What’s next for Tom Brady? 


HOUSTON – The New England Patriots have been the most prolific dynasty over the past two decades, winning the fifth Super Bowl of the Tom Brady-Bill Belichick era. If they want to remain atop the NFL, they need to answer a few questions.
1. Will the Tom Brady decline begin?
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) and Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) both take the field prior to a game against Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium.

Steve Mitchell, USA TODAY Sports, USA TODAY Sports

Tom Brady has said he wants to play well into his 40s. He’ll get his first crack next season after turning 40 on Aug. 3. In 12 games, Brady completed 67.4% of his passes for 3,554 yards, and 28 touchdowns versus only two interceptions. It doesn’t look like he’s slowing down, but he won’t be able to play – especially at such a high level – forever. By comparison, Peyton Manning retired last year at age 39 when his physical skills diminished. Brady, however, keeps a strict diet and workout regimen that are tailored to maximize the longevity of his career.

2. What will the future hold for Jimmy Garoppolo?

With that said, Brady came in second Saturday in the league’s MVP race and, despite his age, he remains one of the NFL’s top passers. That could mean the Patriots will try to capitalize on the growing trade market for third-year quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. He will become a free agent at the end of the 2017 season, and would likely garner significant interest and could become an expensive backup. Several reports have indicated the Patriots are asking for a first-round draft pick, and if New England can swing a deal and get stronger in the process, they may be eager to move Garoppolo and find the future of the franchise later. These are good problems to have.

3. Will New England beef up its pass rush?

The Patriots were in the middle of the pack this season in sacks forced (34), tied for 16th in the league. Part of that was because the team traded defensive end Chandler Jones and linebacker Jamie Collins, two of the team’s best pass rushers. Despite that, New England led the NFL in scoring defense, giving up 15.6 points per game. The Patriots made the Jones and Collins trades, in large part because cornerback Malcolm Butler and linebacker Dont’a Hightower are set to become free agents. New England won’t have the money to pay everyone, so the deals were done. But if the Patriots can pluck a dynamic low-cost pass rusher in the draft, the defense will be that much more dangerous.

4. What to do with tight end Martellus Bennett?

Butler and Hightower should be priorities this offseason, but what about Bennett? At times seen as a problem in the locker room, Bennett has been a seamless fit in New England. He has been a steady pass-catching option, and ultra-reliable in the blocking game. But Bennett will become an unrestricted free agent in March. Bennett has said he loves life in New England, but he may have to sign at a discount if he wants to stay with the Patriots. The other factor at play here is the status of All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski, who underwent back surgery – the third of his career –in early December to end his season. Gronkowski is one of the biggest matchup problems in the NFL. But he has missed games in five seasons in a row, 21 total in his seven seasons.

5. More weapons for Brady?

One of Brady’s best attributes as a quarterback is the way he elevates skill position players around him. Players considered by many as afterthoughts, such as receivers Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, Chris Hogan, and running back Dion Lewis, have become integral parts of New England’s offense. Aside from Gronkowski, you can make the case that the Patriots don’t have any elite-level skill position talent. So imagine how much better the Patriots offense could be if New England invested a high draft pick in acquiring a receiver or running back.

Stewart love’s Super Bowl LI prediction.

Tonight is a huge night for me as I love the NFL and I’ll admit I’m a huge Brady lover and yes I hope he gets his 5th Super Bowl ring and becomes the greatest of all time. Yes, this could be a high-scoring, 34-31 shootout, but the Atlanta Falcons could also win 10-7. Or maybe the Pats are even better than we thought they were and smoke Atlanta 40-14.
For the Pats to win they need to run the ball. Their defence has to bend but not break. They’ve done a great job of that in the past and especially this year, Ive watched them extensively and they have not really given up big up plays. They’ve not been the best but they’ve found a way to get out of it.
On the other hand The Falcons need to be able to find their big players like Julio Jones, stick to their run game and own the time of possession. I think time of possession will be the best defence. And obviously, with Vic Beasley being a guy that’s done a great job being the sack leader in the league, he will need to find a way to get to the quarterback.
My prediction! New England 31, Atlanta 24

Big Ben Roethlisberger: The New England Patriots are my Steelers’ ‘big brother’

Big brother is watching you, and little brother is watching from the couch.
Nearly two weeks removed from losing another AFC Championship Game to the dynastic New England Patriots, 

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger still isn’t over falling to Tom Brady and Co. In an interview with Pittsburgh native and Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari, Big Ben had an interesting description of the relationship between the two AFC stalwarts.
  

“I’d say there’s more respect than a hatred,” Roethlisberger responded, when asked if legitimate hatred existed between the teams. “There’s divisional hatred, Baltimore and us, Cincinnati and us, but I don’t think there’s a hatred there. We’ve played them now twice in my 13 years in the championship game, my rookie year and this year.

