Inside The Bills

Brady & 2 TE combo will be a test

Posted by Chris Brown on October 30, 2016 – 9:18 am

The Bills know the Patriots did not have Tom Brady or a healthy Rob Gronkowski playing in the first meeting between the two teams. With Gronk averaging 121 yards receiving in the three games since Tom Brady returned to the lineup, the Patriots two tight end combination is going to be a tall order.

“You got two of the best tight ends in the league, you’ve got quick receivers outside that make plays in space, and you’ve got a running back who’s running with the best in the league,” said Preston Brown. “So definitely a tough challenge for us, but we’re ready for it.”

Brown referenced New England big back LeGarrette Blount, who is among the league leaders in rushing.

Brown’s teammate Stephon Gilmore warns that if too much attention is paid to Martellus Bennett and Gronkowski that the Patriots other weapons can hurt you.

“Yeah they’ve got two great tight ends now. They used to have one. So we’ve got to be on them two guys and they’ve got (Julian) Edelman, you know, work the slot. (Chris) Hogan making plays. So we’ve got to be real physical with them guys. You know, we’ve got to get to them,” Gilmore said. “That’s the main thing. We’ve got to get to them and make them make second guess and go from there.”


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Brady not seeking stay of suspension

Posted by Chris Brown on July 15, 2016 – 1:41 pm

Patriots QB Tom Brady whose request for an en banc rehearing of his Deflategate case rejected by the US Court of Appeals 2nd Corcuit this week has decided to not seek a stay of the four game suspension. 

Brady however, along with the NFLPA has not ruled out petitioning the Supreme Court to hear his case. The NFLPA released the following statement on his behalf. 

After careful consideration and discussion with Tom Brady, the NFLPA will not be seeking a stay of the four game suspension with the 2nd Circuit. This decision was made in the interest of certainty and planning for Tom prior to the New England Patriots season. We will continue to review all of our options and we reserve our rights to petition for cert to the Supreme Court.

Brady’s current four-game suspension would render him in eligible for the Patriots Week 4 game against the Buffalo Bills. 
 


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Dareus “hates” that Brady unlikely to play Wk 4

Posted by Chris Brown on July 14, 2016 – 9:14 am

With the 2nd Circuit of the US Court of Appeals rejecting Tom Brady’s request for an en banc rehearing of his Deflategate case with the NFL, it makes it highly unlikely that the Patriots quarterback will play in the first month of the season. His four game suspension is likely to be served at the start of the 2016 season. That means he’ll miss the Patriots first game against the Bills in Week 4. One guy who is not happy about that is Bills DT Marcell Dareus.

“I hate that Brady’s not going to be there,” said Dareus in an appearance on NFL Total Access. “But when he comes back… it’s on.”

Buffalo’s second matchup with New England will be at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Week 8. If the Bills win the first meeting sans Brady, Dareus said he’ll take the victory, but it won’t feel the same.

“If we win, all right, we win. But I don’t feel like I really won until I beat the guy,” he said. “I love playing against Brady. I get up for him. I play against him every year, and he knows I’m coming. So for him not to be up there tears me up a little bit. But the second time I see him, I’m going to be excited to play against him. That’s the win we want.”


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Brady denied appeal, Deflategate suspension upheld

Posted by Chris Brown on July 13, 2016 – 11:14 am

Tom Brady’s appeal for an en banc hearing by the Second Circuit of the US Court of Appeals has been denied. The ruling by the Second Circuit’s 13 judges came down this morning. It all but ensures that Brady will miss the first four games of the 2016 season.

That includes New England’s Week 4 home game against the Bills, meaning that backup QB Jimmy Garappolo will be the anticipated starter against Buffalo, one of two division games during the course of Brady’s league imposed four-game Deflategate suspension (Miami is the other in Week 2).

His appeal to the Second Circuit was a long shot at best. According to the Boston Globe between 2000-2010 the Second Circuit has granted an en banc appeal to just eight of more than 27,000 cases over that 10-year span.

