Patriots

Belichick praises Brady's leadership and play-calling

Belichick praises Brady's leadership and play-calling

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After Tom Brady threw his 500th career touchdown pass, Bill Belichick said that there was no quarterback he'd rather have than Tom Brady.

In an interview on SiriusXM NFL Radio, Belichick elaborated on exactly why that is.

"Tom's played really well and he's given us a lot of leadership off the field working with some of the younger players, or I would say, new receivers this year, like [Cordarrelle] Patterson and [Josh] Gordon. Sony Michel in the backfield...So he's had to make some adjustments, but he's done a  great job. He's given us a lot of leadership."

Belichick went on talk about Brady's pre-snap play-calling and what that does for the team.

"...He helps us with the running game because he gets us into the right play, or maybe more importantly, gets us out of some bad run plays that I call...So, Tom's done a great job for us this year. Like he always does."

This season, Brady has 2,200 passing yards with a 68 percent completion rate, 16 touchdowns, and seven interceptions. 

You can hear the full audio below.

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Can Browns pull off playoff miracle? If so, they'd join 1978 Patriots

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USA TODAY Sports

Can Browns pull off playoff miracle? If so, they'd join 1978 Patriots

It's December 15, and the Cleveland Browns somehow still are in playoff contention.

The Browns hung on for a wild, 17-16 victory over the Denver Broncos on Saturday night to improve to 6-7-1 with two games remaining.

The win means Cleveland actually has a chance to make the playoffs. It's a very small chance, but if the Browns win out and get a lot of help -- starting with a Pittsburgh Steelers loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday -- they could sneak into the final AFC Wild Card spot or even win the AFC North.

Cleveland in the playoffs would be improbable on several levels -- they started the season 2-6-1, haven't reached the postseason since 2002 and went 0-16 last season -- but here's one more note that Patriots fans may find interesting.

The Browns fired head coach Hue Jackson after their Week 8 loss to the Steelers, and interim coach Gregg Williams has gone 4-2 since then.

If Williams keeps winning, he can join the likes of Hank Bollough, who took over as the Patriots' co-interim head coach when Chuck Fairbanks was suspended in Week 16 of the 1978 season for negotiating a head coach position with the University of Colorado during the season.

Bollough's stint was brief, as Fairbanks was reinstated for New England's AFC Divisional Round matchup with the Houston Oilers, which it lost 31-14.

Williams' feat would be much more impressive, as he's put a moribund franchise with a rookie quarterback in at least an outside position to reach the postseason.

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NFL Odds: Chiefs' loss lifts Patriots in Super Bowl betting lines

NFL Odds: Chiefs' loss lifts Patriots in Super Bowl betting lines

Bill Belichick undoubtedly is focused on Sunday's showdown with the Pittsburgh Steelers. But New England Patriots fans might be looking ahead a bit after Thursday night.

The Kansas City Chiefs' loss to the Los Angeles Chargers kept the Patriots' hopes of earning the AFC's No. 1 seed alive. As such, it also improved New England's odds at the sportsbooks of winning Super Bowl LIII.

It's not much of a jump: The Patriots were fourth in Super Bowl LIII betting lines at +700 earlier in the week and now are tied for third with the Chiefs at +650 behind the New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Rams. But it's notable that sportsbooks now view New England and Kansas City as equal favorites to come out of the AFC.

The Chargers, meanwhile, shot up from +1000 earlier in the week to +750 after Thursday's upset win moved them to 11-3.

The 9-4 Patriots will need to win out and get help from Los Angeles and the Chiefs to secure the AFC's No. 1 seed. But even if they land the No. 2 seed, a few scenarios could present a favorable path to Atlanta.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

 

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