Archive for January, 2012

VIDEO: Patriots Tribute, Lombardi Trophy Coming Home

Late Monday evening, I came across a video that really caught my eye and I wanted to share it with Patriots Nation. The two minute video, created by Mike Bernard, gave me chills and  definitely is worth a watch. Check it out below. –

The Lombardi Trophy Coming Home from Mike Bernard on Vimeo.


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Welker: “I Plan On Being Back”

The New England Patriots arrived on Sunday afternoon, as the team prepares for Super Bowl XLVI. During Wes Welker’s media session in Indianapolis, a reporter brought up the topic of his contract.

Wes Welker won’t let his contract become a distraction. (FILE:Icon/SMI)

“I plan on being back,” Welker said. “I am not really too worried about that right now. I am fully concentrated on this game and what we have to do, but I plan on being back.”

Welker’s comments certainly give Patriots Nation reason for optimism, as the Pro Bowl receiver is finishing up his final year under contract with the Patriots.

Even though Welker did address the first question, he did not elaborate much on his comments.

“This is all stuff that we can address at another point,” Welker said.

I believe Welker has done a great job all season of not letting his contract situation become a distraction. It would be easy for one of the NFL’s best wide outs to let his contract become a leading story on SportsCenter.

Welker, however, has handled his contract like every other aspect of his career to this point; like a professional. I believe the receiver does return next season and this will be a story to monitor later in February, but for now, Welker says to focus on the team’s main goal.

“It can be a story after the season is over,” Welker said. “But right now, we are just concentrating on this game and what we have to do to win this game. If you win this game, all of that other stuff takes care of itself.”

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Practice Report: Brady Attends, Gronkowski Absent

The New England Patriots held their first practice as AFC Champions on Thursday inside the Dana Farber Field House.

The players were in sweats and shells as they began preparation for the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI on Feb. 5. Quarterback Tom Brady was in attendance, while tight end Rob Gronkowski was the only player on the 53-man roster  not present at the practice.

Gronkowski, who suffered an ankle sprain against the Ravens, has not been absent from practice very often; this is the first practice since Aug. 9 the Pro Bowl TE has not been present.

Practice squad TE Carson Butler was also not seen during the media portion of practice.

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Handing Out The Attaboys: Patriots Edge Ravens

In almost any game, there are always players who play well and those who struggle throughout the course of the contest. After New England‘s 23-20 win over the Baltimore Ravens to advance to the Super Bowl, I decided to hand out some attaboys to a few players who earned an honorable mention in a great team performance Sunday afternoon.

Brandon Spikes showed the play making ability he displayed throughout his collegiate career on Sunday. (FILE:Icon/SMI)

– The entire offensive line deserves some credit as they gave Tom Brady and the offense time to execute throughout the game. The Ravens, who have one of the more feared front sevens in the league, were held to one sack and three quarterback hits in the contest.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis was tremendous throughout the game on Sunday. This was only the fourth time this year the running back rushed for over 60 yards and four yards-per-carry. Green-Ellis kept the offense balanced and the Ravens defense honest. In a game were Brady was not his elite self, the lawfirm came through when the team needed him most.

– Similar to the offensive line, New England’s defensive line was outstanding on Saturday. In particular, Vince Wilfork was the most valuable player on the field for the Patriots. He dominated Baltimore’s offensive line, including pro bowl center Matt Birk. With out the type of game Wilfork had on Sunday afternoon, I have a hard time believing the Patriots are able to advance to the Super Bowl.

Brandon Spikes had a very good game against the Ravens. Going into the game, many people believed this was the type of game Spikes would thrive in and they were right. The second-year linebacker was all over the field, leading the team with nine tackles (two solo). He also came up with a huge interception in the fourth quarter, showing the playmaking ability he demonstrated at Florida.

– One of the biggest heroes after the game was cornerback Sterling Moore. The rookie defensive back stripped the ball from Baltimore receiver Lee Evans in the end zone and on the following play made a perfect play to knock the ball down. The rookie showed great poise and technique on both plays. Without Moore, we are most likely wrapping up the Patriots’ season.

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Patriots Home Team in Super Bowl, Will Wear Blue Jerseys

The NFL office announced on Monday afternoon that the New England Patriots will be the designated home team in Super Bowl XLVI and will wear their blue jerseys.

Each year, the NFL rotates between the AFC and NFC as home team. Since the Patriots wear their blue jerseys at home, the team has decided to wear blue in the Super Bowl on Feb. 5. In Super Bowl XLII against the New York Giants, the Pats wore their blue jerseys and were also the home team.

Personally, I believe it would be refreshing to see the throwback red jerseys for the big game in Indianapolis. I love their red throwbacks, but in this year’s playoffs, the blue jerseys seem to be working out just fine.

The team also announced they will travel to Indy on Sunday in preparation for the busy week ahead.

