Tom Brady has three more milestones he can achieve on Sunday against the Titans — two historical, the other sentimental. He has 576 touchdown passes (including postseason), just three behind Peyton Manning for the most all time.
Sunday will also be Brady’s 300th game (including postseason), joining Brett Favre (326) as the only quarterbacks to reach 300. And Brady has 996 rushing yards, and can finally achieve #TB1K on Sunday if he doesn’t have too many kneeldowns.
A trio of Patriots notes:
■ One reason the Patriots have been willing to deal with Rob Gronkowski’s injury history, and some of the drama that comes along with it, is because his contract has been a great value — in many years paying him half the going rate of top-flight receivers and tight ends. But the 2019 offseason will be interesting to watch, because Gronk is no longer a good value. He’s set to make $10 million next year, with none of it guaranteed, and only $2 million in dead cap money. That’s great value for peak-of-his-prime Gronk, but he’s struggling with injuries again (the back issues are especially worrisome), and will be 30 years old next year. If the Patriots approach Gronk about a paycut, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him just retire instead.
■ Remember last April, when Josh McDaniels reportedly loved Baker Mayfield and held a workout with him right before the draft? And how Mayfield’s camp only agreed to it once they were convinced that McDaniels and the Patriots were serious about Mayfield? Keep that in mind in January when the Browns are hiring a new coach. McDaniels is also a native of Canton, Ohio, which could make that job attractive for him.
■ The Patriots’ pass rush has been Jekyll and Hyde. They are 30th in the league in sacks (13), but they lead the NFL in QB hurries (104) and are tied for 17th in QB knockdowns (45).
The view here is that while Adrian Clayborn, Trey Flowers, and Deatrich Wise are playing better, the Patriots are still looking for upgrades. New Falcons pass rusher Bruce Irvin said the Patriots actually offered him more money. And the Patriots added edge rusher Ufomba Kamalu to the practice squad this past week.