December 2008 - New England Patriots Wiretap
Kansas City Also Wants Scott Pioli
In addition to the Cleveland Browns, the Kansas City Chiefs have also officially asked for permission and are free to speak with Scott Pioli, according to an NFL source. The Browns have also officially requested permission to speak with Patriots' offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels for their head coaching vacancy.
Patriots' Mayo Is AP's Top Defensive Rookie
Patriots' linebacker Jerod Mayo has won The Associated Press 2008 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award. Mayo was a nearly unanimous choice, earning 49 of 50 votes Wednesday from a nationwide panel of sports writers and broadcasters who cover the league.
Could Pats Franchise And Trade Cassel?
The Patriots have to decide what to do with quarterback Matt Cassel, especially with Tom Brady's status for the 2009 season in jeopardy. One option would be for New England to franchise Cassel and then trade him, which would allow them to receive a return on their four-year investment rather than letting him leave for nothing. RealGM Note: Cassel was ranked 8th amongst quarterbacks in season FIC and 'deserved' to make $9.1 million, giving him a Reina Value of +1,739%.
Report: Brady Well Behind In Recovery
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has reportedly fallen behind in his recovery efforts from knee surgery and could risk missing next season if a second operation is needed. Brady, who underwent surgery on Oct. 6 after tearing the ACL and MCL ligaments in his left knee in the first quarter of the season's first game, had subsequent operations on the knee after it became infected.
Brady Proposes To Gisele On X-Mas Eve
Tom Brady proposed to girlfriend Gisele Bundchen on a private jet on Christmas Eve, and she said yes. Our sources say Brady proposed on a private jet that took off from Teterboro Airport in New Jersey and landed in Boston. There were four dozen white roses on board, as well as champagne.
Snow Angels Offend NFL?
Wes Welker made a "snow angel" in the team's 47-7 victory over the Cardinals on Sunday and was subsequently fined $10,000 by the NFL. Welker said he wasn't sure if he would appeal, but he acknowledged his snow-angel-making days are over. "It was a spur of the moment deal, and you can be sure that it won't happen again," Welker told the Boston Globe.
Cassel Wants To Be Back, But Is Realistic
Matt Cassel wants to return to the Patriots next season, but he isn't sure of how things will play out in New England. "Nobody knows the future," Cassel said Wednesday. "If anybody knew the future, I probably wouldn't be here right now because a lot of people predicted that I wouldn't be here after preseason. So the fact is nobody knows where I'm going to be next year. "I could definitely be back here. So it's something that we'll have to wait and see." The Patriots are more likely to keep Cassel if they're uncertain that Brady will be fully recovered from a season-ending knee injury in time for next season. New England could put the franchise tag on Cassel, assuring him of a huge pay raise. "Of course I would," Cassel said. "I love the Patriots. I love this organization. Like I said before, I love the people."
