There’s no secret to becoming one of the best wide receivers in the game. Julian Edelman knows there’s a thin line between being good and being great, between making history and coming up short.
Down 28-20 with less than three minutes remaining on football’s biggest stage, Edelman made one of the best catches in championship-game history. After a tipped pass, Edelman readjusted his route, raced to the ball, beating three defenders, and scooped the ball up just before it hit the ground. It was a turning point in the game, and the rest is history.
Edelman has trusted Cutters Gloves to make those types of miraculous plays since high school. Cutters look good, feel great, and deliver the grip that’s helped him become a superstar. He’s made seemingly impossible catches become an everyday occurrence with the help of Cutters, and now, he’s getting his very own signature gloves.
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By Trent Tetzlaff and Jake Zipperer
Super Bowl LI is almost here. This year’s matchup between the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons promises to be a great game. Fascinating questions surround the game such as what team will win, who will take home the MVP, and is Bill Belichick the greatest coach in NFL history?
We’ll give you our game predictions later, but first, let’s look back at the Super Bowl history of both squads.
- Atlanta is one of 13 teams to never win a Super Bowl, and have only reached the big game once.
- The Falcons fell big to the powerhouse Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXXIII, 34-19.
- Chris Chandler was Atlanta’s quarterback during their lone Super Bowl run. During that 1998 season he threw for 3,154 yards and 25 touchdowns.
- The city of Atlanta’s last major sporting championship was in 1995 (Braves World Series Title).
New England Patriots
- Tom Brady is tied for the most Super Bowls won as a quarterback. With all four coming as a Patriot.
- New England has appeared in the Super Bowl nine times in franchise history, which is the most of any NFL team. Seven of those have been with Bill Belichick as coach.
- The Patriots’ last Super Bowl win came back in 2015 when they defeated the Seattle Seahawks 28-24.
- This is Tom Brady’s first Super Bowl appearance since the Deflategate scandal in 2015, which led to his four-game suspension earlier this season.
Eastbay sports writers Jake Zipperer and Trent Tetzlaff sat down to discuss the big game and all of the surroundings.Here’s their picks breaking down coaching, quarterbacks, offense, defense, special teams, MVP, and the score prediction.
TT: Matt Ryan. He outdueled Aaron Rodgers with ease, so why can’t he take down Tom Brady as well?
JZ: Tom Brady. Been there, done that. Tom Brady is the one of the greatest of all time, and shows that in this game.
TT: Patriots. This one is self-evident for me — Bill Belichick and crew know what to do in the big game.
JZ: Patriots. Bill Belichick and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia have been here before, and have the experience to get the job done.
TT: Atlanta. Matt Ryan, Devonta Freeman, Tevin Coleman, Julio Jones, Mohamed Sanu — The list goes on and on. Atlanta has the weapons needed to win it all.
JZ: Atlanta. The weapons surrounding Matt Ryan make this number-one-scoring offense a major threat.
TT: Patriots. An experienced secondary and line-backing core puts the Patriots defense ahead of the Falcons in my mind — but it’s close.
JZ: Patriots. The number-one-scoring defense shines bright on the big stage once again.
TT: Atlanta. Punt and kick returner Eric Weems comes up with some big returns to give the Falcons good field position, and kicker Matt Bryant knocks in all of his extra points and field goals.
JZ: Atlanta. Returners and the kicking game put this one in Atlanta’s favor.
TT: Julio Jones. Julio picks up where he left off against the Packers and torches the Patriots secondary for over 200 yards receiving and multiple scores.
JZ: Tom Brady. The savvy veteran who has been there before continues to play well in the big game with over 300 yards and 3 touchdowns.
TT: Falcons 34-31. The Falcons playmakers show how good they really are as they torch a normally strong Patriots secondary.
JZ: Patriots 31-21. Tom Brady continues his Super Bowl magic, and the Patriots defense slows down Matt Ryan and Julio Jones.
Join in on the Super Bowl conversation with us and drop us a comment below with your thoughts on the big game! No matter who you are rooting for Sunday, we’ve got you covered at eastbay.com with our selection of Atlanta and New England fan gear!
The moment you have been waiting for all year is finally here: it’s football season! Diehard fans and fantasy fanatics, as you await kick off, take a look at our break down of the top 5 teams favored to contend for a Super Bowl this season (in no particular order).
The Panthers made it look easy last season. They lost only one game during the regular season, and Cam Newton became the coveted star quarterback Panther fans hoped he would. Many people also seem to forget they were missing their No. 1 receiver in Kelvin Benjamin the entire season due to an injury. The 6-foot-5 Benjamin broke out during his rookie campaign in 2014, with 73 catches for over 1000 yards and nine touchdowns. With a healthy Benjamin joining a 15-1 team from last season that didn’t lose many players to free agency, the odds for another strong season in Carolina are high.
