Archives For New England Patriots
Peyton Manning helped lead the Denver Broncos to a 24-17 win over the San Diego Chargers in the AFC divisional round. (Doug Pensinger / Getty Images)
By Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff
There’s going to be a lot of talk of Tom Brady and Peyton Manning in the coming week.
The Denver Broncos will host the New England Patriots in the AFC title game following the Broncos’ 24-17 win over the San Diego Chargers Sunday, setting up a showdown between the league’s top signal callers.
The AFC title game is slated for 3 p.m. Sunday Jan. 19.
The Patriots have already beaten the Broncos once this season, a 34-31 overtime victory in Week 12, while coming back from a 24-point halftime deficit for the win. Stephen Gostkowski kicked the game-winning field goal from 31 yards out.
The comeback was the Patriots’ largest in franchise history, outscoring the Broncos 34-7 from the second half on, while overcoming 280 yards rushing from Denver. Broncos running back Knowshon Moreno ran for 224 yards and a touchdown on 37 carries.
But the game was fraught with turnovers amid chilly, wintry conditions. It was 22 degrees at kickoff. The two teams combined for 11 fumbles, six of which were lost. Manning also had an interception, finishing 19 of 36 passing for 150 yards.
Brady was much more solid in the cold weather, throwing for 344 yards and three touchdowns, two of which went to Julian Edelman.
In head to head matchups, Brady is 10-4 against Manning football teams and was 2-1 in the postseason against Manning when he was with the Indianapolis Colts.
The Patriots are 7-2 in the AFC championship. But Brady is just 6-4 on the road in the playoffs and the last time he played an AFC Championship game on the road, Jan. 21, 2007, the Patriots lost 38-34 at the hands of Manning’s Colts.
Posted by Michael David Smith
New England kept it on the ground to beat Indianapolis on Saturday night, with LeGarrette Blount running for four touchdowns and Stevan Ridley running for two more. New England won 43-22 in a game that the Patriots controlled throughout and put out of reach in the fourth quarter.
Blount had a brilliant game, rushing for 166 yards and becoming just the second player in NFL postseason history to score more than three touchdowns in a game. (Ricky Watters of the 49ers owns the all-time record, having scored five touchdowns in a playoff game in January of 1994.)
Colts quarterback Andrew Luck threw some outstanding passes and showed that he’s one of the most talented young players in the NFL, but he also threw some bad passes and was intercepted four times. The Patriots’ defense frequently gave Luck trouble, and New England linebacker Jamie Collins in particular had an excellent game. It was a win in which the Patriots had plenty to be proud of on both offense and defense.
Now the Patriots will watch Sunday’s Chargers-Broncos game to find out their opponent in the AFC Championship Game. If the Chargers win, New England will host next week’s game. If the Broncos win, the Patriots will travel to Denver for the AFC Championship, and we’ll be treated to a week of Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning hype.
But for all the talk about the quarterbacks, if tonight’s game was any indication, the Patriots’ AFC Championship Game plan will include a heavy dose of Brady handoffs. This was a game the Patriots won on the ground.
Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck recovered a fumble Saturday against the Kansas City Chiefs and turned it into a touchdown. The Colts will travel to Foxborough to face the New England Patriots in the AFC divisional playoff round. (Rob Carr / Getty Images)
By Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff
The New England Patriots will host the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC divisional playoffs following this weekend’s wild card games.
With Cincinnati’s loss to the sixth seeded San Diego Chargers, the Patriots will welcome the fourth seeded Colts to Gillette Stadium 8:15 p.m. Saturday Jan. 11.
A limited number of tickets will go on sale for the Patriots-Colts game Monday at 10 a.m. through Ticketmaster.
Indianapolis stormed back from a 28-point deficit to beat the Kansas City Chiefs, 45-44, on Saturday. The Colts were down 38-10 in the third quarter before outscoring the Chiefs 35-6 down the stretch. Second-year quarterback Andrew Luck led the charge, completing 29 of 45 passes in the game for 443 yards and four touchdowns while recovering a fumble and running it in for another score. He accounted for two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, including a 64-yard bomb to T.Y. Hilton with 4:21 remaining.
Hilton had an exceptional performance for the Colts against the Chiefs, catching 13 passes for 224 yards and two touchdowns.
The Patriots last played the Colts on Nov. 18, 2012, a 59-24 win for New England. Luck threw three interceptions in that game, including a pick-six to then-newly acquired Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib. And Rob Gronkowski first suffered a broken forearm on an extra point attempt.
Tom Brady is 10-4 all-time against the Colts, including 2-1 in the postseason. The last time the Patriots played the Colts in the postseason, Jan. 21, 2007, the Patriots came away with a 38-34 loss.
Saturday Jan. 11
NFC: 4:35 p.m. (ET) Saints at Seahawks (FOX)
AFC: 8:15 p.m. (ET) Colts at Patriots (CBS)
Sunday Jan. 12
NFC: 1:05 p.m. (ET) Packers/49ers at Panthers (FOX)
AFC: 4:40 p.m. (ET) Chargers at Broncos (CBS)
Robert J. Valentine died in scooter crash
BRISTOL, Conn. —Police say an uncle of jailed former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was operating a motor scooter under the influence of alcohol and drugs when he died in a Connecticut crash in August.
Bristol police say their investigation concluded Robert J. Valentine drove in a negligent manner while under the influence. They say he had alcohol and cocaine in his system.
Police also say he was operating the scooter at night with dark-colored sunglasses, which likely hampered his vision.
Hernandez grew up in Bristol. He’s charged with murder in the shooting death of semi-professional football player Odin Lloyd, a Boston resident who was dating the sister of Hernandez’s girlfriend.
Lloyd’s body was found June 17 near Hernandez’s mansion in North Attleborough, Mass. Hernandez has pleaded not guilty.
Several people linked to Hernandez have died recently.