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Denver Broncos Seattle Seahawks: 2014 NFL Championship Weekend Review

The Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks will battle in Super Bowl XLVIII, Sunday, February 3 in MetLife Stadium, New York, New York. The game will be covered by Fox Sports with kickoff at approximately 6:30pm ET.

The Broncos (AFC) and Seahawks (NFC) both enter the game as the number one seed from the respective American Football Conference and National Football Conferences, and both come into the game as the best at what they do: the Broncos are the top scoring offence in the NFL, while the Seahawks are the league’s top defence. Come Super Bowl Sunday, one of those will have to give in.

So how did the teams get this far. Here is a quick review:

The Denver Broncos finished first in the AFC West with a 13-3 record, edging out the Kansas City Chiefs (11-5) for the division crown. The Broncos then faced the San Diego Chargers (9-7) in the Divisional Playoff round, winning that game by 24-17 score.

In the AFC Championship game, the Broncos met their old nemesis in the New England Patriots, who were led by Tom Brady. The Broncos jumped out to a quick 13-3 lead at the half, then extended that to 20-3 heading into the final 15 minute segment, before closing out the 26-16 win. Denver was now heading to the franchises’ 6th Super Bowl, having won twice in back to back wins in 1997 and 1998, led by QB John Elway, who is now the club’s President.

The Seattle Seahawks also finished first in the NFC West with a 13-3 record, squeezing by the defending NFC Champs San Francisco 49ers (12-4) for the divisional crown. In the Divisional Round of the playoffs, the Hawks met up with the New Orleans Saints, who were led by quarterback Drew Brees, prevailing 23-15.

In the NFC Championship game, the Seahawks met up with divisional rival 49ers, who jumped out to a 10-0 first half lead. The Hawks then cut into the lead for a 10-3 halftime deficit. Marshawn Lynch then rumbled for a 40-yard touchdown run to knot the game at 10-10 midway through the 3rd quarter. After some back and forth scoring, the Hawks then led 23-17 as the Niners marched in the final minute for the winning score. But an interception in the endzone ended San Fran’s thoughts of a comeback win, and Seattle was on its way to the team’s second-ever Super Bowl. The last time they were in the big game was in 2006 in Detroit, dropping a 21-10 decision to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Denver Broncos Tackle the New England Patriots for 2014 AFC Championship

The Denver Broncos host the New England Patriots in the National Football Conference’s Championship game this coming Sunday, January 19 at Sports Authority Field in Denver. Kickoff is 3pm ET, with the game being shown on CBS Sports Network.

The winner of the AFC Championship game will meet the winner of the NFC Championship game between the number one seeded Seattle Seahawks and the number five seeded San Francisco 49ers. The two winners will play Sunday, Feb 2nd in the National Football League’s Super Bowl XLVIII in New York, New York. It will also mark the very first ‘cold’ weather game to played outdoors in Super Bowl history.

Bookmakers have pegged the Broncos as the better team, with the Denver sitting as a 5-point favorite, while most expect the game to be a more high scoring affair as the Total for this AFC Championship is set at 51.

Both teams have superstar quarterbacks, with the Broncos led by Peyton Manning while the Patriots will have Tom Brady behind center. Both QBs have won Super Bowls, Brady with three and Manning the one, so each have been through the wars and nothing is expected to catch them by surprise. Even the weather is looking cooperate, as temperatures are expected to be in the mid-50s with very little wind.

Besides both teams being led by all-World quarterbacks, there are other similarities between the two teams. Both have potent, high scoring offences, each finishing in the top 5 for both yards and scoring. The Pats are on a real surge offensively at the moment, having scored an average of almost 40-points per game over their last four games. The Broncos set an NFL record this year for most points scored (606), and Manning set a new NFL mark for touchdown passes with 55. Even while missing his top three receivers from last year, Brady has still been able to keep the Patriots at the top of their offensive game, but this year they have done it with a more balanced attack, featuring the bludgeoning running of LaGarrett Blount, which has helped to set up the playaction pass for Brady.

Both defences, meanwhile, have struggled at times, both finished at the bottom on the league. Denver at 19th overall while the Patriots’ young defence ended up at 26th, but have been improving a lot of late.

