NFL AM: Brady, Patriots Show Their Mettle


Patriots Are Still The Class Of The AFC East

The New England Patriots appeared to be out of their comfort zone for much of Sunday afternoon.

The New York Jets appeared to have better roster talent from top to bottom than their AFC East counterparts.

None of the two facts mentioned above have any bearing when one team has Tom Brady.

There isn’t a quarterback alive that has had more consistent play than Brady, and he once again proved why he should be included in every list of “Greatest Quarterbacks Ever.”

The four-time Super Bowl champion made playing against an extremely talented Jets defense look like another day at the office as he completed 34 of 54, for 355 yards, with a pair of touchdowns in the team’s 30-23 come-from-behind victory over New York.

“I thought we played better as the game went on,” said Brady.

“We made the plays when we needed to make them,” the future Hall of Fame quarterback added. “I think that was the important thing.”

The 30 points scored against Jets head coach Todd Bowles defense was a season high, as New York entered Sunday allowing an average of just 15 points per game.

“Tom is great at dissecting any defense, and that’s what he did down the stretch,” said Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis, who played for the Patriots last year. “He ended up making more plays than us. He ended up finding the matchups that he wanted to find and made the plays he needed to throw.”

The 7-0 Patriots now have a comfortable two-game lead in the AFC East as they look to win their seventh-consecutive division title and 12th in 13 years.  At this point it appears that there’s a better chance of New England going 16-0 than them losing the division.

Foster Out For The Season

The Houston Texans were dealt injury to go along with insult in their 44-26 loss to the Miami Dolphins.  Running back Arian Foster is believed to have torn his Achilles in the fourth quarter of the blowout loss, according to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport.

It’s anyone’s guess as to why Foster was even playing in the fourth quarter of a blowout, knowing what he means to the team and how injury prone he’s been in his career.

More On The Dumpster Fire Which Is The Houston Texans

As if being down 41-0 at one point and losing arguably your best offensive player for the season isn’t bad enough, the Houston Texans upped the proverbial ante on Sunday.

Quarterback Ryan Mallett reportedly missed the team flight to Miami and had to fly commercial, the Houston Chronicle reports.

Mallett claims that he “got stuck in traffic” on Saturday.

This isn’t the first time that Mallett has been late this year as he was tardy for a practice soon after learning that he had lost the starting quarterback job to Brian Hoyer.

Texans head coach Bill O’Brien said that he would be handling any discipline internally and that it was “not for public consumption.”

There are a limited amount of NFL quarterback jobs available and you’d think that if you had one, especially if you have a limited amount of talent such as Mallett, you could at least show up for work on time.

Good Job, Good Effort

E.J. Doesn’t Belong

The Jacksonville Jaguars appeared to be poised to blow a 24-point lead, but Buffalo Bills quarterback E.J. Manuel persevered just enough to keep that from happening.  Manuel is the main reason why Jacksonville was able to garner their largest lead in four seasons as he threw a pair of interceptions, one being taken back to the house by Telvin Smith, as well as a fumble which Chris Clemons took into the end zone.

On the day, Manuel finished 24 for 42, for 298 yards with a pair of touchdowns and a pair of interceptions.  He played much worse than his 75.3 quarterback rating would indicate.

“Just bad football,” the former first-round pick from Florida State said when asked about what happened.  “Not playing sound, trying to force balls in that I can’t do.  To have two back‑to‑back turnovers for scores is very tough offensively.  It’s not something I need to be doing to help our defense, to help our team overall.”

Kicks, But No Giggles

The Jacksonville Jaguars kicking game is completely broken.  The team traded veteran Josh Scobee to the Pittsburgh Steelers in preseason, turning the reigns over to rookie Jason Myers.  That hasn’t proven to be a good move.

Myers missed his third extra point of the season on Sunday and it would have cost the Jaguars if not for some late Blake Bortles heroics.

Meanwhile, punter Bryan Anger, a third round pick selected before Russell Wilson (nice move FORMER GM Gene Smith), continued to punt short with low hang time, and then out kick the coverage with low hang time leading to an 18.5 punt return average by journeyman Denarius Moore.

“There was a lot of points we left out there, some stops that we could have had, and we’ve got to get those things corrected,” Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley said after the game.  “But hey, we’ve got work to do, but let’s appreciate this game.”

Bucs Blow Big Lead

Just when you believe the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are turning the corner with Lovie Smith, they go “Creamsicle Bucs” on you.

Tampa raced out to a 24-0 lead on the lowly Washington Redskins thanks to some precision throws by rookie quarterback Jameis Winston, as well as some big plays by the defense.

Then everything changed after halftime.

The Redskins, outscored cumulatively by 43 points in third quarters this season, went on a 21-0 run to trim the deficit to three.  The Bucs couldn’t regain their form and find the end zone again, settling for Connor Barth field goals, and the defensive damn finally broke late in the fourth quarter when Kirk Cousins found tight end Jordan Reed in the back of the end zone to give Washington the lead and the eventual win.

“All losses really hurt, but you have some that really leave a deep scar,” Bucs coach Lovie Smith said. “And this is definitely one of those.”

“It was a good lesson: Just keep playing and you never know what can happen,” Cousins said.

You truly never know what can happen in the NFL, but if you’re playing a Lovie Smith led Bucs team it’s more likely than not they will find a way to lose.

About Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein is the managing football editor for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade.  Charlie has hosted drive time radio for NBC and ESPN affiliates in different markets around the country, along with being an NFL correspondent for ESPN Radio and WFAN.  He has been featured on the NFL Network as well as Sirius/XM NFL Radio and has been published on Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated, ESPN as well as numerous other publications.