December 2009 - New England Patriots Wiretap
Belichick Tells Brady He'll Play Sunday
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has told Tom Brady that he'll play in the team's season finale against the Texans. "As players, we obviously don't factor into any of those decisions that coach Belichick makes," Brady said. "It's our job to prepare to play and I certainly am. I'm out there doing all my regular practice stuff. "I want to play and I want to do great. I want to have a great game against a team that is fighting for their playoff lives, and has a lot of great players and really challenges you in some different ways. It's a meaningful game for us, it's a meaningful game for them, too. It would be great for us to go win on the road in a real tough environment against a damn good team." New England has already clinched a home playoff game, so it's unsure exactly how much Brady will play.
Woodley: Pats, Bengals Will 'Lay Down'
Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley thinks the Patriots and Bengals will "lay down" for their opponents on Sunday because they don't want the defending Super Bowl champs to make the postseason. The Steelers (8-7) would reach the postseason for the fifth time in six seasons if they beat Miami, the Patriots defeat Houston, and the Bengals beat the New York Jets. "All of them lay down," Woodley said Wednesday. "No one wants to see Pittsburgh in it. That's just how it is. Everybody knows we're a dangerous team once we get into the playoffs, no matter how we played the whole year. Once we get into the playoffs, the Pittsburgh Steelers is a playoff team."
Belichick: Whoever Plays, Plays
Patriots coach Bill Belichick is noncommittal about who will play and for how long entering the regular-season finale. "I wouldn't even anticipate doing it, having that discussion right now," Belichick said. "What's going to happen now is we're going to go through the game plan, players will come in tomorrow, and everyone is going to get ready to play. And that's how we're going to approach it. Whoever plays, plays. Whoever doesn't play, doesn't play. But it's like that every week. We could go out there and on the first play of the game something could happen and somebody else could be in there. "Everyone needs to be ready to go all of the time."
Tomlin Won't Ask Bengals, Patriots For Help
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin says that he won't lobby for help from the Bengals and Patriots this Sunday. In order to make the postseason, Pittsburgh needs to win this Sunday and see some of their competitors lose. "I could care less how the Bengals approach what it is they do," Tomlin said Tuesday.
RealGM's Week 16 Rundown
The Jets defeated the Colts on Sunday afternoon to ensure that we'll have no undefeated teams in the NFL this season. We will calculate each team's Trench Counter*. San Diego 42, Tennessee 17 Team Trench Counter: Chargers +19.6, Titans -19.6 The San Diego Chargers (12-3) soundly defeated the Tennessee Titans (7-8) on Christmas Night to clinch a bye in the first round of the playoffs and knock the Titans out of the playoff picture. Philip Rivers went 21-for-27 with 264 yards and two touchdowns, LaDainian Tomlinson rushed for 59 yards and two scores and Darren Sproles added 38 rushing yards and another two trips to the end zone. Titans running back Chris Johnson had 142 yards and a touchdown, leaving him 128 yards shy of 2,000 for the season with one game left. Pittsburgh 23, Baltimore 20 Team Trench Counter: Steelers +7.9, Ravens -7.9 The Pittsburgh Steelers (8-7) kept their slim playoff hopes alive with a dramatic win over the rival Baltimore Ravens (8-7). Jeff Reed hit a 38-yard field goal with 5:25 remaining in regulation to give the Steelers a much-needed victory. Pittsburgh led 20-10 at halftime, but Baltimore scored 10 points in the third quarter, including a seven-yard pass from Joe Flacco to tight end Todd Heap, who had two catches for 37 yards and a pair of scores. Santonio Holmes was Pittsburgh?s offensive star. He caught five passes for 86 yards and a touchdown. Carolina 41, N.Y. Giants 9 Team Trench Counter: Panthers +21.8, Giants -21.8 In the most important game of their season, the New York Giants (8-7) collapsed against the Carolina Panthers (7-8). Matt Moore led the Panthers with 171 yards and three touchdowns and Jonathan Stewart exploded for 206 rushing yards and a score of his won