Tag Archives: Peyton Manning

Patriots Congratulate Drew Brees For Setting NFL Passing Record

Robert Alvarez
October 9, 2018 at 2:36 pm ET

During Monday Night Football, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees set the NFL all-time record for career passing yards following a 62 yard touchdown pass to receiver Tre’Quan Smith.

Brees finished the game with a career total of 72,103 passing yards, surpassing Peyton Manning’s 71,940 for first place all-time.

Following the record breaking touchdown pass, current and former Patriots took to their social media accounts to congratulate the future Hall of Fame quarterback.

https://twitter.com/damienwoody/status/1049473481644085248

Former Patriot Donte’ Stallworth also took time to share  a person story from his first meeting with Brees.

As an added bonus, here is Peyton Manning congratulating Brees for breaking his record.

Tom Brady Named AFC Offensive Player of the Week

Robert Alvarez
September 20, 2017 at 8:02 pm ET

For an NFL record 28th time in his NFL career, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week for his performance in the teams 36-20 victory over the New Orleans Saints.

The honor moves Brady out of a tie with former NFL quarterback Peyton Manning for the most in league history.

On Sunday, Brady completed 30-of-39 passes for 447 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions in the victory at New Orleans. Brady established an NFL record with his 52nd game with three or more touchdowns and no interceptions. All three of Brady’s touchdowns were in the first quarter, the first time in his career that has occurred.

The award marks the first New England Patriot to receive a weekly honor in 2017, last season the Patriots earned seven Player of the Week Awards and two Player of the Month awards.

RECAP: Best Patriots Moments From The 2017 ESPY Awards

Robert Alvarez
July 13, 2017 at 8:24 pm ET

Every Wednesday following the Major League Baseball All Star game the night before is often deemed “the worst day on the sports calendar” in the United States.

With no baseball games, hockey and basketball wrapped up, and football training camp remaining a few weeks away, ESPN started its “ESPY’s” award show in 1993 to try and help fill the void during a quiet time.

This year as defending Super Bowl champions, the New England Patriots were up for multiple awards and therefore were to be included in a few funny skits and moments throughout the program.

Three major moments involved host and former rival Peyton Manning, beginning with a funny skit involving Tom Brady checking in on his grandmother at a retirement home Manning “lives” at with a subtle jab at the Super Bowl ring count between both quarterbacks.

A second skit was about Peyton Manning’s Super Bowl party and the wave of emotions the former quarterback went through for a game he supposedly didn’t care about as the Patriots mounted their 25 point comeback.

Last but not least, Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman stole the show with a surprising roast of Peyton’s career struggles in outdoor playoff games when the team received the Espy award for best game.

During a powerful segment about Saints superfan Jarrius Robertson, a familiar looking, slightly modified t-shirt was spotted on the Jimmy V Award winner.

At the after party, Julian Edelman caught up with other celebrities.

What about Bob? #photobombed

A post shared by Julian Edelman (@edelman11) on

All videos courtesy @PatsNationTM

Patriots By the Numbers, Fun Facts Before the Cardinals Kickoff

Steve Balestrieri
September 10, 2016 at 8:06 am ET

The Patriots will open the 2016 NFL season on the road in Phoenix against the Cardinals on Sunday Night Football. The team traveled a day early on Friday and are putting their final prep for the contest on Saturday.

So with the wait before the game on Sunday night, here are some interesting numbers to pore over.

0: Games started by Jimmy Garoppolo, Sunday will be his first

1: Wins by the Patriots over NFC opponents on Opening Weekend. Record is 1-3

4: Super Bowl wins by HC Bill Belichick, tied for most with Chuck Noll

4: Number of times Tom Brady has led the NFL in TD passes. Tied with Len Dawson, Drew Brees, Brett Favre, Peyton Manning, Johnny Unitas, and Steve Young

5: Number of consecutive Conference Title games by NE, tied with Oakland (73-77)

7: Number of consecutive Division Titles by NE, tied with Rams (73-79)

7: Number of consecutive years in the playoffs, only five teams have reached 8 in a row

13: Number of Division Titles by Belichick, tied with Tom Landry, and Don Shula

13: Number of consecutive 10-win seasons by NE

15: Consecutive winning seasons by NE, can tie SF, Dallas for most since 1970 merger

17: Number of seasons by Tom Brady, most in team history passing Steve Grogan

23: Post-season wins by Bill Belichick, most in NFL history. Landry (20) is second.

