Patriots

Tom Brady's NFL MVP odds greatly improve after Patriots' Week 1 win

Tom Brady's NFL MVP odds greatly improve after Patriots' Week 1 win

Oddsmakers are much more bullish on New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady winning the NFL MVP award this season after his exceptional performance in a 33-3 Week 1 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Brady completed 24 of 36 pass attempts for 341 yards and three touchdowns with zero interceptions. Seven different players caught a pass from Brady as the 42-year-old quarterback provided further evidence that he's winning his battle against Father Time.

His odds at the Westgate Superbook in Las Vegas to win NFL MVP before the season on Sept. 4 were +2500, tied for the 11th-best odds of any player. Brady's current odds at the Westgate are +1200.

Here's an updated look at the MVP odds entering Week 2 (hat tip to The Action Network):

Patrick Mahomes, QB, Chiefs: +350
Carson Wentz, QB, Eagles: +700
Lamar Jackson, QB, Ravens: +1000
Deshaun Watson, QB, Texans: +1200
Tom Brady, QB, Patriots: +1200
Drew Brees, QB, Saints: +1600
Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers: +2000
Philip Rivers, QB, Chargers: +2000
Dak Prescott, QB, Cowboys: +2000
Russell WIlson, QB, Seahawks: +2500

Brady should post another impressive stat line Sunday when the Patriots take on the Miami Dolphins for a Week 2 matchup on the road. The Dolphins lost 59-10 to the Baltimore Ravens at home in Week 1. Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson tossed five touchdown passes against an overmatched Dolphins secondary.

Unfortunately for the Dolphins defense, things could get much, much worse Sunday afternoon at Hard Rock Stadium.

Patriots-Dolphins Week 2 spread is approaching record territory>>>

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Patriots downgrade S Patrick Chung, RB Damien Harris to out for Eagles game

Patriots downgrade S Patrick Chung, RB Damien Harris to out for Eagles game

The Patriots have downgraded safety Patrick Chung and running back Damien Harris from questionable to out for the game Sunday against the Eagles in Philadelphia.

Chung has had heel and chest injuries but did play in the Pats' last game before their bye week, the Nov. 3 loss to the Ravens. Harris appeared on the injury report for the first time on Friday with a hamstring issue. The rookie third-round pick from Alabama has only been active for two games this season.

The loss of Chung could impact the Patriots most in their coverage of Eagles tight ends Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert. Taking on tight ends is something Chung has excelled at. 

ESPN Mike Reiss reports that Patriots tight end Matt LaCosse, out with a knee injury since Oct. 10, did travel with the team to Philly so he will likely be active for the game.

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Ten years ago today, on fourth-and-2, Bill Belichick made one of his most controversial decisions

Ten years ago today, on fourth-and-2, Bill Belichick made one of his most controversial decisions

It was one of the most controversial calls in Patriots history...and it didn't come from an official.

It was Bill Belichick's decision to go for it on fourth-and-2 in the final minutes against the Indianapolis Colts. And it was 10 years ago today.

THE DECISION

It remains Belichick's most talked-about moves this side of Malcolm Butler. In a Week 10 matchup in Indianapolis, the 8-0 Colts faced the 6-2 Patriots in a high-scoring affair. Leading 34-28 but backed up at their own 28-yard-line and needing two yards for a first down, Belichick chose to go for it on fourth down and try and keep the ball out of quarterback Peyton Manning's hands.

THE PLAY

Tom Brady completed a pass to running back Kevin Faulk, who was driven backward by the Colts' Melvin Bullitt. After a measurement, Faulk was ruled short of the first down. Three Colts plays later, a Manning-to-Reggie Wayne TD pass and extra point with 13 seconds left a 35-34 victory.

THE AFTERMATH

There was plenty of second-guessing of Belichick's move. Had he outsmarted himself? Why didn't he punt and show more faith in his defense? 

“We thought we could win the game with that play,” he explained at the time. “That was a yard I was confident we could get.” Belichick had maintained it was more like fourth-and-long-1, rather than 2. Where the ball was spotted after the Faulk play is still the subject of debate.

Those Pats would go on to lose two of their next three, finish 10-6, still win the AFC East but get smoked by the Baltimore Ravens 33-14 in Foxboro in a wild-card playoff game. Manning's team won its first 14 games, then rested its regulars and lost twice before reaching its first Super Bowl as the Indy Colts and losing to the New Orleans Saints. 

TODAY

When Indianapolis reporter Kevin Bowen tweeted about the play's 10th anniversary on Saturday, it stirred up memories for former Colts linebacker Gary Brackens, who recalled the disrespect he felt from Belichick's decision to test the Indy defense. 

To this day, "Fourth-and-2" means only one thing to most NFL fans.

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