This will also be the 15th time that Brady and Manning have met, with Brady having won nine of those contests.

Denver, the number one seed in the AFC, has made it to the championship game by virtue of a 13-3 regular season record, and a home playoff win over San Diego last week in the Divisional Round. The Patriots finished with a 12-4 regular season mark, giving it the number 2 seed in the AFC. Last week the Patriots hammered the visiting Indianapolis Colts by a 43-22 count.

Seattle Seahawks Battle the San Francisco 49ers for 2014 NFC Championship

The San Francisco 49ers visit Seattle to tackle the Seahawks in the National Football Conference’s Championship this coming Sunday, January 19 at Century Link Field. Kickoff is at 6:30pm ET, with the game being show nationally on the Fox Sports network.

The winner of the NFC Championship game will meet the winner of the AFC Championship game between the number one seeded Denver Broncos and the number two seed New England Patriots. The two winners will play Sunday, Feb 2nd in the National Football League’s Super Bowl XLVIII in New York, New York. It will also mark the very first ‘cold’ weather game to played outdoors in Super Bowl history.

Bookmakers see this game as a virtual toss-up, with the Hawks being made a 3-point favorite because of the home field advantage, while all expect the game to be very low scoring as the Total for this NFC Championship is set at 39.

On Sunday, the Niners and Hawks will be meeting as virtual mirror images of each other: both having very strong defences, strong running attacks (Niners’ Frank Gore and the Seahawks’ Marshawn Lynch) and young athletic quarterbacks (Niners Colin Kaepernick and the Hawks Russell Wilson). And both are led by their coaches who both were in the Pac 10 just four years ago.

The 49ers are led by Jim Harbaugh, while the Seahawks have Pete Carroll leading the way. Both teams flat out hate each other, as do both coaches, who’ve both had personal run-ins with each other over the years, in both the Pac 10 and in the NFL.

Head to head this year, the two teams split the two games, each winning in their home parks. The Seahawks thumped the Niners 27-3 back in week 2, while the Niners squeaked out a 19-17 win just four weeks ago, the gaming winning field goal booted with less than a minute remaining in the game.

Both teams are both going into the game quite healthy, with the biggest name in question being Seattle Wideout Percy Harvin, who is listed as questionable because of the NFL-mandated concussion protocol, as Harvin missed the second half of last week’s game against the New Orleans Saints with a concussion.

San Francisco, the number 5 seed in the NFC, has made it to the big NFC game by virtue of a 12-4 regular season record, and road playoff wins over both Green Bay and Carolina. Seattle had a 13-3 regular season mark, giving it the number 1 seed in the NFC. Last week the Hawks squeezed by the visiting New Orleans Saints by a 23-15 count.

Super Bowl 47 Preview: Baltimore Ravens vs San Francisco 49ers

Quarterbacks will be front and center when the AFC champion Baltimore Ravens battle the NFC champion 49ers from San Francisco this Sunday, Feb 3rd in New Orleans, looking to hoist the Vince Lombardi trophy in Super Bowl XLVII.

Colin Kaepernick will be under center for the Niners when kickoff ensues at 6:30pm ET Sunday, while the Ravens will have Joe Flacco leading the way, as the two teams look to add another notch to their respective team’s Super Bowl belts. The 49ers have claimed five championships for their franchise, while the Ravens are looking to add to the one win they claimed back in 2001.

Sportsbook odds makers have the 49ers as the slight favorites, giving them a 3.5 point handicap with the Total now sitting at 47 points.

Kaepernick has been especially impressive since he took over from the incumbent quarterback Alex Smith mid-way through the 2012 season, displaying an ability to not only throw the ball down the field, but using his legs to confuse defences, which was on display when he rushed for an NFL rushing playoff record for a quarterback by hauling the ball 183 yards during a big win over the Green Bay Packers in the divisional round. Flacco has been equally impressive by throwing eight TDs and zero interceptions while spearheading an attack that has knocked off some of the best QBs in the game in Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, during wins over the Denver Broncos and New England Patriots.

