Patriots

Patriots' Tom Brady posts epic photo with 'NFL 100' QBs at Super Bowl LIV

Patriots' Tom Brady posts epic photo with 'NFL 100' QBs at Super Bowl LIV

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady wasn't playing in Super Bowl LIV on Sunday night, but he still found a way to be part of the storylines during the showdown at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami.

In addition to starring in a Hulu commercial that explained Brady's cryptic social media post from Friday, the 42-year-old veteran also was honored before the game as a member of the "NFL 100 All-Time Team". The "NFL 100 All-Time Team" series ran on NFL Network during the regular season, and Brady actually took part in the episode that focused on quarterbacks.

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Brady posted to his Instagram a photo of him alongside the six other living quarterbacks who were named to the NFL 100 roster. Otto Graham, Sammy Baugh and Johnny Unitas also were selected, but all three have passed away.

Check out one of the greatest collections of quarterback talent in the picture below:

This post sparked quite a few comments, including one from Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James that said, "AMAZING group of QBs to say the least! Sheesh!!"

Brady is the only active player in this group, and after the 2019 season ended in disappointment, you can bet he's going to be highly motivated entering the 2020 campaign. The only question is which team will Brady be playing on when Week 1 arrives.

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Bills' Jordan Poyer explains why Tom Brady leaving Patriots is 'bittersweet'

Bills' Jordan Poyer explains why Tom Brady leaving Patriots is 'bittersweet'

The Buffalo Bills are well aware the AFC East is up for grabs following Tom Brady's departure from the New England Patriots.

But Jordan Poyer perhaps was hoping Brady stuck around for one more season.

During a recent interview with NFL Media's Mike Giardi, the veteran Bills safety admitted there's some part of him that was disappointed in seeing Brady join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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"It is bittersweet having Tom out of the division just because I had never beaten Tom," Poyer told Giardi. "I think I'm like 0-9 against Tom, so I definitely wanted to get a W in that column."

Poyer actually is 0-8 in his career against Brady's Patriots and 0-6 as a member of the Bills, whose last victory against New England came in 2016 before Poyer joined the team in 2017.

If Brady is still playing in 2021, Poyer may get a chance to end that streak, as Buffalo plays the Bucs in 2021.

But the 29-year-old safety isn't too hung up on his record against Brady. In fact, he shares the opinion of his Bills teammates that the AFC East is ripe for the taking without Brady in the picture.

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"With 12 out of the division, it makes it wide open," Poyer added. "That's on us in order to take advantage of that.

" ... It's a great opportunity for us to seize, man. We've got the pieces there and just continue to work and trust the process."

Buffalo added an elite offensive weapon this offseason in wide receiver Stefon Diggs and is favored by some media outlets to win the AFC East for the first time since 1993.

We'd imagine Poyer would take that result as opposed to trying to deal with Brady two more times in 2020.

NFL Power Rankings: Patriots in surprising spot in Peter King's latest list

NFL Power Rankings: Patriots in surprising spot in Peter King's latest list

It's difficult, for a lot of reasons, to predict the performance of the New England Patriots in the 2020 NFL season.

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted every team's offseason, including the 2020 NFL Draft process, offseason workouts and rookie camp, among other things. 

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From a football perspective, the Patriots have endured a ton of roster turnover at key positions this offseason, and no departure was more substantial than starting quarterback Tom Brady taking his talents to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in free agency. Brady wasn't the only important Patriots player to leave, however. Key defensive veterans Kyle Van Noy, Jamie Collins, Danny Shelton and Duron Harmon all left via free agency or the trade market, creating a situation where several young players will need to step up on defense to fill those gaps.

The Patriots' spot in recent 2020 NFL Power Rankings has been all over the place, which further show how tough it is to get a feel for New England's upcoming campaign.

Can Dolphins really threaten Patriots in AFC East?

NBC Sports' Peter King isn't as high on the Patriots as other experts. He placed them 21st in his new power rankings. Here's part of King's analysis: 

The reviews on the 133rd pick in the 2019 draft, Jarrett Stidham, are good, but the shadow of the 199th pick in 2000 will always be a long one for anyone who plays quarterback in New England. There is no book on Stidham, a tough kid who will not be afraid of the hot seat, but his goal is to keep New England in games and leave the Patriots with a decision to make on a quarterback in the 2021 draft. Whatever happens, America will be watching: Four of their final nine games will be in prime time. I think this season breaks the Patriots’ 11-year stranglehold on the AFC East, but I’m pretty sure everyone in that building wants to rub our faces in such predictions, and that’s a great motivator.

For context, King ranked two of the Patriots' AFC East rivals higher, including the Buffalo Bills (13th) and Miami Dolphins (19th).

Oddsmakers still believe in the Patriots. DraftKings Sportsbook has New England at -177 odds to make the playoffs, in addition to being slightly behind the Bills in the AFC East title odds. The Patriots also have the fourth-best odds (+1200) to win the AFC in 2020.

The transition from Brady to Stidham (or whoever starts at QB in Week 1) will be challenging, no doubt, but the Patriots should still be a playoff contender next season. They have a roster loaded with talented veterans who bring tons of championship experience, as well as the best head coach in league history in Bill Belichick. And, as King alluded to, no team relishes bulletin board material like the Patriots, and they will bring plenty of it into the 2020 season.