29: Consecutive games with a sack by NE the longest current streak in the NFL

31: Wins on opening day by the Patriots, overall record of 31-25

38: Number of playoff games played by the Patriots since Robert Kraft bought the team. Most in the NFL, Green Bay is second with 33.

38: Wins by the Pats since 2001 in games decided by 3 points or fewer. Top winning percentage in the NFL with .717 (38-15) during that time.

44: Number of wins (44-5) since 2008 when the Patriots don’t turn over the ball

45: Wins by the Patriots over NFC opponents since 2002, NFL best record of 45-11

55: Road wins since 2006, Pats road record of 55-25 best in the NFL

64: TD passes to Gronk from Tom Brady, second most in NFL history between a QB and TE. Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates lead with 77

66: Career touchdowns by Rob Gronkowski, needs three to pass Stanley Morgan (68) for most in Patriots history.

71: Divisional wins by NE since 2001 (71-21), most in the NFL. Indianapolis (67) is 2nd

81: Number of consecutive victories at home by NE when leading at halftime

83: Road wins by NE since 2000, tops in the NFL, Philadelphia is 2nd with 78

134: Pats record of 134-42 is the best in the NFL the last decade with a winning pct of .761. Indy next with 118 wins (118-58), winning pct of .658

137: Yards rushed by Tony Collins on 21 carries against Baltimore in 1982 opener

183: Yards receiving by Randy Moss on 9 catches against the Jets in 2007 opener

194: Wins by Tom Brady combined regular/post season. Needs 7 to pass Manning (200), Favre (199) for most career wins by a QB

428: Career TD passes by Tom Brady, tied with Drew Brees for 3rd all-time in the NFL

517: Yards thrown by Tom Brady on 32 completions vs Miami in 2011 opener

Follow me on Twitter @SteveB7SFG or email me at [email protected]

Listen to our Patriots 4th and 2 podcasts on blog talk radio as the writers Russ Goldman, Derek Havens and I from PatsFans.com discuss the latest Patriots news Wednesdays at 12 noon.

Tom Brady On Peyton Manning: “You Changed The Game Forever”

Robert Alvarez
March 6, 2016 at 8:19 pm ET

In a report first filed to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, it was announced on Sunday that Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning will announce his retirement from the NFL on Monday.

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady followed up the news with a Facebook post dedicated to his friend and rival whom he matched up with 17 times with from 2001-2016 in both the regular and post seasons. Their five playoff meetings are the most by any two quarterbacks in NFL history, Manning took home a 3-2 edge.

Congratulations Peyton, on an incredible career. You changed the game forever and made everyone around you better. It's been an honor.

Posted by Tom Brady on Sunday, March 6, 2016

Is the NFL’s Pendulum Swinging Back to the Running Game?

Steve Balestrieri
February 12, 2016 at 6:00 am ET

The NFL is a passing league and it is driven by the quarterbacks. With the plethora of talented passers and athletic receivers in the league, it has led to an explosion of passing yards, touchdowns and offenses that love to spread out defenses and find mismatches.

That has led to smaller, faster and more athletic defenses that have to try to keep up with these offenses. Denver’s defense is a prime example, a very athletic, blistering fast unit that uses speed to overwhelm their opponents.

But the NFL is always evolving and the league is trending back to being more run based but at a bare minimum, it is going to be much more balanced in terms of offense. A quick look at the final eight teams that rounded out the NFL’s season from the Divisional Round thru the Super Bowl shows that for the most part,  teams that ran the ball well were the ones standing in the end.

