Detroit Lions

Tom Brady behind Matthew Stafford? Chris Simms' QB rankings will raise eyebrows

Tom Brady behind Matthew Stafford? Chris Simms' QB rankings will raise eyebrows

The New England Patriots are scoring 30 points per game and own the AFC's best record thanks in part to Tom Brady, who at age 42 still is a top-five NFL quarterback.

... Right?

Not according to NBC Sports' Chris Simms, who unveiled his 2019 NFL midseason quarterback rankings Wednesday morning on "PFT Live" and has Brady at ... No. 7?

Simms clarified these rankings are based solely in 2019 play and not career results, which presumably would vault Brady to No. 1.

It's also hard to argue against Simms' top five. Russell Wilson, Deshaun Watson and Lamar Jackson all are legitimate MVP candidates, and Patrick Mahomes was playing like one before his Week 7 injury. Aaron Rodgers is on pace to put up some of the best numbers of his career.

But Matthew Stafford ahead of Brady? Let's hash that one out.

The Detroit Lions quarterback does boast a higher passer rating than Brady (106.0 to Brady's 93.1) and has thrown five more touchdown passes than the Patriots QB. 

But Brady leads the NFL in both pass attempts and completions and has a higher completion percentage than Stafford in addition to a lower interception rate.

According to Pro Football Focus -- which has Brady fourth and Stafford 13th in its midseason QB rankings, for what it's worth -- Brady has been an excellent decision-maker, as well, with the league's third-best ratio of "big-time throws to turnover-worthy throws" this season.

We also could point out Brady has done more with less, as Stafford has had a wealth of talented offensive weapons like Kerryon Johnson, Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones Jr. and Danny Amendola. Or we could point out Stafford's Lions have lost four of their last five games despite their QB's efforts.

But we probably shouldn't be surprised by Simms ranking Brady seventh; after all, TB12's current spot is an improvement from where Simms had him before the season began.

We're guessing Brady doesn't care where he lands on this list, though, as long as his team is No. 1 in the AFC standings.

The same probably goes for Jimmy Garoppolo, whose San Francisco 49ers are a perfect 8-0 but ranks 15th on Simms' list behind Derek Carr.

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NFL Rumors: Patriots castoff Dontrelle Inman to visit Lions in free agency

NFL Rumors: Patriots castoff Dontrelle Inman to visit Lions in free agency

Stop us if you've heard this before: The Detroit Lions reportedly are interesting in adding a former New England Patriot.

Wide receiver Dontrelle Inman, who requested and was granted his release from the Patriots on Sunday, is set to visit the Lions in free agency, NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported Monday.

Inman came to New England with a decent pedigree -- 140 career catches for 1,890 yards and 11 touchdowns over five NFL seasons -- and tallied three receptions for 40 yards in two preseason games for the Patriots.

But with Josh Gordon's reinstatement, Julian Edelman's pending return from injury and the presence of rookie N'Keal Harry, it would have been difficult for Inman to crack the team's 53-man roster.

Matt Patricia's Lions aren't shy about kicking the tires on former Patriots, though, as they've added wide receiver Danny Amendola, defensive end Trey Flowers and defensive backs Justin Coleman and Tavon Wilson in recent years.

Inman apparently is garnering interest from other teams, so Patricia and Detroit general manager Bob Quinn may have to act fast if they want to add another ex-Pat to their roster.

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Will the trend continue? Five Lions players who'd make sense as future Patriots

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USA TODAY Sports photos and AP Images

Will the trend continue? Five Lions players who'd make sense as future Patriots

When the Patriots went through last year's training camp without holding a single joint practice, it broke a long-standing streak. In six years, the Patriots had 11 joint practice opponents. All 11 opponents had at least one player who ended up signing with New England.

After taking on the Texans and Jaguars in the summer of 2017, we compiled a list of all the joint-practice opponents the Patriots had acquired going back to 2010 and we threw out a few names who were logical fits for the Patriots. 

We hit on Ufomba Kamalu, who remains in the defensive end rotation on the Patriots' 90-man roster at the moment. But Kamalu was just one of five Texans who practiced against the Patriots at the Greenbrier in West Virginia two years ago who ended up in New England. Tight end Stephen Anderson (still with the Patriots), receiver Riley McCarron, defensive end Eric Lee and safety Eddie Pleasant all eventually ended up playing for Bill Belichick in some capacity. 

There's a trend here, of course: The Patriots love signing players they've competed against in joint workouts, where they get an opportunity to watch how that player goes about his business for multiple days of practice and then a preseason game. 

If that trend were to continue, which Lions might interest the Patriots should they become available?