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Anyone who missed the Game of the Season — Tom Brady and

Mon Nov 05, 2018 3:58 am

the New England Patriots 43 Patrick Chung Color Rush Jersey , Pat Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs 40 — can take solace in knowing there very well could be a rematch a little more than three months away.And no one, except for players on other AFC teams, would be disappointed if Jan. 20 brings the world Patriots vs. Chiefs II, with a conference title and Super Bowl berth at stake.“I’m sure,” Patriots linebacker Dont’a Hightower said about Mahomes, “we’ll probably see him down the road.”Brady’s take on the KC QB who gave coach Bill Belichick’s defense all it could handle?“Big play after big play.”That’s an apt description of the whole contest Sunday night.“It was a spectacle, that’s for sure,” Patriots receiver Josh Gordon said.Just the sort of thing the NFL wants nowadays.Supremacy of offense.All attention on the passers and their targets.Plenty of points and ever-increasing fantasy numbers.Brady was 24 for 35 for 340 yards, one TD pass, one TD run, and a 39-yard completion to tight end Rob Gronkowski, whose 500th catch in the league set up Stephen Gostkowski’s go-ahead field goal on the final play. That came after Mahomes — 23 for 36 for 352 yards, four touchdown passes, a pair of picks — found Tyreek Hill for a tying 75-yard score.The Chiefs (5-1) came back after trailing 24-9 at halftime.The Patriots (4-2 and winners of three in a row) kept responding to every score Mahomes generated down the stretch.The teams combined for 30 points in the fourth quarter alone.It was back-and-forth. It was electrifying. It was memorable.It was the 200th career regular-season victory for the 41-year-old Brady, a record for a starting quarterback.It was the first career loss as an NFL starter for the 23-year-old Mahomes, who suddenly has become a bona fide star.“He’s young,” said Hightower, who had an early interception, “but he definitely doesn’t show it.”In case you missed it, here are other top topics after the NFL season’s sixth Sunday:BACK TO THE BOOTH?Jon Gruden’s return to the sideline from the TV booth continues to be an unmitigated disaster — on the field and off. His Oakland Raiders dropped to 1-5 by putting up little resistance in a 27-3 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. No one in the 32-team NFL has a worse record than the Raiders Derek Rivers Jersey , whose only victory came against the Cleveland Browns. And no one has a worse point differential than Oakland, which has been outscored by 66 points after merely six games. There’s more, too. Gruden has been blasted for trading away elite linebacker Khalil Mack and had to answer questions after Sunday’s setback about a report that receiver Amari Cooper is available now.SAD SACKNever a good thing when a QB’s completion count is exceeded by the number of times he’s sacked, but that’s exactly what happened to Marcus Mariota in the Tennessee Titans’ 21-0 loss to Terrell Suggs and the Baltimore Ravens. Suggs had one of Baltimore’s 11 sacks, one shy of the NFL record. Mariota went 10 for 15 for 117 yards. “I can do a better job of stepping up in the pocket,” Mariota said. “I put our guys in a bad spot, trying to run around too much.”‘WE WANT DALLAS!’That was the familiar chant heard at Washington’s home stadium as its 23-17 victory over Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers wound down. The Redskins (3-2) host the NFC East rival Cowboys (3-3) next week, and the matchup becomes a lot more intriguing thanks to what happened Sunday. Coaches Jay Gruden and Jason Garrett both were heavily criticized recently. Washington’s defense and Dallas’ offense were coming off problematic performances. And those units were both what generated victories, including Dak Prescott’s two-TD-pass, 82-yard-rushing showing as the Cowboys beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 40-7.CATCH AS CATCH CANNo NFL team wanted Adam Thielen coming out of college. And no NFL player ever started a season quite the way the Vikings‘ undrafted receiver has this one. With 11 catches for 123 yards and a score in Minnesota’s 27-17 win against the Arizona Cardinals, Thielen raised his total to 58 catches, a league record through a half-dozen games. He’s also the first player in 57 years with at least 100 receiving yards in each of his club’s first six games. Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski sent New England fans into a panic this offseason when they hinted at retiring rather than returning to the Patriots in 2018.On Sunday, it was the rest of the NFL watching in fear.Brady threw for 277 yards and three touchdowns, hitting Gronkowski for 123 yards and a score to lead the defending AFC champions to a 27-20 victory over the Houston Texans. The reigning NFL MVP found Gronkowski seven times,including a 21-yard touchdown three plays after Deshaun Watson fumbled a handoff at the Texans 19 on Houston’s first offensive play.