Author: @spot_bills

The History of the New England Patriots by Jersey Number #33-#34

NUMBER THIRTY-THREE There were a lot of cool offensive players through the years to don the #33 for your New England Patriots. Let’s start, though, with our only featured defensive player with that number, Fred Bruney, who played all the way back from 1960-62. He made the All-Star team in both ’61 and ’62 mostly due to his kickoff and punt return prowess. Bruney was around the game for decades, even filling in as a head coach for a week with the 1985 Eagles. Reggie Rucker is our only #33 that played wide receiver for New England. In his...

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The History of the New England Patriots by Jersey Number #31-#32

NUMBER THIRTY-ONE Fred Marion was a mainstay at safety throughout the 1980’s for the Pats. He had a phenomenal season in 1985 with seven interceptions for an incredible 189 yards. His success continued in the postseason, where he picked off three more balls for 69 additional yards. He was right at home in the Orange Bowl for the AFC Championship game. He played his college ball for the University of Miami and made a key interception off Dan Marino in the 31-14 victory. Jimmy Hitchcock wore #31 during his first stint as a member of the Patriots. He played...

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The History of the New England Patriots by Jersey Number #27-#30

Number Twenty-Seven Terrell Buckley was a tremendous talent at Florida State. He parlayed those skills into a long time NFL career. Buckley has the distinction of being the player with the most interceptions in NFL history to not make a single Pro Bowl. He had some sensational seasons with the Dolphins, an excellent year with Denver and two fine seasons as a member of the Patriots. During the Pats’ 2001 Super Bowl run, Buckley was a key contributor in the defensive backfield and on special teams. He picked off Kordell Stewart to ice the AFC championship. One week later,...

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The History of the New England Patriots by Jersey Number #24-#26

NUMBER TWENTY-FOUR We are into those jersey numbers where we’ll be talking repeatedly about a lot of defensive backs as well as a few running backs. Today, we’ll start with one of the finest Patriots defensive players in franchise history: Ty Law. When ESPN’s “NFL PrimeTime” was in the peak of its powers, Chris Berman would famously say about opposing quarterbacks, “They fought the law and Ty Law won!” It’s likely Law will someday find himself in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Taken with their 1st round choice in 1995, Law played his first ten seasons in New...

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The History of the New England Patriots by Jersey Number #22-#23

NUMBER TWENTY-TWO There are a lot of cool names that donned the #22 for the Patriots through the years. Asante Samuel was possibly the best of the bunch during his time with New England. His four seasons were filled with drama at his cornerback position. In 2004, he was part of the Super Bowl winning starting lineup on defense due to an injury in midseason to perennial All-Pro Ty Law. Two seasons later, he would make his greatest play against the Colts in the AFC championship game. Samuel finished the 2006 with 10 regular season interceptions, but it was...

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The History of the New England Patriots by Jersey Number #18-#21

NUMBER EIGHTEEN Wide receiver Randy Vataha was one of New England’s better players in the early-1970’s catching passes from Jim Plunkett. Vataha was a teammate of Plunkett’s back in Stanford and their chemistry carried through to the pros. Vataha’s best season came in 1975 when he had 720 receiving yards and 6 touchdowns. Donte’ Stallworth played one season plus one game with the Patriots. In 2007, Stallworth wore the #18 jersey and contributed to one of the greatest offenses in NFL history. One of his great plays occurred in the Divisional Round game against the Jaguars. On this day,...

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The History of the New England Patriots by Jersey Number #15-#17

NUMBER FIFTEEN We’ll start in the way back machine for a great Patriots player from the 1960’s. Babe Parilli played seven seasons for the Patriots and was a true gunslinger. The fact that he made the Pro Bowl in the same season that he threw 27 interceptions speaks volumes about the way the game was played in the AFL. The Pats achieved success in the mid-60s with the veteran under center. They won a playoff game against the Bills in 1963 before getting crushed in the AFL title game. In 1964, Parilli was a first-team All Pro and hooked...

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The History of the New England Patriots by Jersey Number #13-#14

NUMBER THIRTEEN Ken Walter was not a very good punter during the Belichick regime, but does have the distinction of being Adam Vinatieri’s holder for two Super Bowl-winning field goals. In Walter’s first Super Bowl appearance against the Rams, he punted eight times for a 43-yard average, so that wasn’t too bad at all. He was very inconsistent during the 2003 campaign. So, the Pats decided not to resign him for the 2004 season. He played four more games for New England in 2006 when Josh Miller went down with an injury. The great Joey Galloway wore jersey #84...

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The History of the New England Patriots by Jersey Number #11-#12

Number Eleven Before we talk about the three super popular Patriots that wore #11, it behooves me to mention Joe Kapp. Kapp played just one season in Boston, but it must have seemed like the twilight zone for him. Why? You all remember when the 2016 Patriots traded poor Jamie Collins to the winless Cleveland Browns, right? Joe Kapp went from a 12-1 record with the 1969 NFC champion Vikings to a 1-9 mark with the 1970 Patriots. He took such a beating, it was his last season in the NFL. Tony Eason was selected with the 15th pick...

