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On the NFL’s final day of preseason games, it was an off-field story that stole all the headlines, as Judge Richard Berman announced his decision on the DeflateGate case, vacating Tom Brady‘s four-game suspension. While the NFL has already appealed Berman’s decision, the league didn’t seek an injunction or push for an expedited schedule, so the appeals process will almost certainly drag on through the end of the year. That means Brady appears free to play in all 16 regular season games for the Patriots this season.
When a four-game suspension loomed for Brady, there was speculation that the Patriots’ string of consecutive division titles could come to an end. Now that he has been cleared to play, the Super Bowl MVP will enter the season with a little extra motivation, and that’s certainly worked out for him and the Patriots in the past — in the midst of the SpyGate controversy in 2007, the Patriots went 16-0, led by Brady’s 50 passing touchdowns.
Brady is eight years older now, but he hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down, and the Patriots did win Super Bowl XLIX in February. Betting site Bovada.lv has adjusted its forecast for New England, giving Brady the third-best odds to win the MVP – behind Andrew Luck and Aaron Rodgers – and assigning the Pats the second-best odds to come out of the AFC, behind the Colts.
What do you think? Will Brady and the Patriots come out firing like they did back in 2007? Will a stressful offseason have an impact on their play on the field? How do you see the 2015 season playing out for Brady and the Patriots? Weigh in below in the comments section with your thoughts!