“Obviously, they’ve gotten the better of us twice in the championship game and kind of had our number, so we’re like the little brother trying to keep up with the big brother in a sense.”
It’s amazing the Patriots have reached the level of consistent excellence that they can make the Steelers — the fighting Rooneys, winners of six Super Bowls, 16-time conference championship game participants — look like the little men. But the Brady-Belichick era has done just that.
Since 2001, Pittsburgh has played the Patriots three times in the postseason, all in the AFC title game, and has lost every time by a combined 40 points. 

Roethlisberger has only won three games against the Pats in 10 meetings, and one of those was against Matt Cassel.
As Roethlisberger continues to waver between retirement and returning — he’ll likely play again in 2017, but he’s closer to bowing out than ever — the stocky Steelers slinger is publicly ruing the team that got away. His career is Hall of Fame-worthy despite not conquering the Team of the Decade(s), but a postseason win over the unbeatable Pats this year would have cemented his legend and maybe, just maybe, put him in the same conversation as Brady.
It’s fair for him to wonder if he’ll ever get that chance again.

BREAKING: Colin Kaepernick Opts Out of Contract to Become a Free Agent

It’s a new year, new season, and a new team for the San Francisco 49ers. The organization has made a major overhaul of personnel, bringing in NFL legend John Lynch to serve as general manager, with Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan tabbed to be the next head coach.
With that in mind, former franchise quarterback Colin Kaepernick saw the writing on the wall, and decided to duck out with grace rather than serve another year waiting for a chance to see the field. 
According to reports, Kaepernick is opting out of his contract to become a free agent this offseason and take his talents elsewhere. 
​​This is probably the smarter move for both sides. 
The 49ers were almost definitely not going to include Kaepernick in their future plans, and would have either cut him or prayed he did what he has now done, opt out. Now instead, Kaepernick can choose whichever team he wants in free agency to get a new contract with. 
Who picks him up? Well, that’s the next question. 

What Is the most clutch moment in Super Bowl history?» Your Vote:

The 50: Top 10 Super Bowl Moments Of All Time

Welcome to The 51, where we’re counting down to Super Bowl 50 with the top Super Bowl quarterbacks, players, biggest upsets, most memorable plays, and matchups that never lived up to the hype.
Before the next big moments arrive at Super Bowl 50, it’s time to look back at the 10 most memorable Super Bowl moments of the last 49 years and remember what it was like to witness those signature events as they happened. Here are the top 10 most memorable Super Bowl moments of all time.
10. Super Bowl V: O’Brien, Lilly & Howley
This game between the Baltimore Colts and the Dallas Cowboys was not football at its finest, as the two teams combined for 11 turnovers—including a whopping seven by the winning team. The Colts completed a fourth-quarter comeback with five seconds left in the game as rookie kicker Jim O’Brien hit a 32-yard field goal to give Baltimore a 16-13 win. The Cowboys had led 13-6 at halftime, and when O’Brien nailed his game winner, Dallas defensive tackle Bob Lilly pulled off his helmet and threw it far down the field in disgust. This defining moment was made even more memorable when Cowboys linebacker Chuck Howley was named the game’s Most Valuable Player—the only time in Super Bowl history that a member of the losing team was voted the game’s MVP.
9. Super Bowl VII: Perfection Isn’t Always Pretty
The Miami Dolphins completed the first and only perfect season in modern NFL history when they beat the Washington Redskins, 14-7. However, the game itself wasn’t without a blemish. With just over two minutes remaining and the Dolphins leading by 14 points, Miami kicker Garo Yepremian attempted a field goal. The Redskins blocked the kick, and Yepremian’s subsequent attempt to recover the ball and throw a pass became Super Bowl legend. He failed miserably as Washington’s Mike Bass returned the floating ball for a touchdown. Watching this play unfold never gets old for any NFL fan, and every time there’s a special-teams blunder by a kicker or a punter, Yepremian’s name is invoked.
8. Super Bowl XXIV: The 49ers’ Devastating Dominance
John Elway was back for his third Super Bowl start, but he had the misfortune of running into Joe Montana and the 1980s San Francisco dynasty in its finest form. Montana finished his career 4-0 in Super Bowls, and he never threw an interception in those four title games. The 49ers’ 55-10 victory over the Denver Broncos still stands as the biggest blowout in Super Bowl history. No QB can top Montana’s perfection in Super Bowl play—not even New England’s Tom Brady even if he were to win another one this year.
doug williams1 The 50: Top 10 Super Bowl Moments Of All Time

