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Tom Brady debuts, Jacoby Brissett, defense shines, Jimmy Garoppolo struggles in win over Panthers 08.26.16 at 10:50 pm ET
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Aug 26, 2016; Charlotte, NC, USA;  New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) passes in the first quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Brady fires one of nine passes on the night Friday in Charlotte. (Jim Dedmon-USA Today Sports)

Tom Brady made his long-awaited preseason debut in relief, completing 3-of-9 passes for 74 yards, including a perfect touch pass for a 33-yard touchdown to Chris Hogan, as the Patriots beat the Panthers, 19-17, Friday night at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.

The Patriots (3-0) get their final preseason tune-up this Thursday night at MetLife Stadium against the Giants. The Patriots will have to cut their roster down to 75 players by Tuesday at 4 p.m.

Brady came on late in the first quarter for a struggling Jimmy Garoppolo and played four series, mostly in the second quarter. Brady was sacked on his last snap of the night. It was the first time Brady came on in relief in a game of any kind since replacing Drew Bledsoe against the Jets on Sept. 23, 2001.

Also making his preseason debut was receiver Julian Edelman. He played most of the first half, catching one pass (from Brady) on three targets for six yards.

Garoppolo started and then came in for Brady to run a two-minute drill at the end of the first half. He nearly fumbled the ball inside the Panthers 15 before James White recovered. Garoppolo finished the first half 5-for-9 for 37 yards, a fumble and an intentional grounding.

Not including taking two knees to end the first half, Garoppolo, who started the second half, was under center for six series, going 9-for-15 for 57 yards for the game.

Jacoby Brissett came one and completed his first three passes late in the third quarter, completing an in-cut to DeAndre Carter from 12 yards for a touchdown. Brissett, the rookie out of North Carolina State, completed all nine passes on the night for 83 yards and the touchdown.

For the full box score, click here.

Another big highlight was an electric 60-yard punt return in the third quarter by rookie Cyrus Jones that set up Brissett’s first touchdown.

The best news of the night for the Patriots was the play of the secondary. They completely shut down 2015 MVP Cam Newton, intercepting him twice on picks from Logan Ryan and Devin McCourty. Duron Harmon also picked off Derek Anderson.

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Read More: Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers, Cyrus Jones, Jacoby Brissett
Rob Gronkowski to host Nickelodeon TV show 03.03.16 at 9:26 am ET
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Rob Gronkowski

Rob Gronkowski

Get ready for more Rob Gronkowski on your television.

The Patriots tight end will host “Crashletes,” a new show on Nickelodeon which will show popular clips of sports action. Gronkowski isn’t the only NFL start to join the network as NFL MVP Cam Newton will host “All In,” a series where he will take kids on dream-fulfilling journeys.

The AP story says the move for Nickelodeon is to broaden its mix of offerings because of its competition and changes in how children watch television programs.

It’s unclear when the shows will first air.

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

Read More: Cam Newton, Rob Gronkowski,
NY Daily News reveals court documents alleging Peyton Manning ‘smear campaign’ in sex assault case 02.13.16 at 10:28 am ET
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Peyton Manning leaves the stadium after the game with his son Marshall after winning Super Bowl 50. (Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports)

Peyton Manning leaves the stadium after the game with his son Marshall after winning Super Bowl 50. (Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports)

Peyton Manning’s image has long been a matter of public debate and discourse in New England and throughout the country. But now, there’s a claim through an explosive column in the New York Daily News that Manning’s All-American image is one big fraud.

New York Daily News columnist Shaun King made his case Saturday – through a 74-page legal document he received – that there was an extensive smear campaign against former University of Tennessee Director of Health & Wellness Dr. Jamie Naughright and a calculated effort to hide the details of an alleged ugly sexual assault of her by Manning when he was at Tennessee in 1996.

King was initially critical of the media’s coverage of Cam Newton‘s behavior following the Super Bowl loss to Manning’s Broncos in Santa Clara. He wondered why the media was focused on the Newton’s performance in the press conference and not the the hug Newton gave Manning on the field. He even suggested a racial double standard.

