The play that will be recalled as the one that put away the Bears as time ran out in the first half Sunday almost never happened.
Deion Branch caught a 59-yard 'hitch and go' route from Tom Brady down the left sideline as time expired in the first half. But Branch said there was "a lot of yelling" on the Patriots sideline with one coach yelling out for Brady to take a knee with a 27-0 lead.
"At one point, the coach was telling us to take a knee [laughter] and I'm looking at Tom like, 'take a knee,' and he was like, ''No.' He called a route and I was like, 'Alright, good. That's a good route.' I'm thankful to have him," said Branch, who felt the TD made up for the 71-yard punt return for a TD by Julian Edelman that was called back because of holding by rookie Dane Fletcher.
"But if you think about it they took the punt return away from Julian, which was a big minus...
In the moments following their 36-7 win over the Bears at Soldier Field, Deion Branch said it's nice to have clinched a spot in the playoffs but that is hardly their end goal.
"It doesn't mean anything right now," said Branch, who set a new career regular-seaon best with 151 yards receiving. "I think the thing is we want to continue to improve each and every week, to see how far can we go, as far as what's next. That's a plus, knowing we're in the playoffs, that's a plus but I think there's more football left in the rest of the season. We have three games and we're looking forward to them."
The Patriots can clinch their second straight AFC East title and their 9th in 11 seasons with a win over Green Bay next week and a Jets loss at Pittsburgh.
For more, visit the Patriots page at weei.com/patriots and the blog...
Bill Belichick met with the media following the Patriots' 36-7 win over the Bears on Sunday in Chicago. Belichick was understandably pleased with the effort of his team, now an NFL-best 11-2.
"The credit goes to the players," Belichick said. "They executed and did the things we needed to do. They've done it before and they've stepped up and did it again today. I'm really proud of the way they performed."
Deion Branch set a career high with 151 yards receiving and Tom Brady was again brilliant with 369 yards passing and two TDs. Belichick was impressed with the 59-yard TD connection by the two on the final play of the first half.
"Of course the play to Deion at the end of the half, that was two great players there making a great play," said Belichick. "You really have to give Tom and Deion credit there on that one, it was great execution."
From the opening drive of the game, Tom Brady and the Patriots ran the Bears right out of their stadium in a 36-7 beatdown at a snowy Soldier Field, clinching an AFC playoff berth. Linebacker Gary Guyton returned a Johnny Knox fumble 35 yards for a touchdown and intercepted Jay Cutler. The Patriots improved to 10-0 in snow games all-time with Bill Belichick as their coach.
In a game that was played in blizzard conditions, Brady was 13-for-21 for 195 yards and two touchdowns in the first half as the Patriots raced out to a 33-0 lead. The Bears were embarrassed in every way, shape and form. There was no better example of that than the 59-yard TD strike from Brady to Deion Branch down the left sideline on the last play of the half. Branch, who set a new personal regular-season record with 151 yards receiving, raced into the end zone untouched. The Patriots led the Bears in total yards at halftime, 273-33. Brady finished 24-of-40 for...
Corey Raji scored the game's final six points, including a go-ahead 3-pointer with 37 seconds remaining, as Boston College battled past Maryland, 79-75, in the ACC opener for both teams Sunday afternoon in College Park, Md.
Biko Paris led the Eagles (8-2) with 22 points on 8-of-11 shooting (6-of-9 treys). Reggie Jackson scored 16 points, Raji netted 11 and Joe Trapani had 10.
For Maryland (7-4), Jordan Williams led all scorers with 27 points on 12-of-16 shooting.
The game was tight throughout, with the largest lead for both teams peaking at five points. Raji tied the game at 75 with 1:27 left when he got free underneath for a layup. Fifty seconds later, Raji took a pass from Jackson and swished a trey from the top left for the winning basket.
Following a timeout, Maryland turned over the inbounds pass. But Biko Paris missed the front end of a 1-one-1, giving the Terps another...
