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The complicated camera lens-type
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Even if numbers occasionally lie Adidas Jeff Skinner Jersey , most of them indicate the New England Patriots are in great position to hoist a sixth Lombardi Trophy.

The reasons begin in the only place they could: with Tom Brady.

Yes, at 40 years old Brady would be the oldest quarterback to win a Super Bowl if the Patriots beat the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. He would dethrone Peyton Manning, who won at age 39 with the Denver Broncos to cap the 2015 season.

Brady has put up numbers in his 18th season unmatched by any player in NFL history. He led the league with 4,577 yards passing during the regular season and his five touchdown passes are tied for the most in the playoffs.

Brady’s seven Super Bowl appearances are as many as the entire Eagles roster. He’s faced a myriad of difficult scenarios in the championship game, including last year’s 25-point hole the Patriots dug out of to beat the Falcons.

Brady won that one without tight end Rob Gronkowski, who will be in uniform after being cleared late this week.

Close games have been no problem , for Brady and coach Bill Belichick either. The total difference in scoring in those seven games is 12 points: Patriots 169, opponents 157.

You want to talk about comebacks? No player in the Super Bowl era has more fourth-quarter comebacks in the playoffs in his career than Brady’s eight. It’s probably why Brady chuckled this week when he was again asked about how long he wanted to keep playing.

”Why does everyone want me to retire so bad?” Brady said. ”I don’t get it. I’m having fun. The team’s doing good. I know I’m a little bit older than most of the guys, but I’m really enjoying it. … I’m not thinking about retirement. I’m thinking about the Super Bowl and trying to win the most important game of the year.”

As big as the Brady factor is, he’s not the only advantage New England has.

The Patriots lost go-to receiver Julian Edelman in the preseason to a knee injury and linebacker Dont’a Hightower to a season-ending shoulder injury in October. After some early-season struggles, Belichick found a way to plug the holes, with contributions from several previously unheralded players like Trey Flowers, Kyle Van Noy, Lawrence Guy and Ricky Jean Francois .

New England has also gotten a strong season from receiver Brandin Cook after acquiring him from New Orleans this offseason. He posted his third straight 1,000-yard receiving season (1,082) and was second on the team in receiving yards behind only Gronkowski (1 Youth John Kelly Jersey ,084). Running back Dion Lewis has also found new life just two seasons removed from a knee injury. He led the team with 896 yards rushing and six rushing touchdowns.

It’s underlined the football savvy of Belichick, who with a sixth Super Bowl victory would pass Vince Lombardi and tie George Halas and Curly Lambeau for most NFL championships by a coach.

Belichick will be taking part in his 11th Super Bowl as a head coach or assistant, the most among any coach in NFL history. That amounts to 21.2 percent of all Super Bowls in league history and 34.4 percent of all Super Bowls since his first appearance as the Giants defensive coordinator in 1986.

Though there have been reports of alleged friction this season between Belichick, Brady and team owner Robert Kraft, it’s clear they are on the same page when it comes to the pursuit of championships.

”It changes every year. The venues are different, the teams are different, the matchups are different, and the road the team has traveled to get here is different, as is the road your opponent has traveled,” Belichick said. ”Each one is unique. Each one’s special.”




ATLANTA (AP) — Dolphins coach Adam Gase won’t be shopping elsewhere for his backup to starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

“It’s going to be one of those two guys,” Gase said after watching Brock Osweiler and David Fales split the playing time in Miami’s final preseason game.

Osweiler enjoyed the more impressive final audition, leading three first-quarter touchdown drives in the Dolphins’ 34-7 preseason win over the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday night.

Osweiler completed each of his first six passes for 65 yards, including a 1-yard scoring pass to Buddy Howell , on Miami’s opening drive. He added a 14-yard scoring pass to Francis Owusu on the final play of the third quarter.

Osweiler said he didn’t think Gase and his staff would need the preseason game to evaluate his potential as the team’s backup.

“I think I’ve started enough games in this league to be able to see what I’m capable of doing, you know what I mean?” Osweiler said. “I don’t think the coaches are going to look at just one game, but you’d have to ask them what they’re really trying to look for.”

Osweiler completed 16 of 25 passes for 147 yards and two touchdowns for the Dolphins (1-3). He had 25 career starts in 42 games in six seasons with Denver and Houston before signing a one-year deal with Miami.

Fales completed 13 of 20 passes for 94 yards and one interception.

Gase was impressed by the first-half production of the offense Youth Marquis Haynes Jersey , led by Osweiler, Howell and running back Kalen Ballage, who had a 9-yard scoring run . Howell also ran for a touchdown.

“They had a good tempo going,” Gase said. “They took advantage of some of the calls versus the coverages they ran. They got some explosive plays. It was good to see.”

Each team rested most starters in the final preseason game.

The Falcons (0-4) had little offense with their starters, including quarterback Matt Ryan, running backs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman and wide receiver Julio Jones, watching on the sideline. Atlanta was held to nine first downs and 185 yards.

“Obviously not the night that we wanted and not the energy that is needed and certainly not the energy that our fans deserve,” Falcons coach Dan Quinn said.

The Falcons also finished 0-4 in the 2017 preseason before advancing to the playoffs.

Kurt Benkert played most of the game at quarterback and may have lost ground in his effort to win a roster spot behind Ryan and Matt Schaub. He threw two interceptions while completing only 10 of 25 passes for 103 yards.

Benkert’s first pass of the second half was intercepted by Jordan Lucas on a deflection off the hands of receiver Reggie Davis.

Linebacker Stephone Anthony’s interception of Benkert’s pass late in the first quarter set up a 1-yard scoring run by Howell.

A rare offensive highlight for Atlanta came late in the first quarter when Benkert completed a short pass to running back Malik Williams, who jumped over Lucas for a 16-yard gain. That possession ended when Williams was stopped on fourth down.

Benkert’s 13-yard pass to Devin Gray set up Williams’ 8-yard scoring run with 25 seconds remaining in the half.

“That’s the big back we were hoping to see when we saw him coming out of Louisville,” said Quinn of Williams, an undrafted rookie.

INJURIES

Dolphins WR Rashawn Scott suffered an ankle injury in the first half and did not return.

For Atlanta, Williams and cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson left in the second half with shoulder injuries.

NATIONAL ANTHEM

Dolphins wide receivers Albert Wilson and Kenny Stills embraced after each took a knee during the national anthem, continuing their protests of social injustice through the preseason. All Falcons players stood during the anthem.

ROOKIE KICKERS

Miami’s Jason Sanders, competing with Greg Joseph in a competition of rookies, kicked a 56-yard field goal in the fourth quarter.

OPEN-AIR FOOTBALL

Mercedes-Benz Stadium’s roof was open for the game. The roof was closed for every game after the Falcons’ opener in the 2017 debut for the $1.5 billion stadium. The complicated camera lens-type design on the roof has been fine-tuned and is ready for more action this season.

NEXT UP

Dolphins: Miami opens its regular season with a home game against Tennessee on Sept. 9.

Falcons: Atlanta opens its season on Sept. 6 at Philadelphia. The Eagles beat the Falcons in the playoffs on their way to winning the Super Bowl.
 
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