as Carolina helped keep New York out of the postseason. Eli Manning went 29-for-43 with 296 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions in the team?s final game at Giants Stadium. Manning also fumbled the ball in the damaging loss. Tampa Bay 20, New Orleans 17 (OT) Team Trench Counter: Buccaneers -1.6, Saints +1.6 Connor Barth kicked a 47-yard field goal in overtime to give the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-12) an upset win over the New Orleans Saints (13-2). Cadillac Williams starred with 129 rushing yards and a touchdown as the Saints lost for the second time in as many weeks. New Orleans jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, but Tampa Bay scored 20 of the game?s final 23 points, including 14 straight in the fourth quarter. Drew Brees went 32-for-37 for 258 yards and a touchdown in the loss. New England 35, Jacksonville 7 Team Trench Counter: Patriots +16.6, Jaguars -16.6 The New England Patriots (10-5) clinched the AFC East title with a dominant victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars (7-8) at Gillette Stadium. Tom Brady went 23-for-26 with 267 yards and four touchdowns, three of which went to Randy Moss, who had four catches for 45 yards. New England?s defense held Jacksonville scoreless until the 12:41 mark in the fourth quarter, when Jaguars quarterback David Garrard scampered two yards for a touchdown. Houston 27, Miami 20 Team Trench Counter: Texans +7.7, Dolphins -7.7 In a game with huge playoff implications the Houston Texans (8-7) outlasted the Miami Dolphins (7-8) on Sunday afternoon. Matt Schaub threw for 286 yards, two touchdowns and an interception and Arian Foster rushed for 97 yards and a score at Dolphins Stadium. The Texans jumped out to a 27-3 lead in the first half and hung on for a narrow victory as Miami charged back in the third and four quarters. Even with the win, Houston will need some help to make the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. Green Bay 48, Seattle 10 Team Trench Counter: Packers +25.3, Seahawks -25.3 The Green Bay Packers (10-5) clinched a playoff berth with a win over the Seattle Seahawks (5-10) at Lambeau Field. Ryan Grant starred with 97 yards and two touchdowns, while Aaron Rodgers went 12-for-23 with 237 yards and a touchdown as Green Bay built a big lead early on. Ahman Green (29 yards and a score) and Brandon Jackson (39 total yards and three scores) got in on the fun as well. The Packers intercepted Matt Hasselbeck four times and kept the Seahawks out of the end zone until late in the fourth quarter when Hasselbeck connected with tight end John Carlson on a 16-yard touchdown. Cleveland 23, Oakland 9 Team Trench Counter: Browns +8.1, Raiders -8.1 Jerome Harrison didn?t break another single-game rushing record, but he did lead the Cleveland Browns (4-11) over the Oakland Raiders (5-10) on Sunday. Harrison rushed 39 times for 149 yards and a touchdown. His 17-yard run in the first quarter gave the Browns a lead that they would never lose at home. Charlie Frye, who started at quarterback for the Raiders, went 26-for-45 with 333 yards and three interceptions in the loss. Cincinnati 17, Kansas City 10 Team Trench Counter: Bengals +3.3, Chiefs -3.3 The Cincinnati Bengals (10-5) had just enough to beat the Kansas City Chiefs (3-12) to clinch the AFC North title. Carson Palmer connected with Chad Ochocinco on a six-yard touchdown pass with 2:03 left in regulation to push the Bengals to victory. Cedric Benson tallied 133 yards for Cincinnati, while Jamaal Charles rushed for 102 yards for the Chiefs. Larry Johnson, playing against his former team, had just 11 yards on four carries in the victory. Atlanta 31, Buffalo 3 Team Trench Counter: Falcons +20.8, Bills -20.8 The Atlanta Falcons (8-7) defeated the Buffalo Bills (5-10) in a game that had no playoff implications. Matt Ryan had 250 yards and three touchdowns, two of which went to Roddy White, who grabbed eight passes for 139 yards at the Georgia Dome. Atlanta?s defense held Buffalo to just 178 total yards and forced three turnovers (two interceptions by Brian Brohm and a fumble by Fred Jackson). San Francisco 20, Detroit 6 Team Trench Counter: 49ers +10.9, Lions -10.9 In yet another meaningless game, the San Francisco 49ers (7-8) dropped the Detroit Lions (2-13) on Sunday afternoon. Alex Smith posted 230 passing yards and a touchdown, while Frank Gore tallied 71 yards and a rushing