Tag Archives: Tom Brady

My Super Bowl Prediction

By BJ

I may have only gotten half of the conference championship picture right, but did you really pick the 49ers over the Saints and the Giants over the Packers?

And I’m glad I didn’t get in a post on the conference championship previews like I intended. I went with an all-Harbaugh Super Bowl. (Hey, one play in either game could’ve made that happen.) But enough about trifles, on with Super Sunday.

Super Bowl XLVI

Tale of the Tape: Week 9 – NY Giants 24, New England 20. This game was won without Ahmad Bradshaw and Hakeem Nicks, who should contribute big in the Super Bowl. So what points to the Pats having any shot in the rematch?

First, what won’t happen. ESPN’s Dan Graziano stated that Brandon Jacobs needs to come up big for the Giants to win. Sorry, Jacobs is not the X-Factor. Despite 72 yards and a touchdown against the Pats in the first meeting while filling in for Bradshaw, Jacobs will take a backseat with limited touches. He has under 25 rushing yards in three of the last four games – all wins.

Similarly, Ron Gronkowski, who should otherwise be able to tear up the Giants’ D, is not at 100% with a nasty ankle sprain suffered at the end of the game against the Ravens. Reports of him trotting in practice without a limp say very little about his condition. He had his walking boot removed on Tuesday and might not be well enough to beat the secondary for his customary long, over the middle routes. I can see under 60 yards and no scores for the behemoth tight end, which gives Brady one less target to throw to.

Speaking of Brady, he’s coming off his worst game of the season and his first without a single touchdown pass, snapping a 35-game streak. But he’ll bounce back with what I expect to be a flawless effort against the team who gave him his only Super Bowl loss four years ago. If he doesn’t–and let’s not forget the Giants made Aaron Rodgers look like a QB playing in his first playoff game in the divisional playoff game–the Giants cap one of the most impressive postseasons in history.

MVP: Tom Brady – In a high-scoring affair, the only one I can see taking this away from the franchise QB is Wes Welker, who had 9 catches for 136 yards in the two teams’ first meeting. (Santonio Holmes won MVP honors two years ago with 9 catches for 131 yards and 1 TD, albeit the game winner with under a minute left.) However, Welker has been held to under 60 receiving yards in 4 of his last 5 games and Gronkowski is hobbled so the obvious choice would be Brady, whose optimal game–wait for it–could go north of 350 yards and 4 scores.

New England 31, NY Giants 28

Tom Brady Done for the Season

By Chris Le

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady will undergo season-ending surgery on his left knee.

The team announcement, preceding a somber news conference with Coach Bill Belichick, was vague and had no specific details regarding Brady’s injury. Some sources, however, have confirmed that it is at least a torn ACL.

The hit by Chiefs safety Bernard Pollard ends Brady’s streak of 128 consecutive starts.

Backup quarterback Matt Cassel, who hasn’t started a single game since high school, performed admirably in the wake of Brady’s injury, going 12 for 18 for 152 yards and 1 touchdown.

According to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, the Patriots will bring Chris Simms on Monday and possibly Tim Rattay to work out.

Update:  An MRI reveals that Brady has a torn ACL and MCL.

There is no bone damage and he should be fully recovered after eight or nine months.

The Patriots didn’t work out Simms or Rattay, deciding to stick with Cassel, who should know their system inside and out.  They signed Matt Gutierrez to their practice squad, and could activate him for Sunday’s game against the New York Jets.

The Greatest Forgotten Seasons

 

By Chris Le

(Original post on 1/15/08)

If you don’t already know, Tom Brady is having a monster season – arguably the best in football history. And when you have a football player with crazy statistics, you will undoubtedly have football nuts debating and comparing that season with the likes of Peyton Manning’s 2004, LaDainian Tomlinson’s 2006, Eric Dickerson’s 1984, and Dan Marino’s 1984. In the wake of such discussion, ESPN.com compiled their list of the top 25 individual seasons, not in just football, mind you, but all sports (Brady’s 2007 season ranks fifth). A monumental task, no doubt. So unsurprisingly, as I read the rankings, I felt that some extremely historic years were unjustly overlooked.

So, I present to you seasons in sports lore that I feel deserve to be in the top 25…or at least honorable mentions.

Secretariat, 1973 – The greatest horse in racing history was peerless in capturing the 1973 Triple Crown, setting track records at the Kentucky Derby (1:59) and the Belmont Stakes (2:24), both of which still stand today, the latter being a world record for that distance on a dirt track. Secretariat punctuated his Triple Crown with a legendary run at the Belmont Stakes in possibly the single most dominant performance in sports history, winning by an ungodly 31 lengths. Relive this moment here.

Roger Federer, 2006 – This was Tiger Woods circa 2000 (which was fourth on ESPN’s list) on a tennis court. Federer reached the finals in all four of the Grand Slams, the first to do so since Rod Laver in 1969, and won three. The only Slam he did not win was the French Open, losing to Raphael Nadal, arguably the best clay player in history. For the year he went 92-5 with 12 titles in 17 tournaments. Of the 17 tournaments, he failed to reach the finals only once. In 2006, it was a surprise if he even dropped a set.

