Posts Tagged ‘Super Bowl’

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Tony Romo enjoyed a very successful career with the Dallas Cowboys but was never able to lead “America’s Team” to the Super Bowl during his tenure.

While many point toward the prolific quarterback for the team’s struggles, owner Jerry Jones placed the blame elsewhere Thursday evening.

“That one’s on me,” Jones said during the broadcast of the annual Hall of Fame Game, per Will Brinson of CBS Sports. “I should have had a better supporting cast around him.”

Romo qualified for the playoffs four times with the Cowboys, most recently in 2014 when they topped the Detroit Lions in the opening round. That set up a date with the Green Bay Packers and a trip to the NFC Championship Game on the line.

With the Cowboys trailing the home team by five late in the final quarter, Romo completed an incredible pass to Dez Bryant on fourth-and-2 to set Dallas up on the 1-yard line. Upon video review, the officials ruled Bryant did not catch the ball, turning it over to the Packers on downs and effectively ending the game.

After missing the start of the 2016 season due to injury, Romo was supplanted in the starting lineup by Dak Prescott and opted to retire at season’s end to join CBS Sports as a broadcaster.

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Robert Mathis boasts an enviable resume. The pass-rusher spent his entire 14-year career with the Indianapolis Colts, was named to six Pro Bowls, led the league in sacks in 2013, and won a Super Bowl in 2006.

But it’s that last accomplishment that still eats at Mathis, who believes the Peyton Manning-era Colts should have more than one ring to their name.

“Looking back on that team, I feel a mix of pride, and, I’ll admit, the slightest bit of disappointment,” Mathis wrote in the Players’ Tribune on Friday. “I’m so proud of what we accomplished during our era of Colts football, but I think every person, down to the last man, would tell you that he expected to win more than one ring in Indy. If there’s any regret I have from my career, it’s that.

The Colts made another Super Bowl in 2009, losing to the New Orleans Saints in heartbreaking fashion.

Mathis’ career extended into the Andrew Luck era, and while the Colts appeared on track to contend for another Super Bowl before the sack master’s time in the NFL was over, Indy quickly fell apart, missing the playoffs in 2015 and 2016 before Mathis hung up his cleats this offseason.

While Mathis is disappointed to have only one ring on his hand, he still has the Colts’ win over the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI to reminisce about in his retirement.

“Not to sound arrogant, but after we beat the Patriots in that game, the Super Bowl almost seemed like a formality.” Mathis wrote. “The Bears were a great team, but that was our game. They said we couldn’t play in the elements, and all we did was hold the Bears offense to a single touchdown in a huge rainstorm to win that game.

“After far too long, we finally got Peyton his ring.”

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It’s been nine seasons since the Jacksonville Jaguars last experienced playoff football, and they’re one of 13 teams who’ve never raised the Lombardi Trophy.

Jaguars star defensive tackle Malik Jackson believes both unenviable streaks will end very soon.

Jackson told “The Simms and Lefkoe Podcast” that he’s confident of adding another ring to his collection this campaign after winning the Super Bowl in 2015 with the Denver Broncos.

“That’s what I believe and, until we lose, that’s when I’ll believe different,” Jackson said, according to NFL.com’s Marc Sessler.

“The Panthers did it. If the Panthers can do it after the season they had (going 7-8-1 in 2014) … But we’re going to win the Super Bowl. If they can do it, why can’t we?”

Jackson believes the Jaguars’ positive changes will stem from improved leadership.

“I’m very confident. It truly feels different … I think it’s a lot of guys coming in here and coming to Jacksonville saying, ‘I’m gonna change this. I’m gonna do this. I’m gonna do that,'” Jackson said. “We have leaders. We have a lot of great players. We just need to be consistent, and that’s on all three sides of the ball: offense, defense, and special teams.”

He added: “I think having that and being who we all are, it should be a great year. After the Super Bowl, we’re going 16-0, we’re going all the way.”

The offseason lull before training camp is a time for optimism, with many players expressing their confidence that they’ll enjoy a successful 2017 season.

So while Jackson shouldn’t be ridiculed for the prediction in a time when all players are feeling hopeful, the Jaguars need to prove there’s substance to go along with the hype.

Last offseason, after an impressive year for the offense and with the addition of Jackson, many expected the Jaguars to finally make good on their potential. Instead, the Jaguars finished 3-13.

Another impressive draft and free agency have caused some to jump back on the bandwagon, but with questions about Blake Bortles‘ ability to be an effective NFL starter and how the defensive talent will gel, the Jaguars should probably learn how to walk before they take a run at a championship.

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Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates have been synonymous with the Chargers for nearly 15 years, but the dynamic duo is still ringless as the end of their careers loom.

Running back Melvin Gordon said Friday on NFL Network that Los Angeles is motivated to help the team’s two eldest statesmen earn a Super Bowl title before they hang up their cleats.

“Father Time is coming with my boy (Antonio) Gates and (Philip Rivers),” Gordon said, according to NFL.com’s Jeremy Bergman. “It would mean a lot to get those guys that ring before they step down, especially Gates. I think we might lose him after this year; you never know with Gates. But it would be love to have him walk away with a ring and put that stamp on his career, so that’s definitely what we want.”

