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Championship Sunday: Brady, Lewis, Jake Long

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- I'm covering the New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship game today.

It has become something of an annual rite that these two teams meet in the playoffs. They met last year in the title game. They have played six times since 2007 and this will be the third playoff meeting between the teams.

And all that time, the rest of the AFC East that is charged with knocking the Patriots down in the regular season has not been able to do it. The Dolphins did sneak in to win a division title in 2008 in what now seems like a mirage. And believe it or not, the Jets have had the most success unseeding the Pats from their playoff perch.

And still that hasn't been enough.

The primary reason? Let's face it, it's the quarterback. Tom Brady.

I believe as long as Brady is playing for the Patriots, the rest of the AFC East teams will be playing for a wildcard slot because Brady and the Pats are simply too dominant. So when will Brady, 35, go away? When will the door open for the other AFC East teams?

As I write in my column today Tom Brady is not declining. And in comparing him to Dan Marino, Joe Montana, Johnny Unitas and others, Brady isn't suffering the ravages of time. Check out which QB I believe he is comparable to as he ages.

If my comparison is correct, it might be 2018 before we're done seeing Brady in New England, folks.

Scary.

One legend that will be leaving the NFL after this season is Ray Lewis. I appreciate that dude. He is a great player. He is a great leader. However you feel about that long-ago murder charger (later dropped) is not the topic today.

The topic today is whether Lewis gets a chance to go out on top by advancing to the Super Bowl. Or whether he will bow out after this game.

On another matter, I want to share with you a good example of how uncertain things are for the Dolphins these days.

On Saturday, Jackie Long, the wife of Jake Long, tweeted what is a clear statement of how little certainty the Dolphins have given the Dolphins offensive lineman.

"Getting a little tired of not knowing where we'll be next year!" she tweeted. "I don't wanna move but if we have to leave I better start organizing!"

This seems like a sign that the Dolphins are quite willing to let Long walk this offseason if the price is not right on a new deal.

Comments

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yeah Redsky, that part of it is good. I wonder if Beli is mad at Brady or v isa versa. I think their run is done.

ato,

I believe God gives the players talent to play, coaches to coach, and rule books and play books to study.

After that it comes down to dedication, execution, and "proving" who wants to win most.

God also creates gm's. Usually the best gm's are the one's who dont think they are God. LOL...

well no way Ireland feels like god in this town!

ato,

We know even great qb's dont win playoffs and sb's every year. The reason you need a great qb is to feel good about getting there every year.

If a qb plays 13yrs, gets you into 7-8 playoffs and win you 1-2 sb's, realistically thats what youre looking for. The past decade, the fins have proven how difficult is to even get into the playoffs once(2008) without a great qb.

Having a realistic chance at winning a sb begins with a great qb. Then if he gets you into the playoffs 7-8 times and wins 1-2 sb's. Then youre cooking with Wesson son. LOL...

It'll be another 40 yrs till the Dullfins sniff a SB.

well no way Ireland feels like god in this town!

Posted by: ato | January 20, 2013 at 11:23 PM

Exactly! When trying to play God you can end up looking like the devil. LOL....

Offer Joe Flacco 18 mill/yr. We have the cap space.

New Blog Up:

The Herald just caught up with the fact Incognito is now a pro bowler. Its been posted here since yesterday. LOL...

Derek,

Are you kidding?

Flacco will demand $50 million a year to come play with this recieving corp.

But , on the real, real tip. No way's Flacco leaving Baltimore. Hate interrupt your wet dream though. LOL...

Usually star qb dont leave their teams in fa unless their already pretty much washed up. You dont see star qb's leaving their teams in year 5.

How old are you Derek? You must be pretty young to think Flacco will leave.

Wes Welkers curse hasnt just hit miami, his CURSE has carried over to NE and tom brady!


He has as many SB championships as miami has in the last decade....WHICH IS................


ZERO! NADA! ZILCH! ZIP!

How do you like those sour apples NE?


HA HA HA!!!!

I believe Belichick will trade Brady to anyone from the NFC in about 2 more seasons, but that's a a big IF he can stay healthy and his price tag is worth keeping.. Mallett will take over and I'm sure he can be just as productive , it must be the Offensive system , because it doesn't matter who is the OC or the QB is ____

ray lewis never can pass up a camera, and I know he can cry, laugh, act silly with that dance he does before a game,,,its

Anyone realize that New England only beat 3 winning teams this year in the regular season? The Colts (Luck hasn't figured out how to win outside yet), Broncos (who then went on their long winning streak) and Texans (who I thought they only had to play 12 weeks of the season). Maybe they're not as good as the media makes them out to be.