Jesse Owens, 1936 – It’s probably more like the greatest week in sports history rather than the greatest season, but Owens accomplished in seven days what most don’t even fathom of doing in a lifetime. The setting: Berlin, the 1936 Olympics with Adolf Hitler and his postures of Aryan supremacy as the host. Owens, an African-American of all people, sure made him look silly and proved him wrong, winning gold medals in the 100- and 200 meter dashes, the long jump and the 4×100 relay team. Owens became a national hero in the process.

Cael Sanderson 2001-2002 – Some may say Sanderson’s senior season was merely a part of a greater whole, thinking it more appropriate to congratulate him on his career than any single one of his campaigns. But I maintain the pressure to finish his collegiate career undefeated was immense; even the greatest amateur wrestler of all-time Dan Gable fell under the pressure in his last match. That’s what happens with expectations and everyone gunning after you. Not so with Sanderson. He went 40-0 (37 by pin, technical fall or major decision), rarely relinquishing unforced points on his way to capturing his fourth NCAA championship, third Dan Hodge Trophy for college’s best wrestler, and the cover on Wheaties.

Jim Brown, 1958 – I can understand how people overlook Jim Brown and his most gaudy of seasons; compared to today’s players his stats aren’t too mind-blowing: 1,527 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns. Ostensibly, that’s an average season for LT. What people fail to realize is that Brown accomplished what he did in only 12 games. The NFL did not move to its current 16-game schedule until 1978. Extrapolate his numbers (127.3 yards a game on 5.9 yards a carry!) for 16 games and you get this: 2,036 yards and 22 touchdowns. And this was in an era where defenses were geared towards stopping the run. Just sick numbers by probably the greatest running back of all-time.

Week 17 Recap

By Bryan Jeon

NFL Records

Touchdown passes, season – 50, Tom Brady, New England
Touchdown receptions, season – 23, Randy Moss, New England
Most points in a season, team – 589, New England (36.8 PPG)
16-0 – New England, 2007
Most completions, season – 440, Drew Brees, New Orleans (27.5 completions/game)
Kick returns for touchdowns, season – 6, Devin Hester, Chicago (two kickoff returns, four punt returns)
Most catches by tight end, career – 820, Tony Gonzalez, Kansas City

Tom Brady broke Peyton Manning‘s 2004 record of 49 touchdown passes, but didn’t have a higher passer rating. Manning holds the record with a 121.1 rating, Brady finished with 117.2 after throwing for 356 yards, 2 TDs and 0 INTs in the win over the Giants.

Randy Moss broke Jerry Rice‘s 1987 record of 22 touchdown catches after his second TD of the game, a 65-yard bomb to put the Pats up for good. Now, the debate will continue over how great that record is when Rice put up his numbers in a strike-shortened, 12-game season.

The Pats also scored the most points in a season, breaking Minnesota’s record of 556, set in 1998. Guess who was a rookie on the team that year. You’re looking at him…Randy Moss.

Brees had a season-high 35 completions on a career-high 60 attempts Sunday in breaking Rich Gannon‘s 2002 record of 418 completions in a season.

Devin Hester is something special in just his second year in the NFL, arguably one of the most impactful players in the game. The Miami (FL) product broke his own record Sunday, set in his rookie season last year with 5, when he returned a 64-yard punt for a score. His 11 career kick returns for touchdowns are just two shy of the NFL career record, set by Brian Mitchell with 13. Hester added a 55-yard touchdown reception in leading Chicago to a win over the Saints and should play a much more expansive role in the offense next season. Amazing that both teams from last year’s NFC championship game will not be in the playoffs this season, finishing with identical 7-9 records.

Tony Gonzalez broke Shannon Sharpe‘s career receptions record for a tight end of 815 with 7 receptions on Sunday in an overtime loss to the Jets. Gonzalez also holds the record for career touchdown catches by a tight end with 66.

Passing Title

4,806 yards – Tom Brady, New England (50 TD, 8 INT, 117.2 rating)

Brady had another flawless game Saturday, adding 356 yards and two scores to his perfect season. Brees finished in second with 4,423 yards on the season.

Rushing Title

1,474 yards – LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego (315 att, 4.7 YPC, 92.1 YPG, 15 TD)

L.T. wins his second straight rushing title, beating out Minnesota rookie Adrian Peterson by 133 yards. He finished the season with 16 carries on 56 yards in a win over the Raiders.

Receiving Title

1,510 yards – Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis (104 rec, 10 TD, 94.4 YPG)

Wayne played just enough Sunday night to overtake the receiving title from Randy Moss, who finished with 1,493 yards. In just over a quarter of play against the Titans, Wayne had 12 catches for 87 yards, and he took full advantage of teammate Marvin Harrison missing 11 games this season to reach 100 receptions for the first time in his 7-year career as well as having a career-high in yards.

