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#pounditSaturday, November 27, 2021

New England Patriots

Cris Collinsworth has ominous Super Bowl prediction

Cris Collinsworth holds a microphone

Cris Collinsworth can already see the stars aligning in one particular way this NFL season.

The veteran NBC sportscaster, who will be on the call for this year’s Super Bowl, shared an ominous prediction to Twitter on Monday.

“I have called 4 Super Bowls, this one will be my 5th,” wrote Collinsworth. The Patriots have been in every one. Just saying…”

The Super Bowl will be aired on NBC this season for the first time in four years. Collinsworth was previously on the call for New England’s Super Bowl wins in 2005 and 2015 as well as their Super Bowl losses in 2012 and 2018.

This year, the Patriots suddenly look good again as winners of their last four straight games. But it would still be a big surprise for them to make it to the Super Bowl with a rookie quarterback in Mac Jones and a roster of largely lesser-known players. The more likely scenario would be for Tom Brady and the defending champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers to make it back to the title game this year. Brady was, of course, in all four of Collinsworth’s previous Super Bowls as well.

In any case, many are probably hoping they don’t have to hear Collinsworth on the call for another New England Super Bowl game this year. After all, he has taken heat before for his pro-Patriots commentary.

Photo: Jan 1, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; NBC Sports broadcaster Cris Collinsworth before the game between the Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Are Patriots a possibility for Odell Beckham Jr.?

Odell Beckham after a game

Odell Beckham Jr. will soon learn where he will be playing for the rest of the NFL season. Could he end up on a surprising AFC team? That’s what one informed NFL reporter thinks.

Adam Schefter was talking on ESPN’s “Monday Night Countdown” prior to the Monday night game between the Bears and Steelers. Schefter mentioned the Saints and Seahawks as possibilities for Beckham. Those teams are not surprising based on what we have heard.

But Schefter added another team to the mix that is surprising: the New England Patriots. Yes, Schefter said New England could be a possibility for Beckham.

Schefter based his mention of the Patriots on Bill Belichick’s history of bringing in troubled players and having success with them.

Though the Pats have brought in checkered receivers in the past like Randy Moss, Chad Johnson and Antonio Brown to name a few, we think this situation is different.

The Patriots had Tom Brady during the times when they added all those players. Now, they have a rookie quarterback in Mac Jones. That’s a big difference.

Would New England risk bringing in a dominant personality like Beckham to influence Jones? That’s a tough question. Baker Mayfield, who is young, had some issues with Beckham on the field. An older, more established quarterback who can handle someone like Beckham would probably be best for the receiver. That’s why one NFC team seems to make the most sense.

Photo: Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. returns to MetLife Stadium for the first time since he was traded by the New York Giants. The New York Jets lose to the Cleveland Browns, 23-3, in NFL Week 2 on Monday, Sept. 16, 2019, in East Rutherford. Danielle Parhizkaran/, North Jersey Record via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Rex Ryan offers rare praise for Patriots

Rex Ryan

The New England Patriots are to Rex Ryan as Newman is to Jerry Seinfeld. That makes what Ryan said about them on Sunday all the more surprising.

Ryan, the former New York Jets coach, offered some rare praise for the Patriots before they played the Carolina Panthers in Week 9.

“I was all out on these guys,” he said on ESPN’s “Sunday NFL Countdown.” “Uh-oh, this team is coming together. And my goodness, I don’t wanna say it. I don’t wanna say it, but they’re dangerous.”

The Patriots would go on to wallop the Panthers by the final of 24-6 to improve to 5-4 on the season.

Ryan, who coached the Jets from 2009 to 2014, famously hates the Patriots. He never won a single division title in New York because New England won the AFC East every year that he was there. The same was also true after Ryan went across the division to coach the Buffalo Bills. He relished in taking public shots at the Patriots while he was still coaching.

Last season, Ryan was even dancing on New England’s grave given their struggles. But the Patriots now look somewhat formidable again, forcing him to begrudgingly change his tune.

