Posts pertaining to the National Football League.

Scott Taylor

Pats Win

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Scott Taylor

“The Coach”

Dr. Football

“Dr. Football”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brady Leads Patriots to Historic Comeback

By Scott Taylor

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – The Atlanta Falcons allowed Tom Brady to hang around. In the end, he took Super Bowl LI right out of their hands.

In one of the most incredible comebacks in National Football League championship history, Brady led his New England Patriots to a stunning 34-28 overtime – come-from-way-way-behind – victory to claim the fifth Super Bowl championship of his remarkable career.

This was a game in which the Patriots were down and out. They trailed Atlanta 21-0 in the second quarter, 21-3 at halftime and 28-3 in the third quarter before Brady led his Pats to 31 consecutive, yes unanswered, points as the Pats beat Atlanta in an overtime thriller.

Not only was it a comeback for the ages, it put an exclamation point on a season in which Brady — suspended for four games for his part in the stupid (and it was really, truly stupid) Deflategate controversy — came back and led his Pats on a charge toward Super Bowl championship No. 5.

Not surprisingly, Brady told the Fox television audience that he and his teammates never felt out of the game. Of course, Brady finished the game with 43 completions on 62 pass attempts for 466 yards and two touchdowns. He also gave up a touchdown on a pick-six in the second quarter, but by the end of the overtime, nobody remembered.

“Everybody on this team, we all brought each other back,” he said. “We never felt out of it. It was a tough battle. They have a great team. I give them a lot of credit. We just made a few more plays than them.”

The Patriots went into the game as three-point favorites, but the Falcons came out of the gate and dominated the first 35 minutes of play. NFL MVP Matt Ryan, the Atlanta quarterback, and his marvelously gifted wide receiver Julio Jones, put on a show for the 71,000 inside Houston’s NRG Stadium. However, it was really the oft-maligned Falcons defense that gave Atlanta the early lead.

After a scoreless first quarter, the Falcons took over in the second. A fumble by the Pats LeGarrette Blount led to Atlanta’s first touchdown. The Falcons scored again and then with 2:36 left in the first-half, Robert Alford, picked off a Brady pass and literally trotted 82 yards into the end zone untouched.

That made it 21-0 and many of the bettors in the various Las Vegas Sports Books were about to tear up their Patriots tickets.

Before the half ended, Pats kicker Stephen Gostkowski booted a field goal to make it 21-3, but this one smelled like it was over. Lady Gaga’s brilliant halftime performance was significantly more exciting and productive than anything the Pats did in the first half. In fact, it appeared as if Gaga had come to play while the Pats had not.

Then, to start the third quarter, things got even worse for New England. Ryan led his team down the field — 85 yards in eight plays — at start of the third quarter, capping the drive with a six-yard pass to Tevin Coleman. At that point Ryan had completed 12 of his 14 pass attempts and the Falcons were ahead 28-3.

But when the going gets tough…

Brady led his team to a touchdown – Gostkowski missed the extra point – and then a field goal and with 9:44 remaining as the Patriots cut the Falcons lead to 28-12.

Then came the turning point. Ryan, under huge pressure from the Patriots D-line, fumbled before he could get his arm moving forward and the Pats had the ball on the Atlanta 25. A few plays later, Brady found Danny Amendola in the end zone and with a two-point conversion it was a one-score game — 28-20. There was still hope.

A holding penalty stopped the Falcons’ next drive, but a good punt left the Patriots on their own nine-yard line with 3:38 to play.

That’s when Brady put together a season-defining drive. Buoyed in no small way by a couple of key penalty calls and a truly miraculous catch by Julian Edelman, Brady moved the ball to the two and James White, with his second TD of the game, scored again to give the Pats a chance. It was 28-26 and all they needed was a two-point conversion to tie.

With that, Brady found Amendola with a short pass and the diminutive receiver did the rest. The game was tied and overtime beckoned – the first overtime in 51 years of Super Bowls.

