Patriots

Chiefs cornerback defends Tom Brady amid talk of Patriots QB's decline

Chiefs cornerback defends Tom Brady amid talk of Patriots QB's decline

If you just focused on stats, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady looks like a good-but-not-great player in 2019.

The 42-year-old quarterback ranks fifth in the NFL in passing yards with 3,268, but he's only completing 61.1 percent of his passes with 18 touchdowns and six interceptions. He's on pace to finish with 24 touchdown passes, which would be his lowest total since he had 25 in 2013.

Stats don't always tell the whole story, though, and that's certainly the case with Brady.

Brady's biggest problems are beyond his control. His wide receiver corps has several new faces, including rookies N'Keal Harry and Jakobi Meyers, who have been asked to play roles they're probably not yet ready to undertake. Antonio Brown was brought in after Week 1 to be the No. 1 wideout and then was released 11 days later. Josh Gordon also was let go after battling an injury. And, of course, future Hall of Fame tight end Rob Gronkowski hasn't been adequately replaced.

Brady needs to play better. There's no question about that. However, he's still a really good quarterback. 

One of the Kansas City Chiefs players who will be tasked with helping to slow down Brady and the Patriots offense in Sunday's Week 14 game at Gillette Stadium is cornerback Bashaud Breeland. Here's his response this week to talk of Brady's decline, via Herbie Teope of the Kansas City Star.

It’s a myth. People said the same thing about Aaron Rodgers. He’d have slow starts, and then he’d turn it on. Once you’re a GOAT (greatest of all-time) and you have that GOAT status, at any moment you can turn it on. Brady can hit that switch anytime he’s ready.

New England needs a huge bounce-back performance from Brady on Sunday because so much is riding on this result. The Patriots lost control of the race for the No. 1 seed last week when the Baltimore Ravens overtook them in that spot. The Ravens and Patriots both have identical 10-2 records but Baltimore owns the head-to-head tiebreaker from its Week 9 win over New England.

Another loss likely would give the Patriots no chance to secure the No. 1 seed and homefield advantage throughout the playoffs. It might not even matter, anyway, because the Ravens don't have a hard schedule the rest of the regular season. But to have any shot at the top spot in the conference, Sunday's game is pretty much a must-win for the Patriots. A lot of the responsibility falls on Brady, who needs to elevate his performance for the Patriots to beat a Chiefs team that scores the third-most points per game in the league.

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.

Tom Brady: 'Whatever the future may bring, I will embrace it with open arms'

Tom Brady: 'Whatever the future may bring, I will embrace it with open arms'

The New England Patriots are facing a lot of uncertainty this offseason as Tom Brady will be an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career.

At this point in time, it's unclear what he will be doing. And Brady isn't giving any hints ahead of his mid-March decision.

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

Brady recently addressed his future in an interview on Westwood One radio and said that he will embrace the future "with open arms."

"I am open-minded about the process and at the same time I love playing football and want to continue to play and do a great job," Brady said. "I am looking to what is ahead. Whatever the future may bring, I will embrace it with open arms."

Patriots fans won't be encouraged by this seemingly non-committal answer, as it seems that there is a legitimate chance Brady will leave. This is especially true considering the rumors that Brady is planning on hearing pitches from opposing teams this offseason.

Still, there's a chance that Brady returns to Foxboro. But as long as he keeps his preferences close to the vest, there will be uncertainty surrounding the Patriots starting quarterback position.

Why Patriots center David Andrews is rooting for the Titans in the AFC Championship

Why Patriots center David Andrews is rooting for the Titans in the AFC Championship

Fans of the New England Patriots may be conflicted about whether to root for the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Championship Game. They are coached by former Patriots linebacker Mike Vrabel, but they also knocked the Patriots out in the Wild Card Round of the playoffs for the first time since 2009.

But regardless of how fans feel, there is one member of the Patriots who will be pulling for the Titans on Sunday. And that's center David Andrews.

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

Andrews, who spent all of the 2019 season on IR with blood clots in his lungs, is rooting for one of his college teammates and closest friends, Titans center Ben Jones.

"Watching him have success is really special," Andrews said of Jones to ESPN's Mike Reiss. "I'm pulling for him all the way."

Andrews spoke about how close that he and Jones became during his recruiting process. And Andrews described Jones as a mentor to him.

"When I was in high school, I remember a lot of people said, 'You're too small to play at Georgia.' But then came Ben, and he wasn't much bigger than me, and I really looked up to him," said Andrews, per Reiss.

"When I was getting recruited, he was always great. I would go see him and he'd let me hang out with him. He'd give me leftover Georgia gear that I could wear around my high school and think I was pretty cool. Then once I got to Georgia, he really took me under his wing. Ben was always a sounding board for me -- people called us father and son because we acted a lot alike."

Jones clearly did a good job helping Andrews to develop. Despite his lacking size, Andrews has been one of the NFL's most consistent centers when healthy. And though Ted Karras filled in well in place of Andrews this past season, the team still missed their solid interior blocker.

It's easy to see why Andrews is rooting for his friend and perhaps Jones and the Titans will pull off a third consecutive upset. We'll soon find out who will represent the AFC in the Super Bowl as Jones' Titans and the Kansas City Chiefs will square off for the conference title on Sunday afternoon at 3:05 p.m.