Archives For New England Patriots


Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff  

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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

patriots
APFor the eighth time in the Bill Belichick/Tom Brady era, the Patriots are heading to the AFC Championship Game.

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

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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.

Divisional playoffs

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

During a bail hearing at Bristol County Superior Court in Fall River on Thursday, prosecutors said “the evidence of his guilt is overwhelming.”

AP Photo/Ted Fitzgerald, Pool

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.


Keefe was guest of Tom Brady

Danny Keefe, 6, with one of his Bridgewater Badgers coaches, Tom Cooney, as the team gets ready to go on the field at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro for the New England Patriots game against the Buffalo Bills.

Emily J. Reynolds/The Enterprise

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. —The rain didn’t dampen the spirit of 6-year-old Danny Keefe, who was a special guest of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, our news partners at The Enterprise reported.

Clad in bright yellow rain gear, and surrounded by his teammates, Danny was all smiles as he posed for photographs before the Patriots’ regular season finale against the Buffalo Bills.

Brady invited Danny and his friend, Tommy Cooney, who live in Bridgewater, and their teammates to attend Sunday’s game. The boys each received special gifts from Patriots owner Bob Kraft: a neck tie, a Brady jersey and a football signed by Brady himself.

They walked onto the field with their fathers, Mark Keefe and Tom Cooney; Danny’s brothers, Matty and Timmy Keefe, and teammates Jack Morgan and Danny Doherty.
Danny, the official water coach for the Bridgewater Badgers Peewee football team, made headlines last month when The Enterprise reported his teammates had rallied together to support him after they saw Danny was getting picked on because of the way he speaks.

On Sunday, Danny and his teammates watched pre-game warm ups on the sidelines, posed for photographs with the mascot and two cheerleaders, and were interviewed by television media.

Since his story broke, Danny has been busy on the television interview circuit.

On Dec. 12, the dapper 6-year-old and his friend Tommy Cooney were in Los Angeles to be guests on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.”

 


Defense says DA violated gag order 

FALL RIVER, Mass. —A judge may impose a formal gag order in the murder case against former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez after his attorneys accused the state of allowing leaks they contend could jeopardize his right to a fair trial.

At a hearing in Fall River Superior Court on Monday, defense attorney Michael Fee blamed prosecutors for out-of-court statements reported in the media that he says have tarnished the ex-player.

Watch NewsCenter 5′s report  

“Mr. Hernandez is entitled to a fair trial,” Fee told Judge Susan Garsh during the hour-long proceeding. “He is entitled to a jury panel that has not been poisoned by either false or sensational statements.”

The judge did not immediately rule on the defense’s request for a formal gag order.

Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to murder in the June shooting death of Odin Lloyd, a 27-year-old semi-professional football player who was dating the sister of Hernandez’s girlfriend.

In a November filing, Hernandez’s attorneys said the state had “flouted” the rules of professional conduct and disregarded the judge’s admonition against prejudicial out-of-court commentary.

The defense said the prosecution orchestrated a “publicity stunt” in October, when authorities served Miami Dolphin Michael Pouncey with a subpoena related to the case after playing the Patriots at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough. Pouncey played football with Hernandez at the University of Florida. The defense said serving the subpoena in that way and statements to the media attributed to law enforcement sources whipped up more publicity about the case.

The prosecution has not commented publicly on the subpoena.

In court Monday, Assistant District Attorney William McCauley denied the allegations, saying no leaks have come from the district attorney’s office or the investigative team.

“We are playing fair,” he said. “We’ve agreed to the rules of professional conduct, and we’re abiding by them.”

McCauley accused the defense of misconduct by calling into question the state’s integrity, without evidence of who was responsible for any leaks.

Despite sparring in court, the two sides agreed in principle on the issuance of a gag order. The judge asked both to submit specific proposals for a formal order, both due in January.

Hernandez, who’s from Bristol, Conn., was in court Monday but did not speak. His girlfriend, Shayanna Jenkins, and mother also attended. Jenkins is facing a perjury charge related to her testimony before the grand jury that indicted Hernandez. She has pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors allege Hernandez killed Lloyd because he was upset with him for talking to some people at a nightclub with whom Hernandez had problems.

“We are playing fair,” he said. “We’ve agreed to the rules of professional conduct, and we’re abiding by them.”

McCauley accused the defense of misconduct by calling into question the state’s integrity, without evidence of who was responsible for any leaks.

