|Why does Aqib Talib hate Michael Crabtree’s gold chain? We’re still not sure||01.02.17 at 10:44 am ET|
Former Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib had an eventful 2016, and certainly didn’t disappoint in Denver’s regular-season finale Sunday against the Raiders. For some unknown reason, Talib took issue with the fact that Oakland receiver Michael Crabtree was wearing a gold chain around his neck, and he snatched it off in the middle of the game.
After the game, Crabtree was as confused as anyone as to why Talib wanted to do what he did, but explained it was a “business decision” not to knock him out after he did it.
Talib later explained why.
Between dealing with the fallout from this and tracking down Harry Douglas, it should be an equally eventful offseason for Talib.
|Report: Gary Kubiak broke up shouting match between Broncos offensive linemen, cornerbacks after loss to Patriots||12.18.16 at 11:28 pm ET|
Frustration has boiled over in Denver.
According to NFL Media’s Michael Silver, Broncos coach Gary Kubiak needed to restore order in his locker room before it was opened to the media following the Patriots’ 16-3 win over the Broncos on Sunday.
After the loss, in the locker room Kubiak asked any players if they wanted to speak.
Offensive tackle Russell Okung stepped forward, but cornerback Aqib Talib objected. This caused a shouting match between the offensive lineman and the cornerbacks before Kubiak stepped in and restored order.
The issue was the defense limiting Tom Brady and the Patriots to 16 points, but the Denver offense only scoring three.
“Pretty much your classic offense vs. defense divide,” one player said to Silver.
Okung understood why the defense was frustrated.
“I definitely understand their frustration,” Okung said to Silver.”They played well enough to win, and they held that team to 16 points, which a lot of teams don’t do. We’re an emotional team; that’s what makes us so good. To me, that’s part of who we are.
“When our defense is out there, they’re an emotional group, and they hold themselves to a high standard. As an offense, we need to do the same. So, I think [their frustration] is warranted. We’ve got to be better.”
Denver’s playoff hopes are extremely slim, as it needs to win out and get some help, so it appears the defending Super Bowl champions will not make the playoffs.
Overall, the Denver defense did a good job against Tom Brady and the Patriots offense, limiting them to 16 points, their fewest since being shutout by the Bills in Week 4.
But despite the strong performance, the Broncos still fell to the Patriots, 16-3.
“We don’t fear Brady,” cornerback Aqib Talib told reporters after the game. “We aren’t scared of Brady at all, so we’re going to line up and play just like he’s any other quarterback. We’re going to prepare and play just like he’s any other quarterback. That’s what we feel like we did today.”
Another member of the secondary, Chris Harris Jr., said that was the toughest part of the loss — limiting Brady to just 16 points and still coming up short.
“That’s what makes it sick, when we come out and play stout like we did today,” he told reporters. “We could’ve played a little bit better, try to get some turnovers, but they didn’t really have to take a lot of chances. They didn’t really have to throw the ball down the field a lot. It’s hard to make plays when we don’t get that many targets.”
Added Harris Jr.: “Any time you lose a game to the Patriots or a rival game, everybody is frustrated. We feel like we played almost good enough defense to win that game. I don’t know if I’ve ever kept [Patriots QB Tom] Brady under 16 points, and we did that today.”
A big reason for the Patriots coming out on top was the job the offensive line did against Von Miller, limiting him to only five tackles and no sacks or quarterback hits.
The last time the Broncos faced the Patriots, they hit Brady 20 times in the AFC title game.
“Every team game plans against me,” Miller told reporters. “I’m still able to make it happen. The Patriots are one of the best teams in football, but we’ve made it happen before. We’ve just got to make it happen again. We’ll see those guys, whether it’s the playoffs or next year, we’ll see them again and we’ll be ready to go.”
It will now be an uphill battle for the Broncos to make the postseason, while for the Patriots two more wins will give them the No. 1 overall seed in the AFC.
|Julian Edelman ready to put his ‘little friendship to the side’ with Aqib Talib this Sunday||12.16.16 at 4:22 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Julian Edelman still has a very fond place in his heart for Aqib Talib. The two combatants, who squared off in spirited practices when teammates with the Patriots, are renewing acquaintances this Sunday in Denver.
This Sunday marks the third time Julian Edelman and Aqib Talib have squared off since Talib left New England after the 2013 AFC championship.
The Patriots beat the Broncos 43-21 in 2014, when Edelman caught nine passes on 10 targets for 89 yards and a touchdown.
Last year, the Patriots raced out to a 21-7 lead but lost in overtime, 30-24 in their regular season meeting at Sports Authority Field. In that meeting, Edelman sat out with a broken bone in his left foot suffered two weeks earlier. But Edelman returned in time for the playoffs and faced Talib and the Broncos again in the AFC championship. There, he had seven catches on 13 targets for 53 yards.
The two developed a close bond over the year-and-a-half they played together in New England.
“Quite frankly, it’s kind of funny because we’ve had such a good relationship here,” Edelman said Friday. “I loved Talib as a teammate and he kind of cracks me up. He’s competitive, feisty, very instinctive, savvy. It’s one of those things where you’ve got to go out and do things right or he’s going to expose you.”
Has Edelman ever played with anyone like Talib?
“He’s a one-of-a-kind,” Edelman said. “He’s a good dude but come Sunday he’s on the other team. We’re going to have to put our little friendship to the side.”
But facing Talib on the field is never a given with Wade Phillips calling the shots on the Denver defense. With the likes of Chris Harris and Bradley Roby playing alongside Talib, there’s always the chance that Edelman will see different looks whenever and wherever he lines up.