Magic Formula For Success? 35 Or Fewer Starters In A Season
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, each of the NFL's 10 teams that have used 35 starters or fewer has a winning record. Only three teams, the Patriots, Dolphins and Colts have managed at least 10 wins this season while needing to use more than 35 different starting players. - New England is 10-5 with 46 starters - Miami is 10-5 with 39 starters - Indianapolis is 11-4 with 37 starters
RealGM's Week 16 NFL Rundown: Hope Gained And Lost
Chances are you saw a majority of the thirteen games played on Sunday in the NFL's Week Sixteen ? especially if you were snowed in -- but there is no need to worry if you weren't watching all the action. RealGM is here to help summarize all that went down as NFL teams took the field in the final weekend before the Christmas holiday. We will also calculate each team?s Trench Counter*. Indianapolis 31, Jacksonville 24 Team Trench Counter: Colts +1.9, Jaguars -1.9 The Colts (11-4) clinched a playoff berth against the Jaguars (5-10) on Thursday night with their seventh consecutive victory. Peyton Manning was nearly perfect, going 29-for-34 with 364 yards and three touchdowns. Dominic Rhodes, playing for the injured Joseph Addai, had 89 total yards and a scoring reception. Both Reggie Wayne (seven receptions for 108 yards and a touchdown) and Dallas Clark (eight catches for 105 yards and a score) showed great chemistry with Manning. The Colts trailed 14-0 midway through the second quarter, and needed three scores in the fourth quarter (including a 35-yard interception return by Keiwan Ratliff) to secure the win. David Garrard played respectably against the Colts? tough secondary, going 28-for-41 with 329 yards, one touchdown and an interception. Maurice Jones-Drew, handling a majority of the rushing duties for the Jaguars with Fred Taylor out for the season, tallied 91 rushing yards and 71 receiving in the defeat. Dennis Northcutt, covering for Matt Jones due to a suspension, was Garrard?s top target with eight receptions for 101 yards and a touchdown. Baltimore 33, Dallas 24 Team Trench Counter: Ravens +16.6, Cowboys -16.6 The Ravens (10-5) dealt a damaging blow to the playoff hopes of the Cowboys (9-6) with a thrilling win on Saturday night. Rookie Joe Flacco kept his cool in the important game, going 17-for-25 with 149 yards and a touchdown. With Dallas rallying in the fourth quarter, Willis McGahee and Le?Ron McClain scored on runs of 77 and 82 yards, respectively, to put the game away. Each run was the first play from scrimmage by Baltimore following a Dallas score. Derrick Mason led the team in receiving with six catches for 66 yards and a touchdown, while McClain (139 yards on 22 carries) and McGahee (108 yards on eight attempts) both surpassed the 100-yard mark. After a poor start, Tony Romo rallied to finish the game with 252 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions on 24-for-45 passing. Tashard Choice, who handled the team?s rushing load with Marion Barber still nursing an injury, tallied 115 total yards and a score in the loss. Both Jason Witten (five catches for 87 yards) and Terrell Owens (five catches for 63 yards) reached the end zone on Romo passes, which may keep them from arguing for the time-being. DeMarcus Ware had one sack, which gives him 20 for the season. He?ll need 2 ? against the Eagles in Week 17 in order to tie Michael Strahan?s NFL record. San Diego 41, Tampa Bay 24 Team Trench Counter: Chargers +11.6, Buccaneers -11.6 The Chargers (7-8) momentarily kept their postseason hopes alive, while minimizing the Buccaneers? (9-6) chances. Philip Rivers excelled with 287 yards and four touchdowns on 21-for-31 passing. LaDainian Tomlinson rushed 21 times for 90 yards. San Diego scored 21 points in the fourth quarter, thanks to two Rivers? passes and a 59-yard interception return by Antoine Cason. Vincent Jackson led the team with seven receptions for 111 yards, while Antonio Gates reeled in four balls for 43 yards and two touchdowns. Jeff Garcia struggled when the Buccaneers needed him the most, going 21-for-35 with 232 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. He also scrambled six times for 45 yards and a score. Antonio Bryant was Tampa Bay?s leading receiver, catching six passes for 127 yards and a touchdown. In order to remain in the playoff race, San Diego needed