Brady can still petition the Supreme Court to hear his case and potentially overturn the Second Circuit panel’s 2-1 decision against him, but it’s considered ill advised by legal experts in light of the Second Circuit’s denial.

The NFL Players Association released a statement shortly after the 2nd Circuit denial and stated that they will review all of their options carefully on behalf of Tom Brady.

If the Supreme Court agrees to hear the case (considered highly unlikely), according to the USA Today, Brady and the union could seek a stay that would allow him to play while the proceedings play out in court — a process that could take up to a couple of years.

Bills Hall of Fame QB Jim Kelly, in an appearance on the Rich Eisen show, was hopeful that Buffalo could dethrone New England at the top of the AFC East this season.

“I hope we unseat that guy named Tom Brady sooner than later because I’ll tell you what, enough’s enough,” he said with a laugh. “You’ve already broken the records. You’re already the greatest quarterback ever to play the game. But I respect him. I like Tom, he’s a good friend of mine, but it’s time to change.”

Right now it appears that the Deflategate suspension will help in that regard.

 

 

 


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Goodell on his authority as Commissioner

Posted by Chris Brown on June 6, 2016 – 3:41 pm

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was on hand at the Jim Kelly Celebrity Golf Classic as it celebrated its 30th year and had some clear comments on where he and the league stand on his authoritative capacity as the NFL’s ruling figure on player cases.

When asked about all the court litigation the league has had to handle, most notably with the Tom Brady Deflategate saga, Goodell calmly explained that the CBA spells out the authority granted to the NFL Commissioner.

“The CBA is very clear. The Court of Appeals made that clear,” said Goodell. “It’s what we negotiated in the Collective Bargaining Agreement. That authority of the Commissioner has been granted. It’s been litigated. More independent judges have had an opportunity to look at it. It’s the reality of the world we live in right now. It’s unfortunate, but if we can find a better system… we’ve said that since we structured our CBA. If there’s a better system let’s do it.

“But when it comes to the integrity of the game that’s the responsibility of the Commissioner. We’re not going to hand the integrity of the game off to somebody who doesn’t have any involvement in the league. That’s for somebody who understands what is important and making sure we maintain that and maintain the competitiveness of our game. And the reality is our rules apply to everybody. They apply to every player and every team and that’s something we’re going to work hard to maintain and not hand that off to somebody else.”

When asked about how long the Brady case has taken with appeals made on both sides, Goodell didn’t deny that the length of time it has taken has affected their game.

“I think that there is a system in place. We moved quite quickly last spring. The judge made a determination last August that the Appeals Court has reversed and said was an incorrect judgment,” he said. “They have the rights to appeal. The legal system is deliberate if you want to put it bluntly because it does impact our game. But we don’t encourage that obviously and we’d like to get that resolved and move forward.”

When asked if there is any avenue for settlement talks for Brady, Goodell gave indication that the Brady case is probably beyond that as an option.

“We’ve had all those discussions,” he said. “We’ve had several discussions over the past year. At this stage no, but right now we’re moving forward, but the courts will make their decisions and we’ll move forward on that basis.”


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How Brady rehearing ask impacts Bills Wk 4 game

Posted by Chris Brown on May 23, 2016 – 1:10 pm

Patriots QB Tom Brady, through the NFLPA, is expected to file a petition today for a rehearing of his league-imposed four-game suspension or his role in the Deflategate scandal. Brady is going to be asking for a rehearing en banc, which means he’s asking for the entire panel of all the active judges of the Second Circuit to rehear the case, instead of just a three-judge panel, as was the case in the original hearing, which ruled against Brady 2-1.

There will be no timetable for the Second Circuit to decide whether to rehear the case. If they accept the petition and agree to rehear the case it would put an automatic stay on the NFL’s four-game suspension of Brady and that means he would almost certainly face the Bills in Week 4 at Foxborough. Rehearings take months so it would buy Brady more than enough time to play the 2016 season.

It should be noted that rehearings of such decisions are extremely rare.

