|James White returns to University of Wisconsin, gets greeted with ‘MVP’ chants||02.20.17 at 10:09 am ET|
Patriots running back James White became somewhat of a national star following Super Bowl LI when he scored three touchdowns, including the game-winning score in overtime.
White already was a star at the University of Wisconsin and the running back returned to his alma mater this weekend as he was honored at both the hockey and basketball games.
Sunday afternoon White was celebrated during one of the media timeouts when Wisconsin hosted Maryland. The crowd gave him a big round of applause and even started a “MVP” chant.
Before the game, White spoke about what his life has been like in the few weeks since the Super Bowl.
“It’s been fun, it’s been tiring, but it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity so I’ve just been enjoying it,” White said, according to Madison.com. “Been all over the place … but got to find time to train, stay in shape because most people’s offseason already started so you have to get after it.”
White figures to have a similar role with the Patriots next season as the team’s top third-down running back.
— Wisconsin Badgers (@UWBadgers) February 19, 2017
|James White doesn’t know what happened to the ball he used to score the game-winning TD in Super Bowl LI||02.07.17 at 10:48 pm ET|
In the wake of Sunday’s Super Bowl win, Tom Brady’s jersey isn’t the only piece of Patriots’ memorabilia no one can find.
James White doesn’t know where the ball he used to score the game-winning touchdown is located.
The running back joked Tuesday on “The Dan Patrick Show” that he doesn’t know what happened to the ball he used for one of the most memorable scores in NFL history.
“I actually don’t know what I did with [the football],” he laughed when asked what happened after he scored the game-winning touchdown in overtime. “I left it on the ground and started running.”
He added: “I wasn’t thinking in that moment. I was too busy sprinting down the field.”
White did say that he was able to keep the football from the first of his three touchdowns.
For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.
Running back James White, who scored three touchdowns in Sunday’s Super Bowl win, told SiriusXM NFL Radio on Tuesday that he hasn’t made a decision on whether or not he’ll go to the White House.
“I’ll just wait [until] the time comes around and decide then,” said White, two days after he played a sizable role in New England 34-28 overtime victory over the Falcons to give the Patriots their fifth Super Brown title.
White’s teammates Martellus Bennett and Devin McCourty have both said they won’t go to the White House.
White added that despite Tom Brady saying that the running back was worthy of being named Super Bowl MVP, he has no problem with Brady taking home that honor.
“I’m really appreciative, but he’s well deserving of that MVP trophy,” White said. “We wouldn’t have been in that position without him. I wouldn’t have caught the pass that I did without him. He’s definitely more deserving than me. He led our team to victory.”
For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.
|Run to Glory: James White joins pantheon of Patriots Super Bowl legends with game for ages||02.06.17 at 2:24 am ET|
HOUSTON — If it weren’t for Tom Brady rescuing the game – and being Tom Brady again at the end – James White would’ve and could’ve been the MVP of Super Bowl LI.
All the Patriots’ third-year all-purpose back out of Wisconsin did was catch a record 14 passes for 110 yards, run for two touchdowns and catch another while scoring a Super Bowl-record 20 points to lead the Patriots to a 34-28 overtime win. White also finished with 29 yards on six carries.
White’s final run of the night proved to be the final run of the NFL season, a two-yard push for the end zone with 11:02 left in overtime to give the Patriots their fifth Super Bowl title in franchise history. How ironic that the least likely running back in the Patriots backfield heading into the playoffs made the biggest run of the season.
“It was a toss play,” White explained. “Obviously, the line did a great job blocking, Jules [Julian Edelman] did a great job blocking, I just had to run through one guy and find a way to get in there. I saw a crease. You have to find a way to make a play for your team at that point in the game – at the three-yard line, two-yard line, you just have to find a way in.”
What went through his mind when he realized he won the Super Bowl?
“I don’t know. I don’t know what my thought was,” White said. “I was just really excited. That’s what you dream about as a kid. It was an amazing comeback by our team and I’m just proud to be a part of it.”
Now White is up on the pantheon of Patriots Super Bowl heroes with Brady, Adam Vinatieri and Malcolm Butler.
