Revisiting Tom Brady’s Conference Championships

Tom Brady will make his NFC Championship debut this weekend with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. (PHOTO COURTESY: Charles Krupa / Associated Press/LA Times)

By Matt Noonan

By now you probably have heard that Tom Brady – yes, the former New England Patriots quarterback – is headed back to the conference championship for the ninth time in the last ten seasons. Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers rallied to beat the New Orleans Saints, 30-20, last night in the NFC Divisional Round to secure a date next Sunday with Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.

For the most part, Brady’s trips to the conference championship have resulted in trips to the “big game” – that would be the Super Bowl, to be exact – while some have ended in disappointment. But Sunday will mark the veteran signal-caller’s first appearance in the NFC Championship after appearing in 13 AFC title games.

Being a history nerd, as well as a lifelong football fan, I thought we could get ready for this weekend’s big game by revisiting all of Tom Brady’s past appearances in the conference championship round, beginning with his initial appearance against the Pittsburgh Steelers in January 2002.


January 27, 2002: Eight days after leading the Patriots past the Oakland Raiders in what has been dubbed the “snow bowl,” Brady received some help from Drew Bledsoe, who replaced the young quarterback who sustained a sprained ankle late in the second quarter. Bledsoe completed 10 of 21 passes for 102 yards and one touchdown while the defense limited Pittsburgh to just two touchdowns during the final two sessions.

New England would advance to its first Super Bowl since the 1996 season and beat the St. Louis Rams, thanks to a game-winning field goal by Adam Vinatieri.

January 18, 2004: Eight days after a dramatic win over the Tennessee Titans, Tom Brady and the Patriots outlasted Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts, 24-14.

While Brady tossed one touchdown in the win, it was the New England defense, specifically Ty Law, who highlighted the victory – the unit intercepted Manning four times while recording four sacks.

New England would advance to the Super Bowl and beat the Carolina Panthers.

January 23, 2005: Supposedly, Tom Brady was sick prior to his team’s championship meeting with the Pittsburgh Steelers, but he looked pretty good once the game commenced. Brady completed 14 of 21 passes for 207 yards while Corey Dillon led all rushers with 73 yards on 24 carries.

New England would represent the AFC in the Super Bowl two weeks later where they would beat the Philadelphia Eagles by a score of 24-21.

January 21, 2007: After scoring back-to-back wins over the New York Jets and San Diego Chargers, the New England Patriots entered the 2006 AFC Championship game with a lot of momentum. However, it slowly disappeared early in the third quarter as Indianapolis erased a 21-6 deficit to beat the Patriots, 38-34.

The Colts limited Tom Brady and the Patriots offense to just 13 points in the second half while Peyton Manning finished the game with 349 passing yards and two touchdowns (one passing and one rushing).

January 20, 2008: Tom Brady played the role of gunslinger in this particular match-up with the San Diego Chargers by completing 22 of 33 passes for 209 yards, two touchdowns, and three interceptions as the Patriots won their 18th straight contest before falling to the New York Giants two weeks later in the Super Bowl.

January 22, 2012: This was perhaps the most dramatic AFC Championship game for Tom Brady and the Patriots as they somehow edged the Baltimore Ravens, 23-20, thanks to a missed field goal by Billy Cundiff.

Tom Brady rushed for one score in the win, while BenJarvus Green-Ellis rushed for a game-high 68 yards on 15 carries.

Sadly, the dramatic win was quickly forgotten two weels later when New England lost to the New York Giants in the Super Bowl for the second time in four seasons.

January 20, 2013: Tom Brady completed 29 of 54 passes for 320 yards and one touchdown – he also threw two interceptions – but it wasn’t enough to send the Patriots past the Ravens at Gillette Stadium. Baltimore erased memories of the 2011 championship meeting with an impressive 28-13 victory, thanks to three touchdown passes from Joe Flacco.

January 19, 2014: For the second-straight season, the Patriots won 13 of 18 contests, but their final outing with the Denver Broncos concluded with a 26-16 setback. Peyton Manning completed 32 of 43 passes for 400 yards and two touchdowns while the Broncos defense limited Tom Brady to just two touchdowns – one through the air, one on the ground.

