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Tag:New England Patriots
Posted on: December 19, 2011 12:30 pm
Edited on: December 19, 2011 2:31 pm
 

Brady on Dumervil hit: 'I'll feel that one'

By Ryan Wilson

It's not very often that a defender gets a clear shot at Tom Brady. And it's even rarer still that said shot isn't accompanied by a complimentary penalty flag for roughing the face of the NFL. But Sunday against the Broncos, the former took place without the latter and it was one of the best hits of the season (and perfectly legal, which must make Redskins linebacker London Fletcher feel much better).

With the Patriots leading the Broncos, 31-16 early in the fourth quarter, Denver defensive end Elvis Dumervil embarrassed right tackle Nate Solder on his way to blowing up Brady on a hit that actually lifted the quarterback off his feet.


A monkey takes the reins during Denver's halftime show, partnering with a dog to treat the fans to some inter-species hijinks.

Brady, to his credit, popped up immediately. Dude's tougher than he looks.

After the game, he admitted that "I'll feel that one in the morning," which is the response you'd expect from just about anybody in that situation.

"I was looking to throw the ball up in the slot and didn't see Elvis coming," Brady said, via ESPNBoston.com. "He got me pretty good, but we really answered the next time we got the ball, which is important. He's a very good player -- Elvis and [linebacker] Von Miller. We talked about them all week. I thought our guys really hung in there."

Dumervil, who has 8.5 sacks this season, admitted he was shocked to see Brady standing there unaware of his impending Doom (see what we did there?).

“I just tried to make a play for the team,” Dumervil said. “I tried to get there, and I wish I would have gotten the ball out, but he is a good quarterback and was able to hold the ball in still. We have a lot of work in a short period of time and need to take care of business against Buffalo.”

"When one of the best pass rushers in the league gets a clean shot it's going to hurt." Brady said, according to CBSSports.com Rapid Reporter Greg Bedard.  By the time it was over, Brady had thrown for 320 yards, two touchdowns, and rushed for another, and he punctuated that last trip with a Gronkowskian spike.

"I don't get in the end zone very often -- maybe once or twice per season -- so when I do, I get pretty excited," he said. "It's nice to score. It's usually once a year for me."

Brady is now 2-5 against the Broncos, which is all the more impressive given Denver was on a six-game winning streak and Tim Tebow appeared to be nearly unstoppable. But prayer goes both ways.

"Yeah, I Tebowed," Pats nose tackle Vince Wilfork said, via the Boston Globe. "Absolutely. Everybody in the world was hearing about this guy, and he's a very good athlete. I said it last week, he's a winner. You look at his whole resume, and he knows how to win. Every time you speak to a team, or to little kids, about winning, I'm pretty sure his name is going to come up. So, however he do it, he do it."

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Posted on: December 19, 2011 1:47 am
Edited on: December 19, 2011 10:33 am
 

Sorting the Sunday Pile, Week 15: Good losses?

Posted by Will Brinson


Sorting the Sunday Pile takes all of Sunday's NFL action, figures out the winners and losers and asks the big questions. New format! Same old sorting! Send your complaints, questions and comments to Will Brinson on Twitter. Make sure and listen to our Week 15 podcast review below as well and feel free to subscribe via iTunes.

Are Good Losses Good?

You're not ever going to hear Aaron Rodgers or Tim Tebow admit this, but losing isn't always a bad thing. In the case of each, a loss on Sunday actually means significantly less pressure in the public eye over the next few weeks.

For Rodgers, there's no more chatter about whether or not the Packers can run the table. Granted, that was a side story to Tebow for most of the past few weeks but if Green Bay had beat Kansas City, the heat was about to be turned up with questions about resting players, playing stars, Mercury Morris' plethora of media appearances and much more.

The loss stinks, clearly. But now the week will be filled with questions like "Are the Packers in trouble?" and "Are the Saints the best team in the NFC?" (See: below). So a team that hadn't lost in nearly a year is suddenly going to get a free chip put on its shoulder? That seems smart for the rest of everyone.

