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Patriots Talk: The Rivalry of Tom Brady and Drew Brees

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It’s amazing how long ago it feels when we’re all talking about Tom Brady vs Peyton Manning being the top two Quarterbacks in the NFL. Now with Peyton happily enjoying his life in retirement, it seems unavoidable that Brady will get brought up in the retirement category as well. Same could be said of Saints QB, Drew Brees who Brady has shared much history with. In fact, Brady and Brees have known each other before either entered the NFL.

Brees after high school only received two scholarships, despite being a stellar high school QB for Westlake High. He wanted to originally be recruited by The Texas Longhorns or Texas A&M ‘Aggies’ but sadly neither gave Brees a recommendation. Instead, Bress found himself stuck between either Purdue University or University of Kentucky. He ultimately, chose to go with Purdue where he would play for from 1997-2000.

Near this time, a young Tom Brady was struggling with gaining recognition outside of the state of California. In terms of where he would be rated by today, he was a 4-star recruit out of Junípero Serra High School. Brady was a multi-sport prospect, as he was considered by many to be a better baseball player than he was a football player. Despite Brady being offered high money by the Montreal Expos in 1995, Brady was more passionate about football and when he was given an opportunity, he took it. Brady narrowed his list of options for college to only five: Cal-Berkeley, UCLA, USC, Michigan, and Illinois; Michigan was the one that won out. Brady was sadly hardly given any time to start, as he was 7th on the depth chart by the time he arrived at the University of Michigan in 1995.

While both Brady and Brees moved onto the NFL, they were both in the Big Ten (the division that both Purdue and Michigan played in at the time). It was not known when exactly Brady and Brees came to know each other, but the schedule and time of their first meeting would point to 1999, where the Purdue Boilmakers faced The Michigan Wolverines in Week 5 of the 1999 season. Brady was the starting QB ultimately having won the starting job over Drew Henson. Brady and the Wolverine beat Brees and the Boilmakers 38-12. It would be only one of many meetings that two would have down the road.

This same game was talked about between the two QBs last year during the Week 1 of the 2016 preseason when both teams were having joint practices. That day was rain-soaked and both QBs remember the first time they played against each other. According to Brees:

“So Tom actually threw it out there. He said, ‘Hey, remember that game, Michigan-Purdue in the Big House?’ He said, ‘This is just like it.’

Shows that even after so many years pass, people remember the small details that others sometimes forget. Brady and Brees have known each other only during briefly but their respect for each other is real. Considering what either have accomplished is all that needs to be said (Brady will go down as the greatest of all time and Brees will likely have all the passing records under his name when all is said and done). In fact, Brees went as far to say this:

“I’ve got a ton of respect for Tom and what he’s accomplished. I don’t know if there is a guy in this game that has been more disciplined, more mentally tough and is just so consistent, so, so consistent. A lot to be respected. I have a ton of respect for him, his approach and his accomplishments.”

Both Brady and Brees combined have the most passing yards and passing touchdowns out of any QB currently in the league. With Brady already at 40 and Brees slowly getting there as well, both of them will be by far the oldest on their respective rosters. The Patriots and Saints will be facing off on Sunday at 1:00 PM at the Mercedes-Benz Super dome in New Orleans, Louisiana. this will be the first time they have faced each other since 2013. The game will be broadcast on CBS and will be announced with new CBS commentator Tony Romo (former QB of the Dallas Cowboys). This will be quite the sight to see that much is certain as both teams start the season 0-1, and only one of them is walking away a winner.

Stephen is a Contributing Editor for Trifecta Sports Network and covers the New England Patriots and the NFL.

New England Patriots

Patriots Football Talk: Patriots Lose to Miami

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You could feel it coming on a mile away in the 4th Quarter.  The Patriots were going to lose.  It was disheartening to say the least!  They just didn’t play well.  They couldn’t find a rhythm and they couldn’t convert on 3rd Downs.  It wasn’t the same team that we saw last Sunday.  I got a text saying that they were playing horribly and I texted back, “Yep.”  It was that kind of game.  And for the fans we just watched them, “Suck.”