Denver to lose to Buffalo in the second slate of games. Tampa Bay is still locked in a battle with Dallas, Atlanta and Philadelphia for a Wild Card spot. Tennessee 31, Pittsburgh 14 Team Trench Counter: Titans +4.3, Steelers -4.3 The Titans (13-2) clinched the AFC?s top seed and home-field advantage throughout the conference playoffs with a dominant win over the Steelers (11-3). Kerry Collins went 20-for-29 with 216 yards and one touchdown, while Chris Johnson (69 yards and a score) and LenDale White (48 yards and a touchdown) helped the team control the clock. Justin Gage was Collins? top target, catching five passes for 104 yards and a trip to the end zone. Tennessee put the game away late in the fourth quarter with an 83-yard interception return by Michael Griffin. Ben Roethlisberger was harassed all afternoon long, getting sacked five times by the swarming Titans? defense. He finished the afternoon with 331 yards, two touchdowns and a pair of interceptions on 26-for-40 passing. Willie Parker struggled on the ground, tallying 29 yards on eighteen rushing attempts. Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes had decent stat lines, with a combined twelve receptions for 202 yards and two touchdowns. In addition to his two interceptions, Roethlisberger lost two fumbles. San Francisco 17, St. Louis 16 Team Trench Counter: 49ers -6.4, Rams +6.4 The 49ers (6-9) rallied to score the game?s final fourteen points and defeat the lowly Rams (2-13). Shaun Hill went 18-for-34 with 216 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions. Both of Hill?s scoring strikes came in the fourth quarter, and he also scrambled four times for 45 yards. DeShaun Foster, playing for the injured Frank Gore, tallied 36 rushing yards on twelve carries. Isaac Bruce, who is now second on the NFL?s all-time receiving list, had seven receptions for 61 yards and a touchdown. Josh Morgan caught a 48-yarder from Hill with a little more than one minute left in the game to give San Francisco the victory. Marc Bulger added to his disappointing season, going 19-for-36 with 227 yards, one touchdown and an interception. Steven Jackson ran well, tallying 108 yards on 32 attempts, but didn?t break a run longer than 12 yards and couldn?t find the end zone. Both teams had three sacks, and neither is still in the NFC playoff picture. St. Louis cornerback Ronald Bartell was the team?s lone star, picking off Hill twice in the loss. New England 47, Arizona 7 Team Trench Counter: Patriots +21.6, Cardinals -21.6 The Patriots (10-5) thoroughly dominated the Cardinals (8-7) on Sunday in a snowy battle at Gillette Stadium. Matt Cassell went 20-for-36 with 345 yards and three touchdowns in rough conditions, while Kevin O?Connell attempted two passes in garbage time. Sammy Morris had 88 rushing yards on fifteen carries, and LaMont Jordan added 78 yards and two touchdowns on twenty attempts. Randy Moss, Wes Welker and Kevin Faulk all caught touchdown passes, while Jabar Gaffney led New England with five receptions for 90 yards in the victory. Kurt Warner struggled, going 6-for-18 with just 30 passing yards. Matt Leinart came on in the second half and went 6-for-14 with 138 yards, one touchdown and an interception. Arizona?s receivers had a great deal of difficulty reeling in passes, dropping many balls that would have been caught on a sunny day. The Cardinals? offense wasn?t much better on the ground, as Edgerrin James and Tim Hightower combined to rush for 36 yards on fourteen carries. Larry Fitzgerald had three receptions for 101 yards and a touchdown, which came on a late 78-yard completion that finally got Arizona on the board. Miami 38, Kansas City 31 Team Trench Counter: Dolphins +2.2, Chiefs -2.2 The Dolphins (10-5) edged the Chiefs (2-13) for a much-needed win on Sunday thanks to a 14-yard pass from Chad Pennington to Anthony Fasano near the end of the fourth quarter. Pennington had 235 yards, three touchdowns and an interception on 26-for-34 passing. Miami had 168 yards receiving, with five players accounting for at least 29 yards. Ricky Williams and Ted Ginn Jr. both reached the end zone on rushes. Fasano finished the afternoon with three catches for 47 yards and two scores. Miami kept themselves in the AFC East title race with the victory. Tyler Thigpen went 20-for-41 with 320 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions in yet another