“Unbelievable,” said Edelman, when interviewed by Fox after the game. “It’s the microcosm of our life, our season. Mental toughness, believe, do your job, work hard and we’d be champions in the championship game.”

Overtime ended when the Pats won the toss. The Falcons defense was spent. Brady had put up 19 unanswered in the fourth-quarter alone and there was this feeling, everywhere, that Brady was going to march the Pats down the field. A field goal meant that Atlanta would get the ball and have a chance to win or tie. A touchdown meant the game was over. It was clear early on that Brady was taking his team to the end zone.

He marched his team from his own 25 to the Atlanta two and from there, White scored his third touchdown of the game to win it.

“No doubt that was a tough one for us,” said Falcons head coach, Dan Quinn. “That’s a hard one in the locker room. I love (my players), they battled. Tonight we came up short.”

On Sunday night, the Patriots gave football fans a record-setting performance:

Brady completed 43-of-62 passes for 466 yards, two touchdowns and an interception, and he was 12 of 16 for 150 yards on the tying and winning drives in the fourth quarter and overtime.

James White scored on a two-yard run in overtime to cap the greatest performance of his career. He had six carries for 29 yards and two touchdowns and a Super Bowl-record 14 receptions for 110 yards and another TD as a receiver.

Historically, Super Bowl games aren’t this exciting. Historically, teams don’t score 31 straight points to come back from 25 down in the second half to win. But this game was historic in itself. It was, perhaps, the greatest NFL championship game ever played.

 

(Our weekly prognosticators here at Game Day Gold, The Coach and Dr. Football, both picked the Super Bowl winner straight up and against the spread. Dr. Football went 1-0 (174-93) straight up and 1-0 (142-125) against the spread while The Coach went 1-0 straight up (177-90) and 1-0 (141-126) against the spread. It was, in terms of wagers and accumulated finances, a terrific season). 

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Eric Nelson

SPORTS NUGGETS: It’s purely hi-energy when the Super Bowl comes to Houston

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By Eric Nelson

February 5, 2017

GAMEDAY GOLD

HOUSTON – Sports Nuggets from Super Bowl LI…

 

•Hi-Energy: Houston is the energy capital of the US, powered by gas and oil – which has turned this sprawling metropolis of 2.196 million into the fourth largest city in the country. The Super Bowl also thrives on energy and is the biggest single-day sporting spectacle on the globe. So it’s no surprise that Houston and the Super Bowl are a perfect match…

Super Saturday Night Party in High Energy Houston, Texas

•Super Setting: As the countdown to Super Bowl LI continues, Houston is proving to be a super host. The spacious downtown area is clean and chock full of bars and restaurants. The city has prepped for this event for a couple years and looks better than a bride on her wedding day. Houston’s skyline is one of the most impressive in the country and the city is clearly prospering…

•Super Facts: When Atlanta and New England meet in Super Bowl LI on Sunday at NRG Stadium, it will be the third Super Bowl in Space City. Super Bowl VIII was played at Rice Stadium as Miami mangled Minnesota 24-7 and Super Bowl XXXVIII was staged at Reliant Stadium as New England squeaked by Carolina 32-29…

•Still Standing: NRG (originally named Reliant) sits next to the old Astrodome and dwarfs the facility. The Astrodome was the first ever indoor stadium and a precursor to the Superdome, Kingdome, Metrodome and RCA Dome. Despite efforts to tear it down, the Astrodome has not met the wrecking ball, and will be prominently displayed in aerial shots on FOX on Super Sunday. The Astros and Oilers used to play at the dome – which was dubbed the “eighth wonder of the world…”

•Ticket Data: According to StubHub, the cheapest Super Bowl ticket available on Saturday night was $2,325. That’s a lot of dough, but the tab would have been much higher if the Dallas Cowboys were playing. The DFW metroplex is just four hours north up I-45 and the Cowboy fan base would have flocked to Houston…

