By Tom E. Curran and Mary Paoletti
SAN DIEGO -- The best and worst of the Patriots' 23-20 victory over the Chargers.
BEST RESPONSE TO A LONG WEEK In the first quarter, Patrick Crayton caught a pass at the sticks in front of Patriots safety Brandon Meriweather.After a week of being vilified (rightly) for his hit on Todd Heap, Meriweather lowered his shoulder and arrived at the right time, decleating Crayton. Crayton held on for the catch, though. BEST INSTANCE OF UNREWARDED TRICKINESSIn the first quarter, Tom Bradyhanded off to BenJarvus Green-Ellis who swept right then lateraled to Wes Welker who swept leftwho then lateraled to Brady who made a hurried throw into coverage intended for Deion Branch. In. Com. Plete. BEST INSTANCE OF UNREWARDED TRICKINESS IIThe Chargers attacked the Patriots with an onsides kick in the first quarter. The Patriots' Dane Fletcher recovered but New England didn't cash in, failing to make a first down.
BEST IMITATION OF THE 2002 PATRIOTS
Rob Ninkovich as KGB. The Chargers' lateral that Jacob Hester didn't pursue, for assuming an incomplete, was recovered after an awkward pause by Patriots OLB Rob Ninkovich. The move was reminiscent of Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila's recovery against the Patriots of a Brady backward pass that Kevin Faulk missed on October 13, '02. Ninkovich ran the ball 63 yards.
BEST HALFTIME ADJUSTMENTSAfter a stagnant first half, the Patriots took the second-half kickoff and went 89 yards in 17 plays with two third-down conversions and a fourth-down conversion. The Chargers didn't get the ball until 6:19 remained in the third and the score was 20-3. WORST MIC MANAGEMENTBetween the third and fourth quarters, referee Tony Corrente left his on-field mic on. The stadium was treated to nuggets like, "Whadda we got, fourth-and-7?" "Just to let you know, we're behind three TV timeouts." The sounds of Corrente jogging to the other end of the field and his lament that "I can't hear poop in this thing."
WORST REALIZATION OF A POST-GAME GOAL
Tom Brady said that the Patriots "can't just play 30 minutes of good football" in reflection of his team's need to hustle for a last-second comeback win against Baltimore. New England followed up on its QB's statement with roughly eight minutes of good football this Sunday.
BEST UNDERRATED LINEBACKER
Jerod Mayo continues to impress. The defensive captain had nine tackles and a fumble recovery on the day. It's looking like Mayo will be the first Patriot to have three 100 tackle seasons since Lawyer Milloy. But New England some defensive issues on the front burner right now and not enough people are noticing.
Mary Paoletti, Comcast SportsNet New England, diving for cover when cannons and pyrotechnics accompanying the Chargers introductionswere set loose.
Tom E. Curran can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran
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.
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.