Garrett Hartley came through with a convincing 40 yard field goal for the New Orleans Saints to claim NFC Champions over the Minnesota Vikings 31-28 in OT at the Louisiana Superdome Sunday afternoon. In a game that featured nine fumbles and two interceptions, Brett Favre ended Minnesota’s final chance in Saints territory with a pick in the closing seconds in regulation. From there the Saints were able to win the coin toss and celebrate early 4:45 into the extra block.
“It was as loud as I have ever heard it in the dome,” said QB Drew Brees. “It feels so good to know we have given our fans an NFC championship. We have another championship to go after in two weeks.”
Favre (a 19-year veteran) is currently contemplating retirement following one of the best statistical seasons of his career. The Mississippi native shares a great amount of respect for the Saints, saying “I would have loved to represent the NFC but as I told Sean throughout the year when we talked, if it’s not us, I hope it’s you guys.”
New Orleans will matchup with the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIV on Sunday, February 2nd.
The Indianapolis Colts were able to score 17 second half points while holding the New York Jets scoreless to declare the 30-17 victory in Sunday’s AFC Championship contest at Lucas Oil Stadium. Peyton Manning was brilliant through all four quarters, throwing for 377 yards and three touchdowns from 26 completions. The four time MVP became the first player in NFL history with seven 300 yard games in the playoffs, just recently passing Kurt Warner and Joe Montana.
“The guys have always been a very confident bunch and they do a great job of hanging in there,” said coach Jim Caldwell. “Peyton had just an outstanding game. He’s one of those guys that can adjust to different situations. A real champion.”
Following a defensive battle in the first block, the Colts were first to score when Matt Stover sent one through the uprights from 25 yards out to start the second. The Jets responded with Mark Sanchez hitting Braylon Edwards for 80 yards, marking their longest reception of the season. Indianapolis came together for a touchdown to end the half to make it 17-13 in favor of the Jets. From there it was all Peyton and Co. with two more TD’s and another field goal for the extra insurance.
Indianapolis will now move on to Land Shark Stadium in Miami, FL for Super Bowl XLIV, where they’ll meet up with the NFC champion New Orleans Saints.
Quarterback Tom Brady will represent the New England Patriots in the NFL Pro Bowl next month with teammates Wes Welker, Logan Mankis and Vince Wilfork. The contest will take place on Sunday, January 31st at Land Shark Stadium in Miami, exactly one week before Super Bowl XLIV. Despite showing his appreciation for being selected, Wilfork is currently turning his attention to more important things.
“Congrats to my teammates Brady, Welker and big Logan. Need the rest of these guys next year – Moss, Mayo, Meriweather, Warren and others,” said Wilfork. “Don’t get it twisted, I love the Pro Bowl but hope I can’t go because I will be at the Super Bowl the next week.”
Wes Welker ranks second to Andre Johnson in total receptions with 1336. Fellow Patriots receiver Randy Moss leads the league in touchdown catches while racking up 1,189 yards in 2009. Many have questioned the NFL’s decisions to leave Moss out of the loop. Wilfork was one of the more obvious choices this year as the main leader of New England’s defense. Mankis is known throughout the league for his toughness. Since joining the Patriots in 2005 he has yet to miss a single game. The AFC East champs are now preparing for their matchup against the Houston Texans this Sunday at Reliant Stadium.
The National Football League has announced plans to alter the start time of the New England Patriots Miami Dolphins showdown at Land Shark Stadium on December 6th, moving the contest up from its original 8:20 PM slot to 1:00 PM ET. The Minnesota Vikings and Arizona Cardinals will then take over the prime time position Sunday night. The Vikings (NFC North) and Cardinals (NFC West) both sit atop their respective divisions.
The switch was created for the NFL to exercise its flexible scheduling with the purpose of “ensuring quality matchups in all NFL Sunday time slots.” The policy can be activated for each Sunday following Week 11 if necessary.
The Pats Dolphins game could very well wrap up the AFC East for New England. They are currently looking ahead to their tough Week 12 contest against the New Orleans Saints Monday, November 30th. Miami trails the Patriots in the Division by two going into their next game vs the 3-7 Buffalo Bills.
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Auto-tune friendly R&B singer T-Pain and rapper Pitbull have just created a new version of the Miami Dolphins fight song. Dolphins owner Stephen M. Ross also hired Margarita rocker Jimmy Buffett to create his own version. Both songs will be featured at Miami home games for the upcoming 2009/2010 season.
The original was created before the 1972 season when the team went on to post a perfect record. The song has served as a good luck charm for Miami fans and has been played for every game at Land Shark Stadium since then. Fans are unsure whether T-Pain or Buffett have gone away from the traditional music entirely, but regardless they seem to be going along with the tunes quite happily. The Dolphins will open up their season against the Atlanta Falcons on September 13th. They are not scheduled to match up against the New England Patriots until November 8th at Gillette Stadium.
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The Miami Dolphins are turning their franchise into an entertainment spectacle as well as a playoff competing team. With Jimmy Buffett, Marc Anthony, Gloria Estefans, and Jennifer Lopez all on board, the Dolphins have many halftime and postgame concert options. Buffett has been tapped to write a new team theme song. Additionally, Buffett’s beer enterprise, Land Shark Lager, has bought the naming rights to Dolphin Stadium (to be renamed Land Shark Stadium). The Dolphins didn’t add very much this offseason, being confident that they have the team to win. Coming off of a 1-15 season, the 2008 Dolphins racked up a 11-5 record and a plyoff berth. With rookie Pat White, the team can really rely on the wildcat formation.
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