Browsing Posts tagged Tom Brady

There’s no denying it–Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are the greatest quarterback-coach duo in NFL History. Brady, armed with precision, timing, and experience, willed the New England Patriots to the most unexpected win in Super Bowl history. Facing a 28-3 deficit in the third quarter, Brady and Co. went to work, methodically engineering scoring drives to get back into the game. Granted, Atlanta’s defense, which predominantly played man coverage in the first half, was completely gassed in the fourth quarter. In total, Atlanta’s defense played 99 total snaps, 35 more than the average game. Key secondary members (i.e., Jalen Collins, Ricardo Allen, Keanu Neal, and Robert Alford) all played at least 95 snaps. Brady did not have any issues picking Atlanta’s tired secondary apart as he engineered the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history.

Entering the game, one of the little know story lines was Atlanta’s susceptibility to pass catching running backs. During the season, Atlanta yielded 823 receiving yards against enemy running backs, easily the worst mark in the NFL. Many were expecting Dion Lewis, who scored three touchdowns in the Division Round, to be the focal point of New England’s attack. Instead, James White led the way with eleven catches for 165 yards and two touchdowns, including the game winner. White, a former fifth round pick, is used to playing second fiddle to more talented runners, but shines when called upon. In high school, White backed up, and even rotated at fullback, for current Bengals’ running back, Gio Bernard. At Wisconsin, White saw limited playing time behind Montee Ball before sharing the backfield with Melvin Gordon, the Chargers’ current starting running back. In the NFL, White has been the third option behind LeGarrette Blount and Lewis, but has earned the trust and respect of Belichick and Josh McDaniels.

Brady, who turns 40-years-old in August, is in great shape, physically, and wants to keep playing. That’s bad news for any of New England’s AFC East foes, including the New York Jets. Brady showed that he has the heart of a champion, and more importantly, character that can overcome any difficult situation.

The New York Jets learned that the fate of a team’s season can change on a single play. Ryan Fitzpatrick injured his left thumb, his non-throwing hand, on the game’s sixth play and exited. Fitzpatrick scrambled on a third down play and secured a first down, but went head first instead of sliding. Fitzpatrick gave way to Geno Smith—and everything started to fall apart on both sides of the ball. After chasing around Tom Brady and Co. last week, New York’s defense looked sluggish against a confident Oakland offense. New York’s tackling was uncharacteristically poor and the secondary was shredded by both Derek Carr and Latavius Murray. Personnel wise, Oakland exploited back-up corner, Marcus Williams who was filling in at safety for the injured Calvin Prior. The middle of the field was wide open for the duration of the game and Oakland’s dynamic playmakers exploited it all game long. Credit Darrelle Revis, though for his superb coverage on Amari Cooper, who was limited to just 55 yards.

Monitor Brandon Marshall’s status throughout the week. Marshall went down twice during the game, once with a toe injury and a second time with an ankle injury, and was constantly talking to doctors on the sideline. Credit Marshall for only missing a few plays and battling through his ailments. During the fourth quarter, Marshall’s speed was comprised and dropped a sure-fire touchdown, but luckily, he finished the game.

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Believe it or not, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady will square off for the 15th time this Sunday afternoon in Denver. Brady’s teams have bested Manning straight up in 10 of the first 14 match-ups, but are 7-5-2 against the spread. Brady and Manning squared off earlier this season in one of the more bizarre games in recent memory. Facing a 24-0 deficit in the third quarter, Brady (with a little help from the wind), put on an absolute clinic and led the Patriots to a stunning 34-31 overtime victory in Foxboro. Brady accounted for 344 passing yards and 3 TDs as he led the comeback effort. Wide receiver Julian Edelman accounted for 110 yards and 2 TDs. 

Unfortunately for Denver, one of its better cornerbacks, Chris Harris Jr., will not be available to help slow down Brady. Harris tore his ACL in the third quarter against the Chargers and will miss the remainder of the season. Denver held onto a comfortable 17-0 lead before Harris departed and San Diego began to mount a comeback. Expect New England to study Denver’s formations following Harris’ departure and exploit that weakness early and often. 

