Tag: San Diego Chargers

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.

New England Small Colleges In The NFL & AFL Draft

Tom Carr WEB
Bates College fullback Tom Carr, who is one of two Bobcats to rush for 30 touchdowns in a career, was drafted by the Boston Patriots in 1966. (PHOTO COURTESY: Bates College.)

By NoontimeSports.com 

The 2020 NFL Draft is just a few hours away – are you excited?

While we anxiously await to hear who will be this year’s first-round pick – most likely Joe Burrow, right? – we wanted to highlight some former New England small college players that heard their names announced during past NFL and American Football League (AFL) Drafts.

Our list was created with the help of ProFootballReference.com’s NFL and AFL Draft History.


American International College (AIC)

  • 1944: Myron Majewski (Tackle): Majewski was selected by the Philadelphia Eagles with the 328th pick in the 32nd round.
  • 1953: Bill Murray (End): Murray was selected by the Green Bay Packers with the 272nd pick in the 23rd round.
  • 1957: Tom Rychlec (End): Rychlec was selected by the Detroit Lions with the 119th pick in the 10th round. The Meriden, Connecticut native played one season with the Lions before competing for the Buffalo Bills of the American Football League (AFL)from 1960 to 1963.
  • 1961: Joe Scibelli (G): Scibelli was drafted by two teams – the New York Titans of the AFL and Los Angeles Rams of the NFL. He elected to play for the Rams and played for Los Angeles from 1961 to 1975. He started 195 of 202 games on defense. The Springfield, Massachusetts native competed in six postseason contests.
  • 1961: Andy Griffith (RB): Griffith was drafted by the New York Titans of the American Football League with the 198th pick in the 25th round.
  • 1967: Bill Delaney (TE): Delaney was selected by the Atlanta Falcons with the 112th pick in the fifth round.
  • 1970: Glen Dumont (RB): Dumont was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs with the 364th pick in the 14th round.
  • 1972: Bruce Laird (DB): Laird was drafted by the Baltimore Colts with the 152nd pick in the sixth round. The Lowell, Massachusetts native played ten seasons in the NFL – eight with the Colts and two with the San Diego Chargers. He started in 127 of 164 contests while competing in five postseason games.
  • 1977: Terry Randolph (DB): Randolph was drafted by the Green Bay Packers with the 290th pick in the 11th round.
  • 1992: Gabe Mokwuah (LB): Mokwuah was drafted by the Green Pack Packers with the 287th pick in the 11th round.

Amherst College 

  • 1972: Jean Fugett (TE): Figett was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys with the 338th pick in the 13th round. The Baltimore, Maryland native played eight seasons in the NFL – he played four seasons with the Cowboys (1972-1975) before finishing his career with the Washington Redskins.
  • 1974: Freddie Scott (WR): Scott was selected by the Baltimore Colts with the 174th pick in the seventh round. The Grandy, Arkansas native played 10 seasons in the NFL – he spent the majority of his career with the Detroit Lions (1978-1983) while competing in four postseason contests. He never won a playoff game.
  • 1978: Bill Swiacki (TE): Swiacki was drafted by the New York Giants with the 232nd pick in the ninth round.
  • 1978: Sean Clancy (LB): Clancy was drafted by the Miami Dolphins with the 217th pick in the eighth round. The Manhasset, New York native played two seasons in the NFL – he spent one year with the Dolphins and his final season with the St. Louis Cardinals. He also competed in just one postseason contest.

Bates College

Bentley University

  • 2008: Mackenzy Bernadeau (G): Bernadeua was selected by the Carolina Panthers with the 250th pick in the seventh round. The Waltham, Massachusetts native played seven seasons, including four with the Dallas Cowboys from 2012 to 2015. He started 49 of 111 games, including all 16 for the Cowboys in 2012. He also played in two postseason games with the Cowboys in 2015 against the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers.

Bowdoin College

  • 1966: Paul Soule (HB): Soule, who was from Portland, Maine, was drafted by the Boston Patriots in the 1966 AFL Draft with 174th pick in the 20th round.
  • 1978: Steve McCabe (G): McCabe, who grew up in Westborough, Massachusetts, was drafted the Washington Redskins with the 324th pick in the 12th round. McCabe is the only member of the Polar Bears football program to be drafted by an NFL team after becoming the school’s first and only student-athlete to earn Kodak Division III All-American honors.

