The punishment the Commissioner of Football imposed on Tom Brady and the New England Patriots – the loss of their 2016 first-round draft pick and the suspension of Tom Brady for the first four games of the season – did not prevent the Patriots from running up a record that guaranteed them home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, or from winning Super Bowl 51. As far as I can tell, the effect on the Patriots was:
- Their 39-year-old quarterback was four game fresher than each of his playoff opponents.
- Jimmy Garopollo is the hottest player on the trade market after having showcased himself during Brady’s absence, while the performance of Jacoby Brissett backing up Garopollo gives the team a high degree of confidence in him as their second-string QB.
Hey, ref, can you check out this sanction? It feels a little soft to me.