham (back), Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton again failed miserably in the postseason.

The Colts took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter on a 2-yard run by Boom Herron but the Bengals answered with their only touchdown of the day, a one-yard run from Jeremy Hill. Vinatieri hit two field goals to put the Colts up, 13-7, as the Bengals defense held Luck without a TD in the red zone.

The Bengals defense then gave their overwhelmed quarterback a fighting chance at halftime. Darqueze Dennard forced a turnover from Herron and converted it into a 57-yard field goal from Mike Nugent with 10 seconds left in the first half, closing the Indianapolis lead to 13-10 at the break.

But Dalton, who finished 18-of-35 for 155 yards, went three-and-out on his first three possessions of the second half, including the opening possession of the half when the Bengals had a chance at momentum. Luck found Moncrief on 36-yard connection in the third quarter and Vinatieri added two more field goals.

The remarkable losing culture continues with the Bengals. Their head coach Marvin Lewis falls to 0-6 in the playoffs. Dalton is now 0-4. And they haven’t won a playoff game since Jan. 1991, a string of seven straight losses in the postseason.

The Bengals have also never won a road playoff game, falling to 0-7 all time.

Read More: Andrew Luck, Andy Dalton, Boom Herron, Cincinnati Bengals

Report: Josh McDaniels wanted in Atlanta by GM Thomas Dimitroff, top assistant Scott Pioli

01.04.15 at 11:12 am ET
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It’s widely reported Josh McDaniels interviewed with the Falcons this weekend for their head coaching job, but it’s now come out he is very high on their list, which stems from his time in New England as Atlanta general manager Thomas Dimitroff and top assistant Scott Pioli were with the Patriots during the Super Bowl years when McDaniels was an assistant coach.

According to CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora, McDaniels’ candidacy “has been championed” by both Dimitroff and Pioli. The pair isn’t safe, though, as during owner Arthur Blank‘s press conference when firing head coach Mike Smith, he didn’t entirely rule out more changes (Dimitroff and/or Pioli). A source told La Canfora their fate could tie into how the coaching search goes. Getting McDaniels on board would certainly create some stability with the trio all spending significant time together in New England.

While McDaniels removed his name from the Browns’ head coaching vacancy last year, last week on a conference call with reporters he said, “€œI’€™m very happy here. I think I have one of the best jobs,” speaking of being in New England. He has been on record in the past saying it would have to be a perfect fit for him to leave his current position. Having Matt Ryan at quarterback, along with Julio Jones and Roddy White at wide receiver, one would imagine the job at least would get some consideration.

The report also says the Falcons are interviewing Rex Ryan, Seattle defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, Denver offensive coordinator Adam Gase and are waiting to interview Arizona defensive coordinator Todd Bowles and Detroit defensive coordinator Teryl Austin.

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

Read More: 2015 playoffs, Josh McDaniels, Scott Pioli, thomas dimitroff

Poll: Are you worried about Ravens?

01.04.15 at 10:07 am ET
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As a Patriots fan, are you worried about the Ravens?

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