|Did Tom Brady just put together best 3-game stretch of any 38-year-old QB in NFL history?||09.28.15 at 5:39 pm ET|
In August, when Tom Brady turned 38, we looked at some of the best seasons of any 38-year-old quarterback in the history of the NFL. And so, in the wake of Brady’s scorching start, we wondered where Brady’s current three-game stretch ranks in relation to some of the best three-game performances from some of the best 38-year-old signal-callers to have played the game. (This includes two three-game stretches for Peyton Manning from the 2014 season, his second with the Broncos.)
Tom Brady 2015 — Weeks 1-3 (against Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Jacksonville)
96-for-133 (72 percent), 1,112 yards, 9 TDs, 0 INTs
QB rating: 119.6
(Team goes 3-0)
Peyton Manning 2014 — Weeks 9-11 (against Oakland, St. Louis, Miami)
93-for-133 (70 percent), 986 yards, 10 TDs, 4 INTs
QB rating: 103.8
(Team goes 2-1)
Manning 2014 — Weeks 1-3 (Indy, Kansas City, Seattle)
74-for-111 (67 percent), 814 yards, 8 TDs, 1 INT
QB rating: 108.5
(Team goes 2-1)
Kurt Warner 2009 — Weeks 8-10 (Chicago, Seattle, St. Louis)
66-for-89 (74 percent), 804 yards, 9 TDs, 0 INTs
QB rating: 135.2
(Team goes 3-0)
Joe Montana 1994 — Weeks 1-3 (New Orleans, San Francisco, Atlanta)
71-for-103 (69 percent), 879 yards, 6 TDs, 2 INTs
QB rating: 106.4
(Team goes 3-0)
Phil Simms 1993 — Weeks 12-14 (Miami, Indy, New Orleans)
41-for-62 (66 percent) 508 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INTs
QB rating: 112.8
(Team goes 3-0)
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|Tim Hasselbeck on D&C: ‘I don’t think that you can completely write off the Denver Broncos’||at 9:25 am ET|
ESPN’s Tim Hasselbeck made his weekly appearance with Dennis, Callahan & Minihane on Monday and said that while the Patriots are the best team in the AFC, no one should write off the Broncos. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
While the hosts proclaimed the Patriots would host the AFC championship game at Gillette Stadium in January, Hasselbeck wasn’t as ready to declare the race for conference supremacy over.
“I absolutely think New England is the best team in the AFC, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t somebody close to them,” he said.
Added Hasselbeck: “I don’t think that you can completely write off the Denver Broncos. They’re 3-0. Offensively they haven’t looked like they have in years past, but that defense is good, and for the offensive struggles, they kind of have seemed to find a way to get it done, and last night [a 24-12 victory over the Lions] is probably a perfect example of that. … I’m not saying that Peyton Manning is the best quarterback in the game right now. But what I’m saying is they’ve got a very good defense, they haven’t run the ball worth a darn and they don’t have an offensive lineman playing well right now, and they’re still 3-0. I don’t know that that’s a team that’s just done. Kansas City’s another one as well.”
One of the Patriots’ main rivals, the Steelers, took a major blow Sunday as Ben Roethlisberger suffered a knee injury that is expected to cost him at least a month. Michael Vick took over the helm in Roethlisberger’s absence, but there is concern that Vick does not have the same fire he had earlier in his career.
“When [backup] Bruce Gradkowski got hurt — I think it was a thumb injury in the preseason, I think that’s ultimately what it was — when he got hurt and they had to sign Michael Vick, that was bad for the team,” Hasselbeck said. “If you were talking about Gradkowski starting five games for Pittsburgh — with Martavis Bryant coming back soon, obviously Le’Veon Bell’s back in the mix — I would feel more comfortable for that team’s chances if Gradkowski was the guy and not Michael Vick. Vick at this point for me is collecting a paycheck. That’s how I see where he is and what he can do. I’m surprised that they have gone in that direction with him. I think it tells you a little bit more about how they feel about Landry Jones, who’s the third quarterback on the roster there, and I think that’s pretty disappointing for the Steelers organization considering where they drafted him [fourth round in 2013].”
|Tom Brady (approaching 400 TD passes) just feels ‘blessed’ to be on ‘greatest team organization in sports’||09.23.15 at 12:31 pm ET|
FOXBORO — On the verge of an historic milestone, Tom Brady put all the emphasis on the team, not his personal accomplishments.
