After Saturday’s epic 35-31 win over the not afraid Baltimore Ravens, the Patriots are set to host the Indianapolis Colts this coming Sunday in the AFC Championship game. This will be the ninth time the Belichick/Brady duo has played in this game. In a bit of symmetry, yesterday’s Colts win over the Broncos meant that Peyton Manning has gone one-and-done nine times in his career.

The Patriots/Ravens game had a bit of everything you could want in a game, big plays on both sides, stirring comebacks, and razzle-dazzle trick plays, and controversy.

We hear a lot in certain circles about Tom Brady’s performances in the postseason, but this one will certainly go down as one of this best, despite a baffling interception which led to a Ravens touchdown just before the first half.

The biggest conversation following the game has been the Patriots use of an offensive formation in which the Patriots had just four true offensive linemen in the game, and made running back Shane Vareen an ineligible receiver. Ravens coach John Harbaugh was caught off guard by the play, and protested vehemently, coming onto the field and drawing an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

The NFL has since stated that the formation was legal and all reporting requirements for the play were done correctly.

It didn’t stop the Ravens from complaining about it.

“They couldn’t just drive the ball down on us regular. They had to do something tricky,” cornerback Lardarius Webb said.

and

“They did a great job of running the tricks,” cornerback Lardarius Webb said. “They had to trick us to beat us.

That would be like the Patriots saying “The Ravens couldn’t beat us just rushing the passer regular. They had to disguise coverage and try to trick us.

Get all the Patriots coverage at PatriotsLinks.com.

Hot Mess NFL Rulebook Strikes Again – Matt Chatham has a detailed look at the play, and uses it as an example to show how convoluted the NFL rulebook is.

Manning flames out, Patriots will face Colts – Tom E Curran wacks all the sports radio talking points about the Broncos going “all in” this season.

Announcers’ script sounded forced – Chad Finn looks at the awkward segment of NBC’s broadcast in which they showed Roger Goodell at the game and had Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth quickly review the Mueller report and praise Goodell.

TV guide for Oregon-Ohio State; Michaels, Collinsworth help out NFL – Richard Deitsch looks ahead to tonight’s College Football National Championship and also has more on the NBC script.

Boston Celtics Complete Three-Team Trade – Danny Ainge continues to wheel and deal and shuffle his roster. The team announced officially that they have traded Jeff Green to Memphis, and have received Tayshaun Prince and a future first round pick from Memphis, and also guard Austin Rivers from New Orleans. Rivers is expected to be traded again, on to the Clippers, where he will play for his dad, former Celtics coach Doc Rivers.

At some point I’d like the Celtics to trade for a player that might be worth keeping around, but other than possibly Jae Crowder, Ainge seems more focused on obtaining picks.

Catch up with the Celtics at CelticsLinks.com.

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46 thoughts on “Onto Another AFC Title Game.

      1. ha-ha..I know what your talkin bout… thought I was the only one who remembered Clark Booth’s, “How Dare The Patriots Run a Fake Field Goal!!” column..that was like 10 years ago and it still boggles the mind…whatever happened to old Clark?

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  1. That little speech Michaels and Collinsworth had all authenticity of a hostage reading a letter of demands from a jihadist.

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    1. I guess it is good they only had audio of the feed because if the truck went to the stationary camera on AM/CC, it’d show Peter King with 9mm’s pointed at both their heads.

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  2. Saw this on PFT.
    “There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call the Belichick Zone.”

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  3. Someone said that beating Baltimore Saturday was like passing a kidney stone. The implication being that the hard work is behind us. I don’t particularly subscribe to that, especially with the Seahawks looming three weeks hence should the ‘easy’ Colts succumb at Gillette. But the bigger issue is that the oft-tiresome Manning-Brady debate no longer resonates. Manning’s nine ‘one-and-done’ seasons create an echo-chamber all by itself now, which will only grow louder in the off season.

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    1. Though I expect the Patriots to win the game, I’m certainly not looking past the Colts. That said, lots of fans and media fear the Seahawks, but I don’t really get it. I see NE and SEA as 1 and 1A in the league. Not saying the Patriots would roll over them, but I’d definitely call it a toss-up on a neutral field. Do the Seahawks match-up extremely well with teams who have finesse offenses and softer defenses (looking in your direction, Denver)? Absolutely. But the Patriots are not that at all. Physical on both sides of the ball. And I’d say the Patriots offense would have a slightly better chance of success against the Seahawks defense than Seattle’s offense would have against NE’s D.

