It took one more spark from Amendola, this time on a punt return, to get Brady into position for the go-ahead score.

There was Brady, desperately trying to find a matchup he liked with Gronk out of the game, and Amendola suddenly becoming his main man against the Jaguars’ Cover 3 zone, much like James White against the Falcons. Two passes later, Amendola was in the end zone.

Normally, it would have been clear sailing for Brady to finish the comeback from there, but then came three straight incompletions and a punt on the next possession. Once again, the adversity increased. Brady didn’t have the runaway momentum he had against the Falcons.

Brady somehow managed to exhaust and wear down a Jaguars defense that was on the field 10 minutes less than his own defense.

The NFL protests? Anyone engaging in them was a “son of bitch” who should be fired, he said at a rally in Alabama. On Sunday, he retweeted a call for a boycott of the NFL, along with a number of other complaints. That the participants in the NFL protests happened to be black and that Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors (whom Trump disinvited from the White House on Saturday) is, too, was cited as evidence that Trump was more aggravated at black protesters than white ones.

Whether that’s the case doesn’t really matter. What matters is the reason for those protests. They are one of the endpoints of a years-long racial divide that Trump leveraged explicitly as part of his 2016 campaign.

“When you come into a season, every fan thinks that their football team has a chance to win the Super Bowl, and that’s what I believe the 32 clubs are working toward,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell explained on a phone call with Kansas City Chiefs ticket holders in 2011.

Since 2011, the Browns have won a league-low 24 games, with just four of those wins coming in the past three years. If you look at the three-year average for each team since 2011, the Browns have both the fewest and fourth-fewest wins for those time frames.

As Michael Bennett sits before a September game, Seattle teammates Thomas Rawls and Justin Britt stand by him during the national anthem.

The Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award is given annually to a player for “outstanding community service activities off the field as well as excellence on the field,” and it is considered among the league’s most prestigious individual honors. As it happens, three of this year’s nominees — the Seahawks’ Michael Bennett, the Eagles’ Malcolm Jenkins and the Dolphins’ Kenny Stills — are among the NFL players most prominently involved in the ongoing protests during the national anthem.
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