Expect New England to continue leaning on RB LeGarrette Blount. Blount has become the story of the playoffs after ripping off 166 yards and 4 TDs last weekend against the Colts. I fully expect Brady to feed his 250-pound RB early and often to keep Manning and Co. off the field. 

Denver opened as a six point favorite on most sportsbooks, but that number has been bet down to 4.5 points. Current Super Bowl odds have Seattle listed as the largest favorite, but Denver is a close second.  Temperatures in Denver are expected to be in the mid-40s with no chance of rain. These weather conditions are ideal for Manning’s passing attack and I expect him to put up a big performance. A lot of people are betting on New England and I can understand why. They looked dominant last weekend and they know how beat Peyton Manning led teams. However, Manning needs this game in the worst game possible. Manning detractors are out in full force and a loss on Sunday would give them more ammo. I think Denver gets out to an early, sizable lead and coasts to an easy victory. Watch out for Wes Welker. I fully expect him to have a huge game against his former squad.

Prediction: Denver 38 New England 20

When I first contacted the editor of this site, part of my pitch was that I wanted to write about how Eli was going to finish with a better career than Peyton. Since then, the topic has blown up everywhere and I don’t feel it necessary to add much to the now over saturated conversation.

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The best comparison that I’ve heard of the two of them was by Colin Cowherd when he said that Peyton is A-Rod and Eli is Jeter. That holds very true in my eyes, Peyton will have the higher numbers (we’ll see by how much) and overall is the more talented player. But when it comes down to it, crunch time, third down, fourth quarter, final minute of the biggest game in the football world, if your heart hasn’t told you that it’s Eli that you want just yet, your eyes and the statistics are all more than convincing.

Eli Manning 2011 Numbers

During this time that Eli’s play has put him in this Peyton Manning conversation, he’s silently put himself in the room with Tom Brady in two ways. One, he’s carried his team to the wins they need in the big time moments, just as Tom Brady has made his career. At the same time, he earned his first ring against Tom, shutting down his undefeated, record setting season. Keeping his hand from adding a fourth ring and putting him hands down in the top few quarterbacks ever. Again entering his fifth Super Bowl, Brady is looking to add that fourth ring…Or is it going to be Eli adding his second (more than Peyton, now only one behind Brady) and holding Brady back once again from that fourth championship?

It’s not a far reach to see Eli and the Giants heading to another Super Bowl or two in the next 6 years, possibly another against Brady. Putting his appearances and winning percentage in that all-time class. Super Bowl 46 is going to be a great game and a great rematch of the the epic 2008 game and the earlier battle this season. But how about Eli and Coughlin with an experienced receiving corp that’s no longer emerging no-names going for his third ring against Tom Brady and Belichick? Eli 3 for 3 in the Super Bowl (also would be adding at least 3 more playoff wins) matching Brady’s championships in just half the appearances.

That’s the Super Bowl I’m waiting for…

Todd Giannattasio is a guest blogger for New York State Of Sports. Todd runs an online store selling Giants themed apparel, Deja 42. You can follow him on Twitter@Tresnic.

Who?

Well, none other than a safety on the Green Bay Packers. However, Smith’s relevancy to this article dates back to the 2007 season. At the time, Smith was a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Entering Week 14, Smith Steelers were 9-3 as they traveled up to Foxborough to tangle with the 12-0 New England Patriots. Smith, who was not phased by the Patriots 12-0 record, guaranteed that the Steelers would hand the Patriots their first loss on the season. After Randy Moss broke off two long touchdowns against Smith and the Brady tossed for 400 yards and four scores, the Patriots made Smith eat his words as the Pats won, 34-13 and moved to 13-0 on the season.

Fast forward three years and the New York Jets aren’t being bashful with their words, either. Corner Antonio Cromartie called Brady ‘an asshole‘. (Typical Classless Jet). Rex Ryan isn’t reprimanding Cromartie and encouraging his team ‘hate’ their adversaries. Is this a smart move by the Jets though?

Cromartie Getting Toasted By Pierre Garcon

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