Patriots

Putting SB XLVI behind us

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Putting SB XLVI behind us

You ever had a really bad break up? And I dont mean bad in the sense that there was a lot of screaming and throwing things and wishing each other dead. I mean bad in the sense that it ripped your heart out. That it sent you into a tailspin and left you entirely unprepared to cope with reality.

If your answers no, then Id like to extend a hearty smack in the face on behalf of the other 99 of the population. If your answer is no, AND youre a Patriots fan, then take a second and think back to Super Bowl XLII.

Think about 18-1. David Tyree. Asante Samuel. That ridiculous red sweatshirt. Think about what it was like in the days and weeks after the Pats lost what would have been one of the most monumental games in NFL history.

Got it?

Thats the feeling.

Youre one of us now. You passed the test.

A lot happens when we find ourselves reeling from that kind of emotional sucker punch. We hurt a lot. We learn a lot. We find ways to persevere, and eventually move on.

But as part of the healing process, in celebration of finally seeing the light, theres a pledge that many of us make to ourselves:

Let's never feel this way again.

Its probably not the healthiest way to go about life. But whatever, it comes with the territory. The bottom line is that anyones whos been through a horrible break up never wants to feel that way again. Theyll do anything they can to prevent it.

Which brings us to Super Bowl XLVI.

I get the sense that most Patriots fans have spent the last seven months trying to pretend that Indianapolis never happened. I know I have. And I know that has a lot to do with 2007.

Why? Because it's impossible to deal with the emotions and ramifications of last year's loss without eventually finding yourself back in Arizona. It's impossible. It's all connected. And no one wants to go back down that road.

But at some point, we'll have to.

A friend e-mailed me this morning with two photos of Wes Welker. I'm not sure why he felt like ruining day, but what can you do? The first photo shows Welker in the air with the ball in his hands. And let me emphasize: The ball was not just touching his hands. It was IN his hands. The second photo shows Welker falling to the ground with his arms failing at a ball that's now barely out of reach. If it's been a while since you ate lunch, you can check out the photos here.

My buddy wrote: "This affects me in a weird way, like I kinda want to cry. All that hard work for 8 months, the legacies of Welker and Brady, comes down to that. I have this creepy feeling that Brady wont win another, its just so hard, you need a lot of things to go your way and last season they got lucky to be there and were so close."

And I think that pretty much sums it up.

First of all, the drop. Or if you don't want to call it a drop, let's put it this way: "A Tom Brady pass to a wide open Wes Welker was the difference between the Patriots and a fourth ring . . . and they still have three." That's devastating.

But more than anything, the most haunting aspect of last year's Super Bowl are the questions:

Was that it? Was that Brady's last shot? Is this Welker's legacy?

Unfortunately, it may be a while before we find a reasonable answer to any of those questions. But at the very least, the Pats will start the process on Sunday in Tennessee.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Belichick: Karras stepping in an illustration of why Patriots are good

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Belichick: Karras stepping in an illustration of why Patriots are good

Is it Tom Brady? Is it Bill Belichick? Well, yes and yes. But there are other reasons for why the Patriots are 8-2, obviously, and Belichick highlighted one of them by lauding one of the most unsung players on his 53-man active roster.

What Ted Karras did on Sunday -- filling in against the Raiders as the starting center in place of David Andrews -- was just one of many examples of a player making the most of an opportunity presented to him, Belichick explained.

PATRIOTS 33, RAIDERS 8

"Ted always works hard," he said after the Patriots beat the Raiders, 33-8. "Nobody spends more time at the facility than he does. Training. Preparing. He had an opportunity, and he stepped up and did the most with it. That's what we needed. That's why we have a good team. We have a lot of guys who do that."

Andrews came down with an illness last week and missed the team's final two practices at the Air Force Academy. As the primary fill-in at all three interior offensive line spots, Karras was tapped as the replacement, and he played all 60 offensive snaps for the Patriots in what was his first start since filling in for Shaq Mason during the 2016 season-opener. 

Karras had played just nine snaps going into the game -- all in a blowout against the Broncos the week prior -- but was part of an effort in the trenches that allowed Tom Brady to remain relatively clean for the vast majority of the game. On 38 drop-backs, Brady was pressured just seven times, he was hit three times, and he was sacked only once. And for the second consecutive week, Brady's offensive line was not penalized. 

Considering that Karras wasn't the only fill-in used, the offensive line's performance was all the more impressive. LaAdrian Waddle continued to be the primary replacement for Marcus Cannon, who is dealing with an ankly issue, and when Waddle left Sunday's game briefly on two different occasions then Cameron Fleming took his place. 

"They did a great job to step in like that . . . [Waddle] was battling out there, going against some really good players," Brady said. "It was a great team win. Great by the offensive line. They've really done a great job with the penalty situation, moving the line of scrimmage and so forth. Great protection. We just have to keep it going."

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Former Patriots wide receiver Terry Glenn killed in car crash

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Former Patriots wide receiver Terry Glenn killed in car crash

Terry Glenn, the Patriots' top draft pick in 1996 who had a tumultous six-year career with the team -- and who also caught the first NFL touchdown pass ever thrown by Tom Brady -- died early Monday morning in a one-car accident in Irving, Texas. He was 43.

Glenn wound up playing 12 years in the National Football League, joining first the Packers and then the Cowboys after leaving the Patriots in controversy in 2001. Glenn was involved in a pay dispute with the team during training camp, had issues with the coaching staff, and was deactivated by Bill Belichick after the fourth game of the year. He wasn't given a Super Bowl ring after the Pats beat the Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI.

He had earlier clashed with Bill Parcells as a rookie, with Parcells famously referring to Glenn as "she" when he was sidelined with a minor injury. He caught 90 passes for 1,132 yards and six touchdowns in '96 to help the Patriots advance to the Super Bowl for the second time in franchise history; they were beaten by Green Bay in Super Bowl XXVI.

Glenn and Parcells reunited in Dallas in 2003 after Glenn had spent one yeat with the Packers, and he played the remainder of his career with the Cowboys. He had two 1,000-yard receiving seasons in Dallas.

According to reports, Glenn was with his fiance at the time of the accident. She's being treated at a local hospital for unspecified injuries.

He played college football at Ohio State.