As for Tebow, we all needed this. I love Tim Tebow's story. I love that my cousins' neighbors have a dog named Tebow. I love that my grandfather sends me newspaper clippings about Tebow's awesomeness. But my, um, God, that last week leading up to the Patriots game was just too much, you guys. We had media wars, Tebrews, preachers recanting TMZ quotes on Twitter and just generally all the other things you'd associate with the Apocalypse.

But now the Broncos lost and the Tebowagon gets a chance to tap the brakes, all while not giving up any ground on the playoffs (except to the Chargers who propped their playoff window open a little wider).

We (me, you, Tim) just need some time apart from Tebowmania. Hopefully we get at least a week.

Winners

It's a good thing Romeo Crennel didn't wear the traditional white shirt on Sunday. (US Presswire)

Romeo Crennel: We've been giving Crennel credit for his defensive schemes for a few weeks now, but Sunday's performance by the Chiefs -- a stunning 19-14 win over previously unbeaten Green Bay -- was absolutely worthy of the Gatorade bath he got after his first game as interim coach in Kansas City. The Chiefs shut down the Packers high-powered offense and Crennel parlayed the "you'd think it's obvious!" decision to bench Tyler Palko for Kyle Orton into a serious résumé builder for the offseason.

Reggie Bush: Look, I've ripped Reggie Bush left and right, especially considering his lack of success as an actual running back over the course of his career. But the dude is going HAMbone down in South Beach and Sunday's 203-yard effort makes him just the 40th running back since 1970 to rush for more than 200 yards on 25 or less carries. If you said you predicted Chiefs over Packers I might give it to you. If you predicted Bush rolling for 200 yards? You're a liar.

Skittles: Marshawn Lynch might've only averaged 2.1 yards per carry against the Bears, but he found the end zone twice and crossed the 1,000 yard mark for the season. The game was in Chicago which means it didn't rain rainbows all over Beast Mode when he dashed in the end zone. But has a candy ever gotten a bigger accidental brand boost from an athlete than what Lynch is giving those little sugar bombs during Seattle's sneaky playoff run?

Kyle Orton: Or, as I like to call him, "Senor Spoiler." Orton ripped the heart out of the Packers chance at an undefeated season and over the next two weeks, he's going to get a pair of shots to ruin some seasons. First there's Oakland in Week 16; a win in KC then and the Raiders are likely done. And then the ultimate revenge game against the Broncos, in Denver, on the final week of the season, against the guy, Tim Tebow, that de-seated him. There might be some major egg on John Elway's face if Orton pulls that "W" out.

Norv Turner: It seems impossible that Turner could save his gig, but that's mainly because the Chargers are dead-man walking when it comes to the playoffs ... or are they? After pummeling the Ravens on Sunday night, they've won their last three games and with losses by the Jets, Broncos, Titans, and Raiders they're suddenly one game back of a playoff spot.

Losers

Tom Coughlin: Just a week removed from taking over the NFC East with an impressive performance against the Cowboys, the target's back on Coughlin's back and it's bigger than ever. You can't watch Dallas dominate the Bucs on Saturday night and then lay a freaking ostrich egg at home against a division rival with four wins. Not if you want to make the playoffs anyway.

Our Souls: Bad news, you guys, because Tim Tebow lost. Naturally, that means that salvation will escape even the most penitent man (or woman). Or, alternately, it's a reflection of the fact that when the Broncos turn the ball over a bunch and hand Tom Brady short fields, the Patriots are really tough to beat. I'm going with the latter.

Santonio Holmes: Really Santonio? You're going to catch a touchdown pass, put the ball on the ground, stand on it and then do a dance mocking the Eagles who are in the middle of pantsing you right out of the playoffs? Really? It's kind of ironic that Charley Casserly compared Eagles wideout DeSean Jackson to Holmes on Sunday morning, considering they've both picked up embarrassing unsportsmanlike penalties now.

Oakland Raiders
: Take a look at the playoff picture. (Now back to me.) You realize that the Raiders, who choked to the Lions with a 99-yard drive to close things out, would be tied with the Broncos and Jets at 8-6 if they'd held off Detroit? Because they would be, and they hold the tiebreaker against the Jets and they're just one game back of the Broncos in conference record (5-5 to 6-4). Just close baby.