Well where do we begin with this one?  How about the beginning of the game, not Kickoff, before Kickoff.  Quarterback Tom Brady looked like he was the perpetual “Deer in the Headlights” look to him.  Yeah in my opinion he was nervous.  Call it a “gut feeling” or a “sixth sense” but something bothered him.  Maybe it was because it was a Monday Night game, I don’t know but what I do know is that he had the same look during the first Drive for the Patriots.  In that same Drive he threw an Interception on 3rd Down.  Yikes!  That was a pass that Brady and Cooks weren’t on the same page with.  The defender just undercut it and got the INT.

Believe it or not, that INT set the tone for the entire game.  I mean seriously Brady couldn’t get a 1st Down on 3rd Down.  He went 0 for 11 on the night.  Talk about bad!  I mean I love TB12 and all but you have to wonder what was he thinking out there.  Was he nervous to throw a pick?  Or was he nervous about the pass rush?  Or was it like I said before “Primetime” nerves?  Whatever it was, it effected him all night.

I mean I can see how the pass rush could effect him.  They were hurrying and blitzing every down.  Mostly because the Patriots got down on points.  The Dolphins kicked two early Field Goals to make it [6-0].  The Patriots had to pass a lot to gain yardage.  But the rhythm of the game felt like the Patriots were playing from behind, which actually wasn’t completely true.  They scored a Rushing TD by Red Burkhead in the Red Zone, making it [7-6].  That right there could have been the turning point that they needed to rally together and play better.

Sadly that wasn’t the case.  Jay Cutler would find Jarvis Landry for a TD Score on the Goalline, regaining the lead and chewing up a lot of clock.  That was the other thing about Monday Night’s game.  The Patriots couldn’t get their Offense on the field.  They were stiffled by these long Miami Drives.  And the Pats D gave up way too many yards.  There were also some missed opportunities, that being Sacks and INTs.  Cutler looked good out there and so did Kenyan Drake, who had an amazing game.  The Defense couldn’t stop him.  And Landry made them pay with his second TD of the game.

Before all that though you have to remember that the Patriots did cut the lead to just 3, [13-10].  And they did get the ball back after Halftime.  Brady threw another INT once again to Cooks and once again it was on 3rd Down.  Wow they made a lot of mistakes this game!  Turnovers came back to bite them both times as Miami scored a TD making it [20-10].  “Yep” was the answer to my text, about how bad they were playing.  This play stood out as the most crushing play of the game.  It made a real comeback improbable.  The game would end [27-20] Miami and the Patriots would go to 10-3 on the year.  No “Hat and Tee Shirt” Night Monday, it will have to wait!

Now here comes the biggest game of the Season.  Patriots at Pittsburgh, Sunday December 17th at 4:25 pm on CBS.  If the Patriots Win they get the tie breaker for the Number 1 Seed and a playoff birth.  If they lose they give the Steelers’ Home Field advantage in the playoffs.  They will be playing for the playoffs so this has quite a lot riding on it.  Rob Gronkowski will be back from suspension, hopefully this will get them fired up!  Come on Guys, “Let’s Go!”

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NFL Week 14 Picks

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Sadly had a lot to do this week so my apologies for the lateness. As far as my NFL predictions for last week, I was 12-4 (131-61) Right now I am 0-1 to start the week as I predicted the Saints to win on Thursday.

New Orleans Saints @ Atlanta Falcons: Winner – Falcons

I hate Thursday night football. I always seem to to struggle with getting these games correct on the first attempt but they usually go in the other direction. It is what it is. The Sainst collection of injuries sadly were a huge factor in the game despite the Saints keeping the score close. Losing Alvin Kamara was a huge lose for the team as he is placed on concussion protocol for this week.

Green Bay Packers @ Cleveland Browns: Winner – Packers

The Browns decided to let go of Sashi Brown bu as long as Hue Jackson continues to fail with the QB situation, they ain’t winning Sunday. Give me the Packers to win 31-21.

Detroit Lions @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Winner – Lions

This game is a pick-em game mainly due to Matthew Stafford’s wrist injury. If he plays, the Lions should win. He doesn’t play then they will most definitely lose. But Stafford is one of the toughest QBs in the league so I doubt that this holds him back. The Bucs with Winston are still having issues and will likely have their season over with a loss on Sunday. Lions win 27-21.

