Curran: Pats-Bills engaged in old school shootout

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Curran: Pats-Bills engaged in old school shootout

By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com Patriots Insider Follow @tomecurran
ORCHARD PARK, New York -- Another week, another old AFL shootout underway. The Patriots and Bills combined for 528 yards of first-half offense in this semi-showdown in the AFC East between 2-0 teams. Nothing much has changed for the Patriots on Sunday from the first two weeks. Offensively, they stayed as absurdly efficient early in the game as they have been. Tom Brady went 7-for-7 on the Patriots' opening drive and New England went 80 yards to go up 7-0 on a 14-yard throw to Wes Welker who took a thrown in the left flat and motored in. On the Bills' second play from scrimmage, Ryan Fitzpatrick's pass ricocheted off an intended receiver and was picked by Kyle Arrington (who had two first-half picks). Brady this time hit tight end Rob Gronkowski with a 1-yard pass that was perfectly placed. The Bills' second drive ended with another Arrington pick on a fourth-and-14 from the Patriots 35. New England did nothing with that or its next possession. But with 7:33 left in the half, a 5-play drive covering 65 yards took just 1:33 before Gronkowski again was on the receiving end of a terrific throw by Brady from 26 yards out. Gronkowski (5 catches for 71 yards in the first half) more than made up for the absent Aaron Hernandez' absence, splitting out in a flex position like Hernandez as opposed to being an on-the-line tight end. The Bills finally got going just before half. After being backed up to their 4 yard line by penalty, the combo of Fitzpatrick, Stevie Johnson, David Nelson and Fred Jackson plowed downfield. With the Patriots continuing to play mostly man-to-man in the secondary and getting limited pass rush up front, corner Devin McCourty's life remained difficult. He got beat by Johnson for an 11-yard score with two minutes left on a fade to the right when he appeared to fail in jamming the Bills wideout. That touchdown made it 21-7 Patriots. A penalty-aided drive took the Patriots into the Bills' red zone with 1:09 left in the half, but a throw to Danny Woodhead in the right flat, bounced off Woodhead's hands and Bills DB Bryan Scott came up with the pick. The Bills turned that into three points just before the half on a 42-yard Rian Lindell field goal. Brady finished the half 16 for 22 for 222 yards and three touchdowns; Fitzpatrick was 20 for 29 for 224. The Patriots didn't get any pressure on Fitzpatrick with their front-seven. Were it not for the Bills committing seven penalties for 67 yards things may have been different.
Tom E. Curran can be reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

Affleck offers passionate Brady defense when asked about Deflategate

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Affleck offers passionate Brady defense when asked about Deflategate

When the topic of Deflategate was broached on HBO's Any Given Wednesday with Bill Simmons, which debuted this week, Ben Affleck became all kinds of fired up.

"What they did was suspend Tom Brady for four days for not giving them his [expletive] cellphone," Affleck said. "I would never give an organization as leak-prone as the NFL my [expletive] cellphone . . . so you can just look through my emails and listen to my voicemails?"

Affleck grew up in Cambridge, Mass. and is a passionate Patriots fan. He made no attempts to hide his fandom, and his appreciation for Brady, as he and Simmons (also a Patriots fan) discussed the football-deflation controversy that has now lasted well over a year. 

Affleck, who said he would want to cast himself as Brady if ever a Deflategate movie was made, harped on the fact that the league wanted Brady to turn over his phone. 

"Maybe Tom Brady is so [expletive] classy and such a [expletive] gentleman," Affleck said, "that he doesn’t want people to know that he may have reflected on his real opinion on some of his co-workers."

Brady is waiting for the Second Circuit to make a decision as to whether or not it will rehear his case against the NFL. Earlier this offseason, the Second Circuit reinstated Brady's four-game suspension issued by the league when a three-judge panel ruled in favor of the NFL, 2-1. 

Pro Football Talk wrote on Thursday that a decision from the Second Circuit could come at any time. If the rehearding request is denied, Brady could then take the case to the Supreme Court. Should the Second Circuit grant Brady a rehearing, his suspension would be delaed until the court reached a decision. In that case, Brady could potentially play the entire 2016 season before a decision came to pass. 

Brady posts high school essay to Facebook on living in his sisters' shadow

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Brady posts high school essay to Facebook on living in his sisters' shadow

Tom Brady wasn't always the most famous person in his family. Growing up, his sisters were the accomplished athletes in the household. 

For his latest Throwback Thursday style Facebook post, Brady published a pair of photos of an old high school essay that he wrote in the fall of his senior year in 1994. It was titled "The way my sisters influenced me."

I found an essay I wrote in 1994... I love my big sisters! #tbt. Thanks for the good grade Mr Stark!

Posted by Tom Brady on Thursday, June 23, 2016

In it, he discusses some of the difficulties of growing up with three older sisters and no brothers. Because Maureen, Julie and Nancy Brady had achieved so much in softball, basketball and soccer, Brady -- or "Tommy," as he signed his paper -- had trouble getting noticed. 

Of course, it wouldn't be long before Brady was headed from San Mateo, California to Ann Arbor, Michigan in order to play football for the Wolverines. He probably had no trouble garnering attention by then. Still, it's funny to read about how he felt overlooked in his youth. 

He closed the essay explaining that he knew his sisters would always provide him support throughout his life, adding, "hopefully, just maybe, one day people will walk up to them and say, 'Aren't you Tommy's sister?' or 'Hey where is your brother?' Maybe . . . "

If the Brady sisters didn't get those kinds of comments by the time the baby of the family was given an 'A' for his English assignment, it probably didn't take long before they did. About seven years later, he took over as the starting quarterback of the Patriots.