Monday morning's Patriots news falls under two very distinct categories: good and bad.
The good is that Tom Brady's four-game Deflategate suspension is officially over and the New England quarterback is cleared return to his normal role and routine with the team.
The bad is that Brady returns following an extremely disappointing 16-0 loss to the Bills Sunday afternoon, the first time the Patriots were shut out in the history of Gillette Stadium.
The Boston Globe says so what if the Patriots fell to 3-1 against Buffalo, Brady returning is all that matters. The Globe writes that for at least one day, it was Ryan who was the coaching genius on the sidelines in Foxborough. New England's offense played it safe with Jacoby Brissett making his second career start and the Globe notes the plan sputtered all afternoon. The Globe declares that cornerback Logan Ryan was a big part of the problem on defense for the Patriots.
The Globe relays that the Bills took the fight to the Patriots, including a dustup with Brissett in pre-game warmups. Rob Gronkowski may be getting closer to full speed, but the tight end remained more of a blocking option than a pass-catcher against Buffalo. The Globe says the Patriots mistakes were a key to the Bills stunning win.
The Boston Herald expects Brady to be “a man on a mission” now that he's back. The Herald notes how rare it is for the Patriots to be shut out in Foxborough. The Herald also says that just about everything went wrong for New England on Sunday. The paper writes that it is clearly an ideal time for Brady to return, while noting the three big issues the team faces after its first loss.
The Providence Journal says both teams stood their ground in the pregame skirmish. Though the ProJo notes the Patriots were AWOL in all three phases when the game actually kicked off.
ESPNBoston.com has 30 notable things that happened during Brady’s four-game suspension. Rob Gronkowski had just one reception in Sunday's loss, and ESPNBoston.com says the All-Pro tight end’s production will increase when he’s utilized less as a blocker. The site deems Sunday's performance as an “ugly” one. ESPNBoston.com notes that Logan Ryan led a list of down performers against the Bills. ESPNBoston.com has rookie receiver Malcolm Mitchell saying he was doing what he thought was best when he fought back in the pregame fight.
CSNNE.com calls Sunday's loss a “reality check.” The site also has the best and worst (annoying slideshow warning!) from the shutout. CSNNE.com has Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola talking up Brady’s return. Hard to know when to take him seriously, but Rex Ryan claimed he had sources at Gillette Stadium telling him that Brissett was going to start at quarterback all along.
WEEI.com offers up 10 things learned in Sunday’s AFC East battle. WEEI.com says to blame the coaching staff not the rookie quarterback for Sunday’s shutout defeat. WEEI.com passes along Bills defensive back Robert Blanton saying the Patriots “disrespectful” actions kicked off Sunday’s pregame fight. WEEI.com also says that even Ryan knows Sunday’s game didn’t mean much.
NFL.com says Belichick took out some of his frustration on Sunday on a tablet computer on the sideline. NFL.com also offers up three thoughts on the Bills win in Foxborough.
With Brady back, CBSSports.com notes the Patriots are already huge favorites for Sunday’s trip to Cleveland.
The Washington Post says the Brady suspension was supposed to gash the Patriots, but it ended up being merely a scratch for New England.
USA Today says Ryan’s Bills got a sweet victory over the Patriots.
LarryBrownSports.com says Brady was actually working out while his team was losing on Sunday.