FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (WWLP) – The New England Patriots advanced to their 11th AFC Championship Game, and fourth straight, after defeating the Baltimore Ravens, 35-31, in an AFC Divisional Playoff last Saturday at Gillette Stadium.
Here is a look back at the 2014 NFL Season:
Divisional Round: Brady throws 3 TD passes; Patriots beat Ravens 35-31
Tom Brady wasn’t going to lose a playoff game to the Baltimore Ravens in his home stadium. Not again. And, thanks to three touchdown passes by Brady and one by college quarterback turned receiver Julian Edelman, the resilient New England Patriots are headed to the AFC championship game for the fourth straight year.
2014 NFL Regular Season:
The Buffalo Bills reached their first winning record in 10 seasons. So what if the New England Patriots kept key players out of the game with the AFC’s top seed already secured? Kyle Orton threw for one touchdown, Anthony Dixon ran for another and the Bills beat the going-through-the motions Patriots 17-9 on Sunday.
Tom Brady and the Patriots will be resting at home for the start of the playoffs. The only question left is whether the AFC’s road to the Super Bowl will run through New England. Jonas Gray scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 1-yard run early in the fourth quarter after New England intercepted Geno Smith, and the Patriots clinched a bye with a 17-16 victory over the New York Jets on Sunday.
Tom Brady was upset that his New England Patriots hardly looked like a division champion in the first half. So upset that the slow-footed quarterback made a rare scramble for a first down that sparked them to a big third quarter and their sixth consecutive AFC East title Sunday. “I wasn’t in the best mood at that time,” Brady said after a 41-13 win over the Miami Dolphins.
Tom Brady jogged off the field, pumping his right fist toward the throng of New England fans in a corner of Qualcomm Stadium. A week in San Diego turned out quite well for the California native and the rest of the Patriots. Brady threw a 69-yard touchdown pass to Julian Edelman midway through the fourth quarter, and New England beat the San Diego Chargers 23-14 for its eighth win in nine games. The Patriots (10-3) clinched their 12th straight 10-win season for the second-longest such streak in NFL history. They spent the week in San Diego following a loss at Green Bay in order to cut down on late-season travel.
WEEK 13: Packers hold off Patriots 26-21
Aaron Rodgers threw for two touchdowns, Eddie Lacy powered for key yards in the fourth quarter and the Green Bay Packers fended off the New England Patriots 26-21 Sunday in a high-profile matchup between Super Bowl contenders. Rodgers bested Tom Brady in the first meeting between the star quarterbacks as starters. Rodgers connected with Richard Rodgers and Jordy Nelson for long touchdowns.
WEEK 12: Patriots tame the Lions 34-9
Tom Brady marched the New England Patriots up and down the field where they rarely lose, and they dominated the stingiest defense in the NFL. Brady threw for 349 yards and two touchdowns in a pass-heavy offense against the league’s top run defense and the Patriots stretched their winning streak to seven games with a 34-9 victory over the Detroit Lions on Sunday.
WEEK 11: Patriots run over the Colts 42-20
Tom Brady keeps finding ways to beat Indianapolis. On Sunday night, he relied on New England’s running game to deliver the body blows. Then he came up with the knockout punch. Jonas Gray rushed for a career-high 199 yards and a franchise-record four touchdowns, leading Brady and the Patriots to a 42-20 victory over the Colts.
The New England Patriots were reeling from the second worst loss of the Belichick-Brady era when the disappointed but determined quarterback took a moment to look ahead. “We need to make sure we never have this feeling again,” Tom Brady said after that 41-14 rout by the Kansas City Chiefs. Sure enough, they’ve made sure.
With 8 1/2 minutes remaining Sunday, the Gillette Stadium crowd delivered the message loud and clear: “Brady’s Better.” On this day, Tom Brady and his New England Patriots certainly were the superior team, routing Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos 43-21 to grab the best record in the AFC. Brady outdueled Manning in the 16th installment of the rivalry between the all-time great quarterbacks and is 11-5 against his rival. He threw for four touchdowns and Julian Edelman returned a punt 84 yards for a score.
