Rob Gronkowski On Madden 17 Cover

Boxshot Wizard file used for creating global boxshots

New England Patriots Tight End Rob Gronkowski will join the Madden NFL cover family as the featured cover athlete forMadden NFL 17, hitting shelves on August 23rd for Xbox and PlayStation consoles.

Electronic Arts Inc. officially unveiled the Madden NFL 17 cover art, featuring New England Patriots Tight End Rob Gronkowski. EA and ESPN jointly revealed the cover live during the 6pm ET/3pm PT edition of SportsCenter, alongside a video debuting this year’s game.

In Madden NFL 17, players on Xbox One and PlayStation®4 can take their team all the way with new gameplay features that elevate the ground game, arming teams for success on both sides of the ball.

“It’s great to finally be able to share with the world that Gronk will be joining our cover fraternity,” said Josh Rabenovets, Senior Director of Global Marketing at EA SPORTS. “He’s one of the most fun, dominant and exciting players in the league, and it’s awesome to feature the famed Gronk Spike on the Madden NFL 17 cover.”

Gronkowski is one of the most decorated tight ends in the NFL, holding the season record for most touchdowns by a tight end in a season, as well as a four-time Pro Bowler and a Super Bowl Champion. He’s widely regarded as one of the most physically dominant players in the league, and was the highest-rated tight end in Madden NFL 16.

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“It’s a really special honor to appear on the cover of Madden NFL 17,” said Gronkowski. “It’s one of those things that pretty much every guy in the league secretly dreams of, so to actually be the one on the cover, it’s a really big deal.”

EA also released a Madden NFL 17 video today showcasing Gronkowski and the first of several new features for next-gen consoles in this year’s game. Fans can check out the Madden NFL 17 website to learn more about improvements to the ground game, including a new path assist feature, new defensive AI and expansion of ball carrier special moves, which give players new creative controls on the ground, all of which are featured on the Xbox One and PlayStation®4 versions of the game.

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EA Access* members can try Madden NFL 17 before it’s released for a limited time as part of a Play First Trial, only on Xbox One.

Madden NFL 17 will be available for Xbox One, Xbox 360®, PlayStation®4 and PlayStation®3 on August 23. To learn more about Madden NFL 17, visit http://www.easports.com/madden-nfl.

For more info on this year’s game, fans can check out the Madden NFL 17 website.

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Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo and Old Spice working to end “overspraying epidemic”

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There’s a war going on that you may not even know about. We hear a lot about world events like missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, Syria and the Middle East. But one thing we don’t hear about is the overspraying epidemic that exists for 75% of guys.

Patriots All-Pro linebacker Jerod Mayo and Old Spice have teamed up to teach men how to scent responsibly and stop this epidemic the way Mayo stopped Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta in the 2013 AFC Championship.

“I’m actually on my way now to educate young guys at Boston University to teach them how to scent responsibly,” said Mayo, concern evident in his voice.

“They know how to drive responsibly, and do other things responsibly. It’s all about scenting responsibly in 2014. I’m very excited to help end the overspraying epidemic that’s happening now.”

One reason the problem has reached epidemic levels is ignorance; 68% of guys admit that no one had ever showed them how to apply body spray properly.

The first step is acceptance — realizing that you have an overspraying problem and then taking the necessary steps to move forward.

Mayo, Captain of the Patriots defense, is here to call out your defensive spray audible.

“There’s some rules you have to abide by. First off, it starts with a shower. You have to take a shower with your Old Spice gel. That helps gets the pores open so you can put on the Old Spice Refresh Body Spray. But the thing about Refresh is that you don’t need too much of it.”

Read the full interview here.

Brady calls out Patriots’ toughness

Following Sunday’s loss to the Dolphins in Miami, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady questioned his team’s toughness.

From the Providence Journal:

“I think we’ve got to find a way to play better football for 60 minutes, in all phases, and everyone has got to focus on what they need to do better. I think that’s the most important thing: being mentally tough to overcome adversity,” Brady said. “When things don’t go your way, you have to fight back. That’s a challenge for all of us. I think at times we do, and at times I don’t think we fight very hard.