Ben Roethlisberger's Ankle
: No one's tougher than Roethlisberger, but did you see what happened to him against Cleveland? He probably doesn't have any business stepping on a football field for another week or so, especially without starting center Maurkice Pouncey. But with the Ravens getting paddled on Sunday, the Steelers are in the hunt for the top seed in the AFC and a division title, so Ben almost has to play. Poor ankle.

These Questions Go To 11

Who's protecting Aaron Rodgers? Excellent question.(Getty Images)

1. Should the Packers be worried?
Yes -- but not in the sense about caring over an undefeated season. They should be worried because even though they're still going to get the No. 1 seed in the NFC and homefield advantage throughout the playoffs, there's concern about how the offense performed without Greg Jennings and bigger concern about the performance of the offensive line and defense. A bad game from Aaron Rodgers and they can be sent home by anyone.

2. Is Johnny Knox OK?
That's the word on the street. The Bears wide receiver was taken to the hospital after a backbending hit that required him to be carted off the field. Fortunately, he's expected to have surgery to stabilize his vertebrae and according to reports his prognosis is good for a solid recovery.

3. Can the Eagles really still make the playoffs?
Somehow, yes. A lot of things need to happen, but it's not that crazy. 1) Philly wins out (duh), beating. 2) Dallas loses out, against Philly and at the Giants. The Giants go 1-1, losing to the Jets and beating Dallas. If those things happen, the Eagles, Cowboys and Giants will all finish 8-8 and Philly will win the NFC East through tiebreakers. *cues up Gary Wright*

4. What about the Chargers?
YES, THEM TOO. And they have two options -- either the Chargers can win out and the Broncos can lose out and the Bolts win the division. That's the "easy" way. Alternately, if the Jets lose out (against the Giants and Dolphins) and the Bengals can go 1-1 (losing to the Ravens) and the Chargers win out, they can make the playoffs as a wild card. Hope springs eternal in December and whatnot.

5. Should the Bears have called someone?
Yeah, and I'll go so far as to say Brett Favre could've been that guy. Marc Bulger might've made more sense from a perspective of knowing Mike Martz offense, but maybe he wasn't interested. Whatever, Caleb Hanie isn't getting it done.

6. Are the Texans cool with T.J. Yates?
Cool's a relative word, because there's really no excuse for a grizzled veteran of a rookie like Yates to get baffled by a Panthers defense that's running on fumes. Carolina's D showed up big time in Houston, but Yates made some pretty critical mistakes in the 28-13 loss and if Yates ends up with more passing attempts than Arian Foster and Ben Tate have rushing attempts combined, Houston probably lost the game.

7. Why did the Raiders use single coverage on Calvin Johnson?
Honestly, I have no idea. Johnson's the best wide receiver in the NFL and he walked out of a 28-27 win with 214 receiving yards a pair of teeters. It's one thing to trust your cornerback in coverage late in the game. It's another thing entirely to just throw caution to the wind and give the Lions an easy opportunity at going 98 yards for the win, which is what Oakland did Sunday. On the other hand, Darrius Heyward-Bey is starting to look like he could actually be a No. 1 receiver at times. That doesn't help the defensive scheming but it's something, right?

8. Should the Ravens be worried about their road record?
Hell yes they should. Baltimore's been unstoppable at home, rolling to a 7-0 record. On the road they've rolled over for lesser teams like the Jaguars, Seahawks and Titans. And now the Chargers. If Pittsburgh wins on Monday night, it's going to be really tough for the Ravens to land anywhere other than the fifth seed in the AFC, which means they're going on the road throughout the playoffs. And that probably means that the Ravens will be sitting at home in February.

9. Did Jim Caldwell save his job on Sunday?
I know Bill Polian reportedly said all Caldwell had to do was win one game, and the Colts did that by beating Tennessee 27-13 for their first victory on the season. But come on -- this team's going to draft their new franchise quarterback in April in Andrew Luck and Caldwell's not the guy that's going to train him to be Peyton Manning 2.0. Polian can pay lip service all he wants but having Manning/Luck on your roster is like sitting on pocket aces in the hold 'em game of finding a coach who wants to work somewhere with a franchise quarterback.