close loss. Larry Johnson continued to put himself back on the map, rushing twelve times for 108 yards and a score. Thigpen scrambled well once again, tallying 57 yards and a touchdown on six carries. Running back Jamaal Charles led Kansas City with three catches for 102 yards. Devard Darling (three receptions for 69 yards) and Tony Gonzalez (seven catches for 64 yards) both had touchdown receptions. The Chiefs failed to record a sack. New Orleans 42, Detroit 7 Team Trench Counter: Saints +23.7, Lions -23.7 With the flu running through the locker room, the Lions (0-15) are one loss away from history after a beating from the Saints (8-7). Drew Brees had 351 yards and two touchdowns on 30-for-40 passing, and four players scored rushing touchdowns for New Orleans. Pierre Thomas (77 rushing yards), Deuce McAllister (61 rushing yards), Mike Bell (26 rushing yards) and Robert Meachem (20 yards on one carry) all rushed for scores. Marques Colston had one of his best games of the season, with nine receptions for 99 yards and two scores. Dan Orlovsky went 10-for-23 with 125 yards and two interceptions, while Drew Stanton had 12 yards on three pass attempts for Detroit in the loss. Rookie running back Kevin Smith had 111 yards and a touchdown, while Calvin Johnson hauled in four receptions for 64 yards. The Lions? defense forced one fumble, but couldn?t get to Drew Brees and allowed New Orleans to put up 532 total yards. Cincinnati 14, Cleveland 0 Team Trench Counter: Bengals +18.7, Browns -18.7 The Bengals (3-11-1) shut out the Browns (4-11) in a bland game. Ryan Fitzpatrick went 5-for-9 with 55 yards and a touchdown, which came on a 20-yard strike to Chris Henry in the second quarter. Cedric Benson enjoyed his best day with Cincinnati, rushing 38 times for 171 yards in the victory. Benson lost a fumble, and didn?t reach the end zone. Leon Hall scored the other touchdown for the Bengals, reaching the end zone on a 50-yard interception return in the first quarter. Ken Dorsey went 10-for-17 with 68 yards and three interceptions. Brad Gradkowski came on and added 8 passing yards and an interception on eight attempts. Jamal Lewis ran for 76 yards on sixteen attempts, which brought him over the 10,000-yard mark for his career. He?s just the 24th player to reach the plateau. Braylon Edwards led Cleveland in receiving with three catches for 35 yards. Seattle 13, N.Y. Jets 3 Team Trench Counter: Seahawks +4, Jets -4 The Jets (9-6) have fallen behind the Patriots and Dolphins in the AFC East race after losing to the Seahawks (4-11) on Sunday. Seneca Wallace managed a good game, going 18-for-25 with 175 yards and a touchdown. Maurice Morris ran 29 times for 116 yards, while Bobby Engram was Wallace?s top target with six receptions for 65 yards. In addition to intercepting Brett Favre twice, Seattle? defense sacked him four times. The game was coach Mike Holmgren?s final one at Qwest Field in Seattle. Favre went 18-for-31 with 187 yards and two interceptions in the loss. Thomas Jones had 67 rushing yards on seventeen carries, and added 29 receiving yards on three catches. Jerricho Cotchery led New York with six receptions for 81 yards, and Laveranues Coles had five catches for 60 yards. The Jets? defense wasn?t able to sack Wallace, and will need some luck and a win against the Dolphins next week to make the playoffs. Oakland 27, Houston 16 Team Trench Counter: Raiders +4.9, Texans -4.9 The Raiders (4-11) used a big third quarter to keep the Texans (7-8) from moving over. 500 on the season. JaMarcus Russell went 18-for-25 with 236 yards and two touchdowns, and Justin Fargas rushed for 93 yards on 22 carries. Rookie Darren McFadden added 46 yards on twelve attempts, and tight end Zach Miller led the team in receiving with four catches for 70 yards. Johnnie Lee Higgins and Chaz Schilens both topped the 50-yard mark and reached the end zone. Higgins helped led Oakland to victory with an 80-yard punt return in the third quarter that put the game out of reach. Matt Schaub went 19-for-36 with 255 yards and an interception. Rookie Steve Slaton had 66 yards on eighteen carries, and tight end Owen Daniels led the Texans in receiving with seven catches for 111 yards. Andre Johnson, one of the league?s top receivers on the season, was limited to just 19 yards on two catches. Buffalo 30, Denver 23 Team Trench Counter: Bills -2.3, Broncos +2.3 The