“It was just a great team effort,” White said. “We went into the second half and we knew it was going to be a long second half. If the defense could get stops we could put up points and keep narrowing their lead and we just found a way to get a victory.”
“We knew we had a shot the whole game. As an offense we weren’t playing well. We had some turnovers and were just getting in the game. We were driving the ball – we had like 20 minutes of possession in the first half. We knew we could drive the ball, we just had to stop turning the ball over, and I think that’s what we did in the second half. It hasn’t really set in. Honestly it’s all very surreal right now. It is just a great team victory. You couldn’t even write this script. You could never imagine it. We just went out there and got a great team victory.”
|Snap Judgments: Tom Brady directs greatest comeback in Super Bowl history, Patriots win their 5th Lombardi Trophy in OT||02.05.17 at 10:29 pm ET|
HOUSTON — The Patriots made history in the most dramatic way Sunday night in Super Bowl LI.
James White scored his third touchdown of the night on a 2-yard run with 11:02 left in the first overtime in Super Bowl history, giving the Patriots their fifth Super Bowl title with an unbelievable 34-28 win over the Falcons.
The winning touchdown came after a 14-yard pass interference call on the Falcons.
The Game-Winning Score.
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) February 6, 2017
After being handed the Lombardi Trophy by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell (who was roundly booed while delivering his congratulatory speech), Patriots owner Robert Kraft called the victory, “unequivocally the sweetest” of all the team’s championships.
— NFL (@NFL) February 6, 2017
Brady finished 43-of-62 for 466 yards and two touchdowns and earned his fourth Super Bowl MVP. White had a pair of touchdown runs and a touchdown catch.
Down 28-3 with two minutes left in the third quarter and 19 points in the fourth quarter, Tom Brady engineered the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history and the greatest fourth-quarter comeback in NFL playoff history.
Julian Edelman got his hands under a tipped pass just before the ball hit the ground before the two-minute warning. The miracle catch put the Patriots at the Atlanta 41. Several plays later, James White ran it in from two yards with 57 seconds left, followed by a two point conversion from Brady to Danny Amendola.
Matt Ryan threw two touchdown passes and the Falcons turned two turnovers into scores as the Falcons appeared on their way to their first world championship in their 51-year history. Ryan played the first three quarters with a perfect 158.3 quarterback rating.
The Patriots played their most uncharacteristic game at the worst time. LeGarrette Blount fumbled deep in Atlanta territory in a scoreless game and Tom Brady had a nightmare of a first half that included a pick-6 by Robert Alford.
Picked by nearly every national expert to lose, the touchdown underdog Falcons certainly didn’t play like it. Led by a Super Bowl-tying three sacks from Grady Jarrett, they manhandled the Patriots on both sides of the ball.
The Patriots finish the season 17-2 and are now 5-4 in their nine Super Bowl appearances.
The game started after an emotional rendition of “America The Beautiful” from the cast of “Hamilton” and the national anthem from Luke Bryan. Following that, President George H.W. Bush and his wife Barbara were carted onto the field and made their way to midfield for the coin toss. Both had been recently released from the hospital after battling various medical issues.
Matthew Slater called heads and the former President flipped the coin and it turned up tails. The Falcons deferred and the Patriots received to open Super Bowl LI.
Brady targeted Julian Edelman on the first two plays of the game. The first was an incompletion over the middle followed by an inside slant for nine yards. But the Patriots were forced 3-and-out when LeGarrette Blount ran to his right and was stopped for no gain.
Ryan Allen boomed a big punt and, after a holding call, pinned the Falcons inside their 10. On the first play, Devonta Freeman broke loose for 37 yards when he went to his left and cut back up the middle. But the Patriots quickly recovered, with the key play coming on a Patrick Chung tackle on Patrick DiMarco in one-on-one coverage. On the next play, Rob Ninkovich broke through for the drive-ending sack.
The Patriots got the ball for a third time in the first quarter but not before it ended, extending the first-quarter scoreless streak in Super Bowls to seven. In all seven Belichick-Brady Super Bowl appearances, the Patriots don’t have a single point in the opening 15 minutes.
