Patriots

Curran: Why I gave my MVP vote to Tom Brady over Matt Ryan

Curran: Why I gave my MVP vote to Tom Brady over Matt Ryan

HOUSTON -- I was one of 10 voters that cast their ballot for Tom Brady for 2016 NFL MVP. Matt Ryan won, of course, his 25 votes from the panel of 50 more than doubling Brady’s total. 

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Brady himself told me Ryan deserved the award and nobody can argue that Brady’s season was statistically superior to Ryan’s because one guy played 16 games and the other guy played 12.

When one guy is on the field for a full month and the other guy isn’t even allowed at the facility, well, that’s got to impact the candidacy. And for me it did.

For a long while -- after I moved off Dak Prescott as a possible candidate -- I couldn’t help but hold Brady’s absence against his candidacy.

But then I got down to the “why” of it. Brady wasn’t unavailable because he was injured. He wasn’t there because the NFL ran a sham investigation trying to prove something happened. They failed in that so they instead settled for reputation assassination in order to save face.

Brady sat four games so the NFL could justify its mistake. And I decided that holding that against Brady would only further validate the NFL’s suspension of him. So I voted for Brady.

I did, however, cast my vote for Ryan as Offensive Player of the Year, which he won. As for the other categories, Giants safety Landon Collins was my Defensive Player of the Year (Oakland’s Khalil Mack won), Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett got my vote for Coach of the Year (he won), Prescott got my vote for Offensive Rookie of the Year (he won), Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa was my Defensive Rookie of the Year (he won) and Patriots offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia got my vote for Assistant Coach of the Year (Atlanta OC Kyle Shanahan won). Cameron Wake of the Dolphins was my selection for Comeback Player of the Year (Green Bay’s Jordy Nelson won).

In the end, I’m happy the Ryan-Brady race didn’t come down to a single vote. Ryan got what he deserved, the reason Brady couldn’t compete with Ryan’s stats didn't deserve to be overlooked.
 

Patriots-Falcons injury report: Gilmore, Rowe out

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Patriots-Falcons injury report: Gilmore, Rowe out

As expected, after not practicing all week, Patriots cornerbacks Stephon Gilmore (concussion) and Eric Rowe (groin) have been ruled out for Sunday night’s game against the Atlanta Falcons.

The full Patriots and Falcons injury report:

Tom Brady: Injuries like his, Gordon Hayward's 'big reality check for all of us'

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Tom Brady: Injuries like his, Gordon Hayward's 'big reality check for all of us'

FOXBORO — You’d have to go back to 2008 to find the last “you’ve got to be kidding me” injury to open a Boston season before Gordon Hayward. 

That injury, of course, was the torn ACL suffered by Brady on a hit to the left leg from Bernard Pollard with 7:27 left in the first quarter of Week 1. Brady missed the rest of the season and the Pats went on to miss the playoffs despite going 11-5 under Matt Cassel. 

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Brady, who reached out to Aaron Rodgers last Sunday after the Packers quarterback was lost for the season, said he felt for Hayward after the Celtics’ key free agent acquisition suffered a fracture-dislocation of his left ankle 5:15 into the season opener against the Cavaliers Tuesday.

“It’s just a big reality check for all of us because we all think we’re invincible to some degree, and then you go and you have this really tough injury that just happens,” Brady said. “It is tough and everyone probably goes through something a little different or it hits them at different times, and I feel bad for [Hayward and Rodgers], but I’m sure they’ll both come back stronger and better than ever. 

“That’s what you have to do as an athlete. You’re always faced with adversities and you’ve got to overcome them. Mental toughness is a big part of that. I know both those players have a lot of that.”