By Danny Cox
With only one week left to go in the 2017 NFL regular season, the New England Patriots know there is still a lot to play for as the chase for the playoffs continues. They already have a first-round bye and the divisional title locked up, but home-field advantage is on the line as they face the New York Jets, and they won’t give it up without a fight.
Pats sign ex-Steelers linebacker James Harrison
Never let anyone tell you that the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers don’t hate one another, but the rivalry has taken a totally unexpected and evil turn. Late last week, the Steelers shockingly released longtime linebacker James Harrison to open up a roster spot, and that opened the door.
After not placing a waiver claim on Harrison, the Patriots went out and signed the 39-year-old veteran just as the playoffs are about to begin. A couple of weeks ago, Harrison didn’t play in the Steelers’ loss to New England and he has actually been on the field very little in 2017, but he still has plenty to give any NFL team.
While the defense of the Patriots has improved as the season has gone on, Harrison would instantly add a lot of talent and leadership to the front seven.
Bills believe NFL replay system is incredibly flawed
During the first half of Sunday’s win over the Buffalo Bills, a controversial call was made after instant replay reversed a touchdown made by wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin. It was ruled on the field that Benjamin caught the ball, had control, and had both feet down to make the touchdown reception.
Slow-motion replays showed the exact same thing seen on the field, but there was the slightest possibility that the ball may have bobbled a little in Benjamin’s hands while he dragged his left toes in bounds. Even though that wasn’t necessarily clear, the call was overturned.
Obviously, the Bills are not happy about the call as it led to a tie at halftime before having momentum completely swing in favor of the Patriots, who blew things open in the second half.
Tom Brady impressed with his former back-up’s start in San Francisco
Jimmy Garoppolo is no longer backing up Tom Brady in New England, and as a matter of fact, he’s not backing up anyone any longer. The former Patriot has moved into the starting spot for the San Francisco 49ers and it is blatantly obvious that he has the lead in the race to be the franchise quarterback for the team in 2018 and beyond.
In his first four starts with the Niners, Garoppolo has caught the eyes of NFL fans everywhere as he’s a perfect 4-0. Someone else who has noticed this incredible beginning in the Bay is Tom Brady, who is overly impressed.
“He’s done a great job. You go in there and get the opportunity to play and win games, that’s what we’re all here for,” Brady said this week to WEEI. “It was good to see, and good for them to beat Jacksonville [on Sunday]. That certainly helped us. I’m really happy for Jimmy. He’s worked really hard and it shows up when he goes out there and plays really well.”
For now, there’s no possible chance that Brady will meet Garappolo in the Super Bowl as the 49ers were eliminated from playoff contention long ago. Still, the possibility remains as one never knows what the future may bring.