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Aqib Talib suffered rib or knee injury on hit from Wes Welker (GIF)

Aqib Talib Wes WelkerAqib Talib was knocked out of the AFC Championship Game early on after being picked by Wes Welker on a crossing route the Denver Broncos ran in the second quarter, costing the New England Patriots one of their key defensive stars.

The Broncos ran several short drags and crossing routes early in the game and used their receivers to pick off New England’s defensive backs. On the play in question, Welker collided with Talib, knocking the Pats cornerback out of the game.

Talib was taken to the locker room for examination and later returned to the team’s sideline, though he did not go back into the game. The injury was initially said to be a rib injury, but the Patriots later said it was a knee injury. Whatever the case, the Patriots were without their best defensive stopper, which left them extremely vulnerable against Denver’s stellar passing game.

[Related: Bill Belichick rips Wes Welker for hit on Aqib Talib]

Many people were wondering whether Welker’s hit on Talib was legal, and FOX NFL rules guru Mike Pereira explained that it was.

The Broncos were expected to move the ball whether Talib was in the game or not, but it certainly hurt New England being without him.

GIF via The Big Lead

Aqib Talib: Josh Gordon reminds you of Calvin Johnson, Andre Johnson

Josh GordonJosh Gordon broke an NFL receiving record over the last two weeks, and he’s earning a ton of respect throughout the league.

The Cleveland Browns’ second-year wide receiver became the first player in league history to record back-to-back 200-yard receiving games. He caught 14 passes for 237 yards and a touchdown in a Week 12 loss to Pittsburgh, and he had 10 catches for 261 yards and two touchdowns in a Week 12 loss to Jacksonville. He’s second in the NFL behind Calvin Johnson with 1,249 receiving yards this season, and he has earned comparisons to the Detroit Lions stud.

“He reminds you of those names, the Calvin Johnsons, the Andre Johnsons, just bigger guys with little guys’ speed and quickness. He can turn an 8-yard curl into a touchdown in a heartbeat. Definitely a challenge,” Aqib Talib said of Gordon, via WEEI.

Talib figures to cover Gordon when the Browns visit the New England Patriots on Sunday. Talib is one of the best cornerbacks in the league, so that should be a great matchup.

Gordon was taken in the supplemental draft by the Browns after having multiple problems in college. He also was suspended for the first two games of the season for a substance abuse policy violation. He blew up for 10 catches, 146 yards and a touchdown in his first game. He has six 100-yard games out of the 10 he’s played this season. There was chatter throughout the season that the Browns could trade him, but with the way he has played, they would have to be crazy to deal such a great weapon.

Steve Smith to Aqib Talib after the game ‘Ice up son!’ (Video)

Aqib Talib Steve SmithSteve Smith had a great message for Aqib Talib after the Carolina Panthers beat the New England Patriots 24-20 on Monday night.

NFL Network reporter Albert Breer caught up with Smith for an interview as the receiver was walking off the field. Breer asked him what happened between him and Talib (the two got into it several times earlier in the game). Smith, who is a notorious hot-head and trash talker, offered this answer.

“You’re gonna have to ask him. He didn’t finish the game. Ice up, son.”

Beautiful.

Video via @WillBrinson

Aqib Talib and Steve Smith had a nice fight (GIF)

Aqib Talib Steve SmithIf the main event on Monday night Carolina Panthers and New England Patriots, the co-main event was Aqib Talib vs. Steve Smith.

The Panthers star receiver and Patriots star cornerback went after it throughout the first half. On the Panthers’ touchdown drive in the first quarter, Smith caught two passes for 47 yards. He also helped his team gain 15 yards thanks to the unnecessary roughness penalty Talib committed by holding onto Smith’s leg (as seen in the GIF at the top).

GIFs via GIFD Sports, Bleacher Report

Cris Collinsworth praises Patriot way, forgot about whole Aaron Hernandez thing

Aqib-Talib-PatriotsThe New England Patriots have long had a reputation for bringing in troubled players and getting the most of them on the field. That is, until one of their best players was arrested and charged with murder.

On Sunday night, NBC’s Cris Collinsworth was discussing the fantastic game cornerback Aqib Talib had against the Atlanta Falcons. He seemed to forget about the most shocking drama of the NFL offseason.

“We all know about Aqib Talib and his history and what happened in Tampa,” Collinsworth said during the Sunday Night Football broadcast. “All Bill Belichick does is bring them in here and there hasn’t been one ounce of a problem. There’s something about when they come in and play for the Patriots. Whatever their issues were before, they disappear.”

We know the point Collinsworth was trying to make. Talib is known for things like getting into fights with teammates and not going to class in college. Despite that, he has been nothing but a shutdown corner for New England since he was acquired via trade last season. Other players like Corey Dillon and Randy Moss, who caused locker room problems elsewhere, were able to do the same for the Patriots.

However, Hernandez has pretty much put a damper on the entire thing. Belichick and company knew Hernandez liked to smoke weed and had a history of hanging out with a rough crowd, but they drafted him and signed him to a $40 million contract anyway. Now, he is awaiting trial for the murder of Odin Lloyd and could be linked to a separate double murder. It sure sounded like Collinsworth momentarily forgot about that.

Video via @cjzero

Aqib Talib chillin like a villain after winning game for Pats

Aqib Talib chillin

Nobody was more pleased with Aqib Talib’s performance against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday night than Aqib Talib.

After breaking up a pass intended for Roddy White on 4th down in the final minute, Talib went over to the New England Patriots’ bench to take a load off knowing he had just won the game for his team. Dude crossed his legs, spread his s— out, and just kicked back on the bench. All he was missing was a cigar in his mouth and a hot tub with bubbles. I asked for that via Twitter, and folks delivered.

Here’s what we got:

[Read more...]

Aqib Talib traded to Patriots

Aqib Talib was traded to the New England Patriots on Thursday, capping what was one of the most quiet trade deadline periods in recent memory.

The Buccaneers traded Talib and a 7th-round pick in this year’s draft to the Patriots for a 4th-round pick in 2014.

Talib, a fifth-year cornerback, is serving a four-game suspension for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drugs policy for taking Adderall. He’s already sat out three games, but the Patriots are on their bye. That means Talib will likely miss New England’s first game back from the bye in Week 10 against the Bills.

The trade seems to make sense from both sides.

Talib has had a rash of off-field problems aside from the PED suspension. He was indicted last year for shooting at his sister’s boyfriend, he got into a fight at the rookie symposium in 2008, and he fought a teammate in 2009. New Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano was probably delighted to get rid of the problem child for something of good value.

Meanwhile, Patriots coach Bill Belichick seems to have fallen in love with players who have character issues that he hopes he can fix. The plan worked so well with Randy Moss that New England acquired Albert Haynesworth and Chad Ochoinco, who both turned out to be busts for the Pats. Belichick will hope for a better result from Talib, who has proven he can be one of the top cover corners in the league.

New England is ranked 28th in the league in passing yards and passing touchdowns allowed. That’s probably why they figured Talib was worth the gamble despite being in the final year of his contract.