10. Are the Saints the best team in the NFC now?
If Greg Jennings is guaranteed to be out, if Aaron Rodgers offensive line is completely shredded, and if the game's in a dome ... then maybe, yeah. Drew Brees is as hot as it gets right now (and it's the right time to be hot) and he's going to crush Dan Marino's record for passing yards in a season -- he needs just 305 to break it. And that's in two games, so it's broken. But if (when?) the Saints have to go to Lambeau for the NFC Championship Game, it's a whole different ballgame and the Packers will have a couple weeks to get healthy too. If the Niners can stay afloat, the Saints don't have those luxuries.

11. Should you jump off the Tebow bandwagon?
No you shouldn't have. As mentioned above, the Broncos made some critical mistakes that put the Patriots in a good position to win. The hype was so out of control that it was easy to freak out when New England started rolling. This is a game that Denver should've been more competitive in, but turnovers and a strong defensive performance from the Pats doomed them. They won't see the same sort of challenges against a tepid Bills team that gave up 200 rushing yards to Bush Sunday.

Worth 1,000 Words


GIF O' THE WEEK

This contest was over as of about 6:00 p.m. ET when dog-riding monkeys started herding sheep in Denver.


Award Watch Worth Watching

I'm tempted to open up the MVP race here, but let's get real: it's still Rodgers, despite Brees going ape smell. But how about Offensive Player of the Year instead? Typically speaking, this awards goes to "the most productive person on the team without the best record" or something like that, but I think Brees, if he breaks Marino's record -- and holds it -- is starting to lock it down. But you could make a great case for Calvin Johnson (gobs of touchdowns), Tom Brady and Rodgers too.

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Posted on: December 18, 2011 10:23 pm
 

Monkey rides dog, sadly no Tebowing involved


A monkey takes the reins during Denver's halftime show, partnering with a dog to treat the fans to some inter-species hijinks.

Posted by Ryan Wilson

A dog-riding monkey was the halftime entertainment for the Patriots-Broncos game. This is not a euphemism. There really was a monkey riding a dog. The monkey was well-dressed (as monkeys go), the dog was saddled, and it was quite possibly the most bizarre spectacle we've seen since, well, Tebow took over the Broncos starting job from Kyle Orton in October.

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Posted on: December 18, 2011 5:56 pm
Edited on: December 18, 2011 6:00 pm
 

Patriots lead Broncos, 27-16 at the half

Denver started fast against New England before giving up 20 unanswered points in the 2nd quarter. (US PRESSWIRE)


Follow all the Week 15 action live: Inactives | Scoreboard

1 p.m. ET games: MIA-BUF | SEA-CHI | CAR-HOU | TEN-IND | GB-KC | NO-MIN | WAS-NYG | CIN-STL
4 p.m. ET games: DET-OAK | CLE-ARI | NE-DEN | NYJ-PHI



Posted by Ryan Wilson

It's a battle of strengths in Denver: The Broncos' running game vs. the Patriots' passing game and 30 minutes into this week's Game of the Century, the New England Patriots lead 27-16 at the half.

Denver got off to fast start, scoring touchdowns on their first two drives, and converting a field on the third. The Broncos also racked up 175 rushing yards in the first two quarters, averaging a whopping 8.8 yards per carry.

Tim Tebow completed 5 of 8 throws for 68.

Brady, meanwhile, was 12 of 22 for 171 and two touchdown passes, and he rushed for another.

The Broncos' offense looked unstoppable in the first quarter but turnovers by Lance Ball, Tebow and Quan Cosby led to the Patriots scoring 20 unanswered points to take a 27-16 lead at the break. Denver had just seven offensive plays in the second quarter.

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Posted on: December 18, 2011 9:38 am
 

Jesus visits Tim Tebow, Broncos in SNL sketch

By Will Brinson

Tim Tebow gets enough talk these days that it shouldn't be surprising in the least to see Saturday Night Live bust out a skit on the Broncos quarterback.