But then he said he was emailed the 74-page court document that USA Today acquired in 2003, detailing the Manning-Naughright encounter while Naughright was examining Manning’s foot for an injury.

The following is an except of what King wrote Saturday in the New York Daily News:

Less than 24 hours later, a source who claimed to see my article on the racial double standard, sent me a 74-page court document from Polk County court in Florida. Sitting in the San Francisco airport, waiting for a flight home, I opened the PDF, began reading, and felt like I had stumbled on to state secrets. I literally moved to where nobody could see my computer screen.

While Peyton Manning is not the president of the United States, in a land where football is king, he is the Captain America of sports and certainly one of the best quarterbacks of all time. He’s also a prolific pitchman in the country, the friendly face of several multi-billion dollar corporations.

This document says, in essence, that it’s all a facade, an act, a well-designed for-profit creation, maintained and manicured at all cost. For me, it was like reading proof that the first Apollo moon landing was really a fictional tale filmed in a Hollywood studio designed to dupe us all. That flag, planted in the moon, seemingly blowing in the wind, was a ruse after all. Maybe B.o.B. was right on this one fact.

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Read More: Cam Newton, Denver Broncos, Dr. Jamie Naughright, Peyton Manning
Cam Newton defends actions in Super Bowl: ‘Show me a good loser and I’ll show you a loser’ 02.09.16 at 12:01 pm ET
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Cam Newton defended his actions Sunday in Super Bowl 50. (Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports)

Cam Newton defended his actions Sunday in Super Bowl 50. (Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports)

Cam Newton was one of the biggest stories in Super Bowl 50.

One, for not diving for his own fumble late in the fourth quarter with the game on the line and then after the game, he only spoke to the media for about three minutes with a few one-word answers. Afterwards, some called him a sore loser.

The quarterback defended both actions on Tuesday — two days after the game.

“Show me a good loser and I’€™ll show you a loser,”€ Newton said, via the Charlotte Observer. ‘€œIf I offended anyone, that’€™s cool … I don’€™t have to conform to anybody’€™s wants for me. I’€™m not that guy. This is a great league with or without me. I am my own person.”

Newton also defended not diving for the fumble, adding the Panthers didn’t lose the game because of that.

“I don’€™t dive on one fumble because the way my leg was –€” it could have been [contorted] in a way,”€ Newton said. “OK, you say my effort. I didn’€™t dive down. I fumbled. That’€™s fine. But we didn’€™t lose that game because of that fumble. I can tell you that.”

Carolina finished the regular season 15-1 and Newton was the league MVP.

Read More: Cam Newton,
Can Panthers avoid so-called curse of Super Bowl loser? at 11:54 am ET
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Cam Newton and the Panthers will be looking to flip the script next year. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Cam Newton and the Panthers will be looking to flip the script next year. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Come next season, Carolina will be looking to duck one of the stranger hexes in all of sports: the so-called Curse of the Super Bowl Loser.

Seven of the last 15 Super Bowl losers have missed the playoffs the following season, and while there have been some that have ended up winning playoff games the following year, no Super Bowl loser in that stretch has come back to win the title the following year. In fact, since 2000, only two teams have even made it as far as the conference title game the year after losing the Super Bowl. (The last team to even play in a Super Bowl the season after losing it? The 1993 Bills, who lost back-to-back big games to the Cowboys.) Of the 49 previous Super Bowl losers, only two won the big game the next season –€” the 1972 Miami Dolphins were the last team to do it.

Here’€™s a look at the year that team lost the Super Bowl, and their record and playoff performance the following season.

