|Tom Brady on K&C: ‘It’s going to be a tough game’ vs. Steelers||01.16.17 at 9:27 am ET|
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady made his weekly appearance on Kirk & Callahan Monday morning to discuss Saturday’s win over the Texans and also to look ahead to Sunday’s AFC championship game against the Steelers. To hear the interview, visit the K&C audio on demand page.
The Patriots beat the Texans 34-16 on Saturday night, but it wasn’t one of the better performances of the season. Brady threw two interceptions and had his lowest completion percentage ever in a playoff game at 47 percent. (He took responsibility for his first interception when he led Michael Floyd too far.)
“Yeah, I said after the game the overall execution just wasn’t as good as we would have liked,” Brady said. “There were a lot of good plays that were made and there were plenty of bad ones. It was just inconsistent by us. We’ll talk about that pretty much all week. We’ll try and play a lot better against Pittsburgh next week.”
The quarterback said he stayed up to watch all of the Steelers-Chiefs game Sunday night and knows it will be a tough game Sunday at Gillette Stadium.
“Yeah, I did. I wanted to watch the end of it,” he said. “It was a good game. It was two hard-nosed, tough football teams that battled all the way to the end. It was a good game. I think that is what you expect this coming week. I feel like we are a tough, hard-nosed football team. Certainly, we know the Steelers are. They have a lot of tough guys. They run the ball well. Ben [Roethlisberger] is an incredible player. They have a lot of good skill players and they’ve always had a great defense. It’s going to be a tough game.”
On Saturday night, Seattle safety Earl Thomas and former Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis went after Brady on Twitter. This didn’t seem to bother the quarterback.
“I don’t think I have ever been one to say anything negative about anybody,” he said. “That’s just not my personality. I love Earl. He is a helluva player. I wish him the best in his recovery.”
“We had a lot of battles with Ray on the field,” Brady added on Lewis. “I would love to make sure the officials are paying close attention because if we can get one of those 15-yard penalties, those are important.”
|5 mostly Patriots-related thoughts on Sunday’s divisional playoff action: If you don’t have an elite QB, you’re out of luck||at 12:05 am ET|
1. So the NFL’s Final Four is set, with the Packers meeting the Falcons in the Georgia Dome Sunday at 3:05 p.m., and the Patriots and Steelers squaring off at 6:40 in Foxboro. In the NFC, it’ll be a four seed (Green Bay) and a two seed (Atlanta), while the No. 1 seed in the AFC (New England) will host the third seed (Pittsburgh). But more importantly, it’s simply the latest reminder that in a quarterback-driven league, if you don’t have a signal-caller who stands head-and-shoulders above the rest of the field, you’re pretty much going to be out of luck. It’s hard to look at this group of quarterbacks — Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisbeger, Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan — and not include them in some sort of combination of the NFL’s top 5 QBs, at least at this point. (What does it say about the field that the guy who now appears to be the odds’ on favorite to win the MVP has the thinnest resume of the bunch?) Anyway, keep that in mind when the next round of team-building commences shortly after the end of the postseason. (Oh, and for what it’s worth, I’d still be shocked if Roger Goodell was in Foxboro this weekend. That dude is headed straight back to Atlanta.)
2. These quotes from Steelers defensive coordinator Keith Butler will be fun to revisit this week. Prior to the October game between the two teams in Pittsburgh, Butler was interviewed for the “Coordinators Corner” podcast on the Steelers’ team website, and was asked about Brady and Bill Belichick and if they study harder than other teams, or if they’re doing something special? “I don’t think they’re doing anything special,” Butler said, via MassLive.com. “I think they do things outside the box sometimes, you know, that might be on the edge of being legal or not legal. They’ve done a couple of things in the past — putting an offensive tackle out as ineligible but he’s not really. Sometimes the emphasis by the NFL in terms of what they call and what they don’t call, [the Patriots] use that a little bit. They’ve been accused of doing a lot of things. But the thing we’ve got to do is ignore that and play.”