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  4. Yup. I know Faulk did say, “Belichick will do anything to win.” The implication was clear. What a bitter, bitter man he is. Wish someone would ask him why his coach kept calling pass plays in the Super Bowl against the Patriots, when BB and Crennel’s defensive scheme was clearly aimed at stopping the pass and cutting Faulk loose to run the ball as much as he wanted (very similar to BB’s “hall of fame” gameplan against the Bills in Super Bowl 25). THAT, along with the Rams’ three turnovers (which had nothing to do with DEFENSIVE signal stealing), is the reason why the Patriots won that game.

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    1. Oh my goodness. That’s just awful. The beginning of the KC game was nothing like this game. In fact, at no point during the Baltimore game did it look like any part of the KC game. It goes to show you that he won’t let facts get in the way of the truth.

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    1. Shocking some one who did some research. Looks like most of the local media takes one in the backside again lol

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  5. Am I the only person who thinks Zolack is a complete incompetent and the worst ever heard any-freakin’-where?

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    1. No, you’re not

      I actually thought he did quite well as a sideline reporter last year. But now that he’s in the booth he’s completely terrible.

      (And if you mean as a talkshow host, he’s always been horrible. Unlike many of the other mediots he’s not quite horrible in terms of agena-driven ax-grinding #hotsportztakez, but he is absolutely horrible in terms of basic talkshow host competence.)

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    2. As a show co-host, he’s terrible. Before he had that gig, you’d only see him on Patriots post game shows or maybe Sports Final, and in those venues he tried too hard and NEVER shut up. I can actually remember the guys appearing with him chuckling on camera at how bad it was. But once he got his own show, his style quickly devolved into some weird frat boy nonsense where just yells random things when he has nothing to add — which is often.

      His career as a color man for the Patriots has followed a similar trajectory. When he was the sideline reporter, he inappropriately dominated the broadcast. It somewhat made sense cause the two old men were god awful at that point, but it was still overkill. As soon as Zolak was paired up with “Cookie Cutter” Socci (aka Dale Arnold 2.0) in the booth, the frat boy shtick reared its ugly head. It’s embarrassing to listen to, but someone behind the scenes must be telling him it’s gold cause he just keeps going with it.

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      1. Zolak has shown signs of improvement this season…

        Fewer “radio show co-host hot takes” and slightly more “radio color man for a live event” competency.

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    3. I had to read your comment about 6 times just try and figure out what you were talking about, so be careful on who you’re calling incompetent.

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  6. Where is Tanguay on the early edition? We get a big win and Comcast has Dalen Cuff with Merloni. I’m not sure what Cuff’s pedigree is but he is mumbling like Erin Andrews to start the show. I hope Minihane isn’t watching or he will go off. Minihane is a nut. Just ask him. Can we all agree?

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  7. MIKE YOUR RIGHT!!! THE BRONCOS ARE ALL IN FOR THIS YEAR. OH WAIT THEY JUST FIRED THE COACH AND STAFF AND THERE IS UPHEAVAL IN THE LOCKER ROOM. ALL THERE SKILL PLAYERS ARE FREE AGENTS AND NO ONE WANTS TO PLAY WITH MANNING ANYMORE…BUT BUTT MY SORE BUTT MIKE HOW ARE GOING MOVE THE GOAL POSTS ON THIS ONE

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    1. Mike, Mannings SUCKS. He SUCKED in that game. The Colts didn’t win that game, Manning lost it because he SUCKS. So, so, tiresome.

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  8. How great is it to tune into DB & YARM after a win to hear them tell YOU how lucky YOU were that YOU…DIDN’T lose the game, but YOU could have. Probably should have. You were lucky to win so lets treat it like a loss. *sarcasm*

    I swear to god, I’m halfway through the podcast and if somebody walked in the room and started listening cold turkey, they would never believe the Patriots won or that they were listening to a Boston radio station.

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  9. Dean Blandino did not help himself on yesterday’s Dan Patrick show. When asked about the ineligible reporting by Shane Vereen he correctly says the Pats followed the rules, Vereen reported, the refs announced and the Pats snapped the ball. His problem is he hedged when it came to discussing Harbaugh’s complaint that the Ravens did not have enough time to adjust. Rather than saying this is something that the league will look at in the offseason to make sure their policies are fair…as he said…what he should have said was, this issue is closed, the Ravens had time to diagnosis the play, if they were unsure they could have called a time out which is why they have them. Instead he makes this a story a moment longer than it needs to be. He had a chance to slam the door on that one and instead he is going to let it linger. And people wonder why Fred Smerlls thinks the league is against the Pats.

