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Anyone who missed the Game of the Season —

    • 386 posts
    November 12, 2018 10:09 PM PST

    Tom Brady and the New England Patriots 43 Tedy Bruschi 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, 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 Rob Gronkowski Jersey Black Friday , 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. Danny Amendola returns to Gillette Stadium with the undefeated Miami Dolphins on Sunday. Brandin Cooks just had a superb receiving game for the Los Angeles Rams in their fourth straight win Thursday night.The New England Patriots, meanwhile, are sitting at 1-2 and looking for answers at wide receiver as they get set to play the fourth game of Julian Edelman’s four-game performance-enhancers suspension.Asked Friday if it is frustrating to see his receivers go elsewhere and have success, Tom Brady said, “Not really. I’m happy for those guys.”“Usually when you leave it’s because you get good opportunities in other places,” he added. “I’m usually generally frustrated by football in general just because it’s a frustrating sport. But I’m sort of happy for guys when they do well.”Brady said he didn’t watch Cooks catch seven passes for 116 yards and a touchdown in the Rams’ win, saying only, “They have a good team. To be undefeated you have to be good.”Through that Thursday game, Cooks, traded to Los Angeles for a first-round draft pick that turned into now-injured offensive lineman Isaiah Wynn, has 26 catches 鈥?two more than the New England wide receivers combined.Phillip Dorsett, Chris Hogan and Cordarrelle Patterson have combined for 24 grabs, 230 yards and three touchdowns. Cooks has almost twice as many yards, 452, as the Patriots, and has scored the one TD on Thursday.Amendola, who left the Patriots via free agency, has 11 catches for 100 yards, also for an undefeated team.“He’s a great friend. I’m happy for him and his opportunity,” Brady said. “He’s playing well. He was a great player for us. I have a great friendship with him and we’ll be friends for the rest of our lives.”New England acquired Josh Gordon from Cleveland in time for last week’s game, but Gordon didn’t suit up. Asked Friday if Gordon will play this week , coach Bill Belichick said, “We’ll see.”The Patriots have not lost three straight games since 2002. Last week, in the Sunday night loss at Detroit, they fell to 12-2 since ’02 after a September loss. They are in the rare position of being two games behind someone – Miami – in the AFC East they seem to own by birthright.Does that make this a must-win situation?“These games are important. Division games, that’s what it’s all about, so . they’re 3-0 and we’re looking up at them,” Brady said. “Obviously, we haven’t played the way that we all think we’re capable of playing, this is the next game, so it’s going to be a great opportunity for us to go out there and see if we can put together four quarters of good football.”He noted the key is the way his team starts the game. The numbers back him up: New England never trailed in the opening win against Houston but fell behind 14-0 at Jacksonville and 13-0 at Detroit, where the offense was invisible until the second quarter.“You get behind 10 points or 14 points at the start of games and you’re looking uphill all game,” Brady said. “It’s tough to win like that and we’ve done that the last two weeks. So we’ve got to try a different style this week and see if we can get ahead, see if we can play from ahead.”Last week, Brady, who has thrown six touchdowns passes and two interceptions, was guilty of throwing a pick 鈥?he had two through 10 games last year, none in the first four 鈥?into double coverage, and also of an intentional grounding.“I’d always love to play great,” he said. “I don’t always make great decisions out there. But I’m trying. You don’t get awards for trying in the NFL, so we’re trying to play better than we played last week.”A video surfaced Friday of Brady doing teammate James White‘s touchdown dance, the “Kodak Black,” something Brady hopes to do Sunday.“That’s his move so he’s trying to teach me something out there,” Brady said. “He’s pretty good at it, so I got a long way to go.”White agreed: “He has a lot of work to do.”So Brady said he was “going to be going home tonight and working on it – see if I can get in the end zone and do something special.”___