If Jake Long walks, Ireland should walk out with him. He's part of the mistake of drafting him instead of Ryan. Plus...you don't stockpile valuable picks and then have to use one to replace a Pro-Bowl player already on the roster. Pay the man!!! Lock up Hartline and let Sean Smith walk. He's been tweeting his displeasure anyways.

Boldin yesterday showed the value of a crafty, veteran receiver who knows how to get open in the red zone. As hard as Hartline works, he doesn't scare anyone in the red zone. As a matter of fact, no one on Miami's roster scares anyone in the red zone.

Which is why I like the thought of Jennings (veteran, good size, gets open) coming in during the offseason. People get hung up on "Well, he's just another possession receiver." If he can separate from NFL defenders consistently, then I don't care how fast he runs the 40.

The Dolphins will franchise Long then either sign him to a long term deal or trade him. Simply letting him walk away is a bit foolish to me.

let long walk and get a good sub. pick for him .....

And what happens when we trade down so that we get two recievers for the 12th pick. And then get a pass rusher or DB or OL with the other two 2nd round picks.
That´s six of the top 90 players

Tell Jackie Long that it's her husbands call, ask him. If he wants big money start packing, but if he is willin to play for what he is worth now put away the jackets, we'll take him.

WHEN IT COMES TO FA WR THERE IS NO CHOICE BUT MIKE WALLACE, PLAIN AND SIMPLE! GIVE TANNEHILL A DEEP THREAT TO THROW TO,RESIGN HARTLINE AND BUSH AND THEN DRAFT AUSTIN FROM WV OR WHEATON FROM OREGON ST AND NOW YOU'VE JUST MADE THE DOLPHINS ONE OF THE FASTEST TEAMS IN THE NFL. IMPROVE THE PASS RUSH AND NOW YOU'VE CLOSED THE GAP WITH NE. I DO NOT THINK THE PATRIOTS WILL RESIGN WELKER, INSTEAD I SEE THEM TRADING HIM TO A TEAM GETTING ADDITIONAL PICKS OR MOVING UP TO GET WHAT THEY WANT. THIS IS WHY WE NEED A GOOD FAST RECEIVER WHO HAS PRODUCED IN THIS LEAGUE AND IS STILL YOUNG,NOT TO MENTION HE IS RARELY INJURED. JENNINGS FITS SYSTEM WISE BUT HE IS BREAKING DOWN AND HE DOESN'T ADD THE ELEMENT THE DOLPHINS NEED. WITH WALLACE ANYTIME THERE IS MAN/MAN COVERAGE HE IS A HOME RUN WAITING TO HAPPEN. THIS WILL FREE UP HARTLINE,BESS,AND MAKE ROOM FOR MORE LONG RUNS FOR REGGIE BUSH (RESIGN HIM)DO THOSE THINGS GET A GOOD PASS RUSHER AND WE CLOSE THE GAP WITH NE. WE CAN ALSO WEAKEN THE PATRIOTS BY SIGNING RT VOLMER FROM THEM. THE PROBLEM WITH THE DOLPHINS IS ONE BIG PROBLEM? JEFF IRELAND!! HOPEFULLY JEFFY GETS IT RIGHT !!!

I do not know what Jake Long is worth but it must be a lot as EVERY other NFL team will take a run at him. LT awfully important to have a void - did anybody see Martin's play get called "embarassing" by an ANNOUNCER in the SF game and get planted on his butt by a CB in final game...and he is supposedly "Philbin's guy"...yikes....

Thinking about Long - it may be that at $10M a year he would be overpaid by a couple of million - certainly possible. But at the same time, the incremental payment of $2M would mean that we are not opening up a hole in a key part of our offense. Given our salary situation the S2M will not break the bank and it means we can concentrate our FA where it needs to concentrate - WR, CB, OG, pass-rusher - and our draft where it needs to concentrate TE, WR, WR, OG, big RB.

I understand the principle of not wanting to overpay for an asset. But you also do not want to open up holes you did not need to open up. It is not like we do not have enough holes now.

Hmmmmm. both Brady and Manning showed their age when it mattered in the big lights.

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