Broncos (8-7) will have to beat the Chargers next weekend in order to win the AFC West and make the playoffs after losing to the Bills (7-8) at Invesco Field on Sunday. Trent Edwards went 17-for-25 with 193 yards and a touchdown, while Fred Jackson (43 yards on ten carries) and Marshawn Lynch (34 yards on eleven attempts) both scored rushing touchdowns. Jackson added three receptions for 70 yards, while Josh Reed led Buffalo in receiving with nine catches for 79 yards in the victory. Jay Cutler had 359 yards and an interception on 25-for-45 passing. Denver?s running backs struggled, with receiver Eddie Royal (71 yards on one carry) and Cutler (30 yards and two touchdowns) leading them on the ground. Brandon Marshall didn?t reach the end zone, but he had ten receptions for 129 yards. Royal, the leading rookie receiver in the NFL, added five receptions for 57 yards in the loss. After opening the season with a 4-1 record, the Broncos have lost six of their last ten games. Washington 10, Philadelphia 3 Team Trench Counter: Redskins +1.2, Eagles -1.2 The Eagles (8-6-1) couldn?t take advantage of a prime opportunity to put themselves in control of their own playoff destiny as they lost to the Redskins (8-7). Jason Campbell went 18-for-33 with 144 yards in a game that was dominated by defense. Clinton Portis had 70 yards and a one touchdown on 22 carries, while Ladell Betts added 66 total yards in the victory. The Washington defense sacked Donovan McNabb twice and delivered hard hits to force a host of drops by Philadelphia receivers. McNabb went 26-for-46 with 230 yards and nothing else. He connected with Reggie Brown with just seconds left, but the receiver was tackled at the goal line to end the team?s chances at a dramatic comeback. Brian Westbrook had 45 yards on twelve carries and caught six passes for a team-high 71 yards. Tight end L.J. Smith added 49 yards on seven catches, as the Eagles opted to run a variety of screen plays to no avail. Philadelphia will need to beat Dallas next weekend, and hopes for some luck in order to grab the NFC?s final Wild Card slot. Atlanta 24, Minnesota 17 Team Trench Counter: Falcons -2.7, Vikings +2.7 The Falcons (10-5) clinched a Wild Card berth with a win over the Vikings (9-6) at the Metrodome. Matt Ryan went 13-for-24 with 134 yards and a touchdown, while Michael Turner had 70 rushing yards and a touchdown on nineteen carries. Justin Blaylock recovered a fumble in the end zone for a touchdown as Atlanta jumped out to a 24-7 lead through three quarters. The Vikings nearly rallied back in the fourth quarter, but the Falcons? defense did just enough to preserve their lead. Tarvaris Jackson went 22-for-36 with 233 yards and two touchdowns, but lost two fumbles and struggled on the team?s final drive. Adrian Peterson rushed for 76 yards and caught two passes for 16 yards, but he lost a fumble as well. Jackson, a much better scrambler for Gus Frerotte, rushed eight times for 76 yards in defeat. Tight end Visanthe Shiancoe led Minnesota in receiving with seven catches for 136 yards and two touchdowns. If Chicago beats Green Bay on Monday night, the Vikings will need a win in Week 17 to win the NFC North. N.Y. Giants 34, Carolina 28 (OT) Team Trench Counter: Giants +2.9, Panthers -2.9 They needed overtime and a sizable comeback, but the defending champion Giants (12-3) locked up the NFC's top seed with a win over the visiting Panthers (11-4). Brandon Jacobs scored on a 1-yard run, and Eli Manning converted a two-point conversion pass to Domenik Hixon, to tie the game with a little over three minutes remaining in regulation. Jacobs then scored again roughly five minutes in overtime to give New York the win. Manning finished the night 17-for-27 with 181 yards and a touchdown. Jacobs (87 yards and three touchdowns on 24 carries) and Derrick Ward (215 yards on 15 touches) dominated on the ground. Jake Delhomme went 11-for-19 with 185 yards for the Panthers, as DeAngelo Williams excelled on the ground. Williams rushed 24 times for 108 yards and four touchdowns. Muhsin Muhammad led Carolina in receiving with four catches for 80 yards. The Panthers took a 21-13 lead into the half, but the Giants owned the game's final 35 minutes. New York will not have home field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. *Explaining The Trench Counter
Belichick 'Ran The Show' On His College Lacrosse Team?
