10. Tom Brady, quarterback, Patriots (3): It’s going to be weird not seeing Brady in uniform for the first four games. That’s why his first game back from the Deflategate suspension — Oct. 9 at Cleveland — will be the most eagerly anticipated game involving the Browns in decades. And you just know Brady will be on a mission when he returns. Watch out, NFL.
Chiefs: The Chiefs gave up a third-round pick this year and their first-rounder in 2018 to trade up for Patrick Mahomes II, hoping they have found an eventual successor to Alex Smith, who turns 33 in May. Mahomes, a gunslinger with dodgy mechanics, will have the luxury of learning. Look out for third-round pick, Toledo RB Kareem Hunt, who could get a lot of immediate action with the Chiefs so thin at RB. Hunt rushed for 1,475 yards and caught 41 passes as a senior.
Chargers: Clemson WR Mike Williams, at 6-foot-4, 218 pounds is the perfect receiver for Philip Rivers. He is a productive, big-play receiver who wins balls in the air and often made Deshaun Watson look good with spectacular catches. Western Kentucky OL Forrest Lamp, picked in the second round, can play tackle or guard and should compete immediately for a starting job.
I know Kirk Cousins is poised to potentially become the league’s first $30 million man, but I wouldn’t blame the Washington Redskins for letting the coveted QB1 walk out the door. In a league where franchise quarterbacks, particularly those making $20 million-plus per year, are expected to carry their teams to the winner’s circle, I can understand why Jay Gruden and Co. are hitting Cousins with the old “HOP” (Hold on, playa!) label before cutting a check.
North Dakota-Boston College hockey from MSG on Saturday, 7:30 p.m. on CBSSN. Ben Holden and Dave Starman with the call, former Devil, Ranger, Hab and Alaska-born Latino Scott Gomez making his sportscasting debut, as between-benches reporter.
After skipping all of training camp, Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell went out against Cleveland and played liked he skipped all of training camp, which wasn’t a good thing for the Steelers. Fortunately for the Steelers, they had Antonio Brown, who seemed to eager to make up for the lost offensive production from Bell.
Brown caught 11 passes for 182 yards in the game, which was good news for Pittsburgh, because without Brown, the Steelers offense did nothing. The Steelers also got some surprising production from tight end Jesse James, who caught six passes for 41 yards and two touchdowns. Before Sunday, James had only caught four touchdowns in his entire career. As for Brown, the 182 yards marked the sixth time he’s hit the 180-yard mark in his career.
What happened the day and night before. Geez. The Bengals might have won — we’ll never know, but they led 13-6 in the third quarter — had it not been for the previous 24 hours.