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#pounditMonday, December 6, 2021

New England Patriots

Tom Brady doesn’t take bait in response to question about Patriots struggles

Tom Brady Bucs

Tom Brady had the opportunity to gloat over the struggles of his former team, but he did not take advantage of it.

Brady has his Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 9-5 and in a good position to clinch a playoff spot. Meanwhile, his former team, the New England Patriots, is 6-8 and has been eliminated from playoff contention.

Brady was asked after his Bucs’ comeback win over the Falcons about the Patriots being eliminated. He didn’t take the bait.

“As far as the Patriots, they have their own thing going,” Brady said. “I’ve really been focused on how my play needs to be at quarterback, the execution of mine. They’re not really an opponent of mine. Obviously I have a lot of friends there, a lot of great relationships. But they’ve been focused on what they need to do, and I’ve been trying to focus on what my job is.”

Brady could have very easily said something about how tough it is to win without a great quarterback. He could have said something about that proving the Patriots were wrong for letting him go. But he didn’t.

The bigger statement will come when his team is playing in the postseason.

Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski have teamed up yet again! Treat yourself or a friend with this great Tampa Fiesta shirt. You can buy it here.

H/T Musket Fire

Tom Brady does not take bait with question about Patriots

Tom Brady Bucs

One of the popular topics of discussion this year has been whether Tom Brady or Bill Belichick was the driving force behind the New England Patriots’ success. The answer is that both of them were key. But we also know that nothing in football is more valuable than having a great quarterback.

So far, Brady has the edge in the discussion, which has to make him feel good for now. Still, he’s not ready to gloat.

Brady was asked on Thursday about the Patriots’ 2-5 record. The team has not received good quarterback play and has suffered accordingly. Contrarily, Brady has played well, and his new team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, are 6-2.

Brady won’t put New England down just because they’re struggling without him.

“I have a lot of relationships with a lot of teammates. I wish everybody the best all the time,” Brady said at a press conference on Thursday. “I don’t ever wish for anyone to not perform at their best. I certainly wish for our team to play its best. Maybe the only team I don’t root for is the team we’re playing on that particular Sunday.”

Brady knows how to say the right thing professionally. He’s very good at that, though TV cameras still catch his emotions sometimes.

Regardless of what he says publicly, there is no doubt Brady is getting a measure of satisfaction from outperforming his former team. He wouldn’t be a competitive human being if he didn’t.

Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski have teamed up yet again! Treat yourself or a friend with this great Tampa Fiesta shirt. You can buy it here.

Ex-Patriot Matt Light: 2020 NFL season is a ‘joke’

Bill Belichick

Former New England Patriots offensive lineman Matt Light is rolling up this season into a ball and throwing it into the trash.

Light was a guest on “The Greg Hill Show” on WEEI Tuesday and said he views this season as a “joke.” He believes Patriots head coach Bill Belichick recognizes this season is a joke and is therefore building for the future.

“No one is going to look back on the 2020 season and compare it to anything other than, ‘it was a joke. It was ridiculous.’ Bill Belichick is the greatest there is, man. Do you want to compete? Do you want to go after it at the highest level? Or do you want to do what they’re right now and all the uncertainty,” Light said.

“This is not the game of football that we all know. It’s something other than that. Bill recognized it early on. I firmly believe that. I think that he is building for time that we can play for a real championship, with real players, getting after it, fully prepared, getting ready to go.”

The Patriots entered the season with several defensive players choosing not to play. Not only did New England start off in a more difficult spot than any other team in terms of opt outs, but all teams are dealing with players missing games due to the virus, canceled practices, and games being rescheduled. There also aren’t stadiums full of fans to affect the home environment like usual.

All of that is true, but there wasn’t as much talk about it among the Patriots until Cam Newton started playing poorly. Now Belichick is giving reasons why New England is having a tough year.

You can also bet that the fans of whatever team that wins the Super Bowl won’t be treating the championship any differently.