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The History of the New England Patriots by Jersey Number #5-#10

NUMBER FIVE While Gostkowski and Vinatieri will go down as the two best kickers in Patriots history, Shayne Graham is a footnote of the 2010 season. When Gostkowski went down with an injury, the journeyman Graham stepped in admirably. He made all 14 of his field goal attempts in a Pats’ uniform. He is most well-known for being a Pro Bowl kicker for the Bengals. NUMBER SIX Ryan Allen just completed his fifth season as the Patriots punter. He was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2013 and beat out Zoltan Mesko for the role. He has earned...

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The History of the New England Patriots by Jersey Number #1-#4

NUMBER ONE Snowplow Game Let’s start by discussing the fourth leading scorer in Patriots history, John Smith. Smith is best known for a singular moment in 1982 famously known as “The Snowplow Game”. In the sixth game of the strike-shortened 1982 season, the desperate Patriots were deadlocked at zero in a snowstorm in Foxborough. Late in the fourth, Patriots coach Ron Meyer ordered snowplow operator Mark Henderson to clear a spot on the field specifically for Smith. He drilled the 33-yarder to give the Patriots the win. Ultimately, Miami defeated New England in the playoffs in sunny Florida, but...

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Win or Lose, Tom Brady is the GOAT

It was Week 6 of the 1983 season. My family’s Sunday tradition was to eat Grandma’s homemade pizza and watch football in her South Buffalo home. On this particular Sunday, the Buffalo Bills were playing at Miami to take on the Dolphins. The Bills had not won in Miami in my lifetime. However, the Dolphins were struggling offensively early that season, so they made a switch to a rookie quarterback on this day. We had a good feeling about this game. The Bills bolted out to a 14-0 first quarter lead. We were smiling, giggling, eating, relishing the moment...

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51 Super Bowls in 51 Days – Super Bowl XXVII – LI

51 Super Bowls in 51 Days – Super Bowl XXVII 51 Super Bowls in 51 Days – Super Bowl XXVIII 51 Super Bowls in 51 Days – Super Bowl XXIX 51 Super Bowls in 51 Days – Super Bowl XXX 51 Super Bowls in 51 Days – Super Bowl XXXI 51 Super Bowls in 51 Days – Super Bowl XXXII 51 Super Bowls in 51 Days – Super Bowl XXXIII 51 Super Bowls in 51 Days – Super Bowl XXXIV 51 Super Bowls in 51 Days – Super Bowl XXXV 51 Super Bowls in 51 Days – Super Bowl...

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51 Super Bowls in 51 Days – Super Bowls I – XXVI

51 Super Bowls in 51 Days – Super Bowl I 51 Super Bowls in 51 Days – Super Bowl II 51 Super Bowls in 51 Days – Super Bowl III 51 Super Bowls in 51 Days – Super Bowl IV 51 Super Bowls in 51 Days – Super Bowl V 51 Super Bowls in 51 Days – Super Bowl VI 51 Super Bowls in 51 Days – Super Bowl VII 51 Super Bowls in 51 Days – Super Bowl VIII 51 Super Bowls in 51 Days – Super Bowl IX 51 Super Bowls in 51 Days – Super Bowl...

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51 Super Bowls in 51 Days – Super Bowl LI

The Super Bowl is just 1 day away. Let’s look at the Super Bowl from 1 year ago to honor this not that significant occasion! Houston hosted Super Bowl LI on February 5, 2017. The game pitted the AFC champion New England Patriots against the Atlanta Falcons of the National Football Conference. Atlanta Falcons 1 Year Ago “Rise Up” was team motto for the 1016 Atlanta Falcons. That is exactly what they did. Led by the great coaching of former Seahawks assistant Dan Quinn and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, the Falcons were fast and explosive. Quarterback Matt Ryan won...

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51 Super Bowls in 51 Days – Super Bowl XLIX

The Super Bowl is just 3 days away. Let’s look at the Super Bowl from 3 years ago to honor this not that significant occasion! Glendale, Arizona hosted Super Bowl XLIX on February 1, 2015. The game pitted the AFC champion New England Patriots against the defending World Champion Seattle Seahawks of the National Football Conference. Seattle Seahawks 3 Years Ago The Seahawks started their season with a bang by defeating the Packers on opening night easily 36-16. Two weeks later, they beat Denver 26-20 in overtime. They finished the season by winning nine of out 10 to claim...

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Positional Group Comparisons for Super Bowl LII

Amid the pomp and circumstance of Super Bowl week, there is actually a game that will be played. Let’s allow everybody else to focus on the pageantry of the event. We are going to dive into a position by position evaluation ahead of the big game. Let’s start with on the offensive side of the ball. OFFENSE QUARTERBACK If there is one clear-cut advantage for either team in this game, it’s at the quarterback position. Tom Brady is the consummate professional. He will demonstrate great poise throughout the game regardless of the literal and figurative noise around him. Nick...