All four of the teams from the NFC were in the top 12 of rushing. Carolina was the #2 rushing team in the NFL averaging 142.6 yards per game. Seattle was the #3 rushing team, even without Marshawn Lynch down the stretch averaging 141.8. Arizona came in 8th with 119.8 yards per game and Green Bay rounded out the NFC at #12 with 115.6 yards per game.

Over in the AFC, Kansas City was the #6 rushing team in the NFL averaging 127.8 yards per game. Pittsburgh came in 16th with 107.8 yards per game. But they lost LeVeon Bell after only six games in 2015 with him serving the first two games of the season on a suspension and then him going down with a season ending injury, tearing an MCL in Week 8.

Denver was right behind Pittsburgh in 17th place in the league averaging 107.4 yards per game. But that number needs to be looked at closer. After Peyton Manning was sat down, and Brock Osweiler took over, Gary Kubiak finally installed the running game as he envisioned it with the QB under center. The results were startling. In the last seven games of the season, Denver averaged 134.9 yards per game, which would have put them right around 5th/6th place over the course of a season.

Only the New England Patriots were the anomaly in the final eight, rushing for a paltry 87.8 yards per game, 30th in the NFL. Their success had more to do with the ability of Tom Brady than anything else and why they made it the conference championship.

It also isn’t surprising that the league’s top five scoring teams (Car, AZ, NE, Sea, Pitts) are also on this list, again only the Patriots are the wildcard with the vast onus being on the passing game. Kansas City finished with the 9th top scoring team in the league.

Does this mean that the NFL is going back to the 4 yards and a cloud of dust days? Hardly, as long as QBs like Brady, Aaron Rogers, Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger et al. are under center teams are going to throw the ball and do so very well.

But to combat the fast nickel and dime defenses that teams are playing more and more with five and six defensive backs on the field, teams are going back to more of balanced run based approach. It keeps the downs and distances manageable and when facing third and short, teams that run effectively have the option of mixing things up and keeping the chains moving.

The NFL is a copycat league, with the success of both Denver and Carolina having very good running attacks and fast, athletic defenses, look for the other teams in the league trying to duplicate their success. The age of the mobile, big-armed QBs are here and now the defenses will have to adjust accordingly again.

Bill Belichick likes to stay a step ahead of the trends in the game, when the Patriots play their nickel and dime defenses, they frequently do so with extra safeties instead of cornerbacks. Part of the reason is in the AFC East, they play the Bills and Jets, two teams that run the ball extremely well.

Safeties who take the place of linebackers in the big nickel defense have to be able to stuff the run and still be able to cover tight ends and running backs and the occasional slot receiver. Big safeties who can stuff the run and cover will become increasingly sought after as teams play more in their sub-packages than in their base defenses.

What does this mean for New England? Well one last look at the coach’s film from the AFC Championship Game shows that at a bare minimum, they’re going to need a complimentary running game if they want to get back to the big game.

They can’t rely on Tom Brady chucking the ball 80 percent of the time. Being one-dimensional against a very good defense like Denver’s hurt them twice in 2015. Brady took a beating in both games. With him turning 39 this season, they can’t afford to have him going down because the defense is just pinning their ears back.

So while the Patriots haven’t valued the running back position in recent years, perhaps this is a good time, to reverse that trend a bit and spend the money and/or draft picks to get themselves a higher tier running back. They’ve proven they can throw it with the best of teams, but with a viable running game, not only will it make the passing game even more effective, it will limit the abuse your 39-year old QB has to take.

There are some intriguing names out there both in free agency and the draft, several that can be had in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th rounds. The league is trending towards having better rushing attacks again. The Pats are already well equipped to stop those. Now they need to get to work on getting one of their own.

