Plenty to talk about after Sunday's 33-13 win over Cleveland. Most media seem focused on one player in particular: QB Tom Brady.
We'll begin in Ohio, where the Cleveland Plain Dealer might as well be called the Cleveland plain speaker because of the candid comments by its columnists following yesterday's mismatch.
"To watch the 39-year-old Brady slice and dice the Browns secondary on Sunday, throwing for 406 yards and three touchdowns in his return from his four-game suspension, was another answer to any Brady question ever asked.
Did Belichick make Brady or did Brady make Belichick? It's Brady. It's the quarterback, not the coach."
Another Plain Dealer scribe is just plain brutal in assessing the Browns.
"Following three weeks in which there were clear signs of progress [for Cleveland] to point to, it looked like Varsity vs. JV at times. Honestly, who didn't expect it? This was never a game for this [Browns] team to win, let alone even stay within striking distance."
Some Browns players even got in the post-game praising act, as the *Boston Herald *recounts.
"That's why he's a Pro Bowler, a Hall of Famer," Browns inside linebacker Christian Kirksey said of Brady. "They've won championships just because of the type of player he is."
Another Herald reporter compiled his entertaining list of bests and worsts from Sunday's win.
At The Boston Globe, you'll find a recap of Brady's day, which describes the QB as calm, cool, and collected in his 2016 debut.
"Brady kept his emotions in check as he showed off his arm (406 yards passing), slicing his way through the Browns defense. But it was when he showed off his legs that he finally showed just how fired-up he was."
Another Globe columnist declares that the Patriots and Brady can now finally put the Deflategate fiasco behind them after Sunday's triumph on Lake Erie.
It was a fine emotional line that Brady walked Sunday, according to a CSNNE.com columnist.
"Over and over, the people close to Brady I spoke to during his four-game suspension would say, "He's in a good place.
"The inference? That he wasn't climbing the walls but had come to an uneasy truce with the reality of it. He'd laid down his arms and let it be when he gave up the fight. There would be no useless energy expended on "what ifs" or worrying or bitterness."
How else did Brady look so sharp against the Browns, especially when it came to eluding the pass rush and absorbing hits? CSNNE.com examines that aspect of the game.
"I was getting hit [while training during the suspension]," Brady acknowledged. "Part of my job is taking hits. So it's not like you can't take a hit for four weeks. Especially when you see your teammates out there taking hits."
Elsewhere, *The Providence Journal *steps away from the QB discussion to focus on another impressive component of Sunday's win: the two-headed tight end monster of Rob Gronkowski and Martellus Bennett.
"Gronkowski is known as the top tight end in football," the analysis begins, "but he knew Bennett could serve as the ultimate compliment, someone who could only make his life easier. That's what unfolded for the first time this season with Tom Brady at the controls."
The ProJo also caught up with another player coming off suspension for New England and the joyful day that Rob Ninkovich enjoyed in Cleveland.
"It felt great," Ninkovich said. "All the people that supported me though this, it was awesome."
Finishing off today on defense, ESPN Boston examines the snap counts of Patriots defenders Sunday and why LB Dont'a Hightower's may have been lower than normal.