Following a 27-yard completion from Brady to Edelman, the Patriots had the ball first-and-10 at the Atlanta 33. But on the very next play, Falcons linebacker Deion Jones made a huge play, powerfully stripping the ball from LeGarrette Blount. Defensive back Robert Alford recovered at the Atlanta 29. The Falcons wasted no time capitalizing. Matt Ryan fired a 19-yard bullet over the middle to Julio Jones, who wrestled the ball from Logan Ryan.
On the next play, Ryan targeted Jones on the left sideline. He was wide open for 23 yards to the Patriots 29. Freeman followed with gashing runs of 15 and 9 off right and left tackle, respectively. The Patriots were obviously on their heels against the hurry-up Falcons. The Patriots called time out on 2nd-and-1. But it didn’t help. Jones came in motion to the inside but Freeman ran a misdirect and jogged untouched to the goal line before diving in for the first score of the game.
The Falcons made it 14-0 against a reeling, backpedaling and seemingly winded Patriots defense. Ryan found tight end Austin Hooper on an in-slant from 19 yards. It marked the biggest Super Bowl deficit in the Belichick-Brady era.
Desperate for a score, the Falcons young secondary aided the Patriots’ cause immensely on the ensuing drive. The Falcons committed three defensive holding fouls on third down and the Patriots looked ready to capitalize, with the ball at the Falcons 23. But on yet another third down, there was no bail out from the officials, only a telegraphed pass to Julian Edelman on an slant that Robert Alford stepped in front of at the Falcons 18 and raced 82 yards for the second-longest pick-6 in Super Bowl history (James Harrison, 100 yards, Super Bowl XLIII), falling behind 21-0.
The Patriots, in desperate need of a drive and some big breaks, got one on the next drive. Brady dropped back to pass and was hit. The ball wobbled. But instead of another turnover, the ball landed in the hands of Martellus Bennett, who gained 19 yards. Then several plays later, Brady hit James White in the right flat. White made 28 yards. The Patriots made it down to the Atlanta 3 on another completion to White. But a holding call on Bennett brought it back to the 23. On the next play, with 12 seconds left, Brady threw to Bennett in the left flat on a screen. The clock nearly ran out as Bennett was tackled. But the Patriots were able to execute a 41-yard field goal from Stephen Gostkowski to make it 21-3 Atlanta at the half.
The Falcons ran just 19 plays in the first half to New England’s 40.
[For a full box score and stats, click here.]
|Scouting Report: What you have to know about Super Bowl LI||02.04.17 at 3:55 pm ET|
HOUSTON — Here’s everything you need to know about Super Bowl LI between the Patriots and Falcons:
WHEN THE PATRIOTS RUN THE BALL
The Patriots have been able to get good, consistent and (mostly) steady yardage out of their backs all season long, finishing the regular season with an average of 117 yards per game, seventh in the NFL. Leading the way has been LeGarettte Blount, who had career highs in carries (299), yards (1,161) and touchdowns (18). New England figures to mix in a healthy dose of Dion Lewis (64 carries, 283 yards in seven games) as a changeup presence between the tackles. His make-you-miss ability combined with Atlanta’s occasionally dicey work against smaller backs could mean he’ll get more work that initially anticipated as a runner. As has been the case all season long with Blount, it’s not how many yards he gets; it’s when he gets them. No one is better at closing out games than he is — his work in the second half is a sizable reason why the Patriots ranked fifth during the regular season in time of possession (31:13). If he is able to top 60 rushing yards in the second half, this game won’t even be a contest. When it comes to defending the run, Atlanta was 17th in the league this year, having allowed 104.5 rushing yards per game. Some of the stats have to be placed in context because of game situations and whatnot (there were lots of leads in those games, and they would willingly yield yards on the ground and time at the expense of a big pass play). But in their last nine games (including the playoffs), opponents have topped 95 yards on the ground in eight of them.
