Tag: Peyton Manning

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, October 16, 2020)

By NoontimeSports.com

Happy Friday, everyone!

We hope everyone is doing well and having a great ending to the work week.

Any fun plans for the weekend?

We know two local athletes have plans for this weekend – that would Cam Newton and Stephon Gilmore, who will be on the field Sunday when the New England Patriots host the Denver Broncos.

According to the Boston Globe yesterday, Newton’s presence on the practice field seemed to excite his teammates, including Gunner Olszewski, who told Jim McBride that he’s “fun to play with.”

With Newton on the sidelines earlier this month due to testing positive for the coronavirus, the Patriots suffered their second setback of the season to the Kansas City Chiefs, who recently signed Le’Veon Bell, per multiple reports. Yet, with why exactly did the Chiefs sign a player at a position that seems to be “replaceable” this year?

Let’s switch gears to sports betting where Turner Sports has signed some deals with both DraftKings and Fanduel. However, it does seem like DraftKings was the real winner in this big announcement.

Did you watch the end of last night’s American League Championship Series (ALCS) between the Houston Astros and Tampa Bay Rays? Well, in case you did not, the Astros won and might be poised to win the next two games after falling behind, 3-0.

Let’s go back to football for our final story and headline of the day – do you know who Arch Manning is? If not, he’s the nephew of Peyton Manning and is a pretty good high school quarterback!

That’s it for now, but you know we’ll be back for another blog post (or two) later today, so stay tuned!

Daily Noontime: Friday, January 24th, 2020

DN012420

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeNation

It’s Friday – let’s go!

We hope you’re ready for the final day of the so-called workweek – what is a workweek for us at a website? – and the upcoming weekend.

If you’re living in the Boston area, expect warmer temperatures this weekend, as well as some rain – maybe spring will arrive earlier than expected?

Have a great day, and as always, remember to smile, laugh, and be kind, everyone!


The Boston Sports Scoreboard 

  • Thursday was a quiet evening in Boston sports – no one played a game, so we watched some television (and did some reading!).
  • The Boston Celtics return to the hardwood this evening as they tip-off against the Orlando Magic at 7 p.m. Boston is currently in fourth place in the Eastern Conference, while Orlando is seventh.
  • The Boston Bruins are still enjoying some time off due to the National Hockey League (NHL) All-Star Game this weekend, but Black and Gold fans should tune in Sunday, January 26th to cheer on both coach Bruce Cassidy and winger David Pastrnak as the Atlantic Team faces-off against the Metropolitan squad.

The Noontime Headlines (and Links)

  • The Boston Red Sox and San Diego Padres are discussing a ‘potential trade’ for Mookie Betts. Is that a good idea? (Boston Globe)

  • Peyton Manning will miss watching his younger brother Eli Manning, who was his third favorite player behind his father, Archie Manning, and Dan Marino(ProFootballTalk.com)
  • San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo plans to channel Tom Brady on Super Bowl Sunday. (Sports Illustrated/ Patriots Maven)
  • Marblehead, Massachusetts will be the site of a brand new Disney + movie. (Boston.com)

  • What are the perks of being a Boston sports fan? Hmm … well, for starters … we win! (Patch.com)

  • Looking for a new restaurant to try in or outside of Boston? Well, try one of these 29 suggestions from the Boston Globe – we’ll check one or two out this weekend! (Boston Globe)

VIDEO OF THE DAY: Happy Friday, everyone, from Rebecca Black!

Stay connected with Noontime Sports on FacebookInstagramTwitter, and YouTube

Catching Up With Coast Guard Academy Quarterback Derek Victory

Coast Guard Academy quarterback Derek Victory accounted for seven touchdowns last Saturday in the Bears' 56-54 win over Curry College. (Photo Credit: Matt Noonan/NoontimeSports.com)
Coast Guard Academy quarterback Derek Victory accounted for seven touchdowns last Saturday in the Bears’ 56-54 win over Curry College. (Photo Credit: Matt Noonan/NoontimeSports.com)

By NoontimeSports.com 

Derek Victory of Coast Guard Academy enjoyed a career day last Saturday, scoring seven touchdowns, including six through the air, while setting a school record for 525 passing yards. Victory’s six touchdowns through the air matched a school record.