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51 Super Bowls in 51 Days – Super Bowl XLVIII

The Super Bowl is just 4 days away. Let’s look at the Super Bowl from 4 years ago to honor this not that significant occasion! MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey hosted Super Bowl XLVIII on February 2, 2014. The game pitted the NFC champion Seattle Seahawks and their top-ranked defense against the Denver Broncos and their #1-ranked offense of the American Football Conference. It was the immovable object against the irresistible force! But, as we will read, the matchup turned one-sided early and the rout was on. Seattle Seahawks 4 Years Ago The Seahawks came off a...

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51 Super Bowls in 51 Days – Super Bowl 50

The Super Bowl is just two days away. Let’s look at the Super Bowl from two years ago to honor this not-that-significant occasion! Santa Clara, California hosted Super Bowl 50 on February 7, 2016. The game pitted the NFC champion Carolina Panthers against the Denver Broncos of the American Football Conference. Carolina Panthers Two Years Ago The 2015 Panthers kept winning and winning and winning. Yes, there were other guys on Ron Rivera’s offense. But, this team started and ended with quarterback Cam Newton. The Panthers led the NFL in points scored. Their QB, in this, his fifth season...

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51 Super Bowls in 51 Days – Super Bowl XLVII

The Super Bowl is just 5 days away. Let’s look at the Super Bowl from 5 years ago to honor this not that significant occasion! New Orleans hosted Super Bowl XLVII on February 3, 2013. The game pitted the NFC champion San Francisco 49ers against the Baltimore Ravens of the American Football Conference. San Francisco 49ers 5 Years Ago From 1981 to 1998, there was no more decorated franchise in the NFL than the San Francisco 49ers. But, they fell on hard times as they entered the 21st century. They bounced back in a big way with the hiring...

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51 Super Bowls in 51 Days – Super Bowl XLVI

The Super Bowl is just 6 days away. Let’s look at the Super Bowl from 6 years ago to honor this not that significant occasion! Indianapolis hosted Super Bowl XLVI on February 5, 2012. The game pitted the NFC champion New York Giants against the New England Patriots of the American Football Conference. This, of course, was the rematch of probably the most intense of all the Super Bowls, Super Bowl XLII when the Giants prevented the Patriots from going undefeated. New York Giants 6 Years Ago The Giants did not have a particularly strong 2011 season, but they did...

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51 Super Bowls in 51 Days – Super Bowl XLV

The Super Bowl is just 7 days away. Let’s look at the Super Bowl from 7 years ago to honor this not that significant occasion! Dallas hosted Super Bowl XLV on February 6, 2011. The game pitted the NFC champion Green Bay Packers against the Pittsburgh Steelers of the American Football Conference. Green Bay Packers 7 Years Ago The Packers underachieved during the regular season, then overachieved in the postseason to win the franchise’s fourth World Championship. They were led by breakout star quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers was in his third season as starter as he patiently waited for...

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51 Super Bowls in 51 Days – Super Bowl XLIV

The Super Bowl is just 8 days away. Let’s look at the Super Bowl from 8 years ago to honor this not-so-significant occasion! South Florida hosted Super Bowl XLIV on February 7, 2010. The game pitted the NFC champion New Orleans Saints against the Indianapolis Colts of the American Football Conference. Peyton Manning was going up against his father Archie’s old team.  New Orleans Saints 8 Years Ago New Orleans had come up from the dregs of professional football. It took them a ridiculous thirty-four seasons to win a single playoff game. After a hurricane battered their city in...

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Ten Fun Super Bowl Facts to Get You Fired Up

When I hosted a sports talk radio program on my college radio station at Buffalo State College, my on air name was “Dr. Super Bowl” due to my intense love of Super Bowl history. For me, this is the most wonderful time of the year. You can have your shopping days until Christmas, I’ll take the two weeks leading up to the Super Bowl. I have lost many close friends and have driven several family members to tears of boredom dropping mad Super Bowl trivia on their unsuspecting souls. However, you the true sports fan will appreciate these mind-numbing...

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51 Super Bowls in 51 Days – Super Bowl XLIII

The Super Bowl is just 9 days away. Let’s look at the Super Bowl from 9 years ago to honor this not-so-significant occasion! Tampa hosted Super Bowl XLIII on February 1, 2009. The game pitted the NFC champion Arizona Cardinals against the Pittsburgh Steelers of the American Football Conference. Arizona was brand new to this stage while Pittsburgh was going for an NFL record sixth Super Bowl championship! Arizona Cardinals 9 Years Ago Former Steelers’ assistant Ken Whisenhunt was the head coach of the overachieving Cardinals. They had a solid offense featuring veterans Kurt Warner at quarterback and Edgerrin...

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