touchdown at Candlestick Park. The Lions settled for two field goal as Drew Stanton tossed three interceptions and Detroit lost three fumbles (Stanton had one and Calvin Johnson the two others). Arizona 31, St. Louis 10 Team Trench Counter: Cardinals +18.6, Rams -18.6 The Arizona Cardinals (10-5) dominated the St. Louis Rams (1-14) in a lopsided game at University of Phoenix Stadium. Kurt Warner had 313 yards and two touchdowns and Beanie Wells (68 yards and a score) and Tim Hightower (32 yards and a score) ruled on the ground. Anquan Boldin was Arizona?s leading receiver with eight catches for 116 yards, while Larry Fitzgerald and Early Doucet found the end zone. Keith Null, making his second start, went 20-for-31 with 171 yards, a touchdown and three interceptions. N.Y. Jets 29, Indianapolis 15 Team Trench Counter: Jets +0.8, Colts -0.8 The New York Jets (8-7) handed the Indianapolis Colts (14-1) their first loss of the season as they stood just two weeks from perfection. The Colts pulled some of their starters in the third quarter and the Jets dominated the game?s final 20 minutes. With the win, the Jets can control their playoff destiny by beating the Bengals next week. New York scored the final 19 points of the game. Philadelphia 30, Denver 27 Team Trench Counter: Eagles +11.1, Broncos -11.1 David Akers drilled a 28-yard field goal to give the Philadelphia Eagles (11-4) a win over the Denver Broncos (8-7). The Broncos stormed back in the second half, but the Eagles were able to hold on for their sixth straight win and to remain in the driver?s seat in the NFC East. Philadelphia will travel to Dallas in Week 17 to play for the division title. Donovan McNabb threw for 322 yards, three touchdowns and an interception, while Kyle Orton posted 189 yards, three touchdowns and a pick of his own. Dallas 17, Washington 0 Team Trench Counter: Cowboys +13.1, Redskins -13.1 The Dallas Cowboys (10-5) clinched a playoff berth as they blanked the Washington Redskins (4-11) at FedEx Field. Tony Romo went 25-for-38 with 286 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Jason Witten was Romo?s top target, catching six passes for 117 yards. Jason Campbell had 199 yards and a touchdown as the Dallas defense made numerous timely plays. Shaun Suisham debuted with a 23-yard field goal in the second half for the only points of the second half. *Explaining The Trench Counter
Pats Thump Jags, Lock Up AFC East
The Patriots defeated the Jaguars on Sunday to clinch the AFC East title. New England defeated Jacksonville 35-7 at Gillette Stadium. Tom Brady threw four touchdown passes, three of which went to Randy Moss. "It's the time of year where we really need to start playing good football," Brady said, "and I think today was one of our best 60 minutes that we played all year."
Thomas Unsure Of Future In New England
With two games left in the season, linebacker Adalius Thomas could soon be done in New England. "That's a conversation you have after the season," Thomas said. "I don't think this is an appropriate time to talk about it. It makes you seem selfish. It is what it is. You're trying to win the division." Thomas is set to make $4.9 million in 2010, and cutting him would save the Patriots $3.9 million overall when you factor in his signing bonus. "It really doesn't matter," said Thomas, when asked what he's expecting. "You can't control it. That's one thing about the nature of the business: nothing is a surprise. Nothing. You think you know, but you really don't know."
Taylor: Jaguars Might Be Better In L.A.
Former Jaguars running back Fred Taylor believes that the team might be better off in Los Angeles. Taylor played with the Jaguars from 1998 until being released after the 2008 season. "Sometimes the truth hurts," said Taylor, who will face off against Jacksonville as a member of the Patriots this weekend. "It can be played either way in that the fans want the team to stay there, they have to show that they want the team to stay there." Taylor said the league has made it clear a team eventually will be in Los Angeles and that the Jaguars are a good fit because of attendance problems in Jacksonville. "I don't know what's going to be a decision maker or breaker but you look at average attendance and whatever have you at the end of the day they're going to find a team to take out there," he said. "I don't want to offend anyone. Never do, but you've got to be realistic."