For what it’s worth, Brady has faced the Pittsburgh defense twice since Butler took over as defensive coordinator prior to the start of the 2015 season:
9/10/15 in Foxboro: 25-for-32 for 288 yards with four touchdowns, no picks and two sacks in a 28-21 win
10/23/16 in Pittsburgh: 19-for-26 for 222 yards with two touchdowns in a 27-16 win
3. Travis Kelce wants to be Rob Gronkowski the same way that Bon Jovi wants to be Bruce Springsteen. The Kansas City tight end was underwhelming on the big stage Sunday night against the Steelers, committing a dopey penalty while finishing with five catches for 77 yards in the loss. On a night where the Chiefs needed Kelce to be a difference-maker, he and the rest of the Kansas City offense came up short. Consider this NSFW locker room video of Kelce a fitting postscript to the season:
Kelce goes off on refs pic.twitter.com/QJMLB82Nqb
— Arrowhead Pride (@ArrowheadPride) January 16, 2017
4. The Steelers are a far more appetizing opponent for the Patriots to consider than the Chiefs for multiple reasons, not the least of which is the fact that Pittsburgh does a better job stirring the emotion in the New England fan base than Kansas City. Who can get upset with Kansas City? It’s Andy Reid in a big red jacket. Meanwhile, the Steelers are still worthy of a spot among the Patriots’ chief rivals. There’s so much terrific history to consider between these two teams. The names and faces have changed along the way, but this week promises to be a lot more fun — at least from a hype-driven perspective — than last week against the Texans.
5. We covered our feelings about Rodgers and the Packers’ wild win over the Cowboys here, but it’s safe to say, the NFC title game should be a compelling contest in the Georgia Dome. Can Ryan rise to the challenge and advance to the Super Bowl for the first time in his career? Can Rodgers keep his remarkable streak rolling? From this viewpoint, we’re in completely uncharted waters when it comes to Rodgers and what he’s doing. Despite the fact that they’re on the road, our first inclination is to go with the Packers. No one else has been able to slow down Green Bay quarterback over the last month-plus. Why should Atlanta be any different?
|Per Bovada, Tom Brady now has fourth-best odds to win NFL MVP||12.28.16 at 12:38 pm ET|
FOXBORO — With a week to go in the regular season, Tom Brady’s odds of winning NFL MVP have dropped from second to fourth.
According to Bovada, the Patriots’ quarterback is now 5/1 to win the MVP. Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliott (2/1), Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan (9/4) and Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers (15/4) lead the pack. That’s a drop from
Per Bovada, the odds remain very good for the Patriots and their chances of winning Super Bowl LI. New England is 2/1 to win it all, followed by the Cowboys (13/4), Steelers (8/1), Falcons, Packers and Chiefs (all 11/1).
For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.
|Stephen A. Smith calls Aaron Rodgers, not Tom Brady, ‘most talented quarterback’ of all time||12.15.16 at 10:15 am ET|
Stephen A. Smith sure knows how to get under the skin of Patriots fans.
The ESPN analyst, appearing recently on First Take, declared that Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is the most talented quarterback ever to play the game, more talented than even Tom Brady.
“I think Aaron Rodgers is the most talented — the greatest talent at the quarterback position — I have ever seen. I’m dead serious about that. I’m not joking,” Smith opined. “You can talk about Dan Marino. You can talk about Dan Fouts. You can talk about John Elway. You can talk about, you know, Joe Montana. You can talk about [Tom] Brady, and Peyton Manning and all of them.
“The talent that this brother has at the quarterback position, his ability to fling that football and to do the things that he does from a talent perspective, I consider him the greatest. And I’m not apologizing for that to anybody.”
Smith was distinguishing talent from overall greatness, but still. What do you think, Patriots fans? Discuss.
|Tom Brady an influence in Aaron Rodgers changing his diet||06.01.16 at 5:07 pm ET|
As Tom Brady has gotten older, most people have expected his production to begin to decline. Brady, however, has defied logic with his exceptional play in the latter years of his career. Ask the 38-year-old Brady why he has been able to play at such a high level and he will tell you a large part of it has to do with the way he eats. And Brady’s success has caught the eye of other elite NFL quarterbacks.
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers mentioned Brady when he discussed how he has improved his diet this offseason.
“To be honest, Tom Brady is an influence there because of the stuff he talks about, and how healthy he is,” Rodgers told ESPN.com.
