Game Day: Patriots vs. Jets

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Game Day: Patriots vs. Jets

NEW YORK JETS (2-2) at NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (3-1)Gillette Stadium, Foxboro

The facts and figures for today's game:

KICKOFF: 4:15 p.m.

WEATHER: Sunny with a high of 85, dropping into the mid- to lower 70s by game's end. Winds will be out of the west northwest, then shifting to the west, between 6-10 mph. See NECN's complete weather forecast.

NETWORK TELEVISION COVERAGE: CBS

TV ANNOUNCERS: Jim Nantz and Phil Simms

RADIO COVERAGE: 98.5 The Sports Hub, the flagship for the 37-station Patriots Radio Network.

RADIO ANNOUNCERS: Gil Santos, Gino Cappelletti, Scott Zolak

COMCAST SPORTSNET COVERAGE

CSNNE.com STAFF: Tom E. Curran, Mary Paoletti, A. Sherrod Blakely, Art Martone, Danny Picard

CSN TELEVISION: Mike Giardi, Kevin Walsh

SPORTS SUNDAY (7:30 P.M. SUNDAY): Michael Felger, Troy Brown, Ty Law

WHAT THEY'RE WEARING: The Patriots will be in 1985 throwback uniforms, with red jerseys and white helmets featuring the 'Pat Patriot' logo. The Jets will be in early 1960s New York Titans throwback uniforms (the team was known as the Titans from 1960-62).

SOMETHING'S GOTTA GIVE: The Patriots are 7-3 while wearing throwback uniforms. The Jets are 5-1.

TO DATE: The Jets lead the all-time series against the Patriots, 52-51-1. They are 3-2 against the Pats since Rex Ryan became coach in 2009, including last year's 28-21 playoff victory at Gillette.

FALL GUYS: Since 2003, the Pats are 30-5 in October and have won 21 of their last 23 in that month. At Gillette since '03, they're 16-1 in October.

STREAKS: The Pats have scored 30 or more points in 12 straight regular-season games, a franchise record. The streak began with a 39-26 win at Pittsburgh last Nov. 14 . . . The NFL record for consecutive 30-points-plus games is 14, set by the 1999-2000 St. Louis Rams . . . Tom Brady will set a franchise record for consecutive games with a touchdown pass if he throws one today. He's connected in 19 straight regular-season games, dating back to the 2010 season opener. He set the mark of 19 from Dec. 17, 2006-Dec. 9, 2007.

Check back often for updates.

Despite discord, Goodell's reign may not be nearing end

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Despite discord, Goodell's reign may not be nearing end

Monday may have marked a low point in the relationship between the NFL and its on-field employees.

The fight between the league and its best player of the past two decades was in the headlines again. Tom Brady, tied to the NFL’s bumper and dragged around for almost 500 days, had his NFLPA legal team baring its teeth again in the Deflategate mess. The eye-gouging and hair-pulling in that imbroglio over a puff of air allegedly being removed from footballs has cost the league and the PA about $25M so far.

Meanwhile, NFLPA President Eric Winston was saying the league "cannot be trusted to do the right thing when it involves players.” That comment flowed from a Congressional report alleging the NFL tried to exert influence over who would conduct studies regarding Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), the condition that’s been blamed for a myriad of former players winding up addled, incapacitated or dead.

I say “may have marked” because the relationship between the two sides has cratered so frequently over the past two years, it’s hard to know exactly what the low point has been. Or how much lower it can go.

And, with the 10-year Collective Bargaining Agreement only half done, there is ample opportunity for things to get worse. Because, really, why would they get better?

With the NFL’s owners safe knowing that their emperor/puppet/human shield is still in place to take the hits and do their dirty work, there’s seemingly no groundswell among that group to relieve Roger Goodell of his duties. Despite reports of growing owner discontent over Deflategate, the Ray Rice investigation, and an appeal of a case in which the league was found to have withheld $100M from players, there is no Sword of Damocles dangling over the league to cut ties with Goodell.

He was able to oversee the league’s re-entry in Los Angeles (though that “triumph” was fraught with owner acrimony), is going to get a game played in China, keeps edging closer to getting a franchise based in Europe and may even land one in Las Vegas, has enhanced the league’s reach on social media (the announcement of some games being aired on Twitter) and keeps making billions hand over fist.

Goodell’s presence won’t be an impediment to a new labor deal getting done for another five years. By then, when the issues of Goodell’s role in player discipline, drug testing and his relationship with the union come to the fore, the owners might feel compelled to cut him loose after 15 seasons in charge.

But even then, the league’s owners will be in the business of pointing out to the players how good they’ve had it under the current CBA. The league’s salary cap structure – decried as a disaster in the first years of the deal – has seen the cap grow from $120M in 2011 to $155M this year. Players’ practice time and the wear and tear on their bodies has been reduced thanks to the new limits on contact enacted. Benefits are better. Retired players are getting better care. Players have more off-field marketing opportunities with companies that want to affix themselves to the most popular sport in the United States.

As bad as the headlines have been for Goodell, in five years (or probably fewer since negotiations on a new CBA will begin in 2020) who will remember the disaster that’s been Deflategate? How inspired will players be to miss games and paychecks for the satisfaction of knowing Goodell can’t be his own arbitrator anymore?

To sum it up, Goodell’s dark disciplinary reign may well continue unabated for a few more seasons. But as long as the league rains money on its players through the end of this decade, the clock isn’t ticking on Goodell and the owners in the form of labor strife.

Smith: Brady made an 'incredibly generous offer' to settle Deflategate

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Smith: Brady made an 'incredibly generous offer' to settle Deflategate

NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith joined the Dan Patrick Show -- hosted by Ross Tucker on Monday -- to discuss the petition that was eventually filed to the Second Circuit requesting a rehearing for Tom Brady's case. 

During the discussion, Smith insisted that Brady made a settlement offer long ago that might've resolved things. But because the NFL wanted more, a deal was never struck. Now here we are, almost 500 days since the AFC Championship Game in January of 2015, and Deflategate is still a living, breathing thing. 

"Tom's a standup guy," Smith said. "And I think he made a settlement offer to resolve this. The league chose not to take it, and that's where we are . . . I don't want to go into details, but it was an incredibly generous offer to resolve this. The league asked for something that no man should agree to do."

Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran explained on Monday's episode of Quick Slants that Brady was willing to accept a one-game suspension for a lack of cooperation at the outset of the investigation. But the league was looking for a face to take the blame, Curran explained. 

Both Jim McNally and John Jastremski were willing to take the heat off of Brady, but Brady insisted that he would not throw anyone else under the bus because he believed that there was no wrongdoing on his part or anyone else's when it came to the preparation of game footballs. 

With no one offered up to shoulder the blame, the NFL declined to agree to any proposal from Brady's camp. At that point, it would have been almost impossible to predict that this case would one day be only a step or two from getting the US Supreme Court involved. 

Yet here we are.