Tag Archives: tom brady

NFL 2021: The Buccaneers aluminum foil the Falcons

When I saw that the Atlanta Falcons were going up against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers today, I thought to myself, “What’s the point?  Tom Brady is just going to let the other team put as many points as they feel like in the first half of the game and then pull out a can of TD-arse in the middle of the third quarter.”  The game didn’t unfold quite like that, but it might as well have.  Tampa Bay was always in the lead, but by the bottom of the third quarter, the Falcons had narrowed the score gap down to 28 to 25 (on account of running back Cordarrelle Patterson’s touchdown and Matt Ryan’s leap into the end zone during a two-point conversion attempt).

The fourth quarter revealed Tom Brady’s modus operandi in offensiveness, which is to consider the opponent’s scoring as a challenge and then respond with a TD (courtesy of wide receiver Chris Godwin), bringing his team’s lead to 35 to 25.  What began as a hypothetically still winnable game for the Falcons soon turned unrealistic as the Buccaneers’ defense spat out back-to-back interceptions-for-touchdowns (thanks to safety Mike Edwards).  Final score 48 to 25.

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Get game summary, stats, and play-by-play here.

Super Bowl LV: Buccaneers roll over the Chiefs

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers got to participate in a championship spectator sport extravaganza that no other NFL team has had the pleasure of experiencing tonight: playing in the Super Bowl with home stadium advantage.  Did they indulge fully in that piece of knowledge and beat the Kansas City Chiefs to win Super Bowl LV?

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The first quarter was uneventful until the last forty or so seconds when Buccaneers tight end Ron Gronkowski got into the end zone for a touchdown and took the lead in scoring.  Tampa Bay 7 and Kansas City 3.  The second quarter began with the Chiefs doing their best to keep the Bucs from making more TDs (and there were approximately three close-calls).  Halfway through the quarter, a Chiefs penalty allowed the Bucs to get an automatic first down and Brady connected with Gronkowski for another TD (nevermind the field goal that Bucs kicker Ryan Succop made a moment before).  The Chiefs couldn’t get into the end zone and had to make do with a field goal.  The rest of the second quarter was a pile-on of penalties for Kansas City’s defense and more red zone action for Tampa Bay.  With six seconds left in the first half, Brady connected with wide receiver Antonio Brown in the end zone.  Tampa Bay 21 and Kansas City 6.

The third quarter started with the Chiefs still not able to move the ball into the end zone, so another field goal had to suffice.  It continued with the Bucs widening that score gap the way Tom Brady apparently can do in his sleep.  Another TD courtesy of running back Leonard Fournette.  Tampa Bay 28 and Kansas City 9.  With a few minutes left in the quarter, a couple of incomplete passes on Brady’s part meant their score lead could only go up by a field goal and not another TD.  Tampa Bay 31 and Kansas City 9.  The fourth quarter finally saw some momentum on the part of the Kanas City offense, but the end zone remained elusive.  It was pretty evident halfway into the fourth quarter that the Buccaneers were going to win Super Bowl LV, and then that interception made by Buccaneers inside linebacker Devin White in the end zone.  Mon dieu.  Tampa Bay 31 and Kansas City 9.  Final score.

Get game stats and play-by-play here.

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Observations & Other Miscellania:
1. Eric Church and Jazmine Sullivan performed a bluegrass-esque rendition of the “Star-Spangled Banner.”

2. According to the commentators, Tom Brady’s first Super Bowl was in 2002; the Chiefs quarterback, Patrick Mahomes, was six years-old back then.

3.  Buccaneers kicker Ryan Succop used to be a kicker for Kansas City.

4.  Is it my imagination or was there too much echo when the Weeknd began his performance?  I could not discern any words (and then I thought he was singing in French).  C’est absurde.  I liked his shoes; they looked a bit like vintage men’s two-tone loafers a la these Doc Martens.

5. What?!

6. If you’re a Tampa Bay fan, you probably had a grand ‘ol time tonight.  If you’re a Tom Brady fan, you’ve likely convinced yourself that wherever he goes, he wins.  If you like watching a good game and are more invested in the excitement and tension that happens when two teams are neck-and-neck with scoring or interceptions, then tonight’s game was anti-climactic.

7.  Tampa Bay’s head coach Bruce Arians must be the happiest man in America right now (yes, even happier than Mr. former Patriot).  Methinks the commentators said that he’s the oldest head coach to win a Super Bowl.

Pic cred: Original logo NFL.com

AFC Championship 2021: Chiefs spend some Bills

The last time the Buffalo Bills participated in an AFC Championshionship game they had beaten the Miami Dolphins 29 to 10.  The year was 1993, George H.W. Bush was in his final days as American president, Czechloslovakia had just become the Czech Republic and Slovakia, and Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” was at the top of the Billboard Music Charts.  Tonight the Bills went up against the Kansas City Chiefs, last year’s Super Bowl winners.  Who would be the lucky team to demonstrate athletic domination opposite NFC Champions, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (led on offense by former New England Patriot Tom Brady)?

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The score going into the second quarter was Kansas City 21 and Buffalo 12.  By the bottom of the third quarter, both teams had put more points on the board.  The Bills got a field goal, but the Chiefs increased their lead with a field goal and a touchdown courtesy of an awesome run by wide receiver Tyreek Hill.  Shortly thereafter, tight end Travis Kelcie got into the end zone.  Kansas City 31 and Buffalo 15.  Kelcie went and TD’ed again in the middle of the fourth quarter.  Kansas City 38 and Buffalo 15.  Although the Bills were able to score a TD with four minutes left to play (thanks to wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie), the two-point conversion was no good on account of Chiefs cornerback Bashaud Breeland intercepting the pass.  The Bills weren’t stopping on offensive momentum, even though they weren’t going to win, they’d at least narrow the score gap with a field goal with three minutes left in the game.  Kansas City 38 and Buffalo 24.  Final score. The Kansas City Chiefs are going to Super Bowl LV.