•Super Security: One thing that stands out in Super Bowl cities is the amount of law enforcement on duty. There are hundreds of police visible throughout Houston and it will be the same in Minneapolis for Super Bowl LII. On Friday, approximately 75 Minnesota law enforcement officers received a tour of key Super Bowl spots from the HPD. Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau was among those in the group…

•Multi-Sport Guy: There was a celebrity flag football game played in Katy, TX on Saturday. Team Doug Flutie won over team Kirk Cousins 40-35. One of Flutie’s top targets was Houston Astros P Dallas Keuchel, who became a catcher instead of a pitcher. Keuchel caught multiple passes, including a touchdown…

•Beard-Ball: Keuchel has a beard that is James Harden-like. Of course, Keuchel and Harden (a Rockets PG) are two of the most popular athletes in Houston. Safe to say they won’t be endorsing Gillette or Shick anytime soon…

•Prep Palace: The flag game was played at Rhodes Stadium, a 9,768 seat high school facility in Katy. Rhodes would be a top-notch stadium in any state, but in football-obsessed Texas it is no longer good enough. A new $70 million stadium is being built a few hundred yards away with a capacity of 12,000…

•Hot Spot: There were countless parties during Super Bowl week. One of the hippest events was the Maxim Party on Saturday night at the Smart Financial Centre in Sugarland, TX. One guy who showed up at the trendy bash was Minnesota Vikings RB  Adrian Peterson. AP resides in Houston in the off-season…

•Concrete Ribbons: Houston also has an impressive freeway grid, but deals with major traffic issues. The Houston sprawl has grown so much, that the metro area now has three beltways surrounding the city…

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Scott Taylor

Super Bowl LI Pick

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Scott Taylor

“The Coach”

Dr. Football

“Dr. Football”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Boys Like Tom Brady’s Revenge

By The Coach and Dr. Football

LAS VEGAS, Nev. — When the all-morning-afternoon Super Bowl LI Preview Show begins on Sunday, you will hear the name Tom Brady early and often. In fact, it might be one of the only names you hear all day and for most of the evening.

Sure, commentators will mention Atlanta’s Matt Ryan and Julio Jones and Patriots receivers Julian Edelman and Martellus Bennett, but for the most part, you’re going to hear about Brady.

You’ll hear about his four Super Bowl victories in six appearances. You’ll hear about Deflategate and his four-game suspension to start the season. You’ll hear about his celebrity Super Model wife and you might even hear about his cozy relationship with Donald Trump. He’s an easy guy to hate, but you can’t deny his ability to lead an NFL team to more than one Super Bowl championship.

However, while I’ll be the first to admit that Brady is the best in the game, I would like to add five other names to the list: LT Nate Solder, LG Joe Thuney, C David Andrews, RG Shaq Mason and RT Marcus Cannon. Especially Solder. He’s the 6-foot-8, 325-pound blindside offensive tackle. Sure, Tom Brady is great, but without Solder, a six-year veteran who has been in this situation before, Brady isn’t quite as great.

The reason Tom Brady gets a dozen steamboats to throw almost every time is because the Patriots offensive line is so good – and Solder is the best of a very good bunch. He was born in Denver, played at the University of Colorado and he makes $8.54 million per season. He’s good, the Pats know it and inside the locker room, he’s a star.

Outside the locker room, he’s just like any offensive lineman – anonymous. But when Sunday’s 51st Super Bowl is over and the New England Patriots hoist the Vince Lombardi Trophy for the fifth time in Tom Brady’s career, somebody will notice the Hawgs. I will be one of those people.

Solder, like Brady is a winner. The Coach and Dr. Football are also winners. This season, we’ll enter the Super Bowl with championship records. In the conference finals, Dr. Football went 1-1 (173-93) straight up and 1-1 (141-125) against the spread while The Coach went 1-1 straight up (176-90) and 1-1 (140-126) against the spread. This week, we agree once again:

Let’s take a closer look at the 51st Super Bowl and remember, keep an eye on Solder, Thuney, Andrews, Mason and Cannon. They will be the difference in the outcome.

