“It still hasn’t totally sunk in yet.”
It’s been a little more than a week since Patriots running back James White powered into the end zone, then made a mad dash toward the goalpost while cannons shot off red, white and blue confetti, all done in the shape of the Lombardi Trophy. White didn’t win the MVP, but his record-setting performance, one that included 14 receptions and 20 points, is still drawing rave reviews.
“I’m not surprised,” Dion Lewis told me. “He’s a playmaker. That’s what he does.”
“I’d say it was unreal but that wouldn’t be giving James enough credit,” said LeGarrette Blount. “He’s made plays for us every single week.”
When Lewis injured his hamstring in the fourth quarter, it helped pave the way for White to get the overtime winner. That TD run would gone to Lewis under normal circumstances, but a popped hamstring meant more White. Safe to say, the Pats benefitted.
“Surreal. Just surreal,” said White, looking back on his career night. “I was just doing whatever it took to get a victory. Had to leave it all out there.”
Said special teams captain Matthew Slater in the immediate aftermath of the win: “James is a professional. He’s put in so much work to become the player that he is.We trust him. Tom obviously trusts him.”
That Tom is Tom Brady, of course, and on Peter King’s MMQB podcast, King pointed out to the Pats QB that he targeted White 16 times in the Super Bowl, a year after throwing the same amount of passes to the running back in the AFC Championship game at Denver.
“It’s because of him,” gushed Brady. “I said this to someone earlier in the season, he’s like my oldest son. He never does anything wrong, so it’s hard to get mad at him. And even if he does something wrong, he didn’t really mean it and he feels worse about it than you do. That’s how James is. He never does anything anything wrong.”
Brady continued, “If it’s blitz pickup, it’s blitz pickup. If it’s run the route and catch the ball, that’s what he does. Make a tough decision, he makes it. He’s just been such a dependable, consistent player, so much in the mold of Kevin Faulk, Danny Woodhead, Shane Vereen, just guys I’ve been in the backfield with who can just do it all. And James has been phenomenal in what he’s been asked to do, from the time he took over for Dion Lewis when he got hurt [against] Washington last year, to this year. He’s just made every play he’s been asked to make.”
When those comments were relayed to him, White chuckled and said, “Tom is the best of all-time so I’ll take it,” before adding, “but there’s still room to get better.” More laughs, but knowing how hard White has worked to get here, he’s not joking.
PHILADELPHIA - Carson Wentz tossed four touchdown passes, and the Philadelphia Eagles overcame losing nine-time Pro Bowl left tackle Jason Peters in a 34-24 win over the Washington Redskins on Monday night.
Wentz threw for 268 yards and ran for a career-best 63 after a shaky start to lead the NFL-best Eagles (6-1) to their fifth straight win. But the victory was costly because Peters was carted off the field with a knee injury in the third quarter.
Kirk Cousins had 303 yards passing and three TDs for the Redskins (3-3).
The Eagles went three-and-out three times in their first four drives and had only 57 total yards before Wentz hit Mack Hollins in stride with a perfect 64-yard TD pass to tie it at 10.
That got the offense rolling.
Wentz connected with Zach Ertz for 46 yards on the next series and found him again for a 4-yard TD pass to make it 17-10.
After getting the second-half kickoff, the Eagles drove 86 yards for another touchdown. Peters was injured during the series, and fans chanted his name while teammates surrounded the cart.
Wentz finished the drive off with a play that Peters would appreciate.
While being hit by two defenders and falling forward, Wentz lofted a 9-yard TD pass to Corey Clement.
Wentz fired a 10-yard TD pass to Nelson Agholor to expand the lead to 31-17. Wentz kept that drive alive by escaping a sack and running 17 yards on third-and-8.
Cousins tossed a 7-yard touchdown pass to Chris Thompson to give the Redskins a 10-3 lead. He connected with Jordan Reed on a 5-yard TD to cut the deficit to 24-17 and threw a 12-yard pass to Reed to cap the scoring.
The Eagles were penalized on four straight plays to start their first possession before Wentz was intercepted by Quinton Dunbar on a deep pass to Torrey Smith on second-and-31.
Philadelphia swept Washington for the first time since 2013 and has a commanding lead in the NFC East. The Cowboys and Redskins are tied for second place.
0:41 - Tom Giles, Michael Holley, and Tom Curran react to the Patriots’ 23-7 win over the Falcons on Sunday night and whether the Patriots deserve to be considered Super Bowl favorites.
6:09 - Is Johnson Bademosi an upgrade over Stephon Gilmore at cornerback for the Patriots? Michael Hurley joins BST to debate with Tom Curran, Michael Holley, and Kayce Smith. They also discuss the defense’s overall improvement in Sunday night’s win.
14:37 - NBC Sports Boston’s Red Sox insider Evan Drellich joins the show to talk about the Red Sox hiring Alex Cora to be their new manager, whether it was the right choice, and how his presence will affect the Red Sox clubhouse.
22:14 - Kayce Smith and Tom Curran discuss Kyrie Irving’s vulgar response to a Philadelphia fan yelling “Where’s LeBron?” at him on Friday night.