Rob Gronkowski Will Compete For The New England Patriots In 2018

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Rob Gronkowski announced on Instagram this evening that he will be returning to the gridiron this fall with the New England Patriots. (PHOTO CREDIT: WCVB.com)

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11) 

Rob Gronkowski announced this evening on Instagram that he will return to the gridiron this fall to compete for the New England Patriots.

Gronkowski wrote the following on Instagram: “I met with coach today and informed him I will be back for the 2018 season with the Pats. I have been working out, staying in shape and feel great. Looking forward to another championship run.
#bandsamakeherdance.

The announcement allows members of Patriots Nation to take a deep breath – yes, there was speculation following the Super Bowl that Gronkowski would retire and pursue other opportunities. However, today’s post squashes any rumors or thoughts that Gronkowski won’t be back for another season with New England.

Gronkowski concluded the 2017 season with 69 receptions for 1,084 yards and eight touchdowns. He played in all three postseason games, too, hauling in 16 of 27 targets for 218 yards and three touchdowns.

Against the Philadelphia Eagles in the Super Bowl, he scored two touchdowns, while recording 116 receiving yards on nine receptions.

Noontime Sports The Podcast: Episode 18 (Andy Mahoney | BostonGlobe.com Sports Producer)

noontime-sports-podcastBy NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports

In anticipation of this upcoming weekend’s Super Bowl between the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons, Noontime Sports the Podcast featured some quality pigskin chatter between host Matt Noonan and Andy Mahoney, who is the sports producer for BostonGlobe.com.

Mahoney gave his ‘two-cents’ on the Patriots-Falcons matchup, why there hasn’t been too much news (or noise) from the so-called ‘media week,’ while giving some thought to where New England would stand in Boston sports history if they earn a fifth championship.

Would they be better than the early 20th century Boston Red Sox or the Celtics of the 1960’s, 1970’s and 1980’s – let’s also not forget about the Green and White of 2008, too.

Either way, get pumped (or excited) for this weekend’s big game with a fun pre-Super Bowl podcast, while following Mahoney (@GlobeMahoney) and the Boston Globe Sports section (@BGlobeSports) on Twitter.

Noontime Sports is now on SoundCloud, so make sure to become a fan of our page today! 

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.

Happy Birthday, Tom Brady!

Tom Brady celebrates his 35th Birthday on Friday, August 3. (Photo Credit: NFLPassers.com)

By NoontimeSports.com

Today, Friday, August 3, marks New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s 35th Birthday. And despite his urge to continue learning and improving, he certainly has a lot to celebrate, and be proud of, too.

Ever since he became a member of the National Football League, Brady has won three Super Bowl titles, and five American Football Conference championships. He’s also a seven-time Pro Bowler and two-time First-Team All-Pro.

Since the Patriots drafted him in 2000, he’s tallied 39,979 passing yards, 300 touchdowns, and 3,397 completions.

His best year as a pro came during the 2007 season when he broke the single-season touchdown record with 50 strikes to the end zone. Randy Moss collected 23 touchdowns that year, which catapulted him past Jerry Rice as the single-season leader in touchdown receptions.

Last season, Brady led his unit to Super Bowl XLVI, but sadly, the outcome was rather similar to Super Bowl XLII, as the New York Giants defeated New England, 21-17.

This year, the New England gunslinger seems more poised than ever, and certainly appears hungry for his fourth ring.

The Patriots begin their season on Sunday, September 9, when they travel to Tennessee to face the Titans.

NFL Preseason Comments, Questions and Thoughts

The 2011 NFL Preseason kicks-off on Thursday, however, despite it not being the regular season, we still have questions!

By Matt Noonan 

It’s Thursday, but not just any ordinary Thursday, yet instead, the official kick-off to the 2011 NFL preseason. So, with that being said, here are a few hot topics to get you set for some early pigskin action, enjoy.

To Play or Not to Play: Preseason football is usually the time when coaches don’t normally play their starters. However, due to this past off-season being condensed into the past few weeks, it should be expected that the main players, (first-team) should attempt to play roughly one quarter. Yet, don’t be fooled if you see back-ups or third-string players that won’t make the roster in September. Although, due to the lockout, it’s also possible that all 32-teams will most likely hold out a majority of their starters, so they don’t sustain any injuries. In fact, almost every team has experienced the “injury bug,” due to no practices the past few months, as well as the CBA (collective bargaining agreement) reconstruction.

Tim Tebow vs. Tony Romo: Thursday will mark yet another intriguing matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and Denver Broncos. In fact, these teams have met quite frequently during the month of August; however, this year in particular is an important one, especially for both quarterbacks, Tony Romo and Tim Tebow.

Romo, who according to multiple league sources is on his “game,” yet, what exactly does that mean? Some analysts believe he’s destined to have a Pro-Bowl season, but again, it’s too early to tell, right? Expect Romo and his offense to be somewhat in-sync against an average Broncos defense, but again, it’s still too early to predict Romo’s season numbers.

So, instead of barking about Romo’s past five-seasons in the league, why don’t you turn your attention to Denver, Colorado, where besides the Rockies, the Broncos have encountered some issues. Yet, what exactly is the matter with Denver’s football team? Well, according to some, there’s a quarterback controversy, but is that entirely true?

Seriously, quarterback,Kyle Orton, drives this offense, not Tim Tebow. However, while the youngster is waiting in the wings, it’ll be expected that he won’t be handed the starting position, especially if he plays flawless football for the next few weeks. He’ll be the starter one day, but in the meantime, he needs to slam on the breaks, as well as understand that he’ll only improve if he listens and watches Orton under center.

Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles kick-off their preseason slate on Thursday, however, are they truly a team that is destined to win the Super Bowl?

Possible Super Bowl Preview: The Baltimore Ravens and Philadelphia Eagles will meet under the lights of Lincoln Financial Field on Thursday; yet, some believe this could be a possible Super Bowl preview. However, I think not. In fact, it’s way too early to predict, which teams will be playing in February.

Both teams still have major questions to address, especially the Ravens, who said so long to wide receiver Derrick Mason (New York Jets) and tight end Todd Heap (Arizona Cardinals), but did manage to acquire one of the leagues original “bad boys,” Ricky Williams from the Miami Dolphins. Expect quarterbackJoe Flacco to begin his preseason on a good note, yet, don’t expect great things off the bat. Some questions could be answered, but again, one game doesn’t illustrate true definitions, especially for Baltimore. However, they should dominate the run and pass defense, especially against Philadelphia’s quarterback, Michael Vick, who loves to scramble out of the pocket.

As for the Eagles, well, all eyes should be on the defense, especially their cornerbacks, as well as newly acquired defensive lineman, Cullen Jenkins. The Eagles have some questions too, but certainly, one game won’t tell how good their squad will be this season. In fact, it’s way too early to be labeling them, “super bowl bound,” so instead, let’s just grab some popcorn and see what they have to offer, OK?

Chad Ochocinco Needs to Play: The New England Patriots have been quite sneaky this off-season, as they’ve attempted to add more depth to their defense. Yet, despite the signing of Albert Haynesworth, the acquisition of Chad Ochocinco has brought a great deal of excitement to the city of Boston, as well as New England. Although, before he is deemed an immediate starter or someone who’ll provide the necessary spark for Tom Brady’s offense, it’s vital that he suit up for all four preseason games, so head coach Bill Belichick can get an accurate gauge on the animated, yet talented wide-out. Ochocinco, who hasn’t been on a “super bowl contender,” wants a ring, but before he strives for one, he isn’t the second coming of Joey Galloway.