“We have leads in the second half and leads in the fourth quarter and we’re just not closing the game out when we have the opportunity to.”

Not that I disagree with him, but this is coming from the man who complained to a ref when a member of the Ravens’ defense blew on his knee.

There’s something fundamentally lacking with the way the Patriots play on the road. In their heyday, the Pats would jump out to a big lead and then step on their opponents’ throats. But now they keep their opponents in the game throughout by playing poor defense and turning the ball over offensively.

On Sunday, Brady’s interception in the end zone late in the fourth quarter killed them. But the Dolphins still had to march up the field in order to score, which they did. Whether it’s a lack of toughness or not, the Patriots just aren’t getting it done on the road and that’s a troubling sign with the playoffs looming.


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2009 NFL Week 7 Picks & Predictions

Instead of limiting myself to only four games like I have the previous weeks, I’ve decided to channel my inner Peter King and make predictions (with smaller write ups) on every contest on the NFL schedule this week.

49ers at Texans, 1:00PM ET
It had to have been a long two weeks for San Francisco’s players after the Falcons drubbed the Niners 45-10 in Week 5. Mike Singletary will have his team more focused and I think we’ll see a great defensive effort from San Fran this Sunday to slow down a potent Houston offensive attack.
Odds: Texans –3.
Prediction: 49ers 20, Texans 17.

Packers at Browns, 1:00PM ET
This will be a closer game than most think. The Packers could be looking ahead to a home date with the Vikings next Sunday, although in the end Cleveland’s offense is putrid and while Green Bay has been inconsistent defensively this year, I think they’ll do enough to get the Pack a victory.
Odds: Packers –9.
Prediction: Packers 24, Browns 16.

Chargers at Chiefs, 1:00PM ET
Ron Rivera has no clue on how to get San Diego’s defense back on track, but the young, inexperienced Kansas City secondary could have issues slowing down Philip Rivers and the Bolts’ passing game. Still, I think Matt Cassel and company pull off a surprise upset at home against a San Diego team coming off a short week.
Odds: Chargers –5
Prediction: Chiefs 20, Chargers 18.

Colts at Rams, 1:00PM ET
The Rams have given a nice effort the past two weeks, but this is a horrible matchup for them – even at home. Peyton Manning and company is well rested and the Indy defense will harass Marc Bulger all game.
Odds: Colts –14
Prediction: Colts 34, Rams 14.

Read the rest of this entry »

Receivers doom Ravens in loss to Patriots

If Ozzie Newsome doesn’t get Joe Flacco some receivers, he’s going to wind up wasting his young quarterback’s talents.

Baltimore receivers dropped two passes inside the Patriots’ 20-yard line at the end of New England’s 27-21 win on Sunday, which cost the Ravens an opportunity to stay undefeated.

Derrick Mason’s drop on 3rd and 4 from the 14-yard line with 35 seconds left was bad, but also forgivable considering the defender bumped him from behind right as the pass hit his chest. But Mark Clayton’s drop on the very next play was inexcusable because Flacco hit him right in the numbers and it served as the death nail for the Ravens.

But let’s give credit where credit is due – this was an impressive victory by the Patriots, although not so much defensively. Baltimore racked up 363 total yards and moved the ball at will, but Tom Brady found a way to move the ball against a good Ravens defense despite not having a running game.

One thing New England did do well defensively was confuse Flacco with various blitzes, which often caused him to throw off his back foot and not set his feet. Leigh Bodden produced a big interception in the red zone at the end of the first half because Flacco couldn’t set his feet while rushing to get the ball out of his hands. That’s just a case of Bill Belichick’s front seven getting the job done.

The Pats still have plenty of flaws, but they’ve beaten two playoff teams in the Falcons and Ravens the past two weeks and face the winless Titans and Bucs in two of their next three games. If they can beat the Broncos in Denver next week and pick up wins over Tennessee and Tampa before their bye, they’ll be 6-1 and filled with confidence heading into the second half of the year.

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