Five quick thoughts: Brady picks apart Raiders in 33-8 victory


Five quick thoughts: Brady picks apart Raiders in 33-8 victory

Here are five quick-hitting thoughts from what transpired between the Patriots and Raiders down in Mexico City . . . 

1. The Raiders defense came as advertised: They were putrid. Granted, Tom Brady made a few throws that might've been difficult for any defense to stop. But things were too easy for New England in the first half. Their 16-play hurry-up drive in the first quarter saw Brady go 9-for-9. The Raiders also allowed the Patriots to get into field-goal range when the Patriots took possession deep in their own territory with just 33 seconds remaining in the second quarter. The Raiders came into the game allowing opposing passers a rating of 110, worst in the league. Brady's rating in the first half was 129.3. He finished with a rating of 131.9 before being relieved by Brian Hoyer in the fourth quarter. 


2. Raiders receivers are going to be in Derek Carr's dog house for the foreseeable future. They dropped four passes in the first half and six in total. One of the drops -- a pass that bounced off of Johnny Holton's shoulder pads in the first quarter -- led to a Duron Harmon pick. Even when they caught Carr's passes, Raiders receivers found a way to kill their team. Seth Roberts caught a Carr pass that almost put the Raiders in the end zone, but as Roberts stretched to pick up more ground -- maybe thinking he could score? -- Marquis Flowers punched the ball loose and Patrick Chung recovered to give the Patriots one more drive before the end of the first half. 

3. Stephen Gostkowski's 62-yarder before the end of the half gave the Patriots a score in the final minute of the first half for the seventh consecutive game. Just a ridiculous stat. And as they love to do, they received the kick to start the second half and promptly scored on a 64-yard bomb from Brady to Brandin Cooks. What could have been a 14-7 score at halftime was instead 24-0.

4. Patriots tackle depth was tested on Sunday and came away with largely positive results. LaAdrian Waddle did not allow a sack. He missed a series in the first quarter, giving way to Cameron Fleming, and he was rolled up on in the third which forced Fleming to briefly take over again. Fleming allowed a sack to Khalil Mack in the first quarter, but Brady was kept mostly upright for the remainder of the game. The Patriots could use Marcus Cannon back in the lineup, but in his absence Waddle has held his own against the likes of Joey Bosa, Melvin Ingram, Von Miller and now Mack. 

5. Interesting to see the Patriots opt to kick all but one of their kickoffs deep into the Raiders end zone for touchbacks. The Patriots have one of the best kick-coverage units in the league, but Oakland return man Cordarrelle Patterson led the league in return average (30.8 yards) coming into the game. It made sense then that Bill Belichick took the approach he did. Even in the kicking game, he doesn't want one of your best weapons to beat his team. 



Josh Gordon practices with Patriots but Belichick still reluctant to talk

NBC Sports Boston Photo

Josh Gordon practices with Patriots but Belichick still reluctant to talk

1:22 - Josh Gordon is now officially a Patriot. Tom E. Curran joins Early Edition with Gary Tanguay and Trenni Kusnierek to give his theory about why Bill Belichick was reluctant to discuss the acquisition of the former Browns wide receiver.

6:10 - Jimmy Butler has reportedly requested a trade and prefers the Knicks, Nets, and Clippers as destinations. Chris Gasper and Kyle Draper talk about if this could have any impact on the Celtics and Kyrie Irving’s future in Boston. 

10:13 - David Price can’t get the job done and the division title celebration will have to wait another night. Giles, Draper, Holley, and Trotta break down David Price’s performance and discuss what the Red Sox playoff rotation should be. 



Browns were frustrated Josh Gordon was not in shape

Browns were frustrated Josh Gordon was not in shape

Wednesday night on Quick Slants, Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated said the Browns were frustrated that Gordon was not in football shape.

First, Breer mentions Gordon reportedly tweaking his hamstring during a promo shoot before the trade.

"The hamstring issue is more a symptom of him not being reliable," Breer said. "It wasn't like he was in any sort of disrepair when they were dealing him. It was the way he got hurt, which was outside of team activities and the fact that he showed up late the next day."

Then, Breer went on to talk about how the Browns used Gordon a lot in the season opener to prove to the receiver that he wasn't in football shape.

"I think this goes beyond just the substance abuse problem. The Browns had gotten frustrated with him, and it wasn't just the hamstring and what happened last weekend. It was also the fact that he had trouble getting himself into football shape. And I think a lot of people look at him... and by human standards, he's in great shape -- not the same thing as being in football shape. And in that first game, you might notice that they put him out there for I think 69 snaps, right? Hue Jackson said before the game, 'We didn't intend to start him,' but they did intend to play him a lot and then they said they only started him because of personnel groupings.

"My understanding is part of the reason they put him out there for that long was to show him, 'Hey, look - you may think you're in great shape, but being in football shape is something different.' And so if you watch the game, he wore down a little bit at the end and that's something they had experienced in practice, and so that's something to watch for."

"And the big question of course, and this is central to what the Patriots believe in... does he really love football that much? And that's at the center of the Patriots program when it comes to who they're going to acquire."

All signs point to Gordon getting to prove himself sooner rather than later with the Patriots.