Tag:New England Patriots
Posted on: September 12, 2010 1:34 pm
Edited on: September 12, 2010 2:09 pm

Welker scores 2 TDs, continues to impress

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Patriots WR Wes Welker ramped up the Wow factor on his return from his ACL injury at the end of last season. While it was amazing to watch him play in the preseason after less than seven months recovery, but his nine-yard TD catch in the first quarter of the New England-Cincinnati game was nothing short of … well … awesome.

Deep in Bengals territory, QB Tom Brady flung a screen pass to Welker, who made the catch at about the 11-yard line and dashed into the end zone to give New England a quick 7-0 lead. It wasn’t a great catch or anything, but just the fact Welker was out there to do it, that’s what makes it such an impressive feat.

Welker said last week that, though he’s ready to play, he doesn’t feel like himself quite yet. Well, “not quite himself” looked pretty good to me. And pretty bad for the Bengals.

UPDATE (2:08 p.m.):
Welker has caught another one. That makes two TDs today for a guy who probably shouldn't have returned until mid-season.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .
Posted on: September 12, 2010 12:39 pm
Edited on: September 12, 2010 12:40 pm

Pats wanted two apologies from Mankins

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

An interesting story from ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter regarding Patriots G Logan Mankins and how close he was to reaching an agreement with New England. And it all blew up because, according to the story, the Patriots weren’t satisfied with just one apology. They wanted two.

From Schefter’s story:

About two weeks ago, Mankins and his agent Frank Bauer arrived at the Patriots training facility in Foxboro, Mass., with both sides intending and believing they would be able to hammer out a long-term deal similar to the seven-year, $56.7 million contract that Pro Bowl guard Jahri Evans signed with New Orleans in the spring.

Shortly before the deal could be consummated, the Patriots asked Mankins to apologize to Patriots owner Robert Kraft for comments he made in June, questioning the New England owner’s integrity. Mankins did. He called Kraft, apologized and explained why he spoke out in the way he did. It was a nice conversation and it paved the way for Mankins’ long-term deal to be consummated.

Then, about 90 minutes later, just before finalizing the deal, the Patriots requested Mankins issue a public apology. Not only did Mankins refuse, but he became offended, according to sources. The optimism that had been built, the momentum that the talks had generated completed collapsed -- and even regressed.

If this is true, how petty does this make the Patriots look? I can understand a personal apology, but a second, public apology? To me, that’s absolutely ridiculous.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .
Posted on: September 10, 2010 11:10 pm

Data says Cowboys are still America's team

Posted by Andy Benoit

For all of you who hate hearing the Dallas Cowboys referred to as “America’s Team”…sorry, but Nielsen’s numbers seem to back up the epithet. The Cowboys are the most popular team in the United States – by far.
Here’s how Nielsen explains its scores:Dallas

The Nielsen Sports Media Exposure Index measured all 32 NFL teams in four categories during the 2009 regular season: local team ratings, gross national TV audience, online buzz volume, and monthly unique audiences to official team websites. Teams in each category were assigned a score, with the top rank worth 100 points and each subsequent ranking assigned a lower weighted score based its distance from the top. Final team rankings were calculated using the sum of scores across all four categories, and then indexed with the highest total equaling 100.

The Cowboys were the most-followed team on national television and their website was the most-visited. The Saints were the most popular team on a local television basis (in other words, percentage-wise, fans in New Orleans watched their home team on TV more than fans in any other NFL market watched their home team.)

The overall top 10 most popular teams in the NFL last season were as follows:

1. Cowboys
2. Steelers
3. Giants
4t. Bears
4t. Packers
4t. Vikings
7. Eagles
8t. Colts
8t. Saints
10. Patriots

It shows the power of the NFL that a team from a mid-sized western Pennsylvania market and a team from a tiny Wisconsin market can both rank in the top five in popularity. Also, you may notice that 7 of the top 10 teams last year were from the NFC. Good thing Fox pays more than CBS for broadcast rights (even if that is only a result of the NFC having an overall larger market than the AFC).

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow  @cbssportsnfl   on Twitter   and subscribe to our  RSS Feed .

Posted on: September 9, 2010 10:09 pm
Edited on: September 9, 2010 11:28 pm

Brady extension has $18M per, $48M guaranteed

Posted by Will Brinson

Tom Brady's car crash this morning was certain to expedite his contract talks with the New England Patriots, given how bad the accident could actually have been. Sure enough, the Pats and Brady finalized an extension some time today.

