Patriots

Watch: Mic'd up Antonio Brown celebrates first TD with Tom Brady

Watch: Mic'd up Antonio Brown celebrates first TD with Tom Brady

Antonio Brown and Tom Brady became fast friends on the field last Sunday.

Brady targeted Brown early and often against the Miami Dolphins in the wide receiver's New England Patriots debut, hitting Brown on four passes for 56 yards that included a 20-yard touchdown in the second quarter.

Brown was pretty fired up about his first touchdown as a Patriot -- and let his quarterback know.

Skip to about the 2:13 mark of the video below to watch a mic'd up Brown and Brady hug it out after their pitch-and-catch:

"I love you, baby! Great throw!" Brown shouts.

Brady returns the love to Brown moments later: "Way to go, baby."

Our own Tom E. Curran reported that Brown had picked up the football side of things quickly since signing with the Patriots last Monday, and his rapport with Brady is proof of that.

Brown's off-field status is much murkier, though. The 31-year-old is the subject of a civil lawsuit accusing him of rape and sexual assault and also was accused of sexual misconduct in a recent report detailing his history of abusive behavior.

Brown's accuser in the civil suit, former trainer Britney Taylor, reportedly met with the NFL for 10 hours Monday as the league decides if or how it will discipline the wide receiver.

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AFC playoff picture: Here's how Patriots' competition fared in Week 7

AFC playoff picture: Here's how Patriots' competition fared in Week 7

The AFC playoff picture was shook up Sunday despite the New England Patriots not playing their Week 7 game until Monday night.

The Baltimore Ravens earned an impressive road win over the 5-1 Seattle Seahawks to move up to the No. 3 seed in the conference. Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson ran for 116 yards and a touchdown in the victory. Baltimore has a Week 8 bye before hosting the Patriots in Week 9 on "Sunday Night Football."

The Indianapolis Colts took over first place in the AFC South with a 30-23 win against the Houston Texans. Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett threw for 326 yards with four touchdowns and zero interceptions. Indy's next four games are against teams with losing records. The Texans dropped from the No. 3 seed to the No. 6 seed as a result of this loss.

The Bills beat the winless Miami Dolphins to keep pressure on the Patriots in the AFC East. Buffalo is 7-2 in its last nine games dating back to last season, and both defeats came against the Patriots. 

The Kansas City Chiefs benefited from the Oakland Raiders losing to the Green Bay Packers. Kansas City's lead in the AFC West is now 1.5 games, but the Chiefs reportedly will be without star quarterback Patrick Mahomes for three to five weeks following the injury he suffered in Thursday night's win versus the Denver Broncos. 

The Chiefs remain the No. 2 seed in the AFC as a result of their Week 3 win over the Ravens. Head-to-head is the first tiebreaker for teams with identical records.

The Los Angeles Chargers' chances of reaching the playoffs took another hit with a 23-20 loss to the Tennessee Titans. Chargers running back Melvin Gordon fumbled at the goal line in the final minute of the fourth quarter.

Here's a look at the updated playoff picture in the AFC after Sunday's Week 7 games.

1. New England Patriots, 6-0 (AFC East leader)
2. Kansas City Chiefs, 5-2 (AFC West leader)
3. Baltimore Ravens, 5-2 (AFC North leader)
4. Indianapolis Colts, 4-2 (AFC South leader)
5. Buffalo Bills, 5-1 (First Wild Card)
6. Houston Texans, 4-3 (Second Wild Card)

In the Hunt
Oakland Raiders, 3-3
Jacksonville Jaguars, 3-4
Tennessee Titans 3-4

Tom E. Curran's Patriots vs. Jets preview>>>

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NFL odds Week 8: Opening spread for Patriots vs. Browns, all other games

NFL odds Week 8: Opening spread for Patriots vs. Browns, all other games

The New England Patriots will host the Cleveland Browns at Gillette Stadium in Week 8 as double-digit betting favorites.

The Patriots have a 19-game home win streak (including the playoffs), and oddsmakers like the defending Super Bowl champions' chances of extending that impressive run.

The early spread for this matchup has the Patriots favored by 10 points. New England is 4-2 against the spread this season.

Here are the opening lines for every Week 8 game, per the Westgate SuperBook:

The Patriots wrap up Week 7 with a matchup against the New York Jets on "Monday Night Football." They entered the weekend as one of two unbeaten teams remaining in the NFL and the only one in the AFC. The Browns are 2-4 and have fallen way short of expectations after entering the 2019 campaign with enormous hype. 

Cleveland will be well rested for this game in New England after having a Week 7 bye. Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield suffered a hip injury in his team's Week 6 loss to the Seattle Seahawks, but Cleveland head coach Freddie Kitchens told reporters last week that there's "no doubt" the Oklahoma product will play against the Patriots.

Mayfield and the Browns offense will face their toughest test of the season against a Patriots defense that has allowed the fewest points in the league. New England's defense also leads the league in interceptions and takeaways, and it ranks second in sacks.

Report: Broncos 'likely' to trade Emmanuel Sanders>>>

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