afc title game

Patriots DT Vince Wilfork help’s rescue woman from overturned vehicle

After helping the New England Patriots to a 45-7 rout of the Indinapolis Colts in Sunday’s AFC title game, defensive tackle Vince Wilfork apparently still had enough energy to help rescue a motorist from an overturned car. Massachusetts State Police said Wilfork helped them rescue a woman trapped in a car after it rolled over near Gillette Stadium.

State troopers say they responded to an SUV rollover in Foxborough not far from Gillette Stadium shortly before 1 a.m. Monday and were surprised to see Wilfork checking on the driver, nearly three hours after the Patriots advanced to the Super Bowl.

The driver of the overturned vehicle, 38-year-old Mary Ellen Brooks, was unable to get out of her 2015 Jeep Wrangler. As police held open the driver’s door, “Wilfork reached in and helped lift the operator out of the vehicle with one hand,” police said.

Police said Brooks was then placed under arrest after being helped from the vehicle and charged with operating under the influence of alcohol and negligent operation of a motor vehicle.

Wilfork said he didn’t see the car flip over and was unaware how long it had been on its side. He was with his wife, Bianca, at the time.

“It was something we saw and we knew she needed help, so we helped,” Wilfork told reporters Monday via the Boston Herald. “The good thing is that we got her to safety.”

“The first thing I told her was ‘don’t panic.’ My job was to help the person in the car,” he said.

“You kind of reflect on life a little bit,” he said. “Here I am, we won the most important game of our season, and flashing right in front of your eyes is the life of someone who is in danger. … After I drove off, my wife and I kind of talked in the car and said there are things that are a lot more precious in life than games or anything you accomplish in life. There are things out there that are more important. It showed last night, even though we won the AFC championship, it was life and danger. We were just happy to help.

“I don’t want anything from it. If I saw it a million times, I’d do it a million times no matter what the situation would be.”

 

- RAVENS’ TERRELL SUGGS: EVERY TEAM HATES THE PATRIOTS -   Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs said all 31 teams hate the New England Patriots.

While speaking on WEEI radio in Boston, Suggs said that he would not apologize for the choice words he had for the Pats after this year’s AFC title game.

Suggs was quoted as saying, “The Patriots are the most arrogant pricks in the world, starting with Belichick on down.”

And Suggs also went on to say he was not alone in his assessment of the Patriots and their head coach, Bill Belichick.

“There are 32 teams in the NFL, I guarantee the other 31 hate the New England Patriots. It ain’t just me,” Suggs said. “Why did Bart Scott say the same thing? You think it’s just us?”

Mostly, Suggs said, he dislikes the fact that the Patriots don’t show due respect to their opponents.

“Behind closed doors, they don’t think anybody can play on the field with them,” Suggs said. “It’s a respect level, and I don’t think the New England Patriots respect anybody.”

Suggs also says the league took extra steps to protect Patriots quarterback Tom Brady after he suffered a season-ending knee injury in 2008.

“There was the whole invention of the Brady rule,” he said. “Years before, I hit Drew Brees and I accidentally tore his knee up. No rule was made. Of all the quarterbacks in the NFL who got their knees blown out when they got hit – Carson Palmer got his knee blown out — but then one guy got hit and changed the whole rule for the NFL?”
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Mark Sanchez Wipes Booger on Mark Brunell..Jets vs. Steelers

-CHAMPIONSHIP SUNDAY COULDN’T BE SET UP ANY BETTER-

Peyton Manning and Tom Brady one more time with the Super Bowl on the line would have been good enough all by itself.

But in the embarrassment of riches that is the NFL this season, we get more. Much more.

Two young superstar quarterbacks in the making squaring off in Seattle. Wes Welker against the team that wanted him no longer, and Anquan Boldin taking his new team on another championship run. A sideshow with Pete Carroll and Jim Harbaugh that might be worth the price of admission by itself.

And a Super Bowl that will be a winner even if it’s played on a sheet of ice.

If this was the NBA, David Stern would have been accused of having the fix in. But it’s just more of the same for the NFL, where the story lines and matchups are so good that it’s almost a foregone conclusion next Sunday’s TV ratings will blow past anything seen before for conference title games that are always big.

About the only thing missing is a scrappy team of underdogs fighting for a berth in the Super Bowl, but there’s no reason to nitpick. Not with the quartet of teams that all went into the weekend as favorites and all survived to play another day.

The bookies in Vegas are laying odds — as they have all season long — that the Seattle Seahawks will play the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl. But even they wouldn’t be terribly surprised if it was New England against the San Francisco 49ers or any combination in between.

The 49ers still playing is little surprise, even if they had to beat a team on the road they had lost to at home during the season. But beat the Carolina Panthers they did, winning their second straight playoff game away from home and seeming to take great delight in doing so.

If any team is a reflection of their coach it’s the 49ers, who will play a third straight NFC title game under Harbaugh. Colin Kaepernick even got into the act, mocking Cam Newton’s Superman pose after scoring a third-quarter touchdown, then adding his own signature bicep kiss to top things off.

Now forget that the 49ers were outclassed their last two trips to Seattle, losing by a combined margin of 71-16. It’s doubtful they’ll be intimidated by the rain or a raucous crowd that sends tremors through the earth (Saturday’s foot stomping win over New Orleans was recorded as a small earthquake) in a game that figures to be both bruising and bitterly contested.

John Fox won’t be intimidated either, despite having to go up against Bill Belichick and memories of a tough November loss to the Patriots to get to the title game. Fox seems the odd man out against the outsized coaching personalities left in the playoffs, but don’t forget that he’s the only coach who has won a playoff game with Tim Tebow under center.

