Patriots

Odell Beckham Jr: Playing for Patriots QB Tom Brady 'was always a dream of mine'

Odell Beckham Jr: Playing for Patriots QB Tom Brady 'was always a dream of mine'

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. isn't afraid to talk about his affinity for New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

Beckham will square off against Brady's Patriots on Sunday when the Browns travel to Gillette Stadium for a much-anticipated Week 8 matchup. 

There was some trade speculation/rumors involving Beckham and the Patriots before the 26-year-old wideout ultimately was dealt from the New York Giants to the Browns over the offseason, and his tenure in Cleveland has not started well. The Browns enter Sunday's game with a disappointing 2-4 record, and Beckham has tallied 29 receptions for 436 yards and one touchdown in those six games.

Beckham was asked about the Patriots on Wednesday, and he admitted that playing for Brady has been a dream of his.

Many Patriots fans probably have dreamt of a Brady-OBJ duo at some point, too, and who could blame them? Beckham is one of the best deep-threat wide receivers in the league, and his ability to create big scoring plays down the field would have been fun to watch with Brady throwing him the ball.

Beckham is signed through the 2023 season with an annual salary cap hit of $15 million. It's not impossible for him to someday wind up with the Patriots, but Brady is 42 years old and no one knows how much longer he'll play. The chances of Brady and Beckham becoming teammates probably is pretty slim at this point, but it's still fun for fans to dream about.

Tom E. Curran's takeaways from the Mohamed Sanu trade>>>

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.

NFL conference championships see ratings drop without Patriots

NFL conference championships see ratings drop without Patriots

Love 'em or hate 'em, the New England Patriots garner the attention of the masses.

That was evident during last year's AFC Championship game vs. the Kansas City Chiefs, when an average crowd of 53.9 million people tuned in to watch the Patriots win in an overtime thriller and advance to Super Bowl 53.

To put that into perspective, this year's late-window matchup between the Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers drew only 42.7 million viewers, per Austin Karp of Sports Business Daily.

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.

Of course, much of that discrepancy has to do with Pats-Chiefs being far more competitive than Packers-Niners. Plenty of viewers likely tuned out of the latter matchup when San Francisco led Green Bay 27-0 at halftime.

Even so, it just goes to show how much more attention is paid to the NFL playoffs when Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, and the rest of New England is involved. This year's AFC Championship featuring the Tennessee Titans and Kansas City Chiefs marked the first without the Patriots since 2011, and it was the smallest audience (41.1 million) for an AFC title game in 11 years.

In comparison, the early game in 2019 (Los Angeles Rams vs. New Orleans Saints) averaged roughly 44 million.

The Chiefs and 49ers will meet in Miami for Super Bowl 54. It'll be interesting to see how those ratings compare to last year's Patriots-Rams matchup.

Perry: Examining the state of the offensive line

George Kittle celebrated Super Bowl berth with hilarious Jimmy Garoppolo shirt

George Kittle celebrated Super Bowl berth with hilarious Jimmy Garoppolo shirt

George Kittle had a little fun with his quarterback after the San Francisco 49ers beat the Green Bay Packers in Sunday night's NFC Championship Game to clinch a berth in Super Bowl LIV.

The All-Pro tight end showed up to his postgame press conference with a custom t-shirt that included a shirtless photo and autograph of 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

Check it out in the tweet below:

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.

Garoppolo was asked by reporters about Kittle's shirt, and he couldn't hold back his laughter.

“I got him earlier in the week with a shirt, showed it to the media and everything, so he had to get me back a little bit," a smiling Garoppolo said, per 95.7 The Game. "I thought it was a nice shirt he had on. Maybe we’ll get them in the team store soon.”

Garoppolo is no stranger to the Super Bowl. He made two Super Bowl appearances with the New England Patriots as Tom Brady's backup, and in two weeks he'll make his first start on that stage.

The 49ers quarterback hasn't had to play at an elite level for his team to reach the Super Bowl, but that should change in Miami on Feb. 2. The AFC champion Kansas City Chiefs have an offense that looks unstoppable right now, so Garoppolo likely will need to play one of his best games as a pro to give San Francisco a strong chance to win its sixth Lombardi Trophy in franchise history.

Latest Super Bowl 54 betting lines, MVP odds