If the rehearing petition is denied the four-game suspension would remain in place for the start of the regular season. At that point Brady’s only hope would be an appeal to the Supreme Court and ask for a stay of the Second Circuit decision. It’s considered a long shot for a stay to be granted by the highest court in the land.

Monday was the deadline for Brady to submit the petition.


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U.S. Appeals court reinstates Brady suspension

Posted by Chris Brown on April 25, 2016 – 11:53 am

Per multiple reports a U.S. Appeals court has reinstated the NFL’s four-game suspension of New England Patriots QB Tom Brady for his alleged role in Deflate-gate. The ruling is not exactly a surprise as the court appeared to be leaning in favor of the league based on lines of questioning during initial proceedings.

The suspension was originally to be served by Brady for the first four games of the 2015 season for his alleged role in Deflate-gate when the majority of New England footballs used in the AFC title game against Indianapolis in January of 2015 were below the required air pressure under the rules of the game.

At this point if the suspension is in fact served in full starting with the first week of the season, the Bills would presumably not face Brady since Buffalo and New England square off in Week 4 this fall.

Most legal analysts believe this is the end of the road in the way of appeals for Brady to challenge the rulings in this case.


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Brady not thrilled Bills CBs playing so well

Posted by Chris Brown on November 23, 2015 – 12:10 pm

The Buffalo Bills two starting cornerbacks, Ronald Darby and Stephon Gilmore have probably been the two most consistent players on defense this season. One opponent who is noticing is Patriots QB Tom Brady.

“Yeah, they definitely have good matchups out there, so I think they have a lot of confidence in them,” said Brady in reference to Darby and Gilmore. “And those players have done a great job when the coach has asked them, ‘Alright, you’ve got this guy, and you’re going to match him and shadow him.’ They definitely do a good job of that.

“It was a little disappointing to see from my study that they were playing as well as they were, but that’s part of it. You’re going to go against good players. And they’ve got good players, so we’ve got to still kind of figure out how to move the ball down the field.”

Even though Brady did throw for a season-high 466 yards in a Week 2 win over the Bills, he had the fourth-lowest completion percentage in a game this season (64.4%) and the third lowest yards per attempt (7.9) as the approach was for Brady to get the ball out fast to neutralize Buffalo’s pass rush.

Brady currently leads the league in pass release time at an average of just 2.13 seconds.


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Brady on replacing Edelman

Posted by Chris Brown on November 18, 2015 – 1:50 pm

With the Patriots losing WR Julian Edelman indefinitely to a broken foot, most expect Danny Amendola to fill Edelman’s role in the slot this week against the Bills. New England QB Tom Brady however, believes that even though Amendola is in his third season with the Patriots he won’t be able to duplicate everything that Edelman does right away.

“I think when you’ve had that quality of player go down, you definitely have to adjust,” said Brady. “So I would say it’s football season, and a lot of teams go through similar things, [losing] certain players that are really critical. You just have to figure out a way to kind of keep producing and scoring points.

“It may be different than the way that it’s been. You wish you could just plug someone else in, but that’s, you know, it’s impossible to plug in those … Julian Edelmans just aren’t sitting out on the street or else they’d be playing for another team, but the guys who are going to be in there, we’ll have confidence in the things that they can do well. And I think the expectations are still the same. We expect to go out there and score points every time we touch the ball, and it may take a little different shape. You just have to rely on some different things that are a part of your offense and just do the best you can do.”

Buffalo’s defense doesn’t expect much to change with the Patriots attack despite the fact that New England has lost their feature back and top receiver in the last two games.


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Brown: Sunday was a reality check

Posted by Chris Brown on September 21, 2015 – 9:02 am

After giving up more passing yards in one game to a quarterback in team history Sunday, Buffalo’s defenders aren’t lacking in confidence. They’re just fully aware that they’ve got some ground to cover as a defensive unit.

LB Preston Brown called the results of Sunday’s game for Buffalo’s defense a wake up call.

