Patriots

Tom Brady comes in at No. 6 overall on NFL's Top 100 players of 2019 list

Tom Brady comes in at No. 6 overall on NFL's Top 100 players of 2019 list

For the first time in the history of the NFL Top 100, Tom Brady is not ranked among the top five.

The New England Patriots quarterback still made a top-10 appearance in the NFL's Top 100 Players of 2019. But as the NFL Network revealed on Wednesday night, Brady enters the season as the No. 6 overall player as ranked by his fellow NFL players.

Brady was ranked as the No. 3 overall quarterback on the list, as Drew Brees (2) and Patrick Mahomes (4) checked in ahead of him this year. The other players ranked ahead of Brady on this year's list were Aaron Donald (1), Khalil Mack (3), and Todd Gurley (5).

Despite Brady's lower-than-normal ranking, he got plenty of love from his peers, many of who called him the greatest football player of all-time.

"He's the best football player to ever play football. Ever." said Tennessee Titans tackle Taylor Lewan in the NFL Top 100 reveal. "Is he the best athlete? No. Not even close. You're a better athlete than Tom. Tom Brady is the best football player to ever play football. No doubt about it."

"I've never been around anybody who loves football more than Tom," Brady's long-time Patriots teammate Matthew Slater said. "The drive that he has in year 19 is even more than when I got here."

Last season, Brady completed 65.8 percent of his passes for 4,355 yards, 29 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions. The numbers may not be as crazy as Mahomes' (50 TD passes in his first season), but as Brady's Patriots teammate Kyle Van Noy pointed out, the numbers don't necessarily matter.

"He doesn't have the craziest numbers, but he's still playing at a high level," Van Noy said.

And considering that Brady led the Patriots third consecutive Super Bowl appearance and won his sixth title, an NFL record among players, Van Noy's point is certainly a good one.

Brady is one of four Patriots to be ranked in the Top 100 list this season. Julian Edelman (90), Devin McCourty (89), and Stephon Gilmore (22) were the other Patriots on the list. Of the four, Gilmore was the only one to be the highest-ranked at his position.

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N'Keal Harry using big play vs. Chiefs as a reminder of his potential

N'Keal Harry using big play vs. Chiefs as a reminder of his potential

FOXBORO -- At the moment, N'Keal Harry will take positive reinforcement wherever he can get it.

The New England Patriots rookie had just one reception in last Sunday's loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. He made the most of it, though, breaking multiple tackles and diving for what should have been ruled a touchdown.

For 21-year-old rookie with just five catches on 10 targets through four NFL games, the play was a reminder to himself and the Patriots of what he's capable of in space with the ball in his hands.

"Yeah, definitely," Harry said Friday when asked if that play was a confidence boost for him. "It kind of felt like some of the stuff I did in college, just getting the ball in my hand and being able to run with it.

"So, that definitely helped. Just seeing that I'm able to do the same things (I did in college)."

Harry averaged 13.9 yards per catch as a sophomore and 14.9 yards per catch as a junior at Arizona State, earning First-Team All-Pac-12 honors in both seasons as a playmaking deep threat.

Harry's NFL transition has been bumpy to date, as an ankle injury caused him to miss New England's first nine games. But the Patriots still are well aware of his talent.

"I need to do a better job of finding ways to get him in space, get him the ball, and let him have an opportunity to (make plays)," offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels admitted earlier this week.

The red zone seems like a natural place to get Harry more involved; the 6-foot-4, 225-pound wideout is a matchup nightmare for smaller cornerbacks and scored 17 touchdowns over his final two seasons.

Even after the Week 14 confidence booster, though, Harry will defer to McDaniels on how the Patriots want to increase his workload entering Sunday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

"That's more of a Josh question," Harry said when asked about his role in New England's red zone offense. "I'm just ready whenever my name is called."

" ... Whenever I get onto the field, whether it's 50 snaps or one snap, whenever my name is called, I have to be able to contribute."

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Patriots vs. Bengals injury report: Edelman, Sanu, Jason McCourty questionable

Patriots vs. Bengals injury report: Edelman, Sanu, Jason McCourty questionable

Tom Brady officially is off the New England Patriots Week 15 injury report.

While Brady has said his right elbow has needed extra treatment this week,  the quarterback was removed from when the Pats released their final injury report ahead of their matchup with the Bengals on Sunday in Cincinnati. Still on the report and listed as questionable are wide receivers Julian Edelman (knee/shoulder) and Mohamed Sanu (ankle), who are key parts of an already-struggling offense don't take the field. Cornerback Jason McCourty is also among those listed as questionable with a groin injury. No Patriots are listed as out. 

Bengals WR A.J. Green is listed as out with an ankle injury and DT Rennel Wren also is out with a hip injury. 

Here is the full injury report:

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (10-3)

OUT
None.

DOUBTFUL
None.

QUESTIONABLE
LB Ja'Whaun Bentley, Knee (limited participation in practice)
DL Byron Cowart, Concussion (LP)
WR Julian Edelman, Knee / Shoulder (LP)
OL Ted Karras, Knee (LP)
CB Jason McCourty, Groin (LP)
WR Mohamed Sanu, Ankle (LP)
DL Danny Shelton, Shoulder (LP)

CINCINNATI BENGALS (1-12)

OUT
WR A.J. Green, Ankle (Did not participate in practice)
DT Rennel Wren, Hip (DNP)

DOUBTFUL
None.

QUESTIONABLE
CB Darqueze Dennard, Illness (DNP)

Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. ET as the Patriots look to get back on track after back-to-back losses. 

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