On Sunday in Seattle, the Patriots will face off with Pete Carroll for the first time since he was fired by the Krafts. So let's Box Score Bank-it back to Carroll's last game as HC of the NWP.
January 2, 2000
"Smooth" by Santana (featuring Rob Thomas) was the No. 1 song in America. The Green Mile was atop the box office. The night before Tom Brady had played the last game of his college career, leading Michigan to a 35-34 OT victory over Alabama in the Orange Bowl.
And down at old Foxboro Stadium, the Pats were sending their coach out in style with a beat down of the Baltimore Ravens.
FINAL SCORE: Patriots 20, Ravens 3
The Pats offense on this afternoon was about as bland as Carroll's coaching tenure. They scored on two field goals (one of the 25-yard variety) and a one-yard touchdown pass from Drew Bledsoe to Mighty Mike Bartrum.
Bledsoe threw for 108 yards; Terry Allen was the leading rusher with 26 yards.
However, as we'll all be reminded on Sunday, Pete Carroll knows how to coach himself some defense, and he had the Pats 'D' rolling against the Ravens.
They picked up seven sacks on Tony Banks and Hall of Famer Stoney Case, including two each by Henry Thomas and Ted Johnson. Lawyer Milloy had a sack AND an interception one of two for the Pats. And the highlight of the day came in the fourth quarter, when Chad Eaton picked up a fumbled and rambled 23 yards for the game-sealing score.
With the win, the Pats finished with a record of 8-8.
A fitting end to a mediocre era.
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FOXBORO -- Patriots wideout Chris Hogan indicated after Saturday's divisional round win over the Texans that he'd be OK, and he doubled down on that stance when meeting with reporters Tuesday.
The veteran receiver, whose first season with the Patriots has brought his first career postseason experience, injured his thigh against Houston. He left in the third quarter and did not return.
"Feeling good," Hogan said. "Just had a little minor setback in the game. I'm working back every single day and feeling better every day."
Hogan had an awkward collision with Texans defensive lineman Jadeveon Clowney at the end of the first half on a play at the goal line. To that point, he had reeled in four passes for 95 yards as the team's primary deep threat. With Hogan out, Brady relied upon Julian Edelman and Michael Floyd as wideouts.
Hogan explained that he was expecting to practice this week.
"I'm just gonna go day by day," he said. "Come in here tomorrow. Everything's been feeling better day by day. I'm looking forward to getting out there and practicing this week."
Michael Strahan saw the Patriots lose a Super Bowl first-hand, but he doesn’t think they’ll lose Super Bowl LI. That’s because he doesn’t think they’ll be participants.
Appearing on The Tonight Show, the former Giants defensive end and current Person Who is Frequently on Television said that he expects the Steelers to upset the Patriots in Sunday’s AFC Championship.
“I think in the AFC, I think Pittsburgh might pull the upset this year,” Strahan said.
When Jimmy Fallon objected, Strahan said Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers’ pass rush would be enough to beat the Pats if New England plays the way it did in the divisional round.
“If you watched the Houston Texans, they had a shot; they just turned the ball over,” he said. “And the Houston Texans offense is in no way, shape or form near what Pittsburgh has. They don’t have the quarterback that [Pittsburgh has]. Defensively, Houston had the really good defense, but Pittsburgh [puts] the good pressure on the quarterback. And from my Super Bowl experience, Tom Brady does not like pressure. I’m just saying I feel like if there’s anybody who’s going to pull an upset, it will be them.”
As for any rooting interest, Strahan said that he hopes the Falcons win the Super Bowl, citing Matt Ryan being overdue for a title and Julio Jones having a Brady-like quality of putting team goals before his own legacy.