As Bengals players and coaches watch Super Bowl LI, the desire to be in the game will be high. But, was the 2015 squad their best chance? It’s hard to look past the Bengals’ disappointing 2016 season. When the year started, it was filled with the promise of putting anger away and getting down to the business of winning the division. Unfortunately, the run for another AFC North crown was crushed by injury and bad timing. As wideout A.J. Green puts it, the 2015 squad may have been the team to win it all.
AFC North Bytes
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown has come under fire during a critical juncture of his career. The team had let word get out that Brown could be in line for a raise in the offseason that might make him the NFL’s highest-paid receiver. But that was before his Facebook Live locker-room incident, followed later by NFL Network reporting that Brown cared more about his own statistics than about winning championships and the words of Ben Roethlisberger, who said Brown was pouting too much when he didn’t get the ball.
The Cleveland Browns have never hosted, played in let alone won a Super Bowl and it doesn’t appear that will end next year either. At least according to Las Vegas. Once again the Browns, who completed the worst season in franchise history by going 1-15 in 2016, open with the worst odds to end the team’s championship drought which dates back to 1964.
The Falcons and MVP Matt Ryan will attempt to win their first Super Bowl title Sunday in Houston. But if draft night had gone a little differently in 2008, none of this would be possible. The landscape of the NFL would be completely different. Rewind back nine years ago.
It was over. You thought it. The Falcons thought it. Everyone on Earth thought it. But we all forgot, in that moment, something vital. The Patriots had the best quarterback to ever play the game. They may have had the best athlete in American sports history. They had Tom Damn Brady.
Tom Brady and the Patriots mounted a historic comeback to win Super Bowl LI in epic fashion.
It wasn't supposed to end like this for the Atlanta Falcons. The way Super Bowl LI was unfolding, the likely scenario was something involving these images: a second half filled with constant laughter and frequent hugs, a joyous celebration followed by a Gatorade bath for head coach Dan Quinn and predictable debates about the start of a new dynasty. Few people had the nerve to imagine Atlanta melting down in epic fashion. Even now, it's impossible to fathom how a team could go from being so dominant to so dysfunctional in the span of roughly nine minutes.
Have the New England Patriots forgotten about Deflategate? Based on Patriots owner Robert Kraft's comments immediately after his team's spectacular, 34-28 overtime win Sunday over the Falcons in Super Bowl 51, it appears this win has taken on stronger meaning for the obvious reasons.
This should be the proudest moment of Tom Brady's career, but at this very second he has a mystery to solve. Someone has stolen Tom Brady's jersey. The white No. 12 jersey the greatest quarterback of all-time wore on Sunday in the greatest comeback in NFL history. Taking these two factors into account, this is a pretty damn special jersey.