Get play-by-play and stats here.   Get play-by-play and stats of the NFC Championship game here.

Is It the Player, the Jersey, or both?

You might blame the outcome of this game to the goings-on of this year or you might wonder if an athlete renown for his offensive successes is more or less attributable to his actual abilities or the jersey he wore when he was winning nearly every game.

Ce n’est pas important?  Whatever the explanation, I had to smile just a bit upon watching this NFL Films video.  And, if you’ve never been a New England nor a Tom Brady fan, you probably did too.

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Debates persist on whether or not it’s easier to or even feasible to cheer for a specific player or a team as a whole vis-a-vis basketball, baseball, football, futbol, hockey, or rugby (and volleyball if we want to go there). Some fans don’t care so much who is dunking, pitching, making touchdowns, or scoring goals so long as their team wins. Other fans pay much more attention to specific players and will transfer their support wherever these players go. What about the connection between a specific players’ athletic achievements and the corresponding teams?

My impression is that baseball players and basketball players don’t experience as jarring differences in performance when they change teams when compared to football players. That’s just based on games I’ve watched over the years. I haven’t been able to find any literature confirming or denying.



P.S. This game still stings.

Pre-S 10: Patriots corkscrew the Falcons

The New England Patriots shuttled southward to meet-and-greet the Atlanta Falcons.  Televised on Fox, the predatory birds’ second pre-season game began with the home team receiving the kick-off.  Matt Ryan quarterbacked during the Falcons’ first possession.  Matt Bryant kicked a forty-six yard field goal six minutes into the quarter.  Atlanta 2 and New England 0.  Tom Brady donned his QB shoes next for the Patriots.  He and his teammates made football look easy.  Wide receiver Randy Moss nearly made a touchdown catch but Falcons cornerback Chevis Jackson and safety Erik Coleman rendered that pass incomplete.  A few plays later, running back Fred Taylor ran the ball twenty-eight yards for a TD.  New England 7 and Atlanta 3.

The top of the second quarter demonstrated a more focused Falcons offense.  Matt Bryant attempted a forty-seven yard FG at the end of the possession.  Kroy Biermann sacked Brady, which preceded a wide right forty-one yard Stephen Gostowski FG.  A personal foul on Chevis Jackson gave the Patriots an automatic first down.  Though Biermann made another defensive play, Brady connected with rookie Patriot tight end Aaron Hernandez for a TD.  New England 14 and Atlanta 3.  John Parker Wilson went in as QB upon return from commercial break (with five minutes left in the second quarter).  Patriots rookie cornerback Jonathan Wilhite intercepted John Parker Wilson’s pass meant for wide receiver Eric Weems.  Brian Hoyer set to QB duties for the Patriots.

Hoyer and Parker Wilson continued as QBs for their respective teams in the third quarter.  Seven minutes into the second half, Patriots running back Sammy Morris carried the ball twenty yards into the end zone.  New England 21 and Atlanta 3.  The third sprang to the fourth with the Patriots recovering a fumbled Falcons ball.  The fourth quarter burst out with a TD by tight end Rob Gronkowski.  New England 28 and Atlanta 3.  After getting sacked towards the bottom of the fourth quarter, John Parker Wilson threw a TD pass to wide receiver Troy Bergeron.  Chris Redman took to the field for the final minute and a half of the game.  New England 28 and Atlanta 10.   Final score.  Sure, I’d have liked the Falcons to win, but losing to the Patriots by fewer than twenty points in the pre-season isn’t that bad, is it?

Observations & Miscellania:

1.  Pre-game footage included a brief shot of Tom Brady walking into the Georgia Dome and wearing a suit.  His hair has grown past his ears; he looks like a hockey player.

2.  Matt Ryan is glowing.  Is it confidence? Bone structure?  Il est beau.

3.  Joe Buck and Troy Aikman narrated this evening’s game.  Joe wore a light pink-lavender tie, an off-white button-down shirt, and a black blazer.  Troy wore a dark blue and light blue tie with stripes, a cornflowery button-down shirt, and a dark blue blazer.

4.  The Fox score and quarter graphic looks different and is ill-placed.  It was unassuming last season and sat in the upper left corner.  Now, it’s rounder, bigger, more colorful and is in the upper left portion of the screen–roughly two inches into the screen (from the edge of the set).  The Fox logo is in the upper right of the screen.

5.  Did Troy Aikman refer to Tom Brady as “dreamy” immediately before the telecast cut to a commercial following Matt Bryant’s first quarter field goal?

6.  Can’t sleep? No problem.  You might be smarter than your sleep-before-midnight brethren.

7.  Percy Harvin suffers from migraines?

8.  Upon returning for the second half, cameras caught former Falcons coach Jim Mora signing dollar bills for fans in the stands.

9.  Mike Pereira joined Joe Buck and Troy Aikman in the booth during the third quarter.

10.  Sammy Morris and Tommy Davidson could be brothers.

11.  Number 28 on the Patriots side was chewing gum in a sidelines huddle.

12.  Slow-motion footage of the Falcons sidelines after Bergeron’s TD had Matt Ryan and Chris Redman both congratulating John Parker Wilson (Ryan patted him on the back).

13.  Tom Brady hugged Matt Ryan when the game was over.  They both patted each other’s left breast…you know, the area between the arm pit and the chest.

Get game summary, stats, and play-by-play here.

Click here for the Falcons roster, here for the Patriots roster.