In addition to his passing yards, Victory also rushed for 22 yards and one score to finish the contest with a school record 547 yards of total offense.

“Saturday was definitely a wild game,” Victory said a few days after his team’s exciting 56-54 win over Curry College.

Victory was tabbed this week’s Co-New England Football Conference (NEFC) Offensive Player of the Week with Curry quarterback Alex Corvese, who finished Saturday’s contest with seven touchdowns through the air.

Noontime Sports caught up with Victory to discuss his team’s dramatic, yet exciting win, as well as what we can expect from the Bears over the next few weeks.

Saturday’s contest against Curry College was quite a game. Tell me what it was like to be a part of it?

It reminded me a lot of my second start at the Academy against Western New England University (in 2013). We jumped out to an early lead and then they came roaring back and we had to just keep throwing the ball to stay in the lead.

Tell me about breaking a pair of school records with 525 passing yards and 547 yards of total offense – what does that mean to you?

It’s still kind of hard to believe. It means a lot, though. A record like that is a team effort. It involves all 11 guys performing in sync the entire game. The o-line played great, allowing zero sacks once again and the receivers made big plays over and over again.

In addition to breaking a pair of school records, you became the Academy’s all-time leader in touchdown passes (44) – care to share what that honor means to you?

It means that we’re putting points on the scoreboard as an offense. Growing up a Miami Dolphins fan and watching old Dan Marino highlights, I remember him saying that exact thing when he was asked about his touchdown records.

Five years from now, what will you remember most about your team’s game against Curry?

I’ll remember what happened after the game. My mom and dad gave me a huge hug and kept saying how proud they were. It was a special moment.

Tell me about winning back-to-back games – would it be fair to say your team is slowly catching its stride?

Offensively, we are firing on all cylinders. The Salve Regina loss was a huge disappointment to the guys so the fact that we’ve bounced back after that loss and two close losses before that speaks volumes about the guys we have on this team. We’re slowly getting healthier as a team, getting guys back from injury and learning the ins-and-outs of our offense. We definitely have caught our stride, but we all realize that we have a lot of areas that we can improve upon.

What is the goal for the team heading into this coming weekend’s game against Nichols? What does your team have to accomplish in order to secure a win?

Our goal is the same heading into every game: we want to go 1-0 every day. That means don’t look ahead or worry about the past. In order to secure a win Saturday (against Nichols), we just need to keep that intensity in practice going from last week.

What’s your all-time favorite Coast Guard Academy football memory?

My favorite memory was winning the Secretaries Cup at home back in 2014 (against Merchant Marine). No better feeling than hoisting that trophy at the end of a great game.

Do you have a favorite quarterback – either current or past – you look up to? If so, who is it and why do you idolize that particular signal-caller?

It’s hard to narrow it down to just one. Growing up in a Dolphins household obviously Marino is up there. Guys like Peyton Manning and Philip Rivers are two players I try to emulate because of Peyton’s football mind and the passion that Rivers plays with on a weekly basis.

Tell me about your major. What interested you in pursuing that particular major?

I am majoring in government, focusing on law and public policy.  I was always interested in politics (when I was younger) and how the government operated, so that is what drew me to the government major.

Three songs you are listening to currently?

‘A little more Summertime’ by Jason Aldean

‘Song for Another Time’ by Old Dominion

‘Southern Comfort Zone’ by Brad Paisley.

What is your all-time favorite movie?

My Cousin Vinny.

Favorite TV show?

Breaking Bad.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

I would love to visit Italy and Ireland, and see where my ancestors came from.

Finally, what’s the best advice you ever received from a coach or teammate?

The best advice I ever received from a coach was from my youth league coach, Bill Washington. His advice was simple, “stay calm.” That advice has helped me slow down the game and relax while dropping back to pass.