“I’ve played with so many great players,” Brady said Wednesday in front of his locker. “I think anything that’s ever been achieved by me as an individual is just a reflection of what our team has been about. I’ve been blessed to be on, to me, the greatest team organization in sports and play with so many great players and teammates. You’ve got to have everyone block and you’ve got to have everyone do their job and run the ball to set up opportunities like that.
“As long as we’re scoring points, I’m happy. I really don’t care whether we throw them in or hand it off or it’s a defensive score, however we can score points and win games, that’s what matters to me. It’s always what’s mattered the most.”
Drew Brees could also reach 400 TD passes this weekend, as he is one behind Brady at 398. The Saints play the Panthers this weekend in Charlotte.
Bill Belichick offered a bit of different perspective on 400 touchdowns, and what it means right now.
“Look, Tom is a great player, we’ve all said that plenty of times, but I don’t really care about any records this week,” Belichick said. “We really need to beat Jacksonville. Whatever our team needs to do to beat them, that’s what we need to do. Setting records, that’s a very, very low priority around here, other than winning, the winning record is what’s important. I don’t think he’ll care about it, I don’t think I’ll care about, I don’t think Josh [McDaniels] will care about it. I think whatever helps us win, I think that’s what we care about.”
“I just love doing it, and I want to do it for a long time. He’s been an incredible player in this community so it’s been a pleasure to watch him play,” Brady said of Ortiz. “To do what he’s done is pretty remarkable.”
|Report: Reggie Wayne taking physical with Patriots||08.23.15 at 1:06 pm ET|
The Patriots may finally be getting some help from the outside to replenish their quickly depleting corps of wide receivers.
Reggie Wayne arrived in New England Saturday night as the Patriots were losing Brandon Gibson to a right leg injury. The former Pro Bowl receiver who made a spectacular career with the Colts catching passes from Peyton Manning is expected to undergo a physical Sunday in Foxboro.
Last October against the Bengals, Wayne became the ninth receiver in NFL history to record 14,000 receiving yards. He suffered an elbow injury in the game and missed the following week’s matchup against the Steelers. Near the end of the season last year, it was announced that Wayne had played with a torn triceps since Week 6, which would require an offseason surgery to repair. He did not catch a pass during the AFC championship game in Foxboro and was targeted just twice by Andrew Luck.
On March 6, the Colts announced that they would not re-sign Wayne, making him a free agent four days later after 14 seasons with the Colts. The 36-year-old is a six-time Pro Bowler.
Bill Belichick did not make reference to Wayne being in town during his conference call on Sunday.
Gibson’s right leg injury is the latest in a spate of injuries to hit the wide receiving group, as Brandon LaFell (PUP), Julian Edelman, Brian Tyms and Aaron Dobson are all nursing various injuries. Tyms reportedly injured his foot this week and could be lost for the season.
Former Colts WR Reggie Wayne arrived in New England last night and is taking a physical with the Patriots today, per league sources.
‘ Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 23, 2015
|Peyton’s paranoia: Tony Dungy says Manning believed visitors’ locker room at Gillette was bugged||08.20.15 at 11:15 am ET|
In an interview with “The Dan Patrick Show” on Thursday morning, former Colts coach Tony Dungy hinted that when he was with Indy and playing the Patriots on the road, he and quarterback Peyton Manning took great pains to make sure their conversations weren’t being listened to.
Dungy said he doesn’t know if the visitors locker room at Gillette Stadium was bugged, but he did say that when the Colts were playing in Foxboro, the quarterback would leave the locker room and go into a nearby hallway to discuss strategy.
“I know that that is very true. And, you know, as Peyton talked to guys who played for the Patriots, some of the guys who came over — whether it’s true or not, he treated it as true,” Dungy said when asked about Manning’s mounting paranoia.
He added: “We didn’t have a lot of strategy discussions inside the locker room there.”
For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.
|Revisiting possibility of Reggie Wayne as a potential Patriot||07.20.15 at 11:21 am ET|
The “Reggie Wayne-to-New England” rumors are pretty familiar around these parts. The veteran receiver has always intrigued Bill Belichick and the Patriots, going all the way back to 2012 when Wayne was a free agent. He ended up returning to Indy, but the courtship was enough to catch the attention of the rest of the NFL.
