Le'Veon Bell was hurt heading into AFC championship game

Not age (Brady is 39), not suspension (those four game to start the season), not injury (Rob Gronkowski), not ridicule, not even the NFL's commissioner declaring your organization a full-scale bad guy has been able to thwart the Patriots' claim to more than a decade of National Football League domination.

"It was tough, " Hogan said via The Boston Globe in June.

It was 31-0 by the time the Packers (12-7) scored, and by then, Rodgers was getting hit, hammered or hurried on just about every snap.

Brady made a formidable defense (at least in the previous nine weeks) seem inept while upping his career record to 6-1 against the Tomlin-coached Steelers.

"No question, but like I said, injuries are part of the game", Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. "I think when you look at the journey that is the season, I think that just about every guy down there is dealing with and managing something in an effort to stay on the grass". "Whether it's zone or man, I think the job has got to be performed a lot better". "We're going to see how it goes".

This one is going to be tight. "Mental toughness is what it is all about and this team has got it".

The Patriots converted 11 of 17 third-down chances. We're very fortunate to have our hard work pay off.

There was plenty of time to celebrate because the Patriots, with help from the Steelers, put this one out of reach relatively early. He wasn't intercepted and the Steelers finished with zero passes defensed on Brady's 42 throws.

"They came out firing and caught us off guard", Dupree said. They forced us into making them. Hats off to that team. "They had great preparation". "I don't know what to expect", he said. "I'm not too anxious about (lingering effects)". I know he's one of the top quarterbacks ever to play the game and maybe the top quarterback ever to play the game.

"It hasn't sunk in yet", Brady said Sunday. Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger has 23 in 20 games. Even though the Steelers allowed only 19 sacks in 19 games (and none to the Patriots), Villanueva is not assuming anything as he enters the offseason as an exclusive rights restricted free agent.

A realist, he wants to be ready for anything and is working toward his MBA at Carnegie Mellon.

"It'll be something that definitely I'll remember for the rest of my career and probably for the rest of my life", Hogan said. But at the end of the day he's human and humans make mistakes, last week you saw it (in the Houston-New England game). "I haven't been really telling people how I really felt". With 27.6 points per outing in the regular season, the Patriots were the AFC's most explosive offense and are certainly capable of scoring in bunches.

"It hasn't been 24 hours yet", he said.

- Ladarius Green missed a combined 13 games during the season, the first eight games recovering from off-season ankle surgery and the last five, including three playoff games, because of a concussion. Add it all up, and what do you get?

Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and Devonta Freeman are the names you know, but Thomas Dimitroff and Co. authored one of the NFL's best draft classes in 2015, selecting OLB Vic Beasley, Jr.

"It's never easy", he said. In the end, the Browns still lost, to what amounts to the Steelers' practice squad, proving the Browns are worse at football than I am with math.



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