Brandeis University  

Colby College 

  • 1955: John Jacobs (E): Jacobs was selected by the New York Giants with the 224th pick in the 19th round.
  • 1959: Bob Sargent (T): Sargent was drafted by the Washington Redskins with the 292nd pick in the 25th round.

Middlebury College

  • 1949: John Corbisiero (B): Corbisiero was selected by the Chicago Bears with the 169th pick in the 17th round.
  • 1955: Al Dennis (E): Dennis was drafted by the Chicago Cardinals with the 191st pick in the 16th round.
  • 1958: Dick Fusco (T): Fusco was drafted by the New York Giants with the 214th pick in the 18th round.

Norwich University

  • 1943: Walt Domina (HB): Domina was selected by the New York Giants with the 106th pick in the 12th round. A two-spot athlete with the Cadets, Domina was remembered for his impressive play on the gridiron – he still holds individual records for points (31) and most touchdowns scored (five) in a single-game. Both records were recorded against Middlebury in 1940.

Southern Connecticut State University

  • 1963: Ralph Ferrisi (RB): Ferrisi was drafted by two teams – Boston Patriots and Minnesota Vikings. Ferrisi, who was born in Bronx, New York, but graduated from Weymouth High School, played professionally for the Vikings.
  • 1967: Tom Reale (OT): Reale was selected by the New York Giants with the 369th pick in the 15th round.
  • 1967: Dick Nocera (RB): Nocera was selected by the Boston Patriots with the 414th pick in the 16th round of the AFL Draft.
  • 1985: Travis Tucker (TE): Tucker was picked 287th overall in the 11th round by the Cleveland Browns. The Brooklyn, New York native played three seasons for the Browns while competing in a trio of postseason contests.
  • 1987: Scott Mersereau (DT): Mersereau was selected 136th overall in the fifth round by the Los Angeles Rams. The Riverhead, New York native never played for the Rams, however, but competed for the New York Jets from 1987 to 1993. He started in 91 of 102 contests and finished his career with three interceptions and three forced fumbles. He only played in one postseason contest in 1991 against the Houston Oilers.

St. Anselm College

  • 1940: Ray McLean (HB): McLean was drafted by the Chicago Bears with the 192nd pick in the 21st round. The Lowell, Massachusetts native played eight seasons with the Bears, making seven starts in 76 contests. He rushed for five scores while catching 21 touchdowns.

Trinity College

  • 1937: Mickey Kobrosky (QB): Kobrosky was drafted by the New York Giants with the 44th pick in the fifth round. The Springfield, Massachusetts native played seven games for the Giants in 1937, completing 2 of 13 passes for 18 yards while rushing for 41 yards on 13 carries.
  • 1959: Roger LeClerc (LB): LeClerc was drafted by the Chicago Bears with the 177th pick in the 15th round. The Springfield, Massachusetts native was transformed into a kicker with the Bears where he connected on 76 of 152 attempts while drilling 154 of 160 extra points. He did play one season for the Denver Broncos in 1967 before retiring.
  • 1985: Joe Shield (QB): Shielf was selected by the New York Giants with the 44th pick in the fifth round. The Brattleboro, Vermont native played just three games with the Packers during the 1986 season.

Tufts University 

  • 1946: George Feldman (HB): Feldman was selected by the Philadelphia Eagles with the 208th pick in the 22nd round.
  • 1958: George Kurker (T): Kurker was selected by the New York Giants with the 149th pick in the 13th round.
  • 1977: Daryl Brown (DB): Brown was picked 240th in the ninth round by the Cleveland Browns.

UMass Boston

  • 1974: Erle Garrett (DB): The only student-athlete to be drafted in UMass Boston’s history, Garrett was selected by the Minnesota Vikings with the 441st pick in the 17th round.