Year in and year out, the Seahawks boast one of the toughest defenses in the NFL. Add that to one of the best dual threat quarterbacks in the league in Russell Wilson, an aggressive but successful coach in Pete Carroll, and one of the toughest home venues to play at in the league, and you have a recipe for success. If the young running backs can step up to fill the void of the loss of Marshawn Lynch, and Wilson continues to improve his young receiving core, expect the Seahawks to once again be playing ball late in the postseason.
Despite continuing to get older offensively, with Carson Palmer turning 37 in December and Larry Fitzgerald recently turning 33, the Cardinals continue to be a powerhouse in the NFC. Boasting one of the quickest and hardest hitting defenses, led by safety Tyrann Mathieu, and an offense that likes to score via the big play, the Cardinals were an easy pick. As long as Palmer can stay healthy and gets the ball to his strong receiving core—including Fitzgerald, John Brown, Michael Floyd—as well as his young and talented running back, David Johnson, you can pencil in the Cardinals as a contender once again.
New England Patriots
Yes, Tom Brady is suspended for the first four games of the season. But life will go on in New England as long as Bill Belichick is at the helm, and that’s for sure. The Patriots defensive and offensive lines once again are rock solid, and Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman continue to put up big numbers year after year as pesky slot receivers for Brady to throw to. Along with this, If Rob Gronkowski can avoid injury for another season, he is just another huge asset for Brady on offense. Look at it how you want, but the Patriots haven’t won less than 12 regular-season games in seven years, so don’t expect that to change this year with the AFC wide-open.
Green Bay Packers
One of the best pitch-and-catch combinations in football, Jordy Nelson and Aaron Rodgers, will be reunited in 2016 after Nelson tore his ACL in 2015. The injury allowed defenses to focus on the rest of the Packers’ targets and slow Rodgers and the passing attack down. With a healthy Nelson back as a No. 1 receiver, and a slimmed down Eddie Lacy in the backfield, Rodgers should have no shortage of weapons. In addition to the offense, the defense also looks poised to have a strong season as Clay Matthews moves back to his natural outside linebacker position with more opportunities to rush the quarterback. To add on to the other positives, a young defensive secondary returning with more experience should only help put the Packers in position for a playoff run once again.
As the 2016 season gets underway, there is no way to truly know what will happen. Maybe a sleeper team steps up and makes a playoff run, or maybe the teams you expect to be there in the end will be there after all. No matter who you are cheering for this season, make sure to rep them the right way all season long with our biggest and best selection of fan gear at eastbay.com.
words // Brandon Richard
With all due respect to the Steelers and Ravens, Seahawks and 49ers and Cowboys and Redskins, the NFL’s best rivalry for the decade may very well be Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning. The two best quarterbacks of their era squared off for the 14th time, Brady’s New England Patriots having won 9 of the previous 13.
In the first half, it appeared the night would belong to Peyton and the Denver Broncos. Behind a balanced attack that included a 60-yard Von Miller fumble return for a touchdown, a Knowshon Moreno touchdown run and Jacob Tamme touchdown reception, the Broncos controlled the game 24-0 at halftime. Then things took a drastic turn.
The Patriots stormed back in the third quarter, outscoring Denver 21-0 with Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski touchdown receptions, as well as a 1-yard punch in by Brandon Bolden. New England took the lead early in the fourth when Brady connected with Edelman again and pushed the lead to 31-24 after a Stephen Gostkowski field goal.
Providing more drama in the Brady vs. Manning series, Denver tied the game at 31 with about 3:00 left in regulation after Peyton found Demaryius Thomas for an 11-yard touchdown. After the Patriots failed to score on the next possession, the game went into overtime.
Looking like Denver would get one last shot at a win with about 3:00 to play, Tony Carter muffed a punt, which was recovered by the Patriots at the Denver 13. Gostkowski then nailed a 31-yard field goal to shut the door on another classic chapter of Brady vs. Manning. The series now stands at a pretty lopsided 10-4 in favor of Brady.
In other Week 12 action, the New Orleans Saints maintained control of the NFC South after winning their Thursday night rivalry game over the Atlanta Falcons; the Pittsburgh Steelers resurrected their playoff hopes with a win in Cleveland; Minnesota and Bay played to a tie at Lambeau; the Jacksonville Jaguars picked up their second win of the season in Houston; San Diego handed Kansas City their second-straight loss; Cam Newton sparked a fourth quarter rally in the Panthers’ win over the Dolphins; the Dallas Cowboys kept pace in the NFC East after topping the Giants; and the San Francisco 49ers picked up an important win against the Washington Redskins on Monday Night.
