New England Patriots: Tom Brady's cancer-surviving mom honored before game

By Mike Shalin, The Sports Xchange  |  Oct. 23, 2017 at 10:23 AM
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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Sunday was a success for Tom Brady hours before his New England Patriots disposed of the Atlanta Falcons in the fog at Gillette Stadium.

Brady's mother, Galynn, a cancer survivor, was in town and was on the field, with his father, Tom Sr., before the game -- as part of the NFL's "Crucial Catch" celebration of survivors.

Asked what it meant to have them there, as they were at the Super Bowl, Brady said, "A lot. It was great for them to be here and be in attendance and for us to win while they're here in attendance, too. It's been a while since that happened. But, that was very special for me.

"I heard they got on the field pregame. (I am) just happy for my mom. I mean, what's she's been through is pretty challenging and challenging for my dad, challenging for all the people out there that are battling with cancer and other diseases.

"You can't take anything for granted, so I love the time I get with her. We were carving pumpkins today with my kids and beating the Falcons tonight, so it made for a pretty perfect day for me."

Foggiest idea

There were times that the Gillette Stadium fans didn't have the foggiest idea of what was happening on the field.

The fog rolled in, shrouding the game in a bit of secrecy.

Fans -- and people watching from the press box -- had no idea how difficult a catch Julio Jones made for Atlanta's only score. The wiry receiver went up from behind Malcolm Butler and took the ball out of the shorter cornerback's hands above his head.

But as far as the players were concerned, the fog really wasn't that big a deal.

"That was crazy. I have never seen that," said Brady. "It was just so still out there. The fog had no place to go. I don't think it affected much, really, at the end of the day. I'm sure it looked cool on TV, though."

"That fog was pretty crazy," said tight end Rob Gronkowski.

Added Atlanta running back Devonta Freeman: "I remember playing in the fog at my high school national championship game down in Orlando, Fla., against Dr. Phillips. It was a similar situation. It's just foggy for the fans, but on the field it's kind of clear. No, it didn't affect us at all."

Ryan, Falcons struggling

Matt Ryan has thrown seven touchdown passes and six interceptions this season and his team, which started out 3-0, has dropped three straight games -- all to the AFC East.

"I've been in this league long enough to know that one, it's hard to win games," Ryan said. "And two, it's a tall task to be productive, week in and week out. We haven't been as productive as I know we need to be. It really comes down to missed opportunities."

Jones, who made an outstanding catch for the Falcons' only touchdown of the game, said, "We were just off and that is it. We just weren't on the same page."

Gronk flagged much

Somehow, Gronkowski had as many penalties -- three -- as catches in the New England victory.

He was targeted seven times and caught three, for 51 yards, with a long of 27. But he was also guilty of a pass interference penalty and a pair of false starts; three of his team's eight penalties in the game.

But that didn't dampen his post-game spirit, as his team raised its record to 5-3 and he was on the field free of injury for a second straight week.

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