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Patriots Talk: Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady?

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 Patriots Talk: Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady?

So this debate seemingly has been brought up AGAIN. The New England Patriots starting [Quarterback] Tom Brady has been seemingly impossible to see leaving the NFL anytime soon and even looks to be the First-Team selection for the All-Decade Team of the 2010s like he was in the 2000s. It was always a debate whenever people brought up Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady because so many people said Brady has the rings and Manning has the stats. It would seem the same can be said of Brady vs Rodgers of this current era.

Recently on ESPN, Hall-of-Fame [Cornerback] Deion ‘Primetime’ Sanders, talked with NFL analyst, Dave Dameshek regarding who would be the better QB going into 2017. This soon became a new ‘hot take’ of the week it would seem as other sports news like Undisputed on FS1, got in on the fun. While many argue that Rodgers is the superior of the two ‘now’ because he is both younger and more ‘athletic.’ However, what Brady accomplished last season, Sanders declared it’s Tom Brady ‘Because all he does is win, win, win no matter what, what, what!’ While Patriots fans would say this is a no brainer, we need to understand what they both have accomplished. Looking at last season, it easy to understand why these two are so often put against one another when they both haven’t even played since Week 13 of the 2014 NFL season.

I will agree that Aaron Rodgers in terms of what he has accomplished, while he was at his peak (2011) was just as good, if not better, than Brady was in 2007, but in terms of their actual careers, its not even close. Brady has more Superbowls than Aaron Rodgers ,but that does not mean he is simply a better QB. When looking at their front office and roster, The Patriots are all around incredible at any position with the best head coach in the sport; Bill Belichick and a front office that is controlled by one of the best owners in the NFL in Robert Kraft.

The city of Green Bay, Wisconsin are the actual owners of the Packers so there is no ‘official’ owner outside of the shareholders and their coaching staff isn’t something to shrug at, Mike McCarthy has been the Head Coach of the green Bay Packers since 2006 and has lead the team to 7 Division Titles (2007, 2011-2014, 2016) and won Super Bowl XLV. His current total W-L record is 124–69–1 (.642) which is exceptional for any coach in the NFL. But many feel that McCarthy’s style of offense is stale and relies too heavily on Rodgers utilizing his instincts and strengths to be able to make big plays (which more often than not, he does). On the other hand, the rest of the Packers coaching staff is…well to put into nicer words,  underachieving, especially in the case, the defensive coordinator, Dom Capers. In terms of overall talent, Rodgers has been forced on several occasions, to drag a below average, team to the playoffs year after year since he earned NFL MVP in 2011. Now looking back on the Packers since 2011, this isn’t as untrue as many would think.

Here is a defensive ranking of both teams by year since 2011:

2011: Green Bay Packers – 32nd in total yards allowed (6585). 1st in Turn-Over Ratio (31 INT, which is a team record) 19th in points allowed. (359) vs. New England Patriots – 31st in total yards allowed (6577). 2nd in Turn-Over Ratio (23 INT). 15th in points allowed. (342)

2012: Green Bay Packers – 11th in total yards allowed (5388). 8th in Turn-Over Ratio (18 INT) 11th in points allowed. (336) vs. New England Patriots – 25th in total yards allowed (5972). 5th in Turn-Over Ratio (20 INT). 9th in points allowed. (331)

2013: Green Bay Packers – 25th in total yards allowed (5956). 26th in Turn-Over Ratio (11 INT) 24th in points allowed. (428) vs. New England Patriots – 26th in total yards allowed (5969). 12th in Turn-Over Ratio (17 INT). 10th in points allowed. (338)

2014: Green Bay Packers – 15th in total yards allowed (5542). 7th in Turn-Over Ratio (18 INT) 13th in points allowed. (348) vs. New England Patriots – 13th in total yards allowed (5506). 12th in Turn-Over Ratio (16 INT). 8th in points allowed. (313)

2015: Green Bay Packers – 15th in total yards allowed (5547). 9th in Turn-Over Ratio (17 INT) 12th in points allowed. (323) vs. New England Patriots – 9th in total yards allowed (5430). 20th in Turn-Over Ratio (12 INT). 10th in points allowed. (315)

2016: Green Bay Packers – 22th in total yards allowed (5823). 4th in Turn-Over Ratio (17 INT). 21st in points allowed. (388) vs. New England Patriots – 8th in total yards allowed (5223). 15th in Turn-Over Ratio (13 INT). 1st in points allowed. (250)

 

It’s impossible to win any game when your defense cannot stop the opposing teams’ offense. Both teams showed this again the Atlanta Falcons seemingly unstoppable offense (Difference is, one of these teams actually won against them). Based on these stats alone, it shows that their defensive coordinators (in this case, Matt Patricia and Dom Campers). Just based of the stats, The Patriots seem to have an edge in the yards allowed (except 2013) and Points allowed, but in terms of INT the Packers beat them out (except in 2012 and 2013).