The 37-year-old Gates flirted with retirement this offseason, but ultimately opted to return, likely partly due to being one score away from breaking a tie with Tony Gonzalez for the most touchdowns by a tight end in NFL history.

While Rivers, 35, appears to have a larger window in which to capture his elusive first title, it’s possible the move away from San Diego to L.A. will cause him to question how much longer he wants to play.

Gordon will need to continue his ascension if the Chargers are to emerge as contenders. In 2016, the third-year back rebounded from a disappointing rookie season in which he failed to score a touchdown by finding the end zone 12 times and falling three yards short of 1,000 rushing yards due to a late-season injury.

Now, Gordon has his sights on adding some bling to his hand after getting a look at New England Patriots running back James White‘s ring collection.

“Winning season, man. We want a Super Bowl,” Gordon explained. “My boy James White, he has two of those things. I go to his apartment and you open up the little case and they’ve got the light flashing on the ring. All you can think about is I wish that could be me.”

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A frustrating two-year stretch has done nothing to temper Jim Irsay’s expectations with a generational talent leading the way under center.

Relaying his rock-solid confidence to a town hall of season-ticket holders Thursday, the Indianapolis Colts owner wasn’t shy about outlining the goal of multiple Super Bowl titles during Andrew Luck‘s career.

“I’ve said it before – we’re into plural Lombardis,” Irsay said, according to Zak Keefer of The Indianapolis Star. “That’s what our goal is. And I’ll be damned if we don’t go out and get them.”

The Colts got off to a phenomenal start after selecting Luck as the No. 1 overall pick back in 2012, posting three consecutive 11-5 seasons and advancing one round further in the playoffs each year.

Now having made a long-awaited change in the front office, hiring Chris Ballard away from the Kansas City Chiefs to replace Ryan Grigson as general manager, the club will look to bounce back from consecutive playoff absences and begin heading back in that direction.

Luck was playing the best football of his young career before an unfortunate run of injury issues, completing 61.7 percent of passes for 4,761 yards, 40 touchdowns, and 16 interceptions in 2014. He showed signs of returning to that form last season, and the hope will be that a January surgery to correct lingering shoulder issues will have him at 100 percent this year.

Going on to capture two titles with Luck at the helm would see the Colts double up on their current franchise total. The most recent came at the end of the 2006 season, when Luck predecessor and soon-to-be Hall of Famer Peyton Manning guided Indianapolis to a Super Bowl XLI victory over the Chicago Bears.

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One of the most recognizable members of Raider Nation is hoping his team can deliver a championship to Oakland before skipping town.

Discussing the looming move to Las Vegas in an appearance on “First Take,” hip hop legend Ice Cube explained that the Raiders need to leave their passionate fan base in the Bay Area with a parting gift.

“I think the Raiders owe Oakland a Super Bowl championship before they leave,” he said, according to Paul Gutierrez of ESPN. “So that’s why, I think, people are going to support them.”

A native of Los Angeles, Ice Cube has long been in favor of the Raiders returning to his hometown, where they played 13 seasons from 1982-1994.

He was disappointed that such a move didn’t work out last year, with the NFL officially giving the Rams and Chargers the green light to share a stadium in Inglewood, but feels bad that Oakland will be losing its team for a second time.

“I was sad they wasn’t coming to L.A.,” Ice Cube said. “But I feel sad for Oakland, straight up. I think the NFL makes so much money. They have enough money to build a stadium here. What are they doing? Why they have these teams uprooting and leaving?”

With a talented young roster led by Derek Carr and Khalil Mack, and a hometown hero in Marshawn Lynch coming out of retirement to join the efforts, the Raiders are certainly in a position to challenge for a title before making the move in 2020.

Building upon the success of last season and going on a deep playoff run would also go a long way toward easing any tension created by the awkward situation of the team sticking around until a new stadium is built in Las Vegas.

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There’s confident and then there’s delusional, and Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson may be leaning toward the latter.

While his team has easily been the most embarrassing franchise the NFL has had to offer over the past 20 years, Jackson says his goal isn’t just to bring the Browns out of the basement – he wants a Super Bowl.

“That’s what it’s all about,” Jackson said Wednesday, according to Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot. “It’s not about anything else. That’s what I came here for. I didn’t come here to be average and just win a few games and go about my business. I came here to help this organization win a championship. How fast that’s going to happen I don’t know. I don’t know if there’s going to be a ton of struggle before there’s a ton of great times, but I don’t worry about people not being happy right now.”

Jackson admitted that Browns fans may not like him and his choices for the time being, but said they’ll appreciate what he’s doing in the long run.

“I’m going to do the best job I can with our staff and these players and we’re going to keep working at it,” he said. “My point is eventually they will love me because we’re going to win. We’re going to win a championship here for the Cleveland Browns.”

Jackson isn’t off to a great start in his first season with the team. He lost his first game 29-10 to the Philadelphia Eagles, and has been forced to play his backup quarterback after Robert Griffin III suffered a shoulder injury.