The Wolverine

February 2019

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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70 THE WOLVERINE FEBRUARY 2019 BY AUSTIN FOX O n Jan. 20, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady led his club back from two fourth-quarter deficits to grab a thrilling 37-31 over- time victory at Kansas City in the AFC Championship Game, guiding the franchise to its ninth Super Bowl appearance with him at the helm. The win over the Chiefs slammed the door on all the naysayers who had clamored that Brady — at 41 years old — was too old to perform at a high level and no longer possessed the late-game magic he once had. Brady crushed that argument in emphatic fashion, by engineering touchdown drives on the Patriots' final three possessions of the game, including the lone series in overtime. "I'm too old, and you're too slow," the quarterback joked to wide receiver Chris Hogan as soon as the game ended. "We have no skill players and no defense — we have nothing." As a result of the victory, Brady now has more Super Bowl appearances than any other NFL franchise and the same amount that legendary quarter- backs Joe Montana, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees have as a group. A triumph over the Los Angeles Rams Feb. 3 would give Brady the most Super Bowl rings of any player in NFL history. He enters the game tied with pass rusher Charles Hardy, who was part of five Super Bowl wins while playing for the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers. Brady has also been named the Su- per Bowl MVP four times, the most of any player in league history. The NFL BRANDON GRAHAM PLANS TO EXPLORE FREE AGENCY Defensive end Brandon Graham shined in what was possibly his final game as a member of the Philadel- phia Eagles, compiling three tack- les, a sack and a forced fumble in his team's 20-14 divisional playoff loss at New Orleans Jan. 13. The free agent to be addressed his future publicly Jan. 15. "I love Philly, but I owe it to myself and my family to explore free agency," he explained. "I'm in the business of doing what's best for my family, and I need to explore the market." FORMER WOLVERINES ON NFL ROSTERS Through Jan. 20 • Ben Braden (Played at U-M from 2012-16), OG, New York Jets: Made just two appearances as a reserve line- man for the 4-12 Jets. • Tom Brady (1996-99), QB, New England Patriots: Completed 65.8 per- cent of his attempts for 4,355 yards with 29 touchdowns and 11 interceptions, plus added two rushing scores, for the 11-5 and AFC East champion Patriots … Ranked seventh in the NFL in passing yards, 10th in scoring throws and 18th in completion percentage (65.8) … He also connected on 71.1 percent of his throws for 691 yards with two scores and two picks in playoff wins over the Los Angeles Chargers (41-28) and Kan- sas City Chiefs (37-31 in overtime), and will next face the Los Angeles Rams in the Super Bowl Feb. 3. • Jake Butt (2013-16), TE, Denver Broncos: Started the first three games of the season for the 6-10 Broncos be- fore suffering a season-ending torn ACL in practice … Notched eight catches for 85 yards prior to getting hurt. • Taco Charlton (2013-16), DE, Dal- las Cowboys: Started seven of the 11 regular-season clashes he played in (he missed three with a shoulder injury, and was a healthy scratch in two others) for 10-6 and NFC East champion Dal- las … Compiled 27 tackles, one sack and a pass defended … Also competed in both of Dallas' playoff contests — a 24-22 victory over the Seattle Seahawks in a wild card game and a 30-22 loss to the Los Angeles Rams in the divisional round — but did not log any stats. • Jehu Chesson (2012-16), WR, Washington Redskins: Appeared in 12 games (no starts) for the 7-9 Redskins … Hauled in one reception for seven yards and rushed once for a four-yard loss. • Frank Clark (2011-14), DE, Seattle Seahawks: Started all 16 outings for 10-6 Seattle, which earned a wild card berth to the playoffs … Notched 41 tackles, 13 sacks, two passes defended, an inter- ception he returned 26 yards and three forced fumbles … Tied for eighth in the NFL in quarterback takedowns and tied for 11th in forced fumbles … He also posted four tackles and a sack in Seattle's 24-22 setback at Dallas in the playoffs. • Jeremy Clark (2012-16), CB, New York Jets: Saw time in just one game (no stats) for the 4-12 Jets, and was only on the club's active roster for five tilts. • Mason Cole (2014-17), C, Arizona Cardinals: Earned the starting nod at center in all 16 contests for the 3-13 Cardinals. • Blake Countess (2011-14/finished at Auburn), S, Los Angeles Rams: Par- ticipated in all 16 clashes (one start) for the 13-3 and NFC West champion Rams … Recorded nine tackles, two passes defended, a pick and a 24.6-yard aver- age on 17 kick returns … Also recov- ered a blocked punt in the end zone for a touchdown … Saw time in both of the Rams' playoff triumphs over Dal- las (30-22) and New Orleans (26-23 in overtime), but did not record any stats … The Rams will take on the Patriots in the Super Bowl Feb. 3. • Amara Darboh (2012-16), WR, Se- attle Seahawks: Spent the 2018 season on the 10-6 Seahawks' injured reserve Brady will be making his ninth Super Bowl appearance — the most in NFL history — when the Patriots take on the Los Angeles Rams Feb. 3. PHOTO BY ERIC J. ADLER/NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS   MICHIGAN IN THE PROS Tom Brady Heads Back To The Super Bowl — Again

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