But the way they did it is impressively funny -- Jason Sudeikis, dressed as Jesus, busts into the Broncos locker room during Tebow's post-game speech and tells the quarterback to "take it down a notch."

The big guy also makes a few salient football points: focus, stretching is important, as is reading the playbook, the Patriots are really good and the Broncos kicker deserves some love.

"Matt Prater, I pray to you brother," Jesus said.

Jesus also has some pretty funny lines for Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.



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Posted on: December 17, 2011 1:27 pm
 

Report: Pats ink Jerod Mayo to 5-year extension

By Will Brinson

There aren't many redeeming qualities about the Patriots NFL-worst defense this year, but linebacker Jerod Mayo is one of them. New England knows this and that's why they've reportedly signed Mayo to a five-year extension.

That means that Mayo is now a Patriot through the 2018 season, reports Adam Schefter of ESPN.

Mayo's 2011 season is actually the worst of his short, but distinguished career -- he has no sacks and just 68 tackles through 11 games, against 175 tackles and two sacks in 16 games last year. (He does have two picks this season.)

The linebacker has struggled with injuries though. He sprained his MCL earlier in the season and missed two games in October; the entire month was basically a wash for Mayo, as he was limited by the injury and recorded just six tackles in four games.

That being said, Mayo is one of the two best players (along with Vince Wilfork) on the Pats defense, and it's a smart and logical move to get Mayo, the 10th overall pick in the 2008 draft out of Tennessee, locked up for the long haul, especially considering he's only 25.



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Posted on: December 16, 2011 9:19 am
 

Pick-Six Podcast: Week 15 preview + Thurs review

By Will Brinson & Ryan Wilson

Thursday night's scorcher of a game between the Jaguars and Falcons kicked off Week 15's action, and the guys wonder whether Atlanta is getting hot at the right time, if Jacksonville has any hope and just how awesome Shahid Khan's mustache is.

Then they turn their attention to the rest of the week's slate, debating who's in more trouble if they lost Saturday between Raheem Morris and Jason Garrett, why Rick Perry is talking about Tim Tebow, how much trouble Sam Hurd is in and why he did the things he allegedly did, whether the Broncos can actually upset the Patriots, if the Eagles can make a run, why Joe Flacco is whining about Tim Tebow's media coverage and much, much more.

Did we mention that you should subscribe to the podcast via iTunes?

If you can't listen to the podcast below, download it here. And if you'd like to keep working while listening in your browser, pop that puppy out in a new tab here.



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Posted on: December 15, 2011 3:29 pm
Edited on: December 15, 2011 3:29 pm
 

Groping charges dropped against Julian Edelman

Edelman was accused of groping a woman at a Halloween party. Those charges were dropped Thursday. (Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

Julian Edelman, who has played offense, defense and special teams for the Patriots this season, was arrested November 1 after allegedly groping a woman at a Boston Halloween party.

On Thursday, Suffolk County prosecutors dropped the case on the grounds that they wouldn't have been able to meet the burden of proving the allegations beyond a reasonable doubt.

“After a thorough investigation of this case by the Boston Police Department’s Sexual Assault Unit … the Commonwealth has concluded that it would not be able to meet its burden at trial of proving each of the elements of indecent assault and battery beyond a reasonable doubt,” prosecutors said in a document filed in court today, according to Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley’s office (via the Boston Globe).

According to the police report, Edelman "reached under" a woman’s party costume and "grabbed her [crotch]." At the time, a male witness told police he watched as the alleged victim’s face changed into "an expression of shock" at the time of the reported sexual assault.

The statement from the Suffolk County District Attorney's office noted that, “The evidence suggests that [Edelman] approached a woman on the dance floor and took her hand briefly. Review of the videotape indicates that the physical contact between the two was fleeting ... and did not meet the elements of any crime."

Prosecutors said that contact must be proven to be intentional in order to bring an indecent assault and battery prosecution, adding: “Prosecutors could not prove these elements with the evidence contained in the surveillance imagery, witness statements, and other sources.”

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com