NFL Power Rankings For Week 16
The scoreboard is where games are officially won and lost, but they are largely decided by the team that wins the battles of yards per pass, yards per carry, penalty yards lost, first downs, and turnovers. For this reason, I created the following formula called the ?Trench Counter? to look at which team truly controls the game: (2x Yards per pass) + (2x Yards per carry) + (.5 First downs) - (Penalty yards/10) - (2.5 Turnovers) - (Opposing Team's Trench Counter) Click here for more information on the Trench Counter For the 2009 season, our weekly team rankings will be based solely off this formula. 1. Indianapolis Colts: 10.7 Peyton Manning wills the Colts to victories unlike anyone else in the game; Indianapolis averaged just 2.7 yards per rush, but that 10.3 yards per pass average allowed the Colts to effectively extend drives against Jacksonville. 2. New Orleans Saints: 9.9 I thought the Saints' odds of winning the Super Bowl would increase if they lost a regular season game along the way and getting one out of their system against Dallas doesn't really cost them anything. Though it could awake a sleeping giant in Dallas that has experience winning in New Orleans in a winter month. 3. Green Bay Packers: 9.7 The Packers and Steelers combined to score 35 points in the 4th quarter alone on Sunday with four lead changes and unfortunately for Green Bay, Mike Wallace caught a 19-yard game winner. 4. New England Patriots: 7.4 The Patriots looked hardly dominant, especially with Tom Brady's 59.1 passer rating, but they essentially locked up the AFC East with Sunday's road win in Buffalo. 5. Pittsburgh Steelers: 7.1 Ben Roethlisberger threw for a staggering 503 yards, including 70 or more to five different receivers. The Steelers are one of 12 teams in the AFC to have a .500 or better record. 6. San Diego Chargers: 7.0 Vince Jackson is fully and officially a lethal weapon, as he caught five balls for 108 yards and two touchdowns against the Bengals. 7. Minnesota Vikings: 6.9 In seven of Adrian Peterson's previous eight games, he has averaged fewer than 3.9 yards per carry. Over the past three games, the Vikings have used him more frequently through the air, as he had 74 yards receiving against Carolina, 40 against the Bengals and 46 against Arizona. Brett Favre, meanwhile, hasn't had a passer rating over 80.0 in his previous three games. 8. Philadelphia Eagles: 6.3 The Eagles continue to force interceptions with 23 now on the season after they forced three from Alex Smith. 9. Baltimore Ravens: 6.2 Ray Rice has logged over 100 total yards from scrimmage in 11 of Baltimore's 14 games. 10. Dallas Cowboys: 5.5 The Dallas defense held Drew Brees and the Saints to a 1-for-7 mark on 3rd down, which is something we plainly don't see. 11. New York Giants: 4.4 After a little rough shot during that four-game losing streak, Eli Manning has put up three consecutive very good games with passer ratings of 88.9 against Dallas, 130.5 against Philadelphia and 144.4 against Washington. 12. Denver Broncos: 4.3 The Broncos couldn't stop the Oakland run and Elvis Dumervil was almost completely neutralized by the Raiders' offensive line. 13. Cincinnati Bengals: 3.0 The Bengals outplayed San Diego, on the road, just a few days after the death of teammate Chris Henry, so it was difficult to watch Nate Kaeding's 52-yarder at the buzzer crush what would have been a huge win. 14. New York Jets: 2.3 The Jets defense was stingy against a returning Matt Ryan, but going 0-for-3 in the red zone is inexcusable for Mark Sanchez and Brian Schottenheimer's offense. 15. Houston Texans: 1.4 He didn't reach the end zone, but nine catches for 196 yards just seems like another day at the office for Andre Johnson at this point. 16. Jacksonville Jaguars: 0.9 David Garrard has clearly been a first half quarterback, with a 94.2 passer rating in that part of the game, versus 76.2 in the second half. He has been sacked with far greater frequency (24.0 to 13.0) as well. 17. San Francisco 49ers: 0.5 The 49ers may have been 3-for-4 on 4th down, but were a horrible 0-for-11 on 3rd down. 18. Arizona Cardinals: 0.4 The Cardinals didn't look like worldbeaters late last season either, but at least it was at the hands of playoff/near-playoff teams and not the 49ers and Lions. 