H/T TMZ Sports

Cam Newton shares what he has learned about Patriots’ expectations

Cam Newton

Cam Newton has had a very shaky start to his first season as New England Patriots quarterback. If nothing else, though, it’s taught him just how high expectations are.

Newton admitted Thursday that the recent defeats the Patriots have suffered has been a learning experience about how unacceptable those losses are. That’s not just to the team, either.

“Losing is not acceptable in this locker room, in this county, in this state, in this area, in this region,” Newton said, via Michael Giardi of NFL Network. “Cameron Newton, you need to pick your expletive up.”

More or less. Patriots fans are used to winning consistently with Tom Brady. This season, they’re 2-4, and a loss to the Bills would hurt their already endangered chances of winning the AFC East even more.

Not helping matters is the fact that Newton himself hasn’t played very well. He has just two passing touchdowns to seven interceptions. Bill Belichick is sticking with him for now, but that could certainly change if things don’t improve.

Cam Newton is now a member of the Patriots! Treat yourself or a friend with this great Cam Newton Patriots shirt. You can buy it here.

Cam Newton benched for Jarrett Stidham during poor game

Cam Newton

Cam Newton was benched by the New England Patriots for Jarrett Stidham during a poor start on Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.

Newton was having a rough time throughout the game and went 9/15 for 98 yards and three interceptions before being asked to take a seat midway through the third quarter. He also had five rushes for 19 yards.

After Newton threw his third interception, which came in the third quarter, head coach Bill Belichick was shown walking up to Newton and giving him a pat on the bench. That seemed to be Belichick’s way of nicely saying “we’re going to go with Stidham.”

The poor accuracy and lack of zip on his passes Sunday led some to wonder whether Newton is being bothered by his shoulder again.

Newton also looked bad in a Week 6 loss to the Broncos where he went 17/25 for 157 yards and two interceptions. His recent performances have left fans wondering what happened to the guy who looked like his old MVP self the first two games of the season.

Patriots’ loss breaks this unbelievable 18-year-old streak

Bill Belichick

The New England Patriots lost to the Denver Broncos on Sunday, meaning one of the league’s most impressive streaks has come to an end.

During their broadcast of the game, CBS flashed a remarkable stat: the Patriots have not had a losing record in October or later since 2002. That streak, which began on Nov. 10, 2002, ended on Sunday as the Patriots fell to 2-3.

It’s hard to overstate how remarkable that streak is. It was one month shy of reaching 18 years. Given all the players that have come through the organization, it’s an incredible feat.

Things are different for the Patriots this year. Tom Brady is gone, and the team is adapting and having issues doing so. Their offense in particular looked quite stagnant on Sunday against Denver.

This isn’t the first unusual but remarkable Patriots streak that has come to an end in 2020.

Patriots screwed out of turnover on terrible sack call against Chiefs

Patriots Chiefs turnover sack

The New England Patriots were screwed out of a turnover during their game on Monday night against the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Chiefs had the ball with a 3rd-and-4 at their 42 in the second quarter against the Patriots. Chase Winovich wrapped up Patrick Mahomes for a sack, and the Kansas City quarterback threw the ball in desperation. Shilique Calhoun caught the ball for what should have been an interception or fumble recovery, but that wasn’t the outcome the referees decided on.

Instead, the officials blew the whistle as Mahomes was being tackled. The referees later said that they ruled it a sack because Mahomes was in the grasp. That means they stopped the play to avoid Mahomes getting hit any more. That decision wiped out what should have been an interception for the Patriots.

Bill Belichick was not eligible to challenge the turnover because the play was considered to have stopped before then.

Instead of New England having the ball in Kansas City territory, the Chiefs got a chance to punt on fourth down, causing a big change in field position. KC’s punt went into the end zone. The Patriots got the ball at the 35 thanks to an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

New England later drove down the field, but they lost an opportunity for points when Brian Hoyer took a sack to end the half. The veteran quarterback should have thrown the ball away to give New England a chance to tie the game at six.

