NFL wild-card weekend: Is Tom Brady playing in his final game with the Patriots?

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A quick glance at items of interest as wild-card weekend looms in the NFL …

Pressure’s on: Tom Brady. The backdrop for the rare AFC Wild-Card game in Foxborough, Massachusetts, includes the buzz about the Patriots’ iconic quarterback possibly playing his final game at Gillette Stadium. Brady, without a contract for next season, has typically downplayed the story line. Still, this isn’t business-as-usual, even though Brady has taken New England to four of the past five Super Bowls and has 30 postseason wins under his belt, while the other 11 quarterbacks in the field have combined for 26 playoff wins. It’s the sagging, 15th-ranked Patriots offense. Brady, whose 24 TD passes are the lowest in a full season since 2006, hasn’t had the typical support around him. And therein lies the pressure on the 42-year-old Brady, so capable over the years of bailing New England out of trouble and covering up for weaknesses. This time, the offensive line protection is suspect, there’s no reliable power-rushing game and they are thin on wide receiver prowess. Plus, there’s no Gronk. That’s a lot to put on a man battling Father Time, too. It’s no wonder that some of the…

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