19. Washington Redskins: -0.5 Even though he didn't look like it on Monday against the Giants, I agree with the overall assessment from Ron Jaworski that the Redskins have a dependable quarterback already in place with Jason Campbell. 20. Tennessee Titans: -0.5 The Tennessee offense has fully become Chris Johnson, Vince Young, more Chris Johnson and a little bit to Bo Scaife, Justin Gage and Kenny Britt. 21. Atlanta Falcons: -1.3 Brent Grimes picked off two passes in Atlanta's 10-7 win at the Jets. 22. Miami Dolphins: -2.1 The Dolphins that won the AFC East a season ago took extremely good care of the ball, but they've had 25 turnovers this season, almost doubling last season's total. 23. Buffalo Bills: -2.4 A late touchdown to Lee Evans made Sunday's 17-10 victory over New England make the game look closer on Monday morning than it really was. Buffalo went a dreadful 2-for-12 on 3rd down and racked up 124 yards in penalties. 24. Carolina Panthers: -2.4 Matt Moore looked very impressive late in the game in Carolina's win over Minnesota, as he finish the game with a 123.2 passer rating. 25. Seattle Seahawks: -4.1 The Seattle defense didn't record a single sack on rookie quarterback Josh Freeman and only five hits on him. 26. Chicago Bears: -6.3 Not even Caleb Hanie's 8.3 passer rating can make Jay Cutler's 7.9 rating against the Ravens look respectable. 27. Kansas City Chiefs: -6.7 The Chiefs wasted Matt Cassel's first effective outing since the Pittsburgh overtime win by allowing two special teams TDs from Josh Cribbs. 28. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: -9.0 The Buccaneers are 2-1 when Josh Freeman finishes with a passer rating over 85.0, as he did in Seattle on Sunday. 29. Detroit Lions: -11.8 The logic of trading away Calvin Johnson is logical when you consider their 57.2 team passer rating, but it isn't as if Johnson is wasting his legs away as a running back. He has a dozen prime seasons remaining, at least. 30. St. Louis Rams: -13.3 Steven Jackson had 123 total yards of offense at the Rams' leading rusher and receiver in their 16-13 loss at home against the Texans. 31. Oakland Raiders: -16.7 The Raiders exhibited a return to that highly effective ground game we've seen in recent seasons, with 133 yards from Michael Bush and 74 from Darren McFadden. 32. Cleveland Browns: -16.8 Jerome Harrison's previous career high in rushing yards before Sunday's 286 was 121, which was the only other time in his career that he gained more than 100 yards. In other Cleveland 100 yard game news, the Browns have passed for less than 100 yards in six separate games, including Sunday.
Brady, Bundchen Name Son Benjamin
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and wife Gisele Bundchen have named their son Benjamin. The baby was born Dec. 8, but Brady said a name hadn't been decided the day after his second son's birth. Bundchen revealed the baby's name on her web site when she wrote, "Benjamin is a blessing and I could not be happier." Brady also has a 2-year-old son, Jack, with actress Bridget Moynahan.
Kraft Offers Support For Randy Moss
Patriots owner Robert Kraft has issued support for wide receiver Randy Moss.
Panthers Say Moss Quit On Patriots
Many believe that Randy Moss quit on the Patriots Sunday.
Patriots To Bench Thomas On Sunday
The Patriots are reportedly going to bench Adalius Thomas on Sunday.
Patriots Mascot Arrested In Prostitution Sting
The man who played "Pat Patriot" has been arrested in a Rhode Island prostitution sting.
Thomas Upset At Being Sent Home
Adalius Thomas is upset at being sent home by Patriots coach Bill Belichick on Wednesday.
Seymour Knows He Could Have Still Helped Patriots
Richard Seymour talked about the difference he could be making this season for the New England pass rush.
Brady And Bundchen Welcome Baby Boy
Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen have welcomed a baby boy as announced on Wednesday by the star quarterback.
Report: Moss Among Three Pats Sent Home
Rough weather reportedly kept four players from making a team meeting on team.
Brady Questions New England's Fight
Tom Brady called out his teammates following Sunday's loss.
Brady Plays Through Arm Injuries In Loss
Tom Brady battled through injuries to his throwing arm on Sunday.
Fred Taylor Returns To Patriots' Practice
Fred Taylor has missed New England's last eight games.