Rick Stewart/Getty Images

7. Super Bowl XXII: Washington’s Second-Quarter Explosion.
Quarterbacks dominated the pre-game focus when the Denver Broncos faced the Washington Redskins. Denver’s Elway was starting his second straight Super Bowl, and Washington’s Doug Williams was the first African American QB to start a Super Bowl. When the Broncos took a 10-0 lead in the first quarter, the game looked like it may go their way. However, Williams engineered five TD drives in the second quarter—three of them on scoring plays of 50 yards or more—to give the Redskins an insurmountable lead on their way to a 42-10 blowout victory. No Super Bowl team has ever scored more than the 35 points Williams’ Redskins did in one quarter.
6. Super Bowl III: Morrall Doesn’t See Orr On Flea-Flicker Play
There’s no better story than a brash, young upstart guaranteeing a win over the established, more experienced favorite—and then actually delivering on the promise. New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath got all the attention when his team beat the Baltimore Colts, 16-7, to shock the sport. However, Namath & Co. might not have won the game if Colts QB Earl Morrall had been able to find a wide-open Jimmy Orr for a late first half touchdown that would have tied the game and changed the game’s complexion. Instead, Morrall threw an interception, and New York preserved its 7-0 lead at the half. The whole game—and perhaps the future of the NFL—may have been different if Morrall had been able to get the ball to Orr for a score on that flea flicker. “Broadway Joe” would not have the same resonance as it still does today, 47 years later.

5. Super Bowl XXXII: Elway Finally Wins The Big One
Perhaps the most dynamic QB of the 20th century, Elway had experienced some bad Super Bowl luck. He’d carried average Broncos teams to three Super Bowls, only to lose all three in spectacularly ugly fashion. His moment finally came in 1997 against the defending champion Green Bay Packers. Elway laid it all out on the line, and Denver won its first championship with a 31-24 victory—highlighted by Elway’s willingness to sacrifice his own body for the win. Elway and the Broncos won the Super Bowl again the following season, and as Denver’s current GM, Elway has another championship win on his mind as the Broncos have home-field advantage in the AFC playoffs this year.
4. Super Bowl XIV: Bradshaw Comes Through In The Clutch
The first four-time Super Bowl champions, the Pittsburgh Steelers completed their quartet of 1970s titles at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California over the surprising Los Angeles Rams. However, the Steelers needed a fourth-quarter comeback to do so. Trailing 19-17, oft-maligned Pittsburgh QB Terry Bradshaw threw a 73-yard TD pass to wide receiver John Stallworth that put the Steelers up for good. The play was a thing of beauty to behold under the Rose Bowl lights as Rams defensive back Rod Perry just missed batting the ball away. Bradshaw and the Steelers added another late TD to ice the game, 31-19, and cemented their legacy as the Team of the 1970s.
bills1 The 50: Top 10 Super Bowl Moments Of All Time

Rick Stewart/Getty Images

3. Super Bowl XXVIII: Buffalo’s Inconsolable Misery
Only one NFL franchise has made four straight Super Bowl appearances, and yet those 1990-93 Buffalo Bills lost all four games. They are among both the greatest and sorriest of all Super Bowl teams. So when the Bills lost their fourth straight, 30-13, to the Cowboys, their misery was absolute and complete. They were up 13-6 at halftime and had the ball to start the second half, but a fumble return for a TD gave Dallas new life and eventually the victory. Buffalo has never made it back to the championship game, while Dallas won its third Super Bowl in four seasons—and fifth overall—to earn The team of the 1990s’ distinction.
2. Super Bowl: XLIII: Steelers For Six
The best franchise in the history of the Super Bowl is the Pittsburgh Steelers. The team has played in eight championship games overall and has won six of them. The Steelers’ sixth Super Bowl win was a close one against the upstart Arizona Cardinals, who were playing in their first Super Bowl. Two plays defined this game for Pittsburgh: An interception return for a TD right before halftime and the go-ahead score with just 36 seconds left that sealed the 27-23 win. Will Pittsburgh be able to win a seventh Super Bowl this postseason? Only time will tell.
1. Super Bowl XXXIV: One More Yard
The 1999 St. Louis Rams may have been “The Greatest Show On Turf,” but the Tennessee Titans had them on the ropes late in Super Bowl XXXIV. The Rams had blown a 16-0 lead, and after re-taking the lead on a long TD pass, they were struggling defensively against the Titans as the game clock wound down in the fourth quarter. Tennessee had one last play to tie the game in regulation, when St. Louis linebacker Mike Jones made perhaps the biggest single tackle in Super Bowl history—stopping Titans WR Kevin Dyson on the one yard line as time expired. This remains the Rams’ only Super Bowl championship and one of the best defensive finishes of any playoff game ever played.