Despite sparring in court, the two sides agreed in principle on the issuance of a gag order. Rather than ruling Monday, Garsh asked both to submit specific proposals for a formal order, both due in January.

Hernandez was in court Monday but did not speak. His girlfriend, Shayanna Jenkins, and mother also attended. Jenkins is facing a perjury charge related to her testimony before the grand jury that indicted Hernandez. She has pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors allege Hernandez killed Lloyd because he was upset with him for talking to some people at a nightclub with whom Hernandez had problems.


New England Patriotstight end hit in the right knee

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski waves as he leaves the field in a cart after being injured.

AP Photo/Steven Senne

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. —The season is over for New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski.

An MRI  confirmed what Pat’s nation feared: Gronkowski tore his ACL and MCL in a hit to his right knee in Sunday’s game against the Cleveland Browns, NFL.com reported Monday.

The New England Patriots star tight end, who missed the first six games recovering from offseason forearm and back surgeries, was injured just before the midpoint of the third quarter Sunday and driven off the field on a cart.

Frame-by-frame photos: Brown’s player defends Gronk hit

The Patriots beat the Cleveland Browns 27-26 on Tom Brady‘s two touchdown passes in the last 61 seconds.

“We’ve sustained some pretty big injuries this year with really important, critical players,” Brady. “I think we all feel sorry for Rob, but I don’t think anyone feels sorry for the Patriots.”

Gronkowski raised his right arm to the crowd as he left on the cart with team physician Dr. Thomas Gill sitting next to him.

Gronkowski was hurt on a hit by Browns safety T.J. Ward after a 21-yard reception with the Browns leading 12-0. Ward was among many players from both teams who went up to Gronkowski before he left the field.

“My intention is never to hurt anyone. That’s not what this game is about. That’s not how I play,” Ward said. “I hate to see guys go down with any type of injury. I just wanted him to know, whether he accepted it or not, it wasn’t intentional to injure him. But we have to play this game. We have to play it the way that they force us to, and unfortunately, it incurred an injury for him.”

Ward said if he hit Gronkowski high, there was a chance he might be fined.

“It’s not a decision where I’m going to go low on every play,” he said, “but, actually, it has kind of turned into that in those situations, in those split-second decisions where you have a guy running down the field who’s 280 (pounds), and I’m 200, and the fact that if you do even hit him in his chest and he decides to hunch down or flinch or lower his head, then I could have the chance of being fined.”

“It’s kind of being caught between a rock and a hard place,” Ward said. “It’s a decision you have to make, but you have to follow the rules at the same time.”

He said he had been fined three times and “I don’t like playing for free.”

Asked if he had an issue with Ward hitting Gronkowski low, Belichick said, “That’s a question you should take up with the league.”

The Patriots (10-3) have won three straight games and hold the No. 2 spot in the AFC despite numerous injuries.

Gronkowski, wide receiver Danny Amendola, running back Shane Vereen and defensive players Vince Wilfork, Jerod Mayo and Tommy Kelly all have missed an extended amount of time.

In the six games before Sunday, Gronkowski led NFL tight ends with 37 catches and 560 yards receiving. He had two catches for 32 yards Sunday.

Now he’s out again.

“As a team, we want him to play,” Patriots cornerback Devin McCourty said, but “you just hate to see that for him. A guy that’s battled back through his arm and his back (injuries) and been very productive for us this year, it stinks to see him get carted off the field like that.”

 


1) Game Recap: Patriots 27, Browns 26

http://www.patriots.com/news/article-1/Game-Recap-Patriots-27-Browns-26/0113d384-f293-43f7-89ab-a92cc634de42

2) UK PATS FANS MAKE TRIP TO GILLETTE

http://www.patriots.com/media-center/videos/UK-Pats-fans-make-trip-to-Gillette/074a9dd0-b6ae-4737-b7a8-2bfd59344151

3) PATRIOTS FOOTBALL WEEKLY

http://www.patriots.com/fan-zone/patriots-football-weekly.html

4) Patriots host holiday toy drive for children in need

http://www.patriots.com/news/article-1/Patriots-host-holiday-toy-drive-for-children-in-need/44e6c8c3-23b9-4df5-b0d2-81627569133f


Source: Pats fear Gronkowski has torn ACL http://espn.go.com/boston/nfl/story/_/id/10103044/rob-gronkowski-new-england-patriots-carted-leg-injury via @ESPNBoston

Pats Believe Gronkowski Has Torn ACL
Tom Brady reacts to the loss of Rob Gronkowski after the tight end took a hit to the knee from Browns safety T.J. Ward.Tags: Rob Gronkowski

The New England Patriots fear that star tight end Rob Gronkowski has a torn ACL in his right knee, a source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

Reiss: Gronk Injury Devastates Pats

ReissWhat appears to be a season-ending knee injury to tight end Rob Gronkowski had a devastating effect on his Patriots teammates, writes Mike ReissBlog

Gronkowski, who suffered the injury in Sunday’s wild 27-26 win over the Cleveland Browns, will undergo an MRI on Monday, according to the source.

