Sunday 7: One of Tom Brady’s most underrated qualities came up following Patrick Mahomes injury

Ryan Hannable
October 20, 2019 - 6:00 am

1. When you think of Tom Brady, the top things that come to mind are his ability to perform in the clutch, his quick-release and his accuracy. But, what it really should be is his toughness and durability. Over Brady’s 20-year NFL career, the quarterback has two of the longest consecutive start streaks in NFL history among quarterbacks. He started 111 straight regular-season games before tearing his ACL in 2008, and then 112 straight regular-season games until he was suspended four games for his role in Deflategate in 2016. The streaks are the 10th and 11th-longest among QBs in NFL history. Obviously, his last streak ended due to suspension, not injury, so if that did not happen, Monday would be Brady’s 167th straight start, and that would be fifth-longest all-time among QBs. Over Brady's entire career, he's only missed 15 games due to injury, and those all came in one season. “That is part of the reason why he’s the GOAT,” Julian Edelman said Friday on The Greg Hill Show. “The guy has played in a lot of football games and takes care of his body. It definitely is a reason why he’s at where he’s at because he can do it for such a long time. That is part of the TB12 philosophy.” Of course, this comes up following Patrick Mahomes suffering a knee injury Thursday night that will have him miss several weeks. So, what’s Brady’s secret? “Pliability, man,” he said. “That’s what I work on every day.”

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2. At the NFL fall league meeting this week, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell acknowledged there have been discussions to expand the season to 17 games. But, it doesn’t seem like it’s something all players are in favor of. "We'll have to see,” Patriots NFLPA representative Matthew Slater said this week. “Obviously it has been discussed in our union. We'll just have to see. There are a lot of things that are going to factor into whether or not that is a real possibility. We'll see how it goes." Goodell said the season would still start the Sunday after Labor Day if the 17 games were to happen, and the season would be extended on the backend.

3. One of the bigger stories of the week with the Patriots was the suspension of Michael Bennett. While it seems easy to try and trade/release him, it may make most sense to try and change his attitude and get something out of him moving forward. While he certainly hasn’t seen much playing time, when he’s been on the field he’s been pretty good. Bennett is one injury in the front-seven away from having a more important role on defense. Also, his trade value likely decreased following his suspension. As long as he hasn’t become a complete distraction behind the scenes, the Patriots should do what they can to hold onto him.

4. The Patriots have a good chance of playing on Saturday in Week 16 against the Bills. The matchup is one of five games that has the potential to be one of three played on Saturday on NFL Network. The other matchups are not all that exciting — Lions-Broncos, Raiders-Chargers, Texans-Buccaneers and Rams-49ers — so it would seem like the Patriots-Bills game has a very good chance of being Saturday (time TBD). The league has until following Week 8 to make this decision. 

5. Despite the Patriots’ run game struggles (21st in yards per game), third-round pick Damien Harris has only been active for one game this season. It’s notable considering Rex Burkhead (foot) has been out for the last two weeks and Harris still cannot crack the gameday roster. Some of it has to do with his lack of special teams value, but when the run game continues to have issues, it’s worth wondering when Harris will be given a chance to potentially show he can make a difference. If Burkhead is out again, maybe this is the week.
6. Hats off to Stephon Gilmore, who plans to host a 12-year-old girl who has been bullied for her love of football at an upcoming game. Quinn Miller, from Pawtucket, R.I., wears the same No. 24 and he saw her story on social media. “It’s a sad situation, but I’m happy for her,” Gilmore said. “I’m happy she’s focused and having fun playing football. I think she should be happy and not let nothing affect her on the outside, be happy to go to school, be happy to play sports. Hopefully, I can connect with her soon.” Gilmore was able to connect with the family and has invited her to an upcoming game.

7. It will be a short week for the Patriots following the Monday night game with the Browns coming to Gillette Stadium next Sunday at 4:25 p.m. The Browns on the other hand will be well-rested, as they are coming off their bye. Cleveland certainly hasn’t been what many expected this year, but it has a number of talented players and perhaps the bye week will be what it needs to figure things out.

Related: Patriots WR position has questions heading into Monday Night Football