The deal, announced by Sports Illustrated's Peter King at halftime of the Saints-Vikings game, will be official starting Friday and keep Brady on the Patriots roster until 2014.

"[Bob Kraft] wouldn't discuss terms with me," King said. "But I think it's safe to say that on a per-year basis, Tom Brady now becomes the highest-paid player in NFL history at about $19 million per year."

Dan Patrick and Tony Dungy immediately made the first point that came to my mind -- Brady won't last long in that spot, as Peyton Manning just figured out what the minimum amount of money is he'll be asking for.

Manning will have to shoot high though -- Clark Judge has some specifics on the contract. The new deal will pay Brady an average of $18 million over the next four years and  includes a whopping $48 million in guaranteed money.

You almost have to wonder just how close Brady and the Patriots were in their previous talks; as we'd noted, there were multiple reports earlier in the week that the two sides were close.

I ask that only because it's incredible negotiating luck to have your car get tattooed by a reckless Bostonian running a red light in their minivan, then walk away unscathed and right into a new extension that makes you the highest-paid player in the NFL.

Given Brady's career path though, anything less would actually be disappointing.

Update (10:23): Tom Curran notes that the "accident really shook" Brady up and the deal was signed this afternoon. Perhaps most importantly, it comes in at around $78 million in total money.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .
Posted on: September 9, 2010 12:36 pm
Edited on: September 9, 2010 1:22 pm

Brady Audi was loaner (which explains NJ plates)

Posted by Andy Benoit

Anyone in the mood for more Tom Brady car accident coverage? Sure, the man is at practice, and all seems well. But hey, with Brett Favre unlikely to retire and then unretired on a game day, we in the media have to find some story to overblow, right?

We pass along this bit from Jalopnik :

Audi confirmed the $97,000 Audi S8 sedan that New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady crashed this morning was a loaner from the company, part of an arrangement with Brady that involves the Best Buddies charity. Hence the Jersey plates.

Brady has been the honorary chairman of the charity's annual fundraiser for three years, which helps people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Back in June, Brady hosted the Audi Best Buddies Challenge, a series of events including a 100-mile bike ride/walk as well as a flag football game.

In 2008, Brady and Audi gave five Pats offensive linemen new Q7 sport utility vehicles.

For photos (lots of photos) of the damaged car, click here .

For a report from the Boston Fire Department, click here (you'll have to scroll a bit on the Boston FD's Twitter page because, believe it or not, there have been other things going on in Boston today besides Brady's car accident).

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow  @cbssportsnfl   on Twitter   and subscribe to our  RSS Feed .

Category: NFL
Posted on: September 9, 2010 11:30 am
Edited on: September 9, 2010 12:06 pm

Matchup Focus: Bengals DB vs. Patriots WR

Posted by Andy Benoit

It will be strength on strength when the Bengals corners line up against the Patriots wideouts (Sunday, 1:00, CBS).

First, understand something: New England’s receiving corps features the same two stars as 2007 (Wes Welker and Randy Moss), but it does not feature the same explosiveness.
R. Moss (US Presswire)
At 33, Moss has dissolved into strictly a straight-line receiver. This isn’t the end of the world – we’re talking about arguably the greatest deep threat of all time. Moss doesn’t quite have the wheels he had in Minnesota, but his speed still ranks in the NFL’s upper 20 percentile. More importantly, he’s a master at tracking a deep ball and disguising his intentions when exerting for a catch. That’s why he was still able to post 1,264 yards and 13 touchdowns last season.

The problem is, Moss is no longer a premium threat when changing directions. He has stiff hips and limited agility. Thus, instead of running any route on the tree, he now only shines running the 9 Route (fly pattern). Moss has never been a good route runner, but he at least used to be dangerous enough to command safety help simply by being on the field. Now, if the Patriots want Moss to command safety help, they have to design plays specifically for him to do so. This ultimately limits the rest of their offense (just a bit).

The Bengals will likely play a safety over the top against Moss, though in cornerback Johnathan Joseph, they have perhaps the best deep-ball man-defender in the AFC not named Revis. Joseph has excellent catch-up speed and a keen sense for timing his attack on a hanging ball. (By the way, in case you’re wondering, Domonique Rodgers-Cromartie is the best deep-ball man-defender in the NFC.)

