Kickoff from Gillette Stadium in Foxborough will be at 3:05 p.m. ET on January 21. He was mum about whether he'd play Sunday, and said, "We'll see". But the polished veneer it normally displays at this time of year is showing flecks of imperfection after Tom Brady injured his right hand during practice.
'I was out there, ' Brady said when asked if he was a full participant in Friday's practice. But instead, word of a glove on Brady's throwing hand brought immediate money in on the Jaguars, and the line dropped from 9 to 7½ and briefly to 7.
Here's the X-Factor. Head coach Doug Marrone has beaten Brady and Belichick before with the Bills with far less talent than he has in Jacksonville. Brady respects that Jacksonville might very well be the best the Patriots will have played all year up to this point.
However, it appears that there is more to it as RJ Bell, who is founder/CEO of Pregame is reporting that Brady's hand injury is actually in worse condition than what's being widely led on to believe. Aside from early success and a brief window at the same time when the Patriots were flirting with an unbeaten season, the franchise has always seemed to be bucking the odds of creating a consistent victor - and waning public support threatened the future of a Jacksonville-based team, with rumors of a possible relocation to London. So that's what we're going to do, ' Belichick said. Some have suggested that cornerback Jalen Ramsey should switch to Gronk, but that would throw the Jaguars defense askew.
The 5x Super Bowl champion QB completed 66.3% of his passes this season, finishing the year with an NFL-best 4,577 passing yards as well as 32 touchdowns and just eight interceptions. But Jeff Howe, from the Boston Herald, wrote a good piece explaining how the Jaguars could still be susceptible to the Patriots. You got up on them 21-nothing, and that's great.
Jacksonville also will be up against history: The Patriots have won the past seven meetings with the Jaguars and two straight in the postseason.More news: Apple users will be able to disable performance slowdowns
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When the Jaguars pass: With his team in the AFC title game, Jacksonville's Blake Bortles is starting to get one of those "all he does is win" reputations.
"I'm just happy that we're here to play against somebody", Harrison said. Their joviality strongly suggests Brady's stitched-up thumb is not an AFC title game-changer.
"Being the greatest ever and being the best he can be is his priority", Damon says. "We'll see. It's not really my decision, so if my number is called, I'll be ready". "We're not talking measurements at this point in the season, you know?"
"You can hit Brady, but hitting him isn't what's going to get to him". And especially Jaguars players looking this week, as last week, to use disrespect as motivation?
Reporters tried again to find out more, asking Belichick how much Brady's status complicates the planning process.
Question: Tom, how's your hand? .
So, what kind of player do you trust to put the brakes on Gronk's train?