Belichick has always been very open about his admiration for Wayne. He called him one of the best “route runners” in the history of the game last year, and despite the fact that Wayne turned 36 last November, said that the former Miami product is “still dangerous with the ball in his hands.” In this context, it’s also important to remember that the Patriots have not been shy when it comes to kicking the tires on former Colts: Joseph Addai, Anthony Gonzalez, Marcus Pollard, Dallas Clark and Austin Collie all got at least a brief once-over from New England after they departed Indy.
According to reports, Wayne has drawn the interest of several other teams, including the Ravens, Texans and Packers. (From this viewpoint, despite the fact that the Broncos have reportedly “backed off” in their pursuit of the veteran, the siren song of playing with Peyton Manning again at a new address would certainly be a big attraction for Wayne. As a result, Denver certainly cannot be discounted.)
In the end, the Patriots would likely have to weigh the importance of his presence in the lineup against the likes of younger pass catchers like Aaron Dobson and Brian Tyms, as well as (to a lesser extent) Brandon LaFell, all of whom play a similar role as Wayne. Wayne does not play special teams, and that will also figure into any personnel decision the Patriots make at the wide receiver position. In the end, however, the question surrounding Wayne is a simple one: Does Belichick and the Patriots believe Wayne can provide an upgrade, even in a situational role? If the answer is yes, there’s certainly no harm in the Patriots at least exploring Wayne as an option.
|Who will be the next over-35 quarterback to win a Super Bowl?||05.26.15 at 11:16 am ET|
Last season, Tom Brady entered into select company on a couple of levels. He wasn’t only the third quarterback to win four Super Bowls as a starter, joining Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw — he became the fifth quarterback to win a Super Bowl after his 35th birthday, joining Johnny Unitas, Roger Staubach, Jim Plunkett and John Elway.
In truth, this could be considered a pretty good time to be an older quarterback. This season, six projected starters will be 35 or older (Peyton Manning, Brady, Drew Brees, Josh McCown, Carson Palmer and Tony Romo), and while it’s early to handicap the field, it seems to be a safe bet that at least four of them will make the postseason. But which one of them has the best chance of joining Brady in that exclusive company and being able to boast of winning a ring after his 35th birthday?
Here’s a look at the field:
Peyton Manning: Despite the fact there was talk he wouldn’t return for an 18th season, Manning is back in camp with the Broncos. After seeing how he struggled to the finish line last year with Denver, there are questions about his health, as well as a few members of his receiving corps. At 39, he’s slated to be the oldest position player in the league this season, and if he wins a Super Bowl this year with the Broncos, he’d be the oldest quarterback in NFL history to win a title.
Drew Brees: The Saints’ signal-caller turned 36 in January, and while he’s talked about playing into his 40s, he shown little sign of slowing down. He led the NFL in several major passing categories in 2014, including passing yards (4,952, first), completed passes (456, first) and passing yards per game (309.5). Despite the fact that New Orleans was 7-9 last season and underwent some serious personnel changes in the offseason, as long as he stays healthy, Brees will certainly be able to keep the Saints competitive for the foreseeable future.
Josh McCown: Truthfully, we’re just including him on this list because he’s become the default starter for the Browns this season. McCown, who will turn 36 in July, has had some nice moments for the six other teams he’s played for over the course of his career, but at this stage with Cleveland, is a longshot at best to become the next plus-35 quarterback to win a title.
Carson Palmer: The former Bengal, who will turn 36 in December, was looking good as a possible darkhorse last season, as he led the Cardinals to a 6-0 start. Then, he wrecked his knee and had to watch the rest of the season from the sidelines. If he stays healthy this year, it’s reasonable to think that Arizona has progressed to a point where it can be a serious playoff threat in the NFC West.
Tony Romo: Well, he’s certainly not lacking for confidence when it comes to the 2015 season. The Cowboys quarterback, who celebrated his 35th birthday last month, was able to get the first playoff win of his career last year against the Eagles, and if a catch is truly a catch, then there’s the very real chance that Dallas pulls the upset on Green Bay in the divisional playoffs and is going against the Seahawks in the NFC title game. If the Cowboys can keep the running game moving after losing DeMarco Murray and Romo is truly over any past late-season or playoff meltdowns, then Romo has a chance to join fellow Cowboy Staubach and the rest of the over-35 crowd that took home a title.
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