A three-time NFL Most Valuable Player, Brady is on record as saying that he’d like to play until he is 45 years old. The 41-year-old’s current contract expires following the 2019 campaign.
“I absolutely believe I will,” Brady said on Wednesday in his weekly interview on Westwood One. “I know I’ve talked about it for a long time. I have goals to not only play next year, but beyond that. “I’m going to try to do it as best I possibly can. I’m going to give it everything I have, like I always have.
“It will certainly be a challenge. I don’t take any of these things for granted, but I hope I can keep playing, and I hope I can keep playing at a championship level.”
Brady has completed 351 of 537 passes for 4,105 yards with 25 touchdowns and 11 interceptions this season for the Patriots (10-5), who have won 10 straight AFC East championships. New England can clinch a first-round bye in the playoffs should it defeat the visiting New York Jets (4-11) on Sunday (1 p.m. ET).
Brady has led the Patriots to eight Super Bowl appearances in 17 completed seasons since taking over as the team’s starter early in the 2001 campaign. A four-time Super Bowl MVP, Brady threw for a league-best 4,577 yards along with 32 touchdowns and only eight interceptions in 2017.
—Denver Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay’s impressive rookie season has come to an end after an MRI exam revealed ligament damage in his wrist. Broncos coach Vance Joseph confirmed Lindsay’s injury is “serious” during an appearance on Orange and Blue 760 and said the rookie will be having surgery as a result.
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported that Lindsay has a “possible scaphoid fracture, along with ligament damage” and faces a “lengthy recovery.” Lindsay is expected to have more tests conducted to check for a fracture in one of the small bones of the wrist.
Lindsay sustained the injury after being hit by Oakland safety Erik Harris during a 7-yard gain in the third quarter of Monday night’s 27-14 loss to the Raiders.
Earlier this month, Lindsay became the first offensive player to be named to the Pro Bowl as an undrafted rookie. Lindsay’s 1,037 rushing yards are 67 behind former Indianapolis Colts running back Dominic Rhodes for the record by an undrafted rookie, set in 2001
–The Christmas Eve game between the Oakland Raiders and Denver Broncos had the lowest rating for a Monday Night Game in NHL history. According to Austin Karp of SportsBusiness Journal, the 5.4 rating for the game on ESPN was five-percent lower than the previous record low for the prime-time Monday night game.
That number was 5.7 for a 2016 game between the Atlanta Falcons and the New Orleans Saints, with the game going against the first Hillary Clinton–Donald Trump, which trounced the Monday Night Football game in the ratings.
The fact that the Raiders (4-11) and the Broncos (6-9) are going nowhere this season and were playing on Christmas Eve certainly had an effect on the low rating. Despite the low rating for that game, the entire NFL television package for Week 16 was up six percent from the ratings of the same week during the 2017 season.
The Raiders, who are moving to Las Vegas in 2020 and are unsure where they will play home games next season after the City of Oakland sued the Raiders and the NFL over the move, downed the Broncos 27-14, highlighted by a 99-yard punt return for a touchdown by Oakland’s Dwayne Harris.
–Quarterback Blake Bortles, who was benched by the Jacksonville Jaguars after Week 12, will be back in the starting lineup against the Dallas Texans in the final game of the season, head coach Doug Marrone announced.
Bortles relieved Cody Kessler and helped the Jaguars (5-10) defeat the Miami Dolphins 17-7 last Sunday after they lost nine of their previous 10 games. Bortles completed 5 of 6 passes for 39 yards and ran for 25 yards against the Dolphins.
This will be Bortles’ first start since he completed 12 of 23 passes for 127 yards and a touchdown with two interceptions during a 24-21 loss to the Buffalo Bills in Week 12. Still, the question remains if Bortles, who has two years left on his contract, will be considered the starter through the offseason and heading into training camp next year.
Kessler completed 64 of 101 passes for 553 yards with one touchdown, and one interception in the four games he started.
–The Carolina Panthers announced that undrafted rookie Kyle Allen will start at quarterback in the season finale against the New Orleans Saints after they placed Taylor Heinicke on injured reserve earlier in the day.
Heinicke sustained a left elbow injury last week in his starting debut as a pro against the Atlanta Falcons after the Panthers shut down starting quarterback Cam Newton for the last two games because of a shoulder injury.
Allen completed all four passes he threw for 38 yards after coming in when Heinicke was injured. Allen started three games for the University of Houston last season and played in 20 games at Texas A&M before transferring to Houston in January 2016. Garrett Gilbert will back up Allen on Sunday against the Falcons after signing with the Panthers.
Although Newton has not been placed on injured reserve, there is no chance the Panthers will take a chance with their franchise quarterback in a meaningless final game to the season.
—Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week, the NFL announced. Mayfield, who was the top overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft, completed 27 of 37 passes for 284 yards and three touchdowns in the Browns’ 26-18 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles earned NFC Offensive Player of the Week honors after throwing for a franchise-record 471 yards and four touchdowns in Sunday’s 32-30 win over the Houston Texans.
Baltimore Ravens linebacker Patrick Onwuasor was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week after recording a team-high nine tackles and two sacks in Saturday’s 22-10 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers. Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald received NFC Defensive Player of the Week laurels following his three-sack, seven-tackle performance in Sunday’s 31-9 romp over the Arizona Cardinals.
Dallas Cowboys kicker Brett Maher was named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week after booting two field goals and three extra points in Sunday’s 27-20 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Oakland Raiders kick returner Dwayne Harris secured AFC Special Team Player of the Week honors after returning a punt 99 yards for a touchdown in Monday’s 27-14 victory versus the Denver Broncos.