Brady has played with a seemingly better defense but that doesn’t mean that he didn’t need to work as hard to get them to the playoffs. In terms of the actual players, the overall resume speaks for itself. Rodgers was already at a severe disadvantage as Brady had already won 3 Super Bowls before Rodgers had even been drafted. So if we want to be more fair to Rodgers, as he had to wait 3 seasons before becoming a starts, (unlike Brady who became the starter after only 1 season) but the players want to look at the whole resume and here is what it looked like:

Tom Brady (left) vs. Aaron Rodgers (right)

Entire Career

  • W-L Record:  183-52 vs. 90-45
  • Total Completion Percentage: 63.8% vs. 65.1%
  • Quarterback Rating: 97.2 vs. 104.1

Per Game

  • Passes Completed: 22.1 vs. 21.4
  • Passes Attempted: 34.7 vs. 32.8
  • Yards Total: 259.8 vs. 259.3
  • Touchdowns: 1.9 vs. 2.1
  • INT: 0.6 vs. 0.5
  • Sacks: 1.8 vs. 2.4

You can look at every single statistic out there but at the end of the day, it matters on what the player has accomplished in his career, and no Quarterback has done what Tom Brady has done. We could go over regular season stats all day, but come playoffs it gets even crazier. Brady has won 25 out of 34 playoffs game while Rodgers had only won 9 out 16. If Rodgers loses two more playoff games he will match the number of losses Brady has already even though they have a significant age gap.

Rodgers vs. Brady is simply another case of Brady vs. Manning except Manning you could still make arguments for wheres with Rodgers, he still has plenty left to prove but right now: it’s not even close. When both players are retired, we will have a more clear picture, but for now, Brady is the clear winner if we base it on purely accomplishments, but if we are basing it on how the other would fair on the other team, that would be a story to tell.

Many have argued Brady is simply a system type player who fell into the best support system in the NFL. Here is a question: Can a QB win a game, without a system of any kind in place? If you answered yes, you are wrong. When teams design an offense that caters specifically to a quarterbacks strengths, and minimizes any exposure of their weaknesses, then it creates a successful quarterback that some would think is overachieving of one’s actual talent. Which is what the term; system quarterback, comes from. However, a QB needs a system in place if they want to have success with their team as football is a team sport. In a weird way, every QB is a system QB. Nobody can just throw to players down the field and tell one of his men to call plays and hope it all works out. It takes months, or even years to develop a proper system and trying to use it as some sort of excuse for a player’s success, is just ridiculous.

Let me say this: Brady had no expectations coming into the NFL as a 6th round draft pick out of Michigan, whereas Rodgers was a 1st round pick out of California, so he already had high expectations to begin with. Both players have earned their status to be recognized as the best in the league, and will more than likely be first-ballot Hall-of-famers, but in terms of legacy: Brady wins, without question.

New England Patriots

Patriots Talk: Patriots Shut Out the Falcons in Super Bowl Rematch

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Many came into this game expecting the Falcons to fire on all cylinders but sadly they got shut out in embarrassing fashion in a score of 23-7 at home in Foxborough, MA. The Patriots are now back in the lead in the AFC East now with a 5-2 record. The Falcons needed this win last night in order to get themselves back into playoff contention with the New Orleans Saints seemingly on the rise. There was much to be watching during the night but there were key factors that helped in the Patriots dominating throughout the course of the game.

Falcons Offense Was In-Consistent

Despite Falcons’ QB Matt Ryan playing well, his team’s play calling was bizarre to say the least. Julio Jones was only given 3 catches in the second half of the game. The guy only had 9 receptions in the entire game for about 99 yards and a TD, which means he was averaging about 11 yards per reception. Then of course, the game didn’t get any easier for them when they started to switch between running backs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman.

What made the game so off with the Falcons was that they converted on multiple 4th downs within the game, which became very clear when they tried doing so on the 4th and Goal during the second half and not only failed to convert but ended up getting Freeman sacked by Patriots Linebacker Kyle Van Noy. This will need to be something that Falcons Head Coach Brad Quinn will need to address if he hopes for his team to salvage their season.

Weather Conditions

Out of all the games that I have seen, its been awhile since we saw a game that had fog as thick as last nights. In fact, the visibility was so bad that all upper deck cameras couldn’t see through the fog, so the NBC camera crew could only use the lower field cameras to catch all the action. Although the Patriots are used to weather conditions, it was clear that the Falcons are used to playing in a dome-environment without the impairment of bad weather conditions.