Super Bowl 49: Seahawks (10-6) lose in divisional round to Panthers, 31-24
Super Bowl 48: Broncos (12-4) lose in divisional round to Colts, 24-13
Super Bowl 47: Niners (12-4) lose in NFC championship game to Seahawks, 23-17
Super Bowl 46: Patriots (12-4) lose in AFC championship game, 28-13
Super Bowl 45: Steelers (12-4) lose in wild card round to Broncos, 29-23
Super Bowl 44: Colts (10-6) lose in wild card round to Jets, 17-16
Super Bowl 43: Cardinals (10-6) lose in divisional playoffs to Saints, 45-14
Super Bowl 42: Patriots (11-5) miss playoffs
Super Bowl 41: Bears (7-9) miss playoffs
Super Bowl 40: Seahawks (9-7) lose to Bears in divisional playoffs, 27-24
Super Bowl 39: Eagles (6-10) miss playoffs
Super Bowl 38: Panthers (7-9) miss playoffs
Super Bowl 37: Raiders (4-12) miss playoffs
Super Bowl 36: Rams (7-9) miss playoffs
Super Bowl 35: Giants (7-9) miss playoffs

Read More: Cam Newton,
Trying to provide some context to Cam Newton’s abrupt podium walkout after Sunday’s Super Bowl 02.08.16 at 11:51 am ET
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The scene in the interview area after a Super Bowl can be a little crazy.

There are literally hundreds of people coming and going — players, family, support staff and reporters — in a tight, confined space. Players are all delivered to postgame podiums, and many of their comments are broadcast over a public address system loudly so that everyone can hear. Winners are losers are in sometimes uncomfortably close proximity. There’s media on deadline trying to drum up quotes, players still caught up in the throes of victory or trying to process a crushing defeat, and league officials and security trying to keep everything in some semblance of order. The noise adds to the frenzy.

I mention all of this in the context of the scene involving Carolina quarterback Cam Newton, who appeared to prematurely leave his postgame Q&A session Sunday because of perceived frustration or anger regarding the defeat against Denver. It appeared that at one point, Newton could hear Denver cornerback Chris Harris Jr. talking happily about the win and what they were able to do to Newton.

That, combined with the rawness of the difficult loss, was likely what made Newton cut his time at the podium short. But unfortunately for him, the narrative of the bitter young quarterback had been entrenched in the minds of many, regardless of the situation.

None of this is to excuse Newton’s actions — part of his postgame obligations include a session with the media, and as I said, it can be extremely difficult process for any member of the losing team to try and endure. (I can still recall a sad-eyed Wes Welker talking with us after New England’s loss to the Giants in Super Bowl XLVI while New York players gleefully celebrated on the other side of a curtain, no less than 15 feet away.) It’s only to provide a little more context to what happened, and serve as a small reminder that the narrative doesn’t always fit with the facts.

Read More: Cam Newton, Wes Welker,
Broncos players call out Cam Newton following Super Bowl 50: ‘He didn’t want it’ at 9:39 am ET
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The Broncos players ripped Cam Newton following Super Bowl 50. (Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports)

The Broncos players ripped Cam Newton following Super Bowl 50. (Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports)

Cam Newton was one of the biggest talking points leading into Super Bowl 50 and he was one of the biggest talking points afterwards, but not for the reason he would have hoped.

Newton struggled in the Panthers’ 24-10 loss to the Broncos where he went just 18-for-41 with 265 yards, no touchdowns and an interception. He also fumbled twice, including late in the fourth quarter, which all but sealed the win for Carolina.

On the play Newton had a chance to jump on the loose ball, but he instead stood there and watched.

“That’s the way he is. Playing for himself,” Broncos linebacker Danny Trevathan said to MMQB.com.

Cornerback Aqib Talib added: “He didn’t want it.”

Talib also took another shot later at Newton in another interview saying, “There ain’t no Easter Bunny, there ain’t no Santa Claus, there ain’t no Superman.”

The former Patriots cornerback didn’t stop there.

“Cam’s probably crying right now,” Talib said, via TSN.com.

Newton was sacked six times in the loss as the Broncos defense was the story of the game, including Von Miller being named the game’s MVP.

Read More: Aqib Talib, Cam Newton,
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