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First off: This is my 200th article on NFL Touchdown! Enough of that.  Last week, I wrote this article, letting you all know how the Patriots were going to have many Pro Bowlers, including what should have been both of their tight ends, Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez.  I said a lot to get around to my main point of Hernandez being the clear-cut #2 TE in the AFC. Well, the Patriots had eight Pro Bowlers selected to the game.  Seven of them are starters: QB Tom Brady, WR Wes Welker, TE Rob Gronkowski, LG Logan Mankins, RG Brian Waters, DT Vince Wilfork, and DE Andre Carter (injured).  All of those guys were mentioned in last week's article in some capacity, [...] Continue reading → | , , , , ,
When I said New England Patriots Tom Brady could produce half of his season opening smashing performance in Miami this time around and still beat the Dolphins, I wasn't talking about producing for one half and still beating the Dolphins. The Patriots, missing starting C Dan Koppen (IR), RT Sebastian Vollmer (expected), LT Matt Light (pre-game warmups), and LG Logan Mankins (in game) (and if you want to throw in last year's starter at RG, the retired Stephen Neal. go ahead), found themselves down at the half 17-0 to the Dolphins.  Brady was hit, hurried, and harassed constantly in the first half, taking three sacks and starting out 3/14 passing.  Brady shaped up to 7/19 to end the first half, but the Patriots were shut out on their home turf at halftime for the second time this season [...] Continue reading → | , , , , , , , , , , ,
It took all season (it always does), but winter has finally arrived to the NFL season, and on Christmas Eve this Saturday, the 11-3 New England Patriots will host the 5-9 Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium.  This game will be the first time since the Patriots lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers in October that they have the inside track on first place in the AFC. The Dolphins and Patriots met on the season opener of Monday Night Football this season, with the Patriots winning in Miami 38-24.  Patriots QB Tom Brady put up a career-high 517 yards passing, punctuated by a 99-yard TD pass to WR Wes Welker in the 4th quarter.  Dolphins QB Chad Henne had 416 passing yards in that game, but was placed on injured reserve earlier this season; former Carolina Panthers QB Matt Moore has done a [...] Continue reading → | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
I'm going to make this article short and sweet for you all.  The AFC-NFC Pro Bowl selections will be announced next week, and as far as New England Patriots are concerned you already know of a few obvious ones. Patriots QB Tom Brady will be selected as the AFC starter at QB; he has 14 more TD passes, three less INTs, and over 700 more passing yards than the next viable candidate, Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Maybe DT Vince Wilfork makes it again; his tackles are down, but he has a career high 2.5 sacks, his first two INTs of his career, and he scored his first TD this season.  CB Kyle Arrington is tied with likely Pro Bowl Green Bay CB Charles Woodson and San Diego Chargers FS Eric Weddle for the league lead in INTs with 7, a number that his teammate Devin [...] Continue reading → | , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Often when we talk about the tight ends in the New England Patriots' offense, the attention is on budding superstar Rob Gronkowski.  Rightfully so.  However, there are two tight ends in New England, drafted in the same year, who make the Patriots a difficult cover.  Today, against the Denver Broncos, second-year TE Aaron Hernandez had 129 yards receiving and his first TD catch since October as the Patriots rolled the Broncos 41-23. The win, combined with a semi-predictable 45-19 New York Jets* thrashing at the hands of the Philadelphia Eagles and a Buffalo Bills loss to the Miami Dolphins, locked the 11-3 New England Patriots into another division title and home playoff game.  Under head coach Bill Belichick, the Patriots have never been a wild card and have only missed the [...] Continue reading → | , , , , , , , , ,
Finally, a real test for the ... Broncos?  Patriots?  The 10-3 New England Patriots will go on the road for the second consecutive week, this time to face the 8-5 Denver Broncos at INVESCO Field at Mile High.  The Patriots have feasted on weak teams and their mistake-prone QBs to win five straight games, and now they look to clinch a playoff berth against a similarly hot team in the Denver Broncos, who have continued to perplex during their six game winning streak. The Patriots' fifth straight win this season came on the road against the Washington Redskins 34-27, a game that saw Patriots TEs Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez combine for 244 yards receiving and two TDs but wasn't sealed until LB Jerod Mayo secured an INT inside the Patriots 10 yard line late in the fourth quarter. [...] Continue reading → | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
The New England Patriots (10-3) take on the Denver Broncos (8-5) in NFL Week 15’s most marquee matchup, which makes this the perfect time for my obligatory Tim Tebow article! Tim Tebow is not only a polarizing player, but a fascinating individual as well.  Not everyone is able or willing to view things realistically or objectively without wanting to apply deeper denotation to it.  A few weeks ago I said that “I acknowledge when a player I really like underwhelms in some area (RE: Randy Moss, Tim [...] Continue reading → | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
The New England Patriots are loving this easy schedule going into the postseason.  They continue to play with fire against relatively impotent opponents.  It should come as no surprise that they were able to defeat the Washington Redskins 34-27. Now, some folks might be surprised by the effective play of Redskins QB Rex Grossman (19/32, 252 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT).  Some might be surprised by the blowup between Patriots QB Tom Brady and Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien following a terrible end zone INT in the fourth quarter.  We'll get to that briefly. No one, by now, should be surprised at the juggernaut duo of Patriots TEs Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez.  Gronk is a star, and this game was the most dominant of his career.  He had a career-high 160 yards and his [...] Continue reading → | , , , , , , , , ,
On Sunday, December 11, the New England Patriots (9-3) will go on the road to face their final NFC opponent of the season, the Washington Redskins (4-8) at FedExField.  The Patriots are trying to make a strong final push for the playoffs, while the Redskins have been reduced to playing the spoiler role after losing 7 of the 8 games after their bye week. The Patriots are coming off of a 31-24 victory over the winless Indianapolis Colts in which TE Rob Gronkowski scored three TDs.  The Redskins hosted another AFC team last week, losing 34-19 to the New York Jets while allowing three TDs to RB Shonn Greene and the go-ahead 30-yard TD to WR Santonio Holmes.  The Patriots have never won in Washington (they lost twice, in 1981 and 2003), but the last meeting between these two teams saw [...] Continue reading → | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
The 2011 NFL season is pulling into the final quarter, and like last season, the New England Patriots lead the AFC East with a 9-3 record and are tied with three other teams (Baltimore Ravens, Houston Texans, Pittsburgh Steelers) at the top of the conference.  The Patriots are in the midst of their longest win streak of the season, scoring at least 30 points in the last four games in defeating the New York Jets on the road (37-16), the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday Night Football (34-3), the Philadelphia Eagles on the road (38-20), and the Indianapolis Colts (31-24).  While it's a great winning streak, it did come against three backup quarterbacks on underachieving and at times clueless teams (excluding the pivotal victory on Sunday Night Football at the Meadowlands, a turning point of [...] Continue reading → | , ,
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