|Would Tom Brady be OK with Roger Goodell at Gillette Stadium for AFC title game? ‘He can go wherever he wants to go’||01.16.17 at 8:41 am ET|
With the postseason in full swing, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell typically attends one or two games per weekend.
On wild card weekend, Goodell went to Seattle for the Seahawks-Lions game. Then, this past weekend he was in Atlanta for the Falcons-Seahawks game on Saturday and Kansas City for the Steelers-Chiefs game Sunday night.
Now, that the conference championship games are set, Goodell could go back to Atlanta for a second straight weekend, or come to Gillette Stadium to see the Patriots take on the Steelers. Goodell hasn’t been to New England since the 2014 playoffs when Deflategate started.
Monday morning on Kirk & Callahan, Tom Brady was asked about Goodell potentially coming to Foxboro.
“He’s the commissioner, so obviously whatever he wants to do, he can do,” Brady said. “If he wants to come, that would be — yeah, he can come.”
He was then asked if he wants Goodell at the game?
“He can go wherever he wants to go,” Brady said. “Whoever is at the game is at the game.”
For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.
|Tom Brady reacts to Steelers’ Facebook Live video: ‘I don’t think that would go over well with our coach’||at 8:27 am ET|
Following the Steelers’ win over the Chiefs Sunday night to advance to the AFC championship game, Antonio Brown posted a Facebook Live video from the locker room.
In the video, coach Mike Tomlin is caught saying the Patriots had a headstart on the Patriots due to their Saturday game and called them a-holes.
Monday morning on Kirk & Callahan, Brady was asked about the video, which he did not see, but was told what Brown said.
“That’s against our team policy, so I don’t think that would go over well with our coach,” Brady said.
Added Brady: “Every coach has a different style. Our coach, he’s been in the league for 42 years and he’s pretty old school. He’s not into social media and I think he lets everyone know that. I think our team has a policy, we don’t show anything that should be private because he feels when we are inside our stadium, inside the walls, there has to be a degree of privacy that we have. What’s done in the locker room should stay in the locker room.”
For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.
|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?
|Stopwatch: Tom Brady frustrated by Houston defense, records highest release time of season||01.15.17 at 2:38 pm ET|
There is some truth to what Jadeveon Clowney said after the game on Saturday night: The Texans defense clearly got to and frustrated Tom Brady.
Although the Patriots and Brady won the game in convincing fashion, 34-16, the quarterback was taken off his game, especially when it came to his quick release. This factored into Brady completing just 47 percent of his passes, the lowest mark of his career in the postseason.
Overall, by our count Brady averaged 2.61 seconds from snap-to-throw, which was his highest mark all season. It was his second-highest mark over the last two seasons with last year’s Eagles game (2.63 seconds) being the only game higher.
Brady gave the Texans defense a lot of credit.
“It was a lot of things I think between what they were doing and what we were doing that were causing us problems,” he said. “It was just very inconsistent for us all the way around. We just didn’t do enough in any area, but they’ve got a good defense. They’re ranked the first-ranked defense and I thought they did a good job. They had a good scheme and they were prepared. They played well.”
Prior to Saturday, Brady was completing 84 percent of his passes when taking two seconds or fewer this season. The Texans completely took that away, as Brady was just 7-for-14. They also forced him into 17 plays taking three seconds or more, the most he’s had since that same Eagles game. (He was 4-for-13 on those plays Saturday.)
The Texans did a good job of putting pressure on Brady, but their secondary struggled staying in coverage. This was evident in the long completions the Patriots were able to connect on, including two 40-yard plays to Chris Hogan and Julian Edelman.
Houston put together a very good gameplan against Brady and the Patriots, but it will be hard for another team to duplicate it given how talented the Texans are.
|Ray Lewis, Earl Thomas attack Tom Brady on Twitter||at 4:28 am ET|
FOXBORO — Tom Brady was under pressure for most of the night from the Houston defense and was knocked to the ground on several occasions in the Patriots’ 34-16 win.
Like he typically does, Brady worked the refs to try and get a call for a late hit.
This didn’t go over well with former NFL linebacker Ray Lewis.
“It’s Called Football Brady,” Lewis tweeted after he pleaded with Pete Morelli for a late hit call.
Lewis wasn’t the only one attacking Brady on Twitter Saturday night. Seattle safety Earl Thomas was, too.
“Tom Brady has the easiest route… put his ass in our division and see what he does!!! #salty!!,” Thomas tweeted.
A fan also tweeted a GIF to Thomas from Super Bowl XLIX when Thomas blew a coverage against the Patriots.
“Did you watch the game this year I owned Tom Brady!! That BS you showing I was hurt trying to help my team,” Thomas replied.
It’s one thing to trash-talk on the field, but it’s another thing to trash-talk from a couch.
For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.
|Despite 6th straight AFC title game appearance, Tom Brady was not pleased with performance Saturday night||at 1:56 am ET|
FOXBORO — Tom Brady and the Patriots beat the Texans 34-16 on Saturday night to advance to their sixth straight AFC title game, but you wouldn’t know it by the why the quarterback was talking after the game.
“It was a lot of things I think between what they were doing and what we were doing that were causing us problems,” Brady said. “It was just very inconsistent for us all the way around. We just didn’t do enough in any area, but they’ve got a good defense. They’re ranked the first-ranked defense and I thought they did a good job. They had a good scheme and they were prepared. They played well.”
Brady finished the game 18-for-38 passing with 287 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. The two interceptions matched the same number he threw all season.
Also, his 47 percent completion percentage was the worst he’s ever had in the postseason.
“I think this team did a great job playing against us,” he said. “They had some good scheme stuff that worked. They have good rushers and they had some good guys in coverage, so they had a pretty good scheme. It was a lot of things, and then when you add our poor execution on top of that, then you add our turnovers on top of that, it doesn’t feel great because we worked pretty hard to play a lot better than we played.
“I give them a lot of credit, but we’re going to have to play better on offense. We expect to go out and have a good week and try to fix the things that we saw tonight, and then try to play better next weekend.”
The quarterback did rise to the occasion when he needed to.
With the Patriots leading 17-13, the second drive of the second half started on their own 10-yard line and Brady led the team down the field eventually connecting with James White for a 19-yard touchdown to essentially seal the deal.
He went 6-for-7 on the drive for 96 yards and four of those six completions went to Edelman. When targeting Edelman in the game, Brady was 8-for-13 with 137 yards.
“Jules did a great job,” Brady said. “He always does. He’s a huge playmaker for us and his ability to create separation and make plays down the field; he did a bunch of that tonight, so he did a great job.”
While the Patriots got the win on Saturday, Brady and the team knows this type of performance likely won’t be good enough against whoever they play next week.
|TB Times after 18-point win: Pats put Texans to bed||at 1:12 am ET|
FOXBORO — The TB Times even runs in the postseason.
Following the Patriots’ 34-16 win over the Texans, the issue was released on Tom Brady’s Facebook time with the headline: Pats put Texans to bed.
It is Brady and the Patriots’ sixth straight AFC title game.
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