Take a look at some of the football cleats that hit the turf in these games and more in today’s NFL Watch.
Tom Brady – Custom Under Armour Football Cleats
Julian Edelman – Nike Lunar Superbad Pro
Kenny Stills – Under Armour Nitro Diablo
Jacoby Jones – Nike Zoom Vapor Carbon Fly
Lawrence Timmons – adidas adizero 5-Star
Tiquan Underwood – Nike Zoom Vapor Carbon Fly
Adrian Peterson – Nike Super Speed 3/4
Eddie Lacy – Under Armour Highlight MC
Maurice Jones-Drew – Nike Lunar Superbad Pro
Ryan Mathews – Under Armour Cam Highlight MC
Cam Newton – Under Armour Highlight ’14
Benny Cunningham – Nike Alpha Pro
Andre Roberts – Under Armour Nitro Diablo
Kendall Wright – adidas adizero 5-Star
Dez Bryant – Air Jordan 12 PE Cleats
Anquan Boldin – Nike Super Speed
images via Yahoo / Getty Images (Al Bello, Robb Carr, Kevin C. Cox, Jonathan Daniel, Mike Ehrmann, Jason Miller, Christian Peterson, Jim Rogash, Gregory Shamus, Jamie Squire, Jason O. Watson, Jared Wickherham) / USA Today (Thomas Campbell, Jeff Curry, Mitch Stringer)
words // Brandon Richard
Despite a tumultuous offseason and a laundry list of injuries, the combination of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady is still finding a way to rack up the wins. It hasn’t been a pretty start to the 2013 for the New England Patriots, but a 4-0 start is an indication that things are business as usual in Foxborough.
Perhaps facing their toughest challenge of the young season, the beaten up Patriots traveled to Atlanta to take on the Falcons on Sunday night. The battle was more defensive than offensive through three quarters, the Patriots holding a slim 13-10 edge heading into the fourth. The both offenses seemed to wake up.
Big LeGarrette Blount found paydirt on the third play of the quarter, running 47 yards to put the Patriots up 20-10. The Falcons answered with a field goal before the Patriots would score another 10 points, including an 18-yard touchdown pass from Brady to Kenbrell Thompkins. Down 30-13, the Falcons rallied late with a Tony Gonzalez touchdown and another field goal, but ultimately fell short in their bid for a comeback. Expected to be a contender in the NFC, the Falcons are now just 1-3, while the Pats will attempt to stay perfect on the road in Cincinnati on Sunday.
Also on the Week 4 schedule, the 49ers got back on track with a Thursday night blowout of the St. Louis Rams; rookie EJ Manuel led the Buffalo Bills to an upset win over the Baltimore Ravens; the Cleveland Browns won their second-straight game after trading Trent Richardson against the rival Bengals; Reggie Bush guided the Detroit Lions to a shootout victory over the Chicago Bears; Richard Sherman’s pick-six of Matt Schaub sparked a late-game Seahawks comeback against the Texans; the Indianapolis Colts destroyed the winless Jacksonville Jaguars 37-3; surprising Kansas City stayed perfect after beating the equally surprising 0-4 New York Giants 31-7; Minnesota handed the Pittsburgh Steelers their first 0-4 start since 1968 in London; Denver continued to roll after posting up 52 points on the Philadelphia Eagles; RG3 and the Washington Redskins got their first win of the season against the Oakland Raiders; and the New Orleans Saints blasted the Miami Dolphins 38-17 in a Monday Night matchup of undefeated teams.
Check out some of the football cleats that hit the field during Week 4 in today’s NFL Watch.
LeGarrette Blount – Nike Air LT 2.1 TD
Tom Brady – Custom Under Armour Cleats
Frank Gore – adidas adizero 5-Star
EJ Manuel – Nike Super Speed 3/4
Jordan Cameron – Nike Alpha Talon Elite
Reggie Bush – Nike CJ81 Elite TD
Richard Sherman – Nike Zoom Vapor Carbon Fly 2 TD
Reggie Wayne – Reebok Zig Blaze
Sean McGrath – Nike Zoom Code Elite 3/4
Greg Jennings – Nike Super Speed 3/4
Larry Fitzgerald – Nike Alpha Pro 3/4 TD
Kendall Wright – adidas adizero 5-Star Mid
Trindon Holliday – Under Armour Blur MC
Pierre Garcon – Nike Alpha Pro Low TD
Antonio Gates – Reebok Zig Blaze
Darren Sproles – Nike Alpha Pro 3/4 TD
images via Yahoo / Getty Images; Sherman image via Seahawks.com