Patriots

Patriots hold their breath, but Brady emerges none the worse for wear after another rushing TD

Patriots hold their breath, but Brady emerges none the worse for wear after another rushing TD

FOXBORO -- The reactions varied from player to player inside the Patriots locker room.

Some were thrilled to see Tom Brady put his legs to use to score a pivotal fourth-quarter touchdown in the Pats' 43-40 victory on third down from four yards away, lunging head-first for the goal line when he got close. Others were concerned the way they might be concerned for a relatively fragile family member who got a little aggressive on the Slip-And-Slide on the Fourth of July. 

"I was pretty excited," Chris Hogan said. "I was just hoping that he didn't get hurt."

He didn't, though for the second time in as many weeks Brady paid the price for trying to break the plane of the end zone with the nose of the football. 

The 41-year-old took a shot from the Colts as he jumped and stretched across the line for six in Week 5.

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On Sunday night, with 5:25 left, he looked and looked and looked for a receiver but couldn't find one with the Chiefs dropping eight into coverage. 

"I don't know what happened," Brady said after. "They doubled three guys on the play. I'm just glad . . . Gotta watch it tomorrow, but I got close to the goal line and I just tried to get it in. We needed it."

The play made the score 37-33 and helped Brady -- who made some critical throws to win the game late -- atone for an egregious strip-sack that was recovered by the Chiefs deep in Patriots territory at the end of the third. 

But Brady's scramble-drill score almost never happened. He was in the grasp of outside linebacker Breeland Speaks, who couldn't wrap himself around Brady's legs firmly enough to bring the quarterback down. According to NFL Media's Mike Giardi, Speaks later blamed his inability to finish on his concern for picking up a roughing-the-passer penalty. 

For the offensive line surrounding Brady, it was a stressful play, and not just because Brady left his feet and was hit by two defenders at the end. In a scramble situation like that, with the Chiefs in a prevent coverage (or "P-coverage) and only rushing three, there's only so much Brady's blockers could do.

"I was kind of stuck in no-man's land," David Andrews said. "Think it was P-coverage. They only rushed three. I was going right with the protection. Tried to swing back when I saw there was only one guy coming right. I got to where the d-tackle went inside and Joe [Thuney] flushed him. I turn around and [Brady's] standing there. 

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"You don't know if you can go block downfield because he might flip it. You're just kind of watching. Unfortunately. I'm sure there's something I could've done better, but in the moment you're just kind of stuck there. You feel paralyzed almost because you don't want to get in his way, but you don't want to go downfield. Especially in that situation where we're so close to the goal line."

When Brady landed in the end zone, the Patriots had the lead again, and there were no apparent injuries to lament.

"Any time that happens [you worry], but he's tough," Andrews said. "And I guess he's pliable."

"Still got it," Matthew Slater said. "Forty-one, scampering around the gridiron. Looking nimble, agile. It's always fun when he uses the legs . . . and he comes up healthy. That's a plus."

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Dolphins' Kyle Van Noy bristles at Patriots comparisons: 'We're our own team'

Dolphins' Kyle Van Noy bristles at Patriots comparisons: 'We're our own team'

You could call the Miami Dolphins "Foxboro South." Just don't call them that in front of Kyle Van Noy.

The veteran linebacker is one of four former New England Patriots who signed with the Dolphins this offseason, joining fellow linebackers Elandon Roberts and Kamu Grugier-Hill and center Ted Karras.

Miami is also led by an ex-Patriot in head coach Brian Flores, who has loaded his staff with New England alums in defensive coordinator Josh Boyer, tight ends coach George Godsey and quality control coach Mike Judge.

But Van Noy apparently is growing tired of those who believe the Dolphins are trying to replicate the Patriots' model of success.

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“I don’t now how many New England guys there are, but we’re going to get away from that,” Van Noy told the Miami Herald's Adam Beasley in a recent interview. “We’re our own team, this is not the New England Patriots. This is the Miami Dolphins. It’s totally different, and I’m excited for that. New beginnings.

The Dolphins began to forge their own identity late in the 2019 season, going 5-4 down the stretch after losing their first seven games. While Van Noy and his fellow Patriots cast-offs weren't there for that turnaround, the 29-year-old can already sense the team's new attitude.

"We’re the Miami Dolphins. We’re here to represent the people of Miami," Van Noy said. "They want it bad. I can sense that. Miami’s a football town."

The Dolphins fired ex-Patriots wide receivers coach Chad O'Shea as their offensive coordinator late in the 2019 season and used their No. 5 overall pick on Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, so perhaps they are intent on moving past those Patriots comparisons.

We'll find out immediately if that new approach pays off, as New England hosts Miami in its 2020 season opener.

Devin McCourty, wife share heartbreaking news of daughter's death

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Devin McCourty, wife share heartbreaking news of daughter's death

Devin McCourty and his wife, Michelle, endured every parent's worst nightmare last weekend.

The New England Patriots safety shared his wife's announcement Saturday that they lost their third child, Mia, last Sunday as the result of a stillbirth.

"I cry as I type this," Michelle wrote in an Instagram post. "My pregnancy had resulted in a stillbirth at almost 8 months of being pregnant — at exactly 31 weeks 2 days, when we found out that the baby girl growing inside me no longer had a heartbeat after being completely fine the week prior at my last doctor’s appointment.

"We are so heartbroken. We are devastated. We are speechless. We are angry. We are sad. We are confused. We are numb."

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The couple has two other young children: a 3-year-old girl named Londyn and a 2-year-old boy named Brayden.

The McCourtys received an outpouring of support from Devin's current and former teammates after he shared the news on Instagram.

Here's ex-Patriots quarterback Tom Brady: "Love you my brother. So sad for you loss! You are in our thoughts and prayers always ❤️❤️🙏🏼🙏🏼"

And here's Patriots linebackers coach Jerod Mayo: "My prayers and love to your family bro."

Patriots wide receiver N'Keal Harry -- "My prayers are definitely going out to y’all. Love you bro💙" -- Detroit Lions defensive end Trey Flowers -- "Prayers for you and your family! 💪🏾 be strong brother" -- and ex-Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib -- "Praying for ya family brotha!" -- were among many other NFL players offering their support to the McCourtys.

Michelle added in her message that she and Devin "appreciate the love and support we’ve already gotten, and just ask that you respect our privacy during this difficult time, since we have no answers to give anyway."

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