Follow me on Twitter @SteveB7SFG or email me at [email protected]

Listen to our Patriots 4th and 2 podcast on blog talk radio as the writers Russ Goldman, Derek Havens and I from PatsFans.com discuss the latest Patriots news Wednesdays at 12 noon.

New England Patriots News 2-7 and AFC East Notes

Steve Balestrieri
February 7, 2016 at 5:00 am ET

Good morning, here are Sunday’s Patriots news notes and what’s happening around the division.

Brady Takes the High Road: So after spending some time at his alma mater during signing day and lending his support to coach Jim Harbaugh, Tom Brady will indeed be making his way to Santa Clara and is scheduled to appear today as part of the pre-game pomp and ceremony for Super Bowl L.

Commissioner Roger Goodell had sent Brady as well as every SB MVP letters inviting them to be honored prior to the game beginning. Brady was so invited prior to SB XL and did the coin toss between Seattle and Pittsburgh. But after Goodell and the NFL conducted a smear campaign against Brady and tried to ruin his legacy with false information leaks to the press and innuendo during the Deflategate saga, there was cause for doubt that #12 would show.

But Brady decided to indeed show up and be part of the league’s celebration and should get a good ovation from his hometown crowd. Joe Montana will do the coin toss for this season’s Super Bowl in San Francisco. So while Brady is putting on the brave face and attending, Goodell however went out of his way to avoid the Patriots and Brady this season, skipping the traditional opening night game of the season. Something the commissioners have traditionally done at the Super Bowl champs home field.

Good for Brady, representing not only himself but his team and all of his teammates from the four Super Bowl winning teams along with Deion Branch.

Patriots The “Most Hated” Team in America: The Patriots have overtaken the Dallas Cowboys for the dubious distinction as the being the most hated team in America.

Public Policy Polling does an annual survey of NFL fans across the country and asked who is the people’s choice for the least popular team in the land. Dallas which traditionally takes home the prize this time came in second with 20 percent. The most hated team is now New England with 23 percent of America saying they hate the Patriots. No other team got more than 10 percent of the vote.

Tom Brady also had the dubious distinction of being both the most favorite quarterback in the league as well as the least favorite according to fans. Brady garnered 23 percent of the vote as most favorite QB over Peyton Manning (16%), Aaron Rodgers (13%), and Cam Newton (11%).

Brady got even more votes as the least favorite QB with 29 percent of the vote. Tim Tebow who isn’t even in the league finished a distant second with 10 percent and no other NFL QB registered in double digits.

That’s what winning does for you…

Goodell, League still can’t get it straight: Earlier this week, we wrote about Roger Goodell and the entire mess surrounding the PSI levels in footballs. After meticulous record keeping this season of the pregame, half-time and post-game PSI levels in footballs in the official referee’s report, Goodell announced that the league will not release any of the data that the league collected this season.

He changed the league’s focus from that of a research project to, as Goodell described as spot checks. He then touted the NFL’s respect for the “integrity of the game” as he reported no violations this season.

On Friday Goodell side-stepped questions from Tom E. Curran about releasing the data and the Brady situation. But the league’s officiating chief Dean Blandino sounded a different tune in SF stating that the league hasn’t decided HOW they will disseminate the PSI info.

Doesn’t sound like one side knows what the other is doing over at Park Avenue. And it leaves one to wonder if the ‘spot checks’ were damaging to the Patriots case in the Deflategate mess, the league would no doubt be all-to-willing to leak that data out to the media.

Season Ticket Renewals due March 31: The Patriots are sending out renewal notices for the fans who have season tickets that they have until March 31 to keep their tickets for the 2016 season.

According to Patriots.com, for the third consecutive season, the team will utilize variable pricing, creating three separate pricing categories for preseason, premier and marquee games.

While ticket prices have not risen across the board since the 2007 season however, the team will have increase costs of tickets in two of the upper level seating categories this year. Cost increases will be made in the Upper Level Midfield and Upper Level Corner sections on the 300-level, with prices increasing to $105 ($6 increase) and $75 ($10 increase), respectively, per ticket. The prices in the remaining seating categories (81.5 percent of the seats), including all seats on the Lower and Mezzanine levels, remain unchanged.

