Patriots

Hoyer knows there's a lot to measure up to in backing up the GOAT

Hoyer knows there's a lot to measure up to in backing up the GOAT

FOXBORO - Brian Hoyer has been around long enough to know the deal. He spent as much time post-practice today talking about the guy he backs up - you may have heard of him, a fella by the name of Tom Brady - as he did about his own play here in camp, especially on Brady’s 41st birthday. 

As someone who was here for three-plus years as Brady’s understudy, then went away and returned midway through last season, Hoyer has a great perspective on what, if anything, has changed with 12.

“Someone asked me last week and I said just the gray hair,” smiled Hoyer, knowing full well he himself has zero hair. “It’s inspiring for me to be around because you see a guy who has accomplished so much but still has the drive and passion to come out here. I joked with him the other day and said how many 41-year-olds are running up a hill in full pads right now? In the entire world? So to me, to see someone that I looked up to as a mentor and a role model, to see him still doing it - I feel old at times and I’m only 32 - so it’s fun.”

Brady has been playing the best football of his career the past four seasons, winning two Super Bowls, losing another and getting bounced in the AFC title game. He also capped his 40th year on this planet by being named league MVP. And yet to Hoyer’s eyes, Brady is still as intense and locked in as ever despite a different offseason plan.

“…his preparation, how critical he is of everything he does,” noted Hoyer. “He’s so self-critical - whether it’s throwing the ball, a read, and for me, that’s always great for me to see as a reminder that this is how its gotta be done. It’s awesome to be back here and see that nothing has really changed. He’s the same Tom I know. He comes out every day and is competitive and wants to be the best.”

That’s a tough player to be measured against every day, and the offense clearly takes a step back when Hoyer is at the helm (duh). After a solid start to camp, the veteran has scuffled the past two days of camp, even when given a greater workload as was the case Friday. Our own Phil Perry charted competitive periods and had Hoyer 17-of-30 with two interceptions and a fumble. His accuracy just hasn’t been what it’s needed to be, but Hoyer is facing no pressure from rookie Danny Etling, who finally had what would qualify as his first decent day.

“You’re always fighting and for me, look it, I’ve been on a lot of teams and you never know what’s going to happen,” said Hoyer. “The only thing you can control is the way you got out and play. So that’s all the way up to other people and I’m at peace with that. At this point in my career, I go out and try to play the best I can. Whatever happens, happens.”

Hoyer was brought to be in the 'in-case-of-emergency, break-glass' guy. He doesn't have "upside" anymore, but the Pats knew that when the team brought him back. They wanted someone who knew the offense and could be trusted to not fall flat on his face should the moment arise. A couple bad days of training camp won't change that. Hoyer is the next man up, for better or worse.

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Super Bowl 54 odds: Opening Chiefs vs. 49ers spread, MVP betting lines

Super Bowl 54 odds: Opening Chiefs vs. 49ers spread, MVP betting lines

The Kansas City Chiefs enter Super Bowl LIV in Miami as a small betting favorite over the San Francisco 49ers.

The Chiefs beat the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Championship Game on Sunday to advance to the Super Bowl for the first time in 50 years, while the 49ers earned a convincing NFC Championship Game victory over the Green Bay Packers.

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

Here are the opening betting lines for the Super Bowl, via the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas.

Spread: Chiefs -1
Total: 53.5
Moneyline: Chiefs -120, 49ers +100

Here are the Super Bowl MVP odds (via DraftKings Sportsbook). There are other players listed at DK, but these are the most likely MVP winners.

Patrick Mahomes: +110
Jimmy Garoppolo: +200
Raheem Mostert: +500
Tyreke Hill: +1600
Travis Kelce: +1600
George Kittle: +2000
Damien Williams: +3300
Mecole Hardman: +3300
Tevin Coleman: +3300
Sammy Watkins: +4000
Tyrann Mathieu: +5000
Nick Bosa: +5000
Deebo Samuel: +5000
Frank Clark: +6000
Arik Armstead: +6500
Matt Breida: +6600
Emmanuel Sanders: +6600
Richard Sherman: +6600

It's hard to imagine anyone besides Mahomes being named MVP if the Chiefs win. The 49ers are a different story, however. Garoppolo has the best odds of any San Francisco player, but that probably has more to do with the position he plays. Seven of the last 10 players to win Super Bowl MVP were quarterbacks. Garoppolo, however, hasn't had to do much in the playoffs, and the best example came Sunday when he attempted just eight passes versus the Packers. 49ers running back Raheem Mostert and tight end George Kittle are good value plays for bettors who envision the 49ers lifting the Lombardi Trophy.

Super Bowl LIV will be played on Sunday, Feb. 2 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami.

Curran: No need to be bitter about Jimmy G. not being a Patriot

Darrelle Revis rips Richard Sherman on Twitter, prompting this response from 49ers CB

Darrelle Revis rips Richard Sherman on Twitter, prompting this response from 49ers CB

Former New England Patriots cornerback Darrelle Revis didn't hold back on Twitter during Sunday's NFC Championship Game between the San Francisco 49ers and Green Bay Packers.

Revis ripped Richard Sherman in a tweet that, among other things, criticized the 49ers cornerback for staying on one side of the field and hiding in zone coverage.

Sherman got the last laugh, however. He kept Packers wide receiver Davante Adams out of the end zone and intercepted Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers late in the fourth quarter. The turnover created a celebratory scene at Levi's Stadium as the 49ers sealed a 37-20 victory to advance to Super Bowl LIV.

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

Sherman isn't afraid to speak his mind on Twitter, so it wasn't surprising that he responded to Revis' criticism. 

Revis wasn't done tweeting, though. He clarified his original comments, and also responded to Sherman's claim that Revis' ninth year "looked a lot different."

Revis is right about the upcoming Super Bowl matchup. The Kansas City Chiefs have a talented group of pass-catchers headlined by speedy wide receivers Tyreek Hill and Mecole Hardman, and tight end Travis Kelce. These guys all are difficult to cover, particularly Hill, who probably is the fastest player in the league. Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes presents a myriad of problems for opposing defenses on his own, too.

Sherman took one more shot at Revis before tweeting about other things after San Francisco's win.

What do the stats say?

Well, Revis has three interceptions in 10 playoff games, while Sherman has four in 14 career postseason games. Each of these defensive backs has one Super Bowl ring, and Revis' came against Sherman when the Patriots beat the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX. Maybe that game is where some of the tension between these future Hall of Famers stems from.

Curran: No need to be bitter about Jimmy G. not being a Patriot