January 18, 2015: After a dramatic and exciting win over the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Divisional Round, the Patriots scored a huge win over the Indianapolis Colts at Gillette Stadium. Tom Brady tossed three touchdowns in the win while LeGarrette Blount rushed for a game-high 148 yards on 30 carries and three scores.

New England’s defense intercepted Andrew Luck twice – they also limited Dan Herron to 51 rushing yards on 10 carries.

The Patriots returned to the Super Bowl for the first time since the 2011 season to beat the Seattle Seahawks, thanks to a late-game interception by Malcolm Butler.

January 24, 2016: Weeks after losing to the Denver Broncos in the regular season, the Orange and Blue scored their second victory of the 2015 season against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. Brady was sacked four times and picked-off twice, but he did toss one touchdown against a talented Broncos defense.

Peyton Manning concluded the game 17 of 32 for 176 yards and two touchdowns. He was also sacked three times.

January 22, 2017: Tom Brady and the New England Patriots were the better team in this meeting with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Brady tossed three touchdowns, including two to Chris Hogan, who concluded the contest with nine grabs on 12 targets for 180 yards.

Two weeks after an impressive win against the Steelers, the Patriots would complete an improbable comeback against the Atlanta Falcons to secure the franchise’s fifth Super Bowl championship.

January 21, 2018: After knocking off the Tennessee Titans eight days earlier, the Patriots scored their second-straight postseason win against a member of the AFC South. New England rallied to beat the Jacksonville Jaguars, 24-20, thanks to two touchdown passes from Tom Brady to Danny Amendola.

Sadly, the exciting win against the Jaguars would follow with a disappointing setback to the Philadelphia Eagles.

January 20, 2019: Sony Michel and Rex Burkhead highlighted an overtime win against the Kansas City Chiefs by combining for 154 rushing yards and four touchdowns. Burkhead clinched the victory in overtime while Tom Brady concluded the contest with 348 passing yards and one touchdowns.

Kansas City did intercept Brady twice while Patrick Mahomes completed 16 of 31 passes for 295 yards and three touchdowns. New England would go onto capture their sixth Super Bowl with a 13-3 victory over the Los Angeles Rams.

Daily Noontime (Monday, Oct. 19, 2020)

By NoontimeSports.com

Happy Monday, everyone!

We hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and ready for a great week. And by way, it is quite chilly outside – have you stepped out the door this morning?

Enough about the chilly temps – luckily, we live in New England so we should know that it will be a bit warmer later today – so let’s instead switch the subject from weather to sports and kick off the week with a brand new ‘Daily Noontime.’

Listen to today’s Noontime Sports Podcast featuring Ryan Irwin and Patrick Maddigan from Team IMPACT on Apple Podcast and Spotify!

And let’s begin today’s ‘Daily Noontime’ with … Tom Brady looking like Tom Brady yesterday – well, maybe not the old Tom Brady from 2002-2007? – as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers rolled past the Green Bay Packers by a score of 38-10.

With the win, the Buccaneers improve to 4-2 while the Packers saw their four-game winning streak snapped – ouch!

The Buccaneers did not record a single penalty during yesterday’s matchup – seriously, no flags were throw against Bruce Arians‘ team! – while Ronald Jones rushed for 100 yards (again!).

Next week, the Buccaneers will visit the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday Night Football – that should be a good game, right? – while the Packers will host the Houston Texans.

In addition to the Buccaneers winning on Sunday, the Tennessee Titans looked great against the Houston Texans, Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons snapped a five-game losing streak, and Philip Rivers and the Indianapolis Colts rallied to beat the Cincinnati Bengals.

Also, we saw a really good-looking Pittsburgh Steelers team trounce the Cleveland Browns while our hometown New England Patriots looked awful against the Denver Broncos.

Tonight – well, later today and yes, this evening – we’ll have some more football to watch with the Kansas City Chiefs visiting the Buffalo Bills while the Dallas Cowboys will entertain the Arizona Cardinals.

Let’s switch to baseball where the 2020 World Series is set to begin tomorrow evening between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Tampa Bay Rays.