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Chris Price discussing the Patriots getting back to their normal routine now that Media Day is in the past and they're no longer answering Deflategate questions.
Rich Gannon stops by to talk about his 6 days as a New England Patriot and give another QB's perspective of deflate gate.
ESPN's John Brenkus stops by to talk about the science experiments he conducted with regards to deflate gate.
Ben and Sam discuss ways to improve the NBA All-Star weekend, hand out of hardware, and give their Finals predictions
Jackie MacMullen, ESPN Boston, talks with MFB about Rondo being traded to the Dallas Mavericks, and how this will have an effect on the Celtics rebuild process
How have the Celtics looked after a couple weeks? Could they be a playoff team? These questions and more...
The Red Sox have taken over Foxwoods and Red Sox Manager John Farrell sat down with Mut and Bradford to talk about the roster and how the 2015 season is looking.
Red Sox pitcher Joe Kelly and 3B Pablo Sandoval sat down with Mut and Bradford. Joe Kelly had a few interesting proclamations. First he said that 95% of pitchers use some sort of grip enhancer, and then he said he was going to win the Cy Young. Pablo leaned over and promised 10 HR's, explaining to Joe that the trick is to set the bar low.
Mut and Rob are in on the Hot Stove Show this week and they're taking calls and talking about the Red Sox pitching as we are 5 weeks away from pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training.
Pierre McGuire talks about ways hockey players skirt the rules in the NHL and the development of Dougie Hamilton.
Pierre McGuire joins Lou, Christian and Tim to discuss the resurgent Bruins, the emergence of David Pastrnak, and former Boston College stand-out Johnny Gaudreau looking to trademark the name 'Johnny Hockey.'
We get our state of the B report from NESN's Jack Edwards, right in the midst of a 4 game winning streak and hot return for David Pastrnak.
Doyel knows the Patriots fixed the AFC title game and they now belong in the same sentence as the 1919 White Sox.
Tomase talks about being embedded with the Seahawks and the festivities at the WEEI dinner.
Funny man Frank Caliendo sits in with Gerry and Kirk from Arizona. He talks about his process and voices some of his greatest hits.
Jacksonville Jaguars Quarterback join the show to discuss the future of his team, his friendship with the very attractive Jimmy Garappolo and how he feels about Johnny Manziel
Archie Manning joins the guys to preview the Superbowl and at (6:25) to discuss Peyton's future in the league and with the Broncos.
The best sounds of Christian during the Media Day festivities.
We talk about four of our favorite Super Bowls (We only chose one Pats Super Bowl)
Dale and Michael talk to John Brenkus about the tests he did in relation to deflate gate and the conclusions he came to.
Rich Gannon tells the story of when he got drafted by the Patriots and gives his view of deflate gate.
A caller named Jumbo from California raises a question that hasn't been talked about too much, what happens if it's determined that the Patriots aren't found responsible for the deflation of the footballs?
Mut and Lenny continue talking and taking calls on deflategate, as well as hearing the sound from Kirk Minihane's appearance on the O'Reilly Factor.
Mut and Lenny are talking deflategate and what impact it could have on the Patriots organization.
Chris and comedian Mike Mulloy recap the final Raw before the Rumble and preview the Rumble itself.
Would you rather watch important games in the stadium or on TV? Also we discuss our worst experiences at stadiums.
Ben and Sam discuss ways to improve the NBA All-Star weekend, hand out some hardware, and give their Finals predictions.
Ben Volin sits in with the guys and breaks down deflategate and the future of Darrelle Revis.More from this show
New York radio personality Joe Beningo sits down with D&C to discuss all the topics surrounding this year's big game.More from this show
Florio talks about the latest surrounding the Patriots' handling of footballs. He also reveals that other NFL head coaches are running their own tests on footballs.More from this show
Tony Kornheiser joins Dennis and Callahan in Arizona to discuss his comment comparing Bill Belichick to Whitey Bulger.More from this show