Friday, February 23, 2018
Sports

Back from suspension, Brady looks like Brady

CLEVELAND — There's nothing to hold Tom Brady and the Patriots back now.

The air has cleared around him. He is freed. Even inflated by the past.

His fight with the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell ended long ago, and his four-game suspension has elapsed too.

He's healthy, showing no signs of any rust — or slippage at 39 — and New England's offensive arsenal has been replenished with more targets.

Brady's back. Beware.

"It's super great," Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski said of the team's reunion with Brady. "He's our leader. He's our guy."

Returning from a ban for his part in Deflategate, Brady passed for 406 yards and threw three touchdowns to tight end Martellus Bennett while leading the Patriots to a 33-13 win Sunday over the Browns.

Brady stood tall in the pocket and fired passes over the middle in traffic. The two-time MVP bought time by checking his other options and floated long passes with perfect touch to Bennett and Gronkowski, his new bookend tight ends. Brady even ran for 14 yards, punctuating a scramble with a Usain Bolt-style celebration.

Simply put, Brady was Brady.

"It was fun to have him back out there," Bennett, a new Patriot, said after his first game with Brady. "He was fired up. We were fired up, and we were just trying to make plays for him."

Brady finished 28-of-40 while recording the eighth 400-yard passing game of his 17-season career. Only Drew Brees (14), Peyton Manning (14) and Dan Marino (13) have more.

And while he might have released some anger on Cleveland, Brady said he's not holding any grudges and won't look over his shoulder at the past year.

"This isn't the time for me to reflect," he said of the suspension. "I'm just happy we won, and I'm happy when we win anytime we play. I have a job to do, and there is no point in looking back at anything, whether we won Super Bowls or lost championship games. The last four weeks, none of it matters.

"I'm just trying to move on."

Also, Patriots rookie cornerback Cyrus Jones was ejected in the third quarter for unsportsmanlike conduct. The second-round pick from Alabama got tangled with Browns receiver Andrew Hawkins.

Kubiak hospitalized: Broncos coach Gary Kubiak experienced flulike symptoms and was taken to a hospital by ambulance after Denver's loss to the Falcons. Team spokesman Patrick Smyth said Kubiak was transported as a precaution about 45 minutes after the game; the team later said he had tests at the hospital. In 2013 when he was Houston's coach, Kubiak, 55, had a "mini-stroke" in a frightening scene in which he collapsed at halftime during a game against the Colts. He returned to the sideline 10 days later but was soon fired.

Chargers: No. 3 overall pick Joey Bosa finally played and sacked Derek Carr twice. The former Ohio State defensive end held out in a nasty contract dispute, then suffered a hamstring injury that delayed his debut.

Comments

Friday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYAutosMonster Energy Cup: Folds of Honor QuickTrip 500 qualifying5 p.m.FS1NHRA: Arizona Nationals qualifying7 p.m.FS1Baseball, spring trainingCardinals at Marlins1 p.m.FSFCubs at Brewers 4 p.m.MLBBasketballWorld Cup Americas qualifier: Cuba vs. U...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Winter Olympics: Alina Zagitova wins figure skating gold, Russia’s first of Games

Winter Olympics: Alina Zagitova wins figure skating gold, Russia’s first of Games

GANGNEUNG, South Korea  — The Russians finally have a gold medal at the  Olympics, thanks to a 15-year-old who beat the fellow teen who inspired her to become a figure skater.Alina Zagitova won one of the Games' spotlight events Frida...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Winter Olympics: Friday’s viewing schedule

Winter Olympics: Friday’s viewing schedule

TV today5 a.m.-6:30 a.m. Saturday NBCSNSpeed skating (M) – 1,000m final (LIVE)Hockey (M) — Semifinal, Canada vs. Germany (LIVE, 6:30 a.m.)Curling (M) — Bronze-medal match, Canada vs. Switzerland (TAPED, 9:30 a.m.)Curling (W) —...
Updated: 2 hours ago
USA women’s hockey gives us a night to remember

USA women’s hockey gives us a night to remember

Our team.They're Americans, yes. But they are more than that.They're one of us. Adopted Floridians. Honorary members of Tampa Bay.And they gave us the signature moment of the Winter Olympics.USA! USA! USA!In the greatest moment in American hockey sin...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Lightning not planning to trade from current roster

Lightning not planning to trade from current roster

You can bet that many Lightning fans hoped Senators superstar defenseman Erik Karlsson jumped on Tampa Bay's bus after Thursday night's 4-3 Lightning win.Karlsson, 27, a two-time Norris Trophy winner, is the biggest prize leading up to Monday's trade...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Lightning escapes for 4-3 win in Ottawa

Lightning escapes for 4-3 win in Ottawa

OTTAWA – The Lightning was encouraged it escaped Ottawa with a 4-3 win over the Senators on Thursday night.But it was really disappointed about how it had to "hold on to dear life," as defenseman Victor Hedman put it, after taking a three-goal ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Police: DeSean Jackson’s former Eagles teammate drove truck found wrecked with bullets, marijuana inside

Police: DeSean Jackson’s former Eagles teammate drove truck found wrecked with bullets, marijuana inside

TAMPA  — With no witnesses and no video evidence, Tampa Police have stopped investigating a case from Christmas Eve that had a truck belonging to Bucs receiver DeSean Jackson found wrecked and abandoned in a mall parking lot with hollow-po...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Brent Honeywell injury could be worst Rays news yet

Brent Honeywell injury could be worst Rays news yet

PORT CHARLOTTE — It might have seemed that things couldn't get worse for the Rays after an opening week of spring training that included the dumping of two veterans to harshly negative reviews, including from their own players; to the trade of ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Bucs QB Jameis Winston uninjured in car wreck

Bucs QB Jameis Winston uninjured in car wreck

Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston was not hurt in a car wreck last week in which he was cited for careless driving.Winston, 24, was driving on the Veterans Expressway near Waters Avenue in northwest Tampa on Feb. 13 when his Ford F250 truck rear-ended ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Boys basketball: Wharton wins a wild one in final seconds

Boys basketball: Wharton wins a wild one in final seconds

TAMPA — Bartow held a one-point lead and time was ticking down — 12, 11, 10 seconds left — when Wharton guard Darin Green pulled up near the foul line and released the ball over a defender's fingers toward the hoop.Swish.Bartow got ...
Updated: 3 hours ago