While the weather won’t be the regarded as the final element that put the Falcons game in jeopardy, it didn’t make things any easier for them. They were already down 17-0 by halftime before the fog got really bad. So it is clear that the Falcons still are suffering from something much worse.

Pats Defense Stepped Up

I doubt anybody expected to start the Patriots in fantasy this week but boy some people must have missed out. Holding a talented offense like the Falcons down to 7 points isn’t something that comes easy. The Patriots had many opportunities during the night, the biggest contributor being no other than Malcolm Butler. He had a stellar night holding down Julio Jones and many of the Falcons players down all night. Despite allowing Julio Jones the TD at the end of the game in the 4th quarter with 4:09 minutes left on the clock.

Many other standouts range from undrafted free agent Adam Butler, Trey Flowers, Kyle Van Noy etc. The players tonight had great communication and didn’t allow the Falcons the advantage. Thanks to the defense stepping up, the Patriots offense was able to have an easier time managing time of possession.

However, the defense had its most impressive showing by blocking not 1 but 2 field goals against kicker Matt Bryant got his first kick blocked by Defensive lineman Cassius Marsh. The second kick, Bryant got pressured by the Pats defense and kicked the ball wide right. Overall, the Patriot held the Falcons down to 0 points going into the second half.

Control The Clock

After all of this, the Patriots offense managed to have a clear advantage once they found a way to shut down Matt Ryan and the Falcons offense. Tom Brady had a great night with 249 passing yards, 72.4% passing completions, 2 TDs and a 121.2 passer rating. Brady having his whole family at Gillette Stadium last night including his mother, whom he dedicated Super Bowl LI too, really gave the QB much needed support as his team was able to keep the ball under control.

The Patriots defense kept the Falcons team at bay and this put the pressure off of the Pats as they just needed to keep the game clock running. The Falcons started to regain themselves by the second quarter but by then it was already too late. They tried a late onside kick to regain possession of the ball but the Patriots were smart enough to see through it. Patriots set the ball at the 2-minute mark and ran the clock out to end the game.

Despite the Patriots still seemingly struggling this game will bring up questions over this performance moving forward. The Pats defense seems to be clicking but basing it on just this game will not be enough. Atlanta seems to be suffering the Super Bowl hangover like I initially thought they would this season. The next team for the Pats to meet will be the Los Angeles Chargers at home on Sunday, Oct. 29th. The Chargers are coming off a 3 game winning streak so we will need to see if the Pats can get a win to secure themselves at 6-2 going into the bye week.

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Connelly’s Top Ten – Fog and Patriots dominate Foxboro

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Patriots

1. Patriots

Thoughts

* complete game
* Patriots lost yet another coin toss and had to receive it being the game
* Like the all blue uniforms
* Why the fireworks before the game creating smoke and bad visibility
* Thanks, coach Quinn for going for it on fourth down
* Matt Ryan with no intention of scoring at the end of the first half padding his numbers

Brady

* Brady takes three kill shots every game – how many times in a season do the Patriots hit the other QB with equal violence
* Amazing watching Brady move through his progression so easily for the second TD  to James White
* Brady not only greatest clutch QB, and inclement weather QB, and Super Bowl QB, best QB sneak QB – but also best recover-er of his own fumbles
* Nothing better than a Brady run and fist pump

Offense

* Nice call on the fly sweep for Cooks for the TD by McDaniel
* Is it me on does Hogan look hurt after any contact
* Deion Lewis a weapon again
* Nice run blocking by offensive line
* Looks like Cook is making some nice route adjustments

Defense

* Tattoo man with blocked kick
* Van Noy’s best game – great stop on 4th down
* Defense stands up without Stephon Gilmore –  – how comes Jonathan Jones just makes plays
* Marsh lost containment on Ryan 4th down run

Bill gear / Kraft Sighting

*Bill blue wind breaker with white long sleeve shirt underneath
*Mr. Kraft – 4:42 of second quarter / end of first half – Mr Kraft sneaking up on us in a video being shown in Patriot Hall of Fame

Other

* With the fog floating over the field – the wine drinkers in the red seats still don’t know the second half started

2. Brady vs. Manning playoffs

* over 95 QB rating in playoffs –  Brady 14 of 34 / Manning 5 of 27
* Super Bowl TD to Int – Brady 15-5 / Manning 3-6

3. How come every athlete yells – Lets Go!

4. Doug Baldwin is wearing a shirt that says Equality – last four years in the nfl –

Doug Baldwin – $7.8mm salary / 288 receptions / 3,728 yards
Julien Edelman – $5.5mm a year / 356 receptions/ 3,826 yards

