The National Football League announced its 2011 preseason schedule with hopes to resolve the current lockout situation before August. The New England Patriots will first compete against the Jacksonville Jaguars Augusts 11-15 at Gillette Stadium. The following week they will arrive at Raymond James Stadium to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Exact dates and starting times for both games have yet to be confirmed.
The Pats will be nationally televised in their week 3 matchup against the Detroit Lions with CBS Network set to cover the action Saturday, August 27th . Their final preseason contest will feature the New York Giants at Gillette September 1-2 (official date and time TBD). Check back for additional New England Patriots offseason updates with us at AceTicket.com!
The New England Patriots have officially placed their franchise tag on six-year veteran guard Logan Mankins. The 3x Pro Bowler will expect to make over $10 million in 2011. After a number of contract disputes early on, Mankins eventually signed his tender the week of the Patriots November 7th contest against the Cleveland Browns and continued to start the remaining nine games of the 2010 regular season.
“Logan Mankins is a tremendous player. He has been a fixture on our offensive line since we drafted him in the first round of the 2005 NFL draft and he remains an important part of our future plans,” the team said in a statement. “Unfortunately, we have not been able to reach a long-term agreement, despite many attempts and proposals by both sides. That remains our objective in utilizing the franchise designation and we are hopeful that Logan will be a Patriot for many years to come.”
Check back for additional NFL and New England Patriots off-season updates.
According to sources, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has undergone successful surgery to stabilize a stress fracture in his foot. The injury had apparently been bothering Brady all season, as he had been listed on the team’s injury report with a foot injury (along with his typical pseudo shoulder injury) for the final eight games of the season. No thought had been given to the injury designation, largely because there was never any talk of Brady missing the game and because the Patriots are known to be “crafty” with their injury reports.
As a result of the surgery, Brady will miss the 2011 Pro Bowl. He will be replaced by his former backup, Kansas City Chiefs’ quarterback Matt Cassel. Brady finished the season with 3,900 passing yards and 36 touchdowns with only four interceptions. His 111.0 passer rating was the best in the NFL. Brady is expected to be ready for the start of training camp.
If you are a football fan, you have heard the old phrase “defense wins championships.” The Baltimore Ravens really made that a point when they won the Super Bowl in 2000 behind what some call the best defense in league history and a borderline inept offense. Now, more than a decade later, the league has migrated to a more offensive style. Passing numbers have never been as high, and various league records have fallen in recent years, many right here in New England.
But even with these offensive trends, it is still a great defense that will bring home a championship under most circumstances. Just look at the final four teams remaining this season. They are all ranked in the top six for points allowed, with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers being the top two. As for total yardage allowed, which is the criteria by which NFL defenses are ranked, only the Chicago Bears, who are ranked ninth, were outside the top five.
So knowing that defense is still what wins in the NFL, is it any surprise that the top seeds in each conference will be watching the championship games on Sunday? Both the Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots had great scoring defenses, in fact, they are the two who are missing from the top six, but when you look deeper you will find that they are not nearly as strong as the others.
In yardage allowed the Falcons and Patriots ranked 16th and 25th respectively, which will not get the job done in the playoffs in most years. They were both teams who relied on turnovers and employed the “bend but don’t break” strategy. Defenses like that have won before, such as the New Orleans Saints last season, but most of the time it takes a truly strong defense, one that can stop the league’s best offenses in their tracks, to win a championship. Neither the Falcons nor the Patriots had that. Now they have to sit at home and watch four teams that do fight for a chance to play in the Super Bowl.
The National Football League just recently confirmed all 2011-12 regular season home and away matchups for each of the league’s 32 teams with official dates to be determined. The AFC East will primarily face teams in the AFC West and NFC East. Along with the usual opponents within the Division, the New England Patriots will play host to the Chiefs, Chargers, Cowboys, Giants and Colts at home and challenge the Broncos, Raiders, Eagles, Redskins and Steelers on the road.
The Patriots are currently taking the long weekend to rest up and prepare for their first post-season contest set for Sunday, January 16th. They finished the regular season at 14-2, earning a bye in this week’s wild card round and home field advantage en route to Super Bowl XLV. Depending on how certain wild card matchups play out, New England will welcome either the New York Jets, Baltimore Ravens or Kansas City Chiefs in the second round. Purchase your New England Patriots playoff tickets with us at AceTicket.com!
The Cleveland Browns made headlines yesterday when they fired head coach Eric Mangini after two 5-11 seasons. Mangini was the only coach to be fired on what is usually referred to as “Black Monday” in the NFL, as it is the first day after the completion of the regular season and a day when numerous coaches are normally fired after sub-par years.
“We want to win here. We do not win enough,” Browns president Mike Holmgren told the Associated Press after the move was made. Winning has been rare in Cleveland since the Browns returned to the NFL in 1999. The team has only played in one playoff game, a loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2002, and only had two winning seasons (2002 and 2007) during that stretch.
The move comes despite the Browns apparent improvement this season, especially on the defensive side of the ball, and signs that they may have found their quarterback and running back of the future in Colt McCoy and Peyton Hillis. Despite the progress, Mangini was likely done in by the team fading down the stretch. They finished just 2-6 after upsetting the Saints and Patriots in back to back weeks. Ironically, it was the stretch run last season that may have saved Mangini’s job, as the Browns won four straight games to end the year at 5-11. That 5-11 record was a success, this one wasn’t.
