Patriots

SNF crew previews Chiefs-Patriots: Can KC repeat its Foxboro stunner?

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SNF crew previews Chiefs-Patriots: Can KC repeat its Foxboro stunner?

The NBC "Sunday Night Football" studio crew of Mike Tirico, Rodney Harrison and Tony Dungy discuss the matchup of the undefeated Chiefs (5-0) visiting the Patriots (3-2).

Dungy recalls the Chiefs coming into Gillette Stadium for the season-opener last year and knocking off the Patriots. "And Kansas City's offense now [featuring young QB sensation Patrick Mahomes] is better than that one."

But Harrison, the ex-Patriots safety, says Tom Brady "is a different quarterback" now that wide receiver Julian Edelman is back.

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Quick Slants Podcast: Jerod Mayo breaks down the keys to the Patriots winning 3 straight

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Quick Slants Podcast: Jerod Mayo breaks down the keys to the Patriots winning 3 straight

(2:00) Takeaways from the Patriots win over the Chiefs  

(6:00) Is Dont’a Hightower still not 100 percent? Jerod breaks down what he has seen

(8:00) How important has the improvement of Sony Michel been or the Patriots offense?

(14:00) Who was to blame at how poor the defense played in the 2nd half?

(19:00) Why are QBs around the league playing so much better?

(22:00) Reaction to Nick Bosa taking a year off of Ohio State to rehab for NFL

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NFL executive doesn't buy Breeland Speaks' excuse for not sacking Tom Brady

NFL executive doesn't buy Breeland Speaks' excuse for not sacking Tom Brady

When Tom Brady ran for a touchdown against the Chiefs on Sunday night, it seemed like defensive tackle Breeland Speaks had him dead to rights. But he let him go, allowing Brady to run into the end zone. 

After the game, Speaks cited the league's recent crackdown on quarterback hits and its generous distribution of roughing the passer penalties as the reason for letting go of Brady early. It's something fans have seen over the past few weeks as the league has made it clear that officials will continue to call roughing the passer on players who seem to just be finishing their tackles. 

In this particular instance, Brady pumpfaked while Speaks was going in for the tackle. Speaks appeared to think the ball was out of Brady's hand, and immediately let go of the QB in fear of getting called and giving the Patriots a free first-and-goal. Brady, of course, still had the ball, and scrambled into the end zone for a rare rushing touchdown. 

But NFL executive VP of football operations Troy Vincent doesn't believe the penalty was what caused Speaks to let Brady go. He was of the opinion that Brady was simply doing what he'd been doing for nearly 20 years now: stepping up in the pocket to avoid the sack. Vincent expressed his opinion that the league has made it as clear as possible to the players what they can and cannot do, and Speaks just missed the tackle, blaming his whiff on fear of a penalty. 

Whether Speaks just missed Brady or did pull up to avoid a penalty, the constant calls have been a problem across the league this year. This time, it worked out in the Pats' favor. Next time, that might not be the case. 

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