Both the Dodgers and Rays needed seven games to clinch the pennant. And this is a series we – yes, we! – are interested in watching and following.

Here are some things you need to know about this particular series, courtesy of ESPN.com.

Alright, here are some more links and news from the world wide web:

Daily Noontime (Monday, September 28, 2020)

By NoontimeSports.com 

Happy Monday, everyone! 

We hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and ready for a great week. And speaking of a new week, did you know we’re just a few days away from a brand new month? Yep, October is on the horizon – perhaps 2020 is moving a bit quicker than previous years? 

Anywho, let’s kick-start a brand new day with the ‘Daily Noontime.’ 

Sunday was a WILD day in the NFL 

Week three of the 2020 National Football League (NFL) was wild – would crazy be a better word to describe some of Sunday’s outcomes?

For starters, you had the Chicago Bears erasing a 16-point deficit to beat the Atlanta Falcons to the Buffalo Bills halting a crazy comeback by the Los Angeles Rams with a game-winning touchdown pass from Josh Allen to Tyler Kroft.  And then there was the Detroit Lions beating the Arizona Cardinals to Russell Wilson throwing five touchdowns against the Dallas Cowboys

Finally, did you watch the Cincinnati Bengals‘ game against the Philadelphia Eagles? The game concluded with a 23-23 tie (in overtime) – did anyone want to win this game? 

The Bengals and Eagles played to a 13-13 tie in 2008, which was something former Philadelphia quarterback Donovan McNabb did not know could happen in the NFL. 

The third week of the season concludes this evening with a tremendous Monday Night Football (MNF) clash between the Baltimore Ravens and Kansas City Chiefs

Are you ready for some postseason baseball? 

The 2020 Major League Baseball (MLB) season is over, which means it is time to move onto a 16-team tournament – yay! 

Unlike past seasons, MLB will have 16 teams compete for the ultimate prize – eight teams on each side – beginning tomorrow, Tuesday, September 29 with Wild Card matchups, which will be followed by the Divisional and Championship rounds. 

The Tampa Bay Rays are the top team in the American League while the Los Angeles Dodgers secured the number one position in the National League. 

Who do we think will win the fall classic? That is a good question, but our gut instinct is either the Rays or Dodgers, but definitely not the New York Yankees

Miami tops Boston in Game 6, Advances to NBA Finals on Wednesday

The Miami Heat secured a date with the Los Angeles Lakers in the National Basketball Association (NBA) 2020 Finals last night by defeating the Boston Celtics in the sixth game of the Eastern Conference Finals.

Miami outlasted Boston, 125-113, to clinch the Eastern Conference championship despite some NBA folks thinking the Green and White would come back and beat the Heat after winning the fifth game of the series last Friday. 

Highlights from the sixth game of the 2020 Eastern Conference Finals is below courtesy of the NBA’s YouTube channel


Other news and links from the world wide web: 
  • After leading the New England Patriots to its second win of the 2020 season yesterday against the Las Vegas Raiders, quarterback Cam Newton told the media that he wants opposing defenses to be worried about his team’s offense. 
  • Keep your eyes on the college of William & Mary this week, which made headlines over the weekend for its announcement regarding cuts to its athletic department, specifically “seven varsity athletic teams,” which would violate “Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.” 
  • Finally, the 28th season of South Park is set to hit the airwaves this Wednesday, September 30 with a one hour special about the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. This should be interesting, right? 
 

Daily Noontime (Monday, September 21, 2020)

By NoontimeSports.com 

Ah, the ‘Daily Noontime’ has officially returned – yay! 

Yes, that is correct, everyone. The ‘Daily Noontime’ is back and will be with you going forward every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. 

Are you excited? 

The format will be somewhat the same – maybe we can mix in some new links, etc. – but this is a post that has significant meaning to our blog when we launched/got started with creating content in May 2009. 

So, let’s kick off a brand new day – and yes, a brand new week, too! – with the revamped ‘Daily Noontime.’ Have a great day, everyone! 

Russell Wilson shines against the New England Patriots  

Russell Wilson matched a career-high with five touchdown passes last night as the Seattle Seahawks topped the New England Patriots, 35-30. 

Wilson and the Seahawks improved to 2-0n while the Patriots dipped to 1-1. 