“It’s very important that they came out and played the way they did. They’re our leaders,” said Phillip Dorsett, who had seven catches, including a touchdown. “When they play well, they give an adrenaline boost to the rest of the team.”Brady, 41 Donald Trump Jersey Black Friday , clashed with the team he’s led to five Super Bowl titles in the past year over the treatment of his personal fitness guru and the plans to elevate backup Jimmy Garoppolo to starter. In February, after throwing for 500 yards in a Super Bowl loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, Brady was coy about returning this season.The Patriots dangled Gronkowski as trade bait this summer before agreeing instead to sweeten his contract with $4.3 million in reachable incentives. Gronkowski reportedly threatened to retire if traded.“I’m just glad to be here, glad to be part of this team, glad to be part of this organization,” he said. “All that talk, all that stuff, I would love to put it in the past.”Brady also found James White for a touchdown, completing 26 of 39 passes in all; he also had an interception on a pass that was tipped at the line of scrimmage. It was Gronkowski’s 31st career regular-season or playoff game of 100 yards or more, tying Tony Gonzalez’s NFL record.“We’ve been playing together for a long time,” Brady said. “I know his body language. I know his ability to run and what routes. He can do it. He can do really all the routes. It’s just a matter of giving him a chance, and it came with a big touchdown today.”Watson, who missed the final nine games last season with a torn right ACL, completed 17 of 35 passes for 176 yards, one score and one interception. He struggled to move the team in the first 40 minutes, managing just a pair of field-goal drives before Alfred Blue ran it in from 1 yard to make it 24-13 in the last two minutes of the third period.A muffed punt by New England’s Riley McCarron with under five minutes left set up Watson’s 5-yard TD pass to Bruce Ellington and cut the deficit to 27-20. But after getting the ball back at their 1 with 43 seconds left, the Texans failed to reach midfield.“I think it was terrible, on my part,” Watson said. “I just feel like you can put the ‘L’ on me.”With Julian Edelman serving a four-game suspension, Dorsett caught seven passes for 66 yards https://www.patriotsfanstore.com/Eric-Rowe-Jersey , including a 4-yard TD pass in the closing seconds of the first half to make it 21-6. White had four receptions for 38 yards, including a 12-yard score.Lamar Miller ran 20 times for 98 yards for Houston, which welcomed Watson, defensive lineman J.J. Watt and linebacker Whitney Mercilus back from injuries. Watt had two quarterback hurries, but D.J. Reader had the only two sacks of Brady, both late.“It’s good to play a full game to know it lasts, to know it holds up,” said Watt, a three-time defensive player of the year. “I didn’t think about it once. So, that’s all you can ask for.”It was Watson who felt the pressure the rest of the game.The second-year quarterback, who threw for 301 yards in a 36-33 loss to New England last year in his second NFL start, botched a handoff with Miller in the first quarter, setting up the Patriots up for their first touchdown. In the second quarter, Watson inexplicably chucked the ball into the end zone for a double-covered Vyncint Smith on a second-and-3 from the New England 42.Stephon Gilmore brought it down for the interception.BALL CONTROLThe Patriots also had trouble with turnovers.Brady had an interception in the first quarter on a throw tipped by defensive lineman Angelo Blackson and brought in by Tyrann Mathieu at the Patriots 17. The Texans went backward 7 yards before Ka’imi Fairbairn’s 42-yard field goal made it 7-3.Gronkowski also fumbled in the third quarter after a 25-yard reception across the middle. Mathieu recovered, but after advancing to the New England 17, the Texans gave the ball back on downs. The muffed punt by McCarron gave the Texans one last chance.INJURIESTexans: DE Christian Covington injured his thigh in the first quarter. T Seantrel Henderson left after getting his left ankle rolled a few plays later. Kevin Johnson left with what the team said was a concussion and did not return.Patriots: RB Jeremy Hill left with a right knee injury on the Gronkowski fumble in the third quarter.LATE SERIESAfter the Texans forced New England to punt in the final minute, Ryan Allen landed the ball inside the 5-yard line and Jonathan Jones downed it at the 1. Houston advanced to the 16 on a penalty for leading with the helmet and Watson found DeAndre Hopkins for 14 yards before scrambling for 13 more.From his 43 with 5 seconds left, Watson chucked the ball as far as the 10 but it was knocked away.UP NEXTTexans: visit Tennessee Sunday for an early AFC South showdown.Patriots: visit Jacksonville Sunday in a rematch of the Jan. 21 AFC championship game New England won 24-20 to reach the Super Bowl for the third time in four years.
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