On the defensive side of the ball, the 49ers have arguably the best front seven in football, and boast one of the top 3 defenses in the NFL statistically. They have one of the top rush ends in Aldon Smith, DT Justin Smith, middle linebacker Patrick Willis and outside linebacker NaVarro Bowman. The Ravens have been defined by their defence over the past decade, led by all-world middle linebacker Ray Lewis. However this year, the Ravens have struggled to slow down top offences and sat in the middle of the pack, but key to this drop has been injuries to key players such as Lewis, safeties Ed Reed and Bernard Pollard, as well as outside linebacker Jameel McLain.

On the offensive side of the ball, the Niners have Frank Gore leading the way on the ground as one of the best running backs, as well as long time stretch receiver Randy Moss, and wide out Michael Crabtree, who’s become the go-to guy for Kaepernick on 3rd down. For the Ravens, Torrey Smith is the man when it comes to big plays, but Baltimore also has solid receiving weapons in Anquan Boldin and Tight end Jacoby Jones. Ray Rice is the man when it comes to running ball, but he’s also a definite threat to catch the ball out of the backfield, especially on 3rd and long when Flacco has to check down.

2013 NFL Playoffs: AFC and NFC Championship Weekend Review

After an exciting championship weekend in the NFL, the Super Bowl matchup is now set as the San Francisco 49ers will face the Baltimore Ravens in New Orleans on Sunday, February 3rd, 2013. Let’s take a look and see how each team made it to the big game.

You can always bet the spread, total and moneyline, as well as a myriad of prop bets throughout the game.

NFC Championship Game

The Atlanta Falcons raced out to another big lead in the first half this week just like they did in the divisional round against the Seattle Seahawks. Behind the solid play of quarterback Matt Ryan and receiver Julio Jones, the Falcons built a 17 point first half lead. However, San Francisco made some excellent halftime adjustments and quickly got back into the game early in the second half. Once the 49ers were able to force a couple of turnovers and convert those turnovers into points, the Atlanta Falcons appeared to play a bit more passive, possibly being worried about blowing another large lead.

The 49ers eventually went ahead with 8:23 to play in the fourth quarter thanks to a Frank Gore nine yard touchdown run. With plenty of time left on the clock, the Falcons tried to march down the field for the game winning touchdown but eventually came up shot when they could not convert on fourth and four on the San Francisco 10 yard line.

AFC Championship Game

The AFC Championship game was a rematch from a year ago and did not disappoint NFL fans. Tom Brady and the New England Patriots came out firing on offense and built 13-7 halftime lead over the Baltimore Ravens. After scoring 10 points in the second quarter, Patriots fans had to be thinking that their team had finally figured a way to move the ball against the Ravens and that they would cruise in the second half. However, that was not the case the Baltimore Ravens put the clamps down on the Patriots and did not allow a single point in the second half while scoring 21 points of their own.

The turning point in the game came early in the fourth quarter when Bernard Pollard laid a huge hit on running back Stevan Ridley who then fumbled the ball and it was recovered by Baltimore. The Ravens had just taken a 21-13 lead two minutes earlier and needed to come up with a big stop, which they did when they recovered the fumble. Four plays after the turnover Joe Flacco hit Anquain Bolden for another touchdown and the Ravens went up 28-13 and appeared to have the game in hand.

With two hard hitting defenses winning their respective conference’s championship game, the Super Bowl promises to be another exciting game in what has been an overall highly entertaining NFL playoffs.

2013 NFL Playoffs – Divisional Round Matchups

The NFL playoffs will keep rolling along this weekend as the Divisional Round is set to get underway. Both of the top two seeds in each conference will play their first playoff game of the year this weekend and should be well rested after having a bye last weekend. The San Francisco 49ers and Atlanta Falcons were the two biggest beneficiaries of the bye week as the defensive units for both teams needed the time off to let some injuries heal.

Baltimore Ravens at Denver Broncos – 4:30 PM ET Saturday, January 12th

The Baltimore Ravens will travel to Denver to face the Denver Broncos on Saturday afternoon. These two teams met in week 15 of the regular season with the Denver Broncos thoroughly defeating the Baltimore Ravens in Baltimore by a final score of 34-17. In that game, Peyton Manning appeared to be in full control of the Denver offense as he was directing players all over the field en route to a 31-3 third quarter lead.