Brady has started 223 games in his career, the most among active NFL players. Since 2008, when Brady tore his ACL in the first game of the season, he has started all 16 games for the Patriots.
According to the story, Rodgers and Brady have become friends and Rodgers is following in his buddy’s footsteps in terms of nutrition with hopes of playing six to eight more seasons.
“Everybody eats a little differently,” said the 32-year-old Rodgers. “But the more where you are aware of what you put in your body and how it affects your performance, the better opportunities you have. And that’s what I’m trying to do.”
In an interview with Dennis & Callahan with Minihane last October Brady discussed his displeasure with the way Americans eat.
“They have a food pyramid. I disagree with that. I disagree with a lot of things that people tell you to do,” Brady said. “You’ll probably go out and drink Coca-Cola and think, ‘Oh yeah, that’s no problem.’ Why? Because they pay lots of money for advertisements to think that you should drink Coca-Cola for a living? No, I totally disagree with that. And when people do that, I think that’s quackery. And the fact that they can sell that to kids? I mean, that’s poison for kids. But they keep doing it.”
Brady recently released a nutrition manual that sold out in just a week. It sounds like Rodgers was one of the lucky ones to get his hands on a copy.
|Seahawks hold off Vikings, advance to face Panthers, Packers rout Redskins, face Cardinals||01.10.16 at 5:11 pm ET|
The former Bengals defensive coordinator, in his second season as Vikings head coach, needed only for kicker Blair Walsh to convert his fourth field goal of the day from 27 yards out to give him a win his his first playoff try.
Instead, Walsh hooked the attempt wide left with 22 seconds remaining, giving the Seahawks a 10-9 win over Zimmer’s Vikings on a Sunday afternoon in their wild-card playoff game at the University of Minnesota.
The game was played in sub-zero weather that tied for the third-coldest NFL game on record.
The win propels Pete Carroll‘s No. 6 Seahawks to the NFC Division round next weekend against the No. 1 seed Carolina Panthers next Sunday in Charlotte. Carolina (15-1) beat the Seahawks in Week 6, 27-23, in Seattle.
Until his fateful miss, Walsh had been spot on all day, converting three field goals that staked the upstart Vikings to a 9-0 lead heading into the fourth quarter. But the Seahawks came back with a three-yard TD pass from Russell Wilson to Doug Baldwin and a 46-yard field goal from Steven Hauschka to take a 10-9 lead.
As Seattle burned all of their timeouts, the Vikings drove down to the Seattle 9 with 26 seconds left in the game and seemed destined to win before Walsh hooked his kick.
In the late afternoon game, Aaron Rodgers threw a pair of touchdown passes while Eddie Lacy and James Starks each ran for a score to help the No. 5 Packers beat the No. 4 Redskins, 35-18. The Packers move on to play the No. 2 Arizona Cardinals next Saturday evening in the NFC divisional round at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals embarrassed the Packers in Week 16, 38-8, at the same venue.
|What pundits were saying about Patriots on Sunday: Tom Brady will win MVP||11.09.15 at 12:41 pm ET|
Here’s a look at what some of the national pundits were saying about the Patriots before and after the game on Sunday. (Because there wasn’t a lot of pregame or postgame chatter involving the Patriots — and because this has become one of the more popular blog posts every week — we’ve decided to expand things a bit and pick out some of the best quotes of the week that involve the Patriots, as well as their rivals.)
NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah: “It’s been a huge advantage for Tom Brady, having a weapon like Dion Lewis this year.”
NFL Network analyst Steve Mariucci on Brady and the MVP race: “I think he will win his third, and put him in a category with just Peyton [Manning], [Brett] Favre and Jim Brown to win three or more MVPs.”
NBC Sports analyst Rodney Harrison on the Broncos after their loss to Indy: “Last week, Chris Harris, after beating the Packers, he’s talking about the Super Bowl. Don’t worry about the Super Bowl. Worry about game to game. Stay focused and stay humble. I think that showed today.”
NBC Sports analyst Tony Dungy on the Broncos: “The offensive line is still not creating holes in the running game. And Peyton Manning throwing an interception every week — that would be a concern for me.”
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