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Collinsworth: Brady Could Be More Motivated Than Ever Before

NBC employees and analysts, who will be covering the Super Bowl in two weeks, all had something to say after the championship games on Sunday. Analyst Chris Collinsworth had an interesting comment that I would like to share. –

Brady could be more motivated than ever in this year’s Super Bowl. (FILE:Icon/SMI)

“It’s not often that Tom Brady needs help from anybody to make his way to the Super Bowl, but you know that he is going to be inspired in a way that he hasn’t been, maybe ever,” Collinsworth said. ” Hearing his post-game self-critique, you know that he has a little chip on his shoulder going into the Super Bowl.”

After the very emotional game on Sunday afternoon, I was trying to decide if I was glad Brady played as bad as he did in the team’s win. Yes, obviously I would love to see the future hall of fame quarterback play better, but could Collinsworth be on to something positive?

I believe Collinsworth is right, Brady will have a chip on his shoulder going into the Super Bowl, as well he should. He was mediocre at best throughout the game and made some questionable decisions. Luckily for him and Patriots Nation, the team rallied around the quarterback and secured the victory.

I believe Brady’s preparation is perhaps second to none, but with this added motivation to play better, the team could most certainly feed off him going into the big game. I know I am not the only one who loves to see Brady play with a fire and passion in his eyes. His rare struggle could in fact benefit the team on February 5.

Do you agree or disagree? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts! Also, do you have a Twitter account? Be sure to follow me: @PatriotsHaven!

VIDEO: Ravens vs Patriots Highlights

The New England Patriots defeated the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday afternoon 23-20 in the AFC Championship game. The Patriots will advance to their fifth Super Bowl in 11 years and will face the New York Giants in two weeks.

In the next two weeks I will breakdown different aspects of the Ravens contest and also preview the Giants game for the league championship. For now, here is a video of yesterday’s game highlights by NFL Network.

(Video courtesy of Lakersfan91)

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Ravens and Patriots Inactives

The New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens have listed their inactives for today’s game. –

Chad Ochocinco will be inactive for today’s game after the passing of his father. (FILE:Icon/SMI)

New England Patriots:

LB Gary Guyton
T Sebastian Vollmer
OL Donald Thomas
WR Chad Ochocinco
RB Stevan Ridley
RB Shane Vereen
QB Ryan Mallett

Baltimore Ravens:

WR Tandon Doss
CB Chykie Brown
RB Anthony Allen
LB Josh Bynes
LB Sergio Kindle
OL Justin Boren
DL Brandon McKinney

Score Prediction: Patriots – 34, Ravens – 23.

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Score Prediction: Ravens at Patriots

The Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots showdown at Gillette Stadium in the highly anticipated AFC Championship match up. Even though the Pats struggled against the Ravens in their last playoff contest, I believe they can get the win this week.

The Ravens will probably keep it close early, but the Patriots should make their move in the second and into the third quarter. The Ravens are an emotional team and I believe in this game – more than any – New England has to establish momentum early.

Baltimore has a great defense, but I believe this game could get out of hand for the Ravens if they cannot get pressure on Tom Brady. The Patriots offense has been incredible this year and I cannot envision them not scoring 30 points in any game. I believe last week’s momentum carries over and the Patriots return to the Super Bowl.

My prediction for the game is Patriots 34, Ravens 23.

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Practice Report: Fourteen Players Questionable

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who missed Wednesday’s practice and was limited Thursday with a left shoulder injury, was removed from the injury report Friday afternoon.

The Patriots had 14 players who were limited and all are officially “questionable” for Sunday’s game. The three players listed as full participation are all “probable” for the contest.

Tom Brady, who was limited with a left shoulder injury this week, was removed from the injury report Friday afternoon. (FILE:Icon/SMI)

Here is the full report –

Did not practice

Limited participation
WR Deion Branch – knee
OT Marcus Cannon – ankle
S Patrick Chung – knee
LB Dane Fletcher – thumb
TE Aaron Hernandez – concussion
S James Ihedigbo – shoulder
DL Kyle Love – ankle
G Logan Mankins – knee
LB Rob Ninkovich – hip
OT Nate Solder – concussion
LB Brandon Spikes – knee
OT Sebastian Vollmer – back & foot
WR Wes Welker – knee
LB Tracy Waters – abdomen

Full participation
CB Kyle Arrington – foot
C Dan Connolly – groin
WR Matthew Slater – shoulder


Good news for Matthew Slater, Kyle Arrington and center Dan Connolly, however, as they were all listed as full participants after being limited in practice last week. All will play a role for this team in every phase of the game.

One of the more exciting aspects of last week’s game was how fresh, healthy and energized the Patriots looked. Hopefully, the team is just being cautionary and the same aspect is visible this Sunday.

On a side note, Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed – dealing with a left ankle injury – was the only player on the Ravens injury report.

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