East Bound and Down, AFC East Notes:
Namath Wants Manning with the Jets:
While most people think that Peyton Manning is done after tonight’s game in Super Bowl L, and he’s rumored to have told friends and family that this is it for him, Joe Namath wants the Jets to bring him in.

“If he’s physically fit and the Broncos don’t want him, I’d give him a good look right out there in New York Jet territory,” Namath said. “How about that? Would you take him on the Jet team if he’s healthy?”

While Manning in a Jets uniform would certainly ratchet up the Jets – Patriots rivalry for the next season, it wouldn’t be a particularly smart decision for the Jets. While neither Ryan Fitzpatrick or Manning is a long-term solution for them, Fitzpatrick actually gives them a better chance of winning in 2016 than Manning does. Anyone who watched him in 2015 can attest to that.

They do need to invest in a long-term solution at QB soon in New York, luckily for Jets fans, Namath isn’t their GM and Mike Maccagnan is.

Former Dolphin QB Earl Morrall Suffered From CTE: The family of former Dolphin and Colt QB Earl Morrall released information this week stating that the 79-year old player who passed away in 2014 had stage-four CTE.

Originally it was released that the former QB had passed away from complications from Parkinsons Disease, but family members told the New York Times this week, that in reality that Morrall had CTE which is the most serious stage of the brain disease caused by the constant jarring of the head during football collisions. It mostly manifests itself through concussions while the players were in the NFL.

Boston University has diagnosed CTE in 90 of 94 former players that they’ve studied. Morrall was a key member of the Miami undefeated season of 1972. After Bob Griese broke his ankle, Morrall quarterbacked the team for nine games until Griese returned for the playoffs. Morrall also QB’d the Colts to a Super Bowl in 1968 when Johnny Unitas got injured.

Follow me on Twitter @SteveB7SFG or email me at [email protected]

Listen to our Patriots 4th and 2 podcast on blog talk radio as the writers Russ Goldman, Derek Havens and I from PatsFans.com discuss the latest Patriots news Wednesdays at 12 noon.

Patriots Fourth And Two Podcast: AFC Championship Game Review

Russ Goldman
January 29, 2016 at 11:42 am ET

Check out our PatsFans.com, weekly ‘Patriots 4th & 2’ podcast.  Russ Goldman, Derek Havens and Steve Balestrieri our featured columnists for the site, break down the games every week and bring some analysis to the latest news featuring both the Patriots and the NFL as well.

In this episode, we looked back at the AFC Championship Game loss for the Patriots. We analyzed each quarter of the game, and also graded all the Patriots units along with the coaching staff. We also had another segment of “Around The League” and we ended with our early predictions for the Super Bowl.

Be sure to listen in during the coming weeks; just because the Patriots playoff run in over, there is no off-season for them or us. We’ll bring our listeners the questions surrounding the team approaching free agency as well as looking at some players that the team may be interested in. We’ll look at some available free agents in the coming weeks as well as the upcoming 2016 NFL Draft.

Monday Observations: Brady Battered, but Resilient In Loss to Broncos

Steve Balestrieri
January 25, 2016 at 6:31 am ET

The Patriots will look back on this one as the one that went awry from the outset. The Pats were playing a step slower and from behind all day long and could never get on track as the Broncos defense dominated the New England offensive line in their 20-18 win in the AFC Championship Game.

This was a game that the front seven of Denver took charge of right off the bat and never let up, sacking Brady 4 times and being credited with 20 QB hits. The Patriots offensive line wasn’t close to providing anywhere near the protection that Brady needed to get the job done.

Playing at home and with the crowd noise, Denver keyed in on the Patriots snap cadence and were teeing off all game long. Several times their edge rushers blew past the tackles on the outside untouched. The coaches tried to even put an extra tackle (Cameron Fleming), out there to help but he too was rendered into a turnstile without laying a hand on the defender.

