Posts Tagged ‘new england patriots’

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Quarterback Tom Brady and head coach Bill Belichick will be making a ninth Super Bowl appearance as a tandem at the helm of the New England Patriots after sneaking past the Kansas City Chiefs in Sunday’s AFC Championship Game.

The two future Hall of Famers shared a familiar emotional embrace on the field after the win. Brady says the moment was indicative of their relationship.

“We’ve always gotten along great,” Brady said in his weekly appearance on WEEI’s “Mut and Callahan Show” on Monday, as reported by ESPN. “We’ve worked together for 19 years. So we’ve had the same goals in mind for 19 years. He’s been just a great, great mentor in my life, a great coach. He’s taught me more than anyone ever could about the game of football.

“I’ve always just loved playing here and playing for him. He’s the greatest coach of all time and we’ve just had some incredible moments together.”

The two will be trying to win a sixth championship together when they face the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII on Feb. 3 in Atlanta.

It’s the Patriots’ third consecutive trip to the Super Bowl and fourth in five years.

They finished the 2018 regular season atop the AFC East yet again with an 11-5 record, earning their ninth straight first-round bye and a 10th consecutive postseason appearance.

Belichick has been named Coach of the Year three times during the dynastic run while Brady has won three regular-season MVPs and four Super Bowl MVPs.

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Bill Belichick may be one of the most revered and accomplished NFL coaches of all-time, but he still gets anxious before games.

Belichick admitted as much Friday, as the New England Patriots prepare to face the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game.

“Just let me know the ones that don’t matter, I’ll make sure I don’t get excited for those,” Belichick said, according to ESPN’s Mike Reiss. “Nervous? Sure. You want to go out there and do well. There’s an anxiety.

“We all have things in the game that we have to do. You want to perform them well, not let your team down, because everyone is counting on you to do your job, and you’re counting on everybody else to do theirs.”

The Patriots are entering their eighth consecutive AFC title game, an unparalleled feat, with Belichick and Tom Brady squaring off against Andy Reid and second-year standout quarterback Patrick Mahomes, the likely NFL MVP.

Although Belichick has accomplished everything you could dream of, and then some, it’s compelling to see that he’s still human like the rest of us.

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New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft didn’t hold back when reflecting on the talent of his starting quarterback Tom Brady, who’s brought the franchise five Super Bowls over a wildly successful 19-year career.

“Definitely the greatest player of all time – not just quarterback in my opinion,” Kraft said of Brady in an interview with ESPN. “Because he’s such a leader in the locker room. For someone double the age of some of the players to be able to lead like that, and connect like that, and have the work ethic that he has, and at the same time so pleasant to be around – I’m really the luckiest guy in the world.”

The Patriots drafted Brady in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft. Since then, Brady has made eight Super Bowl appearances, holds the record for most games won by a quarterback (207), ranks fourth all time in passing yards (70,514), and sits third all time in passing touchdowns (517).

The quarterback made an impression on Kraft immediately.

“I think of him as that skinny young man coming down the steps of the old stadium with the pizza box and introducing himself to me,” Kraft noted. “I said, ‘I know who you are, you’re Tom Brady from Michigan, our sixth-round draft choice. And he said, ‘And I’m the best decision this organization has ever made.’

“Of course, he was fourth on the depth chart. But I think he sure was right. But the greatest thing about him is he’s the same guy he was then. He’s a genuine person. He’s kind. He’s polite to everyone. He’s a very caring person.”

Should the underdog Patriots defeat the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game on Sunday, Brady will have the chance to add to his Super Bowl records of most touchdown passes (18) and passing yards (2,576).

Kraft also showed some love to head coach Bill Belichick, who boasts a 261-123 career head coaching record.

“(Bill) is the GOAT of coaches, just like our quarterback is the GOAT of quarterbacks. And no one can dispute it.”

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We may get the second coming of the Ice Bowl this weekend, 51 years after the original took place.

The National Weather Service projects an arctic blast will hit Kansas City during Sunday’s AFC Championship Game featuring the Kansas City Chiefs and New England Patriots, according to The Associated Press. The temperature is expected to be between 10 degrees Fahrenheit and below zero at kickoff.

The 1967 NFL Championship Game, the original Ice Bowl, pitted the Green Bay Packers against the Dallas Cowboys, and it was played at 13 degrees below zero Fahrenheit.

Sunday’s contest could be the coldest in NFL history, and a Super Bowl berth is on the line.

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The Los Angeles Chargers‘ season ended with a divisional-round loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday and questions immediately turned to tight end Antonio Gates‘ future.

Following the 41-28 loss, the 16-year veteran said he’d be open to a return, both to football and to the Chargers.

“You really don’t want to end it in this fashion … When you think about what we built here, do we have an opportunity? I really believe that in my heart. Of course, I would love to come back and play,” Gates said postgame, according to the Orange County Register’s Gilbert Manzano.

The career Charger signed a one-year contract just days before the 2018 season opener. He was brought in after tight end Hunter Henry tore his ACL during organized team activities.

Gates had one of his least productive seasons in 2018, recording 28 catches for 333 yards and two touchdowns in 16 games. But he caught nine passes for 76 yards in the playoffs, adding a touchdown grab in what could have been his final game with the Chargers.

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Tight end Rob Gronkowski is expected to strongly consider retirement once the New England Patriots‘ season ends, sources close to the four-time All-Pro told NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

Gronkowski said in late December that he hasn’t “been thinking about (retirement) at all,” but Rapoport’s sources believe he could end his career and potentially pursue options as a wrestler or actor.

The 2018 season was one of the worst statistical campaigns of Gronk’s career. He caught 47 passes for 682 yards and only three touchdowns over 13 games. The five-time Pro Bowler has recorded 521 receptions, 7,861 yards, and 80 scores during his career over 115 regular-season games.

The 29-year-old toyed with retirement last offseason amid reports of the Patriots discussing a trade with several teams, including the Detroit Lions, Houston Texans, Tennessee Titans, and San Francisco 49ers.

Gronkowski and the Patriots then agreed on a restructured deal for 2018 that added $4.3 million in incentives to his contract before the start of the season.

He’ll carry a cap hit of nearly $11.9 million for 2019 if he returns. Trading him would cost the Patriots $2 million in dead cap space.

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With Saturday marking their first home playoff win in 25 years, the Kansas City Chiefs  are in a position to do something they never have before: win the Lamar Hunt Trophy.

The trophy is named after the late owner of the Chiefs and is awarded annually to the winner of the AFC. Kansas City can bring it home with a win in next Sunday’s AFC Championship Game.

“It’s been a long time coming. It’s something we feel as an organization we should have accomplished in recent history,” Chiefs owner Clark Hunt, son of Lamar, said after Saturday’s divisional round win over the Indianapolis Colts, according to ESPN’s Adam Teicher.

“Since (head coach Andy Reid) came here, we’ve had a lot of shots. But finally we get a chance to win that AFC championship and to get to do it at home is so special for us.”

Lamar Hunt founded the American Football League in 1960 and moved his Dallas Texans franchise to Kansas City in 1963 to become the Chiefs. He spearheaded the AFL-NFL merger and was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1972. Hunt died in 2006 after battling prostate cancer.

The Chiefs will host the AFC Championship Game for the first time against the New England Patriots.