 

SUNDAY EVENING 5:30 pm, Fox/CTV

SUPER BOWL LI at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Tex.

AFC Champion New England Patriots (16-2) vs. NFC Champion Atlanta Falcons (13-5)

LINE: New England plus three

The motivation of Ol’ Roger having to shake Tom Brady’s hand will be all the Patriots need to destroy Atlanta. The Coach says: The NFL decided to punish Brady four games for what should have been a 10-yard penalty. And it would have been if the league had its act together. As a result, there is a very good chance that the Super Bowl could be a Super Bore. If Brady plays his game, the Pats will win by three touchdowns. It’s going to be a tough night for all those Brady/Belichick haters. You people can just thank the league and Commissioner Smug for being so stupid.

Dr. Football: Take New England to win and cover

The Coach: Take New England to win and cover.

 

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GDG rundown for Super Bowl LI weekend (Feb. 3-5)

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They say there’s a big game on Sunday, eh?  Maybe that’s why Eric and Larry have bolted the Twin Cities for the warmer climate of Houston, TX.  This week, our hosts are putting on their work boots to cover everything happening ahead of Super Bowl LI.  They sit down with numerous guest to discuss the game and more.  You’ll hear from the New England Patriots (Tom Brady, Michael Floyd, & Chris Hogan), the Atlanta Falcons (De’Vondre Campbell), past Super Bowl champions (Aqib Talib and Brian Billick), and NFL insider Steve Wyche.

 

Houston, We Have Pigskin

Segment 1: Eric and Larry have made it to Houston, site of Super Bowl LI.  They set the scene from what has already been a very festive week.  Later, could political sentiment be a reason to change (or embolden) your rooting interest?

 

 

Tete-A-Tete: De’Vondre Campbell and Tom Brady Chat with GDG

Segment 2: Eric and Larry aren’t just in Houston to watch a ball game.  They’re working to give us the best sound from all of the build up to Sunday.  They start in this segment by talking with Falcons (and former Golden Gopher) CB De’Vondre Campbell.  Then, Patriots QB Tom Brady shares some of his thoughts before playing in his seventh championship game.

New England QB Tom Brady banters with the media

New England QB Tom Brady

 

Catching Up Fast: GDG Talks with Michael Floyd and Chris Hogan

Segment 3: The focus turns to the New England receiving corps this segment.  First, we hear from Twin Cities native Michael Floyd about his role on the team and how another local helped guide his path into the league.  Then, emerging talent Chris Hogan explains he has taken full advantage of being in the Patriots’ organization.

 

Champion Luster: GDG Sits Down with Aqib Talib and Brian Billick

Segment 4: We hear from champions during this part of the show.  All-Pro corner Aqib Talib discusses the journey to a Super Bowl ring and his time in New England.  After that, former Vikings OC and Ravens head coach Brian Billick tells us what he’s up to these days.

 

Legitimacy vs. Legacy: NFL Network’s Steve Wyche Breaks Down Super Bowl LI

Segment 5: Now, it’s time to get a media perspective.  NFL Network correspondent Steve Wyche spent some years covering the Falcons.  He tells us about what this Super Bowl appearance means to the organization, whether Atlanta can pull off the upset, and what this title would mean for the legacies of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.

Bill Belichick greets the press before Super Bowl LI

Bill Belichick greets the press before Super Bowl LI

 

Dinner and a Show…and a Championship Game

Segment 6: The guys return to the microphone to talk about the true definition of a good Super Bowl…food and entertainment.  They discuss a barbecue contest that one of our hosts got to judge.  They explain what they expect from Lady Gaga’s halftime show.  Plus, they chat a bit about the game itself.

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan

 

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