The Broncos defense and coach Wade Phillips deserve a lot of praise for this one. They were able to take away the quick passing game of the Patriots and bring the heat with a very talented front seven. Von Miller led the way with 2.5 sacks and four QB hits. Derek Wolfe had a sack and four QB hits. DeMarcus Ware chipped in with a half-sack and seven QB hits.

In contrast, the Patriots edge rushers, Chandler Jones, Rob Ninkovich and Jabaal Sheard…0 stands for zero. No sacks, no QB hits, no pressure. The only pressure the Patriots were able to produce was in the A-gap with Jamie Collins and Allen Branch who combined for the three Patriots sacks.

The flip side of the offensive line’s struggles was the continued inability to run the football. The Patriots were able to muster only 44 yards on the ground on 17 attempts which comes out to a measly 2.6 yard average. Brady was the team’s leading rusher with 13 yards which sends up red flags as to what kind of day it was.

In a game where they were only trailing by one score, any semblance of a running game would have taken a tremendous amount of pressure off of Brady. As a result, the Pats third down percentage was once again an awful 2 for 15.

Brady Battered but Resilient: Brady deserves a lot of credit for hanging tough in this one. He was bruised, battered and bloodied all day long. His numbers won’t reflect him having an even close to Brady-type afternoon, 27-56 for 310 yards with 1 touchdown and 2 picks, but he was under duress on nearly every play.

It marked the first post-season game where he didn’t complete at least 50 percent of his passes, and while he made some questionable decisions, he did lead the team to what should have been a tying touchdown with 12 seconds left.

The pass and catch to Rob Gronkowski for 40 yards to set them up at the 10-yard line was a beauty over double coverage. And he and Gronk hooked up again for the touchdown on a fourth-down pass from the 4-yard line. A rare Stephen Gostkowski missed PAT in the first half (his first since 2006), couldn’t have come at a worse time. It forced the Pats to go for two which the Broncos stopped to clinch the game.

Gronk is a Gamer: Rob Gronkowski had another outstanding day. The big tight end wasn’t at 100 percent, was drawing a lot of double and at times triple coverage but still came thru with a big game. Gronk hauled in eight passes for 144 yards and a touchdown and although was struggling with leg cramps and dehydration was still able to make plays at crunch time.

His big 40-yard catch over double coverage was one of the best plays of the season and he was able to defeat double coverage at the back of the end zone for the potential game tying touchdown at the end of the game.

Curious Decisions to Start: The Patriots made a couple of head scratching decisions to start the game and their second really hurt them. The first was after winning the coin toss, the Pats went against their normal M.O. and elected to receive. I can’t recall the last time they did that to start a game.

Obviously the thinking was to get the ball, score quickly and make Peyton Manning play from behind. They didn’t do that and were forced to punt. Which leads to the second strange decision.

At the beginning of the game, the Patriots defense was treating Manning like the Manning from 2003 where they seemed afraid of blitzing him for fear that he’d make them pay. Well…it did. Manning was operating early in the game with impunity for the most part and after driving down to the Patriots 21-yard line on their opening possession, Owen Daniels ran down the seam.

Jamie Collins and Rob Ninkovich couldn’t decide who should cover him and in the end neither did. Manning laid a 35mph fastball down the middle that was way too easy for the score. That gave Denver the lead they would never relinquish. Manning would toss another touchdown to Daniels where he faked Collins out badly to the corner of the end zone.

Once they finally decided to start getting after Manning with some aggressive packages, the Broncos offense stalled for much of the rest of the game. They did get one nice run by C.J. Anderson that set them up with a field goal, but that was it.

Manning finished 17-32 for 176 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions although he was tagged for a fumble on a backwards pass that was picked up by Jonathan Freeny. Malcolm Butler had opportunities for two interceptions that went right thru his hands.