NFL Starting Debut

23-of-31, 224 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT – JaMarcus Russell, Oakland

The richest rookie in NFL history sure has a lot of proving to do in his sophomore year after being awarded a 6-year, $61-million contract. The quarterback out of LSU has 6 turnovers in his last two games (4 INTs, 2 fumbles lost), one returned for a touchdown. He’ll be given all the opportunities in the world for the next five years, as the Raiders finished the season at 4-12.

A Look Ahead (Wild-Card Weekend)

Saturday – Washington (9-7) at Seattle (10-6), Jacksonville (11-5) at Pittsburgh (10-6)
Sunday – NY Giants (10-6) at Tampa Bay (9-7), Tennessee (10-6) at San Diego (11-5)

Byes: Dallas (13-3), Green Bay (13-3), New England (16-0), Indianapolis (13-3)

Sunday Morning Picks

By Bryan Jeon

Season: 94-50
Last week: 7-7

Week 10 Recap: Brett Favre hits another milestone – 60,000 passing yards in his career, joining Dan Marino as the only players in NFL history to do so. Favre is now just 1,105 yards away from throwing for the most ever. He is also now just one game away from tying Marino’s record of most games (62) with at least three touchdown passes. In the Packers’ 34-0 romp over the Vikings, they also managed to knock rushing leader Adrian Peterson (1,081 yards) out of the game with a torn knee ligament. A.P. fantasy owners must be kicking the dirt, as I wouldn’t be surprised if he missed much more than one game. That also makes it extremely difficult now for him to break the rookie rushing record held by Eric Dickerson (1,808) with the 1983 Rams…All in all, a wacky day that saw the St. Louis Rams get their first win of the season on the road against the red-hot New Orleans Saints and Peyton Manning throw 6 INTs and Adam Vinatieri miss a game-winning 29-yard field goal.

Week 11 Picks:

Sunday Morning:
Cleveland (5-4) over Baltimore (4-5) – Week 4: Cleveland 27 – 13 Baltimore. Things could get uglier the second time around with a Ravens offense that has scored just one touchdown in each of their last two games.
Jacksonville (6-3) over San Diego (5-4) – San Diego knows they got away with one against the Colts last week but will not find the same luck against a Jacksonville club that is in the top 5 in the NFL.
Philadelphia (4-5) over Miami (0-9) – 26-year-old rookie John Beck out of BYU, will make his NFL debut against an Eagles offense that still has a lot to improve on despite their win over the Redskins last week.
Oakland (2-7) over Minnesota (3-6) – No Adrian Peterson, no shot of winning for the Vikes. Daunte Culpepper will find a way to get it done, as his time is running short with JaMarcus Russell ready to make his debut.
Indianapolis (7-2) over Kansas City (4-5) – Boy, did Peyton Manning and the Colts really get shaken after the Patriots visited them two weeks ago. Look for them to right the ship today against the Chiefs.
Green Bay (8-1) over Carolina (4-5) – The Pack have put together another 4-game winning streak and Brett Favre will look to make it 4 games in a row with over 300 yards passing at Lambeau Field.
Tampa Bay (5-4) over Atlanta (3-6) – Byron Leftwich has just one start while Joey Harrington has led the Falcons to all three of their wins, yet Leftwich will be the starter. I don’t understand what first-year coach Bobby Petrino is doing here.
New Orleans (4-5) over Houston (4-5) – The Saints should bounce back from their loss to the Rams last week. I feel like the Rams will have a decent second half of the season. New Orleans has put up an average of over 30 points per game in their last five contests.
Arizona (4-5) over Cincinnati (3-6) – Cincinnati was fortunate to play a terrible Ravens team that committed six turnovers while having no touchdowns to show for it. They won’t be able to get away with that against Kurt Warner and the Cardinals.
NY Giants (6-3) over Detroit (6-3) – Last week saw the start of the decline of the Lions. After the first half of the season that saw their win total double from last season, Detroit faces the Giants, Cowboys, Chargers and Packers twice. I predict an 8-8 finish for Rod Marinelli and his squad.
Sunday Afternoon:
Pittsburgh (7-2) over NY Jets (1-8) – Ben Roethlisberger is really gelling with his receivers this year, as the Steelers have put up an average of over 30 points per game in their last four games after their bye week.
Dallas (8-1) over Washington (5-4) – Dallas should blow away the ‘Skins in the first of two meetings between the two teams.
Seattle (5-4) over Chicago (4-5) – With Rex Grossman back, look for bad things to happen. You know the story by now.
St. Louis (1-8) over San Francisco (2-7) – Week 2: St. Louis 16 – 17 San Francisco. Look for a totally different game this time around. The Rams offense is back, folks. One win to show for it, but the fireworks will be flying today against the hapless 49ers, whose offense has regressed, as they ride a 7-game losing streak.
Sunday Night:
New England (9-0) over Buffalo (5-4) – Week 3: New England 38 – 7 Buffalo. Same score, another 4-touchdown game for Tom Brady?
Monday Night:
Denver (4-5) over Tennessee (6-3) – Denver lost at home on Monday Night Football just three weeks ago when Green Bay won a thriller on the first play of overtime. The Broncos will get their redemption against the Titans, who will soon see that they need Vince Young to pass the ball to win games.