“I’m not sure it’s a blow to our confidence; it’s just something we need to improve on. It really showed to be a reality check. It shows that we’re not the best. We act like we are, but we aren’t right now, so we have a lot to work on.

“Just too many mistakes. We gave up way too many passing yards, that’s something we can’t do. If you want to go out and beat Tom Brady you have to shut him down in the passing game. We allowed him to get away with way too much.”

Brady threw for 466 yards, the most in a single game against the Bills in team annals.


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Rambo: Don’t blame the pass rush

Posted by Chris Brown on September 20, 2015 – 11:22 pm

The Bills defensive game plan was to use their advantageous matchups up front and just rush their front four at Tom Brady on passing downs so they could drop seven into coverage. That was the plan through much of the first half, but Mario Williams, Kyle Williams, Marcell Dareus and Jerry Hughes could not get home, and it had nothing to do with their abilities as pass rushers.

Bills Bacarri Rambo, who saw it all unfold from his safety position said Patriots QB Tom Brady just gets the ball out too fast for any pass rush to matter.

“It wasn’t even the pass rush; it’s just, (Tom Brady) wasn’t holding on to the ball long enough to allow our pass rush to get there,” said Rambo. “We’ve got four guys that can get home each and every play if they want, and they’re going to, because that’s how those guys play up front. But, it wasn’t even on them by getting home, it’s Brady just knew where the ball was going as soon as he got the ball, one, two, the ball was gone. So, it had nothing to do with the pass rush.”


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The one thing that surprised Belichick

Posted by Chris Brown on September 20, 2015 – 6:45 pm

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick isn’t surprised by too much when it comes to game plans and ‘X’s and ‘O’s, but there was one thing the Bills did defensively that he wasn’t expecting.

Belichick admitted that their defense did not play well on the opening drive when the Bills went 80 yards on 10 plays to score a touchdown in relatively easy fashion. But New England’s offense got rolling in the second quarter scoring on three straight possessions and built an 11-point halftime lead.

What caught Belichick off guard was how little Buffalo chose to blitz, choosing coverage instead of sending extra rushers.

“Defensively,  they didn’t really blitz the whole first half,” said Belichick. “They ran a couple of zone pressures where one guy blitzed and the other guy dropped. They didn’t really play pressure at all in the second half, and then we saw a little more pressure defense. We kind of anticipated that at half time. We didn’t think they would keep doing the same thing for as long as they did, but they pretty much did the whole first half.”

Ryan explained that they decided to go with coverage knowing Brady gets the ball out too fast for even a blitz to get to him.

“We were going to put it on our front four,” said Ryan. “We thought we had an advantage there. Ball came out a lot of times and if you turn some people loose… regardless of the coverage. We were mixing in two-man, a  bunch of different things. But shot it’s to their credit. You know I’ve been on the wrong end of it a few times when the kid gets hot and Brady was hot and if you make a mistake on top of it he kills you.”

Brady threw for 466 yards in the game, the most by any opposing QB in Bills history.


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How Brady & Co. are preparing for RWS noise

Posted by Chris Brown on September 18, 2015 – 3:28 pm

The Bills fans brought it big time in the season opener against the Colts. Veteran players affirmed that it was one of the loudest on field atmospheres they can remember. With the rival Patriots coming to town the decibel level is expected to climb even higher this Sunday. So what is the Patriots offense doing to prepare for the likelihood of having to operate with non-verbal communication?

Tom Brady was asked if the Patriots are capable of duplicating the Ralph Wilson Stadium atmosphere in practice.

“Yeah, you can try,” he said. “Unless you’ve been there, you really don’t quite know how it’s going to be. I think you expect the worst and you expect the loudest, and I think that’s what we practice when we’re out there. I mean, you really can’t hear anything when Coach [Belichick] turns those speakers up.

“He tries to make it harder for us in practice than it is in the game, and not being able to really hear anything just requires a lot of non-verbal communication and everyone being on the same page – knowing your calls, knowing your assignments, being able to know the things that we’re doing really well so you can go out and play confidently and aggressively – because if you don’t play that way, then you get really defensive as an offense. I think the Colts, they got pushed around, and when you get pushed around by a team like this, they really feed off of that.”