Noonan: On Sunday, The Patriots Will ‘Ignore The Noise’ Against Seattle

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick (left) and quarter Tom Brady (right) will look to capture their fourth Super Bowl on Sunday. (Photo Credit: Bleacher Report)
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick (left) and quarter Tom Brady (right) will look to capture their fourth Super Bowl on Sunday. (Photo Credit: Bleacher Report)

By Matt Noonan 

It’s finally Sunday.

One more game remains on the 2014 NFL Schedule: Super Bowl XLIX.

New England versus Seattle, clam chowder and great seafood versus Starbucks and the artists. Bill Belichick against Pete ‘How ‘Bout Our Defense’ Carroll, Tom Brady versus Russell Wilson, and East Coast versus West Coast.

The list goes on and on, but this Super Bowl has a different meaning. Instead of two teams competing for the ultimate prize – the Vince Lombardi Trophy (Yes, I used Lombardi’s first name) – this game is about the Patriots against the World.

Everyone wants to see the Patriots crumble, especially against a defense – The Legion of Boom – that is prepared to burst through the line of scrimmage on each snap. Fans want to see New England – a team that has been under scrutiny for the past two weeks because of “Deflate Gate” – lose.

Enough, people!

This is the NFL, the most popular sport in the North America, and instead of getting excited about two great teams competing for a championship, we’ve been wrapped up in Deflate Gate, as well as pondering the question: Is Tom Brady a cheater?

Belichick’s mantra has always been to ignore the noise, and you can bet New England did that this week while preparing for their final test. Say what you want – go ahead, are they cheaters? – but the Patriots first faced adversity when they finished the month of September with an excruciating loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

Tom Brady and the Patriots were "done" after ending September with a 41-14 setback. (Photo Credit: The Big Lead/USA Today Sports).
Tom Brady and the Patriots were “done” after ending September with a 41-14 setback. (Photo Credit: The Big Lead/USA Today Sports)

Against Kansas City, Brady completed 14 of 23 passes for 159 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. Brandon LaFell hauled in six catches for 119 yards, including one touchdown reception, while the defense allowed 26 first downs 443 yards.

Yep, the Patriots were done after this game. At 2-2, the “experts” said it was time for Brady to take a seat and make way for Jimmy Garoppolo.

Yet, as I stated above, the Patriots ignored the noise, turned their attention to their week five opponent: Cincinnati Bengals. And in a span of six days, the Patriots went from non-contenders to contenders, blowing out their opponent by a score of 43-17.

Following their win, New England rattled off seven straight wins, including victories against Denver, Indianapolis and San Diego. They finished atop the AFC East again – surprise, surprise! – and claimed home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

Still think the Patriots should have folded following their 2-2 start?

In the postseason, they earned impressive wins against Baltimore (35-31) and Indianapolis (45-7). Their win against the Ravens featured a formation that continues to baffle John Harbaugh – Baltimore’s head coach – but again, did that faze these Pats?

The answer: nope!

Say all you want about Belichick, who was punished for SpyGate in 2007, but the man knows the game of football. He knows how to coach a team, which is ready and prepared to compete against the Seahawks, who humiliated Peyton Manning and the Broncos literally one year ago.

So, while you may think that Deflate Gate or SpyGate or any sort-of-gate is going to bring down these Patriots, think again.

Tonight, we could see history play out in Arizona as Brady and Belichick look to capture their fourth Super Bowl crown since the 2001 season. Sure, it is the same playing field that saw these Patriots conclude their almost perfect season to the New York Giants, but this team is clearly different from the 18-1 squad.

My prediction: I like the Patriots against the Seahawks. It will be close, but New England will squeak past Seattle, claiming their fourth Lombardi trophy, setting up an interesting handshake between Patriots owner Robert Kraft and the Commissioner of the NFL Roger Goodell.

Again, say what you want – call them cheaters or benders-of-the-rules, but these Patriots will ignore the noise and figure out a way to conclude a controversial season with some hardware.