Bill Belichick and Cardinals' special teams coach Kevin Spencer played lacrosse against each other while in college, with Spencer at Springfield (Mass.) College and Belichick at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn. "It depends on who you talk to on that one, whether I scored a couple or he shut me out," Belichick said. "There's some confusion as to what happened on a couple of those goals, whether I was actually his man or not." Spencer remembers hitting Belichick in a game. "He came across the crease looking for a feed and I knocked him on his ass," Spencer said. Wesleyan, however, won those battles. "Anybody having hair out of the back of their helmet, you figured, 'He's a girl. I'm going to kick his ass.' We honestly thought that." Spencer remembers Belichick "ran the show" at Wesleyan. He said, "Bill really coached the team."
Leinart: I Barely Beat Out Cassel At USC
Quarterback Matt Leinart beat out Matt Cassel to be the starting quarterback at USC in 2003.
Could Pioli End Up In Kansas City?
The Chiefs haven't identified any potential candidates to replace Carl Peterson as general manager, but New England's Scott Pioli could end up the team's target.
Belichick: Cassel Deserves Praise
Patriots' coach Bill Belichick said after the team's dismantling of the Raiders on Sunday that quarterback Matt Cassel deserves a tremendous amount of praise.
Welker Notches Back-To-Back 100-Reception Seasons
Patriots' receiver Wes Welker had six catches for 69 yards and a touchdown against the Raiders on Sunday, giving him back-to-back 100-reception seasons.
RealGM's Week 15 NFL Rundown
The Texans handed the Titans just their second loss of the season, the Steelers clinched the AFC North, the Colts won their 7th straight and more in Week 15!
Pats' Cassel Practices, Status Uncertain
New England quarterback Matt Cassel practiced with the team on Friday, but his status for Sunday's game in Oakland is still uncertain after the recent death of his father.
Patriots On Pace For Record-Low In Penalties
The Patriots have only been penalized 44 times this season, which puts them on pace to set an NFL record for the fewest flags in a season.
Asomugha: Randy Was A Mentor
Nnamdi Asomugha believes Randy Moss was largely responsible for helping him turn into one of the NFL?s finest cornerbacks.
Will Raiders Move Asomugha To Moss' Side?
Nnamdi Asomugha doesn't typically play on Randy Moss' side, but Raiders defensive coordinator Rob Ryan could move him across the field.
Cassel Leaves Pats After Father Dies
Patriots quarterback Matt Cassel has left the team briefly after the death of his father.
Brady Planning Wedding In Costa Rica?
Patriots' quarterback Tom Brady and girlfriend Gisele Bundchen have reportedly revealed to close friends that they're planning to wed in a secret ceremony in Costa Rica.
NFL Backing Out Of China
The NFL has suspended their plans of playing a preseason game in China.
Patriots To Place Bruschi On IR?
The Patriots could place linebacker Tedy Bruschi on the injured reserve after he suffered a knee injury against the Seahawks on Sunday.
Junior Seau Returning To New England?
Marvin Demoff, Junior Seau's agent, said that if Seau is healthy it shouldn't be difficult for the sides to reach a deal that would put Seau back in a Patriots uniform.
Welker Doesn't Expect Apology From Clark For Hard Hit
Pats' WR Wes Welker said Steelers' S Ryan Clark made a good play on him last Sunday, and doesn't expect an apology.
New England Brings Back Rosevelt Colvin
Linebacker Rosevelt Colvin inked a one-year contract with the Patriots this morning, according to a league source.
Pats, Bucs To Play In London In '09
The Patriots will play the Buccaneers next season at Wembley Stadium, the third straight year the NFL will stage a regular-season game overseas.