Photo: Aug 26, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Former NFL head coach Rex Ryan during a NFL football game between the Los Angeles Rams and the Los Angeles Chargers at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Jets players angered by Patriots running up score on them

Bill Belichick

The New York Jets got lit up like a jack-o’-lantern by the division rival New England Patriots on Sunday, and apparently some Jets players thought that their division rivals were rubbing it in unnecessarily.

Jets offensive tackle Morgan Moses said that he and others were bothered by the Patriots running up the score, per Connor Hughes of The Athletic.

The Patriots defeated the Jets by a comical 54-13 final score. They scored another three touchdowns in the fourth quarter after they were already ahead by 21 points, continuing to take deep shots down the field.

Of course, New England was under no obligation to stop trying to score, and it is on the Jets for not being able to defend them. In fact, the Patriots pulled many of their starters, scoring their final touchdown of the game on a drive led by backup quarterback Brian Hoyer.

But the Jets are probably right that the Patriots took pleasure in rubbing salt in their wounds. New England coach Bill Belichick, who famously hates the Jets, made no secret of the joy that he got from the thrashing.

Photo: Dec 29, 2019; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick on the sidelines during the second half of their loss to the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Dak Prescott loses touchdown on fumble after bad call on play before

Dak Prescott leaps over the pile

The New England Patriots created one heck of a game-changing turnover on Sunday after getting some help from the referees.

The Dallas Cowboys were on the goal line with a minute and a half left in the second quarter at New England. Dallas was down 14-10 and had an obvious chance to take the lead. On third down, Dallas gave the ball to Dak Prescott for a quarterback sneak. He appeared to get into the end zone pretty convincingly, but the officials said he was short.

Then on 4th-and-goal, Prescott took the snap and leaped over the pile towards the end zone. But Ja’Whaun Bentley knocked the ball loose and caused a fumble.

Though the officials initially signaled touchdown, a review showed that Prescott lost possession before breaking the plane of the goal line.

New England was awarded the ball through a fumble.

What a terrible sequence for the Cowboys. They got robbed of a touchdown on third down, then they lost a fumble on fourth down. What a bad break.

Tom Brady shares nice tributes to Bill Belichick, Patriots on Instagram

Bill Belichick Tom Brady hug

Tom Brady always takes time to praise his teammates on Instagram after each Tampa Bay Buccaneers win, but the quarterback had flattering things to say about both his team and the one he beat in Week 4.

Brady gave shoutouts to several Bucs players on Tuesday for the role they played in Sunday’s 19-17 win over the New England Patriots. He also paid tribute to Bill Belichick, Robert Kraft and many of his former teammates. Here are some of the screenshots:

Brady said leading up to Sunday’s game that he didn’t expect a “homecoming” in Foxboro, but that is basically what he got. The seven-time Super Bowl champion received a warm welcome from Patriots fans and heard chants of “Brady! Brady!” multiple times after he took the field. He also had a lengthy private meeting with Belichick.

It’s obvious Brady was touched by the way he was treated in his return.

Tom Brady reveals biggest takeaway from facing Patriots

Tom Brady

Tom Brady has admitted that he experienced a wide range of emotions before and during Sunday night’s game against the New England Patriots, but the seven-time Super Bowl champion says one aspect of his return to Foxboro really stuck out.

During the latest episode of his SiriusXM podcast “Let’s Go!” with Jim Gray, Brady revealed his favorite part of returning to Gillette Stadium as a visiting player. He said it came after the final whistle blew in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 19-17 win.

“I got to see some people after the game that I just love so much. The best part of the night was having the game over and seeing them,” Brady said, as transcribed by WEEI’s Ryan Hannable. “And understanding that no matter how we compete, my relationship with those people transcends wins and losses. … The hugs, the handshakes, the congratulatory messages, all the different things that I heard really in the end to me is what continues to motivate me and inspire me.”

Brady also said it wasn’t fun playing against veterans like Kyle Van Noy, Dont’a Hightower, Matthew Slater and Devin McCourty, whom he described as “amazing people that I’ve gone to war with.”