Oakland Raiders @ Kansas City Chiefs: Winner – Chiefs

The Raiders are a team that are going to be tough t beat but with their loss against the Jets, the Chiefs are literally hanging by a thread. A win against the Raiders would help keep them in the playoffs but with the Chargers gaining momentum it will be tough. Their 4th consecutive loss, Andy Reid will need to have everybody on all cylinders. Chiefs win in a close game 24-21.

Minnesota Vikings @ Carolina Panthers: Winner – Vikings

Can’t believe it but Case Keenum is playing the best football of his entire career. If he keeps this hot streak alive, the Vikings might make a playoff birth unless Green Bay gets Aaron Rodgers back in time. The Panthers are a team that are hot and cold this season as usual. The Panthers have a great defense but so does the Vikings. This will come down to who has the better offense and you don’t believe me now, but its the Vikings. Adam Thielen and Stephon Diggs are possibly the best WR duo in the NFL right now and Kyle Rudolph ain’t bad either. Give me the Vikings to win 27-24 over the Panthers.

San Fransisco 49ers @ Houston Texans: winner – 49ers

Coin flip but I am picking the 49ers just for more Jimmy G highlight reels. Sorry Texans. 49ers win by 21-18.

Indianapolis Colts @ Buffalo Bills: Winner – Bills

I want to believe in Brisket but I believe that the season has weighed him down considerably because of Chuck Pagano’s play calling. The Bills have a better overall roster and have a shot of making the playoffs. The Colts are banged up pretty good and I see Buffalo keeping Tyrod in as his knee injury shouldn’t be bad enough to keep him out for Nathan Peterman. Bills getting a win here 21-18.

Chicago Bears @ Cincinnati Bengals: Winner – Bengals

Marvin Lewis vs. John Fox? Which Head Coach will get fired faster? Probably Fox because Lewis clearly has some serious blackmail to have kept his job for so long. Bengals win 24-17 because John Fox is continuing to limit Trubisky’s production.

Dallas Cowboys @ New York Giants: Winner – Cowboys

The Cowboys will have Sean Lee back this week which is huge. Eli Manning is back in the game but his consecutive streak is gone now and that is ultimately on Ben McAdoo who is now gone along with Jerry Reese. Cowboys have something to fight for, the Giants don’t. Give me the Cowboys 27-20.

Tennessee Titans @ Arizona Cardinals: Winner – Titans

This game is honestly a toss-up. The Titans are underwhelming and the Cardinals have talent that can’t seem to win games. Adrian Peterson’s status is still out for now. As of now, the Titans are the team I would rather take Delanie Walker wants respect but he will only get if he scores a TD in this game. I will take the Titans 27-25 in a close game.

New York Jets @ Denver Broncos: Winner – Jets

Man, the Broncos really are screwed. Vance Joesph has completely lost this team. the defense doesn’t seem like the No-Fly Zone anymore. The fact that the Jets are actually playing good speaks volumes of how different the head coaches are different. Also Robbie Anderson, an undrafted player is likely one of the biggest deep threats in the NFL. Gotta give credit where it is due, the Jets have stopped up and the Broncos have fallen off. Jets win 27-21.

Washington Redskins @ Los Angeles Chargers: Winner – Chargers

The Redskins banged up offensive line vs Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram? RIP Kirk Cousins. He will not like that game. I will go with the Chargers as Keenan Allen is having a incredible comeback season and I will say that he does well in this game. Chargers win 31-21.

Seattle Seahawks @ Jacksonville Jaguars: Winner – Seahawks

The Seahawks may not have a great overall team, but they have, in my opinion, the front runner for the NFL MVP this year in Russell Wilson. He has put this team on his back and he truly is a better QB than Blake Bortles. The Jaguars defense will keep this game close, but I don’t believe for a second that it will stop Wilson’s play-making and scrambling on the field. Seahawks win 17-14.

Philadelphia Eagles @ Los Angeles Rams: Winner – Rams

That is right, I am picking Goff over Wentz. And its not because the Eagles lost last week to a more desperate team. They lost in a way that showed they are still a flawed team like everyone else this year. The Rams are a team that has an arguably better offense and their defense is set up where they generate pressure similar to the Seahawks. This game will be the game of the week but I have the Rams winning 31-28.

