Patriots

Tom Brady, Larry Fitzgerald helped Rory McIlroy prep for PGA Championship

Tom Brady, Larry Fitzgerald helped Rory McIlroy prep for PGA Championship

Rory McIlroy had a major golf championship to get ready for. So, naturally, he enlisted the help of two football players.

McIlroy, who's competing in the PGA Championship this weekend at Bethpage Black, played a round of golf last Thursday at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass., with New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald and Wall Street executive Jimmy Dunne, according to Golf Week's Eamon Lynch.

The Country Club is Brady's home course -- he and his wife, Gisele Bundchen, gained membership in 2017 -- and the Patriots QB apparently defended his turf: He and McIlroy scored a "resounding 7&6 win" in match play against Fitzgerald and Dunne, per Lynch.

Brady has been an avid golfer since he was a kid and has hit the course with several prominent pros, including fellow Under Armour athlete Jordan Spieth. This appears to be his first publicly-shared round with McIlroy, though, so we'll see if Brady can be Rory's good luck charm at the PGA Championship, which began Thursday morning.

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.

Where does Patriots' Sony Michel rank among NFL RB1s entering 2019?

Where does Patriots' Sony Michel rank among NFL RB1s entering 2019?

Sony Michel enjoyed a tremendous rookie season for the New England Patriots and played a pivotal role in the team's run to a sixth Super Bowl championship.

The 24-year-old running back ran for 931 yards and six touchdowns in 13 regular season games, but his real value, however, was shown in the playoffs. Michel tallied 336 yards and a rookie postseason record six touchdowns in three games, culminating with 94 yards and the Patriots' only touchdown in their 13-3 win over the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII.

After a stellar first season as a pro, where does Michel rank among the league's RB1s entering the 2019 season? Former NFL running back Maurice Jones-Drew ranked Michel at No. 11 in his rankings on NFL.com. Here's what MJD had to say about the Georgia product:

Michel showed he can be a bell cow during the postseason, with 71 carries for 336 yards and a rookie-record six rushing TDs in three games. He underwent a minor knee procedure in June, but Michel should still be the effective rusher he was in the postseason starting in September. Plus, I think Patriots OC Josh McDaniels will be more creative with the running game now that Rob Gronkowski is no longer on the team.

Jones-Drew put New York Giants rookie sensation Saquon Barkley atop his rankings, with Alvin Kamara of the New Orleans Saints, Le'Veon Bell of the New York Jets, Ezekiel Elliott of the Dallas Cowboys and Christian McCaffrey of the Carolina Panthers rounding out the top five, in that order.

The Patriots offense was carried by its ground game in the last season's playoffs, and we could see more of the same this coming season after New England selected talented Alabama running back Damien Harris in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft. The Pats now have Michel, Harris, Rex Burkhead and James White leading a really impressive group of running backs that should make the team's offense a well-balanced unit next season.

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 odds: Three quarterbacks favored over Tom Brady for 2019 MVP

NFL odds: Three quarterbacks favored over Tom Brady for 2019 MVP

Tom Brady opens as one of the favorites to win the 2019 NFL MVP award, but Vegas has three quarterbacks favored over the Patriots QB.

Chiefs quarterback and 2018 NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes unsurprisingly is listed as the favorite heading into the new season at +350. Also ahead of Brady are Eagles QB Carson Wentz (+550) and Colts signal-caller Andrew Luck (+600).

Brady is tied with Chargers QB Philip Rivers at +700 and followed by Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, who opens at +800.

(Odds via Caesars Palace)

Considering the uncertainty at the wide receiver position for the Patriots, it shouldn't come as a surprise that Brady isn't favored to be 2019's MVP. But at +700, there's certainly plenty of value there if you're looking to put some money down before the season.

Brady has won the NFL MVP award three times before in his illustrious career (2007, 2010, 2017).

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.