University of New Haven

  • 1958: Lou Pitney (C): Pitney was drafted by the New York Giants with the 345th pick in the 29th round.
  • 1959: Dick Splain (T): Splain was selected by the Washington Redskins with the 185th pick in the 16th round.
  • 1982: Mile McPherson (DB): McPherson was selected by the Los Angeles Rams with the 256th pick in the 10th round. The Queens, New York native never played a down for the Rams but did play four seasons for the San Diego Chargers while playing in two postseason games against the Miami Dolphins and Pittsburgh Steelers.
  • 1991: Harry Boatswain (G): Boatswain was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers with the 137th pick in the fifth round. The Brooklyn, New York native played began his five-year career with the 49ers before competing for the Philadelphia Eagles in 1995 and the New York Jets in 1996. He also competed in seven postseason games, including four contests against the Dallas Cowboys.

Wesleyan University 

  • 1947: Burt VanderClute (G): Vander Clute was picked 69th overall in the ninth round by the Pittsburgh Steelers.
  • 1947: Jack Medd (C): Medd was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers with the 89th pick in the 11th round.
  • 1948: Jim Burton (E): Burton was drafted by the Boston Yanks with the 69th pick in the ninth round.
  • 1949: John Geary (T): Geary was selected by the New York Bulldogs with the 93rd pick in the 10th round.

Williams College

  • 1970: Jack Maitland (RB): Maitland was selected by the Baltimore Colts with the 408th pick in the 16th round. The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania native played just one season for the Colts, starting two of the 14 games. He rushed for 209 yards on 74 carries for one score while catching nine passes for 67 yards and one touchdown. One year later, Maitland suited up for the New England Patriots where he played for the hometown team in 1971 and 1972.
  • 1976: Scott Perry (DB): Perry was picked 147th overall in the fifth round by the Cincinnati Bengals. The Pleasanton, California native played four seasons with the Bengals before ending his career with both the San Diego Chargers and San Francisco 49ers. Perry played in two postseason games in 1981 with the Chargers.
  • 1996: Ethan Brooks (T): Brooks was selected 229th overall in the seventh round by the Atlanta Falcons. Brooks played seven seasons of professional football, including three with the Baltimore Ravens from 2002-04.

 

Noonan: Super Bowl XLVI Prediction – New England vs. New York

Can Tom Brady earn his fourth Super Bowl ring on Sunday? (Photo Credit: Zimbio.com)

By Matt Noonan 

Well, it’s time for me, (Matt Noonan) to deem a NFL champion for Noontime Sports.

It’s been a LONG season, and 32 teams have dwindled down to just two, New England and New York, and once the clock strikes zero in the fourth quarter, we’ll officially have a winner, right?

OK… there might be overtime or a second or third, but you get my drift.

Although, how bizarre is it that pigskin lovers get to watch a rematch of Super Bowl XLII?

Doesn’t it seem like yesterday that New Englanders were crossing their fingers for Tom Brady to recover from his awful performance against the San Diego Chargers in the 2007 AFC title match?

Well, he didn’t do that well against the Baltimore Ravens two weeks ago, so should we expect déjà vu all over again? Who knows!

The Giants are a mediocre squad. Seriously, they’re 9-7, which means they’re OK, but not great, and as someone who is a true Dallas Cowboys supporter, it pains me to see Eli Manning leading his troops in the “big game” instead of Tony Romo. However, Manning certainly has taken a step forward toward the upper echelon of “elite quarterbacks” in the NFL, but now the question remains … can he beat Brady and the Patriots on Sunday, again?

I certainly think it’s possible, especially since New York has a variety of offensive weapons that can stretch the field, and attack Bill Belichick’s questionable and fragile secondary.

Also, I believe the Giants front seven will attempt to mimic their actions from four years ago when they recorded five sacks in Arizona. However, they never forced Brady to throw an interception, but this past November when the two teams met in Foxborough, the G-Men tallied two sacks and two interceptions, as well as a win, too.

New England hasn’t defeated New York since that epic clash in December of 2007, which was when the Patriots registered their 16th victory, and ended the regular season with a perfect record. Yet, ever since that night in New Jersey, the Giants have had their number in the championship and regular season matches, which probably means they’re better, right?

Hard to answer that particular question, but overall, I think these two teams are even. And yes, I know I labeled the Giants as “mediocre,” but all in all, I think we’re going to be watching a true heavyweight bout.

Super Bowl XLVI Prediction: The Giants rallied to beat the Patriots earlier this season, and it’s certainly possible that Manning could lead a last minute drive and hook up with Jake Ballard or Victor Cruz for the game-winning touchdown.