FoxSports earlier reported that the Patriots believed it was a torn ACL.

New England announced during the game that Gronkowski suffered an injury to his right leg. Patriots coach Bill Belichick revealed after the game that Gronkowski was taken to a hospital.

“Rob was taken to the hospital for observation and evaluation on his injury,” Belichick said. “That’s all I have on it.”

Gronkowski suffered the injury in the third quarter after hauling in a pass up the seam fromTom Brady. The two-time Pro Bowler took a direct hit to his right knee by Browns safety T.J. Ward and fell to the ground, clearly in pain.

 

[+] EnlargeRob Gronkowski

AP Photo/Steven SenneRob Gronkowski was carted off the field after suffering an injury to his knee against Cleveland.

“It was a decision I made just to make a tackle on a big man and unfortunately he got hurt, but if I would’ve hit up high, there’s a chance I would get fined and all that other stuff. I’m just being safe,” Ward said.

Medical personnel immediately came to Gronkowski’s side, and he was eventually taken off the field on a cart. The burly tight end was unable to put weight on his right leg as he moved from the ground to the cart.

“My intention is never to hurt anyone,” said Ward. “That’s not what this game is about. That’s not how I play, I hate to see guys go down with any type of injury and I just wanted him to know, whether he accepted it or not, it wasn’t an intentional hit to injure him. But we have to play this game, we have to play it the way that they force us to, and unfortunately, we incurred an injury for him.”

The 24-year-old Gronkowski missed the first six games of this season while recovering from offseason back and forearm surgeries. He has starred in the six games since, catching 37 passes for 560 yards and four touchdowns.

Signed to a lucrative contract extension during the 2012 offseason, Gronkowski has become a centerpiece of the Patriots. He set an NFL record for tight ends with 17 receiving touchdowns during the 2011 regular season.

 


Dennard makes plea deal with prosecutors

LINCOLN, Neb. —New England Patriots cornerback Alfonzo Dennard wrapped up two days of court hearings in Nebraska on Friday by getting a drunken-driving charge against him dismissed as part of a plea deal.

View: Patriots players with legal troubles

In an agreement with the Lincoln city attorney’s office, Dennard pleaded no contest to refusing to submit to a chemical test in exchange for having the DUI case dismissed. He was fined $500 and placed on probation.

His probation runs concurrently with, and until the end of, the three years of probation he’s already serving for hitting a police officer in a separate case.

Assistant prosecutor Christine Loseke, who represented the city attorney’s office during the hearing in Lancaster County Court, said the DUI and refusal to submit charges carry the same penalty. She said it’s common for people charged with one to have the other dismissed. She said the DUI charge can be reinstated if Dennard breaks the law again.

The plea agreement was made by chief city prosecutor John McQuinn, Loseke said.

Dennard declined to comment outside the courtroom.

The 24-year-old Dennard played college football at Nebraska and was projected to be a middle-round NFL draft pick in 2012. But a few days before the draft, he was arrested in downtown Lincoln for hitting a police officer outside a bar.

Dennard, who dropped to the seventh round, was sentenced in that case to two years of probation, 30 days in jail and 100 hours of community service.

In July, he was arrested on suspicion of DUI in Lincoln and for failure to cooperate when an officer tried to get him to blow into a device that measures blood-alcohol content. A partial reading of the device showed his blood-alcohol to be over the legal limit.

He admitted in a September hearing in Lancaster County District Court that he had been drinking and driving, and prosecutors moved to have his probation revoked.

On Thursday, a district judge extended Dennard’s probation to three years and his jail sentence to 60 days. She also doubled his community service to 200 hours. Dennard is to begin serving his jail sentence March 1.

Read more: http://www.wcvb.com/news/sports/pats-dennard-has-dui-charge-in-nebraska-dismissed/-/9848968/23364680/-/1052x7iz/-/index.html#ixzz2mm9n9RZY