According to ESPN.com, Wilson “became only the fourth player in NFL history to throw at least four touchdown passes in each of his team’s first two games.” 

Cam Newton and the Patriots did keep pace with Wilson and the Hawks for a majority of the contest but could not convert the go-ahead/game-winning touchdown pass on their final drive of the contest. 

Seattle will host the Dallas Cowboys next week while the Patriots will entertain the Las Vegas Raiders

NFL Coaches, Personnel need to ‘Mask Up!’

According to ProFootballTalk.com (PFT), the National Football League (NFL) will be in contact today – not sure exactly when? – with coaches and sideline personnel regarding masks and face covers not being worn during contests

This is the second time PFT has blogged about this issue after seeing a slew of coaches – and yes, personnel, too – not cover their noses and mouths last week during the opening week of the 2020 season. 

Just a reminder to everyone … we are living in a pandemic, so make sure to mask-up! 

The Dallas Cowboys’ comeback was … incredible! 

Yes, our site’s editor and founder (Matt Noonan) is a life-long Dallas Cowboysfan, but for some reason, he didn’t worry too much when ‘America’s Team’ was trailing by 20 points. 

Really, Matt? 

But somehow, Noonan’s team – that would be the Dallas Cowboys – erased the deficit and stunned the Atlanta Falcons for an exciting 40-39 victory yesterday at AT&T Stadium

The win – not the prettiest – was VERY exciting and also proved that this Dallas Cowboys team has a lot more grit and toughness under first-year coach Mike McCarthy. Sorry, Jason Garrett!

Also, kudos to Greg Zuerlein for not just drilling the game-winning field goal, but also kicking the craziest onside kick that we have ever seen

And more links from the world-wide-web:

Stay tuned for more content later today, but as always, make sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube, Noontime Sports Fans and Friends! 

Team Noontime’s NFL Week Two Picks

By NoontimeSports.com 

It’s time to kick off the second week of the National Football League (NFL) this evening, which means it is time to unveil our ‘Team Noontime Week Two Picks!’ 

Liz H. Noonan predicted eight of 16 contests correctly while Matt Noonan enters a new week boasting a 7-9 record. 

As always, thanks for stopping by and seeing our predictions, and enjoy the second week of the NFL! 

 

Team Noontime’s NFL Week Two Picks 

Matt Noonan’s Picks

Liz H. Noonan’s Picks

Cincinnati Bengals over Cleveland Browns Cincinnati Bengals over Cleveland Browns
Tennessee Titans over Jacksonville Jaguars Tennessee Titans over Jacksonville Jaguars
Tampa Bay Buccaneers over Carolina Panthers Tampa Bay Buccaneers over Carolina Panthers
Pittsburgh Steelers over Denver Broncos  Pittsburgh Steelers over Denver Broncos 
Philadelphia Eagles over Los Angeles Rams  Los Angeles Rams over Philadelphia Eagles 
San Francisco 49ers over New York Jets  San Francisco 49ers over New York Jets
Buffalo Bills over Miami Dolphins  Buffalo Bills over Miami Dolphins 
Minnesota Vikings over Indianapolis Colts  Minnesota Vikings over Indianapolis Colts 
Green Bay Packers over Detroit Lions  Green Bay Packers over Detroit Lions 
Dallas Cowboys over Atlanta Falcons  Dallas Cowboys over Atlanta Falcons 
Chicago Bears over New York Giants  Chicago Bears over New York Giants 
Arizona Cardinals over Washington Football Team  Arizona Cardinals over Washington Football Team 
Kansas City Chiefs over Los Angles Chargers  Kansas City Chiefs over Los Angles Chargers 
Baltimore Ravens over Houston Texans  Baltimore Ravens over Houston Texans 
New England Patriots over Seattle Seahawks  New England Patriots over Seattle Seahawks 
New Orleans Saints over Las Vegas Raiders New Orleans Saints over Las Vegas Raiders

Matt Noonan’s record: 7-9 

Liz H. Noonan’s record: 8-8

We’ll be posting our Team Noontime NFL Picks every Thursday and will be keeping track of who was correct with their predictions, too!