Pats' triumph Sunday defines 'winning ugly'

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Pats' triumph Sunday defines 'winning ugly'

FOXBORO Tom Brady engineered yet another late-game rally as New England squeaked out a 20-16 win over the Dallas Cowboys. The much-maligned Patriots defense continues to trend in the right direction, as they did their part to get the ball back in Brady's hands as he went about engineering comeback win No. 32 if you're keeping track at home.

But for anyone who saw Sunday's game, there was one word that probably best described the Patriots' fifth win of the season - ug-gah-lee.

"I would second that, without a shadow of a doubt," said Patriots guard Brian Waters. "I know that around here that's not anything new, to be honest with you. I know there have been a lot of close games around here and as well for Dallas. It was expected to come down to the end."

Maybe so, but certainly not like this in a game that featured more mental blunders on the Patriots part than usual.

"We did a lot of things very poorly," said New England tackle Matt Light. "And look, whether it was those guys just making great plays and having the kind of guys that can make plays like that or us just totally being asleep in certain situations. We've got to play better than that; we understand that."

Missed assignments is one thing. Penalties can kind of be explained away as well.

But more than anything else, it was New England's woeful job of tackling the Cowboys that was most disturbing.

In the first quarter with a first-and10 at their own 23-yard line, New England's defense stuffed Felix Jones for a one-yard gain - but only after he broke four tackles.

And the biggest play of the game for the Cowboys - a 33-yard catch by Dez Bryant - involved New England players missing tackles.

"We had some problems with tackling," acknowledged Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes, who came up with arguably the biggest tackle of the game when he disrupted a shovel pass near the end zone in the fourth quarter which resulted in a three-yard loss and even more important, forced the Cowboys to settle for a field goal. "But getting all those hats to the ball, we took care of it."

Said coach Bill Belichick: "We missed a lot of tackles today. That was the biggest problem. We've got to do a better job of tackling, but we were able to play well in the red (zone) area and hold them to some field goals. Ultimately, the touchdowns beat the field goals, so we were fortunate there."

In addition to the missed tackles and penalties (5-for-35 yards), the Pats turned the ball over four times which included a pair of interceptions by Brady.

"We really squandered away some opportunities throughout the game but came up big when we needed it," Brady said.

To a large degree, it has been like that all season for the Patriots.

With every victory, there has usually been one aspect of their play that was noticeably bad relative to others.

On Sunday, it seemed as though the Patriots were unable to get into a nice flow in a number of phases of play.

And that, more than anything else, makes Sunday's victory so impressive.

"Everyone battled back and played hard," Light said. "These are the kind of wins you want, but you don't necessarily want to be in those situations."

Patriots release camp dates; open practices begin July 27

Patriots release camp dates; open practices begin July 27

Football is coming.

The Patriots announced on Thursday that veterans will report to training camp on Wednesday, July 26 and that the first public practice will take place the following day.

Each of the team's first four practices -- from July 27-30 -- are scheduled to take place on the practice fields behind Gillette Stadium "in the nine o'clock hour," according to the Patriots. Updates to the training camp schedule, including more specific start times for practices, can be found at patriots.com/trainingcamp.

The Patriots Hall of Fame will hold its induction ceremony for former corner Raymond Clayborn on Saturday, July 29 around midday following that morning's training camp practice. Held on the plaza outside the Hall at Patriot Place, the ceremony will be free and open to the public.

The Patriots will host the Jaguars for two days of joint practices open to the public on Monday, Aug. 7 and Tuesday, Aug. 8. The preseason opener for both clubs will take place at Gillette Stadium on Aug. 10.

Tom Brady adds sumo wrestling to offseason training regimen

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Tom Brady adds sumo wrestling to offseason training regimen

Tom Brady's off-the-field workout habits are the subject of serious curiosity for those in New England and beyond. Thanks to Under Armour's Instagram account, followers got a brief glimpse of what Brady does to stay in shape. 

OK. It was more like a glimpse at what he did one day in Tokyo.

@tombrady always fighting for that extra yard. 😂😂 #TBAsiaTour #IWILL

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The video of Brady in the dohyo ring was shot at the Sakaigawa sumo stable in Tokyo on Thursday. According to Kyodo News, leading the training session was ozeki Goeido, who won last year's Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament.

"For them to welcome me means very much to me. It's hard to describe in words how special that was," Brady said.

Brady bounced around China before heading to Japan to continue to help promote Under Armour and in particular its "recovery sleepwear" line. He threw a pass on the Great Wall, and he explained that it was his "dream" to play a game on the continent. 

Arigatōgozaimashita 🇯🇵🙏

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Brady vs Brady #therecanonlybeone 🏆

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