“The reality is, sports, sometimes you go different places and now you’re on the other side of it and on the other sideline,” Brady added. “You want those guys to do so well because you know how important it is to them. You know how much it means to them.”

A lot was made about Brady’s relationship with Bill Belichick and how the 44-year-old would have loved to throttle his former team, but that didn’t happen. Brady led the Bucs to a hard-fought win, but no one wound up embarrassed. He even caught up with his former coach for a lot longer than people expected him to. In many ways, the night probably went exactly how Brady wanted it to.

Patriots pick on Richard Sherman during his season debut

Richard Sherman

Richard Sherman made his season debut on Sunday, and the New England Patriots wasted no time picking on him.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed Sherman on Wednesday. He was a free agent and dealt with an offseason arrest, but the Bucs ended up signing him amid a rash of injuries.

Without cornerbacks Sean Murphy-Bunting and Jamel Dean unavailable, the Bucs started Sherman against the Patriots. Mac Jones went right after Sherman like he was targeting a rookie and had a great deal of success throwing against him in coverage.

Sherman looked like a guy who only signed on Wednesday. He was constantly a step slow and got beat regularly.

At least Sherman had a fumble recovery in the third quarter. And from his standpoint, things probably could not get much worse.

Do Patriots, Mac Jones have a Cam Newton-inspired audible?

Mac Jones Superman

Do the New England Patriots have a Cam Newton-inspired audible call? Something Mac Jones did on Sunday night left many wondering.

A minute into Sunday night’s game between the Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Jones used a “Superman” audible call. He pretended to pull his shirt apart to reveal a mock Superman “S” on his chest.

Many fans likely recognize that move as the celebration Cam Newton used to do after scoring touchdowns. Newton was the Patriots’ quarterback last season and was with them until being cut just before the season began.

NBC analyst Cris Collinsworth wondered whether the audible call was for a play Newton liked. We don’t know whether the audible has anything to do with Newton, but it wouldn’t be a stretch if it did.

Bill Belichick shares his opinion on why Tom Brady left Patriots

The most highly anticipated regular season game in NFL history is just days away, and Bill Belichick is going to be peppered with questions about Tom Brady all week long. He answered a few of them on Monday morning, and some of what the New England Patriots coach said might surprise you.

Belichick said numerous times when he coached Brady that he wouldn’t want any other quarterback playing for him. During his weekly appearance on WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show,” he was asked when that changed. He responded that “it never changed” and said it was Brady’s choice to leave.

“There were a lot of things there — he looked at his options and made his decision,” Belichick said. “We weren’t as good of an option as Tampa. You’d have to ask him about all that, but it wasn’t a question of not wanting him that’s for sure.”

Belichick added that he has the utmost respect for Brady, but he repeatedly stated that he’s focused on preparing his team to take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

“My focus is on the game here, and look, I have so much respect and appreciation for Tom and everything he did here and for me and for our team,” the coach said. “We’re just getting ready for Tampa this week and we’re going to keep our focus on that.”

Brady would probably disagree that Belichick wanted to keep him. Brady’s father, Tom Sr., told Tom E. Curran of NBC Sports Boston last week that Belichick wanted his son “out the door.”

On the other hand, Brady’s longtime trainer and best friend Alex Guerrero criticized Belichick for the way he treated Brady. That would imply that Brady grew tired of the culture in New England and wanted out.

So which one is it? The answer is both. Brady wanted to stay in New England, but he wanted Belichick to show more appreciation for him — both in the locker room and by acquiring better players to continue chasing championships during the twilight years of the quarterback’s career. When Belichick refused to change, Brady decided to leave. That was technically Brady’s choice, but Brady likely would have preferred to stay had Belichick been more flexible.

Both Belichick and Brady will likely do everything they can to downplay the importance of Sunday’s game. That’s simply how they operate. But if Brady tries to claim it is “just another game,” we already have proof he is lying. He and his former coach both know it is anything but.