SL) – Tom Brady’s mom has been battling an undisclosed type of cancer for 18 months; but it’s been revealed that she is undergoing chemo and radiation treatments.
Galynn Brady hasn’t been able to attend any games this season and his dad had only been to one. They both made it to #SuperBowlLI making the victory extra special for the five time Super Bowl champ.
Before the game began, Patriots owner Robert Kraft had a talk with the now-MVP.
“I spoke to him in the locker room before the game, and I said, we’ve got to win this one from your mom,” Kraft told reporters after the team’s come-from-behind victory. “I know how important his mom is, and she’s been going through chemotherapy and radiation, and this is the first game she’s come to. She came here.”
No matter what the outcome, Tom had already dedicated the game to his mother and her presence was enough to push Tom to get down and dirty even after being sacked over 14 times, to keep fighting and turn the game around. Post game Brady said, “She’s my everything,” Brady told Westwood One’s Jim Gray in a post-game interview. “I just love her so much.”
(Houston, TX)– It took almost 20 years but I think I speak for all dirty birds when I say..’It was worth the wait.’ The Falcons have been consistent all season, redefining their defense and adding to an already beast like offense. A lot of people doubted the authenticity of the Falcons’ talent. But if you are a true fan, then you know that this return has been in the making for quite a while.
It’s been a long week which started for the Falcons on Sunday when they landed in Houston and got ready for the biggest game of their lives. During the walk-through on Saturday, Atlanta felt good. The Patriots arrived on Monday and got to work immediately with a schedule that didn’t hold back and mirrored that of the Falcons. The big question..who would show up on Sunday?
Most of the media tried to shy away from the Brady Scandal that led to him being benched for the first few games this season. And with his return to the Super Bowl, most thought it would be his revenge of sorts. Revenge? Not so sure about that considering the Patriots are a Super Bowl team. They’ve been there done that. Atlanta on the other hand, has had to work. And after rolling through Seattle, Green Bay and at the half of Super Bowl LI, the Patriots, it certainly looks like there’s a new sheriff in town, giving new meaning to the term underdog and clearly marking themselves as the one to fear in the National Football League.
The Falcons jumped out early and that questionable defense that part-time fans like to question stepped up and held the Patriots to just 3 first half points. With a 14-0 lead, Rober Alford intercepted Tom Brady and returned the ball 82-yards for a TD. Atlanta led 21-3 going into the half. Rushing 86 yards in 9 attempts and Passing for 115 yards, New England struggled to stop the Falcons on the ground as well.
Second half, Atlanta seemed to slow down a little bit.. Everything that seemed to be going in the wrong direction for the Patriots, started to change. And then they scored. And after a turnover, a field goal, a TD and a two point conversion, next thing you know it’s 20-28….and the game played on.
Fourth quarter less than 3 minutes to play, you hit the kitchen to re-up on your drink, came back and it was 28-28 with 57 seconds left in the game. What in the entire hell happened? That’s why you love the game. Brady connected with Amendola doubled with a penalty on the Falcons and it’s tied. Atlanta gets the ball, Matt Ryan uses that arm and with 18 seconds left, it’s 3rd down and 6, Ryan is forced to let it loose to no avail. 11 seconds left, Falcons punt and we’re headed into OT.
Patriots win the toss and Tom Brady who had been sacked more than 14 times during the game reset and led a charge that would end up with James White driving and getting his hand in the end zone and New England wins Super Bowl LI 34-28.
Post Game With Tom Brady:
“…It was a hell of a football game. There was a lot at stake tonight. You know, we played our tails off all season to get to this point and it’s hard to win a game in the NFL. And to beat this team and to get down 28-3, it was just a lot of mental toughness by our team and we’re all going to remember this for the rest of our lives.”
Brady has dealt with a little bit of everything this year and as for the adversity, “We’ve done pretty good over the last few years, you know? We were in the AFC Championship last year and won the Super Bowl two years ago, so I don’t think anyone’s feeling bad for the Patriots. I don’t think anyone feels bad for the Patriots.”
As for making that dramatic comeback. “We were just trying to get it in. I mean, I don’t think it was – I mean you’re playing with fire if you’re trying to manage the clock when you’re down eight points. So just get it in however you can and James (White) ran it in. What’d he have, three touchdowns tonight? It was unbelievable. What a hell of a game he played. It was awesome.”
Revenge indeed for Tom Brady and a lot of respect for the Atlanta Falcons. Nobody has won more Super Bowls than Tom Brady and he clearly just redefined momentum.
(Houston, TX) – Arizona Cardinals wide receiver LARRY FITZGERALD and New York Giants quarterback ELI MANNING were named the 2016 WALTER PAYTON NFL MAN OF THE YEAR, the NFL announced today. The award, which is presented by Nationwide, recognizes a player for his excellence on and off the field.