The New England Patriots are in prime position to produce another successful playoff campaign following their Week 16 victory over the Buffalo Bills. They have solidified home field advantage throughout the playoffs, winning their eighth AFC East Division title in eleven years. The New York Jets currently hold a 10-5 regular season record to notch one of the Wild Card spots. The Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens are still battling for the AFC North but will find themselves in post-season play regardless.
The Indianapolis Colts can clinch the Division with a win over the Tennessee Titans. They can also earn a playoff berth if their rival Jacksonville Jaguars fall to the Houston Texans on Sunday. The Kansas City Chiefs have already locked up the AFC West at 10-5. New England will have the opportunity to fine tune next weekend against the Miami Dolphins before they prepare for the AFC Divisional round two weeks later.
Quarterback Tom Brady is currently the favorite to win the NFL’s Most Valuable Player award. He was just recently named to start in this year’s Pro Bowl, marking the sixth Pro Bowl of his 11-year career. He enters Week 17 with 3,701 yards passing and an NFL-leading 34 touchdowns. Defensive lineman Vince Wilfork, linebacker Jerod Mayo, cornerback Devin McCourty, left guard Logan Mankins and safety Brandon Meriweather were also named to represent the Patriots in the Pro Bowl. Don’t miss your chance to witness New England Patriots post-season football at Gillette Stadium! Tickets are now available!
The New England Patriots, Kansas City Chiefs, and Philadelphia Eagles have emerged to claim their respective Divisions with one week left in this year’s NFL regular season. The Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens are tied at 11-4 in the AFC North looking ahead to Week 17 contests against the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals. The Indianapolis Colts are currently atop the AFC South Division with the Jacksonville Jaguars one game behind. The New Orleans Saints just put themselves back in contention for the NFC South after defeating the first place Atlanta Falcons Monday night. Check for all NFL Week 16 scores below!
Thursday, December 23, 2010Pittsburgh Steelers 27, Carolina Panthers 3 – The Steelers posted 17 points in the second quarter while holding the Panthers scoreless through the first three quarters.
Saturday, December 25, 2010Arizona Cardinals 27, Dallas Cowboys 26 – Jay Feely split the uprights with five seconds left for the Cardinals to edge Dallas by 1 on Christmas Day.
Sunday, December 26, 2010New England Patriots 34, Buffalo Bills 3 – Tom Brady tossed three touchdowns while extending his streak of attempts without an interception to 319. (more)
The New England Patriots will have a chance to lock up the AFC East and also clinch a first round bye and home field advantage though out the playoffs with a win against the 4-10 Buffalo Bills when they travel to Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday afternoon. When the two teams last met in week 3, the Patriots battled to a 38-30 win in a game that was much closer than expected. Patriots receiver Randy Moss caught two touchdowns, and unknown newcomer Danny Woodhead scored his first touchdown as a Patriot. Oh how times have changed!
For Buffalo, career backup quarterback and Harvard alum Ryan Fitzpatrick made his first start of the season and threw for 247 yards and two touchdowns in the loss, including one to Stevie Johnson. Both players have gone on to enjoy solid seasons, despite the team’s lack of success. However, the team’s poor record doesn’t reflect the way they have played towards the end of this season. They have played hard for a full 60 minutes in every game of the season, and will continue to do so for the rest of the campaign; a rare feat for a 4-10 team in the NFL.
It is for that reason, along with the previously mentioned Fitzpatrick and Johnson, that this could be a dangerous game for the Patriots. Johnson, who is perhaps best known for blaming God after dropping a pass in overtime against the Pittsburgh Steelers, is one of the breakout players of 2010. He currently leads the team with 72 catches for 943 yards and 10 touchdowns. If the Bills are going to have a chance this week, Johnson will have to have one of his best games of the season.
This could be a problem for Buffalo, as he will likely see plenty of Devin McCourty, who has the ability to shut down almost anyone in the NFL. If McCourty is able to put Johnson in check, the rest of the Patriots defense will be able to zero in on running back Fred Jackson, who has become the team’s workhorse. Jackson has been used in both the running and passing games, but has been shut down in recent weeks. The Patriots should be able to do the same, but even if they do, they will see a heavy dose of Jackson. (more)
The 2010-2011 NFL playoff picture is starting to shape up after a number of thrilling contests this past weekend. Philadelphia wide receiver DeSean Jackson provided the final score with a kickoff return on Sunday, concluding the 28-point fourth quarter comeback to edge the New York Giants. Chicago wide-out Devin Hester also made highlights Monday night with a punt return for his NFL record 15th career return in Monday night’s 40-14 win over the Minnesota Vikings.
The New England Patriots were able to hang on to defeat the Green Bay Packers for their 12th victory of the season. The Atlanta Falcons are the only team to match the Patriots at 12 wins after demolishing the Seattle Seahawks on the west coast. Check for all NFL Week 15 scores below!
Thursday, December 16, 2010San Diego Chargers 34, San Francisco 49ers 7 – San Diego posted at least one touchdown in all four quarters en route to a decisive victory at home.
Sunday, December 19, 2010Cincinnati Bengals 19, Cleveland Browns 17 – Cedric Benson rushed for 150 yards and one TD from 31 carries to end Cincinnati’s 10-game skid.
Dallas Cowboys 33, Washington Redskins 30 – The Redskins rallied for 16 points in the final 12 minutes but failed to capitalize from there.
Tennessee Titans 31, Houston Texans 17 – The Titans ran up the score early with 21 points in the first block.
Indianapolis Colts 34, Jacksonville Jaguars 24 – Peyton Manning and Austin Collie connected for two TD’s to lift Indianapolis atop the AFC South. (more)