Patriots, Seahawks deliver another classic game and great finish

Patriots Seahawks Cam newton

The New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks combined to give fans yet another fantastic game.

The Seahawks prevailed over the Patriots on “Sunday Night Football” in Seattle 35-30. They won the game with a defensive stop on a Cam Newton rush attempt near the goal line as time expired.

The ending was reminiscent of the Patriots’ 28-24 win over the Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX, which came down to a goal-line situation. Just when Seattle looked poised to win the game, they attempted a pass at the goal line that was intercepted by Malcolm Butler in the end zone to preserve the New England win.

This time around, the Patriots had the choice to make and put the ball in the hands of Newton. He had 47 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns and was successful all game on the quarterback power run. This time, the Seahawks stuffed him for a loss as he rushed to his left.

Newton played a really nice game otherwise. He was 30/44 for 397 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. He got the team in position to win the game with a great 2-minute drill. New England got the ball at their 19 down by five with 1:42 left. They moved it 79 yards but fell short.

Newton’s primary weapon was Julian Edelman, who had 8 catches for 179 yards.

Cam’s counterpart, Russell Wilson, was spectacular for Seattle. He passed for 288 yards and five touchdowns and overcame a pick-six on Seattle’s opening possession. His touchdowns went to five different receivers. Safety acquisition Jamal Adams led the Seahawks’ defense with 10 tackles, a sack, and two quarterback hits.

Any time these teams want to meet for a game, fans will happily accept it. The only thing missing was the presence of James White, who is dealing with a family tragedy.

Aqib Talib shares great story of Bill Belichick trying to bring him out of retirement

Aqib Talib

Aqib Talib is calling it a career, but he considered returning to his old stomping grounds beforehand.

The veteran cornerback announced his retirement on Wednesday after a 12-year NFL career. As part of his video announcement, Talib revealed that he almost re-signed with the New England Patriots to play one more season. He says Patriots head coach Bill Belichick tried to recruit him.

“My guy, my big homie Bill Belichick called my phone, man, told me that he had the role of a lifetime for me,” said Talib. “He really wanted me to come in and strap tight ends … I was halfway out the door. I got flights. I started finding apartments.

“But then I kinda start going through that schedule [of the Patriots],” Talib continued. “I kinda see [George] Kittle, [Travis] Kelce, [Darren] Waller. So usually when I get in this position, I’m going to a new team, my thoughts are all positive … This time, I looked at this f—ing schedule and I said, ‘Can I even strap these damn tight ends?’ I said, ‘Aw s—,’ it’s over with. Once I said that, once that negative thought crossed my mind, I was like, man, my heart, my competitive edge, like I ain’t really in it like that no more.”

With that type of schedule, it’s no wonder Belichick wanted Talib’s help.

The 34-year-old Talib played for New England for two seasons from 2012 to 2013. He reunited with some of his old Patriots coaches, including Brian Flores, on the Miami Dolphins last season but did not actually play because he was on injured reserve.

Talib finishes his NFL career with five Pro Bowl appearances, two All-Pro selections, and a Super Bowl ring. He also walks away from the game as one of its more entertaining personalities of recent years.

Odell Beckham Jr. pushes back on Patriots rumors after Cam Newton signing

Odell Beckham Jr

Odell Beckham Jr and Cam Newton have been seen training together this offseason, but the former is shooting down any talk that he might join the latter in New England.

In a number of tweets on Monday, the Cleveland Browns receiver pushed back on rumors linking him to the Patriots after they signed Newton to a one-year deal. Beckham also said that he had “unfinished business” with the Browns.

Newton posted a video earlier this month of Beckham catching passes from him on the campus of UCLA. Beckham remains under contract with the Browns through the 2023 season however.

Still, some believe that Cleveland trading Beckham away is an inevitability. For now though, the three-time Pro Bowler does not appear to be wavering in his commitment to the Browns.