Baltimore Ravens @ Pittsburgh Steelers: Winner – Steelers

Baltimore will cover the current spread of +4 but I have a feeling that the Steelers will still win regardless. The Ravens are a better overall team but this team is unified with Ryan Shazier’s loss last week and his current circumstances (prayers are with you Ryan, from a Patriots fan). Give me the Steelers to win 27-24 against the Ravens.

New England Patriots @ Miami Dolphins: winner – Patriots

The Patriots always play bad in Miami weather. But its Tom Brady vs. Jay Cutler. Give me the Patriots to win 34-24. And that will settle my shotgun analysis for this week.

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Patriots Football Talk: New England stays Perfect on the Road

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Patriots

The Patriots were playing in a hostile Buffalo environment on Sunday.  They came in to town with 13 straight Road Wins.  Looking for yet another Win.  And boy were they prepared!  This was a Divisional Game and it was the 27th straight game where Tom Brady notched a Win.  An NFL Record.  “Wow is that a real stat?” Tony Romo asked at the end of the game.  Yup that actually is a real stat and TB12 has it.  Have a career will ya!  Winning against the Bills is nothing new to Tom Brady but how he does is.

Lets get right into the action on the field.  The Bills went down the field on a 4 Minute Drive to open the game.  But on the 5 Yard Line Eric Lee made a huge Interception for the Patriots.  The New England D played exceptionally well today.  They kept the Bills out of the End Zone.  This INT set the stage for a huge Defensive statement.  It pretty much set the tone for the rest of the game.

Danny Amendola made a great 20+ yard catch which set up a Patriots 50 Yard FG by Stephen Gostkowski.  He would make all 3 of his Field Goal Attempts.  At the end of the Half it was [9-3].  This was a physical type of game.  It was very “grindy” and points came at a premium.  There were some great plays in the 1st Half.  Dion Lewis had a 45 Yard Rush down field which was incredible!  He would have 15 Carries for 92 Yards for the game.  Then Rex Burkhead had a 50 Yard Run.  He would have 12 Carries for 78 Yards with 2 TDs for the game but more on that later.  Both big run plays set up the FG attempts.

Rob Gronkowski began to chew up some serious yardage in the 3rd Quarter.  I mean seriously this was his Quarter.  He came out catching several consecutive passes.  He would go on to Catch 9 Passes for 147 Yards for the game.  One big play set up a Rushing TD by Burkhead.  Which made it [16-3], then Gronk made an incredible catch on the next Drive.  Now this one is for the highlight reels.  He went up for the ball and just ripped it out of the defender’s hands, for a 31 yard catch.  It was unbelievable!  No seriously he just stole an INT away from the Linebacker.

James White converted a 3rd Down which was huge in setting up a Red Zone type Drive.  Burkhead would go on to score an important 3rd Quarter TD.  The Drive went 9 Plays for 78 Yards and ate up a lot of clock.  Then in the 4th Quarter the Bills went 4th and Goal but got stopped by the Pats.  There was excellent coverage by Stephon Gilmore.  The Bills passed on him several times but each time he just knocked the ball away.  And with that it pretty much sealed the Win.  The Patriots now have won 10 games this year going 10-2 on the year.  They have a new record of 10+ Wins for 15 straight years.  Simply Awesome!

The big talking point for the end of the game was Gronk.  Not his great highlight reel catch but his late hit on an INT by Tom Brady.  Brady went 21-30 Passe for 258 Yards and an INT.  Gronkowski went out on an out route and was held before the ball got intercepted.  Afterwards he hit the player on the ground.  First off in my opinion he was held and there was a missed call on that.  Secondly Gronk clearly was frustrated by the play and he made a mistake.  It was just emotions rising high and he made a bad judgement.  Now should he be fined?  Sure.  Should he be suspended?  Maybe.  I think that his apology at the end of the game was genuine.  We’ll see what the NFL thinks about the late hit.

So that was the game.  Brady got number 14 straight road wins, 2nd most I think.  They will be playing against the Dolphins next week.  Monday December 11th at Miami on Monday Night Football at 8:30 pm on ESPN.  It should be a good game.  Look for Tom Brady to stay consistent as he goes for his 15th straight road win.  Go Pats!

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