However, I believe in the motto, “In Bill, We Trust.” New England’s defense has ratcheted up their intensity over the past few weeks, and certainly defied the odds against Baltimore and Denver in the playoffs.

Although, shouldn’t every defense be able to stop Tim Tebow and the Broncos offense? I think so!

If New England can establish the run and maintain the time of possession, then I’m expecting the Patriots to win. Although, if Manning and his offense to can beat up the Patriots front seven and tear apart the secondary, then the Giants should win.

Overall, it’s a tough decision, but I going to stick with my gut and say… New England 20, New York 17

Tom Brady’s AFC Championship Resume

Tom Brady didn't toss a single TD on Sunday, but still managed to lead New England past Baltimore, 23-20! (Photo Credit: SB Nation)

By Matt Noonan 

The New England Patriots escaped Sunday’s dramatic AFC Championship contest with a 23-20 victory against the Baltimore Ravens.

However, quarterback Tom Brady didn’t exactly have his best game in a Patriots uniform, which is why Noontime Sports decided to go back in time, and analyze his past conference championship performances, as well as see if there was any parallels from Sunday’s tilt.

January 27, 2002 – New England at Pittsburgh: Against the Steelers, Brady completed 12 of 18 passes for 115 yards, but didn’t manage to toss a single strike to the end zone. Brady sustained an injury midway through the first half, which allowed former starting quarterback Drew Bledsoe to lead the Patriots to a 24-17 victory.

January 18, 2004 – Indianapolis at New England: The New England Patriots defense flexed their muscles by recording four interceptions and four sacks on quarterback Peyton Manning, who only tossed one touchdown. Brady finished the game 22 of 37 for 237 yards and one touchdown. He also tossed one interception, and rushed for one yard on five carries.

January 23, 2005 – New England at Pittsburgh: Brady registered 207 yards and two touchdowns, which included a 60-yard pass to Deion Branch that sparked New England’s offense and defense to eventually defeat Pittsburgh for the second time in three years, 41-27.

January 21, 2007 – New England at Indianapolis: Despite leading the Colts, 21-6 at halftime, Manning and his teammates staged an epic comeback to capture the AFC crown, which ended the Patriots quest toward a fourth Super Bowl title. Brady tossed one touchdown and one interception, as well as was sacked once, while Manning finished the game with one touchdown, one interception, and 349 yards through the air.

January 20, 2008 – San Diego at New England: Against the Chargers, Brady struggled. The New England gunslinger completed 22 of 33 passes for 209 yards, as well as finished the game with two touchdowns and three interceptions. San Diego also recorded two sacks, but only mustered 12 points, thanks to kicker Nate Kaeding, who was 4-for-4.

January 22, 2012 – Baltimore at New England: Similar to the 2001 AFC Championship game, Brady didn’t record a single touchdown, but managed to cough up the ball twice, as he was picked off by cornerbacksJimmy Smith and Lardarius Webb. However, the Patriots signal caller did finish the game with 239 yards through the air, and 22 completions.

Overall, Brady is 5-1 in conference championships, and 3-1 in the Super Bowl clashes.

Daily Noontime – January 19, 2012

Rajon Rondo was the main reason why Boston snapped their five-game losing streak on Wednesday! (Photo Credit: MassLive.com)

By NoontimeSports.com 

Good Thursday morning to everyone, and welcome into another stupendous edition of the Daily Noontime! Here are some headlines, and news from Boston and New England.

* The Boston Celtics snapped their five-game losing streak on Wednesday, as they defeated the Toronto Raptors, 96-73. Although, Rajon Rondo sustained a minor wrist injury in the third quarter, which he believes won’t keep him sidelined for too long. The Celtics will return to the hardwood on Friday when they welcome the Phoenix Suns to town, which is yet another “must win” game.

* The Boston Bruins will look to even their four-game road record at 2-2 on Thursday when they travel to New Jersey to face the Devils.

* The Black and Gold announced on Wednesday that defensemen Zdeno Chara was named one of the captains for the upcoming NHL All-Star game.

* In college hoops on Wednesday, Duquesne defeated Massachusetts, 80-69, while Northeastern edged Georgia State, 60-57.

* Finally, San Diego Chargers linebacker Takeo Spikes told ESPN on that he’s predicting the New England Patriots to win the AFC Championship game on Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens.