Patriots

Oklahoma watched Patriots' Super Bowl LI comeback before overcoming 28-3 deficit vs. Baylor

Oklahoma watched Patriots' Super Bowl LI comeback before overcoming 28-3 deficit vs. Baylor

The Oklahoma Sooners coaching staff could not have picked a more perfect week to show its players highlights of the New England Patriots' epic comeback from trailing 28-3 to beat the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI.

Why's that?

The No. 8 ranked Sooners actually found themselves trailing 28-3 in the second quarter of Saturday night's road game against undefeated and No. 13 ranked Baylor Bears.

What's more, a second-half fumble played a role in the comeback, which is exactly what happened to the Patriots when linebacker Dont'a Hightower caused Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan to fumble, leading to a New England touchdown on the ensuing drive.

The similarities, amazingly, don't end there. Oklahoma completed the comeback with a 34-31 victory. The Patriots scored the same number of points in their overtime win versus the Falcons in Super Bowl LI.

Oklahoma cornerback Parnell Motley gave this reaction to the Norman Transcript's Tyler Palmateer:

“We watched a few clips,” said cornerback Parnell Motley, whose forced fumble was part of the rally. “[We watched] Virginia (basketball), the struggles they went through, when they lost to a 16-seed (in 2018) and when they almost did (in 2019), but they redeemed themselves. Another (clip) they watched was the Patriots and the Falcons (Super Bowl) and it was just the same scenario. It's crazy how ironic it is. They were up 28-3. We watched how the Patriots faced adversity and how things went. It was a great win, my team responded."

The Sooners absolutely had to win this game to keep their slim College Football Playoff hopes alive. Oklahoma is 9-1, but the Big 12 schedule doesn't offer it many more good opportunities to establish a playoff-worthy résumé. The Sooners entered last weekend ranked No. 10 in the latest CFP rankings, so unless a bunch of teams ahead of them lose, don't expect to see Oklahoma back in the playoff this season.

However, the memories of this historic comeback Saturday night at Baylor will stick with these Oklahoma players for a long time, and the experience certainly will help those who wind up playing on Sundays in the near future.

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Tedy Bruschi names his top five Patriots linebackers

Tedy Bruschi names his top five Patriots linebackers

Linebacker has been a position of strength for the New England Patriots for most of their 20-year dynasty, and one of the big reasons they've been able to sustain such a high level of success

Tedy Bruschi was a key linebacker for New England from 1996 to 2008. A three-time Super Bowl champion, Bruschi was inducted to the Patriots Hall of Fame in 2013. There's no doubt he's one of the best LBs in Patriots history.

But on Wednesday, a humble Bruschi took on the task of naming his top five Patriots linebackers of the Tom Brady era, and he didn't include himself.

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Here's who he did name, per WEEI's "Ordway, Merloni & Fauria".

Five, I heard you guys talking about (Rob) Ninkovich and I think that was a good call, that Rob and the timely plays he made, that sort of edge presence was strong. I go with Ninkovich at five.

I go (Roman) Phifer at four. Phife is someone that people forget about. Now, Phife never came off the field, through all those three championship runs — the early ones — Phife was like that guy now that splits out and covers the guy on the slots, and he’d beat up the tight end, or he’d have to cover a back. Phife did so much for us on the punt team with me and (Mike Vrabel), that type of guy. So Phifer was definitely one of the top ones for me.

For three, I have to put Hightower at three. Dont’a just made so many big plays in so many big games. So he’d be three for me.

Two, I’d go with Vrabel. all the reasons you guys have talked about already, but Vrabel, there was also a time during that stretch where he had to play inside linebacker. Inside linebacker, outside linebacker, defensive end, those type of guys. So Vrabel is two.

And I put (Willie) McGinest at one. In terms of a d-end, and also getting up and playing outside linebacker, setting the tone in the locker room, I mean, he was there even for the ’96 Super Bowl for me when I was a rookie there, so one would be Willie for me.

That's definitely a tough top five to argue with. Of course, Bruschi probably should be in there.

Jerod Mayo, Junior Seau, and Ted Johnson all are honorable mentions. And if we're talking non-Brady era, Andre Tippett's likely in the top spot.

The Patriots lost a pair of key linebackers in free agency this offseason as Kyle Van Noy signed a four-year deal with the Miami Dolphins and Jamie Collins left for the Detroit Lions on a three-year contract.

Bill Belichick shares important message amid coronavirus pandemic

Bill Belichick shares important message amid coronavirus pandemic

As much of the world continues to adjust to life during the coronavirus pandemic, a number of Boston sports figures have delivered messages of encouragement as well as important reminders to stay home.

On Wednesday, Bill Belichick became the latest to do so. The New England Patriots head coach issued a PSA thanking medical professionals and urging the public to stay home during these difficult times.

"Hello, this is Bill Belichick. I want to reach out to you in these uncertain and unprecedented times to let you know that I, and the New England Patriots, are behind you. We are all in this together.

"Thank you to our heroic medical professionals -- doctors, nurses, medical workers, and others -- who are selflessly and courageously doing their job to take care of others in need. We have heard your stories and seen some of your great work. You are truly champions and warriors.

"We are facing a difficult opponent. It will take teamwork, discipline, and commitment to do the right things all the time. That includes staying at home. I encourage everyone to shelter in place for as long as necessary as we fight this virus together. There are plenty of things we cannot do right now, but let's focus on what we can do. We can adapt, we can adjust, and we can make better decisions right now for the betterment of the future. As I tell our team, let's keep stringing good days together, and we will get through this."

Watch below:


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Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman delivered a similar message on Friday. And after testing positive for the coronavirus, Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart has gone above and beyond in raising awareness about the importance of quarantining during the pandemic. He also will be donating plasma to the National COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project.