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New England Patriots
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady speaks to head coach Bill Belichick before the NFL football AFC Championship game between the Denver Broncos and the New England Patriots, Sunday, Jan. 24, 2016, in Denver. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Second-guessing of Belichick begins with the man in the hoodie

Monday, January 25, 2016

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – You still see T-shirts around the home of the New England Patriots with Coach Bill Belichick’s scowling face and the mantra “In Bill We Trust.” But more than any time since the hoodied football guru began filling the team’s trophy case, fans here are beginning to question his judgment. Two decisions to forego a field goal and go for it on fourth down in Sunday’s AFC championship game were just the latest in a series of calls that didn’t work out for Belichick and the Patriots this season. The Broncos won 20-18 to earn a trip to Super Bowl 50 that the …

Deflating ending sends Patriots trudging into offseason

Monday, January 25, 2016

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The Patriots’ season started off the field with “Deflategate.” It ended with a deflating loss on it. In the middle, New England at times resembled the same unflappable, tunnel-vision team that earned its fourth Super Bowl title one year ago. But the lasting memories of the 2015 season will likely …

Patriots AFC Championship apparel to be donated

Monday, January 25, 2016

BOSTON – Dick’s Sporting Goods said it plans to donate unsellable Patriots AFC Championship gear to a nonprofit after the team lost, 20-18, to the Denver Broncos on Sunday. Matt Catacchio, community marketing manager at Dick’s, told the Boston Globe the T-shirts and hats will go to World Vision and be distributed in “countries in need.” He said it’s been a longstanding practice …

Mind games between Patriots-Broncos before big game Sunday

Friday, January 22, 2016

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – Gronk pushes off. Brady whines. If it’s AFC championship week, somebody must be complaining about the New England Patriots. This time around, it’s the Denver Broncos, who have delivered a few hits through the media …

Oops! NFL refs forget balls at hotel before Patriots game

Friday, January 22, 2016

BOSTON – This ball controversy can’t be blamed on the Patriots. Massachusetts State Police came to the rescue before Saturday’s NFL playoff game between New England and the Kansas City Chiefs by delivering footballs that game officials left …

Patriots LB Darius Fleming rescues woman after car accident

Thursday, January 21, 2016

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – New England Patriots linebacker Darius Fleming didn’t hesitate when he saw a woman trapped in a smoking car: He kicked out the window, enabling her to escape. But Fleming cut his right leg in the …

Broncos’ Harris, Miller excited to be back for second AFC title clash with Patriots

Thursday, January 21, 2016

DENVER – Backslaps for the backups. That’s all pass-rusher Von Miller and cornerback Chris Harris Jr. could provide the last time the New England Patriots played the Denver Broncos for the AFC championship. The backbone of Denver’s dominant …

Patriots RB Jackson chasing unlikely Super Bowl appearance

Thursday, January 21, 2016

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Steven Jackson wasn’t waiting by the phone late last month when the Patriots called looking for a running back to plug the holes of their battered backfield. He didn’t even hear it ring as he …

AFC title may come down to kickers

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

DENVER – Antonio Smith says nobody can get into Tom Brady’s head. That didn’t stop Denver’s defensive lineman from trying by labelling New England’s quarterback a crybaby. “I’ve never seen any quarterback look to the referee right after …

Patriots put LB Jerod Mayo on season-ending injured reserve

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Patriots placed linebacker Jerod Mayo on injured reserve with a shoulder injury, ending his season. Mayo, 29, was injured in Saturday’s victory over the Kansas City Chiefs. Mayo played in all 16 …

Teams one win from Super Bowl nonetheless have their weaknesses

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Every team in the second round of the NFL playoffs learned some lessons about themselves. For the four winners, how they apply those lessons will determine if they make the Super Bowl. All four have …

In close games, battle-tested Broncos’ confidence only rises

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – The Denver Broncos don’t get tight when their games get that way. Their 23-16 win over Pittsburgh on Sunday was their 10th by seven points or fewer, tying the 1978 Houston Oilers for most such …

In his 10th AFC championship game, Brady still soaking in the feat

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

As a 24-year-old in 2001, his second NFL season, Tom Brady stepped in when Drew Bledsoe was injured and led the New England Patriots into the playoffs. When he arrived in Pittsburgh to play the Steelers in the …

Edelman’s return helps Patriots return to AFC title game

Monday, January 18, 2016

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Patriots returned to normal just in time to return to the AFC championship game for the fifth year in a row. With Julian Edelman back from a broken foot, the Patriots shrugged …

Brady vs. Manning in the playoffs

Monday, January 18, 2016

Tom Brady and Peyton Manning will meet in the AFC championship game for the fourth time on Sunday in Denver. Here’s a look at their previous playoff meetings: AFC championship Jan. 19, 2014, at Denver – (1) Broncos 26, (2) Patriots 16 Jan. 21, 2007, at Indianapolis – …