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Patriots

Peyton Manning-Tom Brady rivalry began in obscurity

Thursday, October 30, 2014

DENVER — The greatest quarterback rivalry in NFL history began quietly with plenty of empty seats on a cloudy, cool and windy afternoon at Foxboro Stadium on Sept. 30, 2001. Baby-faced backup Tom Brady, a sixth-round draft pick from Michigan the year before, made his first career NFL start in place of Drew Bledsoe, who had suffered a sheared blood vessel in his chest one week earlier. On the other side was QB blue blood Peyton Manning, the top overall pick in the 1998 draft out of Tennessee, and the heavily favored Indianapolis Colts. As expected, it was a mismatch, but not the way anyone …

Wes Welker, Bill Belichick have buried the hatchet

Thursday, October 30, 2014

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — There’s no longer any bad blood between Bill Belichick and Wes Welker heading into the showdown Sunday between the New England Patriots and Denver Broncos. Belichick said he has long gotten over Welker’s hit that sidelined then-Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib in the AFC championship. At the time, New England’s often cantankerous coach called it “one of the worst plays” he’d …

Patriots defense preps to slow Broncos’ Manning

Thursday, October 30, 2014

FOXBOROUGH — Devin McCourty won’t allow himself to get caught up in Peyton Manning’s pre-snap antics on Sunday. New England’s Pro Bowl safety can’t afford to. He’ll end up losing. “I would say the chess game is pretty one-sided. It’s like being a kid going against a father in chess,” McCourty said of trying to anticipate Manning’s moves. “He’s a very smart quarterback. …

Brady focused on Denver defense, not on Manning

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

FOXBOROUGH — Fans get another chance to gauge the relative greatness of Tom Brady and Peyton Manning when the quarterbacks meet for the 16th time. Brady will be analyzing something more important. The New England Patriots star will …

Patriots praise Peyton Manning’s neck surgery recovery

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

FOXBOROUGH (AP) — New England Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia didn’t hesitate Tuesday when asked about Peyton Manning’s arm strength three years after major neck surgery. “I think Peyton Manning’s arm strength is just fine,” Patricia said on a conference call, as the Patriots began to prepare for …

Patriots prepare for biggest test against Broncos

Monday, October 27, 2014

FOXBOROUGH — A smiling Jonas Gray stood at the more prominent locker he got after being promoted from the Patriots practice squad. He showed he belongs by rushing for 86 yards in his second NFL game, a 51-23 …

Tom Brady throws 5 TDs, three to Gronk as Patriots rout Bears 51-23

Sunday, October 26, 2014

FOXBOROUGH — Nearly every time Tom Brady dropped back, he hit his target. In one of the best performances of his brilliant career, the New England Patriots quarterback threw five touchdown passes and completed 30 of 35 passes. …

Bears hope for more road success in game against Patriots

Saturday, October 25, 2014

FOXBOROUGH — It’s been a rough stretch for the Chicago Bears with three losses in four games, and a loud, emotional locker room after the latest one. Now they must play in strange surroundings and get booed by …

Vereen brothers square off when Bears visit Pats

Thursday, October 23, 2014

FOXBOROUGH — The Vereen brothers competed hard against each other while growing up in California. Video games. Stickball. Basketball in the backyard. And, of course, football — in the living room. On Sunday, they’ll be on the same …

Ex-Boston Patriot John ‘Bull’ Bramlett dies at 73

Thursday, October 23, 2014

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — John “Bull” Bramlett, a former professional football and baseball player who was nicknamed the “Meanest Man in Football,” has died. He was 73. Shelby County Mayor’s Office spokesman Steve Shular told The Associated Press that family members say the Memphis native died early Thursday. Shular …

Injury to Chandler Jones puts pressure on Patriots defense

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

FOXBOROUGH — The “next man up” approach will be tested again after another injury to a key defender for the New England Patriots. Maybe this time they’ll do better. With top tackler Jerod Mayo missing his first game …

Titans trade LB Akeem Ayers to Patriots

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee has traded linebacker Akeem Ayers to the New England Patriots in what coach Ken Whisenhunt says gives the linebacker a fresh start. “A situation that was probably the best for both parties,” Whisenhunt said Tuesday night on his weekly radio show. “Somebody that …

Despite problems, Patriots have won 3 straight

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

FOXBOROUGH — A three-day break gave the New England Patriots time to savor three straight wins. Now they can focus on fixing the problems the winning streak couldn’t hide. A suspect run defense. A mediocre offensive line. Replacing injured players. The Patriots returned to practice Tuesday hoping to …