WHEN THE PATRIOTS PASS THE BALL
This season, Atlanta hasn’t faced a combination in the passing game like New England. Tom Brady (67 percent completion rate, 3.554 passing yards, 28 TDs, 2 INTs, 112.2 passer rating) and the Patriots are able to get production out of multiple areas, with wide receivers Julian Edelman (98 catches, 159 targets, 1,106 yards, 3 TDs) and Chris Hogan (38 catches, 58 targets, 680 yards, 4 TDs), running backs James White (60 catches, 86 targets, 551 yards, 5 TDs) and Dion Lewis (17 catches, 24 targets, 94 yards) and tight end Martellus Bennett (55 catches, 73 targets, 701 yards, 7 TDs).
The key here? The Falcons have shown some zone over the course of the year, but they’ll need to play sturdy man coverage against the Patriots. Brady practically salivates at the idea of an occasionally vulnerable 3-deep zone like Atlanta has shown at times this year. The real backbreaker here will be in the White/Lewis combo out of the backfield. The Atlanta is one of the worst teams in the league (26th per Football Outsiders) at defending backs in the passing game. Expect New England to lean heavily on that grouping in the passing game. It’s no coincidence that the Patriots were able to get so much production out of their running back spot in their last game against a Dan Quinn-defense; Shane Vereen set a Super Bowl record with 11 catches two years ago against the Seahawks. Considering what happened down the stretch and into the playoffs, while White will almost certainly get some looks, it’s Lewis who has shown a masterful ability to do multiple things. Bottom line? He’ll get plenty of touches.
One more note that will spell doom for the Falcons: The ability of the New England pass catchers to gain yards after the catch. The Patriots were third in the year at YAC this past season as a team (White and Bennett were both in the league’s top 20), while the Falcons allowed a league-high average of 132.9 yards after the catch per game, an odd stat for a defense with so much speed. If Atlanta can’t find a way to limit the passing YAC ability, it’ll be a long night.
The Falcons pass rush has been better as of late, but the group has to figure out a way to get some sustained pressure on Brady. Do you move around some of your best rushers, like Houston did? Or do you stay static and play to your strengths and hope you’ve prepared to a point where you can out-execute the other side? If Atlanta moves some guys around, rookie Deion Jones is a candidate to try and be that guy who brings some heat up the middle. A dynamic young talent who is capable of blitzing or working in coverage, he’s an X factor for the group. If the Falcons play it straight up, Vic Beasley (15.5 sacks in 2016) will be lining up opposite Patriots right tackle Marcus Cannon. Per PFF, Cannon hasn’t yielded a sack since September. That strength-against-strength matchup will go a long way toward determining the overall success of the New England passing game on Sunday night.
|The Undefeated: Dion Lewis says he’s not only reason Patriots are 15-0 since start of last season with him in the lineup||01.18.17 at 3:56 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Dion Lewis cares not for your ridiculous individual stats.
Informed on Wednesday that the Patriots are 15-0 with him in the lineup since the start of the 2015 season, he took a pass when it came to taking credit for the unblemished mark.
“We have a lot of great players so I’m not the only reason that’s like that. It just happens to be that way,” Lewis said before practice. “We’ve got a great team, great coaches and everybody works hard. So it’s not because of me.”
Last year, suffered a serious knee injury in the seventh game of the season, but played a sizable role in helping New England win all seven of those games to start the year. He came back in late November, and was in the lineup for the last seven games of the regular season, as well as the first postseason contest of the year, all of them victories.
Lewis also went out of his way to share the credit with the rest of the backfield.
“Our backfield is very talented,” Lewis said of the group that includes LeGarrette Blount, James White and Brandon Bolden. “Everybody brings something different, so having other guys that can come in and give different matchup problems for a defense, it just gives the defense a lot of extra stuff to worry about.”
“The size of his heart, his will to win. His will to continue to fight, despite the obstacles in front of him, is unmatched,” Blount said of his teammate, who had three touchdowns in the victory over the Texans. “He does a lot of things well for us. He does everything we ask him to do, with no questions asked. And he does everything he has to do to make sure he puts himself in the best position to take full advantage of the opportunities he gets.”
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