Just about anything Tom Brady does or does not do creates news in Patriots Nation. We've learned that in so many ways over what is now nearly two decades of his star power in New England.
So it's no surprise that Brady missing practice on Wednesday, heading into Sunday's season finale in Miami, created some headlines.
The Boston Globe notes that Brady was just one of a handful of key Patriots who missed practice to open the prep week. The Globe also ranks the long list coaches of the other AFC East teams during Bill Belichick's time running the show in Foxborough. Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy says the Patriots No. 1 scoring defense hasn't really been tested this season. The Globe also has Julian Edelman saying he's excited the Patriots have something to play for on Sunday.
The Boston Herald says that James Develin and the Patriots are proof that the fullback is not a dying position in the NFL. Herald columnist Steve Buckley writes that it's sort of obvious the Patriots wouldn't want to play the Giants again in the Super Bowl. The Herald reminds us again that the New England offense is better equipped this season to play without Rob Gronkowski. The Herald has a story on Miami running back Jay Ajayi carrying the Dolphins to the playoffs.
The Providence Journal says that "bonding" is a big part of the success of the Patriots secondary. The ProJo also had Edelman focused on finishing strong. New England has the chance to finish the season with a perfect 8-0 road record. The *ProJo *notes that if called upon again this week, Jimmy Garoppolo will be ready.
ESPNBoston.com has Chris Long enjoying playing "meaningful football" at this point in his first season in New England. ESPNBoston.com passes along Devin McCourty saying there is no "on-and-off switch" for football teams. The site notes that Edelman playing in his 16th game of the season is a big accomplishment for the receiver. ESPNBoston.com notes thatBrady was in good spirits in the locker room prior to missing practice on Wednesday due to the thigh issue.
WEEI.com says the Patriots could be running all the way to Houston. WEEI.com notes that fellow ESPN analyst Trent Dilfer thinks that the Patriots could be using Adam Schefter given the reporter's recent information regarding Garoppolo's potential trade market. WEEI.com relays former Colts GM Bill Polian saying Brady may win the MVP be if he voted it would "be 10 votes" for Cowboys rookie running back Ezekiel Elliot.
NFL.com has Brady atop its QB index. NFL.com predicts the Patriots will earn a 20-16 win in Miami. NFL.com has no mention of Malcolm Butler in its ranking of the league's top cornerbacks.
The Miami Herald explains why the playoff-bound Dolphins should be all-in on Sunday.