Patriots

MVP is last thing on Brady's mind

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MVP is last thing on Brady's mind

By Danny Picard
CSNNE.com

FOXBORO -- Tom Brady has thrown for 27 touchdowns and has over 3,000 passing yards in 12 games. He was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week on Wednesday after his four-touchdown performance against the New York Jets Monday night. It was his second straight four-touchdown, zero-interception game.

With all of that comes the never-boring MVP chatter.

Up until a few weeks ago, it seemed that Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick and his 21 touchdowns (15 passing) would run away with the award. But now Brady's name has emerged as the leading MVP candidate in many people's minds.

So what does Brady think?

"It's really the last thing on my mind," said the Pats' quarterback, who won the award in 2007, prior to Wednesday's walkthrough at Gillette Stadium. "Regardless of how I play, it's how our offense plays. That's what I'm concerned most about."

And the Patriots have the best offense in the NFL. New England averages 31.6 points per game, ahead of the Eagles (28.7) and Chargers (26.9). San Diego's number explain why Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers -- 24 touchdown passes -- has also been involved in the MVP debate.

But Brady seems to be grabbing more attention than Vick and Rivers at this point. Part of that has to do with Monday's nationally televised game. But, in truth, Brady is actually proving to be the league's most valuable player. The 10-2 Patriots -- coming off a 45-3 beatdown of the now 9-3 Jets -- are beginning to look like the dominant Patriots teams we've seen in the past.

Still, Brady won't compare it to the last Patriots team that went to the Super Bowl, in 2007-08.

"We're not even close to that," said Brady. "I think we were an entirely different team and style than what we're trying to accomplish here. We're just trying to get the ball in the end zone.

"That's what our job is. We don't go out there to punt. Coach Bill Belichick doesn't send us out and say, 'Run three plays and then send the punt team out.' We're going out there to score."

On Sunday in Chicago, the Patriots' offense will have to go out there and score against the third-best defense in the NFL, as the Bears have only allowed an average of 16 points per game this year.

After that, the Patriots will have to go up against the league's top defense in the Green Bay Packers -- who allow only 15.2 points -- at Gillette Stadium.

A dominating offensive performance by Brady in Chicago and then again at home against the Packers would most certainly eliminate Vick and Rivers from the MVP debate.

Danny Picard is on Twitter at http:twitter.comdannypicard

Gostkowski named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week

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Gostkowski named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week

FOXBORO -- Stephen Gostkowski is almost 34 years old, but in Mexico City he provided a reminder that he's not slowing down in his 12th NFL season. 

After going four-for-four on field goals -- including a team-record 62-yarder, a 51-yarder and a 40-yarder -- and making all three of his extra points, Gostkowski was named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week for the sixth time in his career. 

During a press conference on Wednesday, Bill Belichick explained that someone in Gostkowski's situation probably isn't improving at this point in his career. But if he's maintaining a strong level of play, that's OK. 

"I don’t know how much real improvement you’re going to see from a player that’s been in the league 12 or 20 years in a case like Adam [Vinatieri] or somebody like that," Belichick said. "But, if the level they’re performing at is pretty good, if they can maintain that, then that’s certainly enough to help the team.

"Are there things that a player can do better? Yeah, sure, there always are technique things. I think Steve has really improved in some of his alternative kicks on kickoffs, as an example, instead of just kicking every ball as far as he can. He’s done a great job of that. I’d say it’s maintaining the timing and the overall leg speed and technique that makes kickers good at their job."

Ex-Pats Moss, Law and Seymour among Hall of Fame semifinalists

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Ex-Pats Moss, Law and Seymour among Hall of Fame semifinalists

Former Patriots Randy Moss, Ty Law and Richard Seymour are among 27 semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2018.

In January, selectors will reduce the list to 15 finalists, who will join seniors Robert Brazile and Jerry Kramer and contributor Bobby Beathard on the final ballot. The annual selection meeting will take place Feb.y 3, the day before Super Bowl LII.

Click here for the complete story from NBC's Pro Football Talk.