The NFL has had plenty of negative attention and stories in recent years.
But this week the league has had its professionalism and sportsmanship on full display. Part of that was Tony Romo's handling of a clearly tough situation in Dallas.
More local, though, Rob Gronkowski and Seattle safety Earl Thomas have shown impressive respect for each other after Sunday's hellacious collision between the two that left the New England tight end's health status in question.
The Boston Globe writes that all is good between Gronkowksi and Thomas, the players going to Twitter to express their support for each other. As far as the All-Pro tight end's reported punctured lung, the Globe notes that Bill Belichick didn't offer an update on Gronkowski on the coach's Tuesday conference call. The Globe says that the poor defensive effort against the Seahawks doesn't seem to bother the Patriots, while the paper breaks down exactly what went wrong in trying to stop Seattle.
The Boston Herald says the Patriots defense simply needs to get to the ball. With the lack of crowd noise at Gillette Stadium once again a talking point, Herald columnist Steve Buckley says he's "been to wakes that were louder." The Herald notes that Martellus Bennett is in line for a starring role if Gronkowski has to sit out the 49ers game. Belichick and the Patriots are preparing for yet another mobile quarterback in San Francisco.
The Providence Journal observes that Tom Brady actually pokes fun at the Deflategate scandal in a new commercial he appears in. The ProJo looks at the Patriots troubles forcing turnovers while also noting Belichick's lack of info on Gronkowski's health.
ESPN highlights the Gronkowski/Thomas respectfest. ESPN declares that blocking issues were at the heart of the problem for the Patriots offense on Sunday night. ESPN notes that Belichick is wary of Chip Kelly's game-plan style of attack in San Francisco.
WEEI.com passes along former Patriots cornerback Ty Law saying the current New England defense has to "have some damn pride." WEEI.com wonders of the Patriots soft upcoming schedule could hurt the team in the long run. WEEI.com notes that former Ravens and Jets linebacker Bart Scott, now an analyst for Showtime's Inside the NFL, had some pretty harsh words regarding Belichick's trade of Jamie Collins. "I'm not going to go out and put my career and my season on the line because I know he'll get rid of me. He doesn't value me. I'm expendable."
CSNNE.com says the lack of turnovers symbolizes the Patriots overall defensive woes. CSNNE.com says Belichick was irked by a question about Jabaal Sheard's lack of playing time against the Seahawks. CSNNE.com offers up its weekly report card on the loss to the Seahawks. (Slideshow warning!!!!!)
NFL.com has the full statement from Romo regarding the quarterback situation with the Cowboys.
CBSBoston writes that Patriots players defended the team's fans after Pete Carroll's critical comments about the noise at Gillette last Sunday night.