The offense for the Baltimore Ravens seemingly figured some things out in the second half of last weekend’s playoff victory over the Indianapolis Colts. All in all, the Ravens racked up 441 yards of total offense. Without two Ray Rice fumbles, the final score could have been a lot more lopsided than the 24-9 final.

Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers – 8:00 PM ET Saturday, January 12th

The Green Bay Packers will travel west to take on the San Francisco 49ers on Saturday night in what is also a rematch from the regular season. Way back in week one, the San Francisco 49ers defeated the Green Bay Packers by a final score of 30-22. Alex Smith was still the quarterback for the 49ers and the Green Bay Packers were still trying to sort out their offensive line issues. Since that game, both teams have taken on a new identity with Green Bay getting back to having a potent passing attack while Colin Kaepernick has taken over the quarterback position for the 49ers and provided a more explosive offensive punch.

In their victory over the Minnesota Vikings in round one of the playoffs, the Green Bay Packers spread the ball around to ten different receivers. With more players getting healthy for the Packers, quarterback Aaron Rodgers will have several excellent targets down field to get the ball to and should have another fine passing day so long as he has time in the pocket.

Seattle Seahawks at Atlanta Falcons – 1:00 PM ET Sunday, January 13th

The Seattle Seahawks will look to upset the top seed Atlanta Falcons on Sunday afternoon after defeating Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins on the road in the first round of the playoffs. Seattle will once again turn to their excellent defense in this game as they look to stop Matt Ryan and the Atlanta passing attack. Wide receivers Julio Jones and Roddy White will need to have a big game if the Falcons are going to move on to the NFC championship game as the Falcons have struggled to run the ball all season long.

If the Seattle Seahawks are able to move the ball effectively and efficiently on the ground against the Atlanta Falcons like they did against the Washington Redskins, it could be a long day for Matt Ryan and company as the Falcons will not have many opportunities to put points on the board.

Houston Texans at New England Patriots – 4:30 PM ET Sunday, January 13th

In another rematch from the regular season, the Houston Texans will travel to Foxborough to take on the New England Patriots. When these two teams met earlier in the year, the New England Patriots easily defeated the Houston Texans by a final score of 42-14. Tom Brady led the Patriots to a 21-0 halftime lead and they never looked back after that as he finished the game with 296 yards passing and four touchdowns.

In their victory over the Cincinnati Bengals in round of the AFC playoffs, the Houston Texans play a much more inspired game on defense. J.J. Watt was constantly getting pressure on Cincinnati’s quarterback Andy Dalton. In order for the Texans to prevail on Sunday against the Patriots, Watt will need to do much of the same while Arian Foster will need to shoulder more of the offensive load.

2012-2013 NFL Potential Playoff Analysis

With five weeks to go in the 2012 NFL season, the playoff picture is starting to take shape. A handful of teams are still alive in the wild card races in both the NFC and AFC, which should make for an exciting finish to the NFL season.

If the season ended today, the current playoff seeding in the NFC would be the following:

1. Atlanta Falcons
2. San Francisco 49ers
3. Chicago Bears
4. New York Giants
5. Green Bay Packers
6. Seattle Seahawks

The Falcons and 49ers would receive first round byes with the Bears facing the Seahawks and the Giants facing the Packers in round one. Both of those games would be rematches from the regular season as the Green Bay Packers just lost to the New York Giants on November 25th and the Bears will host the Seahawks on December 2nd.

Both Tampa Bay and Minnesota are 6-5 along with the Seahawks, but Seattle gets the last wild card spot because of a tie breaker based on best win percentage in conference games over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and a head to head tie break over the Minnesota Vikings.

The Washington Redskins, Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints are all 5-6 and not out of the playoff picture just yet, but time is certainly not on their side as each of those teams needs to start winning games on a consistent basis.

The AFC playoff picture is a little clearer than the NFC at this point. The current division leaders and playoff seedings if the season ended today are the following:

1. Houston Texans
2. Baltimore Ravens
3. New England Patriots
4. Denver Broncos
5. Indianapolis Colts
6. Pittsburgh Steelers

The first round playoff matchups would see the Patriots play the Steelers and Peyton Manning would face his old team as the Broncos would play the Colts. Indianapolis has the inside track on one of the two wild card spots with their 7-4 record. The Pittsburgh Steelers desperately need Ben Roethlisberger to return to the lineup as they are just 6-5 and tied with the Cincinnati Bengals in the standings, but hold the tie break advantage over the Bengals based on head-to-head win percentage.

