Look for Brady and Belichick to have the Jags’ number yet again

Building a championship football team starts with getting the right coach and right quarterback.

And if you get a Hall of Fame coach and quarterback, it usually translates into multiple championships – like Paul BrownOtto Graham, Vince LombardiBart Starr, Chuck NollTerry Bradshaw, Bill WalshJoe Montana and Bill BelichickTom Brady.

If you want to check out the difference the right coach and quarterback can make, just check out the New England Patriots.

They are no longer the best team in the AFC, and certainly not in the NFL. There are three or four NFC teams that are better than the Patriots, including the Philadelphia Eagles, the team that beat them in the Super Bowl.

But they still made it to the Super Bowl last season, because the AFC is in a down cycle and the team that should have beaten them in the AFC title game was overmatched by Belichick and Brady.

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Five players under the microscope in NFL Week 2

Five players to watch in the second week of the NFL season:

Sam Darnold

New York Jets coach Todd Bowles tried to keep things in perspective after Darnold’s impressive rookie debut at Detroit. Bowles said he would need 100 games to tell if Darnold is going to be a franchise quarterback. Actually, 50 should be enough to tell if he’s for real. Darnold now goes against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, and if he wins again, he’ll probably start off 3-0 because the Jets play Cleveland in their third game before taking on the Jacksonville Jaguars.

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Five thoughts on the NFL’s Week 1

Five quick takes on the first week of the NFL season:

1. What else is there left to say about Aaron Rodgers? He’s a competitor and brings back memories of the line about Bobby Layne that he never lost, but sometimes ran out of time. Is there anybody better in a one-score game late in the fourth quarter than Rodgers?

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Five players on the spot in the NFL’s opening weekend

The NFL started its 99th season Thursday night with almost a sense of relief.

The games will take the spotlight away from all the off-field problems, including poor leadership, an unpopular commissioner who seemed to be in hiding in the preseason, a concussion crisis, the mishandling of player protests, and declining TV ratings and attendance.

And a new book coming out, “Big Game,” paints an unflattering portrait of the commissioner and the owners, calling the latter “tycoons of enlarged ego, delusion and prostate.’’

And the opener fit the narrative that the NFL has problems. The Philadelphia Eagles-Atlanta Falcons game was delayed by rain and was a dreary affair filled with 28 penalties, although it had an exciting finish with the Falcons failing to score despite having five throws from the red zone.

The ratings continued their decline for the opener, but then all TV ratings are in decline. The bottom line is that the NFL remains America’s most popular sport, and the money keeps rolling in like a gusher.

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Kaepernick’s detractors should realize he’s on the right side of history

The Colin Kaepernick saga is becoming a much bigger than a tale about the quarterback fighting a collusion lawsuit against the NFL for keeping him out of the league.

It is becoming a look at how America is changing and becoming more diverse and open-minded.

Kaepernick won a round in his fight with the NFL last week when an arbitrator rejected the league’s bid to throw out the suit, which means there will be a hearing — a trial-like procedure where NFL owners and executives will be required to testify.

But there were actually other developments that show that Kaepernick will be remembered for sacrificing his career for the cause of social justice.

On Friday night, Kaepernick and linebacker Eric Reid, who’s also being banned, attended the U.S, Open match between the Williams sisters.

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