Now he’s got Manning, who made up for the Broncos’ early exit last postseason against Baltimore with a couple of clutch third-down throws late in the fourth quarter just as Denver seemed to be once again in full meltdown mode. Manning also had the quote of the game when asked if it was weighing on his mind that he is nearing the end of his career and may not have many playoff chances left.

The game was barely over when Manning was asked for the first of what will be at least 562 times this week about his matchup with Brady, who has won 10 of the 14 games they’ve played against each other. Manning gave his usual our team against theirs answer, but this time he wasn’t just blowing smoke. Not after the Patriots scored 42 points to whip Indianapolis without Brady throwing even one touchdown pass as the Patriots took their all too familiar place in the AFC title game, and not when the Broncos are doing some running of their own.

Still, it figures to be all Manning against Brady, even if the best story of the postseason may be the one no one outside of the Boston area wants to hear. If there was ever a coach you love to hate it’s Belichick, but the ever grumpy guy under the hoodie has done a remarkable job in a year most expected New England to struggle.

With Welker gone and no tight ends left for Brady to throw to, Belichick was forced to reinvent the team on the fly. He did so by turning them into a run first team behind big LeGarrette Blount, who scored four touchdowns against the Colts and could be the breakout star of these playoffs.

The Super Bowl that will be played in three weeks at the Meadowlands has been the talk of football all season, and with good reason. It’s the first cold weather game to be played outdoors, and it could either be a spectacle or a debacle.

Two teams will get there eventually. But not before the NFL gives us one final Sunday to enjoy a pair of games so good they could be the ones we really remember.

Brady vs. Manning is exciting enough as is. But for the #AFCChampionship? Yeah, sleep won’t be an option this week.

Lucky us. The best QB rivalry. The best competitors. The best teams in the conference. Wouldn’t want it any other way.

That’s a lie. San Diego at home would have been just fine.

As grateful to be a Pats fan today as ever. That this team found a way to get there and has a shot to go to “The Big Game” again, appearing in their 3rd straight AFC title game? Brady & Belichick’s 8th in 12 years together? Holy shit - ask who’s got it better than you all you want, Jim Harbaugh. But ain’t nobody got it better than Pats fans.

GFY, Broncos! Let’s Go Pats!

Brady leads Patriots to fourth Super Bowl title with 28-24 win over Seahawks

Tom Brady and the Patriots made this Super Bowl all about football, not footballs.

Clutch football, spiced by a sensational fourth-quarter rally and a goal-line, game-saving interception.

The record-setting Brady threw for four touchdowns, including a 3-yarder to Julian Edelman with 2:02 remaining Sunday night as New England rallied from a 10-point deficit to win its fourth Super Bowl in the Brady-Bill Belichick era, 28-24 over Seattle.

But the Patriots (15-4) had to survive a last-ditch drive by the Seahawks (14-5), who got to the 1, helped by a spectacular juggling catch by Jermaine Kearse. Rookie Malcolm Butler stepped in front of Ricardo Lockette and picked off Russell Wilson’s off-target pass to complete one of the wildest Super Bowl finishes.

Brady leaped for joy on the Patriots sideline after Butler’s interception.

“It wasn’t the way we drew it up,” said Brady, who won his third Super Bowl MVP award.

Brady surpassed Joe Montana’s mark of 11 Super Bowl touchdown passes with a 5-yarder to Danny Amendola to bring the Patriots within three points.

Seattle, seeking to become the first repeat NFL champion since New England a decade ago, was outplayed for the first half, yet tied at 14. The Seahawks scored the only 10 points of the third period, but the NFL-leading defense couldn’t slow the brilliant Brady when it counted most.

It didn’t matter how much air was in the balls, game Brady was unstoppable when the pressure was strongest. While pushing aside the controversy over air pressure in the footballs stemming from the AFC title game, the Patriots toyed with Seattle in the final 12 minutes.

Seattle didn’t quit — it never does — and Kearse’s 33-yard catch with 1:06 remaining got it to the 5. Marshawn Lynch rushed for 4 yards, then backup cornerback Butler, who was victimized on Kearse’s reception, made the biggest play of his first NFL season with 20 seconds remaining.

Seahawks linebacker Bruce Irvin was ejected in the final seconds for instigating a near-brawl, delaying the celebration for the Patriots.

Soon they were mobbing one another on the same field where their 2007 unbeaten season was ruined in the Super Bowl by the Giants. They also fell to the Giants for the 2011 title.

But thanks to superstar Brady and the obscure Butler, they are champions again.

Brady now has equaled Montana with four Lombardi Trophies and three Super Bowl MVPs. He stands alone with 13 Super Bowl touchdown passes. He was 37 for 50 for 328 yards against the NFL’s top-ranked defense.

He also was picked off twice. Brady had been intercepted a total of two times in his previous five Super Bowls.

Yet, he picked apart the Seahawks on drives of 68 and 64 yards, solidifying his legacy as one of the greats of the game.

His heroics offset those of Chris Matthews, one of Seattle’s least-used players before the postseason. Matthews recovered the onside kick that helped the Seahawks beat Green Bay in overtime for the NFC crown, and had a breakout performance Sunday.

Having never caught a pass in the NFL, Matthews grabbed four for 109 yards and a touchdown. Lynch ran for 102 yards, but didn’t get the ball at the 1 on the decisive play — a decision the Seahawks will rue.