5. Dorset and Allen combined receptions this year

6. Red Sox hire a manager who is a minority – Celtics history as head coach and minorities:
* Bill Russell, Satch Sanders, KC Jones, ML Carr, Doc Rivers

7. How about this for a new Patriot tradition – at 2:12 of every third quarter at home. They change 28-3

8. Thanks Houston

9. Just a Little Bit Outside – Brothers
* Chuck Cunningham
* Racer X
* Bobby Ewing

10. Randomocity
* Jane Fonda said she didn’t step forward on Harvey Weinstein because it didn’t happen to her – that didn’t seem to stop her in North Vietnam
* After the Yawkey Way comments of John Henry – didn’t it almost guarantee that the next manager would be a minority – welcome Alex Cora
* How come hotel doors to rooms are so loud and wake up all the other guests?

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Patriots Football Talk: Patriots Win In a Superbowl Rematch

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It was foggy in Foxboro on Sunday Night.  That is a bit of an understatement.  It looked like something out of a Halloween movie.  But what we saw was a different kind of thriller.  It was a Superbowl LI rematch of Atlanta vs New England.  And what we saw was Patriots’ dominance.  No really they had it in the bag by Half-time!  Atlanta just didn’t look like the same team from February.

First off the Pats scored first and never looked back.  They kept the Falcons off the scoreboard in the 1st Half, by blocking a Field Goal. It was a nice block from a 30 Yarder.  The Patriots’ Special Teams played excellent and got inside the Offensive Line to make the clean block.  Cassious Marsh got the block for the Pats.  They would recover it and it would be a turnover on downs.  This showed some serious toughness and you could just tell by the players that they were bringing their “A Game” tonight.

Brandin Cooks would go on to score the first Touchdown.  He rode Rob Gronkowski’s coat tails, as he blocked on a Wide Receiver pitch.  It was a huge TD and it set up the Patriots’ game plan of “Score First and Do Your Job”. Cooks would go on to make 4 Receptions for 65 Yards and that TD.  He played incredibly well and in fact the Patriots played well in all three phases of the game.

The Falcons on the other hand played poorly.  They went for two 4th Downs in the 1st Half and played desperate Football.  They were trying to avoid falling behind but it was still early in the Game.  In my opinion it ended up showing weakness.  They just didn’t trust their defense enough to make a stop early on.  And you know what?  The Patriots’ capitalized on it by scoring points.

Late in the 2nd Quarter the Patriots were up [10-0]   They had the ball with 2 Minutes on the clock.  Need I say anything more about what happened next?  Yep you guessed it they scored again.  Needless to say, but lets face it, this looked like a blowout!  And in point of fact it actually was.  Atlanta would only get one score and it was on a TD late in the 4th Quarter.  The Pats would add a few more Field Goals to make the final score [23-7].

Some real notables players/stats for the Patriots were: Dion Lewis who had 13 Rushes for 76 Yards, Rex Burkhead who made an important impact with 6 Rushes for 31 Yards, James White who had 5 Receptions for 28 Yards and a TD, Chris Hogan who had 4 Receptions for 71 Yards, Of course there was also Rob Gronkowski with 3 Receptions for 51 Yards and Mike Gillislee with 8 Rushes for 31 Yards.  Tom Brady really spread the ball around to everyone.  Brady went 21 for 29 in completions and had 249 Yards in the air.  It was overall a real team effort to get the Win.

Some of my takeaways from the Game are that the Patriots Defense has routed their “give up” 300+ Passing Yards per Game and looks to be back on track physically as well as mentally.  They played with so much confidence tonight that they seemed to be “ready for anything”.  Also I’d have to say that Offensively they are a Superbowl caliber Team.  But didn’t we already know that?  Yes, but now they have shown us how good they really are against a “Playoff Contender”.  They have that confidence in knowing that they aren’t always playing from behind.  They also showed that they can dominate another Team.  Which is something we have been waiting for!

On the other side of the ball I’d have to agree with Tony Dungee’s comments after the Game.  That Atlanta “wasn’t creative” with their offensive play calls.  The Falcons just didn’t make good play calls Offensively and Defensively.  I don’t know if the fog had something to do with it but they looked bad.  I mean really!  How many times are you going to call a 4th Down Play.  4th Down and Long too.  It just wasn’t smart Football.

The Patriots are now 5-2 and alone atop the AFC East.  Next Week they play the LA Chargers at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, on Sunday October 29th at 1 pm, on CBS.  It will be their last game before the Week 9 Bye Week.  So Another Week, Another Win.  Hopefully these guys can keep this going.  Oh and by the way after Half-time the Patriots out scored Atlanta 48-0 since being down 28-3 in Superbowl 51.  That’s not too shabby!  Just some food for thought, of what this Team can do!

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