More concerning to the Bengals should be Wes Welker. (We’ll assume Welker, in his first meaningful game back from ACL surgery, will be his usual self. A big assumption? Perhaps. But the man looked sharp throughout training camp and the preseason.)
J. Joseph (US Presswire)
Welker, obviously, thrives as an underneath receiver. Leon Hall is a Pro Bowl caliber corner, but he’s not a press corner (neither is Joseph). That’s virtually a moot point, though, because the Patriots almost always line Welker up in the slot or flanker position (two yards off the line of scrimmage). Still, Hall must be physical with Welker early in his route. Hall is usually tremendous in this capacity, but he’s also a tad inconsistent.

The key to Cincy’s defense will be whether Hall can control Welker in the five-to eight-yard range. Fortunately, Hall is an adequate tackler. But for preventing Welker from even catching the ball to begin with, the Bengals may want to have weakside linebacker Keith Rivers patrolling the underneath flats (stopping Welker in motion over the middle is nearly impossible). By committing Rivers to the flats, Cincy would be gambling with Chris Crocker against athletic tight end Rob Gronkowski in coverage – but at least that matchups pits an intelligent eighth-year veteran against a first-game rookie. Plus, if Rivers is in zone coverage in the flats, he can combat Kevin Faulk’s receiving prowess out of the backfield.

If we’re to follow this train of thought, then it all comes back to whether Joseph can handle Moss. If Joseph can’t, then Crocker will be needed in deep coverage, which means the Bengals would likely end up counting on Roy Williams to cover in the box. Just the idea of Williams in any sort of coverage gives defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer nightmares.

What to expect: a modest day for Moss (say in the neighborhood of five catches, 65 yards), a solid day for Welker (eight or nine catches, 100 yards) but the contest ultimately decided by whether the Patriots can find a third weapon in the passing game.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow  @cbssportsnfl   on Twitter   and subscribe to our  RSS Feed .

Posted on: September 9, 2010 10:09 am
Edited on: September 9, 2010 1:27 pm

Tom Brady car accident pictures abound on Twitter

Posted by Will Brinson

Update (1:20): For those of you wondering why Tom Brady's Audi had New Jersey plates, turns out it's a loaner .

Okay, so Tom Brady got in a car accident on Thursday morning en route to Gillette Stadium, getting hit by a minivan who ran a red light and into his Audi. (No, we cannot at this time confirm that Rex Ryan was driving the other car, but we'll keep you updated.)

Anyway, as any major -- or minor accident -- pictures of the incident immediately began popping up on Twitter. The photo you see above is one taken by Mark Garfinkel of the Boston Herald and then posted on Twitter .

Many of the other photos, though, weren't professionally done. In fact, they were from random Bostonians (Boston-ites?) who were hanging around the city when they realized that it was Brady driving the car, and they started snapping pictures.

Since Brady got t-boned (and the report is that there was the sound of a "violent crash"), he's declined to be hospitalized and is en route to Patriots' training facility.

Although it would appear that this is a pretty minor thing, you can bet it expedites his contract talk ... can you imagine what would have happened if the minivan had done some serious damage to Brady? Crazy to think about. Anyway, as you can see from the pictures below, that didn't happen, which is good.

This one's easily the worst angle of the bunch ... makes it look like Brady could have been seriously injured. Via YFrog/Twitter .

And this angle shows that the accident wasn't nearly as bad. Via YFrog/Twitter .

Here you can see Brady using his telephone to call someone (presumably his wife or Bill Belichick?) to tell them about the accident before they see it on Sportscenter.

Brady on the phone again, this time a little more clear of Brady using the phone, and one in which he's clearly okay.

Posted on: September 9, 2010 8:55 am
Edited on: September 9, 2010 12:25 pm

Report: Brady in car accident

Posted by Andy Benoit

The Patriots have confirmed what WEEI radio first reported : Tom Brady was involved in an automobile accident around 6:30 a.m. Thursday in Boston.

We've assembled a little compilation of pictures here if you're so inclined (don't worry, they aren't bad).

The accident occurred at the corner of Commonwealth and Gloucester in Boston's Back Bay section, which is near Brady's home.

According to WEEI's report Brady was "shaken" in what has been described as a "serious" accident between Brady's Audi and a minivan.

Although those reports -- and some of the photos -- lend a terrifying nature to the accident, Brady was able to walk away and declined to be hospitalized.

The Patriots confirmed via Facebook and Twitter (um, how else?) that Brady was at the practice facility later in the morning.

Also, if you'd like to read the report from the Boston Fire Department (which was published via -- again, what else? -- Twitter), click here .

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow  @cbssportsnfl   on Twitter   and subscribe to our  RSS Feed .

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