The announcement was made during NFL Honors, a two-hour primetime awards special that aired nationally from 8 – 10 p.m. ET/PT on FOX Saturday night.
ANQUAN BOLDIN, the 2015 Man of the Year, will honor Fitzgerald and Manning on-fieldtomorrow before kickoff of Super Bowl LI.
“Quite simply this is the most meaningful honor an NFL player can receive and I am flattered beyond words that the selection committee deemed me worthy of it,” said LARRY FITZGERALD. “More than anything it is a reflection on my parents whose words and example taught my brother and me the value of service and the importance of giving back.”
“It’s a commitment that I know is shared by Eli (Manning), Greg (Olsen), all the other 2016 Man of the Year nominees and countless others throughout the NFL. I accept this honor with immense gratitude and humility but also in full recognition that it is on behalf of all of them as well.”
(SL) – With one day left before the big game, the Atlanta Falcons wrapped up their final pre-Super Bowl LI practice Friday. Julio kept it light to avoid further strain on his toe but all in all the hour and a half practice reflected an excited Atlanta Falcons team ready to Rise Up and get the job done! Pro Football Writer Peter King breaks it down for us!
By Peter King
The NFC champion Atlanta Falcons, in their final regular pre-Super Bowl LI practice Friday, got a terrific red-zone performance from quarterback Matt Ryan on a chilly, breezy afternoon practice at Rice University.
In slightly more than 20 minutes of plays from the 20-yard-line and closer against a scout team defense, Ryan was perfect. No pass from Ryan to any of his wide receivers, tight ends or backs ever hit the ground. The NFL will announce its 2016 Most Valuable Player Saturday night in Houston, and you could see exactly why Ryan is a leading candidate for the award after his pristine performance on Rice’s grass practice field.
“That’s Matt,’’ coach Dan Quinn said after the 79-minute practice. “I am so pumped for him, the way he has worked. It is not surprising the offense feels so good about the plan and has practiced so clean. In the past, I think he has overburdened himself at times, going so deep in the gameplan. This year, he’s really found his rhythm. A week like this, you can see he doesn’t force it to one player. What was it—13 different players caught touchdown passes from him this year?’’
That’s what it was, and many of those shuffled in an out of the first unit on Friday. This was a crisp, decisive and impressive performance by the NFL’s highest-scoring offense in 2016.
Also Friday, Falcons center Alex Mack (fibula), wide receiver Julio Jones (sprained toe) and pass-rusher Dwight Freeney (calf) practiced on a limited basis and all three were removed from the game status portion of the injury report.
Backup center Ben Garland continued to get some work in Mack’s place Friday, but it was clear from Quinn’s comments that he expects Mack to play and play well against the defensively diverse Patriots. On Thursday, Quinn had said he was “not panicked, but I’m concerned’’ about Mack’s status for Sunday. But he said Friday he watched the tape from Thursday’s practice and had a different feeling.
“I felt good after watching Alex last night,’’ Quinn said, “because I felt good about what he was able to do on the things we’re going to ask him to do in the game. It’s going to hurt, but a lot of guys are playing through stuff. The important thing is Alex’s mind is clear. He needed to test it and have guys go on him full speed, and he was able to do that Wednesday and Thursday.”
The Falcons were a loose group as they wound up the serious portion of their practice week. With the field situated next to a residential area abutting the Rice campus, there was extra security between the edge of the field (with a fence and high hedges) and the neighborhood, so the Falcons could feel secure running a practice as though they were at their home facility. There was only one brief security heads-up: Security officers grounded a drone that was sent airborne by one of the residents in the neighborhood on Thursday.
The team will drive to NRG Stadium to walk around the field and the locker room Saturday, then return to Rice for a final walk-through practice before Sunday’s game.
(Houston, TX) – Super Bowl LI officially kicked off in Houston Monday with a mass media opening night featuring both the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots, fans and broadcasting networks from all over the world. Each team had an hour to entertain the press. Here are some of the highlights from opening night from both QBs, top receiver Julio Jones and Coach Belichick
Falcons QB Matt Ryan
(on how he feels) “I feel good. We had a good practice, walkthrough today and to get here and see this deal tonight, it’s pretty cool. It’s fun to be apart of with my teammates.”
(on following an 8-8 season in 2015 with a MVP-caliber campaign and Super Bowl appearance the next year) “I think we’ve come a long way. We’ve gotten better, and that was one of the things we focused on this offseason, trying to find ways to improve as a team, as an offense. I think the addition of some of the players that we picked up – guys like Taylor (Gabriel), Alex Mack, Aldrick Robinson, Mohamed Sanu – just have added to our team and made us a better offense.”
