Patriots

Brady: 'I was happy that we were being aggressive'

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Brady: 'I was happy that we were being aggressive'

The Patriots twice went for it on fourth down against the Bills. Both times quarterback Tom Brady attempted a pass deep down the field, and both fell incomplete. 

The first play came with about six-and-a-half minutes remaining in the second quarter and the Patriots up, 21-7. It was fourth-and-one, and the Patriots had a plan to hit running back Dion Lewis for a quick gain. Brady faked a jet sweep to Danny Amendola and rolled to his right, looking for Lewis, but the 5-foot-8 back was blanketed by defensive end Manny Lawson. 

Brady held onto the ball and fired on the run with defensive end Mario Williams on his heels. Julian Edelman was the intended receiver but the attempt sailed over his head.

"I was trying to throw it to Dion in the flat," Brady told WEEI's Dennis and Callahan show on Monday, "and the coverage that was on the receiver came off, and we were expecting him to continue running, and he got covered up. And then I just kind of drifted and saw if I could get someone free. And Julian [Edelman] was back there and I just overthrew him.

"It was just kind of one of those risk/reward plays. I was happy that we were being really aggressive; we were aggressive all day. But we didn’t make that play. Had we got it, it would have obviously felt a lot better, but we just didn’t quite execute as well as we could have."

A similar situation popped up for Brady in the fourth quarter. It was fourth-and-one at the Bills 41, and he faked a hand-off to running back LeGarrette Blount, the heavy formation -- with offensive lineman Shaq Mason playing fullback -- helping to sell the fake. Edelman beat Bills corner Stephon Gilmore down the middle of the field, but Brady overthrew Edelman's out-stretched arms. 

In that instance, with just over eight minutes remaining in the game and the Patriots up 37-19, they felt the gamble was worth taking. But the way the rest of the quarter played out had some questioning their aggressive approach in hindsight. 

The Bills scored on their next possession to pull within 12 points of their guests. Then they strip-sacked Brady early in the Patriots next drive, and two plays later Tyrod Taylor found Sammy Watkins for another touchdown to pull within five with just over four minutes remaining.

The Patriots got a field goal from Stephen Gostkowski and a pick from Logan Ryan to seal the game later in the quarter. 

Tom Brady had a great retort for 'Madden NFL 20' over high-five snub

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USA TODAY Sports

Tom Brady had a great retort for 'Madden NFL 20' over high-five snub

Tom Brady's social media game hasn't lost a step this offseason.

EA Sports released a teaser video for its "Madden NFL 20" video game that incredibly featured footage of the New England Patriots quarterback getting snubbed on a high-five attempt.

That's a pretty savage move ... and one that didn't go unnoticed by Brady, who fired back the perfect retort on his Instagram story.

Well played, Tom.

The "Madden Curse" used to be a real thing, as players like Rob Gronkowski and Peyton Hillis either got hurt or fell into obscurity after gracing the "Madden" cover. (Yes, Peyton Hillis was on a "Madden" cover.)

But Brady smashed the curse in 2017, winning NFL MVP honors after landing on the "Madden NFL 18" cover.

The 41-year-old QB also left a zinger for EA Sports in the Instagram comment section, where teammate Julian Edelman came to his defense, as well.

This is the second day in a row Brady has fired off a Madden-related barb on social media, so if you're going to take a shot at the GOAT, be prepared for battle.

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Report: 40% chance of Rob Gronkowski 'unretirement'

Report: 40% chance of Rob Gronkowski 'unretirement'

Rob Gronkowski and Brett Favre don't have much in common...yet. 

Pro Football Talk reporter Mike Florio compared the two on Tuesday after a source close to the retired tight end told Florio there's a 40% chance of Gronkowski coming back in 2019. Florio noted that a possible appeal from Tom Brady and an itch to get back to playing football could eventually sway Gronkowski out of retirement. Florio also speculates that Gronkowski may come back for the "good stuff," the end of the season and playoffs.

"For now, Gronk isn’t thinking about football," Florio writes. "He’s enjoying his life, he doesn’t need the money, and he’s having a blast. The question becomes whether Gronkowski misses his teammates and/or the games after August becomes September. While he won’t miss dealing with training camp and the preseason, he could miss the game once they start playing games that count."

Since retiring from the NFL, Gronkowski has posted cryptic messages about coming back on social media, chatted up Drew Brees at the ESPYs about apparently coming back, and caught passes from Tom Brady at UCLA, fueling comeback speculation. 

Separately, sources have told Florio that New England head coach Bill Belichick has been supportive of Gronkowski, and has developed a softer, more "player-friendly" approach as his Super Bowl rings pile up. 

Still, until Gronkowski decides definitively one way or another, the Brett Favre-esque retire-unretire speculation will continue. 

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