The Patriots defense did a good job of limiting the Broncos running game, holding them to 99 yards rushing of which nearly a third of that total was on the one run by Anderson in the second half. It wasn’t the defense that lost this one. We wrote yesterday that Manning was 3-12 when the opposition scored 19 or more points. The Patriots scored just 18 and that isn’t enough

Denver Won STs Field Position Battle: This wasn’t a stellar day for the Patriots special teams’ units. First Gostkowski misses his first PAT in 524 attempts which puts them down 7-6. Ryan Allen wasn’t able to push the Broncos back and his 46.8 average was a bit misleading.

In contrast, Denver’s special teams were constantly pinning the Patriots deep in their zone. Britton Colquitt had an outstanding day, his punts were hanging up there allowing the coverage units to get down field. He had four punts inside the 20 including a few inside the 10-yard line.

On a day where the Denver front seven was kicking the NE offensive line’s ass, it ended up being a huge win for them as they held favorable field position for much of the day.

White Targeted, Martin/LaFell Invisible: There has been calls for the Patriots to get James White more involved in the passing game. Well they certainly did that, targeting the 2nd year RB 16 times in the air. The problem was he caught only 5 passes for 45 yards.

They kept attempting to hit him on a go-route isolated on a linebacker and while a few came close, especially one in the end zone, it didn’t materialize for them. While some of the issues came about because Brady didn’t have proper time to get him the ball, one would think they would’ve looked elsewhere.

On the flip side, WRs Keshawn Martin and Brandon LaFell were relegated to milk carton status. Martin was targeted once, LaFell not at all and both were invisible. On a day where Denver was placing a premium on stopping Gronk and Edelman, they needed to make some plays and didn’t.

A disappointing end to a year that started so well, no it’s on to offseason. The draft is next up and the team will have to look to it and free agency.

Follow me on Twitter @SteveB7SFG or email me at [email protected]

Listen to our Patriots 4th and 2 podcast on blog talk radio as the writers Russ Goldman, Derek Havens and I from PatsFans.com discuss the latest Patriots news Wednesdays at 12 noon.

AFC Championship Preview With “Obnoxious Boston Fan”

Robert Alvarez
January 24, 2016 at 11:36 am ET

With the AFC Championship on the line this Sunday afternoon, I was graciously granted the opportunity to interview sports journalist Bill Speros otherwise known online as the “Obnoxious Boston Fan” for his insight and game predictions. 

Who is your breakout player for either Denver or New England this week?

“Screw Denver. If Brock Osweiler plays, that will be breakout enough. Pick one of the Patriots running backs. That’s the only big surprise you’ll see on the offense. Brady’s already dazzled us by completed passes to 8 different receivers last week when the offense looked like it did in Weeks 1-10.”

Position matchup/battle to look for?

“Whoever the Broncos try to throw up against Gronk. Talib may try to straight-up to shank him during a TV time out. If they can find an answer for him, the world will be impressed.”

What Patriots unit do you believe has to make the most improvement/adjustments going into this week?

“Based on the last game in Denver, it’s got to be special teams. The only way New England will lose this game is by turning the ball over. The team didn’t recover from Chris Harper’s bungled punt in Week 11 until last week. I can’t believe Belichick didn’t have him put in Aaron Hernandez’s cell.”

Final Prediction, What to expect.

“31-20 Patriots. Believe the offense will continue to build on what it did last week. Any sort of early lead may demoralize the Broncos’ defense. Plus, Brady was in full Revengance mode last week and the team is as healthy as it’s been all season right now. Neither Manning, nor Osweiler, nor Phil Simms’ non-stop [blowjobbage] (edit out) on the Broncos will save Denver this week.”

Bill Sperros wrote the ‘Most-Viral’ Story Ever On Any Boston Globe-Owned Site. He most recently has contributed work to the Kansas City Star and can be followed on Twitter @realOBF or visit his website obnoxiousbostonfan.com