Patriots

Brady and Patriots' offense back on fast track

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Brady and Patriots' offense back on fast track

The stopwatch was out Saturday. And Tom Brady and the Patriots' offense quickly looked like Tom Brady and the Patriots' offense of old.

Brady dropped back to pass 43 times Saturday and got his throws off in an average of 1.94 seconds. That's the fastest he's averaged in months, and it's a big reason why the Patriots defeated the Chiefs and advanced to the AFC Championship Game.

Here's the breakdown of each pass in each drive (the number is the amount of time, in seconds, it took Brady to release the ball):

1.05 - Wide receiver screen to Brandon LaFell -- Complete, pushed out of bounds for no gain
1.68 - Shotgun pass to Julian Edelman -- Incomplete
1.97 - Shotgun pass to Edelman -- Complete for 11 yards
1.62 - Shotgun pass to Edelman -- Complete on slant route for 13 yards
1.32 - Shotgun pass to Danny Amendola -- Complete for 16 yards
1.84 - Shotgun pass to LaFell -- Incomplete between hashes
1.98 - Shotgun swing pass to LaFell -- Complete for -3 yards
3.26 - Pocket pass to Rob Gronkowski -- Complete for 32 yards
5.91 - Shotgun pass thrown from outside pocket to Edelman -- Incomplete
1.34 - Shotgun pass to Gronkowski -- Complete for 3 yards
1.21 - Shotgun pass to Gronkowski -- Complete for 8 yards (touchdown)

* * * * *

1.81 - Shotgun pass to Edelman -- Complete for 3 yards
2.54 - Shotgun pass to Amendola -- Incomplete
1.64 - Shotgun pass to LaFell -- Complete for 9 yards
1.99 - Play-action pass to Edelman -- Incomplete
1.55 - Shotgun pass to Edelman -- Incomplete

* * * * *

2.45 - Play-action pass to Edelman -- Incomplete
1.63 - Shotgun pass to Steven Jackson -- Complete for 2 yards
2.60 - Shotgun pass to James White -- Incomplete

* * * * 

1.08 - Shotgun pass to Edelman -- Complete for 12 yards
2.58 - Shotgun pass to Keshawn Martin -- Complete for 42 yards
1.38 - Shotgun pass to Gronkowski -- Complete for 4 yards
1.33 - Shotgun pass to Edelman -- Complete for 6 yards
0.98 - Play-action pass to Amendola -- Complete for 2 yards
4.50 - Play-action pass to LaFell -- Incomplete (Chiefs penalized for roughing the passer)
1.67 - Shotgun swing pass to Brandon Bolden -- Complete for -3 yards

* * * * *

1.55 - Shotgun pass to Gronkowski -- Complete for 18 yards
1.99 - Shotgun pass to Edelman -- Complete for 14 yards
1.27 - Shotgun circle route to White -- Complete for 10 yards
1.73 - Shotgun pass to Gronkowski -- Complete for 16 yards (touchdown)

* * * * * 

1.17 - Shotgun pass to Edelman -- Complete for 9 yards
1.30 - Shotgun pass to White -- Complete for 29 yards
1.59 - Shotgun pass to Edelman -- Complete for 14 yards
1.39 - Shotgun pass to Lafell -- Incomplete
1.69 - Shotgun pass to Martin -- Incomplete
2.09 - Shotgun pass to Martin -- Incomplete

* * * * *

1.88 - Shotgun pass to Martin -- Complete for 15 yards
1.15 - Shotgun pass to Gronkowski -- Complete for 2 yards
1.86 - Shotgun pump-and-go pass to Edelman -- Incomplete

* * * * * 

1.55 - Shotgun pass to Edelman -- Complete for 6 yards
5.15 - Shotgun pass -- Incomplete (thrown away on near sack)
1.54 - Shotgun pass to Gronkowski -- Incomplete

* * * * *

1.59 - Shotgun pass to Edelman -- Complete for 12 yards

Injury report: Branch out, 10 Patriots questionable

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Injury report: Branch out, 10 Patriots questionable

The Patriots final injury report before their showdown with the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday includes 10 players listed as questionable and defensive lineman Alan Branch ruled out.

Branch, who hurt his knee in the Monday night loss to the Dolphins, missed three days of practice this week. Among the questionable are linebacker Kyle Van Noy and defensive lineman Trey Flowers, who didn't play against Miami. Tom Brady (Achilles), Brandon Cooks (hand) and Malcolm Butler (ankle) have been removed from the injury report. 

Cornerback Joe Haden (fibula) and wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (hamstring) among the Steelers listed as questionable. The full injury report:

Gronkowski quickly puts suspension behind him

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Gronkowski quickly puts suspension behind him

FOXBORO — Rob Gronkowski was not focused on the past or a lengthy press conference Friday. 

Speaking with the media for the first time since being handed a one-game suspension for his hit on Tre’Davious White two weeks ago, Gronkowski spoke for less than 2 1/2 minutes before declaring, “I’m out” and leaving the podium. 

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“I definitely learned about it, but I’m not really here right now [to talk about that],” Gronkowski said. “With the game Sunday, the Pittsburgh Steelers, I’m just putting my focus on them right now. Definitely learned from the mistake that I made, for sure a couple weeks ago, the last game I played in, but we’ve got a huge game this Sunday. We’ve got a huge game as a team this Sunday, so I’m just putting all my focus into the Steelers this week.” 

The veteran tight end said that he was glad to be back practicing and playing, but tried to shift the conversation back to the Steelers when asked about the suspension. He declined to share whether he reached out to White after the late hit. 

Gronkowski’s return will be a welcomed sight for a Patriots offense that struggled last week without him. Tom Brady played his worst game of the season, completing 24 of 43 passes for 233 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions in New England’s loss to the Dolphins.