January 29, 2012 |
For all the hype, grandeur and corporate extravagance of the Super Bowl, this year's version of the nation's most-watched sports event boils down to two little names. Tom versus Eli. It's only fitting that the NFL, a league so predicated on passing, is showcasing two of its greatest quarterbacks in New England's Tom Brady and the New York Giants' Eli Manning. Never has the importance of that cornerstone position been more evident than this season. And no city is more acutely aware of that than Indianapolis, the host of Super Bowl XLVI, whose Colts were decimated this season by the neck surgeries that sidelined Peyton Manning, the league's only four-time most valuable player.
January 15, 2012 |
Poof! Just like that, Tim Tebow's special journey this season concluded Saturday night. A story that transcended the game and captivated those who don't follow the sport came to an end with one cold thud. The Denver Broncos ran into the AFC's top-seeded New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium, and the gadget offense that launched Tebowmania was no match against 34-year-old Tom Brady, a polished postseason performer seven years removed from his last Super Bowl championship. Tebow became the first NFL quarterback to deliver six fourth-quarter comebacks in his first 11 starts, and then he knocked out the Pittsburgh Steelers and their top-ranked defense in the wild-card round last Sunday with an 80-yard touchdown pass in overtime.
January 16, 2011 |
Their jerseys are green, their language is blue and their coach could scarcely get more colorful. They are the New York Jets, and they play at New England on Sunday for the right to advance to the AFC championship game. Even though the Patriots beat them by six touchdowns here in early December -- "The biggest butt-whipping I've ever taken as a coach," the Jets' Rex Ryan said after the 45-3 thrashing -- the Jets spent the week leading up to this playoff game talking smack. "This is about Bill Belichick vs. Rex Ryan," Ryan said, referring to the Patriots coach.
January 7, 2010 |
Third of four breakdowns on the first round of the NFL playoffs: Hurtin' for certain? The last time these teams played, Baltimore players thought officials were far too quick to throw flags that kept the pass-rush heat off Tom Brady . In a conference call this week, Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis sounded wary about reports of Brady's broken ribs and broken index finger on his throwing hand. "I think sometimes that's the biggest setup ever," Lewis said. "Look at all the great ones, man. All the great ones, man, every time you say they're hurt, they come out and have their best games.
December 1, 2009 |
Perfection is the destination of choice for the undefeated New Orleans Saints. Turns out, their own quarterback beat them to it. For the first time in his career, Drew Brees recorded a "perfect" passer rating of 158.3 -- against mighty New England, no less -- throwing five touchdown passes to five receivers Monday night in a 38-17 rout at the rocking Superdome. The Saints improved to a club-record 11-0, keeping pace with the Indianapolis Colts as the NFL's only remaining unbeaten teams.
November 16, 2009 |
The NFL has outlawed gambling. Clearly, New England missed the memo. The Patriots took one of the biggest, most mystifying gambles in memory Sunday night, and paid the price when it backfired. In the strangest chapter of their storied rivalry, the Indianapolis Colts scored three touchdowns in the fourth quarter -- the last coming with 13 seconds left -- to beat the Patriots, 35-34, at Lucas Oil Stadium. The Colts improved to 9-0 and, by getting past their most fearsome threat, claimed the early inside track toward home-field advantage in the playoffs.