NFL: Tom Brady v Peyton Manning is a rivalry for the ages, and Sunday proved it

A round-up of the latest events and talking points from the world of NFL

Storming back from the brink of defeat, down 24-0 at the half, Sunday's win over Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos was not only impressive, it was also the biggest comeback of Tom Brady’s career.

Coincidentally, it was also a classic.

Manning, whose struggles in New England are well documented, was efficient but not his best – throwing for only 73 yards in the games’ first three quarters. Conversely Brady put in, arguably, his best performance of the season.

Finishing with just shy of 350 passing yards and three touchdowns, the long-time Patriot led his team on scoring drives on each of their first five second-half possessions.

With the game on the line, Manning belatedly flashed his brilliance to lead his team to the tying score, before New England clinched the win in overtime – courtesy of a special teams gaffe by none other than Wes Welker.

The former Patriot was making his first visit to Gillette stadium but was something of a non-factor in comparison to the man who’s replaced him in the Patriot offense, Julian Edelman, but his error late on cost his side the game.

Waving his hands to warn his team-mates to stay away from a bouncing punt, Tony Carter panicked and when the ball struck him, was slower to react than Nate Ebner, who recovered the ball and set-up the winning field goal.

There was more to the game than just the miraculous nature of the Patriot comeback though.

Edelman was superb, Rob Gronkowski is looking healthier and faster each week and it’s beginning to look as though, with the business end of the season approaches, the Patriot offense is finally finding its rhythm.

Except for Stevan Ridley.

Fumbling for the third time in consecutive games, losing two in the process, saw him label his performance as “almost disgusting.”

Speaking to the Boston Herald, Ridley admitted he was in the doghouse but conceded there was more to it than just him.

“This night is about the team and how we pulled it out.

“We fought back.

“For me, it’s almost disgusting. Personally, as a player, my team deserves better” he said.

He’s right though, but Bill Belichick will know how crucial he is to the New England offence and, as we have seen previously, he’s not afraid to make an example of those who need to improve.

As a result of the win, New England is now 6-0 at home (8-3 for the year) and clearly atop of the AFC East while the Broncos added to the NFL record of scoring 25 points or more, for the 16 straight game.


Seattle’s secondary

With Walter Thurmond facing a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy, the Seahawks were handed another blow on Monday as Brandon Browner, an impending free agent, was suspended for a year.

Accordingly, Thurmond is expected to accept his punishment and return in time for the playoffs while Browner will likely never suit up for the Seahawks again.

The former Oregon-State player missed the last four games of last season for violating the same policy and it appears Pete Carroll is ready to cut ties with a player who will be ineligible to play again until next November.

With Browner’s lengthy absence soon to be confirmed, the team are reportedly trying to entice Antione Winfield out of retirement, Perrish Cox and Marcus Trufant are also on the Seahawks radar although, so far, the team haven’t made any significant moves.


Jets woes

Statistically, Geno Smith’s recent efforts have been woeful.

Over the last four games, the New York Jets quarterback hasn’t thrown for more than 160 yards, or for a touchdown.

Instead he has thrown a staggering seven interceptions and lost the ball twice but Rex Ryan isn’t ready to pull the plug just yet.

However, sitting on a 5-6 record, the Jets are still in the AFC playoff hunt and it remains to be seen how long their embattled head coach waits before Matt Simms steps into the breach.

His caution is understandable though, it’s not all Smith’s fault. Collectively the whole Jets offense is under-performing and their offensive line has been inexplicably poor over the last few weeks.

With a three game stretch, that includes homes games with Miami and the Oakland Raiders before they travel to Carolina, Smith is going to have to drastically improve on his 22.3 passer rating if the Jets are to have any hope.

More importantly, Sunday’s match-up is a battle of two teams with a 5-6 record and with second place in the division up for grabs, don’t be surprised if Smith gets hauled off if the Jets find themselves in a hole.  

Lucerne’s Hotel Château Gütsch, one of the lots in our Homeless Veterans appeal charity auction
charity appeal
Raheem Sterling of Liverpool celebrates scoring the opening goal
footballLIVE: Follow all the latest from tonight's Capital One quarter-finals
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

Arts and Entertainment
Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
travelBritish embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for festive holiday-makers in UAE
Life and Style
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst

£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established media firm based in Surrey is ...

Ashdown Group: Java Developer - Hertfordshire - £47,000 + bonus + benefits

£40000 - £470000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / J2EE Devel...

Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Director - London - £70,000

£70000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Controller - Fina...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive - Nationwide - OTE £65,000

£30000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This small technology business ...

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Scandi crush: Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

Th Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum
France's Front National and the fear of a ‘gay lobby’ around Marine Le Pen

Front National fear of ‘gay lobby’

Marine Le Pen appoints Sébastien Chenu as cultural adviser
'Enhanced interrogation techniques?' When language is distorted to hide state crimes

Robert Fisk on the CIA 'torture report'

Once again language is distorted in order to hide US state wrongdoing
Radio 1’s new chart host must placate the Swifties and Azaleans

Radio 1 to mediate between the Swifties and Azaleans

New chart host Clara Amfo must placate pop's fan armies
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'It's life, and not the Forces, that gets you'

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'It's life, and not the Forces, that gets you'

The head of Veterans Aid on how his charity is changing perceptions of ex-servicemen and women in need
Torture: It didn't work then, it doesn't work now

Torture: It didn't work then, it doesn't work now

Its use is always wrong and, despite CIA justifications post 9/11, the information obtained from it is invariably tainted, argues Patrick Cockburn