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  10. The Rhodes Scholars who played for the Steelers (Porter and Harrison, in particular) have been whining for years now. “They stole all of our blitz calls. That’s why they beat us in those AFC championship games. They cheated us out of two more Super Bowls.” Yes, I’m sure it had nothing to do with the 7 turnovers their offense committed over those two AFC title games (including a devastating Pick-Six by Roethlisberger in the ’04 game); or the two massive special teams gaffes Pittsburgh committed in ’01 game alone. Morons.

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  11. So let speculate…who was Minihan referring to this morning when he said several times that a Boston radio host will be fired (or out of a job) in the next 90 days. Was he just trolling people or was he serious and who do you think it was? They kept playing soundbites of Mazz and Toucher in the background….hmmmm…..

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    1. It’s got to be from 98.5 cause I can’t imagine ‘EEI being pleased with one of their own hosts gloating over the demise of another one. I’d love for it to be Mazz, but Felger would never allow it. Since I predicted T&R would be out by the end of 2015, I’m going to go with them. And the fact that the rival morning show is alluding to it only adds to the likelihood.

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  12. For DB and YARM, they really hit their stride in terms of Patriots hate and footie-pajama trolling in the 2011 Patriots season. That was the season where I believe the term “tomato can” came into existence. It was also the season when I stopped taking DB & YARM seriously as an actual forum for anything more than sad, contrarian radio. Every week there was no way they would give the Patriots any credit for anything. EVERY WEEK they managed to somehow suck the enjoyment out of a Patriots victory.

    For example, if they Pats won that week, then it was a team they should have beaten (i.e. “tomato can”) so what the heck are all you Patriots fans so happy about anyway? If they lost, it just proved that the Patriots weren’t that good and couldn’t beat the good teams. It was a bulletproof formula then (despite being completely devoid of logic), and it’s more or less what they’ve stuck with in terms of game analysis since.

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    1. Ah yes, 2011. That was the year when CSNNE kept playing the same ad for their Felger & Mazz simulcasts which featured Mazz yelling (presumably about BB): “How about bringing in some players and winning some football games!!!!” They played it all season long, starting in August and all the way up to, and including the day the Pats won the AFC championship game to advance to the Super Bowl. So, I guess they won a few football games that year after all.

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    2. Reminds me of the same thing Bayless got ‘famous’ for on FT. I’m sure he was doing this to others before the fact, but it’s the one I can recall the best.

      LeBron not winning it all? No clutch gene like #23.
      LeBron wins it? It was only because he had help (Bosh, Wade).

      I know that’s for hoopheads to debate but the “you just can’t win.”

      Which, speaking of LeBron, why hasn’t ESPN, when they do one of these “megacasts” introduce ESPNLeBron?

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  13. Wow. 4 for 4 today. 2 doubles with the Tanguay and Zolak jokes, and 2 dingers with “Trust Fund Kirk” and “Mazz nibbling at Mike’s taint.” Well done, sir

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  14. Anybody expecting DB and YARM to change their stance on the whole Denver Horses vs New England Ponies debate….well….HAHAH, nope. They dug their heels in and fought even harder in the 3rd hour today.

    Admit they were wrong?! Hahaha…you poor, dumb sonofabitch….no chance. Cap is crap for the Patriots, but Denver manages it well. Just because NE went further with their philosophy than Denver did with theirs, well..that means nothing, caller! Nothing!

    We’re so blessed to have this wonderful brand of sports talk radio for five more years, aren’t we? The envy of America.

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    1. Unreal trolling. Felger, a self-proclaimed “scoreboard” follower of sports, praises the one-and-done Broncos for their approach and rips the Patriots for theirs.

      This after last season when he trolled Patriots fans by saying something to the effect of… ‘The Broncos and Peyton Manning may have put up a stinker in the Super Bowl, but they still advanced further than YOU. Advantage Broncos in the 2014-2015 season.’

      So the same rule doesn’t apply this year because of your perpetual issue with the Patriots and their perceived lack of spending? Got it.

      DeMarcus Ware and Aqib Talib looked great against the Colts, by the way. Ware was a non-factor, and Talib managed to stay on the field, but played an awful game.

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  15. Aside from the fact that he has no idea how to analyze a game but only yells and cheer leads, no sense of timing when to STFU, and worst of all, has that horrid western Pennsylvania hillbilly accent, I agree with you. It’s always nice to hear from his brother in law.

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