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 (Friday, Nov. 6, 2020)

By NoontimeSports.com

Welcome to Friday, everyone – hope everyone is having a great morning thus far!

Let’s kick-off the day with some news and links, beginning with some good news from basketball world: the 2020-21 National Basketball Association (NBA) season will begin in a few weeks – Tuesday, December 22, to be exact. However, there is still a few things that need to be sorted out before training camp could begin on Tuesday, December 1, including free agency.

The 2020-21 NBA season would consist of 72 games and should wrap up in time for players to compete next summer at the Olympics in Japan.

Hearing the NBA will startup its 2020-21 season in a few weeks should excited our Boston Celtics fans and friends, which were treated to a special memory last night on Twitter. The team revisited an epic performance by Gordon Hayward against the Cleveland Cavaliers, and now, we’re eager for a brand new season of Celtics basketball to begin!

Let’s switch gears to a network that would carry a slew of NBA games this winter – that would be ESPN, which you may have heard laid off 300 employees yesterday while announcing they would not fill 200 open positions. The news did not sit well with Bob Ley, who tweeted some interesting thoughts about his former employer.

In case you missed it, the Green Bay Packers dominated the San Francisco 49ers last night by a score of 34-17. Aaron Rodgers finished the game with four touchdown passes and 305 passing yards while Davante Adams caught 10 passes for 173 yards and one touchdown.

After the game concluded, Davante Adams told the media that he is best receiver in the National Football League (NFL).

Adams and the Packers will host the Jacksonville Jaguars next Sunday, November 15 while the San Francisco 49ers will visit the New Orleans Saints.

Speaking of the Saints, they will be the team to watch on Sunday evening against Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The game has potential to be a shootout, as well as a touchdown passing clinic by two of the best signal-callers in the game: Tom Brady and Drew Brees.

Alright, that will do it for now, but as usual, be well, stay safe, and think happy thoughts, everyone! And have a great weekend, too!

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! 

Team Noontime’s NFL Week One Picks

By NoontimeSports.com  

Football has officially returned. And yes, I know it will look quite different this year due to the pandemic, but at least it will provide us with some sense of normalcy, right? 

Starting today – and yes, every Thursday – two of our Noontime Sports team members (Matt Noonan and Liz H. Noonan) will be dishing out predictions for every contest, including tonight’s matchup between the Houston Texans and Kansas City Chiefs

Let’s kick off a brand new season with some predictions! 


Listen to our Noontime Sports 2020 NFL Season Preview (and yes, predictions, too) on Apple Podcast and Spotify


Team Noontime’s NFL Week One Picks 

Matt Noonan’s Picks 

Liz H. Noonan’s Picks

Kansas City Chiefs over Houston Texans

Kansas City Chiefs over Houston Texans

Atlanta Falcons over Seattle Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks over Atlanta Falcons

Buffalo Bills over New York Jets 

Buffalo Bills over New York Jets 

Detroit Lions over Chicago Bears

Chicago Bears over Detroit Lions

Minnesota Vikings over Green Bay Packers

Minnesota Vikings over Green Bay Packers

New England Patriots over Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots over Miami Dolphins

Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Football Team

Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Football Team

Carolina Panthers over Las Vegas Raiders

Carolina Panthers over Las Vegas Raiders

Indianapolis Colts over Jacksonville Jaguars

Indianapolis Colts over Jacksonville Jaguars

Baltimore Ravens over Cleveland Browns

Baltimore Ravens over Cleveland Browns

Cincinnati Bengals over Los Angeles Chargers

Cincinnati Bengals over Los Angeles Chargers

New Orleans Saints over Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers over New Orleans Saints

San Francisco 49ers over Arizona Cardinals 

San Francisco 49ers over Arizona Cardinals 

Dallas Cowboys over Los Angeles Rams

Dallas over Los Angeles Rams

Pittsburgh Steelers over New York Giants 

Pittsburgh Steelers over New York Giants 

Tennessee Titans over Denver Broncos

Tennessee Titans over Denver Broncos 

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

D3 Football Players Sign Undrafted Free Agent Contracts

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Three NCAA D-III Football players have signed undrafted free agent contracts as of Monday, April 27th afternoon. (PHOTO COURTESY: Anderson Mancini on Visual Hunt / CC BY)

By NoontimeSports.com 

Three NCAA D-III football players have signed undrafted free agent contracts as of mid-to-late Monday afternoon, including University of Redlands defensive back Jeff Hector, who inked his name on a contract last Saturday, April 25 with the Baltimore Ravens.

Hector was named an AFCA First Team All-American and D3football.com All-West Region honoree while securing a spot on the Southern Californa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) last November. The Palos Verdes Peninsula, California guided the Bulldogs to a 9-2 overall record while recording 35.0 total tackles, including two tackles for a loss and one sack to go with two forced fumbles and eight interceptions.

Broc Rutter, who quarterbacked North Central College to a Stagg Bowl victory last December against UW-Whitewater, signed a contract with the San Francisco 49ers.

Rutter, who was the recipient of the Gagliardi Trophy, announced his signing on Twitter this past weekend, telling his fans and followers that he “can’t wait to get to work.”

The Naperville, Illinois native started all 15 contests for the Cardinals and established new single-season program records in passing yards (4,591), passing touchdowns (56), completions (309), passing attempts (435), and passing efficiency (199.9). He was named the Player of the Year by both D3Football.com and College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin (CCIW).

Berry College wide receiver Mason Kinsey signed with the Tennessee Titans shortly after the conclusion of the 2020 NFL Draft.

The D3Football.com third-team All-American enjoyed a very successful final season with the Vikings, catching 65 passes for 1,221 yards and 16 touchdowns. Kinsey helped Berry win nine contests and capture the program’s fourth-straight Southern Athletic Association (SAA) championship. Kinsey is currently first in program history in touchdown receptions (50) and receiving yards (3,343), and second in total receptions (203).

Kinsey shared his excitement on Twitter earlier today, saying “Let’s shock the world.”

Saint John’s University‘s Ben Bartch was the only D-III football player to be drafted this past weekend by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the fourth round. Bartch becomes the most recent D-III student-athlete to hear his name called since Hobart‘s Ali Marpet was selected by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.