Patriots

Tom Brady lauds "spectacular" Patrick Mahomes after Patriots win AFC title

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Tom Brady lauds "spectacular" Patrick Mahomes after Patriots win AFC title

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, like everyone else, recognizes the incredible talent of Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

After punching his ticket to a ninth Super Bowl appearance with a dramatic 37-31 overtime win against Mahomes in Sunday's AFC Championship Game, Brady sought out the young quarterback to offer a few words.

“I just went and saw him,” Brady said, per NBC Sports' Peter King. “I mean, he’s feeling like you think he’d feel when you lose a game like this. It hurts. He’s a hell of a … I mean, what a great young player. So impressed with his poise, his leadership. He is spectacular.”

Mahomes joined Brady and Peyton Manning as the only quarterbacks ever to throw for 50-plus touchdowns during the regular season. The 23-year-old QB wasn't as accurate as usual in the AFC title game loss, completing just 16 of 31 passes, but he did rack up 295 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions.

Mahomes likely is the future of the NFL at the quarterback position. He can make every throw and he's not afraid of pressure. The Chiefs will be legitimate Super Bowl contenders for as long as he's healthy.

But Brady, and the Patriots made Mahomes wait at least another year with another fantastic show of clutch play. Brady led the Patriots to a go-ahead score in the final minute of regulation, and when his defense allowed the Chiefs to tie the game and force overtime, the 41-year-old quarterback led the Pats back down the field for the winning score. Brady completed several third-down plays on the winning drive, once again proving he is the best quarterback in the league.

Brady has shown no indication he's ready to retire, which is great news for football fans who already can't wait for the next thrilling playoff matchup between these two great quarterbacks.

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Logan Ryan's Rob Gronkowski tribute reminds us of loaded 2014 Patriots team

Logan Ryan's Rob Gronkowski tribute reminds us of loaded 2014 Patriots team

The New England Patriots have had some absolutely loaded teams in the Tom Brady and Bill Belichick era, and the 2014 squad that won Super Bowl XLIX over the Seattle Seahawks might be the best of the last decade. 

Tennessee Titans defensive back Logan Ryan paid tribute Monday to one of his former New England Patriots teammates, Rob Gronkowski. The veteran tight end announced his retirement Sunday on Instagram. Gronkowski and Ryan spent four seasons as teammates in New England and won two Super Bowl titles.

Check out Ryan's Instagram photo and message in the post below:

Ryan's photo and caption serve as a good reminder of how stacked the Patriots' roster was during the 2014 campaign. 

The offense featured Tom Brady, Julian Edelman, Gronkowski and a really good offensive line. The defense had even more talent, led by Vince Wilfork, Chandler Jones, Dont'a Hightower, Devin McCourty, Patrick Chung, Darrelle Revis and Ryan. Undrafted rookie cornerback Malcolm Butler also made a pretty important play that season.

Debating which Patriots team was the most talented will be a fun conversation when the dynasty finally ends, and there's no question the Super Bowl-winning 2014 roster is right near, or at the top of the list.

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Patriots 2019 schedule: Analyzing best matchups for Week 1 opener

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USA TODAY Sports

Patriots 2019 schedule: Analyzing best matchups for Week 1 opener

The New England Patriots will not open the 2019 NFL season despite being the defending Super Bowl champions. Instead, they will begin their championship defense in the prestifious "Sunday Night Football" window on NBC.

The league is mixing up its scheduling patterns for Week 1 next season, opting to not have the defending champs play in the Thursday night season opener. The Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers, a fitting matchup for the NFL's 100th anniversary celebration throughout 2019, will play in that Thursday night slot.

So, who will the Patriots play in Week 1? We won't know the opponent until the full schedule unveiling in April, but we do know it's going to be  one of eight opponents: the Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, New York Jets,  Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Dallas Cowboys ,New York Giants or Kansas City Chiefs.

Click for a ranking of the best possible Week 1 matchups>>>

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