The Miami Dolphins are right behind the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals with a 5-6 record, and still in the hunt for the last wild card spot. The San Diego Chargers, Tennessee Titans, New York Jets and Buffalo Bills are not completely eliminated from the final wild card position at 4-7, but one of these teams would more than likely have to run the table to grab the sixth and final playoff spot.

2012 NFL Early Season Review & Updated Odds to win Superbowl

The 2012 NFL season is now just over one-third complete and teams are starting to show their true colors. All of the preseason prognostications are being evaluated as the season unfolds, and some teams are far exceeding expectations while others are struggling to live up to their fanbase’s lofty expectations. Let’s take a closer look at some of the compelling storylines going on in the NFL this season.

Biggest Surprises

The Arizona Cardinals are certainly one of the bigger surprises this season. With a 4-3 record, and just one game behind the NFC West division leading San Francisco 49ers, the Arizona Cardinals are a surprise to be in the hunt for a division title at this point in the season. The Cardinals’ quarterback situation leading into the season was one of the biggest question marks around the league, but Kevin Kolb has performed well when healthy and John Skelton has done OK in his absence. The defense for Arizona has been the real reason why the team is playing so well, and should continue to be a bright spot for team in the defensive minded NFC West.

The other biggest surprise to date in the NFL has been the play of the Minnesota Vikings. Minnesota had a lot of question marks coming into the season as well, especially the health of running back Adrian Peterson. However, after offseason knee surgery, Peterson appears to be back to his old self while quarterback Christian Ponder has improved immensely in his second season. If both players continue to play at their current level, the Vikings could make some noise in the postseason.

Biggest Underperformers

The New Orleans Saints are probably the biggest underachiever to date in the NFL. Many people were trying to predict how the teams’ offseason issues would affect their play on the field before the season began. As it turns out, the loss of head coach Sean Payton was a bigger deal than some people predicted as the Saints stumbled out of the gate to an 0-4 record. A porous defense was the main reason why the Saints struggled early. However, after winning their last two games, New Orleans may be turning their season around just in time to make a playoff push.

The Detroit Lions, a playoff team a year ago, has been another disappointing team early in the season. With just a 2-3 record, the Lions find themselves at the bottom of the NFC North. Early season losses to Tennessee on the road and Minnesota at home were a bit of a shock at the time as Detroit was expected to possibly contend for a division title. Quarterback Matthew Stafford has not performed up to the level he did a year ago, which has caused the offense to sputter at times. A tough remaining schedule could make it difficult for the Lions to reach the playoffs again in 2012.

Meeting Expectations

While there have been a handful of teams that have overachieved and underperformed thus far in the season, there are more teams that are meeting their expectations and performing a level where everyone thought they would before the NFL season began.

The Houston Texans are certainly a team that is living up the preseason hype. Playing in the weak AFC South division, the Houston Texans were expected to roll to a division title and make some noise in the playoff this year. After a 6-1 start, the Texans are living up to those expectations and have had only one bad game this season, a 42-24 loss at home to the Green Bay Packers.

The Atlanta Falcons are another team that is meeting expectations this season, cruising to a 6-0 record. A lot of NFL experts expected the Falcons to be good and possibly contend for the number one seed in the NFC. Quarterback Matt Ryan is leading an explosive passing offense while the defense is one of the better units in the league. Also, with the fact that the New Orleans Saints are struggling this season, the NFC South is not nearly competitive as it appeared it was going to be in the preseason.

Odds to Win the Super Bowl

With seven weeks in the NFL now complete, the playoff picture is starting to take shape and the Super Bowl contenders are starting to separate themselves from the rest of the pack. Below are the current Super Bowl odds for some of the biggest surprises, underachievers and contenders.