“They switch it up. I’ve played against Harris, I’ve played against Roby, I’ve played against Talib,” Edelman said. “It all depends on how they’re feeling [about defending me]. So, you’ve got to be prepared for all of them.”
|Aqib Talib on facing Patriots: ‘You’re playing the best [and] you have to love to play the best, right?’||12.15.16 at 2:07 pm ET|
FOXBORO — There will be a familiar face in the Denver secondary on Sunday — cornerback Aqib Talib.
Talib was with the Patriots from 2012-13 before signing with the Broncos as a free agent prior to the 2014 season, so he has a good idea of what he and the rest of the Broncos will be going up against.
“We’re playing a Hall of Fame quarterback and a Hall of Fame coach,” Talib told reporters on Sunday. “Its ‘see-where-you’re-at’ week. You’re playing the best [and] you have to love to play the best, right?”
Even without Rob Gronkowski, Talib knows the Patriots still find a way to get it done.
“They have so many weapons,” he said. “It’s like they have five different offenses that they can run. ‘Gronk is down, OK, let’s just run the next offense.’ They’ll be alright.”
Even though Talib is now going against Tom Brady, he still remembers his days playing with him well.
“We used to win [and] it was great,” he said.
This week is a huge game for the Broncos as they need it considering they trail both the Chiefs and Raiders in the AFC West.
“I feel like the urgency always turns up in the middle of December,” Talib said. “For other teams that are not playing for anything, it kind of turns down. For teams who have a chance to make the tournament, it turns up. That’s all around the league.”
For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.
|5 things to know about Broncos: Defending champs entering must-win mode||12.13.16 at 10:10 pm ET|
Five things you have to know about the Broncos (8-5) who will host the Patriots (11-2) Sunday in Denver.
They have a very good pass defense. The Broncos have been up and down across the board all season long, and while they have had serious problems when it comes to defending the run (more on that in a second), they are still the best in the league when it comes to pass defense. Denver allows an average of 183 passing yards per game, and have more interceptions as a team (12) than touchdown passes allowed (10). Matt Ryan, Philip Rivers and Drew Brees were the only three quarterbacks to top 200 passing yards against Denver this season. Aqib Talib and Darian Stewart have three interceptions each. while Von Miller (13.5 sacks) and Shane Ray (6 sacks) lead the pass rush. As a team, their 38 sacks are second in the league to Carolina (39). Overall, Tom Brady is 5-3 when going against a Wade Phillips’ defense over the course of his career, with a 59 percent completion rate (202-for-343) with 2,493 passing yards, 21 touchdowns, seven interceptions and 16 sacks.
They do not have a good run defense. As good as the Broncos are when it comes to pass defense, they’re that bad against the run. Denver is 29th in the league against the run, allowing a whopping 127.2 rushing yards per game. The Broncos have struggled to hold opponents to under 100 yards on the ground; in eight of their 13 games, Denver has seen the opposition go over the century mark in rushing, and in three of their last five, teams have topped 150 yards. (Oakland put up 218 rushing yards in a win over the Broncos last month.) Might be a good day for LeGarrette Blount.
They also struggle to run the ball. The Broncos are 27th in the league in rushing with an average of 93.8 rushing yards per game and their 3.8 yards per carry is 28th overall. There have been positive moments, but those have been few and far between this year. Things bottomed out for Denver last week when the Broncos had a season-low 18 rushing yards in a road loss to the Titans. Justin Forsett (6 carries, 17 yards) and Devontae Booker (149 carries, 511 yards, 3 TDs) have been tasked with carrying the load, but they’re coming up short. Overall, Denver has topped 100 yards on the ground in just six of its 13 games this season. With the recent improvements in New England’s run defense — the Patriots have gone from allowing 101.6 rushing yards per game a month ago to 90.2 entering this weekend — it probably won’t make much sense for the Broncos to challenge New England on the ground.
Trevor Siemian is no Peyton Manning. In his first full year as a starter, Siemian is 230-for-376 (61 percent) with 2,730 passing yards, 16 touchdowns, seven interceptions and a passing rating of 89.7. OK, but not good enough to jumpstart an occasionally sluggish Denver offense. The best game of the year for the 6-foot-3, 215-pounder came in a September win over the Bengals in Cincinnati when he finished 23-for-35 for 312 yards, four touchdowns and a passer rating of 132.1. When he throws, he’s looking for Demaryius Thomas (76 catches, 119 targets, 925 yards, 5 TDs), Emmanuel Sanders (75 catches, 128 targets, 958 yards, 5 TDs) and Booker (21 catches, 29 targets, 153 yards). The simple truth is that the Broncos do not feature the sort of deep passing attack that has occasionally given the Patriots troubles this season. Sunday will mark his first start against a Bill Belichick-led defense.
There’s some desperation. The Broncos have lost three of their last five to fall to 8-5 on the season. Most years, that would still be enough to guarantee an AFC West title, but this isn’t most years. Denver, who is sixth in the current AFC playoff picture, needs a win Sunday to solidify its postseason chances, especially when you consider the Broncos have the toughest slate if you measure by opponents’ winning percentage. (Denver’s three remaining opponents have a winning percentage of .795.)
|Details still unclear on Aqib Talib shooting||06.06.16 at 12:16 pm ET|
Although we know former Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib is doing OK following a shooting Saturday night, who actually shot him remains unclear.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the bullet entered and exited his leg and hit no arteries, while tearing no ligaments. All he needed was stitches and no surgery was necessary.
Police have not released the name of the suspect because the suspect remains unknown. At the night club, two other men were shot and there has been some chatter of Talib shooting himself during the altercation with the other shootings.
According to Pro Football Talk, as of Sunday the possibility of a self-shooting was being explored by the Broncos. On Monday the Broncos are visiting the White House to be honored for their Super Bowl win, but Talib will not attend.
Stay tuned as there is sure to be more to come with this story.
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