(on the Falcons’ top-ranked offense competing with the Patriots’ defense) “New England has a great defense and watching them on film, their ability to keep people out of the end zone has been unbelievable all year. So we’ve certainly got our work cut out for us, but I think everybody’s looking forward to Sunday.”
(on combating New England’s attempts to take Julio Jones out of the game plan) “We’ve got to move him around a little bit and try to make it difficult for them to tee off on where he’s going to be. Even when he gets double teamed he has made plays for us all year. So we’ve got a lot of guys who can do it and I know Julio is going to have a great game for us.”
Falcons WR Julio Jones
(on the best part about making it to the Super Bowl) “The hard work paid off. That’s the best part of being here for us. It’s any other day for us. We just have to continue to keep putting that work in. There’s nothing spectacular for us that we need to go out here and make stuff up.
(on what a win on Sunday will mean to him) “It’ll be great. It’ll be great. Just looking to celebrate after the game but now just staying in it. The process – don’t want to overlook anything. It’s just one day at a time for me.”
(on the bracelet he wears) “Friends of the family for about nine years now. Christina Jones is a good friend of mine. Through my recruiting process and everything, we became friends going to the University of Alabama. Obviously, you know her brother passed away in a basketball game with no meaning behind it. We didn’t know the cause of it so I wear the bracelet every game now. After the Chiefs game, the family came down and they gave me the bracelet so this signifies just him, me going out there and just playing and leaving it all out on the line.”
Patriots QB Tom Brady
(on how long he can play) “I think as long as I’m willing to make the commitment to taking good care of myself. I got a good routine. It has gotten better as the years have gone on. You (Willie McGinest) taught me. 2004, you said this is what you got to do, and I listened. It’s nice to feel better as the season goes. To be an older player and have the mental experience and then to also feel great physically, I think it’s a great benefit for me. Hopefully I can keep going. I don’t see any end in sight.”
(on playing in his seventh Super Bowl) “It hit me today (at) the pep rally. When I saw those fans out there, you realize this is different and this just is special. It’s a special experience. Getting on the plane was great and landing, seeing all the cameras and then getting to the hotel. It has been a long day for us, but I think everyone is excited to be here, get in a little bit of a routine and then focus on playing some football.”
Patriots Coach Dan Belichick
(on best coaching advice he has received) “I have received a lot. I would say probably most of the best advice I have ever received was from my dad. Either what he told me or watching him coach. I would be here all night talking about that. A lot of life lessons. I would say my dad and the things he told me.”
(on advice for Brady) “I think for the entire team we all understand we need to play our best game. We need to do a great job in our execution and in all of the things that are important fundamentally to having good plays no matter what the plays are. Hopefully we can do that as a team. That goes for everybody.”
(on players willing to take less money to play in New England) “We can’t control what the other 31 teams do. We don’t try to control that. We just try to do what we can do. Sometimes that works in the negotiations, sometimes it doesn’t. Each one is different. If a player and a team can agree on a contract, then they sign it. If they can’t they don’t. We don’t really know what anyone else does. We can’t control that anyways. We just do what we can do. Some work out. Some don’t.”
(on his coaching career without Tom Brady) “Tom missed the 2008 season.”
(on the partnership between Brady and himself) “I have been very fortunate to coach Tom. Tom is a tremendous player. He is a tremendous competitor. He prepares extremely hard. He comes to work every day and gives his very best effort. I am fortunate to have the opportunity to coach Tom for these years. I think I have a lot of respect for him. There is a mutual respect there. We each have a job to do. It is very different. All the jobs are important, but we try to find a way to do our jobs and help the team win the best that we can. I think he does a great job of that. That is what I try to do. From that standpoint we have a great relationship. We both want to win. We both want to do what it takes to win. That is our focus pretty much every game. It is not always the same game plan, but trying to get to the same end point.”
Opening night was the kickoff to a long week of several activities for fans to enjoy. There will be one more media event with the coaches and players today. The last one until Super Bowl Sunday. Another highlight of the week will be the NFL Honors Show scheduled for Saturday night and hosted by Keegan-Michael Key. Super Bowl LI Kickoff is Sunday at 6:30 pm.
(Flowery Branch)– The Atlanta Falcons are preparing to return to the Super Bowl for just the 2nd time and it was almost 20 years ago when they made their first visit. As the big game approaches throngs of media have been camped out in Atlanta documenting the road to Super Bowl LI, Sports Wire included. We participated in one of the Falcons’ media days and got the latest from Head Coach Dan Quinn and a few of the players.