San Francisco 49ers +500
Houston Texans +500
New England Patriots +600
Atlanta Falcons +700
New Orleans Saints +4500
Minnesota Vikings +5000
Arizona Cardinals +7000
Detroit Lions +10000

Super Bowl XLVII Hosted by New Orleans February 3, 2013

The 47th edition, Super Bowl XLVII, will be played February 3rd, 2013 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. And because it’s annually the biggest single sports day in North America, the 2013 Mardis Gras calendar in Orleans Parish will be changed. This will be the 10th time the city of New Orleans has hosted the Super Bowl, the most of any host city in Super Bowl history.

It will be the first Super Bowl to be held in New Orleans since the Superdome sustained damage from Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

The game will be carried by CBS, which plans on charging a record high US$4,000,000 for each thirty-second advertisement. CTV will be the Canadian carrier.

Even after coming up on the short end of the score in last year’s National Football League championship game, the New England Patriots are the oddsmakers’ early favorite to win next season’s Super Bowl. The Patriots are 5-1 to win the 2013 Super Bowl by oddsmakers.

The Green Bay Packers, who had a 15-1 record during the regular season before losing to the Giants in the NFC playoffs, are listed as the second favorite at 11-2, according to offshore sportsbooks.

The Pittsburgh Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles are both listed at 6-1, followed by the Giants at 8-1. The Giants finished ahead of the Eagles this season to make the playoffs as the National Football Conference’s East division winner.

The New Orleans Saints and San Francisco 49ers have 10-1 odds, with the San Diego Chargers and Houston Texans at 12-1. The other New York team, the Jets, are tied for the 13th-best odds among 32 NFL teams at 20-1.

The Giants’ odds of winning the Super Bowl at the start of the 2011 season were 25-1, while the the Patriots were the pre-season favorites at 9-2.


  • New England Patriots 5-1
  • Green Bay Packers 11-2
  • Pittsburgh Steelers 6-1
  • Philadelphia Eagles 6-1
  • New York Giants 8-1
  • New Orleans Saints 10-1
  • San Francisco 49ers 10-1
  • San Diego Chargers 12-1
  • Houston Texans 12-1
  • Chicago Bears 17-1
  • Detroit Lions 18-1
  • Atlanta Falcons 18-1
  • Dallas Cowboys 20-1
  • Baltimore Ravens 20-1
  • New York Jets 20-1
  • Indianapolis Colts 25-1
  • Tennessee Titans 30-1
  • Cincinnati Bengals 30-1
  • Buffalo Bills 50-1
  • Kansas City Chiefs 50-1
  • Seattle Seahawks 50-1
  • Denver Broncos 50-1
  • Carolina Panthers 50-1
  • Miami Dolphins 50-1
  • St. Louis Rams 50-1
  • Oakland Raiders 60-1
  • Minnesota Vikings 60-1
  • Arizona Cardinals 60-1
  • Cleveland Browns 75-1
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers 100-1
  • Washington Redskins 125-1
  • Jacksonville Jaguars 150-1

NY Giants Battle Favorite NE Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI

The New York Giants and the New England Patriots will pick up where they left off in 2008, playing for NFL supremacy, playing Sunday, Feb 5th in Indianapolis, kickoff at 6:30pm ET.

The Giants won that first Super Bowl encounter with New England and the Patriots are looking for revenge four years later. Tom Brady has lost in the Super Bowl only once and this is the game he wants to prove that he and Bill Belichik are the greatest head coach/quarterback combination of all time.

The Patriots have opened as a 3-point favorite and the line has moved up and down several times since it was posted. The line currently sits at 3.5 and the money is tipping in favor of the Patriots at a 51% clip. Brady and the Patriots can dominate the game if Rob Gronkowski turns up healthy and stays healthy throughout the game.

The Moneyline is a small number for bettors looking for an outright Giants win. The Giants are +145 on the Moneyline and the public is eating it up. The bettors are hammering the Moneyline with 75% of the action coming down on the Giants. The Over/Under on the game is settled at 54 after opening at 56 with 53% of the public hitting the Under.

The New England Patriots enter the game 10-8 Against the Spread for the season and Belichik has never been a coach to concern himself with the point spread or Superbowl betting numbers. The Patriots failed to cover their first playoff game before blowing out an inferior Denver Broncos team.

The New York Giants are 11-7-1 Against the Spread and they have a history of playing better against a favorite. This is the reason the public initially jumped on the Giants but once Gronkowski is announced as a starter, the betting patterns will trend towards the Patriots.