Patriots

Box Score Bank: Drew and Dan Forever

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Box Score Bank: Drew and Dan Forever

Its been a while since we did a Box Score Bank here at Standing Room Only, so lets do a Box Score Bank. And since I already wrote too many words on the Celtics today, lets make this one about the Patriots.

With the Pats heading down to Miami this Sunday, I cant help but think back to some of old duels between Drew Bledsoe and Dan Marino. And in that case, it doesnt get any better than the very first one.

Bledsoes rookie year actually coincided with Marinos ACL injury (and the emergence of Scott Mitchell), so they never met in 1993. But the pair made up for lost time in Week 1 of the following season. So lets crank the bank back to . . .

September 4, 1994

Forrest Gump was the No. 1 movie in America. "Ill Make Love To You" by Boyz II Men was in the second of 14 weeks atop the Billboard charts. Tom Brady had just started his senior year at Junipero Serra High School. Bill Belichick had just started his first and only winning season as coach of the Cleveland Browns. Ryan Tannehill had just started to learn how to tie his sneakers (he was six years old) . . .

And down in Miami, Marino and Bledsoe were going head-to-head in a duel for the ages. In fact, according to NFL Network, it was the No. 8 QB duel of all-time.

FINAL SCORE: Dolphins 38, Patriots 34

(Keep an eye out for the sharp cookie at the 1:00 mark of this video.)

In all, Marino and Bledsoe combined for 894 yards, nine touchdowns and only three interceptions. On the receiving end, Ben Coates led the Pats with eight catches for 161 yards and two touchdowns, while Irving Fryar (in his second year with Miami after nine in New England) had five catches for 211 yards and three touchdowns. Not to be outdone, Marion Butts picked up 25 yards on 15 carries.

Despite the brutal loss, the game was a sign that Bill Parcell's team was finally ready to compete at a legitimate NFL level. And after a rough start, the Pats closed the regular season on a seven-game win streak to make the playoffs for the first time since 1986. However, once there, they dropped a close Wild Card contest to Cleveland, in what was the first and only playoff victory of Bill Belichick's Browns career.

As for Marino and the Dolphins, they won the AFC East with a 10-6 record, but as usual, came up short in the playoffs. Falling to San Diego 23-22 in the divisional round.

Bledsoe and Marino would go on to play 10 more times over the course of their careers, and split them right down the middle (5-5). But none of those games could hold a candle to the first one.

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

Mind-blowing stat about Tom Brady's Super Bowl success compared to other QBs

Mind-blowing stat about Tom Brady's Super Bowl success compared to other QBs

Tom Brady may have left the New England Patriots for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this offseason, but New Englanders are still taking time to appreciate the elite 20-year career he had with the Patriots.

Brady is arguably the greatest quarterback in history. While some will argue that others belong in that conversation, Brady's success in the postseason is simply unparalleled.

Not only does Brady have the most Super Bowl titles and postseason wins of any quarterback in NFL history. He also has more second-half touchdown passes in Super Bowls than any other passer has in all their Super Bowl appearances combined, as the "Boston Sports Info" Twitter account pointed out on Sunday afternoon.

That's insanely impressive. But it also makes sense when factoring in Brady's record amount of Super Bowl appearances. Brady has been to nine Super Bowl during his career while no other quarterback has been to more than five (John Elway).

The Patriots will certainly miss Brady's presence as they attempt to get to the postseason for the 12th consecutive year. They'll likely be relying on second-year quarterback Jarrett Stidham to be the starter, barring a surprise.

Meanwhile, Brady will attempt to get the Bucs to the playoffs for the first time since 2007. And he'll try to earn them their first Super Bowl victory since Jon Gruden led them to the promised land 17 years ago.

Tom Brady spends Sunday watching Patriots' Super Bowl win over Falcons

Tom Brady spends Sunday watching Patriots' Super Bowl win over Falcons

Tom Brady enjoyed so many incredible moments during his 20-year tenure with the New England Patriots, but it's hard to top Super Bowl LI vs. the Atlanta Falcons.

The Patriots' 28-3 comeback victory will forever be remembered as one of the greatest games in NFL history. While Brady has five other Super Bowl titles on his résumé, this particular one will always hold a special place in the hearts of Pats fans, and in the heart of Brady himself.

Now the new quarterback of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Brady posted a photo Sunday to his Instagram story of himself reliving one of his most memorable performances.

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Brady continued to share his live reaction to the game, starting with the mood of every Patriots fan when New England found itself down 21-3 at the start of the third quarter.

He did the same when the Falcons extended their lead to 28-3.

Then he gave a shoutout to his former receiver Danny Amendola, who came up clutch with several plays in the game.

And then another shoutout to linebacker Dont'a Hightower, who made the play of the game with his strip-sack of Matt Ryan early in the fourth quarter.

When the Patriots stormed all the way back to tie the game at 28 and send it to overtime, Brady pleaded for captain Matthew Slater to call heads for the coin toss.

(He did).

When James White scampered into the end zone to clinch the unforgettable win, Brady couldn't contain his emotions.

It's only fitting that Brady's viewing of Super Bowl LI comes one day after Patriots fans celebrated the comeback on March 28 (3/28).