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Youngsters on Pats OL doing extra prep

Posted by Chris Brown on September 17, 2015 – 4:34 pm

There’s a very good chance that the New England Patriots will need to start a pair of rookie offensive linemen Sunday against the Bills. With starting C Bryan Stork placed on I-R/Des. to Return and starting guard Ryan Wendell recovering from an illness, New England may have to start rookie G Shaq Mason alongside rookie center David Andrews as they did in Week 1. That could spell trouble for Tom Brady when it comes to inside pass pressure knowing Buffalo’s boasts a pair of Pro Bowl DTs in Kyle Williams and Marcell Dareus.

Patriots QB Tom Brady said the offensive linemen have been prepping overtime with blitz pickups and pass protection in general.

“It’s challenging, and we’ve been preparing,” said Brady. “We’ve done blitz pickup probably more than any other team in football since the spring started, especially with some young players in there up front, so just to have a lot of work that we’ve kind of put in the bank and know that you’ve got to trust the guys next to you that when you make a call, you know, we’re going against probably the best D-line in football.

“These guys are phenomenal all the way across the board, so it puts a lot of pressure on the offense to communicate well, trust each other, and then when that breaks down I throw it as quick as I can. I don’t want to be the one holding the ball all day and see if they can get home because you know they can.”

At the same time he’s been impressed with his new man in the pivot, Andrews.

“I think Dave [Andrews] has done a great job,” said Brady. “He’s got an opportunity, and he’s really taken advantage of it. I’m really impressed by the way that he’s come to work and the challenge that he … He played at a big time college, so he’s been in front of a lot of crowds in a good conference. So, he’s just stepped in, and to start undrafted and to be a starting center last week, and then moving forward in the season we’ll see what happens, but he’s done a great job, and I think he’s obviously gained the trust of his coaches and teammates, which is ultimately what you’re trying to do as a pro athlete.”


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Pats recognize offensive mindset of Bills ‘D’

Posted by Chris Brown on September 17, 2015 – 10:13 am

Bills head coach Rex Ryan is known as an aggressive defensive play caller. He and defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman aren’t shy about throwing caution to the wind with the way they call games. The Patriots know that all too well. In fact they had an interesting description for Ryan’s defensive philosophy.

“He’s a great coach,” said Tom Brady of Ryan. “I think he just does a good job keeping offenses off balance. He’s obviously got a good blitz package. I think what you saw last week against the Colts was kind of vintage Rex Ryan, and along with those great players that he’s got, I think they just, they take such an offensive mentality to their defense. And they put a lot of pressure on opposing offenses, and wherever they feel like they’ve got you stressed, I think they smell blood in the water and they keep going after it.

“You know, it took the Colts a long time to get going. Hopefully, we can get out to a good, fast start and play well and try to get those guys on their heels a little bit. But it’s tough to do because, like I said, they’re really well prepared. They’ve got some really talented players, and they always play well at home. I think every time that we play them there, it feels like it’s always down to the minute.”


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Looks like Bills will see Brady in Week 2

Posted by Chris Brown on September 3, 2015 – 10:32 am

After more than seven months of legal wrangling New England QB Tom Brady has won in the arbitration case with the NFL regarding his four-game suspension for Brady’s perceived role in the Patriots’ Deflategate scandal stemming from the AFC Championship game. That means the Bills will see the perennial All-Pro quarterback in Week 2 at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

Judge Berman in New York nullified the league’s four-game suspension of Brady allowing the quarterback to play immediately in Week 1 next week against the Steelers. Here is the key wording of the ruling.

Based upon the foregoing and the applicable legal authorities, the Court hereby denies the Management Council’s motion to confirm the award and grants the Player Association’s motion to vacate the Award, thereby vacating the four-game suspension of Tom Brady, effective immediately.   

