Michigan Football Preview 2013

2013 Michigan Football Preview

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Top Five Moments In 2012 When New England defeated Houston in the playoffs last season, it marked the 17th playoff win of quarterback Tom Brady's career, the most in NFL history. photo by Dave Silverman 1. Terrific Tom: Tom Brady becomes the winningest postseason QB There were a number of strong performances to choose from for Brady, including a pair of four-touchdown and zero-interception contests in the regular season, but the veteran quarterback was outstanding in the Pats' first playoff game of 2013. Brady finished 25-of-40 passing for 344 yards with three touchdowns and recorded a passer rating of 115.0 in the 41-28 victory over Houston. The win also made the former Wolverine the winningest signal-caller in postseason history after he clinched his 17th playoff win, surpassing childhood hero Joe Montana. Brady also moved his total postseason touchdown passes to 41 in the game, and added one more a week later — now, he trails only Brett Favre (44) and Montana (45) in that category — and he is also the NFL's all-time leading playoff passer (5,949 yards). 2. Super (Line)Man: Jonathan Goodwin paves the way back to the Super Bowl The San Francisco 49ers' offensive line was so outstanding in the 2013 playoffs that it is hard to pick out one single effort. However, the ground presence was particularly impressive during a record-setting playoff performance in the team's 45-31 victory over the Green Bay Packers in the divisional round on Jan. 12. The 49ers were the first team in NFL playoff history to boast two 100-yard rushers and a 100yard receiver, and they set franchise postseason records with 579 total yards and 323 yards on the ground. The potent rushing attack of quarterback Colin Kaepernick and running back Frank Gore powered San Francisco to the Super Bowl, where they fell to the Baltimore Ravens, despite outgaining them 468-367, thanks to 182 yards on the ground. 3. Stevie's Got This: Stevie Brown explodes onto the scene in New York Brown had several memorable outings in 2012. He recorded an interception that he returned 46 yards in his first start during a win over Cleveland in week five. He also picked off two passes in a win over Dallas in week eight. However, in the week 14 game against New Orleans, he not only recorded two interceptions, but also forced a fumble and tallied eight tackles. He also established the franchise record for single-season interception return yards (259) in that contest, and finished the year with 307 yards on eight picks. 4. Hall To The House: For Leon Hall, an interception means a touchdown The Cincinnati Bengals emerged in 2012 with a 10-6 record and wild card berth in the NFL playoffs, while Hall successfully returned from a season-ending Achilles' injury in 2011 to start 14 contests. Hall intercepted two passes during the regular season, a number he has reached or eclipsed in each of his six professional seasons, and he returned one for a touchdown. Top Wolverine Matchups In 2013 All time listed are Eastern Oct. 6, 1 p.m.: Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants This game features five former Wolverines, and there's a high chance those players will engage in action on the field. There's a small chance that Giants center David Baas sees Eagles defensive end/linebacker Brandon Graham, but it's nearly guaranteed that Philly wideout Jason Avant could be covered by safeties Stevie Brown and/or Ryan Mundy at least a few times during the game. The divisional rivals will meet again on Oct. 27 in Philadelphia. Nov. 3, 4:25 p.m.: Pittsburgh Steelers at New England Patriots Pats quarterback Tom Brady will likely see a pair of former Wolverines across the ball at linebacker when he lines up under center, including collegiate teammate Larry Foote, as well as former U-M star LaMarr Woodley. Foote and Brady both lettered during the 1998 and 1999 seasons, but all three should be familiar after competing against one another for at least six years in the AFC. Foote spent one campaign in Detroit, but other than that, the three standouts have played every season with their current squads. Dec. 8, 4:25 p.m.: New York Giants at San Diego Chargers At the end of May, there were three teams that boasted three former Wolverines, and this contest will feature two of those squads. The visiting Giants have starting center David Baas, starting safety Stevie Brown and reserve defensive back Ryan Mundy, while the Chargers' roster includes center David Molk, linebacker Jonas Mouton and offensive tackle Steve Schilling. 190  ■  The Wolverine 2013 Football Preview Hall also returned a pick in the Bengals' playoff loss to the Texans for a touchdown, in addition to recording four tackles. Over the last three weeks of the regular season and wild card round of the playoffs, Hall recorded three interceptions, returned two for scores and totaled eight tackles. 5. Graham Gets It Done: Brandon Graham collects 2.5 sacks versus the Bengals There weren't many bright spots during Philadelphia's 34-13 loss to Cincinnati in week 15, but the emergence of Graham was certainly a promising sign for the future. Graham finished the game, his fourth since moving into the starting lineup, by setting career highs with 10 tackles and 2.5 sacks, in addition to notching a forced fumble. By The Numbers: Charles Woodson 3 5 Different decades in which Woodson has appeared in a Pro Bowl (1990s, 2000s and 2010s). The defensive back recorded five interceptions en route to NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year honors and a Pro Bowl berth in 1998 (that marked his first of eight Pro Bowls). Woodson has also been named All-Pro seven times. Woodson has helped lead his team to the playoffs eight times, and those squads have compiled a 10-7 record in the postseason, including a victory in Super Bowl XLV by the Packers. Woodson is tied for 19th with Aeneas Williams for the most career picks in NFL history (55); Ed Reed (61) is the only active player with more. During Woodson's 15-year career, he has missed only 34 of a possible 240 regular-season games (14 percent), and he has logged 203 starts. Career interceptions by Woodson, in addition to more than 719 tackles (tackling statistics were not officially kept by the NFL until 2001), 119 passes broken up, 24 forced fumbles, 17 sacks and 11 fumble recoveries. Woodson's rank in the NFL Network's countdown of the top 100 players of 2013. Yards and 11 touchdowns accumulated on his 55 career interceptions. The 11 interception returns for scores are tied for the second-best mark in league history (behind Rod Woodson's 12), while the yardage total is 18th most in NFL annals. He has also returned a fumble for a score. Woodson was selected as the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2009 after he recorded 74 tackles, two sacks, nine interceptions, four forced fumbles and three touchdowns. 7 10 19 34 55 85 896 2009

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