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. And four of the incompletions were drops. The Patriots stayed on their roll with their fourth straight win Sunday, 51-23 over the sputtering Chicago Bears. So did Brady, who has thrown for 1,268 yards, 14 touchdowns and no interceptions in those games.
Tom Brady threw three touchdown passes to lead the New England Patriots to a 27-25 victory over the New York Jets that came down to the last play. Chris Jones blocked Nick Folk’s 58-yard field goal attempt and the defensive tackle’s teammates rushed onto the field to celebrate their surprisingly tough win Thursday night.
Tom Brady and the New England Patriots still own Buffalo no matter who’s signing the Bills’ checks. Brady threw four touchdown passes, the last two to Brandon LaFell, in a 37-22 win Sunday that spoiled the Bills’ first game under new owners Terry and Kim Pegula. Brady went 26 of 36 for 352 yards to become the NFL’s fifth player with 60 300-yard games. He’s two short of matching Brett Favre.
The Patriots were able to bounce back from their blowout loss last week to reclaim their spot atop the AFC East where they are tied for first place with the Buffalo Bills. The Patriots beat the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday night by a final score of 43 to 17. Tom Brady threw for 292 yards, 2 touchdowns and no interceptions.
Jamaal Charles proved he is back to full speed for the Kansas City Chiefs. Tom Brady is still stuck in neutral for the New England Patriots. Charles returned from an injury to score three touchdowns Monday night, Brady was picked off twice by the opportunistic Chiefs, and Kansas City routed New England 41-14 to hand Bill Belichick one of his worst losses as coach of the Patriots.
The New England Patriots needed a last-minute defensive play to bail out a sluggish offense and hold on for a 16-9 victory over the winless Oakland Raiders on Sunday. Tom Brady threw a touchdown pass, Stephen Gostkowski kicked three field goals and 325-pound tackle Vince Wilfork intercepted a pass near his goal line to end Oakland’s final chance.
Tom Brady and the New England Patriots took advantage of Adrian Peterson’s absence. Matt Cassel’s four interceptions, too. Chandler Jones returned a field goal he blocked for a touchdown right before halftime, and Brady and the Patriots cruised from there for a 30-7 victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.
Knowshon Moreno had another huge game against New England. This time, he got a win as well. Moreno rushed for 134 yards and a fourth-quarter touchdown that essentially sealed the outcome, Ryan Tannehill threw for two scores and the Miami Dolphins overpowered New England after halftime on the way to a 33-20 win over the Patriots on Sunday.
2014 NFL Pre-season:
No one wanted overtime in the preseason finale, and Bill Belichick made sure neither the New York Giants or New England Patriots had to endure it. Josh Brown kicked a 37-yard field goal with 38 seconds to play after Belichick went for a first down in his territory late, and the Giants capped their first undefeated preseason since 2006 with a 16-13 victory on Thursday night.
Tom Brady’s offense and the New England Patriots’ defense dominated the Carolina Panthers. Brady threw for 204 yards and two touchdowns, Stephen Gostkowski kicked a 60-yard field goal and the Patriots shut down Cam Newton and the Panthers 30-7 on Friday night.
Tom Brady and the New England Patriots’ other two quarterbacks each threw touchdown passes. The Philadelphia Eagles’ trio was plagued by turnovers. Brady’s scoring pass came after he threw an interception that Cory Williams returned 77 yards for a touchdown and the Patriots rebounded from a poor preseason debut for a 42-35 win on Friday night.
For his first preseason game as an NFL head coach, Jay Gruden said his goal was to “eliminate the chaos” on the sideline. Did he succeed? “It was chaotic more so for me than everybody else,” the Washington Redskins coach said with a chuckle. “It was a little crazy just with all the headsets.”