The league is expected to appeal the case in New York’s second circuit, and fighting for a stay on the ruling is another option for the NFL, but at this point it seems unlikely that Brady will be kept off the field for the start of the 2015 regular season.


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Kyle weighs in on Brady decision

Posted by Chris Brown on July 29, 2015 – 1:49 pm

Bills DT Kyle Williams is also the team’s Union rep so he naturally was asked for his take on the league’s decision to uphold his four game suspension.

“If you look at it from the league side it would be hard for them to turn back on a ruling that they made with a special investigative crew coming in and making that decision,” said Williams. “I think their decision to uphold it is not at all surprising based on the fact that those are people they hired. It would be hard to go back on it.

“As a PA (Players Association) we have to protect the rights of all of our players. With him he declares his innocence and I think we are going to let the process play out, but we are going to try to defend him the best way we can from our end of it which is obviously the complete opposite position that the league has.”

With respect to the possibility of not seeing Brady in Buffalo’s Week 2 matchup with New England, Williams chose to focus on what’s right in front of him which is training camp.

“We haven’t even practiced yet,” he said. “We have a long way to go for getting better ourselves before we even play a preseason game. And we’ve got a game before we even played them so so to worry about will he be there will he not be there, is a long way off. If we are concerned about that now our heads in the wrong place.”


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Goodell: No timetable on Brady ruling

Posted by Chris Brown on July 21, 2015 – 2:25 pm

Appearing at an event in Pennsylvania Tuesday NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was asked if a timeline was in place for a ruling to be made on Tom Brady’s current four-game suspension as part of the Deflate-gate scandal. Goodell maintained there is no timetable.

“There is no timeline. We want to make sure we have a fair and open process. We are obviously being very thorough and want to make sure we consider all aspects of his appeal,” said Goodell at a fundraising event. “We will make a decision as quickly as possible.”

Brady appealed the four-game ban and there have been reports that unless the ban is lifted in full that the Patriots quarterback will take the league to court over their decision on punishment.

If the four-game ban is upheld, or even reduced to two games Brady would miss the Patriots’ Week 2 game against the Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

 


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Tom Brady to miss 1st game vs. Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on May 11, 2015 – 5:56 pm

The NFL has handed down its sentence for New England QB Tom Brady in the wake of the Wells report which investigated the Deflate-Gate controversy. 

Brady will be suspended for the first four games of the regular season, which means he’ll miss the Patriots Week 2 game against the Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. 

The Bills have not faced the Patriots without Tom Brady since the 2008 season when Brady missed 15 games with a torn ACL. 

His replacement for that game was Matt Cassel, who is on Buffalo’s roster now after an offseason trade with Minnesota. 


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Brady, Gronk, Revis to be pulled early?

Posted by Chris Brown on December 27, 2014 – 10:18 pm

Speculation in New England is rampant that some of the Patriots’ more important parts will be headed to the sideline long before Sunday’s season finale between the Patriots and Bills is over. Even the team website predicts an early exit for some of the Pats’ regulars.

Patriots Football Weekly columnist Andy Hart believes some of the more important cogs in the Patriots machine will be sitting on the bench come the second half Sunday. Others may not even dress for the game like Julian Edelman and LeGarrette Blount, who both missed last week’s game against the Jets due to injury. Here’s the scuttlebutt on playing time for Patriots starters.

Using history as a guideline it would seem likely that anyone dealing with any sort of injury could very well be inactive. That could include guys like Julian Edelman, Kyle Arrington, Dan Connolly and LeGarrette Blount, all of whom missed last Sunday’s game in New York. Alfonzo Dennard and Jonas Gray have already been ruled out. But, barring a change from the past, healthy players, even superstars like Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski and Darrelle Revis, could see early action against the Bills. In the past, when New England has clinched a bye and had an essentially meaningless game, Belichick has played his starters enough to try ensure they don’t get too rusty before the time off leading up to the second round of playoff action. Could that change? Sure. But for now it would seem likely that Brady and Co. could see a few series of action, maybe two quarters of playing time, before taking to the sideline for some well-earned rest. 

 

 


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