Patriots

Brady's record day adds to legend

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Brady's record day adds to legend

FOXBORO When it all started Saturday night, and the Tebow hype was noise lost on the swirling wind, and the presence of Josh McDaniels was an afterthought, it was all down to Tom Brady.

Because, really, thats what the games always are about. The players. And this offensive performance by the Patriots Saturday night was about Tom Brady. The Patriots put their offense in his hands, went no-huddle and told him to go.

He went.

Three hours or so later, the final score was 45-10. Brady needed just 32 minutes of game time to throw six touchdown passes. Another chapter in the book of the greatest quarterback of his era.

The no-huddle offense the fuel injection the Patriots often summon when things bog down was put into effect early. The results were impossible to argue with.

I think it was certainly something that helped us when we played them out there, Bill Belichick said of the decision to go no-huddle early. We had a couple no-huddle series there at the end of the second quarter, start of the third quarter in Denver and we felt like that gave them a little trouble. And then today, it looked they lost a couple safeties and Im sure that didnt help the communication and we were able to press it a bit. It seemed like we had an advantage so we tried to, like I said, continue to try to take advantage of it and try to press it a little bit.

Broncos coach John Fox lamented the loss of his safeties. But were Ryan Clark available for the Steelers last week, the Broncos may not have been in Foxboro. Such is life.

Aside from that, Brady gave a not-to-be-denied vibe all week. Chad Ochocinco alluded to Bradys intensity during the week.

Hes very emotional . . . passionate guy, said Deion Branch.

Everyone was up this week, though, said Branch.

I think the vibe was in the building all week, not just Tom, said Branch. "Everything starts right with Coach Belichick, from the moment he walked in last week when we knew we were in the playoffs. Our playoffs started last week in practice. So, we had two weeks of preparation to get prepared to play this one game. I think we did a pretty good job.

I think the energy was there, I will say that, Branch added. Guys were running a little relaxed. Everybody was relaxed; nobody was pressing. But we knew what was at stake. We knew we wanted to go out there and take care of business.
"Im not saying we didnt want to do that last year, when we lost to the Jets in the same divisional round. Last year is what it is. This year, our biggest thing was we were going to go out here and play mistake free football, and we almost did that.

Almost: Brady threw a pick on the third Patriots' possession. Other than that, pretty seamless.

When it was over, Brady had gone 26-for-34 for 363 yards and the six touchdowns.

Records, what about the records, Mr. Brady?

I have no idea what records and stuff like that, Brady said in his postgame press conference. We try to go out and execute well. I thought offensively we took advantage of some opportunities . . . Anytime you score points and you score 45, obviously with the help of our defense and special teams played great. Hopefully we can go out next week and play even better.

So seven touchdown passes and no picks? No trouble.

Report: In threatening Goodell, Cowboys owner insults Kraft

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Report: In threatening Goodell, Cowboys owner insults Kraft

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, upset over the six-game suspension of his star running back Ezekiel Elliott, has been fighting against a contract extension for NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

How hard has he been fighting? Enough to reportedly insult Patriots owner Robert Kraft in the process. 

ESPN reports that on a conference call in August with Goodell and NFL general counsel Jeff Pash when Jones was informed of Elliott’s suspension for domestic violence incidents, Jones told the commissioner, “I’m going to come after you with everything I have.” He then invoked Kraft’s response to Deflategate and Tom Brady’s four-game suspension.

“If you think Bob Kraft came after you hard, Bob Kraft is a p—-y compared to what I’m going to do,” Jones told Goodell, according to ESPN’s Don Van Natta Jr. and Seth Wickersham.

Elliott, like Brady, abandoned his court fight this week and will serve his suspension. Kraft, of course, produced the Wells Report in context website, but grudgingly accepted the NFL’s penalty in the Deflategate case. Jones has threatened to sue the NFL if Goodell’s contract extension is approved.   

 

Blakely: Work in progress, but oh, what progress

Blakely: Work in progress, but oh, what progress

BOSTON – The words of Stephen Curry following the Celtics’ 92-88 win over his Golden State Warriors had an off-handed, end-of-the-night throwaway feel to them, a statement that would soon be forgotten after the Warriors reel off what should be a long string of victories going forward.
 
“They’re playing the best right now in the East,” Curry said of the Celtics, who now have a 3-2 edge in their past five meetings following Thursday night’s thriller. “And obviously until they beat Cleveland, who's done it three years in a row … so we’ll see.”

CELTICS 92, WARRIORS 88

We already have, folks.
 
The Celtics and the Warriors are both quick to remind us all that we are only a month into the season and that there’s still lots of basketball to be played.
 
But the big takeaway from Thursday was that the Celtics’ ascension to the top of the NBA mountain is a matter of when, not if, it’ll happen.
 
Because what we’re seeing now is a team that is very much a work in progress, yet one that still manages to win games on a lot of nights that they have no business winning.
 
Think about it.
 
They shot 32.9 percent against the Warriors, the best team in the NBA, and still managed to get the win. According to NBA stats guru Dick Lipe, it was only the second time in the past 35 years that the Celtics shot less than 33 percent from the field and still managed to win.
 
That speaks to how well Boston defended the Warriors, who came in averaging a league-best 119.6 points per game.
 
But more than that, it shows this team has a will to win that’s almost unheard of for a group whose pieces are so relatively new to one another.
 
Of the 14 Celtics with guaranteed contracts on the roster, all but four are in their first season in Boston.
 
But even with the new guys coming together quicker than anticipated, Boston should not all of a sudden be considered the favorites in the NBA.
 
Even with the victory, Boston still has some ground to make up if they are to be on the same level as Golden State, a franchise that has been to the NBA Finals each of the past three seasons and has emerged a champion twice.
 
“It takes a lot of basketball to get there,” said Warriors guard Klay Thompson. “They have a good, young, hungry team. You have to give them credit. They have a better record than us, so you can say they’re better now.”
 
And while Thompson didn’t place an emphasis on it, the last word in his comments, “now,” is why Thursday’s victory leaves the Celtics cautiously optimistic.
 
Because as we’ve seen time and time, regular-season success does not always travel well beyond that and into the playoffs.
 
Still, Thursday’s win provides something for Boston beyond hope and optimism.
 
They now have results to go with the work they’ve put in to be a better team and compete with the league’s best.
 
And they’ve done it under less-than-ideal circumstances.
 
Gordon Hayward went down with an ankle injury less than five minutes into the season and he’s expected to be lost for the rest of the season. Al Horford missed two games while recovering from a concussion while Kyrie Irving missed a game after suffering a facial fracture.
 
So in other words, the Big Three that Boston was set on unleashing to the rest of the world has logged less than five minutes together all season.
 
And yet there are the Celtics (14-2), tops in the NBA while riding a historic 14-game winning streak, and there's reason to believe that maybe, just maybe, these two will be the last teams standing when all is said and done and some of those customary throwaway lines uttered by Curry might have some value after all if these two wind up meeting in the NBA Finals.

“I hear the weather is great here in June,” Curry said.